Saturday, March 22, 2003

Friday, March 21, 2003

Get your Saddam doll now

Right here, thanks to Michele.

The interactive missile is a nice touch.

Love is...

Well, if you're a woman, it might be something like this.

But we Real Men see things a little differently.

For instance, my alma mater was about 8:1 men to women when I was there, so I often found myself in late night bull sessions with frustrated co-geeks. This often involved evaluating women in ever more spectacular terms. Most of these were of the form "I would < ordeal > just to < reward >".

Typical ordeals were "I'd slide on my ass down a mile of razor blades into a pool of alcohol" or "I'd slither on my belly for a mile over salted broken glass".

The rewards would be things like "jack off in her shadow", "drink her bathwater", "hear her pee in a bucket over the telephone", or perhaps "get a sniff of the exhaust from the truck that carried her dirty laundry". And they got worse from there, particularly the ones involving corn. But I'll spare you the details - see what I do for you?

Incidentally, not once in all those professions of lust did I hear a promise to put toilet seats down. We have to draw the line somewhere.

Keep an eye on The Command Post

Right here. It's a blog with multiple contributors that's keeping up with events in Iraq.

There's also a special version of Popdex dedicated to the war here.

Of course there's always Sgt. Stryker's team for all things military and a lot more besides. PP himself points to this blog by embedded reporters of the BBC.

It's true!

The Advice Goddess notes that men are better than vibrators.

Links between Iraq and al-Qaeda

Alex Knapp has them here, and TV Henry provides even more in the comments.

Via Michele (with one 'l'), who deserves her self-congratulations.

Mobile numbers to be added to 411

I don't think I like this.

Robbed from Robyn.

More than they bargained for

Who wants a job that's the same old same old every day when you can be a librarian?

Link via Bookslut.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Saddam dead?

It seems that some are claiming we got Saddam yesterday. I certainly hope they're right, but that doesn't sound too likely based on what I read in "Saddam's Bombmaker", which I've linked several times before. I've loaned it out, so I'll have to go by memory.

As I recall, Saddam and an entourage showed up at a random household. The owner let them all in and offered to make tea, but a member of the entourage insisted on making it instead. The "host" had some, then woke up the next day to find the guests gone and an envelope of cash left behind.

If that is going on, it will be incredibly difficult to find Saddam unless you're an Iraqi. But I'm betting that someone will drop a dime on him before it's over.

It's an outrage!

Forbes is polling for the best blog about the economy, and Asymmetrical Information isn't one of the choices. There are some good choices there, but still...

Ha! - it appears that 'none of the above' is winning. I voted for Knowledge Problem, Lynne Kiesling's blog.

Collateral damage?

Glenn Reynolds led me to this, which offers an intriguing theory about where Saddam Hussein may be hiding if he's still alive, and not hiding out dressed as a woman in an orphanage.

I say blast it to kingdom come. As for giving warning first, I'll have to think about that...

UPDATE: Steven Den Beste disagrees with the theory above here.

Why we didn't finish the job in 1991

Good stuff at Matt Welch's here and here.

From this book.


We're rolling in Iraq, and Lori Ann Byrnes is all over it.

DanceSport 102 - the dances

One of the things that struck me about DanceSport was how utterly arbitrary some of it seemed. Why those dances, and how did they come to be defined the way that they were?

As you might imagine, there are bureaucrats and committees involved. Without going too much into that, the result is a taxonomy of sorts for ballroom dance.

Of course we Americans can't agree with the Europeans on what is what. They have "international" style, vs. our "American" style. Although some names are similar (foxtrot, tango, rumba), the dances are significantly different. The international style typically is less permissive, and if Dancesport achieves full Olympic status, it will be their variety.

Also, there are "smooth" or "standard" dances and there are "rhythm" dances. Examples of the first two are slow foxtrot, waltz, quickstep, Viennese waltz, and tango. For rhythm dances, examples are rumba, bolero, mambo, merengue, samba, cha-cha (or cha-cha-cha in Europe), paso doble, east coast swing, west coast swing, hustle and jive. The smooth dances are snootier and competitions are done in evening dress. Rhythm dances IMO are lot more fun to watch and to do, and the women dress very provocatively.

Some of the dances are "spot" dances - the dancers remain in a fairly limited area. Others, typically the smooth dances but also including samba, are expected to travel around the floor counterclockwise.

Rumba, slow foxtrot, bolero, and waltz are done at slower tempos. East coast swing, cha-cha, quickstep and Viennese waltz are done at fairly frantic tempos, and the latter two at times are almost like a three-legged sprint. Others fall in between.

They have different attitudes too. Foxtrot is "cool". Bolero, waltz, Viennese waltz and rumba are romantic. Tango is...tango. Paso doble is bullfighting - the man is the bullfighter and the woman is his cape. Cha-cha is flirty and mambo leans toward raunchy (think "Dirty Dancing" to the theme from "Sex in the City"). East coast swing and jive are just, well, hell-raising.

All of them have their own type of music. Waltzes and Viennese waltzes have time signatures that are multiples of 3, and the rest are normally in 4.

Suppose you want to give this a try. The easiest ones to start with are probably foxtrot and rumba - neither is particularly fast. East coast and west coast swing are the most popular, but are more energetic and so might not be the place to start if you're in really bad shape. I'm speaking of the American style - I haven't tried the international stuff.

If you want to try tango, be aware that there are 3 flavors - American style, international style, and Argentine. The last is the most authentic but also the hardest to find instructors, partners and competitions.

That ought to keep you busy for a while. Give it a try!

Monday, March 17, 2003

Human shields in Iraq - are some of them catching on?

See Andrea Harris for details.

DanceSport 101

About a year and a half ago I woke up with a wild hair and thought I'd try something different. I couldn't afford to go to another planet, so I settled for ballroom dance.

It wasn't quite what I expected. As I learned more several things stood out. Of course it's sociable. If you need to you can start really easy (moving slowly, low impact), but you can turn it into a very strenuous workout if you like. You can make it as informal or formal as you like, and you can do it pretty much for your whole life. If you're a showoff it's a great opportunity. You can even turn it into a profession, and maybe one day compete in the Olympics with it. What could be wrong with that?

But it isn't you, eh Stud? Sounds a little, um, light in the loafers, like with the hockey player turned figure skater in "The Cutting Edge"? Well, if dancing is enough to threaten you then you already have issues - get over it.

If you don't live too far out in the sticks you can probably learn some basics with swing, cha-cha, foxtrot and waltz. If nothing else, they can help to fend off disaster in social events you might have been avoiding. It's not uncommon for some clubs to offer free salsa or swing lessons at the beginning of the evening, so if you're adventurous enough you can just show up and cut loose.

Dance studios often offer group lessons for various dances. Here in St. Louis, Just Dancing offers these for rumba, foxtrot, waltz, swing (east and west coast) and others at various times of the week (also tap, hip hop, ethnic and other stuff).

Then there are private lessons. It's not cheap, but for some of us it's the right way to go, especially if you're intending to get serious about it.

You can also take part in competitions. In these the contestants are divided into several skill levels and age groups for each type of dance. The organizers play appropriate music for a minute or two, the contestants dance, and professional judges assess them.

The competitions might include people competing for scholarships or professionals building resumes. If you think dancing isn't worthy of the Olympics, just watch for a while. That's what I was doing last week while I was away from blogging - I was watching and participating in the St. Louis Star Ball that I've been plugging. (How did I do? Well, I won't be turning pro just yet...).

So what are the dances? Stick around - more will be coming later.


By now you've probably heard about the UN weapons inspector who was killed in Iraq. He had an auto accident involving a truck.

OK, I don't need a bumper sticker to tell me that bad things sometimes happen. But then I thought about Dr. Khidhir Hamza's book, "Saddam's Bombmaker". In it Hamza noted several cases in which people who had fallen out of favor with Saddam had died in accidents involving trucks.

Stay tuned...

Next time try "Nude for Peace"

You're cold, Emperor Misha. And since 9/11, so am I.

Don't miss the comments.