Archive for the ‘Hysteria’ Category

Don’t forget your mittens.

Friday, January 12th, 2018

Apropos of nothing in particular:

(Subject line hattip.)

Headline of the day.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

‘It Was a Blood Bath’: Freight Trains Kill 110 Reindeer in Norway

Random notes: August 24, 2017.

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

Also among the dead: the print edition of the Village Voice.

In other news: WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!

Keeping your head up, your eyes open, and not driving into high water is probably a good idea. But. I remember the last time a hurricane came ashore near Houston, and was threatening Austin. I was still attending St. Ed’s at the time, and the university was sending out regular updates. There was tremendous hysteria. Everyone was hunkering down waiting for the storm.

In my part of town, the skies turned dark…and we got maybe three drops of rain, total. The hurricane was a giant bust.

I suggest being careful. But I’m not going to put any faith in apocalyptic predictions until the water starts coming over the top of the dam.

Whatever happened to Alice Goodman? She wrote the librettos to John Adams’s “Nixon in China” and “Death of Klinghoffer”…and then she just sort of vanished.

Turns out, she’s an ordained Anglican priest living in England.

“I never drifted away from music,” she said in a recent phone interview. “I couldn’t get work commissioned, so I did what members of my family do when that kind of thing happened: I started another degree. By 1997, I was being offered commissions and collaborations again, but none of them were particularly interesting to me, and my ideas didn’t interest my colleagues.”

Now I’m only falling apart…

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Art, damn it, art! watch (#51 in a series)

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

And speaking of Damien Hirst:

“One of Hirst’s main subjects is the setting-up of giant fish tanks filled by thousands of liters of FA, in which intact biological specimens are immersed, such as zebras, cows, calves, even sharks,” the abstract of the article said, referring to formaldehyde fumes. “It has been found that the tanks are surrounded by FA fumes, constantly exuded in the atmosphere (likely via the sealant), reaching levels of 5 ppm, one order of magnitude higher than the 0.5 ppm limit set up by legislation.”

In other words, some people are concerned that a tank full of formaldehyde with a dead shark in it may be leaking formaldehyde fumes. Shocked, shocked I am.

The museum also provided a statement from Pier Giorgio Righetti, a professor at Politecnico di Milano university in Italy and an author of the paper, saying that the research “was intended to test the uses of a new sensor for measuring formaldehyde fumes, and we do not believe that our findings suggest any risk for visitors at Tate Modern.”

Random notes: January 3, 2014.

Friday, January 3rd, 2014


(* Offer not valid outside of New York City.)

I’m not sure I understand the point of this article. Ostensibly, it is about the supposed economic impact on the neighborhood businesses of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” closing.

But even a full house at the 1,930-seat Foxwoods, the biggest Broadway theater, is just a drop in the bucket of the roughly 400,000 people moving through Times Square daily at this time of year.
And it can be hard to determine just where audience members for “Spider-Man” — some 89 percent of whom are from out of town, according to the show’s most recent research — have been spending their dollars, though some businesses popular with tourists seeking a classic Broadway experience say the show’s absence will be felt.

So it doesn’t seem like the NYT has any way to quantify the impact, just a bunch of anecdotes from businesses in the neighborhood. Some of them expect reduced business, others say they expect people (especially actors) to keep showing up. Is there a point?

Strippers. Always with the strippers.

The new agreement freed the 16 clubs involved in the lawsuits from abiding by the 1997 law and required the owners to contribute $1 million annually to a unit in the Houston Police Department devoted to fighting human trafficking. But a number of religious leaders and advocates for sex-trafficking victims have opposed the deal. They said it sent the wrong message about Houston’s tolerance for such entertainment, and allowed the 16 clubs to buy their way out of complying with the law. The Houston Area Pastor Council is considering suing the city over the agreement.

Is that $1 million from each club, or $1 million total? And is it just me, or is there something odd about private businesses giving money to the police department to enforce the law?

In other news…

Monday, October 29th, 2012

….wouldn’t “Mitt Romney’s Weather Machine” be a great name for a band?

Insert Monty Python reference here.

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

A moose stomped the arm of an elementary school-aged child Monday evening in Eagle River, police say.

The 6-year-old was “severely stomped on the arm and had hoof marks on her back,” Parker said.

The 6-year-old’s sister was also slightly injured when the moose knocked over a piece of “playground equipment”.

Nasty, big, pointy teeth! (#2 in a series)

Monday, September 26th, 2011

In this case I don’t think carrying your gun will be much use, sadly.

Young girl goes fishing in Tom Bass Park. Young girl catches fish. Fish turns out to be Pygocentrus nattereri, aka the red-bellied piranha.

Chron takes the opportunity to get hysterical about invasive species (including the freshwater stingray) suggesting that it “might” be possible for piranhas to survive a Texas winter.

But all it takes to get a box holding a dozen live, red-bellied piranhas or a freshwater stingray or any of dozens of fish banned in Texas delivered to a door in Texas is an Internet connection and a credit card.

The Chron won’t tell you, but we will. Here you go. And here’s your freshwater stingray.

TMQ watch: August 16, 2011.

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Tuesday! Tuesday! Tuesday! Nitro-burning Tuesday Morning Quarterback after the jump!


What is it with people?

Friday, May 6th, 2011

They always want to focus on the worst-case scenario.

Sure, if you get wolf pups for your kids, there’s a chance that the wolves will eat your children. But that’s the worst case scenario. Anyway, the wolves are unlikely to eat more than one of the kids.

And, hey, what’s the best-case scenario? Your kids will go on to found Rome. Weighted against that possibility, don’t your worries about kids being eaten seem kind of trivial?


Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

There’s a breaking news story on the northwest side of Austin: apparently, two people were killed in a domestic disturbance, and responding police officers killed a third person. (Edited to add: The Statesman is now reporting only one person and the alleged gunman are dead.)

I’m commenting on this because I had to drive  Loop 1 south to get to work this morning: I have never seen this many cop cars in one place, not even in the parking lot of a police station. I swear I saw a dozen police cars parked, nose to nose, on the Parmer Lane exit ramp, and those weren’t the only cars around. There were cars and crime scene tape all the way down to the Baskin Robbins in the shopping center at the Mopac feeder/Parmer Lane corner. Google maps and my eyeball estimate the distance from the off-ramp to there as about 1/2 mile.

(Edited to add 2: From what the Statesman is reporting now, it looks like the APD capped the guy in the parking lot of the Jaguar dealership, which is located right next to that shopping center.)

Combine this with the unfortunate incident on Saturday, where the APD felt compelled to block off two major highways for the better part of a day (not that I’m bitter or anything, just because I was caught up in that mess) and I have to wonder: do Austin police have enough to do?