Tuesday, October 31, 2006

on friendship (the book)

Though I finished reading Friendship by Joseph Epstein over a month ago, it’s been taking me a while to get around to posting my comments... While overall the book made for an entertaining read that did indeed meet up to its largely positive reviews, at first, I thought Epstein’s casual style of writing in Friendship was a bit cheesy. But either I stopped noticing his annoying way of addressing the reader, or it wasn’t as explicit as the book progressed, since I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and not because it was particularly insightful (it was more about Epstein’s particular friendships than anything else), but because Epstein both has and has had some pretty interesting friendships, and I always find it interesting to read confirmations of things I already know. For instance:
According to the received opinion of the day, women are better at friendship than are men.
And of course,
In any competition between friendship and marriage, friendship loses every time.
"Friendship and marriage- and-family are mutually exclusive alternatives," Leon Kass has written in an essay titled "The Beginning of Wisdom. ..."
But I was confused by this one (is this a common enough male fantasy?):
In his friendships with women, he (Hemingway) seemed to want the common enough male fantasy, a lover with a man's mind and a women's body.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I need to decide between United Healthcare (PPO) and Oxford (HMO) by tomorrow. If you have any experience with both or either, please advise!

What I've learned from the web (here) about HMO's:
You're stressed, your staff is stressed and curt, everyone's attitude deteriorates. You know you're a darned good doctor, but the fun of medicine and the joy of really knowing your patients and being involved in their lives has become a distant memory.

Welcome to "Managed Care".

Friday, October 20, 2006

the scientific way of saying: stop being so self-absorbed

Albert Einstein:
When you look at yourself from a universal standpoint, something inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Latest commuting statistics are out...

Commuter trends show more early birds, longer rides:
More and more commuters are leaving home earlier, traveling farther and driving alone, says an analysis of commuting trends reported Monday.

...compared with the previous decade, more Americans are leaving for work between 5 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.
But statistics aside, great quote I read elsewhere: “The worst part about my commute is that half the time I end up at work.”

No one is normal, but must everything be classified as a psychiatriatric disorder?

Psychiatrists are debating whether to classify compulsive buying as a disorder akin to alcoholism. Doing so would help "shopaholics" get treated but might also let them escape legal responsibility for their debts. A study says more than 10 million Americans may qualify for the diagnosis.
Read more here.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Funny, how come I feel like it’s the other way around?

To Be Married Means to Be Outnumbered:
Married couples…have finally slipped into a minority…

…49.7 percent, or 55.2 million, of the nation’s 111.1 million households in 2005 were made up of married couples

Thursday, October 12, 2006

What happens when a plane crashes and the bodies fall 30 stories?

Area Returning to Normal After Plane Crash
Police have placed 95 markers showing the location of remains of the two men and set up a white tent to process them.
First thought on reading this: Yuck, that’s a bit more graphic than I expected from a newspaper article.

Then I started wondering: Why are they marking these 95 spots exactly?

Monday, October 09, 2006

educating the public

Check out photo 6: Sacred Holiday

Thursday, October 05, 2006

overanalyzing hand-holding

Sweet article, A Simple Show of Hands, on what the simple gesture of holding hands suggests these days. Some snippets:
“Hand-holding is the one aspect that’s not been affected by the sexual revolution...”

Nowadays hand-holding has attracted the interest of scientists who are studying its effects on the body and mind...

Usually it connotes something innocuous and sweet about a couple and their relationship...
Someone should write a follow up piece on what hand-holding connotes (and incites?) in Orthodox communities (like CH): Scandalous? If so, why? And why the sudden prevalence of the gesture in public? (I think it's cute.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

emphasis on "undervalued"

From Numbers Are Male, Said Pythagoras, and the Idea Persists:
"female scientists and engineers are underpaid, undervalued and underrepresented in the top tiers of science."