Monthly Archives: February 2008

Dogs are better than babies

Perry Ellis

As Lucy helpfully pointed out, it’s been a quiet week here at the ranch, with Pax and the Padre busy experiencing everything Florida’s finest in the way of convention centers has to offer.

So in the interest of provoking some insightful discussion in the comments section (we’re looking your way, Beast Lair), we humbly offer the following:

1) Dogs are better than babies.

2) Dwight Howard is one of the five-best centers of all time.

3) Just a few more votes from the Features Dept. would have carried the day.

4) The Beatles are way better than the Stones.

No contest.



Filed under pets, reproduction

Sharks bitey and killy this year

Perry Ellis

We’ve already exceeded last year’s sharkly death toll, according to The Associated Press (via

“An Austrian tourist died Monday after being bitten by a shark while diving near the Bahamas in waters that had been baited with bloody fish parts to attract the predators.

Markus Groh, 49, a Vienna lawyer and diving enthusiast, was on a commercial dive trip Sunday when he was bitten about 50 miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale…”

Are the Flying Shark Vikings turning against us? Know fear.

Let’s just hope that was a zombie.


Filed under scandinavia, sharks, Vikings, zombies

Attack of the Viking death spores

Perry Ellis 

Run for the hills! Those crazy Scandinavians are at it again, this time risking the infection of the rest of the world with runaway doomsday Viking spores that turn their victims into slavering, flying-Viking-zombie-killing-shark-killing Viking zombies.

Wait. Scratch that. I misread the headline. Turns out it’s just a big box in the Artic Circle for storing seeds. Or something. No Vikings. No spores. No doomsday. No zombies. No flying Viking sharks killing zombies.

 No fun.

But at least we have this monkey:


Filed under environment, scandinavia, science, Vikings, zombies

Birthplace of age-, gender-, sexuality-, ethnicity-appropriate and tortured sentence construction to temporarily pause in openness

Perry Ellis

In English, that reads, “PC birthplace set to close next year.”

Antioch College, which became famous during Perry Ellis’s long-gone college days (we wear glasses to this day due to the eye strain of studying by candlelight) for helping to usher in the political correctness movement, is temporarily closing its doors. From Cincy’s Business Courier:

“The board of the Yellow Springs [Ohio] school said at a meeting in Los Angeles that it opted to suspend the college effective June 30 and close it for the 2008-09 academic year after it ran out of time to reach an agreement on the transfer of the college to an independent group called the Antioch College Continuation Corp. The board hopes to reopen for the 2009-10 academic year.”

So it seems the school we have to thank for the word “womyn” are getting a well-earned break.

Antioch’s 1993 “Sexual Offense Prevention Policy,” an admirable attempt to curb the incidence of date rape on campus after two womyn students reported being sexually assaulted by acquaintances, viewed “any sexual offense as not simply a violation of the victim’s rights, but as an offense against the entire campus community,” according to Wikipedia.

Alma mater of Horace Mann, Coretta
Scott King and countless awkward sentences.

Which is undoubtedly true, under the Alexander Dumas Postulate (“All for one, one for all!”) But summary expulsion of the accused without any semblance of due process seems a tad harsh, especially with such a thorny and hard-to-prove accusation–date rape is darn close to the definition of “he said, she said.”

All joking aside, the kerfluffle over the policy and some of its more ludicrous constructions served the practical purpose of raising awareness about date rape in particular and womyn’s women’s rights in general. Which is excellent.

So here’s hoping Antioch takes the coming year to settle its affairs so its students can get back to mangling the English language and receiving “narrative evaluations” instead of letter grades for it.

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Filed under college, grammar, ideas, misleading headlines, politics, racism, religion, studies, writing

Pax Absentia: Otis! My man!

Perry Ellis

With Pax and the Padre off enjoying sunnier climes, it devolves to Perry Ellis to keep some semblance business as usual around these parts.

So here’s a pair of items designed to warm the cockles of our hearts (and yet another music re-issue update), with a double hat tip to Pitchfork:

1) The redoubtable Rhino Records is re-releasing the 1966 album by Official Saint of Pax Arcana Otis Redding, the seminal Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul, the LP that brought “Respect” to the world–and Aretha Franklin. Sock it to me.

May the blessings of the saint be upon you evermore.

2) The working title of The Hold Steady’s fourth album in five years is Stay Positive, which is unnecessary advice for Perry Ellis–just the news that this great band is hard at work in the studio is enough to keep hope alive.

As the week wears on without our esteemed leader and his capable sidekick, we hope to have a post from our new advice columnist, courtesy of the Reverend E, and anything else Perry can scrape from the Webertubes between researching integrated supply and open-source ERP products. Stay tuned!

Who’s got the better mustache, Otis, Pax or the Boss of the Beast Lair? You be the judge!


Filed under bands, music

Friday Random 10*: Pushing Atoms Edition

Pax Arcana


Scientists at IBM have been pushing single atoms around for years, and now they say they’ve been able to measure the force required to do it — One 130 millionth of an ounce.

That is not interesting. What is interesting is that one of the guys conducting the experiment did so by vivisecting a cheapo wrist watch:

In the experiment, Dr. Heinrich and his collaborators at Almaden and the University of Regensburg in Germany used the sharp tip of an atomic force microscope to push a single atom. To measure the force, the tip was attached to a small tuning fork, the same kind that is found in a quartz wristwatch. In fact, in the first prototype, Franz J. Giessibl, a scientist at Regensburg who was a pioneer in the use of atomic force microscopes, bought an inexpensive watch and pulled out the quartz tuning fork for use in the experiment.

Huh. Cool.

On to the songs:

Weary Memory — Iron and Wine
Gigantic — The Pixies
All These Things That I’ve Done — The Killers
Afterword/Rag — M. Ward
The Slim — Sugar
Casino Boogie — The Rolling Stones
Reset — Outkast
Let Down — Radiohead
Paper Planes — M.I.A.
One Down — Ben Folds

Bonus video:

Hey Jude (Live), The Beatles, performed by Hero Ha

*The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are welcome to post their own.


Filed under Friday random 10, Uncategorized

Japanese hairstylists threaten global economy

Pax Arcana

Thought the US housing market and subprime mortgage shenanigans were going to lead the world economy into the crapper? You were wrong. Not about that second part — that’s going to happen — just about the cause.

Turns out the Japanese economy — a major global influencer according to the economists living in my imagination — is very sensitive to ladies’ hairstyles. And the current trends do not look good:

Until the early 1990s, when Japan’s economic bubble burst, 60 percent of women in their twenties kept their hair long, the Nikkei said, citing the survey.

During the 1990s economic slump, short hair — defined as above the collarbone — became the dominant hairstyle for Japanese women. But since 2002, long hair has regained some popularity — just as the economy started to expand, the Nikkei said.

The Japanese Global Economics Council ponders lowering interest rates and growing out their bangs

So one of the most important economies in the world, in a nation that produced some of the most fearless, relentless, cunning warriors and businessmen in the history of humankind, is largely pegged to the whims of the female patrons at karaoke night at the Mr. Soul Disco in Kyoto.

OK, I’ll buy that.

Japanese women hairstyles track economy ups and downs [Reuters]

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Filed under economics