Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday avoidance therapy: the good, the bad, and the utterly gobsmacking

Sorry seems to be the weariest word: Tiger Woods' apology x 10n.
For embarrassing all those squeaky-clean sponsors, I guess.
(photo via Gawker)

Let's see...gazillionaire golfer/Alpha male has extramarital affairs = fourteen-minutes of internationally-televised apology.

Former Justice Department lawyer issues legal advice to Bush administration that okayed the wanton massacre of civilians; at first faces disbarment for "violating professional standards", then has infraction downgraded to school report-card-like comment: "(used) poor judgment" = hours and hours of... *crickets*

The OPR report included an exchange between an OPR investigator and Yoo regarding what he referred to as the "bad things opinion," what Yoo felt the President could do in wartime.

"What about ordering a village of [resistance] to be massacred?" an OPR investigator asked Yoo. "Is that a power that the president could legally—"

"Yeah," Yoo said.

"To order a village of civilians to be [exterminated]?" the questioner replied.

"Sure," Yoo said.

But Margolis, who suggested Yoo and Bybee's flawed legal work was due to efforts to prevent another 9/11, dropped OPR's "misconduct" conclusions.

It's not all depressing and disheartening news on the legal front, however. I'm pleased to report that in Saudi Arabia, matters are inching toward equality for women. To western sensibilities, this might seem a small step, but I've a feeling that Saudi women are of the mind that any and all movement in this direction is a very good thing:

Saudi Arabia is planning to bring in a new law to allow women lawyers to argue cases in court for the first time.

Justice Minister Mohammed al-Eissa said the law was part of King Abdullah's plan to develop the legal system.

The law - to be issued "in the coming days" - would allow women to appear in court on family-related cases, including divorce and child custody.

At the moment, they can only work behind the scenes in government and court offices.

The new legislation will also allow Saudi women to complete certain procedures without the presence of a witness.


Walking tall with heavy hearts and even heavier shoes: British models mourn the passing of Alexander McQueen and stand up for Haiti, raising £1 million for relief efforts in a single evening while showing off pieces from the brilliant and troubled designer's final collection.


Did you really need a scientific excuse for grabbing your favorite blanket and curling up by the fire for spell? I didn't think so. But here's one anyway:

A nap during the day doesn't just beat tiredness, but actually improves the brain's ability to absorb new information, claim US scientists.

Volunteers who slept for 90 minutes during the day did better at cognitive tests than those who were kept awake.

The results were presented at a conference in California.

A UK-based expert said it was hard to separate the pure "memory boosting" effects of sleep from those of simply being less tired.

The wealth of study into the science of sleep in recent years has so far failed to come up with conclusive evidence as to the value of a quick "siesta" during the day.

The latest study, from the University of California at Berkeley, suggests that the brain may need sleep to process short-term memories, creating "space" for new facts to be learned.

"Sleep not only rights the wrong of prolonged wakefulness, but, at a neurocognitive level, it moves you beyond where you were before you took a nap," said Dr Matthew Walker, UC Berkeley.

Study, schmudy--next time, just ask a cat.
It's not for nothing I'm called the King of the Jungle.

-- Marley Salvatore Tornello

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