On Polish plumbers (or one in particular)

There has been much discussion of how the recent referendums (or is it referenda?) on the EU constitution in France and the Netherlands were framed in terms of people needing to be wary of the threat from Polish plumbers (you know, the ones who would enter France and the Netherlands and take over all those millions of plumbing jobs) if they voted "Yes".

Showing a rather wicked sense of humour, the Poles produced this. Good on them, I reckon though the bloke appears to be wearing a fake hairpiece...


Why I still love summer

Because it leads to things like the Snapple flood of 2005.

Other memorable food events:

The Molasses Flood of 1919
The London Beer Flood of 1914
The Kentucky Meat Shower


Toga parties in Edinburgh

Well, not really. But, I thought of putting up this picture of me and David Hume in a toga. He was in a toga, that is, not me. I was in proper gear while he was plonked down on top of a plinth in a flimsy toga. In Edinburgh, that is not recommended since the weather is not conducive to the wearing of togas (or balancing on plinths, I suppose). But, DH managed to do it. When I figure out how to get the camera to work (when I am back in the USA, that is) I will show you what I mean.

In the meantime, a rushed day or two of packing up, saying farewell and heading off to the capital of the free world. As usual, I have managed to complicate things by having to take a train for six hours (it stops at every little town along the way), then wait for six hours at the airport, then a two-hour flight to England and then a longer one back to the USA meaning the trip in total is going to take about 24 hours. Fun, eh? And, I hate flying.

I really wanted to spend more time in Scotland and have decided that, even if I have to starve my way through Uni for the next year and give up alcohol (which is probably more difficult than the first part), I am heading back to Scotland. Fantastic place, lovely people and tales of terror and treason all combined with breathtaking scenery (though no Nessie sightings) and an absolutely beautiful university (The one in Edinburgh). What more could a girl ask for?

On the subject of academia, I am supposed to write a part in a book (I think) by the end of this month. I have decided I will add that to the list of worries (homelessness, joblessness, etc) for later.


Finally, something topical

Yet more evidence that I'm not completely out in left field with my dissertation topic. Or at least, that in another year there will be more people out here with me.

I don't know whether to be pleased that he agrees with me, or depressed about the chances of an H5N1 pandemic. Is it possible to be both?

Just call me Cassandra, I guess.

Guess I should have sent in a paper proposal to the conference after all. I had one all worked out on "The Systemic Potentiality of H5N1 as a Security Threat" but figured nobody would want to listen to it.

Osterholm: "We're screwed."

You should go read Effect Measure. And visit the WHO site. And then you won't have to ask me "Why are you writing about influenza?"

Customer Service

I wish store clerks were this helpful for me...


Small lessons

While Priya's busy swanning around Scotland, I get to pick up the slack here in the PTSD. (Aside: why is it called "the OC?" That doesn't make any sense. Who says "The Orange County?" Makes it sound like everyone's walking around covered in generic bronzer.) And I'm trying, although admittedly you're getting a higher-than-usual proportion of useless crap (or, as we like to call it, "fiber") in with the snark and the miniscule bits of interesting information we manage to fling out.

Today, it's the "ten things I learned so far this week" list. In no particular order:

1. Vinegar and water is the best thing to apply to a sunburn. You don't peel, and the fact that the nauseating all-over pain is briefly reduced makes it okay that you smell rather strongly of pickles. Well, maybe not for the person you're married to, who has to cope with the pickle smell while missing out on the pain-relief part. Especially if he hates pickles and avoids them even in perfectly legitimate situations such as ballparks and potato salad recipes.

2. Daytime television sucks, doubly so when you leave the remote control on the other side of the room and it hurts to walk (not a little "I sprained my ankle" kind of hurt. I mean a "My legs are on fire, kill me now" kind of hurt.) The sort of hurt that makes it okay to watch three hours of C-SPAN or "Who's the Boss" reruns just to avoid standing up. FYI, cats won't go change the channel for you. Not even if you try to bribe them with tuna fish and a new kitty-condo. They just look at you and laugh.

3. It doesn't matter what grade you give, the students are going to complain.

4. If I lay in bed all day, my cats assume that I'm dead and go to work destroying the apartment. They're very methodical, my cats. They don't believe in leaving any vase unsmashed or book unchewed. And they love to eat carpet, which they then throw up on the carpet.

5. Actually, that last one shoud probably have been two things. The destroying bit, and the methodical bit. So here's a freebie: don't wear black in DC in June. It isn't worth it. You can't look classy and put together when your eyeballs are sweating, so why bother trying?

6. When working on campus during the summer, pack a lunch. The reason that Jared guy got skinny eating Subway is because, after the first three days, you'd rather starve than eat another damn sandwich. And everyone knows that McDonalds is the first sign of the apocalypse. Wonder where my Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox went?

7. People who send in full panels to the "Big Professional Conference that Priya and I really, really want to go to, and not just because March is a crappy time to be in DC" get accepted because it's not a fun job to have to put the panels together from a bunch of other people's individual paper submissions. Plus, if the final panels aren't any good, it's the panelists' own fault, which is a great CYA result.

8. Putting panels together is still more fun than working on my prospectus or studying for a comp (which rates only slightly above being sunburned).

9. Interns should come with warning labels: "Subject to bouts of inexplicable obsession with all things DC. May come to a sudden stop or burst into random boring conversation about the importance of 'Working your way up' and 'Paying dues' while ordinary people are trying to avoid eye contact on the Metro."

10. In order to avoid #9 come happy hour (the worst time for intern sightings, as they are both relieved to be done working and trying to prove they are cool enough to get drunk with the other interns), it pays to have a slightly grungy bar already staked out in May. Said bar should be defended at all costs, even if it means drinking at 3:00 on a Friday afternoon in order to hold a table. This is made slightly easier if you have already perfected the "I wish you would go play in traffic, you stupid, stupid person" glare that got me through law school.

Not bad for a Wednesday, I guess.


Burn, baby, burn

Oh. My. God.

Is my skin supposed to be glowing? Am I going to be able to find
concealer in "Neon Fuschia?" Does our health insurance cover "death by

Despite four (liberal) applications of SPF 45, sitting under an
umbrella all day, only venturing into the sun for an hour and during
the 35 minutes I spent in the water (in two doses, after 2:30pm, and
with an application of sunblock in between) I find myself wishing I'd
taken my own advice about avoiding the beach at all costs.

If there's one summer occupation that I know how to do well, it's
applying enough sunscreen to make the slip-n-slide a very dangerous
toy. And yet, I resemble nothing so much as a well-broiled lobster.
Maybe a steamed blue crab, but I'm really a bit afraid to look and find
out which one is closer to the right color.

I can't actually move. I tried, it didn't go well. People I don't
know walked up to me and said, "Ouch."

Somewhere in Delaware, there's a seafood restaurant bathroom that has a
fine coating of my spray-on aloe gel. Well, not so much fine as a
quarter inch thick and quite possibly a tort claim waiting to happen.
At least the brief high that I got from the fumes helped me to ignore
the feeling of being rolled in 60 grain sandpaper and then set on fire.

Somebody call me in September. Then, and only then, will I THINK about
going back outside. If it's raining. And after sunset. And cold out,
so that I can wear a coat. And a hat. And gloves.

Pale People at the Beach

Somebody thought it would be a good idea to get a jump start on the
plan to relocate my research to the beach. So we're off (at 6:00
Sunday morning, which is a whole different "I must be completely out of
my mind" thing) to the coast, packing the 45 SPF sunscreen and enough
cookies and sugar-free pop to keep a roomful of kindergarten students
buzzing for a week.

This is probably going to turn out badly.

Not just because I look particularly unfortunate in a swimsuit
(especially the Hawaiian print one that I bought because it does such
good things for my...well, never mind what bits it looks good on. It
doesn't do the rest of me any favors), but also because I come from
that unfortunate group of people who have two reactions to the sun:

1. burn, and
2. peel.

I have no "pink / tan / pleasantly bronzed" setting. I have my usual
sickly pale, and a color that closely approximates a raspberry. A
sunburned raspberry. A sunburned raspberry sitting under a heat lamp.

You get the idea.

With a little luck, it will rain. As far as I can tell, that's the
only way that I'm going to avoid spending Sunday night throwing up from
sun-poisoning and wishing I was dead. Last week I sat outside under a
tree for two hours wearing sunscreen, and came home with burned
shoulders and a peeling nose. But hey, it's summer, so we're going to
the beach. Tra. La. La.

Anybody sees an uncomfortable-looking hibiscus stuck in a pile of bread
dough at an unholy hour of the morning tomorrow, that'll be me. I've
been told that there may be frisbees and tennis involved. It's like
hell, only with dolphins. And kites, probably. Although my version of
hell has kites, so I guess that really isn't a difference.

The things I do to hang out with friends. We can't just all get
together in a nice, dark, air-conditioned theater? One with popcorn
and a nice Russell Crowe movie playing? I'd even settle for that new
Brad Pitt film if it meant I wouldn't have to spend the next week
smelling like lidocaine and aloe.

(This is where I ought to insert the note about posting photos when I
get back. Last time I spent the day at the beach, my fingers were
sunburned and it hurt to type. So don't hold your breath.)

I hate summer.


Academic Work and the stability of Matter

Why is it that academic work expands to fill the time you have to finish it? There must be some law of the conservation of matter and energy that bends to allow for this phenomenon.

All I know is that I shouldn't still be working on finishing the grading / filing / memoing / meeting with students for a course that they stopped paying me for a month and a half ago. This is getting ridiculous--and god help the next person to get my job. This stuff should come with warning labels.

No news yet on the conference front--but we're going to continue to post the (many) discussions we had while preparing, so you'll get an up-close look at the trials, the terrors, and the complete and utter chaos that was our proposal development. Plus, some stuff about sandwiches.


Continuing with the football and philosophy theme...

As a neophyte to the world of blogging, I have been spending a lot of time doing research on the phenomenon. And, coming across gems such as this


Thunderstorm poems

DC weather tonight seems perfect for a little poetry--this time, it's
Pablo Neruda. These aren't the best translations, but you get the

Sonnet XCIV

If I die, survive me with such a pure force
you make the pallor and the coldness rage;
flash your indelible eyes from south to south,
from sun to sun, till your mouth sings like a guitar.

I don't want your laugh or your footsteps to waver;
I don't want my legacy of happiness to die;
don't call to my breast: I'm not there.
Live in my absence as in a house.

Absence is such a large house
that you'll walk through the walls, 
hang pictures in sheer air.

Absence is such a transparent house
that even being dead I will see you there,
and if you suffer, Love, I'll die a second time.

Sonnet XLIV

You must know that I do not love and that I love you,
because everything alive has its two sides;
a word is one wing of silence,
fire has its cold half.

I love you in order to begin to love you,
to start infinity again
and never to stop loving you:
that's why I do not love you yet.

I love you, and I do not love you, as if I held
keys in my hand: to a future of joy-
a wretched, muddled fate-

My love has two lives, in order to love you:
that's why I love you when I do not love you,
and also why I love you when I do.

And the greatest philosopher is...

Well, yous can actually vote for him (They are all blokes on the shortlist) or comment about why you think the shortlist should be longer (or shorter)

Go here to vote/comment and also, if yous like, to play the philosophy quiz.

As yous vote, check out the pics too, they are classic, especially Thomas Hobbes.(what is up with that hair? I know they had no dryer in those days but, really, some gel is highly recommended. Or a Make Poverty History band, which is also useful for taming hair)

I voted for Freddie. I just could not resist.

The Roads to Philly and San Diego (Perhaps?), Part I

We sent off a panel proposal (and a linked film proposal) to the International Studies Association (ISA) main conference in San Diego next year and a panel proposal to the ISA-Northeast section conference in Philadelphia in November this year. As yous can see, we are unable to keep to one subject at a time and also if we had actually worked on our dissertations instead of generating enough chat transcripts to fill up nearly 100 pages, we might be finished with the PhD by now. Yous can follow our “progress” and our many (sure to be) trials and tribulations right here, same place, same page, same people.

10:03:26 E: HEY
10:03:36 E: sorry. forgot the caps lock
10:04:05 P: oh
10:04:13 P: was amused
10:04:23 P: i see GS is up too
10:10:30 E: okay, now I've broken it
10:10:40 E: I can't see GS at all
10:10:44 P: what???
10:10:49 P: you are in the wrong window
10:10:51 P: go there
10:11:03 E: I would if it were on my screen, wouldn't I
10:11:22 P: ah...wait
10:11:28 P: i got a message in danish about you in that one
11:04:05 E: no idea.
11:16:22 E: forgot about that. any responses to the paper request?
11:16:26 P: wait..am reading
11:16:55 P: yes. forget about that i think
11:17:03 P: blast. i can repost but so far has been useless
11:17:20 P: we could put up advert on craigslist:-) and anonymise our addresses
11:17:27 E: huh. maybe we need a different strategy.
11:17:29 P: or email uni depts
11:17:43 P: you have to find someone at g'town
11:17:58 E: sorry, got distracted. just realized that I Ieft an open paren in my yahoo message
11:18:01 P: and i didn't have time to look at people who might be discussants either
11:18:01 E: I hate that
11:18:04 P: chairs i mean
11:18:19 P: i am reading the other elizabeth's email on Yahoo groups
11:18:21 E: right. I'm going to look tomorrow before DialogueMan’s class
11:19:33 P: ok..i will look later on today as am staying here for liv's match
11:19:38 P: which is hopeless
11:19:51 P: but us supporters are always hopoing
11:19:53 P: oops
11:19:56 P: hoping
11:20:07 E: who knows, maybe you hopo too
11:30:19 P: can you solve all my problems?
11:30:24 E: sure, why not.
11:30:26 P: yes, i think
11:31:03 E: we should chat again--I'm not leaving, but have to go find lunch (since no breakfast) and grade these damn papers
11:31:30 E: as for blog, no ideas. I'm posting poetry bc it's the end of national poetry month, but shall have to find something else to say eventually
11:31:38 P: oh ok...i will be here for another five hours
11:31:41 P: s there
11:31:47 P: so there i mean
11:31:55 P: am reading this methoodological proopsal
11:32:02 P: m yspeeling is deteriroationg
11:32:05 P: oops!
11:32:09 E: okay. will post these notes and then wander off for lunch. back later. 11:32:12 P: am eating pizza while typing
11:32:18 E: how sad is it that I still understood all that
11:32:20 P: might be online and need of a break
11:32:40 P: am trying to write art of awful 20 page thingy which has to be given to discussant next week
11:32:46 P: :)
11:32:52 E: yuck. no thanks.
11:33:04 P: part
11:33:08 P: writing part of it
11:33:11 P: not art!
11:33:17 P: kay, enjoy lunch
11:33:27 P: will prob email about methodological thingy
11:33:33 P: am reading it all now
11:33:40 P: and also try find some professor etc
11:33:44 P: for panel
11:33:46 P: bye
11:33:58 E: later
11:34:27 P: k
11:34:27 E (Autoreply): not here. or not admitting it.
12:27:25 P: anyway...will leave for a bit and go try find some t and t person
12:31:10 E: i'm so easily amused
12:31:15 P: ohhh...hehe
12:31:21 P: i am listening to bbc radio, as usual
12:31:48 P: about this chef who got bitten by a venomous brazilian spider when he was unpacking bananas for his pub
12:32:03 P: and then took pic of spider with camera and took that and himself to hospital
12:32:06 P: and was saved
12:32:15 P: fits with pet shop boys
12:32:22 E: cool. i think. not as cool as the pet shop boys, but still
12:32:41 E: people are looking at my funny. i think i may have been singing along
12:32:52 E: me funny. i can't type
12:32:59 P: lol
12:33:08 E: this is how my day is going.
12:33:09 P: might be around in 30 mins for my next break
12:33:22 P: if you are not there, will email you about /if any
12:33:32 P: prospective panel people come up in search
12:33:41 E: ok
12:33:41 P: will look at the DC unis
12:34:03 P: btw, if cute, dark haired guy called ben is about in g'town seminar, leer at him from me :D
12:34:13 E: um, okay.
12:34:21 E: he'll be scared, but what the hell
12:34:32 P: :)
1:00:35 P: just a quick question: where is takoma park (am too lazy to try find it)
1:00:39 P: on red line?
1:00:46 E: yes.
1:00:57 E: around georgia ave, I think
1:00:57 P: ok, thaks.
1:01:01 P: thanks i mean
1:01:16 P: ok..will go back to "work”!
1:10:38 P: sorry..no need to answer if you don't want to but what is an illegal communication strategy?
1:11:05 E: ? context?
1:11:44 P: CONIH – Centre for European Conflict and Identity History invites graduate students to submit essays in Danish or English by 1 May 2006 on one of the following topics: a. Illegal communication strategies during conflicts in 20th century Europe or b. Relations between war and sexuality in 20th century Europe
1:12:34 E: huh. no idea. would assume it's to do with propaganda efforts, but really not sure.
1:12:58 P: that is what i thought but then thought why would they be illegal communication strategies
1:13:04 P: then thought about mata hari type stuff
1:13:16 P: shagging officers to get info
1:13:23 P: but then why is that illegal too
1:13:35 E: maybe. but there are forms of propaganda that aren't allowed--things like reporting prop. as news.
1:13:55 E: also, there was talk with the rwanda genocide about the use of radio being illegal
1:14:06 P: ahhh
1:14:20 P: i see..makes more sense now
1:14:43 E: google doesn't bring anything up. maybe you could ask them for clarification?
1:15:15 P: yes, but this has next year as deadline so not too worried now
1:15:27 P: bye again...(and yes, ignore me if you are working)
1:15:36 P: reposted the panel thing on h-net
1:16:13 E: okay.
1:24:27 E: this is so creepy--I'm copying some stuff from literally a decade ago into a journal, and Nik Kershaw's "wouldn't it be good" comes on--which is the song that I listened to while writing the original entry.
1:24:33 E: am now frightened of dayglo
1:25:03 P: lol
1:25:16 E: and going to buy the song.
1:25:20 P: btw,what was that "thing" you were doing ?
1:25:34 P: is v creepy i think
1:25:45 E: don't remember. meeting with Randombloke, maybe.
1:25:48 E: creepy, yes.
1:25:50 P: thing in email..you wrote something about having a thing or something
1:25:56 P: Randombloke who?
1:25:59 P: oh Randombloke
1:26:11 P: damn and i wanted to know about mysterious thing
1:26:12 E: yeah, that was a meeting with Randombloke about the systems project
1:26:25 E: not exciting--hence my abuse of the word thing
1:26:45 E: now listening to pop music--was talking about dayglo--thin kthey may be stalking me.
1:27:04 E: if they start playing "somebody's watching me" next, I'm turning it off
1:27:23 P: ah
1:27:32 P: or sting
1:27:43 E: either one. I've got their number now.
1:27:43 P: creepy all around then
1:27:55 P: off to write about nepal as a zone of peace
1:27:59 E: have fun
1:28:14 P: fun fun fun
1:28:21 P: still over an hour for match to start
1:30:03 P: btw was so desperate for a book that bought bill bryson as an ebook then found out that ebooks can't be printed (damn) and that my computer at home does not have latest version of adobe (so ebook can’t be read at home)
1:30:16 E: that sucks.
1:30:17 P: so have to read ebook at uni sitting on uncomfy chair
1:30:23 P: just thought i would share that
1:30:26 E: and therefore have defeated the purpose
1:30:38 P: indeed!
1:30:39 E: you should get some stuff from gutenberg
1:30:42 P: absolutely!
1:30:45 E: at least it's free.
1:30:50 P: ah well..less than two months...
1:30:55 E: and text file, so no adobe needed
1:31:03 P: yes, but most of the "classics", the library does have
1:31:14 P: ah...just wanted something "lighter"
1:31:24 E: okay. getit now.
1:31:35 P: blast...off again...am getting queasy feelings about footy
1:57:40 P: don't like anyone in SAIS to ask to be discussant/chair for T and T
1:57:45 P: (jus thought i would share that)
1:58:06 E: okay. what about the hopkins school of public health?
1:58:29 P: looking...am at gt security thingy now but will go back
1:58:45 E: no hurry. just a thought
1:59:10 P: am procrastinating..might as well be useful :)
1:59:14 P: back in a bit
1:59:17 E: k
1:59:24 P: (feel free to ignore if you are working)
2:00:31 P: Dr. B’s research is focused on the development and application of statistical methods and models in epidemiology
2:00:36 P: he has good teeth
2:01:05 P: blah...stats guy
2:01:49 E: we may need to use a stats guy. wish I could remember who Weberman suggested
2:01:56 E: knew I should have written it down
2:02:05 P: He is currently using computational approaches to develop simulations and predictive models of infectious disease epidemiology and evolution, focusing on dengue, measles, and other epidemic virus diseases.
2:02:11 P: this one seems better
2:02:14 P: OH NO
2:02:30 P: damn msn. maybe a subliminal message that blasted chelsea will win'
2:02:35 P: (back to red)
2:02:38 E: ?
2:03:06 P: suddenly became blue when i accidentally pressed colour (blue being colour of hated team)
2:03:17 P: btw, the second guy is donald b..ring any bells?
2:03:22 E: i cannot write with ballpoint pen. this is ridiculous.
2:03:29 E: yes--db at jh?
2:03:46 P: yes
2:03:51 P: he writes things like this
2:03:55 P: Development and application of a high-throughput HIV type 1 genotyping assay to identify CRF02_AG in West/West Central Africa. Aids Research and Human Retroviruses
2:04:08 E: hmm. maybe not.
2:04:16 P: Travelling waves in the occurrence of dengue haemorrhagic fever in Thailand.
2:04:18 E: bc I don't know what that says
2:04:19 P: and this
2:04:36 P: induction of high avidity CTL by altering the balance of signals from APC
2:04:52 P: ditch b then...and he would prob laugh at us
2:04:53 E: um. not a lot of IR stuff, I take it
2:05:07 P: prob with these being that public health folk might not go to ISA
2:05:09 P: NE esp
2:05:23 E: we need a polisci person doing disease and terrorism
2:05:30 E: does such a person exist?
2:05:42 P: nosocomial infections
2:05:51 P: am moving away from public health dept now
2:06:11 E: yeah, nosocomial infections are not quite what I had in mind
2:06:22 E: interesting, but not a big IR thing
2:06:28 P: none of them seem to do IR stuff
2:06:42 P: back off to gtown security
2:06:58 P: (though think you in person would be a better recruiting agent :-))
2:07:56 E: happy to try that as well--but it would help if Iknew who I was looking for
2:08:18 E: otherwise will simply wander gtown corridors during finals week
2:08:18 P: nobody in public policy
2:08:24 P: (still at JHU)
2:08:25 E: hardly seems effective
2:08:31 P: nah..ask Weberman :D
2:08:41 P: but will check them now
2:08:43 E: yeah, cause he's not sick of me yet.
2:09:43 P: no. he isn't
2:09:47 P: wait..am looking
2:10:53 P: nobody in pol sci either
2:11:44 E: bleh. this doesn't bode well.
2:12:10 P: also, i think a lot of GW people go to ISA NE
2:12:15 P: will check them out after GT
2:12:38 E: cool. what about outside dc? penn state or pitt?
2:12:51 P: good point
2:13:03 P: ok..one at a time...will leave GT to you
2:13:08 P: then going to GWU now
2:15:03 P: still at GT
2:15:19 P: there is a bloke who teaches a class on unconventional weapons including biological and health stuff
2:15:49 E: sounds promising
2:16:05 P: kai something
2:16:10 P: (his name)
2:16:32 E: that narrows it right down.
2:17:12 P: kai-henrik b
2:17:21 P: but the syllabus is v limited
2:17:48 P: but no one else seems to do biological/terror stuff
2:18:26 E: hmm. let me check ssrn and see what's been published lately.
2:18:33 P: there is one on biotechnology and security
2:19:03 P: Biotechnology and Its Broader Impact on Security
Week 7: Health and human security/Global Public Health
i. Infectious disease – can biotechnology advances significantly improve our changes in the battle against microorganisms
2:19:08 P: how about this one?
2:19:21 P: ii. Disparate care – as wealthy countries leverage biotechnology develoents what does that mean for global social structure and security?
2:19:53 P: stephanie loranger
2:19:56 E: this is barth's syllabus?
2:20:09 E: oh, loranger. she might be a good one
2:20:10 P: no that is loranger
2:20:16 P: barth i think is useless
2:20:43 E: okay.
2:20:46 E: hold on.
2:20:48 P: she is an adjunct..no contact details
2:21:56 E: nothing in ssrn
2:22:23 P: am looking for her
2:22:46 P: L, Stephanie Project Director...
2:22:54 P: not sure if it is latest
2:23:24 P: since she is not an academic, she might not go to ISA (esp NE as i said)
2:23:40 E: maybe not. but this is promising: Dr. Stephanie Loranger is Biology Issues Project Director at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), a non-profit organization focused on the use of science of technology.
2:24:21 P: yes, that is where i got the info on her
2:24:25 P: the contact
2:24:30 P: am now at penn state
2:24:45 P: (well, virtually...were you working btw? in which case, please ignore me :-))
2:25:24 E: was, but GS is taking a break too, so have been writing to both of you
2:25:31 E: will get back to work eventually
2:25:41 P: oh i see...sneaky
2:25:45 E: still have the ballpoint pen issue to fix first
2:25:46 P: will get used to being ignored
2:25:52 P: :)
2:25:58 P: am now at penn state, as i said.
2:26:09 P: nothing on security but they have a pol science thing am looking at
2:27:08 E: should think you would appreciate being ignored instead of attacked 2:27:17 P: lol...true
2:27:22 P: but i like fights, i think
2:27:35 P: i don't think the danes/poles/germans do
2:27:40 P: :D
2:27:49 E: at least, not academic ones
2:28:38 P: yes...don't seem to understand you can have a good fight and yet maybe go for a beer
2:28:52 P: am at pol sci dept of penn state
2:29:30 E: virtually, of course.
2:29:41 E: too bad you can't get frequent flyer miles for this
2:29:44 P: :)
2:29:47 P: of course
2:29:54 P: indeed...would be v useful
2:31:37 P: no useless, i think. bunch of quant people (but/and) nobody doing useful things, i think
2:37:01 P: nothing
2:38:39 E: damn. we should open a chatroom again
2:39:54 E: can't get a group to open. one of you will have to do it
2:40:34 P: k
2:40:49 P: everything i have is in danish
2:40:55 P: no idea what to do
2:40:59 E: will ask GS to do it.
2:41:14 P: k
2:43:15 P: am i missing something?
2:43:28 E: no. trying to get it open
2:43:55 P: i will try decipher danish
2:44:46 P: can't
2:45:02 E: so the lessons aren't successful, then?
2:45:21 P: no! can barely say hello :)
2:45:55 E: GS has to go for a bit. will you stil be around in 45 minutes or so?
2:47:29 P: yes
2:47:44 E: we'll try to do the chat then
2:47:46 P: match just starting...will give me time to finish revising this awful section of power
2:47:51 P: paper
2:47:53 P: k
2:47:58 E: until then, will go grade for a while
2:48:03 E: ugh.
2:48:04 P: have fun
2:48:11 E: not funny.
2:48:34 P: might be...inadvertently hilarious
2:48:39 P: bye for now
2:48:45 P: back in 45 mins
2:48:55 E: remind me to talk about the herman units of suspicion then
2:49:07 E: i'm going to blog it, but want reactions first
2:49:11 P: what are those? ok will remind
2:49:35 P: k..in 45 mins
3:19:28 E: argh. blogger broken
3:20:05 E: can you post it?
3:20:14 P: wait up
3:20:45 E: going to print it and put it up in office. brb
3:21:37 P: k
3:34:47 P: nearly half time
3:34:48 E: don't want to grade.
3:34:52 E: hate grading
3:34:56 E: but will do it anyway
3:36:52 P: ok...will be online for another hour and then will run for bus
ok..will be here for another hour
3:36:58 P: sorry. sometimes it is fun to be labelled (and self constitute as other)
3:40:59 P: kay, leaving you alone for a while now
3:41:30 E: back to work, i promise.
3:41:59 P: btw, blogger is working so am putting up the higher ed thingy...what to call it?
3:44:48 P: title? deconstructing obstructions
3:44:58 P: sorry...my brain is sleeping ... title?
3:45:22 E: sounds like a winner to me.
3:45:47 P: it's your fault..
3:46:04 E: what is?
3:47:48 P: title..it is on
3:47:56 P: makes me feel like i did work though i didn't
3:48:03 P: can i put up a poem too?
3:48:22 E: don't see why not. if you want. i just throw up whatever strikes my fancy
3:48:28 E: seems to be working
3:48:47 P: indeed..ok. go back to grading
3:48:57 P: liv are back for second half (well, other team is back too)
4:10:06 E: hey, are you araound?
4:10:17 E: did you fall in a hole?
4:10:23 E: are liv losing>
Unknown conversation error. (4:15:09)
Unknown conversation error. (4:15:09)
Unknown conversation error. (4:15:09)
4:30:43 E: hey, what's up with your login?
10:46:41 E: so we could ask James F to chair the panel
10:47:05 P: shite!
10:47:09 P: you scared me!
10:47:24 P: i like nick k
10:47:28 P: and sarah
10:47:37 P: james f scares the hell out of me
10:47:50 P: am just finishing email so will send that off
10:47:56 E: me too. but he;d be a great name to have on the program
10:49:59 P: is he really that famous? he just looks disturbing :)
10:50:18 P: but i thought you'd like the king bloke since he is in epidemiology
10:50:27 P: btw, are you in gtown?
10:51:19 E: He's well-known enough that HRDiva knew who I meant. No, gtown is this afternoon. I do like K, but F has already expressed interest. Weberman also suggested C (from JH) and somebody else. D, maybe?
10:51:56 E: I don't think we're looking for famous--just established. And West Point would be a cool school to have a rep from.
10:52:01 P: oh, daniel d, prob
10:52:11 P: ah..ok
10:52:12 E: yeah. that's it.
10:52:20 P: i like k just because he has cool pics on his web site
10:52:31 P: (not of him but of sceneries)
10:52:39 P: so ok..sounds good
10:52:50 P: should i find this c bloke? though i sort of told K okay too
10:52:55 P: (sheesh!)
10:53:19 P: sorry
10:53:32 E: wait, k as chair?
10:53:33 P: hopefully he will reject it
10:53:40 P: no no
10:53:44 P: just to be ON the panel, not the chair
10:54:00 P: chair should be the terror guy (mainly because i just hope he has a sense of humour)
10:54:01 E: that's not a problem ,then--we get a total of five people.
10:54:13 P: not sure if k will be there
10:54:22 P: so still have c and d to email
10:54:47 E: F's pubs start in 1995.
10:54:59 E: wait, 1994--MA thesis
10:55:36 P: can i say *systems modelling to look at diseases* you
10:56:28 E: should I ask F about being on the panel, since he's not really been around that long? he's an assistant professor.
10:57:14 P: why not? but if he is some scary bloke who is scary then i will just cower down and yell for Activistbloke
10:57:17 P: :)
10:57:37 E: he sounds okay. lots of recent pubs on terrorism.
10:57:40 P: i told the sarah woman that isa ne was prob not worth flying across the atlantic for but to let us know if she wants to be involved in isa actual
10:57:43 E: Research abstracts site
10:58:10 P: and i am telling the k guy that he should let us know if he wants to join, to let us know or if he wants to do the isa thing instead to let us know
10:58:24 E: makes sense.
10:58:38 P: yes, i read up on f (have not been doing any other work though i did apply to that canada conference you sent me. thanks)
11:00:10 E: Do you have a title for your paper yet?
11:00:20 P: i figure if people put their last name, they want to be called Dr blah blah but, after being in aalborg and calling everybody by first names, am ignoring that rule
11:00:28 P: let us ask forest to be chair then
11:00:39 E: You think? Now I'm not sure.
11:00:43 E: no for isa
11:01:01 P: oh
11:01:17 P: what the hell!"
11:01:20 P: sorry...
11:01:28 P: just had this awful song come on the radio
11:01:49 P: so, wait. yes to f to be chair or no?
11:01:56 P: i am looking for C and D
11:02:11 E: can't decide. he's sort of in-between new scholar and established
11:02:35 P: yes
11:02:40 E: it would be like having Weberman on panel
11:02:40 P: but you said west point would be good
11:02:45 P: i just find his eyes scary
11:02:49 E: it would--but he'd be on either way
11:02:54 P: :-)
11:03:01 P: good point
11:03:18 P: wait..looking for D, etc and just got message back from the canada terrorism thing
11:03:29 P: where the man calls me *dear ms D* though i signed off as priya
11:04:29 P: reckon ISA NE is really really low key
11:04:32 E: I think f looks okay. w has scary eyes.
11:04:34 P: just a place to hang out and whinge
11:04:39 P: so we should practice
11:04:43 P: who is w now?
11:04:56 E: on the same page as the photo of f
11:05:18 P: oh ok..lol
11:05:22 P: can't find any cs
11:06:13 E: like the email to Nick--is the ISA deadline really that soon? argh.
11:06:14 P: can't find DD either but just remembered of him
11:06:25 P: we had to read him for my postgrad..he does stuff on environment
11:06:44 P: yes!!! and i will be busy from 23 may onwards since have friend coming to visit
11:06:55 P: so the panel should be sorted out by then
11:07:04 P: oh good. i thought maybe email was too chatty
11:07:08 E: absolutely. should I mention ISA to forest as well?
11:07:23 P: yay cure
11:07:26 P: yes
11:07:43 P: he might be keen to go
11:07:50 E: you were complaining about Elvis costello before? for shame!
11:07:52 P: but maybe not ask him to be chair at ISA
11:07:59 P: i know..some EC annoys me [Note: I take this comment back totally completely absolutely and beg EC for forgiveness ever since reading this]
11:08:07 P: but was v happy to have INXS
11:08:13 E: how would that work? I'm thinking we should just ask him to be on it.
11:08:18 P: because was obsessed with INXS at that time
11:08:23 P: oh ok
11:08:35 P: yes, i thought we could ask them all to be on it and then ask (later) one of them to be chair
11:08:45 E: ah. good idea. will do that.
11:08:49 P: no, don't have paper title for ISA but would just recycle this rubbish i am doing
11:09:09 P: looking at how terrorists was deployed to construct british insecurity during (choose event of choice)
11:09:51 P: Daniel D’s research includes the new politics of the environment, state sovereignty as a social construct, republican liberalism during the American Union 1787-1861, and geopolitics as historical security materialism. Most recently, he co-edited Contested Grounds: Security and Conflict in the New Environmental Politics.
11:09:53 E: okay. you should talk about it in relation to the potato famine, or something.
11:09:56 P: don't see how that would work
11:10:24 P: lol...yes prob
11:10:28 E: hmm. it's probably the security thing. thought Weberman said something about his new nook
11:10:30 E: book
11:10:36 P: but the IRA (or whoever) were bolsheviks during the partition
11:10:42 P: nook
11:10:46 P: :)
11:10:51 E: could be nook as well.
11:10:57 P: found c too...he is often quoted in "my" literature
11:11:07 E: that's good.
11:11:11 P: but he is pol theory
11:11:19 E: hmm.
11:11:20 P: not too sure about good
11:11:36 P: Neuropolitics: Thinking, Culture, Speed (2002)
11:11:39 P: last book
11:11:52 E: ? that doesn't sound right. how does that fit in?
11:12:11 P: book before that: Why I am not a secularist
11:12:20 P: he does stuff on new frontiers and all that type of thingy
11:12:34 E: maybe Weberman's thinking of someone else.
11:12:41 P: but i think we have to have a set of people for ISA NE and then maybe branch out further for iSA since ISA will have more people
11:12:44 P: going
11:12:47 P: maybe
11:13:23 P: by set i just mean chair really
11:13:31 P: because we can have us (of course) and a couple of others
11:13:35 P: and then the chair
11:14:27 E: can I use your general topic (terror discorse NI) in my email to forest?
11:14:38 P: yes
11:15:43 P: i did not even ask you about yours to king
11:20:19 P: anyway, so the H Net post was a good idea. the first time, it didn’t go through
11:20:33 P: yes, the same here
11:20:40 P: that is why i am scared of my blasted presentation
11:20:46 P: anyway...so forest emailed?
11:21:09 E: almost. am trying to figure out how to describe my paper.
11:22:08 P: you have a paper? yay
11:22:34 P: cc me too so i can put that in in future emails (notice how my confidence about more people answering advert is growing)
11:22:36 E: umm, no. i have a potential paper. a wave function of a paper, if you will.
11:22:52 P: lol
11:22:59 E: but that's enough at this point. by the end of the summer, i will have an actual paper
11:23:04 E: i hope.
11:23:10 P: btw, should i email either d or c to ask if they wil be around at ISA NE/ actual ISA
11:23:24 P: me too
11:23:34 P: i liked the philosophical essay thing, esp as it involved cash :D
11:23:36 E: probably. which one first?
11:23:49 P: ohhh...StructureMan cc-d me his evaluation of me
11:24:07 E: was it a good one?
11:24:11 P: well, d, i think because he at is doing nature stuff (simon will prob know him)
11:24:23 P: makes me seem like a different person
11:24:33 P: says i am superior
11:24:36 E: huh. is that good or bad?
11:24:39 P: :p
11:24:43 E: superior to whom?
11:24:54 P: who knows
11:25:00 P: everybody
11:25:11 P: no, it is v nice, actually
11:25:16 P: anyway...enough of that.
11:25:31 E: okay. still having trouble deciding how to describe what I'm doing.
11:25:35 P: so should i email deudney then (am feeling in mood to procrastinate...though should you not be at gøtown?)
11:25:42 E: and have to go get ready for gtown
11:25:43 P: it must be noon
11:25:48 E: 11:30.
11:25:56 P: oh..right
11:26:14 P: i am expecting full report of the thingy and of people involved and also of H2G2 movie
11:26:17 P: :)
11:26:24 E: righ-o
11:26:28 E: right-o
11:26:39 P: will email d after i get your message since then will know what you are doing
11:26:45 P: got that
11:27:55 P: would be sad if no one wanted to join us
11:28:07 E: yes. but we'd get over it.
11:28:09 P: (weather is depressing outside so like using sad a lot)
11:28:55 P: lol
11:28:58 P: i suppose so
11:29:19 P: i really like your radio channel
11:38:22 E: okay. have sent email. off to get ready for gtown
11:42:36 P: i guess you are gone now
11:43:11 P: enjoy g'town and don't forget to email me !
1:43:56 P: are you not at g'town? i want to be there too!
1:44:30 E: yeah. it was lunch--much shouting and arguing. you'd love it.
1:44:53 P: lol..i wanted to be there after reading your email
1:45:10 E: it's getting fun. I love pushing buttons.
1:45:23 P: here, shouting is actively discouraged and i find i am now persona non grata (is that the term) after my shouting at methodological seminar
1:45:31 P: goody. what have you been doing?
1:45:44 P: are there lots of people?
1:46:41 E: during lunch: 1) does constructivism have content that would dictate policy, 2) how does reworking canon texts (Thucydides) position you in the discipline, 3) is Abbott right about single fractals.
1:46:46 E: 15 ppl'
1:47:01 E: this is so much more fun than similar things I've been to at AU
1:47:24 P: lol..i told you the people there seem to be into interesting theory stuff
1:47:29 P: my class there was fun
1:47:39 P: wish they would do it when i was there though
1:48:12 E: you'd be right at home. now we've moved on to security as rules
1:48:24 P: oh yippee!
1:48:29 E: right.
1:48:33 P: blast that i am missing it :(
1:48:38 E: okay, going to take some notes.
1:48:56 E: will be checking in occassionally. Weberman promises webcast next year.
1:49:03 P: ok..and send please. when you have time. enjoy rest of weekend
1:49:12 E: will do.
1:49:21 P: ohhh...exciting. what a waste of time though since will most likely be hanging out unempleyed in DC at that time
1:49:38 P: off to work on blasted phd proposal which i want to send off by tomorrow
1:49:43 P: which sucks
1:49:47 E: have fun with that.
1:50:00 E: am going to get yelled at tomorrow over fractal thing
1:50:12 P: what did you say?
1:50:28 P: (well, i guess you can email about that later)
1:50:53 E: abbot is wrong. it's multiple fractalizations that tell you something useful. implication is that weber's ideal types are not that helpful
1:51:17 P: lol..yes you are so wrong
1:52:00 E: I'm not. but I'm going to have to think of a reason why.
1:52:11 P: email later...off to work (nearly 8 and have not yet started since spent over an hour playing online)
1:52:24 P: but you must have had a reason when discussing it :D
1:52:35 E: ok. and I did, but I need a better one.
1:52:38 P: can't contribute since have forgotten abbott and no abbott about here
1:52:49 P: ah...difficult.
1:53:09 P: i am trying to decide if using other people's concept (security imaginary) can be considered original in my PHD
1:53:19 P: will put it in anyway and see what Weberman thinks
1:53:52 E: sounds like a plan. apparently, I need a big legitimating german.
1:54:15 P: or a big legitimating somebody
1:54:39 E: bors?
1:54:53 P: oohhhh...a great dane
1:54:58 P: oops. that didn’t come out right
1:55:11 P: bohrs? or is this some other person i don't know of
1:55:29 E: papers from this are online: http://homepage.mac.com/onyxdr/r_c/
1:55:34 E: password ehcarr
1:55:37 P: oh exciting
1:55:42 P: lol..carr
1:55:42 E: and yes, that one.
1:56:14 P: i thought he was a constructivisit
1:56:25 P: now that sounds like an eye disease
1:56:56 P: but don't know enough about him to comment though was planning on reading (of) him when i was trying to use QG and shotter together but have no time for that now
1:57:14 P: until next week...
1:57:22 P: okay..off..will be online though
1:57:36 P: since have decided am not leaving Uni till i get part of this awful thingy written
1:58:26 E: okay. wait, are we talking about bohrs, the physicist?
1:58:44 P: i thought we were
1:58:58 E: okay. just checking. thrown by the aw question
1:58:59 P: but then i don't know enough (of) him
1:59:08 P: that was an aside
1:59:20 E: ah. now i get it.
2:00:00 P: off....need to write SOMETHIng. have managed to do nothing except eat a box of danish cookies while sitting on arse
2:00:07 P: so i guess have to work for a while now
2:00:15 E: okay. will send notes tomorrow.
2:00:24 P: oh yes, please
2:00:27 P: i miss yellings
2:00:48 P: anybody who might go to the ISA NE? look out for them too
2:01:03 E: someone said "why don't you all go be good constructivists, instead of bothering with this r-c stuff"
2:01:26 E: doesn't look like it. couple of pure security papers, but no terrorism or disease
2:01:27 P: ohhh...i like that someone
2:01:35 P: but then what is the fun
2:01:48 P: if you go off and play in your sandbox
2:01:48 E: it didn't go down well.
2:01:54 P: instead of messing up others'?
2:02:01 E: exactly.
2:02:09 E: he was also pushing buttons
2:02:12 P: sandbox metaphors now
2:02:36 E: it was tug of war earlier. there's also been mention of pooh, harry potter, and peter pan
2:02:39 E: its a theme
2:02:45 P: oh, i was typing about f...(ISA NE) and telling him that he should be part of our panel anyway for ISA since he has more chance with two applications rather than with one (boring, roots of terrorism rubbish) one
2:02:55 P: lol...sounds so fun.
2:03:14 P: peter pan not too sure about, HP i like in book form, pooh have no comment
2:03:15 E: ooh--pathology of ontological security
2:03:30 P: what???
2:03:31 E: now i'm interested, going to listen
2:03:43 P: ok.go. send notes later
2:03:52 P: we still prob need one more person on ISA panel
2:03:59 P: but will talk about that some other time?
2:04:02 E: right.
2:04:13 P: i still want to be there now
2:04:22 P: but will temporarily quit whingeing
2:04:26 P: bye for how
2:05:43 E: bye
2:20:35 E: do we really need another person for isa ne panel? we have four, right? and forest could chair (not sure if he would)
2:20:54 E: we do prbly need more for san diego
2:21:08 P: wait...three
2:21:13 P: not four
2:21:22 P: and we have two (us) for san diego
2:21:23 E: ? no on k?
2:21:29 P: no response yet.
2:21:57 E: okay. so three, maybe four.
2:22:00 P: think he might think we (well, I) was not enthusiastic enough. and i looked him up. he seems a bit too posh to hang out with students (yes, preconceptions, again)
2:22:17 E: isn't he a post-doc?
2:22:19 P: and only us for ISA
2:22:26 P: which is actually the more imp one
2:22:33 P: professor, i think?
2:22:54 P: but posh unis, etc etc. Not poor TUWSNBN :D
2:22:58 E: no, he's a post-doc
2:23:17 P: oh ok...then less imp.
2:24:12 E: more worried about the total history bkgd
2:24:36 P: what? what are you on about?
2:24:38 E: maybe you should send along the info from f?
2:24:52 P: to k?
2:24:54 E: he's coming straight from history--so is ISA useful for him?
2:25:01 E: yes.
2:25:08 P: who f or k?
2:25:17 E: wait, let me start again
2:25:25 P: ISA could be useful (all those nutters there) ISA NE wonøt be prob
2:25:34 P: k
2:25:44 E: 1) shd we send f info to k, who is straight history and tf maybe not as interested in isa
2:25:58 E: and certainly not isa ne
2:26:12 E: to help convince him that it isn't just us
2:26:22 P: we could. but don't want to seem desperate (this is getting bizarre!)
2:26:53 E: hm. okay. thought about it as an "here's an update on the conference participants"
2:26:57 P: 1. okay. will send info on f to k but wait till next week
2:27:29 P: okay. will do that. i have your email about f i think so will send that on
2:27:36 E: okay.
2:28:00 P: (would be nice if we could meet this bloke f just to make sure that he knows what he is geting into. i am still worried about the root causes of terrorism :))
2:28:14 P: and then i have a no. 2
2:28:43 P: should we tell f that he should (lots of shoulds) still stay on our panel for ISA too since he has more chance of getting in and can even do two things
2:29:01 P: he seemed to be under the impression (from that email) that he could only do one thing
2:29:37 E: planning to check with Weberman tomorrow and make sure on that, and then sending a follow-up
2:30:12 P: ok. good
2:30:28 P: will send that email to k now then.
2:30:36 P: and i guess sarah h is out of it
2:30:41 P: :)
2:31:18 E: seems that way to me.
2:32:23 P: ok..off to do emailing/procrastination
2:33:02 E: okay. have fun. guy from earlier poking people with a stick again.
2:33:14 P: what???
2:33:16 E: "security is province of realism" is so 1990s
2:33:25 P: this whole thing is sounding even more bizarre
2:33:30 E: good word for it
2:33:32 P: oh...figuratively, not literally
2:33:34 P: phew
2:33:42 P: is that what he said? true
2:33:49 E: right. no physical stick in the room
2:33:53 E: is a discourse stick
2:34:03 E: *poke poke*
2:34:06 P: lol...
2:34:10 E: you’re talking crap
2:34:31 P: horrible vision of foucault and poking (okay mind in gutter now. off to do work)
2:34:41 E: right. good plan.
2:56:35 P: just to tell you that i am now reading peter's paper and it is v like this blasted paper i am doing in my seminar. hmm...(except i don’t do rules and witty-ish things)
2:56:37 E (Autoreply): trying to decide what a conversationalist would look like
2:57:00 E: so not really like it at all...
2:58:05 P: lol..no
2:58:29 P: do conversationalists have ontological presuppositions of any kind?
2:59:24 E: I have no idea. It was offered as an alternative to the problematic concept of r-c
2:59:42 P: oh.
2:59:51 P: that seems like avoiding the issue
3:00:20 P: since it would include too many examples (after all, who is not a conversationalist?)
3:00:25 P: ok. gone again
3:00:34 E: ok
3:04:09 E: no, peter's now talking about material results of discursive choices. you are similar
3:04:42 P: oh i see.
3:04:55 P: paper printed out. can be my bedtime reading tonight.
3:04:58 P: if i ever get home
3:05:23 E: right. mine too, so that I can think about this stuff before wine and desserts tomorrow
3:06:20 P: ohhh..desserts
3:06:32 P: you just put that in to remind me i ate an entire BOX full of danish cookies
3:06:36 E: yeah. trying to figure out what to make
3:06:38 P: while sitting on arse
3:06:44 P: BOX
3:06:59 P: yummy squash thingy
3:07:03 E: not a big box?
3:07:03 P: yummy bean thingy
3:07:12 E: ? those are not desserts
3:07:23 P: (why are all my memories of american food from your place?)
3:07:27 P: true
3:07:32 P: big box
3:07:35 P: cookies
3:07:50 E: bc we didn't have dinner parties at anyone else's house
3:07:59 E: too bad about big box of cookies.
3:08:00 P: true :D
3:08:10 E: they have v good sandwiches here
3:08:19 E: turkey and cranberry sauce
3:08:44 P: ohh...turkey and cranberry sauce
3:08:48 P: stop talking about food!
3:09:01 E: brownies
3:09:05 E: potato salad
3:09:15 E: fruit kabobs
3:09:23 P: ohhhhhh...definitely drooling now
3:09:29 P: oh...little fruits on sticks
3:09:35 E: also, talk of ontological security
3:09:39 P: the chair of government dept is rather fun
3:09:45 E: slightly surreal
3:10:03 P: perfect for H2G2 watching
3:10:11 E: now the ontological insecurity of talking about ontological security
3:10:25 E: my head hurts
3:10:29 P: what is ontological security? makes it seem v secure
3:10:49 P: i want yummy fruit kabob style food too
3:11:09 P: ah well...am now confused over where my discourse is located (for phd proposal, not MY discourse)
3:11:13 P: oh i see
3:11:42 E: would like to point out the notes I have in bold: multiple levels of discourse in this conversation: papers, IM, physical discussion (words and gestures, location and rules, private conversations)
3:12:05 E: leads to strange shifts in the "public" discourse in the room
3:12:31 P: ah. can i use that as my methodological plan? shoon will prob stick flying dart in me
3:13:00 E: makes sense to me. also, see my post about throwing foam balls
3:13:02 P: which i shall parry with my halberd
3:13:14 P: did. was entertained


Making Poverty History

After mystifying Elizabeth by my recent acquisition of a “Make poverty history” white band, I feel I should explain the reasoning behind my actions. As I like thinking in lists, here I go:

1. I do not think poverty will become history by my wearing a white band. But, it leads to questions about what the band is for, which leads to discussions about poverty. So, as Live 8’s organisers put it, it is a long walk to justice, not in terms of there being one justice for everybody but in terms of leading to questions, awareness-raising (after all, living in poverty is not much fun and, really, if a couple of dollars’ worth of white wristband-wearing can lead me to talk about it, then I am all for it).

2. My wrist was sort of bare since my watch stopped working. Looking like a tennis player who could not afford a proper wrist band or like an escapee from the local hospital ward was just the look I was going for. The white band, in this case, was handy.

3. The band stretches. Unlike Lance Armstrong’s version, this one can be worn around your hair (Harry Kewell and Milan Baros might want to keep that in mind) or used as a key ring or…anything really.

Leading me on to Live 8. I have avoided talking about this since it is probably uncool to admit this, I don’t remember the original but I grew up listening to Jason and Kylie crooning “Do they know it’s Christmas Time at all…” (leaving aside questions of why “they” should even care about Christmas, after all, “we”, growing up in Asia, didn’t). The blasted song was rather catchy for a pre-teenager. And, in my non academic side, I am rather in favour of putting issues like poverty on the political agenda. Now we have Live 8 instead of Live Aid and it wants to do just that.

Unlike the earlier efforts, this, as Geldof put it, is not to raise money but to raise awareness of poverty and coinciding with the G-8 summit. However, local news (most of my time here is spent listening to BBC radio five live via the Internet, which is not BBC World Service but a local version with lots of call-ins and weather and traffic reports) is framing Live 8 as Geldof's call to schoolkids to "ditch school" (he did say that in the original announcement before somebody pointed out that schoolchildren in Scotland would be on holiday anyway) thus encouraging anti-social behaviour and showing lack of respect for education (these decadent rock stars!) or as an "invasion" of hundreds of thousands of (potentially troublesome) people into Britain to march to Edinburgh rather than as a means to expand what is considered as a political issue (poverty reduction, in this case).

Also, I am not sure if yous have been following this but Richard Curtis (bloke who has directed many romantic comedies, usually starring Hugh Grant but also created—and he can be forgiven numerous romantic comedies for this-- Blackadder) called poverty "our own private Holocaust" and Geldof described the event as "the start point for the long walk to justice"? Re-deployment of rhetorical commonplaces all over the place, as yous may note ;-)


Airport security

My flight back to the US is now less than 3 weeks away. List of things not to say to airport security include:

1. I am sorry I have smelly socks after X hours on the plane (but what if I do have smelly socks, as I most likely will?)

2. I study terrorists (well, I do but at a distance. Scholarly endeavour, you might say, not a practical exercise).

3. I have nothing to declare except my genius (okay, might have worked for Oscar Wilde but unlikely to work for Priya)

4. I can speak English. Just not American. (I ran into an old Danish guy in my travels who told me about trying to enter the USA through New York and being asked, really loudly [why do people assume loudness automatically makes somebody understand? If you speak Sinhali really really loudly at me, I still would not understand it] whether he spoke English)

5. I was really happy the day they took my passport photo (the photographer made a ridiculous face which surprised me so much I laughed. Unfortunately, NOT a good photo for passports but I had no others)

6. I plan to bludge off friends for the next month or so (I have no money and no job to sustain me in your country)


Harmful Books, my ass.

These people have got to be kidding. Right? This is some sort of joke? Someone actually took the time and money to find this out?

Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Disassembling dissemblers

I was going to write something about Bush and his use of disassemble. Or just about the Amnesty International (who were supposed to be on the US side, as far as I can tell) report on abuse of those detained by the US. But, then I read this and found other people do this sort of stuff much better. So, I am off to read more about someone who did have a vocation (thanks, Elizabeth for this)