is orelia's new blog, where she'll be keeping the world updated on her most excellent adventures.
burning man or bust!


George W. Bush's
Top Ten Complaints About "Fahrenheit 9/11"

10. That actor who played the President was totally unconvincing

9. It oversimplified the way I stole the election

8. Too many of them fancy college-boy words

7. If Michael Moore had waited a few months, he could have included the part where I get him deported

6. Didn't have one of them hilarious monkeys who smoke cigarettes and gives people the finger

5. Of all Michael Moore's accusations, only 97% are true

4. Not sure - - I passed out after a piece of popcorn lodged in my windpipe

3. Where the hell was Spider-man?

2. Couldn't hear most of the movie over Cheney's foul mouth

1. I thought this was supposed to be about dodgeball

the Late Show with David Letterman

the anonymous coward says

After we send Bush packing back to Crawford, I say we kick Texas out of the Union. That way, the next time we get the itch to invade and steal the oil from some hot, dusty, third-world country crawling with religious zealots and ruled by a maniacal dictator, we won't have to fly halfway around the world to do it.

almost surely ripped off from somewhere, but I found it on /.



that or which; because or since; though or although.

bill & and I spent a lot of time thinking about these weighty issues back in june when he was typing the copy editor's changes into the second edition of tuning, timbre, spectrum, scale. the manuscript had 426 pages --- and page 118 was the first one with no copy edits whatsoever. someone at springer-verlag is fighting the good fight when it comes to usage.

the recent BBC usage quiz takes on sound-alike words, the final frontier for spell-checkers. when I taught economics at vanderbilt I used to hand out a sheet explaining the difference between affect and effect. the confusion arises from the parallel meanings of the verb affect and the noun effect.

Increasing the money supply affects the rate of inflation.
The effect of increasing the money supply is higher inflation.
verb, transitive; affected, affecting, affects
  1. To have an influence on or effect a change in:
    Inflation affects the buying power of the dollar.
  2. To act on the emotions of; touch or move.
  3. To attack or infect, as a disease:
    Rheumatic fever can affect the heart.
verb, transitive; effected, effecting, effects
  1. To bring into existence.
  2. To produce as a result.


Usage Note: Affect (1) and effect have no senses in common. As a verb affect (1) is most commonly used in the sense of "to influence" (how smoking affects health). Effect means "to bring about or execute": layoffs designed to effect savings. Thus the sentence These measures may affect savings could imply that the measures may reduce savings that have already been realized, whereas These measures may effect savings implies that the measures will cause new savings to come about.


  1. Psychology.
    1. A feeling or emotion as distinguished from cognition, thought, or action.
    2. A strong feeling having active consequences.
    3. Obsolete. A disposition, feeling, or tendency.
  1. Something brought about by a cause or an agent; a result.
  2. The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result; influence: The drug had an immediate effect on the pain. The government's action had no effect on the trade imbalance.
  3. A scientific law, hypothesis, or phenomenon: the photovoltaic effect.
  4. Advantage; avail: used her words to great effect in influencing the jury.
  5. The condition of being in full force or execution: a new regulation that goes into effect tomorrow.
    1. Something that produces a specific impression or supports a general design or intention: The lighting effects emphasized the harsh atmosphere of the drama.
    2. A particular impression: large windows that gave an effect of spaciousness.
    3. Production of a desired impression: spent lavishly on dinner just for effect.
  6. The basic or general meaning; import: He said he was greatly worried, or words to that effect.
  7. effects. Movable belongings; goods.

definitions from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

i heart the diamond

the diamond lane, that is. I drive into NASA with bill a couple of times a week, to hang out in my old office with my pals steve and andrew and go to yoga with robin or to what passes for an irish pub in these parts. on his own, bill does the bike/caltrain/bike commute but with two people it's cheaper and much faster to drive ($12 total fare, 3-4 hours total travel time for 2 people by caltrain, 32 miles and 1.5-2 hours total travel time by car).

plus we get to drive in the commuter lane. it's faster on average but the real payoff is the psychological thrill of zipping past 3 lanes of slow or stopped traffic. merging in and out of the commuter lane, however, is not the kind of thrill that I enjoy.

we (mostly me) have averaged almost 50 miles of driving a day since arriving in the bay area, though our loungey 4th of july weekend at home helped decrease that. steve says "you guys just love to drive." I insist that we hate to drive. steve says "nope, you guys love to drive. that's why you do it so much." in econo-speak that would be "revealed preference." given that we went on a 5000+ mile tour of the interstate system on our way out here, I have to admit steve has a point.

happy birthday!

Time never waits but keeps flowing. Not only does time flow unhindered, but correspondingly our lives too keep moving onward all the time.

If something goes wrong, we cannot turn back time and try again. In that sense, there is no genuine second chance.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I, too, abide, to dispel the misery of this world.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

long life prayer for the dalai lama, english

long life prayer for the dalai lama, tibetan transliteration



your reader doesn't care about you at all

He isn't saying, "Tell me, dear author, about yourself and what you think about the world, art, life, and the eternal verities." What he is saying is so frightening that I urge you not to think about it while you are writing --- you may get a kind of palsy. What he is saying is, "Tell me about me. I want to be more alive. Give me me." All the great fiction of the world satisfies this need: it tells me about me.

William Sloane, The Craft of Writing


your call will not be answered in the order in which it was received

Laura Gainey, vice president of client segment strategies, said the bank's phone system sends certain customers to the front of the line, where they get the most experienced customer service representatives, depending on criteria that includes their account size.

next they'll tell us that pushing the button for the walk sign doesn't have any effect either.


"those customers, they're smart, and they're costing us money."

according to brad anderson, best buy's chief executive,"demon customers," including those that buy "only during big sales," are "directly equivalent to somebody going to an ATM and getting money out without putting any in."

quoted in The customer is always right? Not anymore. by joshua freed

weight for me

my first solo attempt at weight training since getting the grand tour of (some of) the equipment from the personal trainer at the fancy-schmancy gym. (I don't normally go in for fancy-schmancy anything, but the gym is half a block from elise's apartment and has an outdoor pool.) there were a surprising number of big sweaty guys working out on a late saturday afternoon on a holiday weekend. not that I have anything against big sweaty guys. it's just that they're big. and sweaty. and guys. and they leave the weight on the overhead lat pull machine set at 160 lbs. I move it to 40 lbs. I wonder if anyone sets the weight higher after they're done.

weight training doesn't feel like working out to me, except for the sweating part. I miss the heart-pounding endorphins of a cardio workout, but the clinical evidence solidly supports weight training. builds muscle! raises your metabolism! helps prevent osteoporosis! I started with upper body and abs (legs and abs on deck for later in the week) and didn't feel particularly tired when I was done. until I raised my arms over my head to take off my shirt --- they had developed a distinct rubbery feel. at dinner I starting eating holding my bowl of pasta in my hand; after about 30 seconds it seemed like the bowl had gotten rather heavy, so I put it on the table instead.

I'm sure my arms are going to feel much better tomorrow.

dr. scott, take two

I'm still working on an entry about dr. scott cohen and the global pediatric alliance, but in the meantime, I put some pictures from his trip to nicaragua up on my mother's blog. more later.

more blog-O-rama
entries from 06.04