Patterico's Pontifications

11/3/2007

Don’t Forget to Fall Back (and Go Orange)

Filed under: Real Life — DRJ @ 8:51 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Be sure to set your clocks back one hour if you live in a location that observes Daylight Savings Time. The time change takes effect a week later than usual because of changes to the DST law:

“The time change was altered by federal legislation to persist for one month longer this year, based on the debatable presumption that this will reduce energy consumption by about 1 percent. It goes into effect at 2 a.m. Sunday.

The change stems from an energy bill that lengthened daylight saving by four weeks. It kicked in this year with clocks rolling ahead by one hour on the second Sunday in March, rather than the first Sunday of April. They’d typically be set back on the last Sunday in October, but that changed, too, to the first Sunday in November.”

Some experts believe the time change plays havoc with our internal clocks:

“Morning light is the most important light for synchronizing our circadian rhythms,” said Dr. David Avery, a psychiatrist at the University of Washington who specializes in studying the connection between light, sleep and depression. Circadian rhythm refers to the 24-hour cycle for life on Earth.

When daylight-saving time is in effect and reduces the amount of morning light, Avery said, the risk of seasonal depression in some people increases. He said traffic accidents might also be expected to increase as morning commuters struggle against biology.

“It’s not natural to wake up in the dark,” he said. “What our ancestors did was wake up at dawn, whenever dawn came.” This, Avery said, is hardwired into our brain and it doesn’t simply adjust in our bodies when we adjust the alarm clock.

“From a biological point of view, it really doesn’t make any sense to do daylight-saving time,” agreed Horacio de la Iglesia, a UW neurobiologist who studies how the brain governs some of the other biological clocks in the body.

Most people know the brain operates according to a biological clock on this 24-hour solar cycle. De la Iglesia has shown that the human body actually depends upon many such clocks, a coordinated network that needs to work in synchronicity. “There are biological clocks in the liver, lungs and other organs as well,” he said. “We have these circadian rhythms because they allow the body to anticipate cyclical events.”

However, Dr. Avery has some practical advice for people who have problems with sleep and time changes:

“As a doctor, he recommended that those who find this change difficult turn on the lights upon awakening and turn them down before retiring in the evening. The dark-light cycle, Avery said, can be adjusted to some extent.

And stop staring at your “Microsoft Blue” computer screen late at night, he said. Blue light appears to suppress the hormone melatonin, Avery said, which is released by the body to induce sleep. “I’ve changed my screen background to orange, which subtracts blue light,” Avery said.”

It’s almost midnight where I live (CST). Time to go orange.

– DRJ

Iraqi Refugees returning to Baghdad

Filed under: General,War — DRJ @ 4:46 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Iraqi Sunni refugees who had previously taken refuge in Syria are returning to Iraq, and the flow of refugees from Iraq to Syria has largely reversed:

“In a dramatic turnaround, more than 3,000 Iraqi families driven out of their Baghdad neighborhoods have returned to their homes in the past three months as sectarian violence has dropped, the government said Saturday.
***
Mahmoud al-Zubaidi, who runs the Iraqi Airways office in Damascus, the Syrian capital, [said] the flow of Iraqis has almost reversed. What were once full flights arriving from Baghdad now touch down virtually empty, he told Al-Sabah, the government funded Iraqi daily newspaper.”

The report describes the al-Azawi family’s return to Baghdad:

Saad al-Azawi, his wife and four children are among them. They fled to Syria six months ago, leaving behind what had become one of the capital’s more dangerous districts—west Baghdad’s largely Sunni Khadra region. The family had been living inside a vicious and bloody turf battle between al-Qaida in Iraq and Mahdi Army militiamen.

But Azawi said things began changing, becoming more peaceful, in August when radical anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his Mahdi Army fighters to stand down nationwide. About the same time, the Khadra neighborhood Awakening Council rose up against brutal al-Qaida control—the imposition of its austere interpretation of Islam, along with the murder and torture of those who would not comply.”

The US Military is working to encourage the reopening of refugee-owned and new businesses:

“The 40-year-old al-Azawi, who has gone back to work managing a car service, said relatives and friends persuaded him to bring his family home. “Six months ago, I wouldn’t dare be outside, not even to stand near the garden gate by the street. Killings had become routine. I stopped going to work, I was so afraid,” he said, chatting with friends on a street in the neighborhood.

When he and his family joined the flood of Iraqi refugees to Syria the streets were empty by early afternoon, when all shops were tightly shuttered. Now the stores stay open until 10 p.m. and the U.S. military working with the neighborhood council is handing out $2,000 grants to shop owners who had closed their business. The money goes to those who agree to reopen or first-time businessmen. Al-Azawi said he’s trying to get one of the grants to open a poultry and egg shop that his brother would run.

“In Khadra, about 15 families have returned from Syria. I’ve called friends and family still there and told them it’s safe to come home,” he said.”

Even the AP grudgingly realizes the trends are positive:

“In the past three months, the ministry did not register any forced displacement in the whole of Iraq,” said [Sattar Nawrous, a spokesman for the Ministry of Displacement and Migration], who is a Kurd.

The claim could not be independently verified, but, if true, it would represent a dramatic end to the sectarian cleansing that has shredded the fabric of Baghdad’s once mixed society.

More good news for Iraq.

– DRJ

Pakistan’s Musharraf declares a State of Emergency

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 2:33 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Following last month’s reports that Pakistan will crack down on extremists in the tribal areas, President Pervez Musharraf today announced a state of emergency to combat threats from extremists and judicial intervention:

“Strongly defending imposition of Emergency, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Sunday midnight said the “difficult” decision was taken to save the country from threats from extremists and judicial intervention which led to “paralysis” in civil administration and law enforcing agencies.

In a midnight televised address to the nation within hours of declaring Emergency, he said the decision was taken as extremists activities were spreading fast and had even reached the heart of Pakistan. He said judicial intervention had led to a “paralysis” in civil administration as senior officials were going to the courts to face cases and law enforcing agencies were “demoralised” because of punishment meted out by courts as a result of which security forces were “afraid” of taking actions.

Musharraf said Pakistan was today at “dangerous cross-roads” and hence there was need to take “important and difficult” decisions.”

Musharraf blames extremists and the Pakistani judiciary. There are reports that the Pakistani Supreme Court justices have been arrested.

(more…)

In an Amazing Coincidence, Joel Stein’s Column Happens to Exactly Resemble a Concept from a Blog Post Published Two Weeks Earlier

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 2:19 pm

Here’s Joel Stein, November 2:

Just how easy is it for Coulter to offend someone? Would any words from her mouth do the trick? To test this theory, I developed the Ann Coulter Mad Libs.™

It’s a good thing he used that ™ mark. He wouldn’t want anyone to steal his concept.

Oh, look! Here’s Media Bloodhound, October 18 (two weeks earlier):

In honor of Ann Coulter’s influence on American media and politics, the Penguin Group (USA), in a joint venture with Ms. Coulter’s Random House publisher, the Crown Publishing Group, is releasing a special edition of Mad Libs titled Ann Libs.

Here’s a sample passage from Stein’s Ann Coulter Mad Libs™:

Can liberals really be that easily offended? Are their beliefs so fragile, their emotions so unstable, their [body part, plural] EYELASHES so [adjective] PRETTY, that my offhand remarks threaten to destroy their entire belief system?

And here’s a sample passage from Media Bloodhound’s Ann Libs, published two weeks before Stein’s piece:

coulter-libs.JPG

What an amazing coincidence.

(H/t JG.)

P.S. A Google cache shot of the Media Bloodhound post shows it was up as of at least October 28 — evidence tending to indicate that the October 18 publication date is not fabricated. In an e-mail, the Media Bloodhound blogger tells me his piece was linked on Raw Story for 2-3 days, as well as on some progressive websites (he didn’t say which ones, and I can find only one).

Karl Rove on the 2008 Presidential Election

Filed under: 2008 Election,Politics — DRJ @ 12:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

If you read the Instapundit (and I bet most of you do), you’ve noticed Glenn Reynolds’ frequent links to stories about government earmarks, pork and corruption. Sadly, greed and government excess are facts of life.

However, Prof. Reynolds’ focus on these subjects may actually be a harbinger of the 2008 elections. At least, that’s what Karl Rove thinks according to this excerpt from an article about his recent speech at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin:

“At a reception at the Presidential Museum before his remarks, Rove wouldn’t handicap the presidential race.

“It’s a jump ball,” he said. “(Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt) Romney was leading in the early stage and (former New York City Mayor Rudolph) Giuliani’s leading in the national polls; (Arizona Sen. John) McCain’s got a little momentum and Fred Thompson is doing well in some of the early stages.”

Rove said the Republican nominee will win if they draw enough of a contrast between themselves and leading Democratic contender Hillary Clinton. He added that corruption, not Iraq, will be the No. 1 issue.

Karl Rove and Glenn Reynolds: Great minds think alike? Indeed.

– DRJ

An Instapundit link. Thanks!

Another Instapundit link. Thanks again!

Larry Craig-Like Sex Sting in Florida

Filed under: Crime,Law — DRJ @ 11:59 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

For those who believe people like Idaho’s Senator Larry Craig were unfairly targeted in the Minneapolis airport sting, public bathroom sex stings are also conducted in Florida and can result in the arrest of public figures:

“An undercover operation by the Daytona Beach Police Department at a mall bathroom sent nine men to jail after they went there seeking sexual relations.

Former Daytona Beach City Commissioner Mike Shallow and Seabreeze High School teacher David Bruce Behlinger were among those arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious acts and exposure of sexual organs. The charges are first-degree misdemeanors.

Sears at the Volusia Mall on International Speedway Boulevard complained of the bathroom as being a spot where men went to have sexual relations, said Investigator Jimmie Flynt.

The men who were arrested Thursday were not caught together, but rather alone and seeking others to join them.”

Each of these men are presumed innocent and we should all consider them innocent. Unless, of course, like Craig they happen to plead guilty.

– DRJ

Coulter Libs

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Humor — Patterico @ 9:43 am

Yes, Ann Coulter says a lot of really wretched things, but she also can be pretty amusing. Via Allah [UPDATE: and WLS!], this Joel Stein column is actually funny — but it’s really Coulter (whom I was in a room with last night) who makes it so. Joel Stein decided to try to manufacture some goofy Coulter quotes in a “Mad Libs” style column by asking Coulter for words that he would randomly plug into sentences he had written. The thing is, her responses are often funnier than his sentences. For example:

[Liberals] don’t believe in the Constitution (you know, that piece of paper that Bill Clinton thought was for cleaning up [something messy] DEMOCRATS’ POSITION ON NATIONAL SECURITY after he [verb, past tense] JITTERBUGGED.

or

When I was on [obscure cable news show] ANYTHING ON MSNBC, I mentioned to fellow guest [grumpy old white man] WALTER CRONKITE that, scientifically, men are [any number] 47 times more likely to accomplish [an incredible feat] A LIBERAL LISTENING POLITELY TO AN OPPOSING POINT OF VIEW than women, who should stay at home and focus on [obsolete chore] BUTTER CHURNING.

or

So while my Godless, liberal detractors are in hell with the [non-Christian group] MASONS, [ethnic group] ALEUTS, [occupation, plural] DOCTORS and [deceased Democrat] MIKE GRAVEL, I’ll be in heaven dying my hair and not eating. Because the one person I haven’t offended is God.

Heh.

By the way, what is Stein saying when he talks about Coulter “dying” her hair? Is he suggesting that she is killing it by dyeing it?

Anyway, good stuff. I don’t usually say that about a Joel Stein column, but it isn’t really just a Joel Stein column.

UPDATE: D’oh! That’s what I get for not reading my own blog before posting! WLS has already posted on this here.

WLS semi-accuses Stein of ripping off an NRO idea. Oh, I don’t know. I doubt Stein reads NRO.

UPDATE x2: This, however, is quite an amazing coincidence indeed.


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