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Archive for the ‘books/magazines’ Category

A week or so ago, I saw a slide show of “strange plastic surgeries” on MSNBC’s web site.  While I’m pleased that the site listed these procedures as extreme (even “oddball”), I was struck by one thing in particular.  Two of the surgeries were meant to remedy complaints about women’s calves.  If a woman had “cankles”–large calves that stretch to her ankles (hence eliminating the “normal” curve the ankle/calf distinction creates)–she could correct the flaw with liposuction.  If a woman had “radish calf”–large, muscular calves that apparently create too much of the aforementioned curve–she could inject botox to reduce the size of the muscle.  The upshot of all of this is that a woman must neither have a calf that is too big nor too small.  Like Goldilocks’ proverbial porridge, a truly feminine lower leg must be “just right.” (more…)

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Professor Moss and I recently upgraded our cell phones, and apparently one of the “fun” features of newer phones is the ability to download screensavers and other personal touches onto one’s phone (maybe this isn’t so new, but it’s new to us).  Since I enjoy a bit of window-shopping as much as the next fellow, I decided this morning to browse the possible screensavers available to me.

My cell provider divides screensavers into categories, and many of these are banal but predictable (sports, movies, music, etc.).  I was intrigued, however, by two categories in particular: “For Him” and “For Her.”  My blog-radar began to beep uncontrollably.  What, you may ask, is in each category?  The surprising thing isn’t so much the differences in gendered screensavers as the one glaring similarity. (more…)

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The October 2009 issue of Glamour has an article by Elna Baker called “Yes, I’m a 27-year-old Virgin.” It isn’t available on line, but here’s a Youtube video of Baker’s standup act that goes over much the same territory (although the bit about making a Halloween costume that’s supposed to resemble a fortune cookie but ends up looking like a vagina is unique to the video):

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A few months ago, I posted a status update to my Facebook page decrying the media’s insistence on portraying Michelle Obama as “mom-in-chief.”  I said that she was a lawyer who had graduated from a prestigious university, and now she was being “reduced” to a mother.  Several of my friends, parents of their own, objected, arguing that parenting is a legitimate job and should not be denigrated.  I agree: I don’t think it’s fair to trivialize the very real difficulties women in traditional, so-called nuclear families face when it is assumed that they are responsible for complete maintenance of the household and child-rearing.  These difficulties are compounded when both parents work, since women are still expected to shoulder the majority of  the child-care burden.  But the shift in the media’s framing of Michelle Obama is still telling, I think.  It suggests that no matter how much a woman accomplishes professionally, our culture will jump at any chance to get her back into the home, taking care of the kids. (more…)

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My excuse this time is that the semester starts in one week and I am NOT prepared. So no time to be witty or thoughtful or insightful. However, I thought people might enjoy this link. When I tell you it is a review of a romance novel, please don’t roll your eyes and refuse to click  through.

The main website, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, is truly smart and also often ridiculously funny. Among other things, they do reviews. If you aren’t a fan of romance novels, the good reviews are probably boring, but this review is of a an amazingly terrible book.  Plan 9 from Outer Space terrible. Possibly written while on LSD.  So the review is correspondingly hilarious. And it comes with bonus free LOL porn.

Go ahead. Click the link. Click it! You know you want to!

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Okay, I promise I won’t do this often, but not much is happening on the pop culture scene (not much that interests me anyway) and I’ve been spending most of my time crafting an edition of Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part 2.  Editing a text means reading it very very closely, and then reading it again, and then writing notes so other people can read it, and in the end, you end up knowing the text exceptionally well, which is fun for Shakespeare geeks like me (especially with plays I don’t know that well). And the more I study this play, the more interested I am in the character of Queen Margaret. (more…)

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Okay, the impetus for this topic is from a couple of months ago, but we didn’t have the blog a couple of months ago and I’ve wanted to talk about the article since I read it. Now I can! So, back in May, Glamour published an article called “What Counts as Cheating Now” In it, readers vote on whether things like sleeping in the same bed, one straight girl kissing another, and Facebook flirting count as cheating.  Some of the highlights of the results? More people (32% ) think sleeping in the same bed is cheating than getting a lap dance (16%).  And while 37% of women think two straight women kissing crosses a line, 95% find it unacceptable for their straight boyfriends to fool around with a gay guy.

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