March 17, 2006

Iowa Sucks

The basketball team, anyway. They lost.

Should be nice and quiet at work tomorrow.

They won the Big Ten championship, and all of a sudden people were interested in the basketball team around here. Trust me, most of them didn't give half a crap before. This is a football town, and they barely notice any other team until they do something big. The souvenir sales tell the tale, my friends.

Posted by Jennifer at 02:47 PM Iowa crap | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

March 15, 2006

Supporting the Troops

It's not just about putting a magnetic ribbon on your car. You can adopt a soldier and send him/her letters and care packages. It means a lot to them, and it makes you feel like you're doing a little something to help.

I have a soldier. Do you?

Posted by Jennifer at 01:56 PM LinkLove | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

now that's what I call history

From our good friends at the Woot Blog comes this little gem called Vickipedia . Which posts excerpts from the 1888 Chambers's Encyclopedia of Universal Knowledge. I especially liked this post on HYSTE'RIA.

Hysteria is a very troublesome affection to deal with, because it is very readily induced by example, or, as Dr. Watson terms it, is propagable by moral contagion. If, in a hospital ward or in a factory where many young women are congregated, one girl goes off in a fit, all the others who may happen to have a hysterical tendency will probably follow her example. In such cases, a decided order that the next girl who is attacked shall be treated with the actual cautery, or even with the cold affusion, will often have a marvelous effect in checking the spread of the disorder.

Right now the PC police are twitching without knowing why.

Posted by Pete at 06:38 AM History | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

March 10, 2006

You want fries with that?

2 Years ago today the House of Representatives passed the “cheeseburger bill” which bans lawsuits that blame fast food chains for making people fat or otherwise unhealthy.

A quick yahoo search failed to turn up any mention if the bill ever made it past the Senate.

Posted by Pete at 06:54 AM History | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

March 09, 2006


In 1959 Barbie was launched at the American Toy Fair. Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler believed that the doll could help girls build self-esteem. The doll was modeled on a German doll named Lilli who was a street-walker.

Some Barbie fun facts can be found here

Posted by Pete at 09:11 AM History | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

March 08, 2006


I am hereby asking for questions, topic suggestions, and the like. Then maybe I'll actually blog something around here.

You know, after Spring Break.

Posted by Jennifer at 04:16 PM Misc | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

March 06, 2006


On this date in 2003 AOL reports blocking a record 1 billion spam emails in 24 hours, which is roughly equal to the number of unsolicited disks they have mailed out over the years.

Posted by Pete at 06:59 AM History | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

March 05, 2006

It's Not a Quote. It's Links.

I won!

A Dead Pool caption contest. Can you believe it? Judged by Laurence Simon and everything.

I don't even have a speech prepared. I'd like to thank Laurence for seating me relatively near Hal Horn in the alphabetical roster list. (Even though Hal Horn will shrug his shoulders, wondering who I am.) I'd also like to thank sarahk for semi-live-blogging the Oscars so I'd know something to spoof in this speech, because I'm not watching them. Of course, I have to thank Britney Spears, because I couldn't have done it without you, Britney! And finally, I'd like to thank Laurence again, for picking me. (Even though he will shrug his shoulders, wondering who I am.) Thank you all for your support!

Posted by Jennifer at 10:34 PM LinkLove | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

March 03, 2006

And Yet Another Quote

"If you want to see the girl next door, go next door."

-Joan Crawford

Posted by Jennifer at 01:57 PM Daily Quote | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

February 28, 2006

My Blog, My Rules

And one of the rules is to respect my friends.

Play by my rules or play somewhere else.

The end.

Posted by Jennifer at 07:18 PM Misc | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (1)
Trey Givens linked with I Thought It Went without Saying

February 26, 2006

It's a Different Quote

"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance."

-Franklin P. Jones

Posted by Jennifer at 06:05 PM Daily Quote | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

February 20, 2006

It's a Quote

"The moment you buy into the idea you're above anyone else is the moment you need to be slapped in the face."

-Natalie Portman

Posted by Jennifer at 08:39 PM Daily Quote | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (2)
Trey Givens linked with I Thought It Went without Saying
Trey Givens linked with Natalie Portman: Not Good Enough to Talk to Me

February 16, 2006


I want you to know I've heard your whines. And I am going to change my "two cutest guys" a little in a concession to you, my beloved readers.

First of all, Trey stays. I had a dream about him when I was taking a nap instead of going to class earlier. (One of my professors cancelled due to the weather, and I figured that was good enough to stay home from all classes.) In the dream, he was running off to host Weekend Update on SNL. But he still loves me.

Now, that brings us to Daniel. I found Daniel during the Blog War days, and helped him get off Blogspot. He would have eventually gotten out of there anyway, but still. My first Munuvian convert. There would be others, but they didn't have the same staying power as young Daniel. (I'm looking at you, Pete. And trying to look at Bill, but he's disappeared completely.) Daniel has since dropped out, along with the others. Even the young ones can't last forever, it seems. And so he must be replaced.

This is not a decision I made lightly, but from now on, the Second Cutest Guy on my blogroll is Matt. I offer little explanation, because really, none is needed. You all have man crushes on him, so I'm sure you understand why I picked him. There's a man with staying power. And it must be said that no one else can make me laugh like he does when you poke his belly.

Every time. I laugh every time.

Posted by Jennifer at 02:59 PM LinkLove | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (1)
BLACKFIVE linked with Second Cutest?

Recent History

So you think you're safe with the tinfoil hat? Think again

A 2005 MIT study concludes that wearing tinfoil hats actually amplifies the frequency bands that coincide with those bands that are allocated to the US Government.

For Jen there is this from wikipedia

Posted by Pete at 08:09 AM History | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (1)
The Black Republican linked with Liberal's Increasing Dementia Explained

February 11, 2006

2.11.06 Trivia Question

Where was the first American hospital built?

Click here! There's more!!! "2.11.06 Trivia Question"
Posted by Jennifer at 02:00 PM History | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

February 10, 2006

2.10.06 Trivia Question

How did Jefferson Davis find out he was president of the Confederate States of America?

Click here! There's more!!! "2.10.06 Trivia Question"
Posted by Jennifer at 02:03 PM History | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Jeff Gordon Fans

Hmm. The two cutest guys on my blogroll, Trey and Daniel (although I should probably de-link Daniel since he "quit" blogging), are Jeff Gordon fans.


I'll have to dig deeper for my blog-crushes.

Posted by Jennifer at 01:57 PM LinkLove | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)

February 09, 2006

2.09.06 Trivia Question

Who was the first person to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

Click here! There's more!!! "2.09.06 Trivia Question"

February 08, 2006

High Class

I was invited to Frank J.'s wedding to the lovely sarahk, but haven't been invited to Shank's wedding?

I'm in a higher class than I thought.

Posted by Jennifer at 07:08 PM LinkLove | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)

February 07, 2006

I'll Give You a Topic...

Maybe I'm oversimplifying here, but how is demanding that non-Muslims follow Muslim edicts regarding images of Muhammad any different than, say, demanding everyone in the world give up idol-worship. Because Christians, Jews, and Muslims all declare the worship of idols (not Britney Spears, but the worship of an image or object in place of God) to be sinful. Let's all declare Holy War on the Hindus!

And isn't the treatment of Muhammad idolatry? He's just a prophet, but it seems like he's worshipped to me. Same with Jesus, although there is that whole trinity thing that makes him God.

Discuss. I'll be in class.

February 06, 2006

Ask Jen: NASCAR Edition

Blogless Pete writes, "Seeing that I am a recent transplant to the south I need some instruction on NASCAR. All over the place I see cars on the highway with different numbers as bumper stickers or in the back windows. Back when I was younger I knew that Richard Petty was number 43 and Dale Earnhardt was #3 but now a days I am lost. I do know that everyone is supposed to hate Jeff Gordon, unless you love him, or something like that. HELP!!!"

In my opinion, all an outsider really needs to know is:

1. When you see a red #8, you cheer. Unless he crashes, and then you curse the driver near him who obviously put him in the wall.
2. When you see a rainbow #24, you boo. Unless he crashes, and then you laugh if it doesn't look fatal.
3. When you see the #2 this year, you boo. Unless he crashes, and then you laugh especially if it looks fatal.

I kid.

That Kurt Busch is a punk, though.

Since you're in Tennessee, I recommend trying to catch a race in Bristol. This year is already sold out, so try a Busch race if you don't want to wait until the ticket drawings of 2007 and beyond. (Racing's a little popular there.) It may be easier to get tickets to Atlanta. Good seats are still available for the March race, close to the start/finish line. Once you go, you'll be a fan. I guarantee it.

Anywho, regarding the # 43, it is still owned by Richard Petty, and Bobby Labonte is the driver this year. You'll like him. He's allowed to be your favorite if you decide against #8 (Dale Earnhardt, Jr). No one races the # 3, but NASCAR doesn't "retire" numbers, so it's possible it'll be raced in the future. The distant future.

If you want to know more, go here and here. Mark February 19 on your calendar, that's Daytona. Whee!

Do you have a question for me? You can e-mail it. If I know the answer, I'll eventually answer it if I feel like it. If I don't know the answer, I might eventually make something up if I feel like it.

Posted by Jennifer at 08:00 AM Ask Jen | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (1)
Don Surber linked with Tuesday's Best Posts

February 03, 2006

Quote for a Friday

"At the request of the Catholic Church, a three-day sex orgy to be held near Rio de Janeiro was cancelled last Friday. So instead I spent the weekend cleaning my apartment."

-Tina Fey

Posted by Jennifer at 08:00 AM Daily Quote | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

February 02, 2006

Good News/Bad News

The bad news is Heather Locklear has filed for divorce.

The good news is Richie Sambora is available again.

And, you know, Heather is too, but I'm less interested in that.

February 01, 2006

Wednesday's Quote

"I'm a uniter, not a divider."

-George W. Bush

"[and] I'm a tin of pears."

-Bridget Jones's mum

Yes, my political stripes show now and then.

Posted by Jennifer at 08:00 AM Daily Quote | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

January 31, 2006


It is widely accepted that the eleventh century was pivotal in relations between Jews and Christians. Jews became marginalized socially and economically during this time. They were forced to live separately for their own protection, and they were forced into the position of moneylenders. These developments made them literally and figuratively "other" than the rest of society.

Jewish merchants were among the few who were willing to engage in international trade, and they needed to protect themselves from the dangers of such an occupation. They would necessarily band together and work together to increase their security. Jewish communities connected Jews from all over Europe, and provided a place for them to worship and live as they chose. In the eleventh century, they often became fortified communities to protect Jews from hostile Christians.

This physical separation from the Christian majority made the differences between Christians and Jews even more obvious. A number of Jews resettled in Speyer after a fire was set in their neighborhood in Mainz. The local bishop welcomed them and built a wall to protect their area of the village. This example is the first of its kind, and Leonard Glick writes, "But clearly this charter signaled the onset of a new phase in medieval Jewish history; and despite its friendly language, it indicated that many townspeople did not want Jews in their midst." The wall was erected not to protect Jews from Crusaders, but to protect Jews from the townspeople of Speyer. The Crusades did not begin for another decade.

Already physically detached from much of society, Jews were much more vulnerable to attacks when the religious fervor of the Crusades reached its peak. For one thing, they were easily identifiable. If Jews were segregated into walled neighborhoods, it was much easier for an unruly band of traveling warriors to figure out where the Jews were living. If the Jewish people had been living mixed amongst Christians, someone from out of town would not likely be able to distinguish Jewish homes from Christian ones.

The Speyer charter and subsequent charters granted to Jewish communities in Germany show that by the time of the First Crusade, German Jews were definitely "other" than the rest of society. They were "expected to function independently--that is, to establish themselves as a semienclosed community within a town, to attend to their own legal and administrative needs, and to operate for most intents and purposes as a society within society."

Adding to the decline of the Jewish relationship with Christian society was the changing usefulness of Jewish businessmen. Once, trade had been a largely Jewish occupation, but Christian merchants were becoming more numerous and successful. Jews were pushed out of their economic sphere and relegated to the role of moneylenders. Glick wrote, "By the late twelfth century, Jews in France had become so prominent as moneylenders, and so exclusively dependent on moneylending for survival, that anything said about 'usury'--invariably negative--was bound to call Jews to mind." The usury, or interest rate, was comparable to Christian moneylenders, but moneylending was so tied to Jewish identity that it sparked more bitterness towards Jews. This view of Jews has haunted them and added to their plight more than anything other than the accusation of deicide.

The change in economic status from successful merchants to reluctant moneylenders pushed the Jews further into the margins of society. No one likes to be dependent on others, and owing money to Jews caused much resentment. Why would a lord go out of his way to protect someone he owes a great deal of money to? It would be in his better interest to see that person eliminated if he had no further need for their services and capital.

Christianity held the view of money as the root of all evil, and Germanic society had been one of gift-givers. For Jews to charge usury on loans was a sin. Besides the moral weight of the occupation, moneylending was also an impersonal one. As Glick wrote, "Moneylenders move nothing and handle nothing other than money; they are simply sources of liquid capital--'moneybags' on whom others draw for productive enterprises. Moneylending is thus by its very nature a socially isolated and isolating activity; it neither requires nor even permits entry into the larger world of economic activities and relationships." Hence, Jews were being further marginalized in society by their dependence on moneylending for economic survival.

Under the Carolingians, Jews had been economically successful merchants who enjoyed the protection of the kings. Pepin the Short even went as far as granting Jews the right to hire Christians. This reversed Roman and church law. This precedent was followed by his successors. Charlemagne "recognize[d] Jewish religious requirements. When appearing as a litigant or witness in court, a Jew was to wrap himself from head to foot in his prayer shawl, hold a Hebrew Torah in his right hand and declare" a Jewish oath of innocence. Louis the Pious was even better than his father and grandfather had been to the Jews. He went out of his way to protect Jewish merchants, and even allowed Jews to preach publicly.

Two centuries later, Jews were no longer granted such rights. They were necessarily segregated from Christians for their own protection, and were only tolerated as long as they were useful. Their economic status had declined dramatically, and they were relegated to the precarious position of moneylenders. They were expected to operate independently within their towns. They were placed behind walls. They were not only physically, but also emotionally separated from society. They were truly "other" than the Christian majority, and easily identifiable as such to anyone who might want to harm them. When the First Crusade began, there were enough Christians who wanted to harm them, and Jews were massacred by men who claimed to be doing it for the Lord. As the Nazis knew almost a millennium later, it is far easier to kill somebody if you don't think he is your equal. If he is "other" than you, and lesser than you, it's not as hard to mistreat him. The Jews were "other" than the Christian majority, and the Christian majority of medieval Europe had little difficulty in mistreating the Jews. Jews weren't always killed, but they were always pushed farther into the margins.

Posted by Jennifer at 02:12 PM History | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday's Quote

"The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you."

-B.B. King

Posted by Jennifer at 02:00 PM Daily Quote | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

January 30, 2006

Quote of the Day

"If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever."

-Winnie the Pooh

Posted by Jennifer at 08:00 AM Daily Quote | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

He's not dead until we say he is dead

From the "what were they thinking files"

In 1661 the body of Oliver Comwell is exhumed so that it can be formally executed.
Posted by Pete at 06:24 AM History | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

January 27, 2006

January 27, 1945

Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army.

The liberation saved about 7,500 sick prisoners who had been left behind by the Nazis:

In mid-January 1945, as Soviet forces approached the Auschwitz camp complex, the SS began evacuating Auschwitz and its satellite camps. Nearly 60,000 prisoners were forced to march west from the Auschwitz camp system. Thousands had been killed in the camps in the days before these death marches began. Tens of thousands of prisoners, mostly Jews, were forced to march to the city of Wodzislaw in the western part of Upper Silesia. SS guards shot anyone who fell behind or could not continue. Prisoners also suffered from the cold weather, starvation, and exposure on these marches. More than 15,000 died during the death marches from Auschwitz.

Upon arrival in Wodzislaw, the prisoners were put on unheated freight trains and transported to concentration camps in Germany, particularly to Flossenbuerg, Sachsenhausen, Gross-Rosen, Buchenwald, and Dachau, and also to Mauthausen in Austria. The rail journey lasted for days. Without food, water, shelter, or blankets, many prisoners did not survive the transport.

The liberation of Auschwitz was especially important because it finally revealed the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis to the world. Well, to the sensible and sane part of the world, anyway. It's something that needs to be remembered.

Posted by Jennifer at 11:00 AM History | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Quote of the Day

"A Kiss that's never tasted Is forever and ever wasted."

-Billie Holiday

Posted by Jennifer at 08:00 AM Daily Quote | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (1)
Bad Example linked with TODAY'S LOVE NOTE

January 26, 2006

January 26, 1784

On this date, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his daughter declaring the turkey a better choice than the eagle to represent our country.

Posted by Jennifer at 11:00 AM History | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Quote of the Day Month?

"Love, like a river, will cut a new path whenever it meets an obstacle."

-Crystal Middlemas

Posted by Jennifer at 08:00 AM Daily Quote | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

January 25, 2006

Not New, But New to You

The following is a short paper I wrote last semester, which was supposed to be a reaction to this and this, answering the question of whether or not it is ethical for anthropologists to assist the Department of Defense with information about wartime enemies.

In "Anthropology and Counterinsurgency: The Strange Story of Their Curious Relationship", Montgomery McFate aims to illustrate that more anthropologists are needed by the Department of Defense to aid in America's warfare. McFate's stance is that anthropology is a valuable--yet underutilized--tool for the military. He gives an overview of anthropology's successes and failures during wartime, and a brief history of the science as used by the government. The successes are generally found in the first half of the 20th Century, whereas the failures center around the Vietnam War and current era.

In World War II, McFate says that knowledge of Japanese culture was very important to the war effort, and helped immensely in ending Japan's involvement. President Roosevelt was "convinced the Japanese were 'culturally incapable of surrender'", and was able to know enough about their society to realize it was important to "leave the emperor out of the conditions of surrender". In this case, anthropological knowledge helped bring the war to a faster end.

McFate blames the failure to win in Vietnam at least partly on the military's refusal to learn from anthropologists. Marine General Victor Krulak, in particular, was sure the military could force "the peasants (to) do what's necessary". Anthropologist Gerald Hickey was largely ignored by the military establishment, and derided by politicians and soldiers alike as not aggressive enough. In Iraq, McFate blames incomplete anthropological knowledge for Abu Ghraib. It was believed that the Iraqis' sexual humiliation would allow them to be blackmailed for information. Instead, sexual humiliation "only destroys honor, and for Iraqis, lost honor requires its restoration through the appeasement of blood." The blackmail attempt failed.

If Japanese culture had not been taken into account by the United States government, how much longer would World War II have dragged on? How many more lives would have been lost? The answers to these questions are not easy to come by, but it does seem entirely likely that many more people--Japanese and American alike--would have died if anthropological knowledge had been lacking or ignored. The refusal of anthropologists to cooperate with the Department of Defense would not have protected the Japanese. Cooperation in this case helped stop more casualties. The failures of Vietnam from an anthropological standpoint increased the length of the conflict--and therefore increased the numbers of casualties as well.

Since the Vietnam era, McFate says anthropologists have been less likely to sacrifice their ethics in order to help the war strategists. Because anthropologists' studies are supposed to be publicly available, giving the military information on completed studies should not be at all ethically questionable. Performing research at the behest of the military is a gray area. However, I believe that withholding information is more dangerous than releasing information. Withholding information will not prevent war, but it does have the potential to shorten war and save lives. As the AAA's statement on ethics says, it is the anthropologist's responsibility to "do everything in their power to protect the physical, social, and psychological welfare...of those studied." An anthropologist has the unique power to help limit the damage caused by war. Any refusal to divulge information to the military is unlikely to persuade the military to cease operations. Is this choosing the lesser of two evils? Perhaps it is, but it is important to realize that actual human lives are at stake. It is necessary to take a pragmatic view rather than a lofty, philosophical view of the ethical question.

Posted by Jennifer at 02:13 PM Soapbox | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

January 22, 2006


The Big Ten knows how to get its party on, and Iowa's in there. Naturally.

The "beautiful town" of Iowa City "has a lot to offer," mainly in the form of bars, "packed to capacity every night of the week." The resulting University of Iowa scene is "quite crazy, and most everyone seems to enjoy it." The campus's location right in the thick of things allows the "weekend to start on Tuesday and end on Sunday"--even though the on-campus sororities and fraternities are dry.

They're dry because they had trouble keeping their houses from burning down back in The Day.

Posted by Jennifer at 08:55 PM School Daze | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)