way out

i spend way too much time watching baby animals sneeze. also, i like words. and you.
nprcodeswitch:

From Foreign Garb To Fashion Fad, Pajamas Have Traveled Far

Pajamas have been challenging American sartorial sensibilities for a century in the softest, warmest, most cozy way possible — Pajama Boy was just the latest victim. Are they nightwear or daywear? Menswear or women’s? A threatening foreign invention, or all-American garb?
In the 19th century, British colonials encountered the “piejamah,” a common garment in India and Iran. It’s a transliteration of a word shared by Urdu, Hindi and Persian that means “leg garment.”
The loose set of trousers, tied at the waist, was comfortable in hot weather and worn as daywear by both men and women. (It’s still worn in South Asia today, with kurta and kurti tops.)

Read more on NPR’s Code Switch.

True story: I was in pajamas while I wrote this piece about pajamas.
And that’s TOTALLY LEGITIMATE, because PJs didn’t used to be only nighttime wear!


I’m not saying I researched this piece just to justify my PJ-wearing habits, but it might have been a factor.

nprcodeswitch:

From Foreign Garb To Fashion Fad, Pajamas Have Traveled Far

Pajamas have been challenging American sartorial sensibilities for a century in the softest, warmest, most cozy way possible — Pajama Boy was just the latest victim. Are they nightwear or daywear? Menswear or women’s? A threatening foreign invention, or all-American garb?

In the 19th century, British colonials encountered the “piejamah,” a common garment in India and Iran. It’s a transliteration of a word shared by Urdu, Hindi and Persian that means “leg garment.”

The loose set of trousers, tied at the waist, was comfortable in hot weather and worn as daywear by both men and women. (It’s still worn in South Asia today, with kurta and kurti tops.)

Read more on NPR’s Code Switch.

True story: I was in pajamas while I wrote this piece about pajamas.

And that’s TOTALLY LEGITIMATE, because PJs didn’t used to be only nighttime wear!

I’m not saying I researched this piece just to justify my PJ-wearing habits, but it might have been a factor.

My 2014 Bracket Strategy

Which mascot would win a 100m race?

I thought about having the mascots fight to the death again, but, eh, I’d done that before. And it would end the same way… Spartans would triumph.

But there are all kinds of things that Spartans could *kill* but not *outrun*! So. It was a simple matter (ha) of looking up the top speed of each species of mascot and plugging the numbers into WolframAlpha. (Because converting mph into 100m times manually is for chumps)

A few ground rules:
- Flying is OK, if the mascot can fly.
- Swimming is NOT okay, because while there is air above a 100m track, there is not usually 100m of water right beside it. So suck it up, aquatic animals
- Things that couldn’t run CAN’T RUN.
- For fictional/imaginary things, I looked at their inspiration and did my best.
- I figured 100m wasn’t too long, so anything that had a faster ‘short bursts’ speed, I counted that.
- For humans, Bolt can do 9.69 but he’s nobody’s mascot. Superfast humans I figured could do it in 10 seconds . Slow humans, like, 15 seconds?
- For weather patterns, I counted forward speed, not circular, because, d’oh. Also assumed games are happening at San Diego, right? Turns out latitude is really important to that particular calculation.
- Where identical animals were matched (cough wildcats cough) I went with the higher seed, because whatever.

I’d like to thank the kind folks at http://www.speedofanimals.com. But not the Academy. The Academy didn’t do shit for me.

HERE WE GO.

South

1. Florida Gators: 14kph. 25 seconds. Sucks to suck, alligators.
16. Albany Great Danes: 32 mph (that’s video proof!) 6.99 seconds. Pfft no contest.

8. Colorado Buffaloes: 40 mph (5.59 seconds) “when the need arises” and whoooo boy has the need ever arisen because panthers are fast, too…
9. Pittsburgh Panthers: 70 km/hr - 5.143 seconds. A squeaker! And probably just due to rounding in metric vs english. Sorry, bison!

5. VCU Rams40 mph5.592 seconds.
12. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks — I mean, even if lumberjacks were known for their speediness, that still wouldn’t be close to possible. Not this time, ax-boys.

4. UCLA Bruins: 35 mph, 6.391 seconds
13. Tulsa Golden Hurricane: At a latitude of 32.715, a hurricane (presumably of any color) has an average forward speed of 27.6 km/hr, so 13.04 seconds. TIL bears can outrun hurricanes.

6. Ohio State Buckeyes: NUTS CAN’T RUN. 
11. Dayton Flyers: They are named after Orville and Wilbur Wright. The Wright Flyer 1 initially went 120 feet in 12 seconds, at which speed 100m would take 32.81 seconds. That’s plenty fast enough to beat a nut which CAN’T EVEN RUN. But for future tournament games, just to note, the Flyer actually had a top speed of 10 mph, giving us 22.37 seconds.

3. Syracuse Orange: COLORS CAN’T RUN.
14. Western Michigan Broncos: Obvi they win. But for future reference, horses can do 37.5 mph, so 5.965 seconds.

7. New Mexico Lobos: wolves 35 mph - 6.391 seconds
10. Stanford Cardinal: 25 mph - 8.95 seconds

2. Kansas Jayhawks: A jayhawk is a fictional bird, but it’s named after ruffians/guerilla fighters who clashed with pro-slavery fighters. Since birds’ speeds vary wildly (WILDLY, guys, I’ve learned so much filling out this bracket) let’s say that jayhawks are human ruffians. So they’re racing against: 
15. Eastern Kentucky Colonels: From what I know of Kentucky colonels, anti-slavery ruffians could totes go faster.

Speaking of chickens,

East

1. Virginia Cavaliers: Cavaliers are pretty fit. Even if they weren’t, they’d win, ‘cuz…
16. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers: … chickens have a top speed of 9 mph, so 24.85 seconds. Pathetic, chickens, pathetic.

8. Memphis Tigers: 40mph, 5.9 seconds. See ya, Colonials.
9. George Washington Colonials

5. Cincinnati Bearcats: fun fact, the naval fighter ‘bearcat’ has a top speed of 455 mph! But the binturong is 15 mph, so 14.91 seconds.
12. Harvard Crimson: COLORS CAN’T RUN

4. Michigan State Spartans
13. Delaware Blue Hens: See Cavaliers vs Chanticleers. Humans beat chickens, cuz chickens are super sad at running.

6. North Carolina Tar Heels 
11. Providence Friars: A challenging human vs. human race! On a pure fitness level, Tar Heels are soldiers, so that’s an advantage. But BY DEFINITION, they have sticky feet.  The Friars are not so hampered. 

3. Iowa State Cyclones: I thought a cyclone was a tornado, but the NOAA says it’s actually a hurricane! See Tulsa: 13.04 seconds.
14. North Carolina Central Eagles: Aiight, there are different kinds of eagles, but their logo’s got a white head. Bald eagle: 44 mph, 5.04 seconds.

7. Connecticut Huskies: so the thing about huskies is they’re distance runners. They can go 19 mph for days!!! Doesn’t do you much good in a 100-meter race, though, especially when you’re racing…
10. Saint Joseph’s Hawks: Well, it depends on what flippin’ KIND of hawk it is, and you’re not being very precise. But the most common hawk in North America, the red-tailed hawk, can go HOLY SHIT 121 MPH.

HAWKS ARE CRAZY

2. Villanova Wildcats: Same species as a housecat! 29.8 mph, 7.5 s
15. Milwaukee Panthers: see Pittsburgh, 70 kph. 5.143 s

West

1. Arizona Wildcats
16. Weber State Wildcats: be more creative with your mascot choices yo. 

8. Gonzaga Bulldogs: Bulldogs can barely walk, let alone run. That is a scientific fact. They get wheezy and then they die. Bulldogs: just the saddest dogs.
9. Oklahoma State Cowboys

5. Oklahoma Sooners
12. North Dakota State Bison: see Colorado. You’d think a Sooner would get there sooner, but no human can run a sub-6 second 100m.

4. San Diego State Aztecs 
13. New Mexico State Aggies: Human vs human! Advantage to the Aztecs. Those guys seemed in it to win it.

6. Baylor Bears: See UCLA. 6.391 seconds. 
11. Nebraska Cornhuskers: Humans? Yeah, seriously, play dead when a bear’s chasing you. They win.

3. Creighton Bluejays: 25 mph, 8.948 seconds 
14. Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. Run yer heart out, ragers, but no human’s ever done that. (Besides, your previous mascots were bulldogs and chickens. WORST RUNNERS).

7. Oregon Ducks: 65.2mph, 3.44 seconds. Daaaang, ducks. Quack on.
10. BYU Cougars: see panthers, 70 kph. 5.143 s.

2. Wisconsin Badgers: 30 km/hr - 12 seconds
15. American Eagles: DEFINITELY bald eagles here. See NC Central: 5.04 seconds, baby.

Midwest

1. Wichita State Shockers: WHEAT CAN’T RUN
16. Cal Poly Mustangs: yeah that’s right. I’m committed to this strategy.

8. Kentucky Wildcats
9. Kansas State Wildcats: Ugh. Stupidest. AGAIN.

5. Saint Louis Billikens: Whatever the hell a billiken is, let’s assume it runs like a human, okay? Shape-shifting knickknacks, ugh, the worst. 
12. North Carolina State Wolfpack: See Lobos. 6.391 seconds. Yeah, billikens don’t seem faster than that. Do they? This one was hard. Billikens are so mysterious!

4. Louisville Cardinals: see Stanford. 8.95.
13. Manhattan Jaspers: Turns out Jasper was a dude! So, he’s not gonna win. 

6. UMass Minutemen 
11. Iowa Hawkeyes: Human vs. human! Minutemen have how fast they are in their NAME. Minutemen win. 

3. Duke Blue Devils: Turns out they’re named after French soldiers. How odd! How human! How unfortunate for Duke, since…
14. Mercer Bears: …we’ve established bears run a 6.391. 

7. Texas Longhorns: 25 mph, 8.95. Moooooo.
10. Arizona State Sun Devils: How fast does a sun devil run? That’s tough. But I really like cows, and AZ State had a bulldog as its mascot before they picked sun devils, so I’m going to say a sun devil is not nearly as fast as a longhorn.

2. Michigan Wolverines: 30 mph,  7.456 seconds.
15. Wofford Terriers:  25 mph, 8.948 seconds.

Etc. etc for all subsequent rounds, and the moral of the story is HAWKS ARE CRAZY FAST.

And I’ll be the only person on earth cheering for St. Joe’s to win it all.

For the record:

I briefly thought about having the non-animal mascots run as fast as humans in mascot suits do, for which I actually have some data: http://www.rickandbubba.com/the40.php

but 

NUTS CAN’T RUN.

… The steady
consolation of things
returning— lilac
and dogwood, sweet woodruff, even

the stones shine
in the sun.

—Kevin Young, “Thirst,” The Book of Hours.

Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day!

Nobody can say I’m not putting my English degree to good use. (Okay, somebody could probably still say that. But they’d be wrong)
*Please note, as originally written, this post had more sexy excerpt action. NPR is much more respectable than me.*
nprbooks:

How cute are these Valentines from ABDO? See them all here. H/t libraryjournal.
So. Let’s talk about love poems.
They’re hard! They’re HARD. Forget about how hard they are to write — it’s practically impossible just to PICK one.
Consider the idiosyncrasy of both love and poetry. One person’s deep sigh is another’s suppressed giggle. One person’s romance is another person’s nightmare.
On the one hand, there’s the risk of treacly, trite cheesiness. Even stellar poets can write cheesy love poems. I mean, no less than Rita Dove — RITA DOVE! — wrote a poem called “Heart to Heart” that ends:

I can’t wear iton my sleeve,or tell you fromthe bottom of ithow I feel. Here,it’s all yours, now—but you’ll haveto take me,too.


(I can’t call her out like that without also mentioning that she’s got some fabulous love poems, too. Don’t be mad, Rita Dove, don’t be mad.).
But that’s arguably better than the flip side — the poem that’s 0% treacly but also misses the mark on “romantic.” There are so many deeply felt, stunningly beautiful poems that  should never, ever be read in a tender whisper over wine. Here’s my policy: If a poem might inspire your listener to say, stricken, “I’m sorry — I didn’t mean to make you feel that way,” IXNAY on that oem-pay. 
A lot of Neruda falls under this category. I know! The man’s a master. But in the course of one poem he can veer from hearts, freedom and heaven to … “you are sad, all at once, like a voyage. // You gather things to you like an old road.” Being compared to an old road can put a damper on an evening, just sayin’.
Then there are the classics. How do I love thee? Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? If ever two were one, then surely we …  I could not possibly object to the virtues of these poems. They are shining examples of romantic verse. But they’re so famous that, alas, they’re a cliche.
Where does this leave us? Well, I have some utterly unsolicited advice.
1. Go straight for the sex poem. Obviously use this advice with discretion, friends, but the fact of the matter is that sexy poems are more reliable than lovey poems. Cheese-free and rarely cliched, they might raise an eyebrow but they’re less likely to inspire derision.
They can be on the clean side, like Carol Ann Duffy’s “You”:

I open the bedroom door. The curtains stir. There you areon the bed, like a gift, like a touchable dream.

or, you know, not. (That’s Cummings, of course. And if you’re looking to avoid the obvious, head for his dirty poems way before “i carry your heart”)
And, because nothing inspires great erotic poetry like unconsummated energy, there are tons of sex poems that are perfect for long-distance relationships, whether from Emily Dickinson:

Wild nights — Wild nights!Were I with theeWild nights should beOur luxury!

or Muriel Rukeyser: 

Lie there, in sweat and dream, I do, and “there” Is here, my bed, on which I dream You, lying there, on yours, locked, pouring love

2. Go for a slightly less overused classic. Try John Donne’s “Good-Morrow”: 

If ever any beauty I did see,Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.
And now good-morrow to our waking souls,Which watch not one another out of fear;For love, all love of other sights controls,And makes one little room an everywhere.

Christina Rossetti’s “A Birthday”: 

My heart is like a singing bird                  Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;My heart is like an apple-tree                  Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;My heart is like a rainbow shell                  That paddles in a halcyon sea;My heart is gladder than all these                  Because my love is come to me.

Or Walt Whitman’s lovely “Live Oak With Moss”:

And that night O you happy waters, I heard you beating the shores—But my heart beat happier than you—for he I love is returned and sleeping by my side, 
And that night in the stillness his face was inclined toward me while the moon’s clear beams shone, 
And his arm lay lightly over my breast—And that night I was happy.

Beloved poems, great poets, but not quite as stereotypical as your Bradstreet, Barrett Browning or Shakespeare. 
3. Go with a contemporary choice that’s self-aware but still sincere. Love poems these days tend to be less exuberant and hyperbolic than their 17th-century equivalents, filled with more mundanity, hesitancy and doubt. But some of them definitely still fit the bill for a romance-soaked holiday. Margaret Atwood does a lovely job of it, despairing at the inadequacy of all the words we wrap around romance:

This wordis far too short for us, it has onlyfour letters, too sparseto fill those deep barevacuums between the starsthat press on us with their deafness.It’s not love we don’t wishto fall into, but that fear.this word is not enough but it willhave to do.

And then there’s my current favorite love poem, by Matthew Dickman. It’s both a parody of the “list-of-reasons-why-you’re-pretty” poem, and a delightful example of one. It’s erotic and silly in equal parts, as messy and awkward and extraordinary as real love, with a healthy dose of pure joy. “Getting It Right" features these fabulous lines: "Your ankles are two monster-truck engines / but smaller and lighter and sexier / than a saucer with warm milk licking the outside edge; / they make me want to sing, make me / want to take them home and feed them pasta" — and it ends like this:

… Your neckis a skyscraper of erotic adult videos, a swan and a balletand a throaty elevatormade of light. Your neckis a scrim of wet silk that guides the dead into the hours of Heaven.It makes me want to die, your mouth, which is the mouth of everythingworth saying. It’s abalone and coral reef. Your mouth,which opens like the legs of astronautswho disconnect their safety lines and ride their stars into the billion and     onevoting districts of the Milky Way.Darling, you’re my President; I want to get this right!

P.S: And if you’re single, there’s Rumi. (There’s always Rumi).

Tonight I will make a tun of wine,Set myself up with two bowls of it;First I will divorce absolutely reason and religion.Then take to wife the daughter of the wine.*

Happy Valentine’s Day!
- Camila
*Drink responsibly.

Nobody can say I’m not putting my English degree to good use. (Okay, somebody could probably still say that. But they’d be wrong)

*Please note, as originally written, this post had more sexy excerpt action. NPR is much more respectable than me.*

nprbooks:

How cute are these Valentines from ABDO? See them all here. H/t libraryjournal.

So. Let’s talk about love poems.

They’re hard! They’re HARD. Forget about how hard they are to write — it’s practically impossible just to PICK one.

Consider the idiosyncrasy of both love and poetry. One person’s deep sigh is another’s suppressed giggle. One person’s romance is another person’s nightmare.

On the one hand, there’s the risk of treacly, trite cheesiness. Even stellar poets can write cheesy love poems. I mean, no less than Rita Dove — RITA DOVE! — wrote a poem called “Heart to Heart” that ends:

I can’t wear it
on my sleeve,
or tell you from
the bottom of it
how I feel. Here,
it’s all yours, now—
but you’ll have
to take me,
too.

(I can’t call her out like that without also mentioning that she’s got some fabulous love poems, too. Don’t be mad, Rita Dove, don’t be mad.).

But that’s arguably better than the flip side — the poem that’s 0% treacly but also misses the mark on “romantic.” There are so many deeply felt, stunningly beautiful poems that  should never, ever be read in a tender whisper over wine. Here’s my policy: If a poem might inspire your listener to say, stricken, “I’m sorry — I didn’t mean to make you feel that way,” IXNAY on that oem-pay. 

A lot of Neruda falls under this category. I know! The man’s a master. But in the course of one poem he can veer from hearts, freedom and heaven to … “you are sad, all at once, like a voyage. // You gather things to you like an old road.” Being compared to an old road can put a damper on an evening, just sayin’.

Then there are the classics. How do I love thee? Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? If ever two were one, then surely we …  I could not possibly object to the virtues of these poems. They are shining examples of romantic verse. But they’re so famous that, alas, they’re a cliche.

Where does this leave us? Well, I have some utterly unsolicited advice.

1. Go straight for the sex poem. Obviously use this advice with discretion, friends, but the fact of the matter is that sexy poems are more reliable than lovey poems. Cheese-free and rarely cliched, they might raise an eyebrow but they’re less likely to inspire derision.

They can be on the clean side, like Carol Ann Duffy’s “You”:

I open the bedroom door. The curtains stir. There you are
on the bed, like a gift, like a touchable dream.

or, you know, not(That’s Cummings, of course. And if you’re looking to avoid the obvious, head for his dirty poems way before “i carry your heart”)

And, because nothing inspires great erotic poetry like unconsummated energy, there are tons of sex poems that are perfect for long-distance relationships, whether from Emily Dickinson:

Wild nights — Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

or Muriel Rukeyser

Lie there, in sweat and dream, I do, and “there” 
Is here, my bed, on which I dream 
You, lying there, on yours, locked, pouring love

2. Go for a slightly less overused classic. Try John Donne’s “Good-Morrow”: 

If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.

Christina Rossetti’s “A Birthday”: 

My heart is like a singing bird
                  Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
                  Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
                  That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
                  Because my love is come to me.

Or Walt Whitman’s lovely “Live Oak With Moss”:

And that night O you happy waters, I heard you beating the shores—But my heart beat happier than you—for he I love is returned and sleeping by my side, 

And that night in the stillness his face was inclined toward me while the moon’s clear beams shone, 

And his arm lay lightly over my breast—And that night I was happy.

Beloved poems, great poets, but not quite as stereotypical as your Bradstreet, Barrett Browning or Shakespeare. 

3. Go with a contemporary choice that’s self-aware but still sincere. Love poems these days tend to be less exuberant and hyperbolic than their 17th-century equivalents, filled with more mundanity, hesitancy and doubt. But some of them definitely still fit the bill for a romance-soaked holiday. Margaret Atwood does a lovely job of it, despairing at the inadequacy of all the words we wrap around romance:

This word
is far too short for us, it has only
four letters, too sparse
to fill those deep bare
vacuums between the stars
that press on us with their deafness.
It’s not love we don’t wish
to fall into, but that fear.
this word is not enough but it will
have to do.

And then there’s my current favorite love poem, by Matthew Dickman. It’s both a parody of the “list-of-reasons-why-you’re-pretty” poem, and a delightful example of one. It’s erotic and silly in equal parts, as messy and awkward and extraordinary as real love, with a healthy dose of pure joy. “Getting It Right" features these fabulous lines: "Your ankles are two monster-truck engines / but smaller and lighter and sexier / than a saucer with warm milk licking the outside edge; / they make me want to sing, make me / want to take them home and feed them pasta" — and it ends like this:

… Your neck
is a skyscraper of erotic adult videos, a swan and a ballet
and a throaty elevator
made of light. Your neck
is a scrim of wet silk that guides the dead into the hours of Heaven.
It makes me want to die, your mouth, which is the mouth of everything
worth saying. It’s abalone and coral reef. Your mouth,
which opens like the legs of astronauts
who disconnect their safety lines and ride their stars into the billion and     one
voting districts of the Milky Way.
Darling, you’re my President; I want to get this right!

P.S: And if you’re single, there’s Rumi. (There’s always Rumi).

Tonight I will make a tun of wine,
Set myself up with two bowls of it;
First I will divorce absolutely reason and religion.
Then take to wife the daughter of the wine.*

Happy Valentine’s Day!

- Camila

*Drink responsibly.

SNOW RATIOS UP NORTH RUN BETWEEN 6:1 AND 10:1 WHICH LINES UP WITH
WITH OUR CLIMATOLOGICAL 8:1. OVERALL A WET SNOW /VERY GOOD FOR
SNOWBALLS FOR THE KIDS HOME FOR SCHOOL…AND OF COURSE SOME PARENTS
HOME FROM WORK/.

SERIOUSLY he/she includes the SNOWBALL-MAKING VIRTUES of this snow in the official weather alert.

<3

AS IF ALL THAT WASNT ENOUGH…STRENGTH OF FRONTOGENETICAL FORCING
ALONG THE WEDGE FRONT PRETTY IMPRESSIVE…AND WITH THAT THERE IS
SOME NEGATIVE SATURATED EQUIVALENT POTENTIAL VORTICITY ON TOP OF IT.
THOSE ARE BIG GEEKY WORDS BUT BASICALLY IT MEANS THERE COULD BE SOME
EMBEDDED /SYMMETRIC/ INSTABILITY TO DEAL WITH AND SO CANNOT RULE OUT
SOME EMBEDDED CLAPS OF THUNDER.

PRETTY SURE THAT THERE ARE SOME THINGS I HAVENT COVERED HERE BUT
HOPEFULLY THIS LIGHT READING MATERIAL IS GOOD ENOUGH TO GET
EVERYONES DAY STARTED. THE BOTTOM LINE…AS THE ENTIRE WEATHER
ENTERPRISE HAS BEEN ADVERTISING FOR DAYS NOW…
THIS-IS-AN-EVENT-OF-HISTORICAL-PROPORTIONS!!
CATASTROPHIC…CRIPPLING…PARALYZING…CHOOSE YOUR ADJECTIVE. THIS
IS A VERY VERY BIG DEAL

Dear whomever writes the National Weather Service bulletins: I love you.

Has somebody made a tumblr yet that collects the flashes of humanity in the all-caps, otherwise robotic missives? CUZ THAT SHOULD HAPPEN

#newyear #newtartpan

#newyear #newtartpan

#meta

#meta