Monthly Archives: August 2014

‘The Poor Kid Will Be Scarred for Life’: Blaze Readers Respond to Footage Showing Seconds Before 9-Year-Old Girl Accidentally Kills Shooting Instructor With Uzi

“They will spend the rest of their lives in a personal hell that I don’t wish on anyone.”

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Open thread for night owls: Procrastination—Is delaying hard work all about our moods?

Night Owl

Derek Thompson at The Atlantic writes The Procrastination Doom Loop—Delaying hard work is all about your mood. An excerpt:

When I woke up this morning, I had one goal: Finish this article by 11 a.m.

So, predictably, by the time it was 10 a.m., I had made and consumed two cups of coffee, taken out the trash, cleaned my room while taking a deliberately slow approach to folding my shirts, gone on a walk outside to clear my head, had a thing of yogurt and fruit to reward the physical exertion, sent an email to my aunt and sister, read about 100 Tweets (favorited three; written and deleted one), despaired at my lack of progress, comforted myself by eating a second breakfast, opened several tabs from ESPN.com on my browser … and written absolutely nothing.

What’s the matter with me?* Nothing, according to research that conveniently justifies this sort of behavior to my editors. Or, at least, nothing out of the ordinary for writers, as Megan McArdle has explained on this site. I’m just a terrible procrastinator.

Productive people sometimes confuse the difference between reasonable delay and true procrastination. The former can be useful (“I’ll respond to this email when I have more time to write it”). The latter is, by definition, self-defeating (“I should respond to this email right now, and I have time, and my fingers are on the keys, and the Internet connection is perfectly strong, and nobody is asking me to do anything else, but I just … don’t … feel like it.”).

When scientists have studied procrastination, they’ve typically focused on how people are miserable at weighing costs and benefits across time. For example, everybody recognizes, in the abstract, that it’s important to go to the dentist every few months.

The pain is upfront and obvious—dental work is torture—and the rewards of cleaner teeth are often remote, so we allow the appointment to slip through our minds and off our calendars. Across several categories including dieting, saving money, and sending important emails, we constantly choose short and small rewards (whose benefits are dubious, but immediate) over longer and larger payouts (whose benefits are obvious, but distant).

In the last few years, however, scientists have begun to think that procrastination might have less to do with time than emotion. Procrastination “really has nothing to do with time-management,” Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University, told Psychological Science. “To tell the chronic procrastinator to just do it would be like saying to a clinically depressed person, cheer up.” [...]


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009Kennedy, Nixon, and Bush:

According to Fox News, the thing that made Ted Kennedy special was that he was always willing to make deals with Republicans, and that he’d sell those deals to his fellow progressives.

Kennedy, they say, was always in pursuit of a half-a-loaf. And the best example? His support for President Bush’s medicare prescription drug benefit.
But there’s a problem with Fox’s claim: it’s not true. Although Kennedy did reach a deal with Bush on prescription drugs, Bush screwed Kennedy and reneged on the deal at the last second, leaving Kennedy fuming.

Far from supporting Bush’s Medicare prescription drug plan, Kennedy was one of its most outspoken critics. And it’s all on video tape.

In mid-2003, before the Bush Administration stabbed him in the back, Kennedy did support reaching a deal on prescription drug coverage, making the case for compromise by hearkening back to an opportunity to achieve universal health care coverage during Nixon’s presidency.


Tweet of the Day

Really, @GovernorPerry if you can’t guard your official private twitter account, how can we trust you to guard the border?
@RiskyLiberal


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Federal Judge Blocks Enforcement of Louisiana’s New Abortion Law

The law would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics.

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US judge blocks enforcement of new La abortion law

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of Louisiana’s restrictive new abortion law. But lawyers disagree…

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California school retires divisive Arab mascot

THERMAL, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California high school has retired a controversial Arab mascot.The bearded, snarling mascot with a large hooked…

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Tony Stewart’s return to race track ends early

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — Tony Stewart’s return to the track has ended only a little over halfway through his race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.Stewart hit…

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The Traveler

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‘EUROPE IN MONTH’…

‘EUROPE IN MONTH’…(Second column, 10th story, link)Related stories:SAUDI KING WARNS: WEST JIHADISTS’ NEXT TARGET…ISIS Displays Sophisticated Command of Varied Media…Children at camps forced to watch crucifixions, beheadings…

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First Images From World’s Most Powerful Commercial Satellite…

First Images From World’s Most Powerful Commercial Satellite…(Second column, 3rd story, link)

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Will Brazil elect world’s first Green president?

Will Brazil elect world’s first Green president?(Second column, 2nd story, link)

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