So what does it take to strike Stephen Colbert speechless?

I’m super late to this one, but … holy blithering wow, man.

Dan Savage—nationally syndicated advice columnist, It Gets Better co-founder, serial contributor to This American Life, and all around alpha-gay—was on the Colbert Report to discuss the recent New York Times profile about his views on monogamy, which views may be briefly summed up as why ruin a perfectly good marriage by insisting on complete sexual fidelity? And about midway through said interview, Savage drops a line which, while requiring no censorious bleeping whatsoever, stops Colbert dead in his metaphorical and satirical tracks and had me just about on the floor in laughter and/or amazement. I’m frankly still a mite breathless, and in full-on Wallace-esque run-on mode as a result.

And, well, you probably don’t want to see it if you’re not particularly cool with Savage’s aforementioned feelings about monogamy, but if you are in fact generally on board or at least don’t get the howling fantods after reading my summary or obliquely contemplating what I shall delicately call the mechanics of love, and if you are even later to this than I am* you really ought to right now.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Dan Savage
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

All of which is a rather long way to go to say, gods (or whoever) bless Dan Savage and Stephen Colbert.

————–
*Which probably means you didn’t have an internet connection till this evening, in which case let me take this footnote to say, welcome to the World Wide Web!

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In which sloppy scientific reasoning inspires weak attempts at humor

Apropos of nothing much:

How many evolutionary psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb?

None. Millions of years of sexual selection have adapted us to navigate in total darkness by tripping over furniture.

And in the interest of balance:

How many evolutionary biologists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Only one—but, you know, if we wait long enough, we strongly expect non-deterministic processes to change the bulb for us.

(Confidential to Guillaume: I, for one, would love to hear an adaptive hypothesis to explain the origin of an academic field heavily devoted to making up hypotheses without ever testing them. Perhaps it’s some sort of honest signalling mediated by h-scores?)

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Maybe I should wait a little longer before adding papers to my publications list

16 February 2011:

Schmidt JS, Volkov S, Baptiste J-M. “A simple Bayesian framework explains both the range expansion of malaria-carrying mosquitoes under global climate change and the probability of sexual contact following a three-course restaurant meal.” MS in prep. for Nature, planned submission by March 2011.

31 March 2011:

Schmidt JS, Baptiste J-M, Anderson KW, Volkov S. “A simple Bayesian framework explains both the range expansion of malaria-carrying mosquitoes under global climate change and the probability of sexual contact following a three-course restaurant meal.” MS in prep. for Nature, planned submission by June 2011.

29 June 2011:

Schmidt JS, Baptiste J-M, Anderson KW, Volkov S. “A simple Bayesian framework explains both the range expansion of malaria-carrying mosquitoes under global climate change and the probability of sexual contact following a three-course restaurant meal.” Submitted to Nature.

12 July 2011:

Schmidt JS, Baptiste J-M, Anderson KW, Volkov S. “A widely-applicable Bayesian approach to cost-benefit analysis.” MS in prep. for Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, planned submission by August 2011.

15 August 2011:

Schmidt JS, Baptiste J-M, Anderson KW, Volkov S. “A widely-applicable Bayesian approach to cost-benefit analysis.” Submitted to Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA.

18 August 2011:

Schmidt JS, Baptiste J-M, Anderson KW, Volkov S. “A widely-applicable Bayesian approach to cost-benefit analysis.” In review at Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA.

19 September 2011:

Schmidt JS, Anderson KW, Volkov S. “A Bayesian model to predict range shifts under varying climate change scenarios.” MS in prep. for Proc. Royal Soc. B, planned submission by November 2011.

23 November 2011:

Schmidt JS, Anderson KW, Volkov S. “A Bayesian model to predict range shifts under varying climate change scenarios.” In review at Proc. Royal Soc. B.

3 January 2012:

Schmidt JS and Volkov S. “Mosquitoes will move north if it gets warmer.” MS in prep. for Central Midwest Entomologist.

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An order of service for the first congregational church of Carl Kassel

Introit: “All Things Considered Theme” (arr. for organ)

Litany
Leader: The time is now seven minutes past the hour. I’m Terry Gross. From whence cometh our news?
Congregation: Shallow, adversarial coverage holds sway, on broadcast as it is on cable.
L: From whence cometh our commentary?
C: Humorless, unreasoned opinions are a swelling tide all around us.
L: Yet behold! A gust of Fresh Air for those living in the shadow of Fox.
C: What is this Fresh Air?
L: Our news cometh from Public Radio.
C: Thoughtful, in-depth reporting is the salvation of our days.
L: Our commentary cometh from Public Radio.
C: Measured discussions of relevant issues make our minds easy.
L & C together: Thanks be to listeners like you.

Passing the Peace
The Congregation are invited to stand and congratulate each other on their intelligence and good taste.

Congregational hymns (G. Keillor, song leader)
# 142, “Tell my why”
# 576, “Swedish folksong”
# 606, “Gimme that old-time religion”

Communion
All those attending are invited to participate; follow the usher’s cue to walk up the aisle, accept a piece of bagel from the host, and dip it in coffee in the Morning Edition logo mug.

Reading of the Headlines (L. Hansen)
National: Justice Department begins investigation into Congressional fundraising scandal
International: Chinese government cracks down on provincial uprising
Science: Researchers create first human-sheep hybrid embryo
Quirky: Missoula man bicycles from Anchorage to Lima to promote alternative fuels

Our Top Story (S. Simon, special correspondents K. Levine, R. Krulwich)
Global warming: close to home (part three of five-part series)

Meditation (D. Schorr)
This President might be pretty lousy, but he’s no Richard Nixon.

Congregational response: Thanks be to our correspondents!

Hymn of response (I. Glass, song leader)
# 337, “James K. Polk” (They Might Be Giants)

Pledge Drive
Offertory: Selections from The Peter, Paul, and Mary Reunion Tour (available on CD as a thank-you gift for persons pledging $75 or more)
Please place your pledge cards in the tote bag as the ushers pass it down each row. If you are already a member, consider increasing your membership level, or giving a gift membership to a friend or loved one. The ushers will hand out thank-you gifts in the narthex after the service; all new members will receive a subscription to Local Arts Magazine.

Benediction
Leaders: Behold, you’ve wasted another perfectly good hour.
Congregation: Don’t drive like my brother!
Leaders: Don’t drive like my brother!

Recessional: “Little Deuce Coupe” (Beach Boys)

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Blessed be Darwin

The Onion reports: Evolutionists flock to Darwin-shaped wall stain.

Since witnesses first reported the unexplained marking—which appears to resemble a 19th-century male figure with a high forehead and large beard—this normally quiet town has become a hotbed of biological zealotry. Thousands of pilgrims from as far away as Berkeley’s paleoanthropology department have flocked to the site to lay wreaths of flowers, light devotional candles, read aloud from Darwin’s works, and otherwise pay homage to the mysterious blue-green stain.

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