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Is that why some of your old posts are missing? Anyway, I think you're interesting minus the HBD. You could use a catchier name though (for the new blog). I can't possibly memorize "xverumi." Blech. What was the meaning of "half sigma" (the name) anyway?
Toggle Commented Dec 27, 2012 on I quit HBD blogging at Half Sigma
"I must admit her mother looks half caste but how can she be half caste if her daughter is white?" It's not uncommon at all for someone who is 3/4 white and 1/4 whatever else to look white, especially if the white parent is very fair, which this actress' dad appears to be.
Toggle Commented Dec 26, 2012 on Les Miserables 2012 at Half Sigma
It's disingenuous to compare two countries so different in size and demographics. As has been mentioned it would make more sense to look at particular states with similar demographics (90% white) and lax gun laws. Perhaps also look at Canada, although their violence tends to be concentrated amongst minorities as is the case in other countries. Half of all homicides in LA and Chicago are gang related. A good portion more are likely tangentially gang related, and more beyond that drug (dealing) related. One thing to remember, be careful looking at FBI statistics on violence by race; the FBI categorizes hispanics as white. HS you should look at free speech policies, particularly in regard to religion and race, in countries with the strictest gun laws; perhaps you would discover a pattern.
Barks' mother looks part black or pacific islander but the actress looks white enough to play a white part. We've been watching "Merlin" and Guinevere is played by apparently biracial Angel Coulby. She has an interesting face but isn't astoundingly beautiful as Guinevere is described in Arthurian legend. In fact she isn't even that pretty. If they wanted to be PC and have a biracial actress they should have chosen a beautiful one. Never mind that there wouldn't have been any Africans or Arabs around during the Arthurian era (some of the knights and peasant riffraff are black).
Toggle Commented Dec 26, 2012 on Les Miserables 2012 at Half Sigma
I remember once in college, a roomful of us were stumped on how to make rice. This was an ultra-selective college so we all had very high SAT scores. The directions on the bag were overwhelming-- I don't think any of us spoiled brats had even turned on a stove top before. Not wanting my children to suffer the same fate, I've taught them how to cook. But I still wouldn't be comfortable with a free for all of stove top, oven and knives while I took a "mini vacation." Additionally, the mom might have been a foodie. God forbid my mom has to leave my dad's side for a meal or longer. All those meals get planned, prepped, and hermetically sealed in the freezer weeks in advance. Of note in this article is that the plumber recalls "the kids" having an encyclopedic knowledge of guns. My guess is Ryan is "on the spectrum" too which could explain why he went to a sub par college. I really doubt this family is/ was low IQ. Most kids with autistic siblings have so-called shadow traits to some degree.
Toggle Commented Dec 20, 2012 on Why couldn’t Adam Lanza cook? at Half Sigma
"I hang out in Asperger's support groups in NYC and I can tell you, those aspies who were sheltered by there families have come out more the worse (no stable job, forced to live at home, etc.) Adam's mom made a big mistake in withdrawing him from school and society." This is chicken-egg. It's likely the more sheltered HFAs are the more impaired ones (even if subtly) and the ones who can be "forced" to socialize are less impaired. You are able to hang out-- because you can. It might be a stretch and it might be uncomfortable, but you can. Not all are so high functioning.
Toggle Commented Dec 20, 2012 on My current take on Adam Lanza at Half Sigma
"delicious unkosher holiday foods" Like matambre and stollen...? {shudder} I'll take your burnt latkes.
Toggle Commented Dec 20, 2012 on How Jews feel left out at Christmas at Half Sigma
In case anyone wants vegan stuffed zucchini tonight: (NSFW)
Toggle Commented Dec 19, 2012 on Clueless Amy Chozick at Half Sigma
I tell you what HS, I'll trade all my Christmas memories for your Chanukah memories. Arrange the mind meld. [HS: You're not prepared. The sadness of eating burnt latkes while your friends are eating delicious unkosher holiday foods will be too painful and you will commit suicide.]
Toggle Commented Dec 19, 2012 on How Jews feel left out at Christmas at Half Sigma
His mother knew he was going to the gun range so I doubt she was keeping the guns locked up. Also doesn't make much sense to let your son go to the range if you're ready to have him committed. Re the divorce, "recently remarried" Peter Lanza had been living with his soon to be wife for three years. You do the math. Either he met Mrs. Right while leaving divorce court or it started out as an affair. And depending on how recent "recently" is this could have been part of what made Adam snap. He might have killed his mom not out of anger but to spare her the emotional and legal fallout of his "mission" since he wasn't able to obtain his own guns. Alex you're right, the media will never look at the larger societal issues nor will they touch the divorce of the parents or Mr. Lanza's instant GF. The articles about the divorce are trying to paint it as some kind of glowingly friendly agreement without asking the hard questions on how it might have impacted their already troubled son.
"Compared to other kinds of lettuce, has less of these. Romaine has 14 times as much vitamin A, and 44% more potassium." Sigh, yes, I know, I know. The darker the green the more nutritious. But does iceberg lettuce really deserve its bad name? It's not like it's a hershey bar in disguise.
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2012 on Clueless Amy Chozick at Half Sigma
If she knew he was nuts enough to be committed, why didn't she have the guns secured? If I were ready to lock up my son not only would I hide the guns but I'd keep knives, razors and pills out of reach too. So something still doesn't make sense IMO...
"Salads, big deal. Salad is a very middle class female thing to eat, anyway, why are you eating it, HS? Human beings didn't evolve to put all that added fat in the form of vegetable oil (dressing) on greens." Fat increases nutrient absorption so it's a very good thing to eat salads with added fat. Eating healthy isn't just for middle class females; a whole variety of people are health conscious about food for reasons ranging from illness to fitness. In defense of iceberg lettuce, it's high in vitamin A and potassium. I feel sorry for iceberg lettuce... it gets insulted almost as often as potatoes.
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2012 on Clueless Amy Chozick at Half Sigma
[HS: Just about any restaurant in Staten Island.] The best salads I've had in my life came from the deli at Family Health Foods on Victory Blvd. My experience is that most vegan establishments have outstanding salads. I agree with just speculating... most people just eat what tastes good. I believe Mayor Bloomberg has confessed to a Cheez-It addiction.
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2012 on Clueless Amy Chozick at Half Sigma
The right to arms is a symbolic, psychological right that gives the people a sense of democratic identity and autonomy. No one is fooling themselves into thinking a militia could outgun the US military in some kind of epic battle, but the first step of any fascist government or dictatorship is to disarm its citizens... this has been repeated throughout history. In the advent of Nazi Germany Jews were expressly forbidden from gun ownership. Additionally there is a strong right to personal protection-- and no, a shotgun is not ideal to protect against home invasion, especially if it's a woman with no upper body strength trying to wield it.
"That’s pretty strange; there must have been something very dysfunctional going on for Ryan to have completely turned his back on his family." Or maybe it was the other way around. The only times I've heard of a guy paying more alimony than required by the courts is when there was another woman involved and she is subpoenaed to testify in the divorce proceedings. Then the guy signs anything to keep the dirty laundry under wraps. If this is the case it would explain the no contact between the two sides of the family. Maybe the older brother chose to stay involved with the dad and the girlfriend, so the mom and the younger brother went no contact. As far as his gun application he doesn't appear to have had any valid identification (he was carrying his brother's ID) so maybe that's why he was rejected. Unless he spent time in a psych ward I don't think mental illness precludes a person from gun ownership. Not sure on this though...
Toggle Commented Dec 17, 2012 on My current take on Adam Lanza at Half Sigma
"We still don't have any real evidence of Adam's IQ level." He took college courses at age 16 in subjects ranging from programming to economics with a gpa of 3.26. Is that enough to satisfy he was not mentally retarded?
Toggle Commented Dec 17, 2012 on My current take on Adam Lanza at Half Sigma
Has it been noted that he did not appear to have a driver's license? If he did surely that picture would be in the media. It looks like he was carrying around his brother's license without his knowledge. So the question is did he fail his driver's test or never bother in the first place? He obviously knew how to drive since he made it to the school in one piece.
"MANY gun owners have 4 or 5 guns or more. That was not a huge arsenal by any means. In fact she was statistically normal for a gun owner." My brother in law has 22 guns in his house which sits on 80 wooded acres. He's a hunter with 2 sons. They're easy to collect kind of like used clothing. People give them to you as gifts or give you their old ones. If you're not a crazed killer having lots of guns in the house is no big deal, particularly in more rural parts of the country.
"It's beyond retarded to blame this incident on aspergers." I doubt HFA individuals are more likely than the rest of the population to commit crimes-- in fact they may be somewhat less likely because of their social avoidance. However, when they do commit a crime, it tends to be with great flourish, calculation, and strangeness. Remember the NASA lady Lisa Nowak who drove cross country wearing diapers to kidnap her BF's GF? And just recently there was an HFA girl in New Jersey who hopped into the family Lexus and took off (she had never driven before). She was found more than a week later in Texas. And (just to add to the list) the Unabomber is more than likely HFA. Which is to say, these crimes tend to seize international media attention more than your average thug's haphazard criminal efforts. I'm sure gangbangers kill more people each year than high functioning autistics, but it doesn't make the news. As far as Mrs. Lanza being prole, wasn't she a stockbroker in Boston?
I wouldn't jump to that conclusion. Hyposensitivity is pretty common in autistic individuals. This is why they can bang their head against things & hit themselves. Repetitive behaviors ("stimming") are also linked to hyposensitivity... I agree with James that the mom is probably to blame here. If for no other reason than that she had guns accessible to her wacko son. Surely she had warning signs. If I were going to speculate wildly, based on the two pictures of Lanza I've seen, he looks like he could have fetal alcohol syndrome... his ears are abnormally lowset, small chin and head, thin upper lip. In some rare cases FAS can actually manifest with high intelligence though the norm is mental retardation. The NYtimes reports the mom was quite the beer drinker.
"If he wanted a much better looking wife he could have one within the hour. She's probably gorgeous in his eyes because proles have bad taste. He probably also likes her personality." I doubt it. Did you watch the film? A divorce would be the final decimating blow to their finances-- 7 child support payments and alimony, plus half his remaining assets down the drain. It would be cheaper and simpler to get a mistress and see her during a "trip to Dubai." He hides in his office while the wife whines for a kiss (which he refuses) and when the kids walk in for audience with their dad he barely acknowledges them. As it stands he said the kids would need loans to get through college. The main sin of this family is how boring they are. His son/ business partner (from a previous marriage) is the most compelling personality in the film, which isn't saying much. I know a very wealthy family with a zillion kids and they too have a messy house full of exotic pets and dog poop. Also none of the kids went to college (which seems to be Mrs. Seigel's wish for her brood)-- this is a good thing? What gives? Also my BS detector went off in a few scenes. The "what's the name of my driver" had to have been staged plus the "too much electricity" seemed stage too. They just all happened to be mic-ed up for the impromptu squabble?
Toggle Commented Dec 15, 2012 on Queen of Versailles at Half Sigma
I meant to add Seung-Hui Cho to the list. His family in Korea and the family's pastor (in the US) told media he was autistic but the only extant diagnoses in the States were selective mutism and severe anxiety (which are both traits of autism). He was diagnosed in 8th grade and had an "emotional disturbance" label in high school with allowed him accommodations.
Toggle Commented Dec 15, 2012 on Adam Lanza identified as the shooter at Half Sigma
jayNE you couldn't be more wrong about Asperger's Syndrome(which technically no longer exists as a diagnosis.... it's now Autistic Spectrum Disorder). This guy is in the class of Anders Breivik (also diagnosed with AS) and more likely than not James Holmes. There are a subset of people with high functioning autism who are also schizoid and psychotic to whatever degree, with weak reality testing. Bobby Fischer would be a good example of this. He was born too late for the HFA label but is a classic case. Yet he was delusional and paranoid (he thought the Soviets had put implants in his teeth before the 1972 match). It was dismissed in his early years because of his genius and fame but as he aged it came painfully to the fore. Anyone who listened to his radio rantings late in life could see this was not a man of sound mind.
Toggle Commented Dec 15, 2012 on Adam Lanza identified as the shooter at Half Sigma
I spend almost every spare moment reading but I'm reading message boards and blogs. I'm ashamed to no longer be reading books. Every so often a cookbook or a young adult novel (easy on the brain) catches my eye, but that's it. My kids read voraciously and have shown no interest in anything but print books for it. The two NYPL branches local to me have fewer and fewer books over the years. Does anyone know why? They're not being replaced with anything; the number of computers available for public use has remained steady. I could understand not buying new books if the public isn't interested, but why get rid of what was already there?
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2012 on Are people reading less? at Half Sigma