Planned Parenthood sure knows how to pick its moment

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From the local FOX affiliate:

SEATTLE—

It’s kind of like crossing safe sex with Foursquare or Yelp check-ins.

The program to hand out condoms with high-tech wrappers at colleges and universities in Western Washington is sponsored by Planned Parenthood and designed to make you proud of practicing safe sex…

In the case of the wheredidyouwearit.com-sponsored condoms, the QR code will be used to broadcast where and when you practiced safe sex. … After scanning the QR code, your location and a brief description of how you used the contraception will be posted on wheredidyouwearit.com for all to see.

I bet Rick Santorum is really glad he’s totally in favor. Wait, maybe not. Sort of hard to keep track of what the people want these days. I bet this quote will help things:

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So excited to finally graduate

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I moved back to Penn last night, and the question I’ve – of course – been asked most often since: Didn’t you graduate?

Correct answer [thank you Mark Zuckerberg]: It’s complicated.

When I walked in 2010, I chose not to actually graduate, so I could keep paying undergraduate tuition until I finished my Master’s that fall.

So it was that December 2010 marked the end of my 9th semester at Penn. That same month, 202 happened to throw a party (Happy Birthday Liz!) asking attendees to

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Life and Death in Snoqualmie Pass

My phone is a shitty camera
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This was only borderline post-worthy (which says something, considering some of what manages to exceed my threshold) until I brought up Sunday’s Stevens Pass disaster.

A little background:

  • I went snowboarding last Sunday at Snoqualmie with three family members: Cousin O (CO), Cousin E (CE), and Aunt K (AK). More specifically, I went snowboarding and they went skiing.
  • CO’s school takes her to Stevens Pass every Friday to ski. She urged us Sunday morning to go to Stevens Pass, not Snoqualmie West. We settled on Snoqualmie Central.
  • Also on Sunday, CE sailed over the edge of a cliff and gracefully landed in a pile of fresh powder. The event produced a lot of laughs and one classic video.

And that’s all you need to set the scene:

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Volcanoes are ridiculous – people can be more ridiculous

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I just finished The Good Rain, Tim Egan‘s 1990 exploration of the Pacific Northwest. I enjoyed the book tremendously, but that alone would not move me to write about it here. Instead, I wanted to share a particular passage about Mt. St. Helens I thought so worthwhile I typed it all up, just for you:

“Within a few minutes, the mountain went through three transformations. First, more than a cubic mile of rock, snow and ice – the entire surface of the mountain’s north face – avalanched at speeds of two hundred miles an hour. Spirit Lake, surrounded by an ancient forest and lodges to house the summer hordes, was raised by two hundred feet; in other spots, the debris piled eight hundred feet. The Toutle River, which flows from this lake that the Cowlitz Indians believed to be a home for the dead, was blocked by a mile-wide dam of debris. Blue went to grey, green went to black, all life was smothered.

A lateral blast followed the avalanche. This explosion carried pulverized pieces of rock, organic material and hot gases at speeds of up to hour hundred miles an hour. Imagine a hurricane, blowing at twice the speed of the highest winds ever recorded, with a temperature just under 700 degrees Fahrenheit, and you have some idea of the blast that carried the north side of St. Helens with it. All trees, including firs which had clung to the ground for three centuries, all shrubs, meadows and grass, all deer (more than 5,000), elk (1,500), mountain goats (15), black bears (200), birds and small game (several million), snakes, fish, bees and anything that might later have contributed to new life were wiped out within 150 square miles.

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Stephen Colbert’s SuperPAC not all that Super

StephenColbertSuperPAC
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One consequence of my recently-adjourned month-long sojourn to Israel and the Atlantic Seaboard is that I have fallen uncharacteristically behind on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. I’m currently somewhere in late January and am valiantly attempting to make up ground on a daily basis.

Where I am in the ‘plot’, a major storyline is Stephen Colbert’s SuperPAC – more specifically, its iteration as The Definitely Not Coordinating with Stephen Colbert SuperPAC.

Watching Stewart and Colbert, viewers are (/were) encouraged to understand that the SuperPAC has raised an astronomical sum of money.* The actual financial success of the SuperPAC is obviously not critical to the point about campaign finance and the need for reform. But I’ll admit that based on Stewart and Colbert’s behavior, I imagined that the amount was substantial.

So it was that when I happened to stumble across the actual sum involved, I was somewhat disappointed: the SuperPAC has raised just over $1m, and has only $800,000 in cash on hand (after spending $48,000 on finance consulting and $17,000 on Trevor Potter’s appearances on the show – most adorably here**). This doesn’t exactly qualify as investigate journalism: a quick search reveals that Colbert discussed his totals on the air February 2nd – but for me, that’s still the future.

This post is an attempt to bring that figure into some perspective. Yes, it’s a lot of money for a SuperPAC that exists only to parody the existence of SuperPACs and serves no real political objective (in the sense of trying to get somebody elected, e.g. ‘Newt Gingrich’s SuperPAC’). I also understand that Stewart and Colbert are acting for the sake of making a point, and certainly for the sake of comedy. But in the context of Colbert’s annual salary ($4m) – to say nothing of Stewart’s ($15m) – his excitement over the size of the SuperPAC comes off as somewhat patronizing.

I don’t mean to begrudge Colbert and Stewart their financial success. Personally, I think Comedy Central should offer them lifetime contracts (the current iterations are set to expire in June 2013!). But I would suggest that in an effort to make his SuperPAC adventures more realistic, Colbert should consider contributing a portion of his vast personal fortune ($45m) to himself – sorry, to the SuperPAC that is definitely not coordinating with him.

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*For instance, in the clip where Colbert signs over his SuperPAC, check out what Stewart asks at 3:22 (sorry it’s not Youtube and I can’t just make it start in the right place). And at the beginning of this clip – the The Daily Show‘s first after the SuperPAC transfer – check out Stewart’s tiara, and his description of ‘money, money, money’ – and here, where he describes the SuperPAC as ‘a staggering amount of money’.

**Really, it’s adorable. I want to adopt them.

Good Grief, Amy G

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Straight out the DPizzle:

Steinberg-Dietrich to undergo $18.5-million makeover

Some students say the renovations are unnecessary

By HUIZHONG WU · February 21, 2012, 8:57 pm

Steinberg-Dietrich Hall is getting a makeover.

At last week’s Board of Trustees meetings, Penn approved an $18.5-million renovation of the building that once served as the primary home base for Wharton School students.

The project — which will kick off in May — will include the addition of 32 new faculty offices, two completely re-done classrooms with updated technology, a lawn area, a new West entrance with an open pavilion and a new glass tower.

Facilities and Real Estate Services estimates that the entire project will be completed by the end of 2013.

OK, you get the idea – but Penn clearly doesn’t. Renovating Steiny D? Did the DP’s joke issue come out early this year? A short list of what actually needs fixing:

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Well, this is awkward – way more awkward than the last time* I titled a post ‘Well, this is awkward’

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Via Seattle Times, but really via any news source:

Four dead in avalanches at Stevens and Snoqualmie passes

Three experienced skiers and a snowboarder were killed in separate avalanches around noon Sunday — one in an out-of-bounds area at the Stevens Pass ski resort and the other in or near an out-of-bounds area at Alpental near Snoqualmie Pass.

Stevens Pass ski area obviously got the memo:

But, uh, forgot to update the bio:

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Law school should certainly be interesting*

so not licensed
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From the BBC article, Strauss-Kahn questioned in prostitution ring inquiry:

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been detained for questioning by French police investigating a prostitution ring.

Mr Strauss-Kahn, once a front-runner for the French presidency, could be held for 48 hours at a police station in Lille, northern France.

Investigators have already questioned a number of prostitutes who have admitted having sex with Mr Strauss-Kahn. He insists he did not know that the women were prostitutes.

“I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman,” his lawyer Henri Leclerc has told French television.

“Your Honor, if I may draw your attention to Exhibit A…”

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