Stuff from October, 2010

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on October, 2010.

Solitary Confinement

Is long-term solitary confinement torture?

The simple truth is that public sentiment in America is the reason that solitary confinement has exploded in this country, even as other Western nations have taken steps to reduce it. This is the dark side of American exceptionalism. With little concern or demurral, we have consigned tens of thousands of our own citizens to conditions that horrified our highest court a century ago.


Dark Age Dentistry

We’ve got this class taught by an amazingly well-educated fellow named Dr. Zidan. He’s taking our previous 3 operative dentistry classes and pushing the envelope on what we accept. Silver fillings (amalgam) come up… and we commonly consider these as treatment options. But then he challenges us: look at the fat margins that let bacteria in, look at the extra tooth structure removed, look at all the alternatives which provide a more esthetically pleasing result! Frankly, this is exactly what we need right now—a modern take on dentistry.


Brownie in Motion

Mykala began waving her arms wildly around while we were sitting on the couch this afternoon. I declared she was a “Brownian motion machine”.



1 comment left



2 comments left

Sunset Over Leaves

Sunset Over Leaves

Seymour and Franklin

Seymour and Franklin

Crown Science

These days, the most technologically advanced dental crowns are made from an interesting combination of materials. Before I get into that, let’s first talk about how your teeth resist breaking in twain.

The toughest building materials have a combination of strength and flexibility. Think about wood or steel: they have strength (compressibility, tension), but because their rigidity is not infinite, they also derive durability from their ability to flex and rebound under load.


2 comments left

Beautiful Fall

I visited my mom at home today. Took a long walk in the unseasonably warm weather. Checked out her bathroom remodelling. Got to talk like we haven’t talked in a long time. It’s a new perspective on time: you value the people in your life when they are taken from you for a while. Suddenly you see that things are always changing, that you must seize and savor the good moments.



I sometimes wonder what it must be like to live a life without the intervention of modern medicine. What must it be like when your teeth fit together just fine without braces, when you can see without corrective lenses, when you’ve required no surgery to remove oversized adenoids, tonsils, or appendices, when your robust joints have required no surgery, when your skin grows no cancers…


2 comments left

Old Fashioned

When I’m a parent, I want to use old-fashioned words. If I want everyone to quit fighting, I’ll say “Kids, stop your quarreling!”

If I think we should all sit out on the porch after dinner: “Let’s retire to the colonnade.”

Someone’s hair is getting a little long: “Your tresses need to be shorn.”

Stopping Smoking

Biking home, as I do everyday, is always more interesting during rush hour. A few days ago, I hopped on my bike, and started passing cars all the way down Washington Avenue. The weather was beautiful, so the ride was quite pleasant. During such unseasonably warm weather, drivers tend to open their windows. So, one driver had their arm dangling out, a lit cigarette held casually in their fingers. For more than a few seconds during my approach of the car, I thought about grabbing that cigarette and throwing it on the ground as I passed by.


Tai Shoe

Mykala: “Is that guy doing Tai Chi?”
Alex: “No, he’s tying his shoe. He’s doing Shoe Chi.”
Mykala: “You mean Tai Shoe.”
Alex: “You always think up the funny ones; I was so close!”

3 comments left

Avenging Unicorn

ThinkGeek sells an Avenging Unicorn Playset:

Unicorn has 7 points of articulation. People have one point of impalement.




“You have a right to your own opinion, not your own facts.”

Rightly Done

Apparently, Henry Royce’s fireplace mantle read thusly:


The translation is: “Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble.”


New York Magazine asks, What Was the Hipster?

Above all, the post-2004 hipster could be identified by one stylistic marker that transcended fashion to be something as fundamental as a cultural password: jeans that were tight to the calves and ankles. As much as I’ve investigated this, I can’t say I understand the origin of the skinny jean. Why, of many candidates for fashion statements, did it become ubiquitous?


4 comments left