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* Posts by T. Nielsen Hayden

3 posts • joined 4 Feb 2007

YouTube rant missus hauled into court

T. Nielsen Hayden

If you're "petrified of publicity," don't marry then screw over an actress.

The man marries an attractive, personable actress who's twenty-five years his junior, tries to screw her over financially, then claims that he's "petrified of publicity"? If he's telling the truth, then he's unbelievably stupid.

I'm also unimpressed by all the comments casting the woman as a gold digger. Do you imagine the guy thinks he'd be just as successful with women if he were making $35K a year?

-tnh

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What is sexsomnia?

T. Nielsen Hayden

Almost all reports of sleep-related behavior are anecdotal --

-- because few of us have an accredited sleep disorders specialist sitting in a corner of our bedroom, taking notes every night. Likewise, few of us go to bed wired up to an EEG and various other monitoring devices, as is done during clinical sleep studies. If a sleep-related behavioral syndrome is sufficiently widespread, troublesome, or diagnostically useful, monitoring techniques may be devised that can record the event as it occurs; but there's no guarantee that that will happen.

To take just one example, cataplexy, one of the basic symptoms of narcolepsy, can be elusive in a clinical context. For many narcoleptics, episodes of cataplexy are triggered by specific emotional stimuli, which are different in every patient. Someone whose cataplexy is set off by emotions that don't normally occur during visits to a doctor's office is going to have to rely on anecdotal reporting. The only alternative is to try to arrange for circumstances that will prompt the desired response while the doctor is watching. If that sounds like the setup for a sitcom episode, let me assure you that the results can resemble one.

Anyone who thinks that "supported only by anecdotal evidence" is sufficient grounds to dismiss reports of some odd somnolent behavior doesn't understand sleep disorders.

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Please don't burn or stone women, pleads Canadian town

T. Nielsen Hayden

Stow the whining about "political correctness"; this is just racism

Can we get through this with a little less right-wing posturing? This incident has nothing to do with "political correctness," or with liberal political beliefs. Any fool can see that what's behind those guidelines is plain old racism.

What's noteworthy is that it's manifesting itself as a truly outstanding case of foot-in-mouth disease. It's well known that ignorant westerners cherish these bizarre beliefs about Muslims, but you hardly ever see the full set of them trotted out so unselfconsciously. Herouxville has made itself immortal. Historians will be making fun of those guidelines for centuries to come. We might as well get started making fun of them now.

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