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On "Low-alcohol wines are super hot right now"

Vinho verde is super good when it's hot, though.

Posted on June 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm 0

On The Beauty Bridge

@Passion Fruit I have to mention this DIY bra size measuring method and calculator. It will give you a size you do not possibly think can be right. But it is right. I promise. You didn't accidentally enter inches when it thought you meant centimeters or vice versa, you didn't grossly mismeasure.

It will most likely give you a smaller band size and a MUCH larger cup size than you currently wear. We have been lied to all our lives about how to find our bra sizes: you're always told to measure under your bust and then add 4 or 5 to get your band size, then determine your cup size in relation to that, but this is totally wrong. You shouldn't add anything to your under-bust measurement.

I wore 36B, and my straps always fell down, and the tops of the cups always gapped. I figured I had narrow shoulders and an oddly-shaped bust. Then I used that method and calculator and got 32DD (!!). I thought that had to be wrong. But when I actually tried a 32DD bra (which I had to order online from a non-US store -- even still, didn't cost any more than bras from mall stores), it actually fit. The cups didn't gap. The straps didn't slide down. WHAT.

That website refers to the "Bra Matrix," and it really is like breaking out of the Matrix. It blew my mind and I can't stop telling people about it.

Posted on February 15, 2014 at 2:59 pm 0

On Or Neither

Oh, this lady. Ms. "I turned down a proposal from this one boyfriend and now I regret it, so I'm going to go around telling all women they should just get married even if they're not really sure about it, because if they don't, they'll become OLD MAIDS."

Of course she leads with an anecdote from some horrible dinner party with her horrible friends, because if you and five friends are doing it, it's totally a nationwide trend. And of course she trots out that one study with the birth control pills and the sweaty t-shirts. Of course.

Also, this entire article: "I'm not saying egalitarian marriages suck! I'm just saying, egalitarian marriages suck."

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm 0

On Winter Survival: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Birthday Cake

Yeah, beating egg whites by hand takes a long, long time. I did it once. It took almost an hour of very vigorous beating. Would not do again.

And yeah, if you didn't actually get the egg whites to the stiff-peak stage before folding them into the cake batter, the cake would be way too dense. I don't think it's actually supposed to be as heavy as you describe. The air beaten into the egg whites would lighten it up considerably.

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 2:31 pm 1

On A Bold Notion for Baby Showers

Baby showers are the most gender-stereotyped things ever. It makes me really uncomfortable and angry. It's all "Girls just come preprogrammed to love princesses!" and "Why would you get a GIRL something with TRUCKS on it?" and "He was going to get a diaper bag too, but then I realized it would look SO WEIRD if we were out with the baby and he had a diaper bag and I didn't!" and then my head explodes. And these people are all late 20s, early 30s, and I thought they were reasonable, non-sexist people. Ugh.

After one baby shower, my husband and I agreed that should I get pregnant, we will refuse to tell anyone the sex of the child until it's born, because the stereotyping will just infuriate us both.

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 8:37 pm 1

On Are You Getting Enough "Placebo Sleep"?

So, how well does self-reported sleep quality correlate with how much REM sleep people actually get in real life? And how much does the actual amount of REM sleep actually affect performance on cognitive tests?

Like, if they'd done a full sleep study on everyone the night before and actually measured how much time they'd spent in REM, would the results be the same?

Because otherwise, this pretty much just seems to confirm the idea that if you tell someone they'll do better/worse on a test for whatever reason, they'll tend to follow that expectation.

Posted on January 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm 0

On A Thing You Should Probably Read If You Use the NuvaRing

I really would like more information before freaking out. What were the actual fractions of women who had blood clots on the Nuvaring vs. on other pills? 56% sounds like a huge increase, but are we talking about, like, 1 vs 1.56 in 10,000 women, or in 10 women, or what? And is the risk with Nuvaring significantly different than the risk with other hormonal birth control?

I have to be on hormonal BC because if I don't suppress ovulation, I get huge ovarian cysts. (Seriously, I was off the pill for less than two months last summer, and landed in the hospital with a cyst big enough to make my ovary twist around and cut off its own blood supply. It was not fun.) I've already accepted the slight increase in blood clot risk that happens with any birth control pill, because when compared to the near-certainty of giant ovarian cysts without it, I know which I pick. So I wonder -- is the Nuvaring really more dangerous than the other pills?

Honestly, the Vanity Fair article also pings my "selling fear" senses a little bit, so I'm inclined to be a little skeptical. I know manufacturers aren't always honest, but neither are lawyers, you know? I'd like more of a look at what actual science there is.

Posted on December 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm 2

On What to Bring to the Baby Shower of Your Sworn Enemy

Oh god, baby showers make me uncomfortable enough with the really intense gender role stereotyping that always seems to happen. "Oh, girls just come preprogrammed to love princesses!" "A book about space for a baby girl? I bet your husband picked that out." "I need to know if it's a boy or a girl, so I know whether to get a little [team] jersey or a little [team] cheerleader outfit!"

I definitely came back from a baby shower recently and told my husband "If we have a kid, let's just not tell anybody its sex beforehand, because I cannot deal with this crap."

Vagina cakes are just … I'm pro-vagina awareness, and I love my friends, but I do not need to have detailed mental images of their vaginas with babies coming out.

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm 0

On When a Man Writes a Woman

@snowmentality Not that Dorothy Sayers is a man. But I mean, great women in literature.

Posted on September 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm 0

On When a Man Writes a Woman

I'd like to add a vote for Tiffany Aching, from a series of YA novels by Terry Pratchett (The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, and I Shall Wear Midnight).

I might also suggest Harriet Vane, from Dorothy L. Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries. She isn't quite fully realized in Strong Poison, where she first appears, but in Have His Carcase -- and most especially in Gaudy Night -- she's fantastic. I want Harriet Vane to be my friend.

Posted on September 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm 6