Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Elephant Painter

has become a viral video as fans speculate. Was he trained to do this? Does it matter? Lots of splices on the tape, maybe a hoax? Whatever, 8 1/2 minutes.

Your Brain...

is the reason:
1. You can't tickle yourself
2. You get a joke
3. You sneeze


Bookie Alert

Visit Old Hag's Speedreader for quirky (cruel?) insights before you choose/buy that book.
A sad truth for those of you out there seeking greater ones: Nothing is more boring than your epiphanies.
Guess I won't be reading Eat, Pray, Love after all. Anybody want a new, untouched copy?

And 1/3 of Americans

believe that Saddam Husein was behind 9/11.
Guess I'll have to subscribe to Quirkies.

A third of Brits don't know Shakespeare wrote plays - and many of them think he was King of England.

A new survey also reveals 25% didn't realise John Keats was a poet, with some saying his famous Odes were written by Robbie Williams.

Others believed poet Sylvia Plath was lead singer of the Black Eyed Peas. Less than a third knew Winnie the Pooh author A A Milne was a writer


No More Dying

I was alerted to this by Andrew Sullivan this morning. Not enough coffee yet for the appropriate snarky comment.

The mayor of a Brazilian town is trying to bring in a law making it illegal for residents to die.

Mayor Roberto Pereira da Silva, of Biritiba-Mirim, came up with the idea because the town's only cemetery is full.

He wants to bring in a law that would see relatives of people who die before their time face fines or even jail.

The law would make it an offence for the town's 28,000 citizens to not look after their health properly.

Mayor Pereira da Silva said there was no way of expending the cemetery or building a new one, reports Agora Sao Paulo.

He said: "Eighty nine per cent of the town is rivers, the rest is protected because it is tropical jungle."

The state government had promised to help build a new vertical cemetery - but nothing had been done.

Gym memberships have reportedly shot up since the mayor announced his plans, and more people are visiting doctors.

Fly Power

Since when is ART not a painting, a fabric, a dance, a song? I dunno, since now for sure.

Swarm by David Bowen is decribed as "an autonomous roaming device whose movements are determined by houseflies housed inside the device itself."

The Surge IS Working

It's just not what we've been told it is. So, what else is new?
Confused by all that's going on in Iraq right now? Sorry, I can't explain it. But I can point at shiny objects like this:
An elated George Bush gave Maliki his full support - the "kiss of death", as one Baghdad resident put it. Maliki and British officers strove to portray the Basra operation as the independent decision of the Iraqi government. That was quickly proved to be wishful thinking as US planes flew to the rescue of government forces. Bombing missions included Basra, Hilla, Nassiriya and Baghdad. Hundreds, and, some report, thousands, of people are believed to have been killed or injured.....

A trade union leader in Basra reminded me this week that March was the month in 1991 when Saddam launched his infamous campaign to crush an uprising, which began in Basra and spread to most of the country. This week's attacks, he said, were much more ferocious that those 17 years ago. There are other disturbing echoes: Saddam's forces were being observed by US and British planes, which were in full control of Iraqi air space as the March uprising was so brutally crushed....

Many Iraqis are linking what they regard as a premeditated and unprovoked attack on a relatively peaceful city with Cheney's visit and Washington's insistence that the US-trained Iraqi armed forces should do more of the ground-fighting, while the occupation forces resort to air attacks and emergency support.

They are also linking it to the fact that oil and dock workers' unions, declared illegal, are in full control of the ports and the major oil fields. These unions are strongly opposed to the US-backed oil law to privatise the Iraqi industry and allow the major oil companies to control production and marketing. The law is also opposed by the Sadr movement, which was expected to win a decisive victories in forthcoming elections.
Once again, the occupiers have miscalculated the depth of resentment in Iraq. And once again, the occupation is seen by many Iraqis as a divisive force, the root of the bulk of the violence. For most Iraqis, it is the occupation which threatens to ignite civil war. Only an end to the occupation and complete withdrawal can put Iraq on the long and tortuous path of rebuilding its tormented lands.

I can only recommend you read it all.

Wherefore Phil Donahue?

Remember Phil? Host of a popular NBC daytime talk show, the Oprah of his day? Then, suddenly, he was gone. Ratings, they said.
Every so often, Donahue himself pops up on some program about the Iraq War, contending his show was cancelled by a network incomfortable with the anti-war nature of his guests and approach in the midst of a media atmospher of war boosting and celebration.
This week, Amy Goodman reproduced part of the network memo.
"difficult public face for NBC in a time of war. He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration's motives ... at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity."

Nuff said.

Bush's War Online

If you missed it, Frontline's 4 1/2 hours of programming broadcast on PBS last week can be viewed online, along with a lot of accompanying material.
There was griping among progressives that they left this out, they didn't present this piece of the story. But really, how could you fault them for not telling enough of the story with the kind of time?
Producer David Kirk had an online conversation at the Washington Post about the program and responds to that criticism here:

Our focus was the war about the war. We focused on the battleground between the forces that wanted war with Iraq and those who believed the so-called war on terror should be fought primarily against Al Qaeda. I personally believe the focus on what happened in Washington is the central story of the war. The decisions made, which we spent a great deal of time trying to understand and show, dramatically affected all the other aspects of what happened in Iraq--to a devastating end.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Those Things They Say

I love tart, witty quotes no matter who says them.
And they have to be something I haven't heard before.
So, when a friend remarked in passing of her ex, a Navy man, that "when you're a hammer, everything else is a nail," I erupted in laughter.
Now I really can't stand New York Times neo-con wannabe columnist David Brooks, mostly because he's so often so dishonest and when he's not, he's vapid.
But today he said something that made me laugh.
About the Democrats and the current primary wars, "They can't manage a bordello in a gold rush."
Made me laugh.

Pennsylvania Primary

Those of us not in states with upcoming primaries (Penn., N.C., Ind., I forget the rest until Puerto Rico) don't get to see what the candidates are putting out there, what our campaign contributions are paying for.
This video is Obama promising action on oil companies and energy independence.
To be fair, the Clinton campaign immediately fired across the bow, challenging his assertion that he does not take money from the industry. But that's not exactly the way he expresses it.
In fact, he is the only candidate who does not take money from PACs (political action committees) or federal lobbyists.
The Clintons claim he got $160,000 from the industry.
What's true. Obama takes individual donations from people who work in the industry, but not lobbyists.
You decide if that's important.


Someone commenting on Glenn Greenwald's column today had the most revelatory thing to say about a Democrat taking over as president that I've seen so far. And it's funny.
It's sort of like taking a job as President of the Mafia, in order to clean it up and make it a law abiding business. By the time you've signed the first papers the accountant puts in front of you, you've committed five felonies. And now you're in it.

John McCain: Not Canadian

For explanation, see here.

A TPM reader thinks the script is a little weak and should read:
John McCain, American: The American President of America that Americans have been waiting for. America!

Reminds me of Gu911iann911i.

Yeah, the voiceover is the other saloon owner from Deadwood. I'm wondering why they didn't get Fred Thompson, I hear he's available.

Martin, Bobby and John

Moon Who?

Imagine someone with a net worth approaching Warren Buffet's, the international reach of a rock superstar, who enjoys the same access to the conservative elite as the most successful K-Street lobbyist, and worst of all, sharing the fringe messianic delusions of someone like David Koresh all rolled into one power-mad cult leader. Now imagine that that individual successfully buys their way into the heart of the GOP, with the oft stated goal of destroying both Christianity and representative government. Well, stop imagining: that's a decent synopsis of Sun-myung Moon, protected darling of the religious right.

More here.

Happy Friday

I watch Topsy Turvy every time it comes on, and somehow HBO never disappoints. I think I've seen it about five times. Why are the Brits so good at this? Oh, yeah, it's their culture. Jim Broadbent, too.

Okay, So I Found This

and now you get to see it.

It's called Fresh Fruits.

So, the Surge Is Working and...

'We can't quite decipher'
As President Bush told an Ohio audience that Iraq was returning to "normalcy," administration officials in Washington held meetings to assess what appeared to be a rapidly deteriorating security situation in many parts of the country.

Maliki decided to launch the offensive without consulting his U.S. allies, according to administration officials. With little U.S. presence in the south, and British forces in Basra confined to an air base outside the city, one administration official said that "we can't quite decipher" what is going on. It's a question, he said, of "who's got the best conspiracy" theory about why Maliki decided to act now.

Oh, wait. Aren't there elections coming up in Iraq?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

They Brought You the Iraq War

...and now

One Woman's Stroke of Insight

Lots of buzz out there on the 'sphere about this because the New York Times ran the story today. It's 18 minutes and I haven't watched it yet, but offer it up FYI.
From the TED Web site:
Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

When You Visit Contrararienne

Remember to check out that stuff over to the right, there's likely to be something new and amusing and/or useful you haven't seen. Like Walt Handelsman, for instance. Didn't know about him, did ya?
Well, okay, YOU did, but the rest were clueless.
Too bad he's not on YouTube, I could save you a click. But Newsday needs eyeballs.

D. B. Cooper

Remember the guy who hijacked an airplane in 1972, got $200,000 in ransom and parachuted out somewhere in Southeast Washington?
No? Too Young? Not from around here?
Well, they found a parachute.

Pay Attention

So, I found another new blog and the post about all the chemicals and nuclear waste discarded at sea is kind of discouraging, but this guy at Bldgblog also has some fascinating stuff.
For instance, did you know there was such a thing as a giant eddy in the ocean and nobody understands them?
Neither did I. Must have slept through that part of my physics class. God knows, Mr. Dally could put anybody to sleep. (Don't be impressed, they made me take this class and it's the only one I ever cheated in, off my boyfriend's brother.)
Well, anyway, there's one of these things off the coast of Australia right now. Like there was two years ago, ad infinitum. It's almost enough to get my mind off the Democratic primary.

"I will have two questions for God on my death bed: why relativity, and why turbulence? I really think he may have an answer to the first question." Werner Heisenberg.

What do you plan to ask God?

New Eye Candy

will be added to the list to your right. Modern Handbag, vintage fashion accessories. Just for fun.

Woman of the Day

"Everything you see I owe to spaghetti."

Homosexual Geneticists Isolate Cause of Christianity

Thank you, clusterflock, I needed that.

Iraq War Today

Woke up early this morning and every hour, on the hour, I hear Ann Gerrels say, "Bagdhad is a ghost town."
Just sayin.'

Foodie Alert: Seattle Edition

I've long enjoyed listening to the patter between Seattle Times Food Critic Nancy Leson and Dick Stein on KPLU FM (88.5), the all jazz public radio station out of Tacoma.
Leson is warm, witty and knowledgeable. (Stein is Stein. He knows food, but in a sort of pornographic way.)
Anyway, Leson is launching a food blog at the times and giving up her restaurant reviewing duties to someone else.
From the sounds of it, it won't be only about local topics. I'm looking forward to it.
Food is one of my favorite entertainments.
If you've got time for a little fun, go here for some short videos from famous food movies, thanks to Leson's item on the James Beard award nominees.
Which was your favorite? (I'm going to have to rent Babette's Feast, I haven't seen it in years.)

Wednesday Entertainment

Andrew Sullivan, often the source for the found YouTubes on this site, calls these mental health breaks.

Also, it breaks up the page.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

'C' Word the New 'N' Word?

Ran across this odd bit of politically incorrect trivia from Canada's National Post a while back and still don't know what to make of it.
Of course, I lead a sheltered life these days.
In short, the new way to note a black person's race without coming right out and saying it is to call him or her Canadian.
It showed up in an email referring to the unlikely presence of "Canadians" on a Texas jury which included several black people.
It was reported by Fox News.
It shows up in an online directory of racial slurs. It's a matter of discussion among black people in the Southeast.
And linguists have taken note.
A University of Kansas linguist said that a waitress friend reported that "fellow workers used to use a name for inner-city families that were known to not leave a tip: Canadians. ‘Hey, we have a table of Canadians.... They're all yours.' "

Stefan Dollinger, a postdoctoral fellow in linguistics at University of British Columbia and director of the university's Canadian English lab, speculated that the slur reflects a sense of Canadians as the other.

"This ‘code' word, is the replacement of a no-longer tolerated label for one outsider group, with, from the U.S. view, another outsider group: Canadians. It could have been terms for Mexicans, Latinos etc. but this would have been too obvious," he said. "What's left? Right, the guys to the north."

Story of Stuff, Chapter Two

A long time ago, I recommended the 20-minute environmentally correct video, Story of Stuff.
Now Olivia Zaleski at Huffington Post adds to the lore with her Top Ten List of Useless Crapola.
They include the useful and attractive Banana Holder and the colorful Banana Guard. Who knew bananas were endangered?
What would be on your list?

Superdelegates? Maybe Not

Hmm, something may be going on.
Two different bloggers at Daily Kos caught two different Democratic leaders saying...well, it's hard to judge just what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was saying in Las Vegas. He was mostly monosyllabic. Curt, even. You decide.

Question: Do you still think the Democratic race can be resolved before the convention?

Reid: Easy.
Q: How is that?

Reid: It will be done.
Q: It just will?
Reid: Yep.
Q: Magically?

Reid: No, it will be done. I had a conversation with Governor Dean (Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean) today. Things are being done.

That's all the Nevada Democrat would say about it.

But Maria Cantwell was pretty clear in an interview at The Columbian. It'll be over in June and it won't be superdelegates who decide. And she doesn't seem above switching sides.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, one of Washington’s 17 Democratic superdelegates, isn’t ready to shift her allegiance from Sen. Hillary Clinton to Sen. Barack Obama — yet.

But in an interview with The Columbian’s editorial board Monday, she said the candidate with the most pledged delegates at the end of the primary season in late June will have the strongest claim to the party’s presidential nomination.

“I definitely don’t want the superdelegates to be the deciding factor,” she said.

The Democratic party should come together around the candidate with the most delegates, the most states and the largest popular vote, Cantwell said. The pledged delegate count will be the most important factor, she said, because that is the basis of the nominating process.

Obama leads Clinton in pledged delegates, in the popular vote and in the number of state primaries and caucuses won.

Most political observers say the party’s rules of proportionality mean Clinton has virtually no chance of overtaking Obama in the pledged delegate count in the 10 primaries that remain.

Clinton argues that she has won more of the big industrial states that Democrats must take to win in November and has momentum on her side.

Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., both endorsed Clinton several months ago.

Cantwell said she wouldn’t object to a primary contest that went into the summer if it focused on the issues facing the nation, but added, “We wouldn’t want to tear apart the party.”

“I think it’s important that we let it play out in June,” she said. At that point, she said, “I’d be urging my party to make a decision.”

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Surge Is Working. Or Is It?

Two women reporters in Iraq, working for one of the most credible news organizations in the U.S., are just out with this:

Is 'success' of U.S. surge in Iraq about to unravel?
By Leila Fadel and Nancy A. Youssef | McClatchy Newspapers
BAGHDAD — A cease-fire critical to the improved security situation in Iraq appeared to unravel Monday when a militia loyal to radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al Sadr began shutting down neighborhoods in west Baghdad and issuing demands of the central government.

Simultaneously, in the strategic southern port city of Basra, where Sadr's Mahdi militia is in control, the Iraqi government launched a crackdown in the face of warnings by Sadr's followers that they'll fight government forces if any Sadrists are detained. By 1 a.m. Arab satellite news channels reported clashes between the Mahdi Army and police in Basra.

To be fair, AP covered this pretty well, too, tied it to the possibility of escalating violence, but not the surge issue itself, which it definitely is.
I now know more than I knew before about Iraq politics. But I wish I didn't.

Remember the Clinton Years?

How many of us do, really? I can't recite much of it. Even if I was paying attention, which I often wasn't, the memory hole is deep and loaded with stuff.
So now that there's another Clinton campaign, based partly on reminding us how good things were back in the 90s, it's good to look at the reality behind the reality.
Like this:

"An agreement between the Clinton administration and congressional Republicans, reached during all-night negotiations which concluded in the early hours of October 22, sets the stage for passage of the most sweeping banking deregulation bill in American history, lifting virtually all restraints on the operation of the giant monopolies which dominate the financial system."

"The proposed Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 would do away with restrictions on the integration of banking, insurance and stock trading imposed by the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, one of the central pillars of Roosevelt's New Deal."

Not like it was prescient or anything. Closing paragraph:
And there is a much more recent experience than 1929 to serve as a cautionary tale. A financial deregulation bill was passed in the early 1980s under the Reagan administration, lifting many restrictions on the activities of savings and loan associations, which had previously been limited primarily to the home-loan market. The result was an orgy of speculation, profiteering and outright plundering of assets, culminating in collapse and the biggest financial bailout in US history, costing the federal government more than $500 billion. The repetition of such events in the much larger banking and securities markets would be beyond the scope of any federal bailout.

The source of the above is a 1999 article on the World Socialist Web. Don't be put off by the source. It's a clear-eyed look reflected in much of the commentary I've seen on mainstream news sites since this whole debacle began.

I Stanch the Fire Hose For You

One of the Washington Post's writers assigned himself the self-punishing task of watching all the TV pundits all the time for 24 hours. He writes about it here.

Money quote:
There's a colorful analogy for living in an age of information overload. When I couldn't remember it, I went to Google and typed in "analogy" and "information overload." Twenty-six hundredths of a second later, after combing through the published thoughts of millions of people, the search engine served up a 6,100-page hierarchy of Web hits sorted by frequency of recent usage. And there it was, second from the top:

"Information overload is like drinking from a fire hose."

As I say over to the right, it's what I'm here for, so you don't have to.

But check out the story, it gives a pretty good picture of what you're missing by being normal.

Oh, wait.

Who is Michael Savage, and can there possibly be more than a handful of feebs who tune him in?

I check. Michael Savage is the third-most popular syndicated radio host in the country. He has 10 million listeners, which is more people than read the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, combined.

Bush's War: From PBS to You. Tonight.

I always check David Bianculli's blog to see what I might want to watch. Bush's War, 9 p.m. tonight, PBS.

Just the Pill for Winning Elections

Next: Organs on Demand? Er, Updated

They're "printing" out blood vessels now.
A tissue-engineering group has succeeded in creating functional blood vessels and cardiac tissue, using a 'printer' that dispenses cells instead of ink.


UPDATE: I had this up on my screen for more than an hour, forgot to click the publish button and when I came back to it, I read it as Orgasms on Demand. Now there's an idea.
If you hear of anything like that, let me know.

Oh, wait.
(Goes looking for YouTube of Woody Allen's orgasmatron, which apparently no longer exists. But finds Dr. Orgasmatron here.

And there's always Barbarella. But Vadim was no Woody Allen.

From Paris, With Love

I have decided I cannot live without the New York Times.
Paris bureau chief Elaine Sciolino writes with charm and humor today of the eight lessons learned in France as she prepares to change assignments. I think, how could they?

For French women, being sexy has nothing to do with age and everything to do with attitude. Arielle Dombasle, the actress and cabaret singer married to the philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, dared to expose her breasts on the cover of Paris Match and took off her clothes in a song-and-dance revue at Crazy Horse in Paris. Some people feel she tries too hard. But give the lady some credit. She’s turning 50 and has a Barbie-doll body.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Iraq War: A Primer

In case you have trouble keeping it all straight, here's a 30-minute video from our Canadian friends. Not the sort of thing 60 Minutes is likely to do.

Killer quote:
"They believed it. That's what's really frighteing." Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker

Big Brother

is watching you. Yes, you.
Here's the inside dope on so-called fusion centers from the folks who know it well, the ACLU.
By the way, Washington staters, ours is in Olympia.

Endangered No More

Ah, those pesky Beltway reporters and their obvious bias.
Today, Juliet Eilporin of the Washington Post tells us something none of us will be surprised to hear. The Bush administration is gutting the Endangered Species Act.

Money quote:
...his administration has placed 59 domestic species on the endangered list, almost the exact number that his father listed during each of his four years in office.

Hits a bit close to home:
And some species have vanished. The Lake Sammamish kokanee, a landlocked sockeye salmon, went extinct in 2001 after being denied an emergency listing, and genetically pure Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits disappeared last year after Interior declined to protect critical habitat for the species.

Oh, yeah. There's a petition.
And here's the Web site for the whole environmental network, they have LOTS of petitions.
You're welcome. That's what I'm here for.

Too Weird To Let Pass This Sunday

On a quiet Sunday morning in June, as worshippers settled into the pews at Allen Baptist Church in southwestern Michigan, Pastor Jason Burrick grabbed his cell phone and dialed 911. When a dispatcher answered, the preacher said a former congregant was in the sanctuary. "And we need to, um, have her out A.S.A.P."
Half an hour later, 71-year-old Karolyn Caskey, a church member for nearly 50 years who had taught Sunday school and regularly donated 10 percent of her pension, was led out by a state trooper and a county sheriff's officer. One held her purse and Bible. The other put her in handcuffs.
The charge was trespassing, but Caskey's real offense, in her pastor's view, was spiritual. Several months earlier, when she had questioned his authority, he'd charged her with spreading "a spirit of cancer and discord" and expelled her from the congregation. "I've been shunned," she said.

Her story reflects a growing movement among some conservative Protestant pastors to bring back church discipline, an ancient practice in which suspected sinners are privately
confronted and then publicly castigated and excommunicated if they refuse to repent.

Here's the link to the rest of it.

Obama's Speech on Race

Andrew Sullivan agrees with another blogger that this essay may be the best opinion so far expressed. It seems to have something to do with truth.
So I pass it along, it's short, and you may have to register.

It's All Eliot Spitzer's Fault

that I started paying more attention to what's going on in the economy.
Update below
Oh, I had been reading the excellent analysis by two of Daily Kos' best bloggers, Bonddad and Jerome a Paris, for a year and their warnings helped me protect the tiny little bit of money I had. When the Singapore market went crazy last year, I plunked all my money in a safe fund. When I rolled over that IRA, I put it in Treasuries.
But though the gloom-and-doom warnings cast a cloud over my mood, my formerly optimistic outlook on life, I didn't really pay close attention.
As the noise increased for more regulation, I agreed because I am a good progressive.
Then came Spitzer's downfall and second guessers in the 'spere began to grumble that maybe he was "got," punishment for his in-your-face attack on the Bush administration, that blamed it for the subprime mess.
One of the most prominent grumblers was Greg Palast, a bit of a wild man journalist whose views get pumped by some progressives, but mostly by himself.
Spitzer's op-ed in the Washington Post just happened to be published at the same time he was in D.C. with Ms. Dupre.
I read Palast's take on that, I heard from a friend who heard him on the radio. Some bloggers picked it up.
But so did the former Comptroller of the Currency under both Clinton and Bush, who said Spitzer was either sorely misinformed or politically motivated since he didn't seem to understand the financial system very well, nor the regulatory environment.
So, I started reading more.
Paul Krugman's got a nice, short summary today.
But even though it's longer, I highly recommend another New York Times piece
that filled in many of the blanks for me.
As for Eliot, I sort of suspect that the feds had some political motivation. Why not take down a rising Democratic star if you can, especially one who's plagued not only your Wall Street friends, but the Republican power structure in New York state?
But I don't really think his subprime rant was the reason.
(I should note that at least one article I read explained that Spitzer's crusade against financial industry wrongdoers often resulted in crushing the innocent who didn't have the resources to fight and instead settled. The story, which I have lost the link to, also noted that the settlements Spitzer got went into state coffers and not into victims' pockets. So he may not have been such a hero after all.)
Update 8:23 a.m.
There's another, much longer story in the New York Times that I'm trying to read. Here's the link, but you may not be able to bear it.
One quote so far stands out, because I remember hearing this months ago, repeating it to a friend with far more financial savvy than I have, and being dismissed. "They don't really understand what they've done," I said. "Oh, they understand," she assured me.

Even the people running Wall Street firms didn’t really understand what they were buying and selling, says Byron Wien, a 40-year veteran of the stock market who is now the chief investment strategist of Pequot Capital, a hedge fund.

“These are ordinary folks who know a spreadsheet, but they are not steeped in the sophistication of these kind of models,” Mr. Wien says. “You put a lot of equations in front of them with little Greek letters on their sides, and they won’t know what they’re looking at.”