You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations, by Michael Ian Black

Before I read this memoir, You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations, I’d never heard of the author Michael Ian Black. After reading it, I still know little about his career, because he barely mentions what he does. Black was on a comedy show on MTV in the early 1990s and he’s been a TV and movie writer and actor most of his adult life. The reason I read You’re Not Doing It Right is because Ruben Bolling strongly recommended it on a recent episode of Gweek (Gweek 055, with Rainn Wilson).

Ruben and I are both fans of Little Little and Uncle Scrooge, so I figured if he liked this book, so would I. And I was right! You’re Not Doing It Right starts out as a sarcastically funny memoir of Black’s life as a young, horny pick-up artist with a terrible track record. But as it goes on, it becomes a much darker and revealing confession of a middle-aged man struggling with his marriage, his family life, and his painful insecurities.

Black is brave to write openly about the inner goings-on of his marriage counseling sessions. I’m surprised his wife was OK with him being public about their troubled relationship. His two chapters on the misery of caring for newborn babies (“I Hate My Baby” and “Baby Jail”) were refreshing and I completely related to his experiences of having no sleep yet being responsible for tending to a perpetually screaming, shitting infant for months on end. Taking care of little babies is hideous, and I’m thankful every day that my kids are out of diapers.

If you’re looking for an inspirational book about marriage and parenthood, look elsewhere — this is heavy stuff. But if you’re in the mood for a dose of messy reality mixed with dark humor, Black delivers.

You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations


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Bike Zambia to fight HIV/AIDS

My friends at Bike Zambia have been working for months to raise both funds and awareness for local HIV/AIDS prevention with their 300-mile cross-country bike ride from the capital of Lusaka to Victoria Falls.

I assume BB readers are well-informed on how the disease still ravages parts of sub-Saharan Africa, even if the urgency has faded in the Western press.  The numbers in Zambia are particularly shocking: one in 7 adults is HIV-positive. Life expectancy at birth is among the lowest on earth, with most reputable sources currently placing it at under 50 (and some as low as 39). Nearly half of the population is now under the age of 15. Without education and prevention, this next generation may face even greater trouble.

Bike Zambia’s goal isn’t just to raise cash, although that’s neat. The ride has already raised awareness among Zambians themselves about condoms, testing, antivirals, and local wellness programs, done sustainably with locally sourced bikes and active local participation.  This should save lives even aside from any funds raised—and Bike Zambia has already cleared their goal of $150,000, which is probably even more than it sounds like in a country where the per capita income is about $4/day.

The riders arrived at Victoria Falls yesterday, but you can still chip in here.

 


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Russia’s nuclear sledgehammers


Russia’s nuclear missile bunkers reportedly come standard-issue with a sledgehammer whose designated purpose is smashing open the safe containing the launch-codes, should the combination not work:

The sledgehammer’s existence first came to light in 1980, when a group of inspecting officers from the General Staff visiting Strategic Missile Forces headquarters asked General Georgy Novikov what he would do if he received a missile launch order but the safe containing the launch codes failed to open.

Novikov said he would “knock off the safe’s lock with the sledgehammer” he kept nearby, the spokesman said.

Russian Missile Forces Have ‘Safe Busting’ Sledgehammer

(via Super Punch)


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Custody, images at stake in Cruise-Holmes divorce

FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2006 file photo released by Rogers and Cowan, actor Tom Cruise and actress Katie Holmes pose in their wedding attire at the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle overlooking Lake Bracciano outside of Rome. Cruise and Homes are calling it quits after five years of marriage. Holmes' attorney Jonathan Wolfe said Friday June 29, 2012 that the couple is divorcing, but called it a private matter for the family. (AP Photo/Robert Evans, File)When Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes first got together, he jumped on a couch, she gushed girlishly, and many of their fans said, "Huh?"

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Weird but true

She paid the price for tattling on traffic cops.
Houston resident Natalie Plummer was arrested for holding up a sign alerting drivers to a speed trap, and did 12 hours in jail.
Police hit her with the obscure charge of standing in the street where there’s a sidewalk present…

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Custody, images at stage in Cruise-Holmes divorce

FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2006 file photo released by Rogers and Cowan, actor Tom Cruise and actress Katie Holmes pose in their wedding attire at the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle overlooking Lake Bracciano outside of Rome. Cruise and Homes are calling it quits after five years of marriage. Holmes' attorney Jonathan Wolfe said Friday June 29, 2012 that the couple is divorcing, but called it a private matter for the family. (AP Photo/Robert Evans, File)When Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes first got together, he jumped on a couch, she gushed girlishly, and many of their fans said, "Huh?"

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Chimpanzee testing era ends at controversial US lab

Photo: Shutterstock

Washington Post science writer Brian Vastag reports on the story of the last four chimps that remain at a controversial research facility in Maryland. Bioqual has been experimenting on chimpanzees for 30 years. Soon, that era will end, as part of “a historic shift away from using apes in medical experiments.”

On Monday morning, a truck hauled six chimps from Bioqual. Last week, five others were removed. The last four, including Tiffany and Torian, will depart later this summer.

They are returning to where they were born — the much larger New Iberia Research Center, part of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette — where they will be available for more research before they’re retired — someday — to a sanctuary.

“This is another indication that chimpanzee research is on the decline,” said Kathleen Conlee of the Humane Society of the United States, which has painted Bioqual’s chimp research as unethical.

While about 1,000 research chimps live in the United States — down from 1,500 in 1997 — a landmark report from the influential Institute of Medicine (IOM) last December labeled nearly all chimpanzee research as scientifically unjustified.

Read the rest here. And, watch this previously-Boinged May 2012 PBS NewsHour piece on the ethics of chimp research, and the facility where the “retiring” Bioqual chimps will go to live out their remaining days.


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Mates of State: "I am a scientist," from pro-girls-in-science compilation "Science Fair" (music video)

[video link] A cool cover of the Guided By Voices song “I am a Scientist,” performed by Mates of State on the “Science Fair” benefit compilation support girls in science. Dir.: Lindsay Van Dyke.

Science Fair features new and exclusive music from Mates of State, Laura Veirs, Moona Luna (Pistolera’s kids’ music incarnation), Elizabeth Mitchell, Frances England and many more. Themed around and benefiting science and engineering education for girls, with an emphasis on foundational education needed to get into science fields when they grow up, Science Fair will be part of advancing the efforts both through the message of the record and through the financial contributions it will generate.

Record comes out July 3. $3 from each album sale is donated to Girls Inc. in support of girl’s science education programs.

(Thanks, dpamac)


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Classic pro-science-careers music video PSA: Chemical Party

[Video link]

From 2008, hence the hinky aspect ratio. The EU wasn’t always so terrible at promoting science careers through funny internet music videos! (thanks, Guido)


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Now *that’s* a "girls in science" video: "The Longest Time," by the Barber Lab Quartet

[Video Link] Miles O’Brien points me to this cute musical video written and performed by young female scientists at the Barber Lab. The video was discussed on a recent email thread of scientists debating the (lack of) merit of this EU PSA.

Commenters: before you say anything mean about the fact that their homemade Billy Joel cover ditty is a little off-key here and there, or the rhymes a little dorky… that’s the point. These women are actual researchers, who care passionately about the subject of their research, and they’re sharing that in an authentic way with the world.

Unlike this shit.

From the video intro:

The Coral Triangle is one of the most threatened, yet understudied, ecosystems in the world. We are working to understand the processes creating and maintaining biological diversity in this region, while building the capacity of researchers and students to contribute to local conservation efforts. Terima kasih Pak Ngurah Mahardika dan Indonesia untuk menyambut kami! For more information please visit www.IBRCBali.org, or contact us at barberlabquartet@gmail.com.


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