Match the reader comment with the victim

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Feb. 6 2008 12:43 PM

A Super Tuesday Quiz

Match the reader comment with the victim

What do we like to see in the Fray? Today (it may well change by tomorrow) we have decided on good questions, mysterious phrases that might apply to anyone, and cheap jibes. So here are some sample lines: we have mixed Super Tuesday with a couple of other current topics--can you tell what each  post refers to?

1) All I can say is, he's very sexy for a drunken 50-year old.

2) The election ….was often a buzzard's banquet of…bribes, threats and promises to the electors.

3) At this point the only fresh air we can expect is currently in the void between Mitt's ears.  

4) You can't beat Somebody with Nobody.

3) And now [that you've posted in the Fray], They have your IP address. You'll probably just have time to get your affairs in order before the helicopters arrive.

6) Who is "the one person in politics today who can reunite the Republican coalition?"

7) See what happens when voters choose so-called charisma over a real program.

8) If someone were named 'Satan' they would likely also not be [chosen].


1)     French President Nicolas Sarkozy. SandyHook's post, here. La Duchesse (see no. 7), on the other hand, thinks his behavior "unspeakably vulgar."

2)     Historical elections in Europe, according to jack cerf,  here. What the US system was set up to avoid.

3)     Self explanatory. Cheap Jibe category, from Middleview here .

4)     The current Republican primaries, but not completely clear who is who: we just like the aphoristic sound of it. Written by The Slasher14, here

5)     Reply by Thewolf05827 to post on McCain and Conservatism that might be described as slightly paranoid. Helpful addition from the true conservative: "I can hear the rotors spinning now!"

6)     Hillary Clinton, according to JLF.

7)     Nicolas Sarkozy, in the opinion of Duchesse de Guermantes here.

8)     To work in his father's firm, Tundrayeti says. Nothing to do with elections.

If you got them all right, you need a detox from politics, or a job on the Fray. …MR 5:30 pm GMT

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"I immediately felt ill and almost depressed, like I should commit suicide." Heath Ledger's untimely death or perhaps even the announced withdrawal of John Edwards from the Democratic presidential primaries might seem like the most plausible occasions for such a dramatic statement to be uttered in Slate's Spectator Fray. 


On its face, the precipitating event was far more mundane: "the horrifying light" emitted from a compact fluorescent light bulb, or CFL, purchased by nerdnam on a recent trip to Home Depot.

Ron Rosenbaum's ode to the soon-to-be-extinct incandescent bulb elicited strong reactions from readers. Indeed, the sentimental attachment we have to the most common of objects can make their disappearance or alteration feel like a profound disruption to the order of things.

Is it all irrational, a reflexive clinging to the familiar? Some of the arguments against CFLs appear to be quite practical. Fitzpatrick expresses frustration with the time needed to reach full illumination, knickname with their limited use in certain fixtures, zahniser7 with imprecise wattage equivalents. Chris_O dislikes their incompatibility with dimmer switches.

After a year "of straining my eyes to read a book, of holding letters over my head to get enough light to read by," darwinite ends an ill-fated experiment with energy-efficient lighting and further vows to "stockpile incandescent bulbs before the ban."

But there also seemed to be a deeper strain of conspiracy theory running through some of the Fray postings. The supposed environmental urgency behind the compulsory adoption of CFLs amounts to a campaign of "fluorescent fear-mongering … on a scale that would impress Rudy Giuliani," quipsstrive. OIFVet might also count himself in the mildly paranoid camp, characterizing the push for these "science lab lights" as "a movement by folks who have invested in the new technology and prey on the conscience of the American people."

viral considers the current CFL mania as a political case study in why reform always fails, as our misguided fixation on a small detail (light bulbs) obscures the aims of a much broader social goal (energy conservation).

The color-rendering index provides some scientific basis for qualifying the "hospitalesque hue" of fluorescents as inferior. timrichardson explains: "A CRI of 100 shows colors like natural light: incandescents are basically CRI 100…fluorescent lamps do not produce the spectrum of visible light in the even distribution of the sun, or a glowing filament." 

Tann upbraids Rosenbaum for his misplaced sentimentality and resistance to change: