Thursday, February 23, 2012

Advice Illustrated

Letter 1 is from a jealous husband. Prudie tells him not to be jealous. He's really pathetic.

Video is from a woman who works in an office next to a belcher. Prudie says to get all those indisposed by the belcher to gang up and go see the boss. I don't believe this: she can hear a belch from another office (with a wall, not a partition, between them), and hear it over the sound of music? And dozens of others who one would expect don't share a wall with him also are so disturbed? FAKE.

Letter 2 is from a woman who was mildly abusive to her son, and is now disappointed that he isn't as loving as she would like. You damaged your child and your relationship, and apologizing now, however sincerely, just can't make him love you the way you think he should. I'd say you need to work on being a great grandmother, even if that means taking some long car trips to spend more time with his family.

Letter 3 is from someone who works for a large company she'll soon be leaving. Before she leaves she has to write an evaluation of a less-than-stellar assistant on a short-term contract, one that would allow him to stay on after. He's struggling to make ends meet as he supports his siblings. Should she lie and help him keep his job? She doesn't care at all about the company. I say: You may have just been a terrible boss. Companies don't care much about the feelings of their employees so I wouldn't worry too much about hurting the firm. If he's really hopeless, he'll be fired soon enough with or without your letter.

Letter 4 is cacapoopoo. LW works at home and is incommodée par her cleaning lady who shits a big smelly poo before leaving, every single time. Should she tell her to hold it? Prudie says: Are you crazy? I agree. Install a portapotty in the backyard and tell her it's the servants' loo.

Monday, February 20, 2012

French educational TV claims you can identify a person's personality by looking at their hair under a microscope

France has a lame version of Mythbusters called "On n'est pas que des cobayes" (We're not just guinea pigs), broadcast on educational public TV network France 5.

You can watch it (in French) for a few more days here:

Hélène Clauderer, an "expert" from a company called the Centre Clauderer, is brought in with her microscope to tell us which of the three hosts has the strongest hair. She also explains that you can tell the personality of people by the structure of their hair.

She's asked: "Is is true that with a person's hair you can tell their characteristics?"
She answers: "Yes, but first I have to show how the microscope works."

She examines the hair of the first host and says: "We see you have an excellent diet. We can also see that you're very emotional. You speak your mind, and quickly."
The host asks: "How can you see that?"
Reply: "In the structure of the hair. That's it."

About the next host: "Vincent has a hair that would be great for pulling a car. You are very determined. When you decide to do something, you really do it."

The last host is healthy but "is very stressed".


OMG n'importe quoi ! Quand France 5 fait l'apologie de la pseudoscience dans une émission scientifique

Lors de l'émission du 17 février de la pâle copie de Mythbusters proposée par France 5 (On n'est pas que des cobayes), la question du jour c'est "Peut-on tirer une voiture avec des cheveux?". 
(attention : l'émission sera disponsible encore quelques jours seulement)
Hélène Clauderer, "experte" du centre Clauderer, utilise un microscope pour nous dire lequel des trois animateurs auraient les cheveux les plus résistants. En passant elle explique que l'on peut comprendre la personnalité des personnes à travers leurs cheveux. (!?!)

On lui demande : "C'est vrai qu'avec le cheveu, vous pouvez avoir les vraies caractéristiques d'une personne ?"
Elle répond : "Oui, mais d'abord il faut que je vous montre comment ça [le microscope] marche."

En visionnant les cheveux de l'animatrice, elle dit : "On voit que vous avez une excellente hygiène alimentaire. On voit aussi que vous êtes très émotive. Elle dit ce qu'elle a envie de dire, et elle le dit très vite."
L'animatrice demande : "Comment vous pouvez voir ça ?"
Réponse : "Dans la structure du cheveu. Voilà."

A l'animateur suivant : "Vincent a un cheveu qui marchera très très bien à la traction. Vous être très déterminé. Quand vous décidez que vous voulez faire quelque chose, vous le faîtes vraiment."

Du dernier : "David est sain, mais un très grand stressé."

Promouvoir une pseudoscience tellement ridicule (et sans rapport avec la question posée, mais présentée comme un acquis) sur une émission de vulgarisation de la science est inacceptable. Et sur une chaîne publique, prétendue éducative, c'est un scandale. Honte à cette émission, à cette chaîne, et à France Télévisions !

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Advice Illustrated

Letter 1 is from an adult guy who is in love with and living with his fraternal brother. Tell the family or keep hiding the truth? Prudie recommends a middle ground. I have nothing better.

I have already spoken to the video letter. STFU. You're the proprietor and are not supposed to be tipped at all, so stop bitching about the non-tipper who regularly brings in a crowd of tippers.

Letter 2 is from a dumpy woman recently hired by a firm that has been accused of discrimination because the men-only managers only hire babes as underlings. Clients note she's not a babe. Prudie tells her to get over it, and in any case, to not show that she's hurt or offended. I agree.

Letter 3 is from a woman whose mother has given her new dog the name of LW's daughter (what's with "Lilly" with two Ls?). She asks: “Should I just let it go?” Yes. Prudie says to ask her to change the dog's name. Prudie's response about Adult Children of Dog Lovers reminded me of this David Sedaris story:

Letter 4 is from a woman with the most wonderful BF in the world. He's a Felix Unger and she is just a bit on the Oscar Madison side of Felix Unger. She is anxious every time he comes home lest a throw pillow be a few degrees askew. Prudie says: “Here’s a way for the place to look untouched when your boyfriend returns. After you see him off, get your suitcase, pack your things, and move out. If you aren’t ready to do that, before he comes home, forget the checklists and just live your life. When he returns, if he rages, threatens, or gives you the silent treatment, accept that his good qualities do not outweigh that he’s a bully who will make your life a misery. Imagine his reaction to the chaos a child might cause.” I can only agree.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Advice Illustrated

The crepes were great. First time making galettes, also great. Thanks to BF for being such a great host!

Today's a vagina Day special! What? That's not what V-Day stands for?

Letter 1 is from a woman who is finally making the father of her children an honest man. The problem is that while they look fantastic on their own, when ever they are in close proximity, they turn ugly. Or something equally stupid. She refused to have photos at their engagement party, and now is refusing to have them at the wedding. The ugly groom's future MIL is upset.
I say: get over yourself and get those pictures.
Prudie goes Star Trek on us and talks about Klingons and Romulans breeding. We do know that Vulcans and Humans can breed (Sarek + Amanda, Trip + T'mpax...), as well as Humans and Klingons (B'elanna Torres, that feisty engineer on Voyager). But I don't recall Klingons and Romulans getting it on.

I can't play the video letter here. It doesn't show up. A Chrome thing. So I'm gonna make something up. "Dear Prudence, It's almost Valentine's Day, and I just know my BF of three months is going to give me flowers. The thing is, I'm horribly allergic to roses, and I'm just sure he's going to get me roses. Those are the classic romantic flowers, right? So what do I do? If I tell him no roses, it will sound presumptious. If I tell him no flowers, it's even worse. But if I come within three feet of the things, I curl up and die. Signed, Roses Are Guns" "Dear Rosie the Epipenner: Accept the flowers, and if they're roses, die."

Letter 2 is from a woman so old she can feel her ovaries cracking. She's about to marry some guy she's known for less time than a mid-series replacement sitcom. Everyone she knows thinks she's moving too fast, needs to make the morning last now, etc.
Prudie should disqualify herself, as she discloses that she married after knowing her husband for four years (but as we also know, he was a marriage-tested commodity, being a widower and all). Prudie writes: "I love reading the New York Times wedding announcements, and it’s not unusual for people to recount that after the first date they knew they had found the one.” Can you spot the logical fallacy? Is there a New York Times divorce announcement page where people splitting up also recount that after their first day they thought they had found the one? In any case, she recommends waiting at least a year before getting engaged.
As for me, it sounds like a hostage/abuse situation, especially if this relationship is breaking up her existing relationships (“former best friend”????). Given my warning bells going off, I'm saying: dump him.

Letter 3 is from a victim of Farhad Manjoo, who followed his advice to check his “other messages” on Facebook, where he found a message from the wife of his fiancée's colleague, claiming that fiancée had an affair with colleague. LW is not too worried about the affair (before his time), but is concerned that the wife will be making trouble for fiancée. Should he tell her?
Prudie says: “If your fiancee did not have an affair with her co-worker, she should know that his paranoid wife thinks she did. If she did have the affair, she should know that his vindictive wife is out there spreading word of it.” I agree.

Letter 4 is from a person whose new GF has just started working again in a job that pays much less well than her previous position. Can LW help her out financially?
My answer: No! You can make sure that you relieve her of financial responsibility for all the extras (dinner, movies, vacation...). Prudie agrees.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Advice Illustrated

It's Groundhog Day in the U.S. of A, and la Chandeleur (Candlemas) here, where the tradition is to make crepes. We're having a crepe party tonight!

Letter 1 is from a recently wed older woman who was hoping for an active child-free retirement with her new hubby. Alas, hubby is saddled with raising his teenage granddaughter. LW wants to fob the teen off on the mother (her step-daughter) who abandoned her so many years ago so that she can enjoy her comfy life without soccer practice.
I say: first, it's for just a couple more years (teen is 16, so she'll be an adult in 2 years, presumably off to college since she's doing well in school). Second, if you can't deal, divorce. Your husband has been this child's grandfather far longer than he's been your spouse. Yes, you are a wicked step-grandma.
Prudie agrees.

Video letter is from a woman whose mother won't shut up.Prudie wonders if this is new behavior, which can represent an illness, dementia, etc. Get her checked out. I agree.

Letter 2 is from a woman who had a stillbirth a few months ago. It was hard to get pregnant (she's 40) so it's a great loss. She has a problem with one of her friends: 'one of them in particular took the lead in sending word out and checking on me. “Ashley” has two kids and one on the way. She is a good friend, but some things she says are hurtful, such as: "I'm so much more blessed than you." Or she’ll call and chatter about how her daughter is giving her a hard time, then say she pities me because I don’t have children. Recently she asked if I was having the worst winter of my life. I responded that it wasn't the best, to which she said she was having a great winter.' LW asks how to deal with this.

I say, dump her. She's no good for you. This isn't a friendship.
Prudie says to tell her off and put her on probation, and to contact a support group.

Letter 3 is from a person whose brother and his wife haven't consummated their marriage. There are all sorts of issues, and he doesn't listen to the kind advice and suggestions he's received from the men in the family. I say, if he doesn't listen to advice, what are you supposed to do? Lock them in a room together? Tie her up so he can ravish her? It's not really your business. I'm voting annulment.
Prudie wants INTERVENTIONS. And a referral to Christian sex therapists. Huh?

Letter 4 is from a woman who wants to get back the quilt she made for her husband's late grandmother. The deceased's daughter and granddaughter think it should go to them. LW thinks this wish is more about spiting her than any love for this memento. Hubby doesn't want to take sides.
I say: he needs to take sides. Let it go to the mother, or if not, to him. He certainly has as much claim (more really) than his sister. But if he doesn't, let it go. Prudie's advice is probably wiser.