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Plot

Posted by Ogged
on 05.28.15

Very nice interactive quiz/explanation from the Times about the relationship between parental income and college attendance. Draw your line and I'll show you mine (it was pretty wrong).



 

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Developers

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.28.15

Are developers generally assholes? Heebieville is plagued by out-of-state developers who are rich enough to get city council to let them build incredibly ill-conceived apartment complexes (ie, environmentally sensitive zones, flood plains, and so on), which are also built super-shittily (they start sinking, they flood, every possible corner has been cut). Students apparently want to live in brand new apartments, and so they fill up, the developer sells the complex off and wipes their hands of the whole affair. Then the students move on to the next new complex and the town is stuck with another shitty, poorly made, ill-planned, flood-prone environmentally destructive apartment complex. (The floods this past weekend were much worse because of these complexes being built on what had been flood plains, and so these were now concrete, raised planes and all the water rolled right off into neighborhoods.)

Our post office and govenment offices used to be housed right downtown. Apparently there is an out-of-state developer who specifically specializes in flipping post offices and government buildings, because there is substantial regulations and paperwork around these things. So the developer came in, navigated the regulations, got the post office moved to a cheaper part of town, and flipped the valuable space into a bunch of chain stores.

It's infuriating to watch these sorts of decisions get influenced by massive outside money. Yes, we can organize and be activists, but all that is a PITA - can't they just stop aggressively wrecking our city?



 

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Balls

Posted by Ogged
on 05.27.15

Read to the end. LaCour is going to brazen it out and this will not end will for him. Hard to fathom what he's thinking.



 

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Development

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.27.15

At what age would a kid start to reveal procrastination tendencies? I'm not at all worried about Hawaii, and the others are far too young to worry about. This was just idle musing, trying to recall my own childhood.

I don't think I exactly procrastinated in middle school, because my horizon on tasks didn't work that way yet - I either did the task or forgot entirely that it existed. When I had to be reminded several times, I think I just procrastinated a minute or two until I genuinely forgot. But maybe that's a younger stage that I'm remembering.

I have concrete memories of procrastinating on papers and things in high school. And of generally dragging my feet and being a pain in the ass about chores around the house. It's hard to remember specifics, though.

(Also: I know it's developmentally normal for kids to tell lies, but I was not prepared for the sheer quantity of nearly nonstop lying every time it suits their purposes. Wow, kids, your pants are long incinerated.)



 

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Bar Review

Posted by Stanley
on 05.27.15

I've been working occasionally as a bartender in the last few weeks. I tended bar previously in my mid-twenties at a music venue, and now I'm at more of an undergrad hangout. Mostly, I feel old.

One weird thing I've noticed: a lot of people ask for drink recommendations. Almost without exception these are newly-of-age folks, who are still figuring out what drinks they like at bars.

And I usually ask what kind of liquor they like. I might ask: sour, sweet, bitter? Coke, Sprite, Ginger Ale, or fruit juice preference (from OJ, pineapple, cranberry, lime, and lemon)? And sometimes I ask their favorite drink and just make a newfangled version of that drink.

It's weird to me because, thinking back to my undergrad days, I never remember asking the bartender to make a specific recommendation. Blandings and Jackmormon once took me to a bar in Brooklyn where making up drinks on-the-spot was explicitly A Thing That Bar Did. But I can't really recall ever walking up to the bar and saying, "I want a mixed drink, but I don't know what to get."



 

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Pranks, Pranks A Lot

Posted by Stanley
on 05.26.15

In case you were wondering, you can apparently order 72,000 ladybugs off the internet:

Several students at a St. Mary's County high school have been charged with burglary after a senior prank where they allegedly released tens of thousands of ladybugs across their school.

Senior pranks are in a weird space: viewed often with admiration, albeit with a sort of "tsk-tsk" wave of the finger. But they can also lead to serious criminal charges, as in this case.

During my time in high school, a neighboring school's seniors released into the school tens of thousands of crickets (bought from a bait shop slowly over the course of months and stored in someone's crawl space). Years later, you could be walking around that school and still see a random cricket hanging out beneath the lockers. And people definitely recount the cricket prank in a positive way, despite all the hassle and clean-up it required.

At my own school, there was a possibly apocryphal tale of students who years ago released three pigs into the school, with the pigs labeled #1, #2, and #4. That prank is definitely thought highly of, because hardy-har they spent an extra hour (or whatever) trying to find #3!

Anyway, in this Maryland case, my first thought was, were they actually ladybugs or Asian lady beetles, which are non-native to the region and annoying in a stinkbug sort of way.



 

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Rain

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.25.15

100% chance of heavy thunderstorms today. I have zero concern for our own personal lot, despite the dramatic photos, but I have a sick feeling in my stomach about the town, and the poor part of town around the Blanco river. (Not necessarily because of fears of more flooding from today's rain, just the scale of the destruction from the weekend.)



 

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Circumcision

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.25.15

Two parents agreed to get their son circumsized, in a legal document filed in court. Then the mom changed her mind. Then (it sounds like) the mom became the poster child for Intact America, and it became a four-year legal battle, culminating in the mother spending a week in jail for contempt of court.

In a remarkable turnaround after a week behind bars for contempt and an initial hearing in which she was ordered to remain jailed, court reconvened and a sobbing Heather Hironimus signed paperwork giving approval for the 4-year-old boy's surgery.

Zow. As long as everyone is thinking about the kid.

Via Jammies



 

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No You Are

Posted by Ogged
on 05.24.15

Anyone following the LaCour academic fraud story? Kieran Healy has a summary here, and the accusing pdf is here. I read the first third or so and thought it seemed like a very damning case, and was just waiting for LaCour to slink away/get fired/die, especially since the accusing paper includes a bit abour LaCour confessing something to his co-author Green. But that's not what's happening.

I will supply a definitive response on or before May 29, 2015. I appreciate your patience, as I gather evidence and relevant information, since I only became aware of the allegations about my work on the evening of May 19, 2015, when the not peer-reviewed comments in "Irregularities in LaCour (2014)," were posted publicly online.

I must note, however, that despite what many have printed, Science has not published a retraction of my article with Professor Green. Science Editor McNutt was provided information as to why I stand by the findings in LaCour & Green (2014). I've requested that if Science editor McNutt publishes Professor's Green's retraction request, she publish my statement with it.

Someone is going to come out of this looking worse than we expected.



 

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Astroturf to the Future!

Posted by Stanley
on 05.24.15

People in California are installing fake grass lawns made of plastic.

Today's fake grass, they say, is nothing like the preternaturally green stuff that used to carpet the local miniature golf course.

The venerable Hollywood Bowl, one of the nation's most iconic amphitheaters, recently made the switch. Mark Ladd, the venue's assistant director of operations, notes that the fake greenery looks authentic: The height and color of the blades are varied, with a few brown ones thrown in to emulate dead thatch.

"Nobody has a truly perfect lawn," Ladd said. "The old stuff would look really kitschy."

On the one hand, hey, it's better than water-guzzling real grass.

On the other hand, you have got to be fucking kidding me.



 

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