Re: The Reminiscence Bump

1

With the second child, the aging process accelerates.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
2

I think you can tell great stories about parents and children, which is why all these mommy memoirs and mommy blogs are popular. Thing is, whenever anyone tries to put stories of families on the screen, they try to make the show something that the whole family watches together, and stuff like that is very hard to write. Worse, when you write for the whole family, you have to exclude the aspects of parenting that parents don't like to share with their children (like, "you sap my will to live" and "sometimes I think having children was the biggest mistake of my life.")

So all the good parents of toddler stories get stashed away in books, which are mostly read by middle aged women, where the scandalous content will stay with those who can handle it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:12 AM
horizontal rule
3

Perhaps.

There's no music about being a parent, though, either. Unless it's basically a love song.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
4

Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson is a pretty great read, along the lines of 2. Light and funny and by the horror stories Shirley Jackson.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:17 AM
horizontal rule
5

Mojo Nixon has a song called "I'm Living with a Three-Foot Anti-Christ."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
6

Elvis is Everywhere.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
7

3:

I do love My Daughter by Loudon Wainright.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:20 AM
horizontal rule
8

Good examples! Remind me again when those were on American Top 40?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:21 AM
horizontal rule
9

There's no music about being a parent, though, either. Unless it's basically a love song.

Oh yes there is!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:24 AM
horizontal rule
10

See! 9 is Not Found. I'm right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:25 AM
horizontal rule
11

Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle" reached #1.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:28 AM
horizontal rule
12

Twice.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:30 AM
horizontal rule
13

There must be tens of popular parenting songs!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:31 AM
horizontal rule
14

Kooks is a lovely song a about being a parent.

I'm sure I can think of other pop song examples and, of course, there are lots of folky songs about parenting.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:32 AM
horizontal rule
15

Michael Jackson denies paternity in "Billie Jean". Does that count?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:32 AM
horizontal rule
16

What about Tears in Heaven? That was a pretty huge hit.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:34 AM
horizontal rule
17

I'm chalking all this up to the collective urge to be contrarian, as well as sharing beloved rare songs that others might enjoy. Because no one here can possibly be making a case that this adds up in any real sense.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:34 AM
horizontal rule
18

All of the explanations in the 2nd paragraph of the OP seem biological.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:36 AM
horizontal rule
19

14: "Kooks" is in fact the *very best* song about being a parent!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:38 AM
horizontal rule
20

The short trip from "no songs" to "no hit songs" to "nananananaIcanthearyou" is unfogged in miniature. Or maybe an unfogged snow globe. Just shake it and watch the tiny arguments fall from the sky. It's beautiful in its own way.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:40 AM
horizontal rule
21

18: As opposed to living independently as an adult in your teens and having kids in your early 20s? That shift seems biological to you?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:40 AM
horizontal rule
22

The short trip from "no songs" to "no hit songs" to "nananananaIcanthearyou" is unfogged in miniature.

"No songs" was me deliberately provoking the (predictable) onslaught. I am the puppet-master.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:41 AM
horizontal rule
23

22: I feel standpiped.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:42 AM
horizontal rule
24

Either that, or "I am the puppet-master" is the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:44 AM
horizontal rule
25

Okay, let's unpack this! My point was that 80% of what happens here is people trolling one another or trying to figure out the limits of an argument. The other 20% is like this comment: getting meta about the nature of the 80%.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:47 AM
horizontal rule
26

Don't fool yourself, Heebs. We're all just dancing for weiner.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:48 AM
horizontal rule
27

I couldn't tell if being standpiped meant you had over-explained or I had.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:50 AM
horizontal rule
28

Actually, I've got the ratios wrong. It's more like 80% trolling, 5% meta commentary on the trolling, 14% lamenting the death of the glorious cock joke era, and 1% teo saying substantive things.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:50 AM
horizontal rule
29

I have such an urge to go behind the scenes and tinker with the percents in 28 so that they don't add up to 100, and then watch how many people correct VW.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
30

30: ogged, the master troll, would have done it! Which is why the glorious cock joke era was so great, and this era sucks.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:53 AM
horizontal rule
31

30 to 30. Meta, man.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:53 AM
horizontal rule
32

The age of cock jokes was all about reporting quantities at over 100%?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
33

I'm sorry you don't understand the math. It's because you're a woman, so not your fault.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:57 AM
horizontal rule
34

Okay, I'm off to swim. No, seriously, I'm going to try limping around in a pool.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:58 AM
horizontal rule
35

3: Does "I am my own grandpa" count?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:01 AM
horizontal rule
36

It's like the un-funny joke about why Jewish women can't parallel park: because all their life they've been told that this ([hold hands ~4 inches apart]) is 8 inches.

(But why would that affect your parallel parking? It's not like mis-estimating the actual number of inches between you and the next car would affect how you turned the wheel....And other reasons Heebie was a total buzzkill when she was told this joke.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
37

It's why Subway recruits Jewish sandwich makers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
38

I am pretty sure you don't have to have children to experience this effect. In your 20s, things happen for the first time a lot, so you remember them. As you get older, even things that used to be exciting are now a bit played out. I am not sure where the discovery in this is except that the article does that thing I hate by replacing the word "people" with "brains" and suddenly the commonplace is brand new.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:11 AM
horizontal rule
39

||

Why was a constitutional amendment necessary to change inauguration day to January 20th? I had assumed March 4th was written into the original constitution, but it's only in the 18th Amendment as the deadline for the House to choose a president if the Electoral College fails, and that doesn't happen anymore. Surely we could have just passed a law and chanced that very occasionally the day could have been pushed back.

Same with that amendment's change to the Congressional swearing-in dare. The constitution may say Congress has to meet every year on the first Monday in December, but I don't see where it says that session has to last three months.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:30 AM
horizontal rule
40

I am pretty sure I was exceedingly careful in the OP not to imply that every person went on to have kids.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:30 AM
horizontal rule
41

Other songs about parenting:

My favorite Talib Kwali song is a parenting song -- and is great. (Link to the .mp3 here; mp3 links in my archive are intentionally broken right now).

Hammel on Trial has an album Songs for Parents Who Enjoy Drugs. The opening track is good.

Suzanne Vega has a couple of songs on Nine Objects Of Desire about being a parent, for example "World Before Columbus."

"St Judy's Comet" by Paul Simon.

I'll think of more.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
42

This post is working out well, heebie. Good job!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
43

Anyone else notice that uppercase Von Wafer seems to be less of an asshole?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
44

Or seemed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
45

Okay, let's unpack this! My point was that 80% of what happens here is people trolling one another or trying to figure out the limits of an argument.

Hey, trolling and figuring out the limits of an argument are very different!

"Pink and Blue" is an excellent song that is kinda sorta about being a parent [somehow I just wrote "parrot"; it's not about being a parrot], but, I guess, not really, except in the chorus—in which John Darnielle reveals that he hasn't the foggiest about what neonates eat.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:07 PM
horizontal rule
46

For "chorus" read "second verse" above, I guess.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:07 PM
horizontal rule
47

There's the lovely Walter Becker song, "Little Kawai" which is almost Steely Dan being soppy -- but I cannot find it on youtube anywhere.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
48

"Beat on the Brat."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
49

"Beat on the Brat."

I thought that was about a younger sibling rather than a child, but I haven't listened to it in a while.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
50

The lyrics are massively indeterminate about the context.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
51

How did I forget -- "Thumbalina" by the Pretenders. One of my favorite songs from Learning To Crawl.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:33 PM
horizontal rule
52

Hey, trolling and figuring out the limits of an argument are very different!

That's why I said "or" rather than "and".


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
53

Also, swimming still sucks.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
54

See how nice uppercase VW is?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:42 PM
horizontal rule
55

Jews can't swim. Except for Mark Spitz.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:43 PM
horizontal rule
56

Jews don't need to swim.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:44 PM
horizontal rule
57

56 comments in and no one's mentioned Mother's Little Helper yet?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
58

56: Not if Moses is there.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:48 PM
horizontal rule
59

This stuff about the 20s doesn't ring true for me, but maybe it's because I spent 7 years of them in grad school. I don't remember much except reading little dorritt.


Posted by: Miranda | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
60

Maybe Moses is usually depicted holding a staff while he parts the sea because he has a permanent limp.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:54 PM
horizontal rule
61

58: thank you for making that explicit.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 12:56 PM
horizontal rule
62

1% teo saying substantive things

Aw, thanks, although to be fair I'm not the only one who sometimes says substantive things. The percentage does seem about right.

And on that note, when I posted this article on FB I noted it as an example of science journalism done well. I'd be interested to hear from those with more knowledge of psychology whether this research is actually as important as the article implies or if, as heebie and AWB seem to be saying, there's not actually anything novel or meaningful here.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 1:30 PM
horizontal rule
63

56: Thank you for making that explicit. Also Jesus.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 1:30 PM
horizontal rule
64

7 reminded me that Loudon Wainwright wainwrote a song called "Rufus is a Tit Man" and I thought I'd look up the lyrics and they are a nauseating mix of cutesy and TMI.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 1:40 PM
horizontal rule
65

Some of the very worst songwriting I can easily think of involves parents and children! "Teach Your Children Well" and the first part of "The Greatest Love of All" make me not like music anymore. I mean seriously it does not get worse than this:

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be...


I think this had to be written by a Vogon. There is no other explanation.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 1:50 PM
horizontal rule
66

Seeing as how Rufus turned out, God probably hated that song, too.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 1:57 PM
horizontal rule
67

The chits came for his jigging, bluet-eyed,
Hands without touch yet touching poignantly,
Leaving no room upon his cloudy knee,
Prophetic joint, for its diviner young.
The return to social nature, once begun,
Anabasis or slump, ascent or chute,
Involved him in midwifery so dense
His cabin counted as phylactery,
Then place of vexing palankeens, then haunt
Of children nibbling at the sugared void,
Infants yet eminently old, then dome
And halidom for the unbraided femes,
Green crammers of the green fruits of the world,
Bidders and biders for its ecstasies,
True daughters both of Crispin and his clay.
All this with many mulctings of the man,
Effective colonizer sharply stopped
In the door-yard by his own capacious bloom.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 2:26 PM
horizontal rule
68

65 is putting awful things in my head. Stop it, Smearcase. Time to listen to "Kooks" to drive it away.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 2:33 PM
horizontal rule
69

38 As you get older, even things that used to be exciting are now a bit played out.

I was thinking the other day about how excited I was seven years ago or so, the first time I got invited to a conference overseas. Now it's like "oh, shit, another long flight? is it worth it?"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
70

Hunky Dory in general is kind of awesome. I haven't listened to it in a long time.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 2:36 PM
horizontal rule
71

I believe the children are our future

It's always amused me a lot that someone wrote "are our" instead of "are the".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 3:12 PM
horizontal rule
72

Two good parenting songs:

Memo To My Son by Randy Newman

Maybe you can't talk none either
Maybe you never will

Wear Clean Draws by The Coup

This for you and the woman that you finna be
Tell that boy he's wrong
Girls are strong
Next time at show and tell play him our song
Tell your teacher I said princesses are evil
How they got all they money was they killed people

oh now I'm a little verklempt, hadn't listened to that one in a while.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 5:15 PM
horizontal rule
73

There's a David Bromberg (autobiographical?) song about watching your kid go to jail and feeling like a really shitty parent.
Aha.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 5:25 PM
horizontal rule
74

There is of course Cat Stevens, Father and Son. Now, I fear that Smearcase will have a coronary at the very thought, but hey: I love that song, m'kay? I also thought he was hott. Way.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 5:44 PM
horizontal rule
75

In the end, everybody figured out Cat Stevens was just too horrible to be allowed to continue making music. He had to change his name and switch to a different style.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 5:55 PM
horizontal rule
76

I actually didn't realize that Stevens relaunched his musical career as Yusuf. I'm trying to figure out if any of it's any good.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:07 PM
horizontal rule
77

I think there's a contrarian case to be made for "Greatest Love of All.". Certainly it's in the top 3 songs of the past 25 or so years for "everyone remembers the lyrics and music" which has gotta mean something.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:11 PM
horizontal rule
78

Probably the Macarena is also in that list.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:13 PM
horizontal rule
79

Also I'm surprised that none of you assholes has mentioned the worst band of all time, They Might Be Giants, who suck to the extreme but who you fuckfaces seem to like.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:13 PM
horizontal rule
80

"Greatest Love of All"? By who? Whom? Am I supposed to know that song without googling it?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:16 PM
horizontal rule
81

I like that they recorded an album saying "The sun is a mass of incandescent gas" and another correcting that to plasma.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:16 PM
horizontal rule
82

In the end, everybody figured out Cat Stevens was just too horrible

Aw, I'm inordinately fond of Cat Stevens. I think my dad must have been on a Cat Stevens kick at the appropriate time for it to have sunk in during my childhood as pleasant-lazy-Saturday-music.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:16 PM
horizontal rule
83

79: I never really understood the appeal, but I don't actively dislike them.

80: What planet are you from?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:17 PM
horizontal rule
84

Probably the Macarena is also in that list.

The lyrics? All I'm coming up with is "mumble-mumble-mumble do the Macarena, hey Macarena."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
85

Everclear has some parenting songs that are not always happy.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:20 PM
horizontal rule
86

84: Knowing "Hey, macerena" counts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:22 PM
horizontal rule
87

83.2: What planet are you from?

The same one as I, apparently.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:24 PM
horizontal rule
88

87: Everyone knows the song if not the title of the song.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:25 PM
horizontal rule
89

It was before my time, but I'm amused by the physics version of the Macarena (scroll down).


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:27 PM
horizontal rule
90

88: What, this Whitney Houston song which is not familiar to me nor to the other two people in the room with me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:31 PM
horizontal rule
91

88: Yep. It's funny, my first thought at 77 had been: you mean Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You"? (Maybe I just don't know the actual title.) It turns out that is actually a different song. In any case, she had a terrific voice.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
92

I used to loathe TMBG until I found out it's the least awful of the kids' music that Jammies adores downloading and playing. Why the fuck must we download any kids' music? Beats me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:43 PM
horizontal rule
93

Raffi's gotta eat.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 6:45 PM
horizontal rule
94

Why the fuck must we download any kids' music?

I've always liked this quote from an old interview with Dan Zanes that is more or less on point:

I know parents who go down to Tower Records, go to the children's section, find a bunch of Barney CDs and the latest Disney junk, throw up their hands, go home and get the Beatles records out. Now, as great as the Beatles are, I don't know why a two-year-old needs to have his whole musical experience so intertwined with themes of romantic love. That just doesn't cut it for a kid. I think there's a place for music specifically for kids, music that introduces them to the mysteries of life, the natural world. It's all there in traditional children's music. I wanted to update that in some way and write some new tunes, too.

Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
95

As you get older, even things that used to be exciting are now a bit played out.

Except for sex. Sometimes I still think "ZOMG I can't believe I get to do this!" Not all the time, but some of the time.


Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 7:14 PM
horizontal rule
96

According to this thread, most music is intertwined with themes of raising toddlers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 7:14 PM
horizontal rule
97

Not all the time, but some of the time.

The cops at the mall get you?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 7:19 PM
horizontal rule
98

this Whitney Houston song which is not familiar to me nor to the other two people in the room with me

Were you living in a cave in 1986? Because I can't imagine how you could have escaped it. Wikipedia:

Houston's version reached number one on the Hot 100 chart for three weeks in 1986. The single was the fourth hit (and third #1) from her debut album. To date, this song was her second longest stay atop this chart, behind 1992's "I Will Always Love You." The song also reached number one on both component charts, the Hot 100 Singles Sales and the Hot 100 Airplay, her second consecutive release to do so, and stayed for 14 weeks inside the top 40. On other Billboard charts, Houston also performed well, reaching number three on the R&B chart. The song topped the adult contemporary chart for five weeks, Houston's longest stay at the top of that chart at the time.[6] The song ranked #11 on Billboard's year end pop singles chart.[7] Houston's single fared well globally as well, reaching #8 in the United Kingdom and the top ten or #1 in several other European countries. It became her first #1 single in Australia. After her death, the single returned to the Billboard Hot 100, debuting at number 41.[8] The song has sold over 2 million copies worldwide.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 7:24 PM
horizontal rule
99

I mean, it's a terrible song, but Christ almighty, it was ubiquitous for *years*.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 7:26 PM
horizontal rule
100

92: "Kid's music" is almost always terrible. I was thinking that I have managed to own no TMBG but realized that I do have their cover of Cub's "New York City" (which my son loves, due, perhaps, to hometown pride, and which turns out to have been on a kid mix I posted here once upon a time).


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 7:28 PM
horizontal rule
101

99 gets it right. I can't imagine having escaped hearing it.

I hope I'll remember my 30s better than my 20s as my 30s were a lot better than my 20s.

|| Gochujang on french fries: not bad! (Not enough ketchup packets. Squeeze bottle of gochujang in the fridge.) |>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 7:36 PM
horizontal rule
102

Huh. Yeah, I had definitely never heard it before either.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 7:43 PM
horizontal rule
103

Not that anyone's going to be surprised by that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 7:43 PM
horizontal rule
104

I grew up without hearing "The Greatest Love of All".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 7:58 PM
horizontal rule
105

I'm sure I heard it in a grocery store or something. But I have no remembrance of it whatsoever. And I was in fact almost completely detached from popular music through most of the '80s.

But I was similarly gobsmacked to learn that nosflow was not familiar with CSN&Y's version of "Woodstock." Although I hope I did not come across quite as obnoxiously incredulous as 98 & 99.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:00 PM
horizontal rule
106

I've never heard that song either.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:04 PM
horizontal rule
107

Or, more cautiously, I have no memory of it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:04 PM
horizontal rule
108

In fact, I knew there was a song called "The Greatest Love Of All", by Whitney Houston, since I was constantly reading music magazines and books, and had no doubt heard it at some point, but upon checking it out a couple years ago I had no memory of the melody or words and reacted by thinking "This is the same melody as "If You Could Read My Mind" by Gordon Lightfoot".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:06 PM
horizontal rule
109

Sorry if I was obnoxious. I just felt like I was bludgeoned by the damn song for the better part of a decade or so, and I was also pretty actively avoiding popular music during that period. Honestly, I'm jealous.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:08 PM
horizontal rule
110

I was also kind of surprised that a number of folks here had not heard of it, but am equally surprised by the "2 million copies worldwide" figure from 98, which I think is not actually that many sales for 1986, particularly given my perception of its ubiquity.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:15 PM
horizontal rule
111

Being ten or so years younger than you, that's how I feel about Bryan Adams's "Have You Ever Really, Really Really Ever Loved A Woman". With both songs it's possible that people just got SO sick of it that it legitimately disappeared entirely from the airwaves, unlike many contemporary songs.

Looking at the #1 hits of 1986 I can categorize them mostly as either "Have heard a hundred times" or "(blank stare)". The former category includes "Rock Me Amadeus", "True Colors", and Whitney Houston's other song "How Will I Know", and the latter category includes the Michael McDonald/Patti LaBelle duet, the Peter Cetera/Amy Grant duet, and "Sara" by Starship.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:16 PM
horizontal rule
112

Well, those are single numbers. The album it was on has sold >25 million copies.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:18 PM
horizontal rule
113

I'm sure I heard it in a grocery store or something.

That seems unavoidable.

My age bracket puts me in the place where it was a fixture of elementary-school talent shows and whatnot. Plus radio, all the time. I guess if one was a popular-music-avoiding young adult one could mostly go without hearing it, but grocery stores are pretty much inevitable.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:21 PM
horizontal rule
114

109: I was probably more defensive than you were obnoxious.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:27 PM
horizontal rule
115

I guess if one was a popular-music-avoiding young adult one could mostly go without hearing it, but grocery stores are pretty much inevitable.

I seem to have avoided it pretty easily as a toddler.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:29 PM
horizontal rule
116

115: You aren't that much younger than I am. How did you not hear this in school?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:42 PM
horizontal rule
117

I heard the song a lot, and I wasn't listening to pop music much in 1986. What's more surprising to me is that folks have avoided the song in the years since.

I heard 'The End' (which has a children angle) blaring from the PA at a chairlift today, and one of 20 something the ticket checker guys was singing along.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:44 PM
horizontal rule
118

I heard 'The End' (which has a children angle)

The part about riding the snake?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:47 PM
horizontal rule
119

LET THE FUCKING ARCHIVES REMIND US HOW WE USED TO BE


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:48 PM
horizontal rule
120

116: I guess I am just younger enough that it was no longer in style. I really was a literal toddler when it came out.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:48 PM
horizontal rule
121

I second 95 as opinionated me. Also cool: naked together, and/or reading at the dinner table, and/or with sex in the offing and butter in the potatoes.

I could have gotten more out of my 20s and hurt myself less but only with more self-discipline than I have now, which seems unlikely, so hey, good enough.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:48 PM
horizontal rule
122

Sex in the offing I can guess, but Urban Dictionary doesn't have anything for butter in the potatoes.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:52 PM
horizontal rule
123

Doors or Beatles? And who is 117?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:55 PM
horizontal rule
124

123 -- Me, dammit. Commenting from the wife's laptop, since I'm apparently banned from posting from my phone.

Doors.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 8:58 PM
horizontal rule
125

I was also a popular-music-avoiding kid and I feel like I've heard this song about a billion times. There was a period where we listened to the Weekly Top 40 on the drive from our town to the one 30 minutes north that had a temple for Sunday school, but that was over by 1986.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:07 PM
horizontal rule
126

I really was a literal toddler when it came out.

Your thinking has grown much more symbolic in the intervening years.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:08 PM
horizontal rule
127

Hitting refresh saved me a pwning there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:09 PM
horizontal rule
128

Whitney literally believed Teo was our future.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:12 PM
horizontal rule
129

The linked article in the OP was interesting, by which I mean it flattered my preconceived notions, especially the stuff about narrative. My memory is absolutely awful, which makes a lot of sense from that perspective; I can't tell any story that's not a boring decline-and-fall cliche, since I feel like my twenties were mostly wasted (unlike my thirties thus far, which have been almost entirely wasted).


Posted by: X.Trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:16 PM
horizontal rule
130

teo is our future. At some point we'll have to beg him to return from his Alaskan exile and restore civilization to its old glory.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:23 PM
horizontal rule
131

No, he'll return of his own accord when our greatest need is upon us.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:24 PM
horizontal rule
132

124: Try again, Charley.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:28 PM
horizontal rule
133

130, 131: Only if I don't get addicted to chess and heroin and end up mysteriously shot to death in a rundown apartment.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:32 PM
horizontal rule
134

Yes, I suppose you are at risk of that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:33 PM
horizontal rule
135

I also believe that I paid little attention to pop music until junior year of high school hit - that was the year I started going to dances and receiving mixtapes from a very mainstream friend, and the first year the school bus driver played the Adult Top 40.

Seconding Cryptic Ned's 111, Bryan Adams was ubiquitous in the first two sources; Everything I Do (I Do It for You) played for my first slow dance.

Tonight I believe that Whitney Houston was also ubiquitous in public settings then, but I can be awfully suggestible - that may say more about this thread than about the facts on the ground in the 1990s in upstate New York.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:34 PM
horizontal rule
136

What is 133 a reference to?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:36 PM
horizontal rule
137

Bryan Adams Summer of '69 played for my first slow dance. It took a few years before somebody cared enough to tell me that you were supposed to match the type of music with the type of dancing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:36 PM
horizontal rule
138

That seems like a stretch, Mobes.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:36 PM
horizontal rule
139

My first slow dance was Foreigner's "Waiting for a Girl Like You".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:38 PM
horizontal rule
140

I haven't been able to justify this by listening - I wind up listening for rhetoric instead of content - but I always had the impression that Eminem had radio hits that talked about parenthood, though admittedly he most often dwelt on separation, danger, and angst.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:38 PM
horizontal rule
141

Because each of us has had our own pop culture experiences, I will list the most overplayed songs of my childhood, by my own definition of "overplayed" and "childhood". If anyone was born in the US c.1983 and is not closely familiar with these songs, somehow we led very different lives.

Bette Midler, "Wing Beneath My Wings" / "From A Distance"
Paula Abdul, "Straight Up" / "Cold Hearted"
Michael Jackson, "The Way You Make Me Feel" / "Smooth Criminal" / "Heal The World" / "Remember The Time"
Bryan Adams, "Everything I Do I Do It For You" / "Have You Ever Really Really Really Ever Loved A Woman"
The Beach Boys, "Kokomo"
Poison, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn"
Whitesnake, "Here I Go Again"
Aerosmith, "Janie's Got A Gun" / "Love in an Elevator" / "Livin' on a Prayer" / "Amazing" / "Cryin'"
Guns N' Roses, "Paradise City" / "Welcome to the Jungle" / "Sweet Child O' Mine"
Bon Jovi, "Livin' on a Prayer" / "Wanted Dead or Alive"
Robert Palmer, "Simply Irresistible" / "Addicted To Love"
Madonna, "Vogue" / "Express Yourself"
Michael Bolton, "Love Is A Wonderful Thing" / "When a Man Loves a Woman"
Don Henley, "The Boys of Summer"
The Escape Club, "Wild Wild West"
The Bangles, "Walk Like An Egyptian"
Wilson Phillips, "Hold On"
Taylor Dayne, "Tell It To My Heart"
Fine Young Cannibals, "She Drives Me Crazy"
UB40, "Red Red Wine"
Mike and the Mechanics, "The Living Years"
Cher, "If I Could Turn Back Time"
Phil Collins, "I Wish It Would Rain Down"
Richard Marx, "Right Here Waiting"
Amy Grant, "Baby Baby"
Billy Joel, "We Didn't Start The Fire"
Extreme, "More Than Words"
Mr. Big, "To Be With You"
EMF, "Unbelievable"
Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You"
Whitney Houston, "I Will Always Love You"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:40 PM
horizontal rule
142

To this day, I kill somebody every time I hear the song Kokomo.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:41 PM
horizontal rule
143

"Tell It To My Heart" might be a stretch, but my school bus driver's favorite radio station played it so much that it was possibly the first song I ever decided I hated purely because I was sick of it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:48 PM
horizontal rule
144

http://www.salon.com/2013/01/19/richard_marx_hates_my_guts/


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:48 PM
horizontal rule
145

With parents who stuck to the oldies until the "oldies station" mixed in too much disco, I have a sharp line between the easy listening singers - Midler, Houston, Adams, Marx, the unmentioned Save the Best for Last, et al. - and the pop and hair bands, many of whom I didn't recognize until this century.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:49 PM
horizontal rule
146

What is 133 a reference to?

A novel with a relevant premise.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:52 PM
horizontal rule
147

141 has about 95% overlap with the list I imagine I would come up with if I thought about it for a long time. It would take me a while to dredge up all those memories, though recognizing them is easier than thinking of them in the first place.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:55 PM
horizontal rule
148

Boy, I find the original article annoying, except for the mention of people who lived through the formation of Bangladesh as adults. What about people whose families and careers are formed by 20? How about people who are independent by then, no matter what happens later? What about immigrants and refugees who re-form in adulthood? Do all cultures have narrative self-creation? Argh.

In the Great Depression, universal high school and the teen-ager were invented, and I feel like we're doing it again with universal college and the twentysomething. It's a wierd way of taking the purple wage, is what.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:55 PM
horizontal rule
149

It may be telling that I knew Weird Al's She Drives Like Crazy before I knew its original.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:56 PM
horizontal rule
150

I just looked at all the #1 singles and top 100 songs of each year. Except for "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" which came immediately to mind.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 9:56 PM
horizontal rule
151

you mean Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You"?

Sacrilege. That's Dolly Parton's song.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 10:01 PM
horizontal rule
152

||

Statistics bleg: suppose I have 6 data points and I'm trying to fit 2 parameters, and I want to draw contours of the 1, 2, and 3-sigma best fit curves in the plane of the 2 parameters based on the Delta chi^2 of the fit. Am I supposed to look up Delta chi^2 based on the 4 degrees of freedom (6 data - 2 parameters) or the 2 parameters? I feel dumb asking this.

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:02 PM
horizontal rule
153

How would either scale if you had much more data? My guess is degrees of freedom, but that's not worth much.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:11 PM
horizontal rule
154

133 is great.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:12 PM
horizontal rule
155

Thanks. Any thoughts on the Slate article?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:14 PM
horizontal rule
156

I'm too tired to think. I went with degrees of freedom and the referee says I did the wrong thing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:14 PM
horizontal rule
157

If the confidence bands get narrower with increasing DoF/parameters then the referee is wrong.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:22 PM
horizontal rule
158

Blume makes fun of me for not knowing "It's Too Late" by Carole King. I guess now you all can make fun of me for it now, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:26 PM
horizontal rule
159

"Something insiiiide has diiiied and..."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:32 PM
horizontal rule
160

Even I've heard that one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:35 PM
horizontal rule
161

(Though I did have to google it to check.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:35 PM
horizontal rule
162

I guess I should go to sleep and think through the chi-squared thing properly in the morning. The annoying thing is I only put that in my paper to illustrate a qualitative point and I don't really give a shit about where the contours are exactly. And this referee has already pissed me off by asking me to explain lots of standard stuff in the body of my paper to make it "self-contained". My response contains a lot of "No, I will not do that" and "This is not a review article".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:38 PM
horizontal rule
163

Here's your answer, essear.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:39 PM
horizontal rule
164

Then I have to respond to another referee who basically asked me to rewrite a paper to respond to new experimental data that came out between the time I wrote the paper and the time he got around to reviewing it. That one's gonna say nothing but "oh for fuck's sake", if I don't get some sleep.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:41 PM
horizontal rule
165

But I have to tell Mathematica where to draw the contour!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:47 PM
horizontal rule
166

It doesn't just tell you? Lame.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:48 PM
horizontal rule
167

I suspect the referee is right; in principle, I should be able to determine a region that fits the data best in, say, a 10-dimensional parameter space, even though 6-10 is negative and I can't talk about a chi-square with a negative number of degrees of freedom. Right? This stuff confuses me. I guess I could sort things out for myself by directly constructing some kind of likelihood and worrying about how to normalize it? Ugh. Sleep.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:54 PM
horizontal rule
168

I'm sure Moby will be around in the morning to sort this out.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:57 PM
horizontal rule
169

Or Cosma, if he's on deadline for something.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-13 11:58 PM
horizontal rule
170

I don't really give a shit about where the contours are exactly

Would this help?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 12:04 AM
horizontal rule
171

170: But what's the difference in the red and blue curves?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 12:09 AM
horizontal rule
172

I should fuck with the referee by removing all reference to sigmas and just writing "three contours of constant Delta chi^2 are displayed to illustrate typical experimental constraints".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 12:14 AM
horizontal rule
173

Couldn't you just take it out entirely?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 12:16 AM
horizontal rule
174

But it's a pretty picture.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 12:18 AM
horizontal rule
175

Fair enough.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 12:19 AM
horizontal rule
176

There's a hole in your shit-not-giving in 171, yesno? Use a wiggly-fying package on the contours and title it "Typical experimental constraints"?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 12:28 AM
horizontal rule
177

No, still not working. No big deal, I'll have my own laptop back from the shop tomorrow, and God knows what sort of access I'll have in Kamiah tomorrow night anyway.

(Here's the tl;dr on that link.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 12:59 AM
horizontal rule
178

177 -- Me.


Posted by: CC | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 1:10 AM
horizontal rule
179

That was pretty obvious, yeah.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 1:14 AM
horizontal rule
180

I usually haven't heard stuff - I probably still couldn't recognize Call Me, Maybe though I think I did listen to part of it finally - but I only had to hear maybe 5 notes to recognize "The Greatest Love of All" (though I never knew the title. It's one of the songs I'd hear start on the radio just before turning the radio off.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 1:17 AM
horizontal rule
181

I recognize the George Benson version too.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 1:20 AM
horizontal rule
182

I think of it as the children are the future song.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 1:23 AM
horizontal rule
183

Impressive that I'm seven years older than Cryptic Ned and his list feels dead on for me. I'm sure I could add some stuff on the earlier end -- "Solid as a Rock" maybe -- but that's a remarkable canon.

All you people who don't know "The Greatest Love of All," wow. I had to sing that in 6th grade for the 8th graders' graduation.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 1:39 AM
horizontal rule
184

NO MATTER WHAT THEY TAKE FROM ME THEY CAN'T TAKE AWAY MY VIRGINITY


Posted by: OPINIONATED ALL THE BOYS IN K-SKY'S 6TH GRADE CHORUS | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 1:40 AM
horizontal rule
185

Impressive that I'm seven years older than Cryptic Ned and his list feels dead on for me.

He seems to have been a pretty precocious kid, at least when it comes to popular music.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 1:42 AM
horizontal rule
186

I had a George Benson tape I listened to loads and loved that song, and was fairly disgusted when Whitney's version came out.

I had 3 children in my twenties. (The third two months before I turned thirty.) So what do I remember?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 2:02 AM
horizontal rule
187

The Cryptic Ned list is mostly okay, but there seem to be some notable omissions. Milli Vanilli, more Madonna, more Phil Collins, U2, Bon Jovi, George Michael, Technotronic -- based on the other stuff that's on there, these were all just as ubiquitous if we're assuming similar programming regimes in different parts of the country (which might be too much to assume, pre-Clear Channel, I don't know.)


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 3:41 AM
horizontal rule
188

I had 3 children in my twenties. [...] So what do I remember?

I'm going to guess just a big blur of poop and vomit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 5:06 AM
horizontal rule
189

Impressive that I'm seven years older than Cryptic Ned and his list feels dead on for me.

Me too, and it reads like a middle school dance playlist.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 7:07 AM
horizontal rule
190

Oh wait. Five years older.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 7:08 AM
horizontal rule
191

I think that the relative dearth of TV and movies about life with small children has to do in part with the difficulty of finding and maintaining child actors of the appropriate age. I'm always impressed when I see toddlers depicted in film or on TV just because I know it must have been an absolute nightmare wrangling them.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 7:19 AM
horizontal rule
192

Thus making "Mary Kate and Ashley's Pizza Party" an even more impressive artistic achievement.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 7:34 AM
horizontal rule
193

Kokomo makes me think of two funny things friends told me recently...

1) Professor friend #1's student asked him "what's that song from way back when? The one that goes like 'Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama... Way down in Ko-so-vooooo!'?"!

2) Professor friend #2, from South Bend, upon hearing this, reveals that for a long time she found the song confusing thought it was about Kokomo, Indiana.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 8:25 AM
horizontal rule
194

193 made me look up what it refers to. I knew Kokomo, Indiana made no sense, but had no other alternative referent and a near total lack of caring. But you piqued my curiosity.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 8:29 AM
horizontal rule
195

(The song I identify iconcally with slow dancing, which is to say with nagging doubts about my sexuality, was that "Take My Breath Away" song from I think Top Gun.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 8:35 AM
horizontal rule
196

Honestly, if I want to evoke the worst of adolescence, I need root around no further in memory than middle school dances. Guhhh.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 8:38 AM
horizontal rule
197

It occurs to me that the right way to resolve my statistical confusion above is by Monte Carlo.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 8:39 AM
horizontal rule
198

I actually have exceedingly fond memories of camp dances, which were middle school dances restricted to dorky G&T kids. Lots of dancing in a circle and rituals around songs like the Time Warp.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 8:45 AM
horizontal rule
199

The slow dance song I recall from high school is Chicago's "Colour My World".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 8:53 AM
horizontal rule
200

The referee is right.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 8:57 AM
horizontal rule
201

It's four degrees of freedom or I don't understand physics. Or both.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:07 AM
horizontal rule
202

The Kokomo song makes me think of -- was it The Editors? Why can't I find this parody? Tweety, help! The only line I remember is "Your bottom, fifth column, objectively pro-Saddam."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:11 AM
horizontal rule
203

Songs that I remember being sung at talent shows:

1. "Wind Beneath My Wings"
2. "From A Distance"
3. "A Whole New World"
4. "Can You Feel The Love Tonight"

That's about it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
204

There's no physics in this, just statistics. I have a model that predicts 6 quantities as a function of 2 parameters. The 6 quantities are measured with some error bars. I minimize the chi-squared to get an estimate of the 2 parameters. Then I want to know which Delta chi-squared contour around the minimum is the 68% (or 95%, etc) confidence contour. So I generated random data consistent with my estimate of the parameters with the experimental error bars and re-did the fit on my simulated data several thousand times. Turns out 68% of the data are within Delta chi^2 = 2.3 and 95% are within 6.2, and those correspond to the CDFs of the chi-square distribution with 2 d.o.f.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:13 AM
horizontal rule
205

I actually have exceedingly fond memories of camp dances, which were middle school dances restricted to dorky G&T kids. Lots of dancing in a circle and rituals around songs like the Time Warp.

I wasn't a gin and tonic kid, but my summer camps had dances and the big ritual was centered around "American Pie".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
206

It occurs to me that the right way to resolve my statistical confusion above is by Monte Carlo pistols at dawn.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
207

Erm . . . I remember "Cum on Feel the Noize" playing at a middle school dance.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
208

204: I was confused. I was thinking of a model with N = 6 for data points and two parameters, so you have four degrees of freedom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
209

@203

My childhood was blessedly free of talent shows.

We definitely got into doing the time warp though.

It occurs to me that group dancing has a lot going for relative to the standard paired dancing, especially for awkward middle schoolers. Traditional group dancing like square dancing and contra dancing has (at least among my cohort growing up) an irredeemably dorky stigma attached to it, so I suppose stuff like the time warp filled the gap.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:30 AM
horizontal rule
210

Songs that I remember being sung at talent shows:

I believe every single talent show or lip sync contest ever had (ostensibly) straight, popular boys in drag singing Arethra Franklin's "Natural Woman".

Eventually I've concluded that men and boys are dying to dress up in drag, and the size of the urge must be equal to the size of the policing against it, through Newton's Laws of Gender or something.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
211

I see you're splitting the difference between "Aretha" the original singer, and "Urethra" the drag version.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:37 AM
horizontal rule
212

210: I've seen, "I Am Woman" also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
213

camp dances, which were middle school dances restricted to dorky G&T kids

Ha ha ha! Yes, this. "Should I Stay or Should I Go", "Time Warp", and a shitload of Def Leppard and Loverboy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
214

I suppose you're all too young to have been masturbating to Michael Winner, too. Too late now.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:40 AM
horizontal rule
215

Eventually I've concluded that men and boys are dying to dress up in drag...

Which ties in with the curiously widespread popularity of Rocky Horror, so it's all connected.

the size of the urge must be equal to the size of the policing against it, through Newton's Laws of Gender or something.

Essear and Moby can cook up a model and do a statistical analysis for you.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
216

And Billy Idol-style sneering and fist pumping to "White Wedding" and "Dancing with Myself", the latter of which now seems way more topically appropriate than we realized at the time.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:43 AM
horizontal rule
217

How young do you have to be to not get the meaning of "Dancing with myself?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
218

"White Lines" was popular at middle school dances, ironically as it turned out after one kid left the scho when his dad's cocaine dealing empire collapsed.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
219

And pretty much the entire Rocky Horror Picture show soundtrack, somewhat weirdly popular both at camp (elementary school) and middle school. I'd probably heard "Sweet Transvestite" 30 times before I was totally sure what a transexual was. This wasn't gifted camp, though, just regular ass SoCal camp.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:55 AM
horizontal rule
220

204 and previous make this seem topical.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:56 AM
horizontal rule
221

Eventually I've concluded that men and boys are dying to dress up in drag, and the size of the urge must be equal to the size of the policing against it, through Newton's Laws of Gender or something.

Definitely correct. Just look at the Royal Marines.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:59 AM
horizontal rule
222

Did we already do a NMM to Steve Kramer (of The Wallets)? Not that "Totally Nude" fits into this rubric (or any other, in fact), but still sad. He was only 59.

Also overplayed: Tom Petty, Rush and that creepy stalker song from the Cherry 7-Up commercial.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
223

One girl who I managed to (chastely) slow dance with at summer camp ended up being White House Social Secretary and Deputy Manager of Obama's 2012 campaign.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
224

223: There's a very rude Laughing Gas joke in there, for sure.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 10:09 AM
horizontal rule
225

Also, how the hell did she get the wrong husband listed? That's weird. There are some weird people editing Wikipedia.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
226

204

I find this confusing. It seems like what you really want is for each (a,b) point in parameter space to compute assuming that point is the true point what the probability is you will observe a chi-squared value which is less than or equal to the experimental chi-squared value. Which you could do by simulation. It doesn't sound like what you are actually doing is the same thing.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 10:16 AM
horizontal rule
227

226: Yeah, I found this confusing too, but I think that's a different question. As far as I can tell the thing I did in 204 is what people do when they talk about setting a confidence interval using Delta chi^2, which is a thing that people do.

If I had my druthers I'd probably do some kind of Bayesian thing where I could actually talk about the probability of a given point in parameter space being true, because I have a better sense of what that means, even if it isn't objectively more well-justified.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 10:27 AM
horizontal rule
228

Oh wait. Five years older.

Okay, this along with the other thread, really makes me feel old. I hadn't remembered that you are (a couple) years younger than me (with 2.5 kids, tenure, married . . .).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 10:38 AM
horizontal rule
229

So as not to derail the "compared to our parents" thread, I'll ask this here. I recently read this:

If I had told you during the 2008 elections that American CO2 emissions at the end of Obama's first term would be down to 1992 levels, you would have dismissed me as a zombie-eyed O-bot.

Is this true? If so, why haven't I heard about it? It seems like sort of a big deal.

Maybe Obama deliberately downplayed as part of his general commitment to keeping the left as demoralized as possible?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
230

It's true, mostly due to a shift from coal to natural gas in terms of electricity generation. For the most part that can't really be laid at the door of administration policy directly, but it is a really big deal and in general Obama deserves more credit on enviro stuff (eg new fuel standards) than he's gotten.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 12:58 PM
horizontal rule
231

I guess I'd resigned myself to never hearing another encouraging piece of news re: the environment in my lifetime, so my initial response was disbelief.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 1:04 PM
horizontal rule
232

I'm skeptical of how encouraging "CO2 is down but kiss your drinking water goodbye" really is.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
233

If I had told you during the 2008 elections that American CO2 emissions at the end of Obama's first term would be down to 1992 levels, you would have dismissed me as a zombie-eyed O-bot.

I would have dismissed the notion that we could move that much manufacturing overseas in only 4 years.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
234

Well, there's that, too, though I personally think the benefits of ng vastly outweigh the costs.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
235

234 to 232.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 1:10 PM
horizontal rule
236

||
Has this been linked yet?
http://gawker.com/5977763/watch-michelle-obama-throw-world+historical-shade-at-john-boehner
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 2:18 PM
horizontal rule
237

236: As much as I'd love that, it looks like she's rolling her eyes at something Barry is saying!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 2:22 PM
horizontal rule
238

234: Agreed, and there's no particular reason fracking has to be as damaging as it currently is. AFAICT exactly zero effort has gone into making the process as clean as possible.

Natural gas is easily the best bet for reducing the carbon footprint of the US.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 2:26 PM
horizontal rule
239

It's worth noting that while US carbon emissions have indeed plummeted as a result of the gas boom, that's not all that meaningful in terms of climate change since world emissions continue to rise.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 2:28 PM
horizontal rule
240

@239

True. But if the US had done nothing to curb emissions, as we might have expected from a Mccain/Palin administration, that certainly would have made it a lot harder engage in any sort of negotiations with other countries to reduce theirs.

Not that any of this means that we're not all doomed, but I'm trying to think positive for some strange reason. Maybe it's a side effect of the Ravens stomping New England last night.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 2:33 PM
horizontal rule
241

240: Yeah, it definitely does put us in a better position for international negotiations, especially if we now have an administration that's serious about doing that, which I guess we might. Phasing out coal also has other advantages, of course, given all the other awful stuff in it besides carbon.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
242

Also, even in terms of US emissions it's only a good thing if we use the time to transition to something greener. Otherwise it's just adding to our total.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 2:36 PM
horizontal rule
243

Also, even in terms of US emissions it's only a good thing if we use the time to transition to something greener.

I guess, but gas is already "something greener" compared to coal (a low bar). Certainly even the lower emissions from the gas are going to continue to stick around, of course, so in the long term trying to transition to zero-carbon energy sources would be the goal. Just sticking with gas forever wouldn't be a very good outcome.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 2:40 PM
horizontal rule
244

By greener I meant carbon-neutral. It's obviously better in, say, mercury emissions.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 2:43 PM
horizontal rule
245

Fair enough, sure. Natural gas does have much lower carbon emissions than coal, but it is still a fossil fuel and does still have some carbon emissions.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 2:48 PM
horizontal rule
246

229 etc.: I just got this in the mail: https://secure.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=501

Haven't read it yet, but it echoes some other murmurings I've been hearing from the class-struggle/Platformist wing of the @ist movement. Frankly, I am going to take a lot of convincing on this one. The Pockylips seems pretty inevitable at this point, with Mr. Dead waiting around every corner.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 3:23 PM
horizontal rule
247

The second derivative of the problem has gone negative! Whee....


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 3:35 PM
horizontal rule
248

This entire thread, with the title and the songs, has elicited a Who earworm.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 3:37 PM
horizontal rule
249

I find it endlessly depressing that the only way carbon emissions have improved is essentially capitalist luck: that the oil drillers were all poised with the infrastructure and know-how to profit off fracking.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 3:42 PM
horizontal rule
250

James Wimberley is a reliably optimistic voice on the renewable-energy front.

I mean, I have no clue if what he says is accurate, but he makes the right sort of noises.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 3:53 PM
horizontal rule
251

243

... Just sticking with gas forever wouldn't be a very good outcome.

It isn't a possible outcome. And when the natural gas runs out all the coal will still be there.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 3:57 PM
horizontal rule
252

I hadn't remembered that you are (a couple) years younger than me (with 2.5 kids, tenure, married . . .).

I've joked elsewhere that if you restrict your sample to people in my math PhD program, I'm the one who got the blue-collar 40 hour a week job and started popping out babies.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 4:16 PM
horizontal rule
253

And when the natural gas runs out all the coal will still be there.

No matter what, the worst of the coal mines will have been retired, and they won't be pulled out of retirement.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 4:17 PM
horizontal rule
254

250

I mean, I have no clue if what he says is accurate, ...

I don't think it is accurate. Solar is currently well behind wind which he almost ignores.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 4:28 PM
horizontal rule
255

It isn't a possible outcome. And when the natural gas runs out all the coal will still be there.

Well, sure. The gas isn't going to run out any time soon, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 4:34 PM
horizontal rule
256

250: Eh, he could be right, but his projections rely on some assumptions that even he admits basically no one else agrees with. I wouldn't bet on it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 4:36 PM
horizontal rule
257

253

No matter what, the worst of the coal mines will have been retired, and they won't be pulled out of retirement.

Worst on what metric? With respect to worker safety the worst mines are generally small marginal operations. But they don't produce much coal. From a CO2 perspective the worst mines are the ones with large amounts of easily acessible coal like the strip mines in the Powder River Basin.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 4:40 PM
horizontal rule
258

I find it endlessly depressing that the only way carbon emissions have improved is essentially capitalist luck

Well, it's not the only way; emissions also dipped a bit during the recession when industrial production slowed down. I suppose you could attribute that the capitalist luck too, only in that case it was bad luck.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 4:42 PM
horizontal rule
259

US CO2 emissions are no longer that important compared to China.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 5:11 PM
horizontal rule
260

252: Should we factor into the other thread that my dad was you? Passed on a job in the DecadeCon city to take the more family-friendly one with the lower cost of living here since I was on the way.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 7:22 PM
horizontal rule
261

I finally read the article (I am a bad commenter) I am skeptical that there's anything that needs explaining. The data in question is described as showing, "a reminiscence bump between age 10 and age 30 (with a particular concentration of memories in the early 20s), and at any age, a vivid period of recency from the present waning back to the end of the reminiscence bump."

First of all, a 20-year period representing the transition from youth to adult is hardly a narrowly defined "bump." Secondly "particular concentration of memories in the early 20s" is lacking any kind of quantitative scale -- is that 5% above the rest of the "reminiscence bump" or 40%? Finally I would speculate that memories from that period are easier to date to specific ages. I have plenty of strong memories from my early thirties, but I would have to think for a while to decide when exactly they took place and might well say, "late 20s" if I wasn't making an effort. Whereas memories from high school or college are much easier to match to a given age.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 7:39 PM
horizontal rule
262

259 led me to look at recent population statistics. Did not realize how close India was to overtaking China (OK, 150 million or so less, but getting in the ballpark.)

A recent lament in the NYT with regard to China's leveling off in population.

Although the decline is tiny in percentage terms, less than 1 percent, it marks an important turning point for the country and the global economy, which has come to rely on Chinese workers to assemble its iPhones and stitch its T-shirts.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 7:39 PM
horizontal rule
263

Has the New Yorker version been linked yet? I prefer it.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:12 PM
horizontal rule
264

New YorkThe New Yorker


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:24 PM
horizontal rule
265

That said, the article does look interesting. From the first page, it seems to take a very different approach to presenting the phenomenon.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:25 PM
horizontal rule
266

Having now read the whole article in 263, it is indeed both quite different from the Slate one and quite good in its own way.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:57 PM
horizontal rule
267

Also, it looks like a transformer just blew up or something down the street. A couple of loud booms, and flying sparks. My building didn't lose power, but the one next door did, and I expect all the others down the block in that direction did as well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 9:58 PM
horizontal rule
268

262

CO2 emissions for India , US and China. Note these graphs are plotted in terms of tons of C as opposed to tons of CO2 in the previous link. The conversion factor is 3.667.

Indian emissions are growing rapidly but are much less than China's.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-21-13 11:06 PM
horizontal rule
269

Counterexample to TV content: Louie C.K's tv show does not suffer from the presence of a toddler. Even the episode the toddler suggested about a baby duck is good.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:06 PM
horizontal rule