Re: Sit still.

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My son uses everything as a sword, I think because he isn't very good at imagining guns. They don't allow them on kiddie TV now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 5:58 AM
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Blame the 1940s still-sitters for raising the people who raised today's fidgeters.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 5:58 AM
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People love hearing about themselves in the news, apparently. If NPR is explaining middle-class america, something they do a whole lot, especially if the segment is done by a boomer journalist, I switch to music.

I would love it if they devoted the same attention to say rural Brazilian kids, or followed up on education in India even if nobody has been poisoned there this week. The person they had covering Mali did a good job.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:27 AM
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Essentially, instead of playing pirate with a tree branch they played Star Wars with a toy light saber.

Why is one of these supposed to involve less imagination than the other?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:29 AM
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Seven year olds back then invented the concept of pirates. This was not something that they gained knowledge of through mind-numbing and soul-constricting narratives.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:33 AM
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My mother loves to complain about this issue. She blames computers and video games, though, so she probably wouldn't be very impressed by the linked article. It fails to mention how all the children are being ruined by staring at screens and NONE OF THEM KNOW ANY PLAYGROUND RHYMES ANY MORE.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:41 AM
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Jingle Bells, Batman smells.
Robin laid an egg.
Batmobile lost its wheel,
and the Joker got away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:42 AM
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Lest we forget our culture.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:42 AM
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Here's the excellent playground rhyme I learned from an actual contemporary kid.
http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_8157.html#753093


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:58 AM
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Yesterday I and some other members of the Friends meeting my family attend went to services at the African American gospel church down the street. The contrast between the exuberant joy of worship in that church and the quiet contemplation I'm used to was extreme.

I mention this because it was the first time I'd ever seen small children be specifically encouraged to use their *outside* voice in *church.* Sunday morning wasn't for sitting still in that crowd.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:58 AM
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I am feeling the deepest, darkest despair over the impending semester. I hate the feeling of being wildly overscheduled with work.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:59 AM
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9 is reminiscent of what we used to sing:

Down down baby
Down by the rollercoaster
Sweet sweet baby
Mama never let you go
Just because I kissed you
Doesn't mean I love you
Shimmy shimmy cocoa pop
Shimmy shimmy wah-wah
I like coffee, I like tea
I like the boys but they hate me.
Every night we have a fight and this is how it goes:
Boys are rotten, made out of cotten
Girls are dandy, made of of candy
Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider
Girls go to Mars, to get more candy bars
Boys take baths, to get more math
Girls take showers, to get more POWERS!!!!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:02 AM
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This went with one of those marvelous extended hand clap routines.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:03 AM
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As a kid, I only ever heard the last four lines of 12.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:04 AM
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the impending semester

La la la I can't hear you


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:07 AM
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15 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:18 AM
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The only downside to the new semester is that the bus gets more crowded.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:22 AM
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And that your friendly FPP gets crankier.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:23 AM
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As with the recent discussion of marketing and our intermittent discussion of safety (and child safety in particular*) there are certainly significant shifts in these aspects of culture that have happened within human lifetimes. It is the judgmentalism** and the attempt for various cohorts to capture their re-imagined childhood as the best of all possible child worlds that grates. In some world that I do not inhabit interesting discussions on these trends can take place.

*I do suspect that any society undergoing demographic transition with associated reduction in infant mortality and will most likely exhibit a societal increase in focus on child safety. (I don't know maybe a place like Russia is an exception.)

**An actual judge mentalist would be far more efficient than Patrick James.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:26 AM
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I don't know maybe a place like Russia is an exception.

Don't you hope the Russians love their children too?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:29 AM
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The issues of child supervision is one of the things that keeps striking me when I read mystery novels set from about 1880 to 1940. Adult men are always walking up to pre-teen boys they've not met before, sending them out on complex errands, and giving them money not to talk about it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:30 AM
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I do worry about TV/internet, largely because of their effects on me: when I'm low energy, nothing on earth is more attractive than staring at a screen, and I see my kids reacting the same way. On the other hand, I certainly watched a shitload of TV back in the golden age of the 1970s and '80s, and grew up into the useful citizen I am today, which means that probably everything's fine.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:31 AM
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and grew up into the useful citizen I am today

That's been my hope also because screen time is now the biggest issue with my son. Also, he's not allowed to put sugar on Cheerios, so hopefully he'll be a bit healthier.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:32 AM
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Healthier than me, that is. I was 25 or so before I stopped putting sugar on Cheerios. And 26 when I stopped eating Cheerios.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:33 AM
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21: Right. My parents both describe their typical weekend or summer day from about seven or eight onward as leaving the house before their parents were awake, and coming home for dinner but not before then. They could have been assisting private eyes, running a small business, anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:35 AM
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24: Switched to a cereal that already was sweet like Frosted Flakes?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:35 AM
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I have this odd belief that if I give my kids the best possible upbringing, then they'll move to an awesome city on the coast and I'll never see them, the way my parents never see my siblings. But if their upbringing and childhood is more lumpy and half-assed, then they'll be stay put and stay close by, and I can dote on them and the grandchildren.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:35 AM
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the attempt for various cohorts to capture their re-imagined childhood as the best of all possible child worlds

Obligatory XKCD trolling:

http://xkcd.com/988/


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:36 AM
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27: A little notch in the hamstring tendons is also useful -- doesn't lame them too severely, but they end up not moving so fast.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:37 AM
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I still can't walk right because of my tendons. It takes five minutes or so before my stride get smooth and the pain stops.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:39 AM
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28: Also the "everything was better when I was 12" thing, which even I'm too sick of to link.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:39 AM
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Don't you hope the Russians love their children too?

groan I hate you.

The OP reminds me that I have recently both seen the stories that test scores are improving for US children, and had conversations with people working at the local university in which the bemoan the lack of academic skills among people entering college today.

In that case I believe both (a) that the rising test scores are meaningful, and that people are bad at making generalizations from their own experience to a large population and (b) it's also possible that there are differences in the way in which contemporary culture relates to academic culture which are observable by people teaching at universities.

My default assumption would be that the same thing is true for kids -- I would expect that kids today are, on average, doing better than kids 60 years ago, unless I saw evidence to the contrary, but that the culture has shifted and I'm sure that some of those shifts are troubling to people who see things they treasured from their own childhoods slipping away.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:40 AM
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While they're little, I just keep them chained to the stake. Then when they're fullgrown elephants, the learned helplessness will keep them from wandering off.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:40 AM
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Note, I haven't read the linked post, that was just a canned response.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:40 AM
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While I'm speaking up for the "You kids stand still on my lawn" position, I do have a soft spot for high expectations of self-regulation in children, because it means they get to spend more time around adults. If a kid is expected to be a be-ketchupping whirlwind, it's reasonably expected to be kept segregated from the adult world, and when they do interact, adults who aren't required by relationship to find them adorable hate them. If the kid's been trained to sit still and shut up when necessary, they can be in adult environments without misery.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:40 AM
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30: Your mother must be so pleased.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:41 AM
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Or at least, they can be in adult environments without being appreciably more miserable than adults are in that environment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:42 AM
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30: I'm trying heel inserts and stretching (for some reason I find it maximally hateful and boring--it requires the wrong amount of paying attenion-ness). it's kinda sort working.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:42 AM
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32: I think academic expectations are higher for my kids than they were for me; certainly in elementary school, and I think in middle school as well. They seem to be working harder and doing more advanced stuff than I was at the same age.

Thoreau at Unqualified Offerings is driven mad by the haplessness of his STEM students, but I have the impression that he's young enough that he's not reacting to a change over time.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:43 AM
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38: I'm doing lots of stretching, because it really does cut the stiffness. I'm not sure what I should insert in my heel.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:43 AM
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I hate you

And I'm going to have the Prokofiev Lieutenant Kijé thing going through my head all day, probably.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:44 AM
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36: Only one of her children is still nearby.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:45 AM
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I had Cheerios for breakfast. But they were the adult Cheerios, not Honey Nut Cheerios.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:47 AM
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After reading the article, I... well, it's not that I see anything self-evidently wrong with what the article has to say about the importance of self-regulation. But a lot of the claims still sound fishy.

Like, I wouldn't want to take at face value statements such as "We find that children who are most effective at complex make-believe play take on [cleaning up after themselves] with... greater willingness, and even will assist others in doing so without teacher prompting." Because that sounds like bullshit. Kids of my generation pretended plenty of tree branches were swords and still had to be told to clean up, and FWICT the same was true of my parent's generation and every prior generation.

But on the other hand, the idea that there could be real variables in the rates at which kids are learning how to focus, concentrate, hold themselves still doesn't sound inherently wrong on the face of it. And yet... aren't there like a dozen other studies out there simultaneously complaining that all kids of this generation seem to do is sit still and concentrate on things?


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:48 AM
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These comparisons drive me mental. Kids these days can do all sorts of fucking things that their counterparts 70 years ago couldn't do (and many of those 1940s children - I.e. our children's bloody grandparents - still haven't learnt to do). Trying to make out one's better than the other just makes you sound like Michael Gove, and in any civilised society that should get you publicly executed.

But what do I know, I'm probably a terrible parent because my 12 year old spent about ten hours yesterday/this morning building a basketball court (to scale), plus seating, roof, etc on Minecraft, instead of doing it out of Lego like a Proper Child.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:50 AM
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When I was a kid I was always too impatient to build anything interesting out of Legos. Also, I mostly only had the simple block-like legos, not the kinds they make now where there are special unique shapes for every component of a tank or a Star Destroyer or whatever.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:52 AM
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If STEM kids are worse today than they were thirty years ago, it's because we're casting a broader net and getting more kids to college.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:53 AM
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I am actually finding that there are some of my friends and acquaintances who I can hardly stand to be around anymore as they drift into kids get off my lawn mode at every opportunity. It is apparently quite seductive (and of course a great recruitment tool for things like the Fox Republican Crypto-oligarchic Hate Machine). I have at times not been able to be still my tongue with resultant hard feelings all around. Some of the worst are old computer programmers. Holy fuck, you'd think that'd be an area where you couldn't take that stance but ... Exterminate all the brutes! The horror, the horror.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:53 AM
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What amazes me about my childhood is how much Coke I was allowed to drink. I think if a parent let their kid drink as much Coke today, they could get arrested for abuse.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:54 AM
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But on the other hand, the idea that there could be real variables in the rates at which kids are learning how to focus, concentrate, hold themselves still doesn't sound inherently wrong on the face of it. And yet... aren't there like a dozen other studies out there simultaneously complaining that all kids of this generation seem to do is sit still and concentrate on things?

This isn't about kids, but about me. But the thing about screens, is that concentrating on them is easy. If there's a TV in range, playing something I have any interest in at all that's not enraging me, my natural response is to sit down and let the muscles in my face go slack until either hunger or incipient bedsores makes me move. I'm focused, but I'm not working at it. Same response to dumb video games -- not the complicated role playing stuff, but things like tower defense games.

Focusing on something that I'm not innately interested in (like, say, an outline of witness testimony for next week's arbitration) isn't easier because I have this ability for total focus on screens, it's either unaffected or harder.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:54 AM
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Of course, this is also the child who for his 7th or 8th birthday got a Lego Technics combine harvester and sat with my dad for 11 fucking hours to make it. No bloody concentration, these modern children. My dad gave up at about 9 hours in and I sat and kept him company for the last bit.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:54 AM
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re: 25

That was mine, too. And I'm (just) in my 40s, rather than in my 60s or 70s. It was understood that you basically were never inside except when it was really raining. I can't remember at what age we started traveling long distances, but by age 12 or so, we were certainly cycling to the Ochils to go walking [about 15 or 16 miles each way].

There were lots of crappy things about central Scotland in the 70s and 80s, but helicopter-parenting wasn't one of them.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:56 AM
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My kid can put together awesome stop-motion animation videos using my Android phone. I'd like to see a kid from the '40s do that.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:56 AM
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We used to use the old-school block Legos to build cars which we would then use in a demolition derby. The car had to keep its engine (a pre-identified 2x2 block) and driver attached to the main body in order to survive the round.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:57 AM
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So they can't sit still and they're obese unfit. Can't be ambush predators or cursorial predators, it seems. Looks like we're doomed to be herbivores.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:58 AM
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The condemnation in 48 should be deprecated because it suffers from selection in bias in that I am ignoring all of the ways in which I suck worse than these people to focus on the one where I am the righteous winner. However, I think strict enforcement of that would swiftly bring to a halt all human discourse.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:58 AM
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ids these days can do all sorts of fucking things that their counterparts 70 years ago couldn't do (and many of those 1940s children - I.e. our children's bloody grandparents - still haven't learnt to do). Trying to make out one's better than the other just makes you sound like Michael Gove, and in any civilised society that should get you publicly executed.

This. Yes. With the caveat that there are probably things now that are shittier than they were in some specific period in the past, and vice versa. It's not the comparison that's iniquitous, it's the gross generalisations that assume _everything_ was better/worse at time t than it is now.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:59 AM
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47 - yup, that is definitely the case here. Although for competitive courses like medicine, vet sci, etc, higher and higher grades are needed. But loads more people go to university these days and whilst many of them have a higher level of education than they would have got thirty years ago, I don't suppose that the actual spread of intelligence has changed.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:59 AM
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55: Fat fidgety herbivores like domestic rabbits or guinea pigs.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:01 AM
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Kids these days can do all sorts of fucking things that their counterparts 70 years ago couldn't do (and many of those 1940s children - I.e. our children's bloody grandparents - still haven't learnt to do).

Also, this is exactly right. Colleague, if you are going to complain that today's kids are unable to learn, then you yourself ought to stop replying to emails by scrolling to the bottom of the email chain and writing your response way down there. "Oh, another blank email from George? ...Oh right, he buries his response all the way down, before the very first email in the thread."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:01 AM
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Being able to poop spherical feces would be nice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:02 AM
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55,59: PROJECT TO SERVE MAN IS COMING ALONG NICELY.


Posted by: OPINIONATED MOORLOCK | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:02 AM
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Shorter me: Everyone everywhere except maybe Thorn and Witt sucks.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:03 AM
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I know I'm repetitive, but it's amazed me from Nia's first visit how open both she and Mara are to sharing their imaginative play, how if someone wants to turn the dog into a baby or add a train into the equation, the other might question it at first but will mostly just roll with it and build on it. I've known other kids with rough early histories who aren't able to comfortably do imaginative play or who can't make the leap that something that's a truck right now could be a boat tomorrow, that you can just run around and don't have to pretend you're Sonic the Hedgehog so you have a reason to run. So for kids with histories of serious neglect, I think this is often a problem, but that's not what NPR is talking about even if it's what underlies some of the studies.

I also have to brag that Mara and Nia went to their first track meet yesterday and each took gold in her age group for standing long jump. They did well enough (over 4 feet for Nia and only shy of it by a few inches for Mara) that they'd probably have won something anyway even if they'd had more competitors, but they are hugely proud of themselves and I'm glad I encouraged them to go. (Nia didn't win either of her running races, which devastated her, and Mara threw enormous screaming fits and refused to run, but figured out on her own that she'd be good at jumping and enjoyed it.) They also managed to sit around the track for multiple hours without any electronic devices or other obvious toys. You can have a lot of fun with grass and water, it turns out, etc.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:04 AM
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You can have a lot of fun with grass and water, it turns out, etc.

She's way too young for a bong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:06 AM
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I do get infuriated by these things because I have bloody fantastic children, who can be personable in adult company, get around town independently, cook a meal, help out at home whenever prompted, are doing well at school, etc etc, and these sort of articles would make you think that that sort of teenager no longer exists - whereas in fact just about ALL THEIR FRIENDS are equally accomplished and lovely. It seems very unfair on them all.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:07 AM
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re: 66

The poor fuckers continuously get told to do well at school, too, and then when they do, get told they only do well because it's easy these days, innit. And get a job. Even though there are no jobs, and they are all going to graduate with catastrophic debt, shitty wages, and rich old people owning all the stuff.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:09 AM
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66: Pretty much, yes. I mean, my kids have flaws, but they and their friends are certainly up to my standards for being pleasant and useful to have around.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:10 AM
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Yes, well now you're going to tip me over into despair from anger! I do worry.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:11 AM
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Yeah. I worry about my nephew and niece, and my brother. All teens or early 20s.

I assume for our own baby, that by the time he's 18, we'll all be living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, or, the socialist revolution will have happened, and we'll all be lounging about in white unitards, eating food dispensed from our matter-synthesiers.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:14 AM
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I go back and forth between despair and guilt. Like, it's going to be so desperately hard out there for the next generation, but my kids are going to be fine if anyone's are, odds are, because we're high-income and educated and stable and involved and they're academically successful. And the combination of (forward looking, counting my chickens before they hatch) relief when I think about that, and realization that what I'm relieved about is that my kids are probably getting the last couple of seats on the lifeboat (metaphorical life-outcomes-wise), is not a happy feeling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:16 AM
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Can't resist quoting Granny Weatherwax.
'We never had this sort of thing in my young days,' said Granny. 'There was a dozen witches this side of the mountain alone. Of course, that was before all this' - she made a face - 'making your own entertainment. There's far too much of this making your own entertainment these days. We never made our own entertainment when I was a girl. We never had time.'


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:17 AM
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70: that doesn't give us much time. We'd better get cracking.

Seen today: Sergey Brin's made a burger from vat-grown meat. So we're on our way to option 2. And your baby presumably is already just lounging around in a unitard not doing any work and consuming food provided from a dispenser for free. I believe the children ARE our future!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:20 AM
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my kids are probably getting the last couple of seats on the lifeboat . . .

That's a vivid yet depressing image. Perhaps metaphors should be banned as well as analogies.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:22 AM
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And yet the world really is much wealthier in very many ways. Such a conundrum!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:24 AM
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Huh, I always assumed she was saying "the children our are future."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:24 AM
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I thought it was "the children or our future."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:31 AM
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Children should spend their summers mowing hay 16 hours a day, like in Independent People.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:31 AM
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She might be singing "the children error future."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:36 AM
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last couple of seats on the lifeboat

Why think this? Even complete collapse of government in a technologically advanced country (Russia in 1991) did not lead to disaster. It's possible that there will be another decade of kids working as poorly-paid clerks or drivers when they could do much more; that would be a real shame, I really hope not. But that's a far cry from actual deprivation.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:39 AM
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Maybe she knew how Harry Potter was going to turn out and she was singing about the children's auror future?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:39 AM
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CHILDREN ERROR FUTURE. ABORT/RETRY/FAIL?


Posted by: OPINIONATED DOS PROMPT | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:39 AM
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80: Because I'm gloomy and depressive? And my twenty-something nieces seem to be having such a hard time.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:40 AM
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Also, what are your standards of disaster? I thought the collapse of the Soviet Union led to, e.g., a significant drop in life expectancies.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:41 AM
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80: Waterworld. Getting on the lifeboat just means a slightly more prolonged death.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:42 AM
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Thoreau at Unqualified Offerings is driven mad by the haplessness of his STEM students, but I have the impression that he's young enough that he's not reacting to a change over time.

To be fair, he is also driven mad by the haplessness of his old colleagues who are all incompetent and lazy, and his contemporaneous colleagues who are all shallow careerists, and all the administrators at his college who are all morons. What a life he must lead.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:44 AM
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80: hang on, Russia didn't have a complete collapse of government in 1991. Not even close.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:46 AM
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80: It was a disaster, just a quiet one. That post-80s dip, especially for the men, represents millions of deaths.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:46 AM
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Pwned by 84, but I added a chart.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:46 AM
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83: And let's not forget global ecological catastrophe.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:47 AM
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90: Well, right. Which is the sort of thing that I worry about turning our society into even more of a high-inequality upper-class/under-class dystopia than it is now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:49 AM
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Can we have a dystopian future written by William Gibson?

At least there would be plenty of drugs and everyone would be wearing cool sunglasses.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:49 AM
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If the good Lord intended me to live in L.A., He'd have given me a machine gun. Still, here I am, just another little worried citizen of this modern-day Pompeii waiting for the melt-down, the show-down, the Great American close-down. When that fault-line that runs right through Society's fabric finally snaps and the whole damn thing starts unravelling. Why watch the sports channel, when you can watch CNN?
Ladies and Gentlemen, the greatest race in History, the race to end all races, in fact the race to end history.
In lane one - the San Andreas Fault.
In lane two - Global Recession.
In three - El Nino.
In four - Chemical War.
Lane five - Inter-Racial Conflict.
Lane six - Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

On your marks. Get Set. Wait for it ..... Go!


Posted by: Opinionated Neil Hannon | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:51 AM
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We didn't even have a television for several years of Flip-childhood. I'm not sure I'd recommend a diet of musty, yellowing Sax Rohmer and E. Phillips Oppenheim novels for the construction of a healthy imaginative capacity, though.

By Jove, some heathen dacoit has punctured the Bentley's tyres! We're trapped in this sinister underground laboratory like filthy members of the working classes!

See what I mean?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:51 AM
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On the haplessness of students, I'd guess that's inevitable and sort of probably true. For many of us, who don't have decades of teaching experience, the implicit comparison we are often going to draw is with ourselves. Pretty much by definition, the majority of students -- who aren't going to end up finalists in the academic tournament -- are going to come up short.

I know I was guilty of this when I was teaching. Person-who-was-eventually-going-to-get-a-phd-in-this-subject is not going to be a fair comparison for the majority of perfectly decent hard-working non-dumb students. The person teaching at a top university was probably in the top 1% of the top 1% or something equally rarefied.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:52 AM
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Shit, I really must get on with the "Greenmantle/Terminator" book.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:53 AM
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96: AH YOU RICHAHD HAHNNAY?


Posted by: OPINIONATED T-800 | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:54 AM
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84. Sure, public health got a lot worse, and many elderly men responded to change by drinking themselves to death. That would be a problem for people who are now middle-aged.

I guess I see the most serious problems as political ones, which are not intractable. Metaphors that suggest inevitable disaster do not seem like the right ones to me.

A common response to local misery is emigration-- I know quite a few Chinese (HK especially, mainland also) and Indians who have decided not to keep living in the US after getting some education. There are a few Americans willing to work elsewhere, but not many. This seems to me like the easiest barometer to read.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:54 AM
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96: actually in the story Richard Hannay is the Terminator, sent back through time to pursue a time-travelling Lenin and stop him from starting the Russian Revolution early.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:56 AM
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Heheh.

I'd read 99.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:57 AM
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SPOILERS.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:57 AM
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Whatever the problems of inter-generational comparison, let's not underrate the value of having kids sit still.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:57 AM
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99: Get off the Internet, Michael Moorcock. No one wants to hear Hawkwind!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:58 AM
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102: This can be combined with Crossfit training -- if you pile enough weights on the child, either they're sitting still, or they will have become strong. Win win.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:58 AM
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Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.


Posted by: Opinionated T.S. Elliot | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:02 AM
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re: 98

I don't think most of us really think that our children's lives are going to be genuinely post-apocalyptic. But they can certainly be lives filled with much more difficulty, and much less opportunity than were our own. I don't think I see much hope for where I am at the moment, politically. Steadily shittier levels of inequality, more petty authoritarianism, less opportunities for those who aren't rich, steadily declining living standards. Those aren't truly catastrophic changes, but it could still be quite miserable for many without substantial change for the better. It needn't be irreversible, of course. Things were shittier here for many/most people at times in the past that are still within living memory, so it's not like things can't improve. But I'm not very optimistic about the current political/social/economic climate. At least for the next decade or so.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:03 AM
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Can we have a dystopian future written by William Gibson?

This always happens! It's not quite plate-o-shrimp, it's more like pwn-o-shrimp: I have a post ready to go (in this case, a guest post), and someone posts it out from under me.

I suppose I ought to post it before things get out of hand here.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:03 AM
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100: Chapter 1's been done and is available by email. Chapters 2, 3 and 8 are each half done (I have a slight problem with linear plotting).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:04 AM
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Merely vans to beat the air?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:05 AM
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I'd love to read chapter 1 [email address enabled from this comment].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:06 AM
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106 was me.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:06 AM
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I never before considered that T. S. Elliot was the inspiration for the hand dryer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:06 AM
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You don't think a man whose name anagrams to "Toilets" would have an interest in bathroom amenities?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:07 AM
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I'll be happy to read Ch. 1 (flippanter-at-gmail-guess-the-suffix). Do you want comments? (A friend's wife laughed aloud at the red ink all over his draft novel after I gave it a twice-over, though.)


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:07 AM
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That makes two things I've learned today.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:07 AM
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>let's not underrate the value of having kids sit still.

Or adults

"All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone." ― Blaise Pascal, Pensées

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:08 AM
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There was a Zelazny time travel book I remember liking as a teenager where all the chapters were either chapter 1 or chapter 2, and the events were in pretty much scrambled order. Roadmarks, I think. Don't remember much of anything about it other than highway-based time travel, and a T. Rex.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:08 AM
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115 to 113.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:09 AM
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106 sounds about right politically. Decades of continued organizational decline unless there's a collective improvement.

I know this is unpopular here, since it is an outlook shared by conservative idiots, but I'm fairly optimistic about technological mitigation. When the means of production remain the same over many generations, entrenched aristocracy knows what to do and win.

But rapid change both drives turnover and creates opportunity for people who are now poor. Having Turkey, Mexico, and parts of India become middle class is a good thing in absolute if not relative terms for the US and Western Europe.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:10 AM
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You want a ghastly depressing cheerful thought? If mitigation is incredibly expensive and labor intensive, that seems like the sort of thing that might have an inequality-reducing effect. The equivalent of a wartime mobilization building seawalls around all the coastal cities and resettling the suburban population in walkable population centers might be very good for the working class. At the cost of worldwide disaster, of course.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:13 AM
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This stuff about making children sit still may have some effect on early years education in this country, because atm the govt are keen on the French model, where ecole maternelle seems to be nigh on compulsory, and the best thing about it seems to be that the children learn to sit still from age 2, and play with what they're told to play with. And eat three course meals of course, except for the ones that send all the kids home for two hours at lunchtime ... hmmm ... that will be interesting.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:18 AM
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120: in general climate change mitigation would be great for the economy. Just not the specific industries/corporations/indoviuals with access to the levers of power.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:19 AM
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You want a ghastly depressing cheerful thought? If mitigation is incredibly expensive and labor intensive, that seems like the sort of thing that might have an inequality-reducing effect.

This is kind of the backstory to Paul McAuley's very good "Quiet War" books. The US has more or less collapsed and is being run as part of Greater Brazil, and most people are employed in the Recovery and Reclamation Corps, which is doing things like cleaning out Lake Michigan and remediation work on the Great Plains topsoil.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:33 AM
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110, 114: with you now.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:33 AM
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Ta!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:36 AM
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Speaking of Thoreau and haplessness of students, this UO post is straight out of Bizarro World. Math majors fail physics because they suck at calculus? Engineering majors are the best students? Whaaaaaat?


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:36 AM
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124: I'd also like to read it, if you're truly throwing it out to anyone. motherissues at gmail.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:38 AM
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126: What institution does Thoreau teach at? I can imagine that pattern at some places.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:43 AM
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126: He seems to be observing that people are selecting math majors (inappropriately) at rates that greatly exceed the base rate of mathematical incompetence.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:44 AM
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127: done. If I keep doing this there'll be no one left to buy the damn thing.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:46 AM
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128: I think one of the places well off to the East of Pasadena. I can't tell which, though the fact that he calls his students veal calves militates up market.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:47 AM
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130: I'll buy it, probably.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:47 AM
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people are selecting math majors (inappropriately) at rates that greatly exceed the base rate of mathematical incompetence

I can believe that, but I would think people select engineering majors at similar or higher rates. I certainly encounter mathematically incompetent engineering students all the time.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:48 AM
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132: After all, if we don't buy it, how will we complain about the cover art?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:50 AM
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Moby will tell us about it.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:50 AM
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133: Might be explained by separate college admissions. College of Engineering vs. College of Arts and Sciences or something.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:51 AM
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126, further to 136, this would have most likely been the case where I did my undergrad. The College of Engineering had more rigorous admission requirements than Liberal Arts (about 30% higher SAT and GPA) plus a higher minimum GPA requirement (2.5 vs 2.0 when I was there) to stay enrolled. In my science and math courses, the engineers usually did significantly better than the majors. I suspect most schools with good engineering programs would look like that. Also, keep in mind that a bachelor's in chemical engineering or aerospace engineering gets you a job that probably pays extremely well, which I suspect helps attract talent.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:54 AM
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Depending on the institution, different departments also have different levels of rigor/harshness not all that related to the subject matter. I'm remembering stereotypes from twenty years ago, but at MIT, the physics department was difficult and unpleasant, and people who couldn't handle physics would get sad and retreat to the safety of the warm and nurturing math department. And then at U of C, I had the impression that the same thing would happen in reverse; overwhelmed math majors changing to physics because it was easier.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:56 AM
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At Berkeley the CS major had competitive admissions based mostly on intro level math courses. If your grades weren't high enough for CS math was a common backup. So you had student sending up math majors because they weren't good enough at math. (It being Berkeley there were also fantastic math majors.)

In general, math departments want more students and nearby departments often don't.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 10:07 AM
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Shit, I really must get on with the "Greenmantle/Terminator" book.

I'm reminded of the comments on this thread.

Please send me a copy, replace "underscore" with, well, an underscore.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 10:14 AM
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140: done.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 10:19 AM
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141 Thanks. I'll still buy the book.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 10:29 AM
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138 And then at U of C, I had the impression that the same thing would happen in reverse; overwhelmed math majors changing to physics because it was easier.

When I was there it I think in some sense getting a math degree was much easier than getting a physics degree; I had completed all the requirements for a math degree by the end of my second year, and still had many more required courses to get through for the physics degree. On the other hand, the math department offered much more difficult and advanced undergraduate classes than the physics department did, for those who wanted to take them. Nothing in the physics department even came close to Honors Analysis for throwing people into the deep end of the pool to learn to swim.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 10:36 AM
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I think this cartoon is pretty fair analysis of the youngsters circa 1970, but the look is off.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 10:43 AM
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I still can't walk right because of my tendons.

Fucking tendons, how do they work? Also, one handed typing blows.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 11:02 AM
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143: The situation was similar at my institution due to similar pressures. The math majors had a much wider variety of skill levels than CS, physics, or EE.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 11:04 AM
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145: Low-hanging fruit doesn't get much lower.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 11:16 AM
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Stupid left arm isn't even good for that! Mummified from wrist to elbow in a splint. Supposedly tomorrow I get a brace, wheee.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 11:29 AM
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||

Two more medical refunds! One for $77 and another for $62.

Am I really the only one getting these? I think I've probably gotten close to ten refunds, from maybe six different sources.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 1:24 PM
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I mean, it's nice to get these, but it would be slightly nicer not to be overcharged in the first place. THANKS OBAMACARE.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 1:25 PM
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Nope. I'm now thinking your plan or provider discovered some systematic problem that caused lots of overbilling and they're going back and fixing them one by one.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:02 PM
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I think it's now illegal to apply the "multiple babies per year" premium to all services.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:04 PM
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In today's Slate the advice columnist suggests a nanny should get in touch with CPS because a mother left her seven year old in the car in the driveway for fifteen minutes so that he could calm down from a tantrum. When a reader says this seems a bit excessive she says that he might have gotten out and wandered off, or someone creepy might have wandered by or someone might call the cops on seeing a seven year old alone in a car. WTF? I have no idea of how one is supposed to deal with tantrums in kids, but what's the big deal about a seven year old left alone in a car for a little while? But then I was a bit like LB's parents by that age - left to wander around the neighbourhood at will, without supervision.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:05 PM
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What if the child was left inside the house? She might have gotten out and wandered off!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:06 PM
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151: The thing that's odd with that is the timeline - the refunds last winter, and services that I paid last month are still being refunded. So they haven't fixed the overbilling problem, even though they identified it a long time ago, possibly because it involves communicating with a lot of different providers


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:38 PM
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153-154: Yeah, that lady sucks at almost all advice giving.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:43 PM
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I don't know how many times I sat alone in a car in a parking lot for 15 or 20 minutes when I was a kid. My mom would take me along when she was shopping, and I would often prefer to sit in the car reading rather than going in the store with her. I doubt I was older than seven when this started.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:51 PM
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Yeah, my dad used to leave me in the car while he went to the liquor store or whatever. Once I managed to take the e-brake off and put it in neutral while playing driving. Luckily I didn't roll into anything important.

See, now I write this and it sounds worse than it was.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:52 PM
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I think she probably knee-jerked at 'kid left in the car'. It's exactly the same as making the kid sit out on the front porch, if they had a front porch, but I'd bet she's have reacted very differently to that.

Honestly. What if a creepy person drove by? That's absurd.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:52 PM
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I would like AWB to review Prudence's advice giving for the blog.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:54 PM
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The other day we were at the beach and some family friends arrived with their two year old and eight-month-old. The eight-month-old was napping so they just left him in the car. The car was in sight so I guess whatever, but it was pretty hot and I was sort of wondering about the wisdom of that. Then I walked past the car and realized they had left it running, and the whole thing seemed questionable along a different vector entirely.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:55 PM
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158: My sister rolled the car into the middle of a busy street in similar circumstances. Did not get hit, but intense embarrassment for my mother.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:56 PM
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7 is obviously not old enough to be able to open a car door and leave if it gets too hot. Kids can't open doors themselves until at least 16.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:56 PM
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Oh, left it running so as to leave the AC on? Huh. That would bother me too -- I think I don't trust machinery. What if the AC chose that moment to stop working, and the car got hot without the parents realizing?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:56 PM
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161: And then George Zimmerman showed up with a fire extinguisher and saved the baby.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:56 PM
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158: my brother-in-law drove a car into a store that way.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:57 PM
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164: I was mostly annoyed on the climate's behalf. Don't idle your car for twenty minutes just because it's mildly convenient! The kid can nap in the shade with the nice ocean breeze!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:57 PM
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157.1 me too. Usually she left the keys in so I could listen to the radio, and locked the doors upon exit. I started moving the car to mess with her around 8 or 9.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:58 PM
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166: or at least that's what he told the cops when they caught him carrying a TV out.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:58 PM
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It is with great embarrassment that I'll 'fess up to having situations where we leave the car running all the damn time, specifically because of kids. For example, nursing Ace before heading in to buy groceries. Or letting the sleeping kid keep sleeping. I think usually one of us would stay in the car with the kid, though, not for car malfunction but just so that we could get going whenever they woke up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 2:59 PM
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Well, yeah, the other question I had was how they would know if he woke up and started screaming. And, I mean, I probably shouldn't be too judgmental since we've already had situations where one of us stayed in the car with the AC on and Zardoz in the back while the other runs in someplace.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 3:05 PM
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Pretty much the entire university is left idling with the AC on during the summer months. People should really bring their kids to nap in the empty classrooms and offices.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 3:09 PM
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That's essentially what we do. Only we pay other people to watch them, and it's all year long.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 3:13 PM
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158 et al - My brother ran over my sister's tricyle that way.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 3:29 PM
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Someone left him unattended in his wee buggy?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 3:33 PM
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174: I ran over my brother that way. Just his arm. It still works.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 3:37 PM
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172: Genius! People already pay tuition to come nap in non-empty classrooms! We could charge a privacy premium!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 3:38 PM
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as a kid, I sat in the local Friends of the Earth leader's Morris Traveller during the recycling collection, and then realised it was one of the ones where you needed a key to turn on the ignition but the starter motor was activated by a knob on the dash you pull. so quite appropriately, I stole it as a pure battery electric vehicle.

the owner was an engineer at a GKN division in Leeds that made axles for really massive things like freight locomotives; weirdly, today, building railways and 7MW 300-foot tall wind turbines is about the greenest thing you can do if you mean it. our recycling collection involved a 40 foot truck.

That would have been a couple of years after the time we were out there and it was throwing it down and afterwards it turned out we were being irradiated by Chernobyl and my mother was interviewed by TV in front of the monitoring station in the car park.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 3:59 PM
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Aye, re: Chernobyl. When the rain that blew in hit us in Scotland [Forth Valley, so we got a fair bit of it] our high school engineering teacher took a Geiger counter out from the physics department stores and we went round and measured it. It was significantly higher on the eastern side of the science building.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 4:08 PM
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Then again, we had Rechem (literally) just down the road, so we probably had our fair share of airborne poison anyway.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 4:13 PM
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Wow. It never occurred to me that being irradiated by Chernobyl was a thing that everyone in Europe remembers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 4:52 PM
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That and the first time they saw Zamphir live.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 5:09 PM
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Or John Tesh, Yanni, or the 'Hoff?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 5:52 PM
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Everyone remembers what they were doing when they heard Lordi won Eurovision.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 5:55 PM
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re: 184

I do. I was ... watching Eurovision.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 5:59 PM
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Genius! People already pay tuition to come nap in non-empty classrooms! We could charge a privacy premium!

I'm into Big Think these days. You'll love my Ted talk.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:15 PM
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Massively open offline crashroom?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:27 PM
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Crashpad, duh. Jeez.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:33 PM
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I thought VW was making up an obviously ridiculous name, but maybe not.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:36 PM
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I mean, how much Bigger could this Think be?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:39 PM
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I haven't read the article or most of the thread but I do find the themed commercialization of kids' toys troubling for reasons I don't seem to be able to articulate. Probably a result of my stunted imagination.

(I don't find "things were better before because tree branches" a convincing line of argument.)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:43 PM
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189: I was being intentionally ridiculous. But I suppose I'm not surprised to see that someone beat me to the punch.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:52 PM
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You can punch way faster if you're being unintentionally ridiculous.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:52 PM
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Not necessarily faster, just more erratically.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 7:54 PM
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I first learned of Big Think when the Strange Maps guy moved his blog there. Did not like the format as much, but still a good blog (although falling off lately; I think he used up his best ones early). He also did a series for the NY Times.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:02 PM
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Ah, yes, I was wondering where I had heard of it before.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:04 PM
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Big Think seems to have been born from some folks working on The Charlie Rose Show with the blessing and involvement of Larry Summers. "The idea behind Big Think is that you do have to sit down for a few minutes and listen to people who know more than you do," Mr. Hopkins said.

In 2012, Big Think took evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa as a contributing editor.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:34 PM
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197.last: Also Deepak Chopra, Michio Kaku, Lee Smolin; oh wait... surely they wouldn't have... sigh.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:38 PM
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Just imagine what sorts of Big Thoughts Summers will bring to the Fed!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:45 PM
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"I'm good enough, I'm a man smart enough, and doggone it, I like me!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 8:54 PM
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195: There haven't been many good ones lately, but at least they're past the "hey look we made a country look like an animal's outline" stage.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:12 PM
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||
A sad, weird coda to the sad, weird Hugo Schwyzer saga.
|>


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 9:59 PM
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Re Chernobyl I just remember the no gathering mushroom rule and that when visiting my family they joked that it couldn't make things much worse - Upper Silesia, where many of them lived back then, was something like the worst parts of China today from what I can tell.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 10:04 PM
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I spent this weekend in a remote mountain hamlet where most people barely had electricity or running water. I was very impressed by the children's ability to sit still....and play games on their parents' smart phones. (This was a poor village, so they had to buy domestic brands instead of Apple or Samsung). But anyways, there was a three year old with far more thumb-eye coordination than I will ever have, and he also probably knew how to use more functions on the phone than I do.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 11:02 PM
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Hello, world!

Sorry to interrupt; bopping in to say hello because I arrived at an old Unfogged post while googling and felt so charmed simply to see the site. I so appreciate that there are names on this thread I recognize, plus, better, names I don't!

I'm terrifically sorry that I missed the last meetup here in D.C., but glad that the city didn't burn down in my absence (for the most part; standard complaints apply and so on).


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 11:58 PM
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Smasher!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 11:59 PM
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Wow. It never occurred to me that being irradiated by Chernobyl was a thing that everyone in Europe remembers.

Oh, definitely. That's how we all acquired our super topless enlightenment powers. We never did the Geiger counter thing at my school, though, and I rather wish we had.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 1:19 AM
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204 is like a hybrid of Thomas Friedman and Jared Diamond. ("I travelled to a remote mountain community in Papua New Guinea where everyone is much more intelligent than us... and was using a smartphone!")


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 2:57 AM
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204 is nonetheless rather wonderful in its way. Also, hello 'smasher.

||

What does the hive mind think about Bezos and the WP?

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 3:28 AM
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209, it's not a good thing. My understanding is that the Post Co owned by the Grahams was profitable due to other holdings and could afford to operate the Post at a loss. Now, they've spun off the money-losing paper, so if Bezos wants to try to make money, he'll have to make the same sorts of changes as the Tribune Co (Chicago Tribune, LA Times, others). The Trib, for example, is now tabloid sized, relies on a lot of hyperlocal content from bloggers at the expense of national and foreign news and seems to be written for first graders. The Post has made a few changes recently, including paywall and tons of linked content from Slate and The Root, so they have been looking for some way to make the paper profitable, but I suspect this will speed the decline.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 4:05 AM
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The Post has made a few changes recently, including paywall and tons of linked content from Slate and The Root, so they have been looking for some way to make the paper profitable, but I suspect this will speed the decline.

The deal doesn't include Slate, in fact (not sure about The Root but presumably not) - those stay with the parent complany.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 4:14 AM
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I should add that I'm ignoring the possibility that Bezos will operate the Post at a loss as an Amazon lobbying tool. See the Gibson thread, comments 65-87.
To 211, right, I was trying to point out that the Post was trying to find a way to make money, and one easy way to do that is to produce less content without having anyone notice. (Another option is to use local bloggers for content at bargain prices.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 4:19 AM
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I am against the Post deal because it is a truth universally acknowledged that internet multimillionaires should be using their multimillions for Weird Science like going to Mars or building electric sports cars or developing maglev trains or floating cities or whatever, and using them to buy the Washington Post instead is a complete waste. The only acceptable thing for Bezos to do with the WP is to fire it into the side of a mountain at Mach 5 from his linear accelerator.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 4:27 AM
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Wow. It never occurred to me that being irradiated by Chernobyl was a thing that everyone in Europe remembers.

There were quite a few farms in the UK that were unable to produce or sell produce for years afterwards, or which had to have their produce monitored and tested.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-18299228

The restrictions were only lifted on the last of them a couple of years ago. Almost 26 years after.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 4:28 AM
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208

I believe the comment in 204 was about how quickly children's facility with technology surpasses their elders. Also, not sure how neoliberalism factors into it.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 4:35 AM
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208 not meant as an insult ...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 4:37 AM
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Smasher!

On kids in cars, a relevant story from TFA:

I was walking across a parking lot yesterday and noticed a Honda Fit seemed to be slowly rolling out of its parking space. I realize the (not-running) car has two eleven-ish year olds inside, and they're freaking out. They get out of the vehicle and tried to stop it/push it back, but they're too small. I and my fellow traveler stepped in to assist, guiding the car back into the space, re-engaging the E-brake and advising not to touch that lever again, deal?

It felt like retribution for the time when I was about eleven and, waiting for my mom to come out to the car, managed to put it in neutral. The car rolled backwards out of the driveway, and then the neighbors across the alley got to pick out a brand new garage door.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 4:37 AM
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213. I actually have no rooted objection to Bill spending his piggy bank trying to eradicate tropical diseases. Although in that case I suppose Paul Allen has the mad science beat well covered on behalf of MS.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 4:45 AM
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Dashing multimillionaire playboy Bezos is secretly Amazon Man, fighting the evil forces of, um, Blackwater, with his secret powerful technology of low-cost shipping and a select crew of tastefully underclothed bow-wielding female reporters.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 5:03 AM
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At one level I'm all who gives a fuck about what Bezos does with the fucking Post. If he liquidated its assets and used the money to buy cocaine which he snorted of off Sally Quinn's ass he'd be performing a social good. The Times has issues, The Post is a cancer. One trusts the non-malignant like Greg Sargent can find a new home.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 5:03 AM
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Ha! Bob Woodward strongly backs WaPo sale: 'This isn't Rupert Murdoch buying The Wall Street Journal'

... which he [then] snorted of off Sally Quinn's ass while in the background Bob Woodward beats a golden calf with Nerf Flail.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 5:22 AM
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I actually have no rooted objection to Bill spending his piggy bank trying to eradicate tropical diseases.

Neither do I. It definitely falls into the same category of "ambitious, high-tech project for the betterment of mankind" that electric cars do and the Washington Post doesn't. It would be better if it involved more lasers, true, but it's fine as it is.

The Times has issues, The Post is a cancer.

Yes, this is true. The NYT is just hilariously dull, self-obsessed, prolix and pretentious, the WP is actually bad.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 5:28 AM
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Smasher!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 5:52 AM
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If there's one person with a proven track record of not caring about profit it's Bezos.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 5:58 AM
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Back on the OP, I will offer Antrim's The Hundred Brothers as not only a great read, but one with some useful material on the imagination of unstructured play.

Do you remember? Do you remember the games we played in the rose garden? All those games! We were young! We didn't mean any harm! Not really. We were always sorry when someone got hurt. We were only playing. Do you remember Benedict? Do you remember how the starlings took flight from the trees and everyone would stop playing and stared up into the sky above the meadow. That was when you could really slam the ball into someone's head. Do you remember our beautiful rose garden in bloom?

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 6:00 AM
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Or jouncing the branch. Because of course you'd jounce the branch, the smug motherfucker. Who dies from a freaking broken leg anyway?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 6:03 AM
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Some other dude also wrote something relevant and won an award or some shit IIRC.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 6:03 AM
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My strong guess (as I said in the other thread) is that Bezos will be largely indifferent as to whether or not the paper makes money (I'm sure he wants an operating profit) and that he's more interested in getting a powerful entree into official Washington, for whatever purpose, than anything else, plus as someone said it's a nice freebie for the Kindle (though I doubt that's sufficient on its own to justify the purchase). My guess is that the paper gets more Establishment-Washingtony, not less, and less locally-oriented.

That's different than Sam Zell, who bought the Tribune Company to loot it for profit and, without succeeding, drove the papers into ruin.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 6:10 AM
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Have I told the story about how I broke Sam Zell's sideboard?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 6:43 AM
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No? I assume it was in the course of trying to burgle his expensive silverware.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 6:47 AM
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229: Was it good for you?


Posted by: Sam Zell's Sideboard | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 6:55 AM
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It was college, and I had a shortlived summer job doing food prep in Zell's Equity Group: he had a personal chef who made lunch for the executives every day, and I was the chef's dogsbody, and faked elegant table service when there was a meeting.

One evening, he had the chef doing a dinner party at his apartment, and hired me to wait table for the (small) party. Terrifying apartment -- lots and lots of art by people I'd heard of, fifty stories up in a lakeside building. I was absolutely convinced that if I fucked anything up, Zell could have me killed.

Ed (the cook) had gotten all the dishes and such we needed to serve dinner on out of the sideboard in the dining room before Sam and the guests got there, but he'd forgotten to get dessert plates. I had to unobtrusively slink into the dining room and retrieve them during the entree.

I slink in, look at the sideboard, and realize that there are no handles or other hardware on the doors. I panic -- I have no idea how to get the damn piece of furniture open, and I'm trying to be inconspicuous in a small dining room with a billionaire and his dinner guests. I get my fingers around the edge of the door somehow, and pull in a controlled but very firm manner, and snap the latch mechanism that holds it shut. (What I should have done was pushed it in, and it would have popped open, but I was panicking. Rich people frighten me.)

I get the plates, and try to shut the sideboard, but of course it won't close properly because I've broken it. No one in the room has reacted to this -- breaking the latch didn't make a loud noise or anything. I ooze back into the kitchen, tell Ed what happened, and offer to pay to have it fixed.

Ultimately, Zell (who I never spoke to directly, I only talked to Ed), did not make me pay for the sideboard, and actually tipped really well -- I think the tip was as much as whatever I was charging per hour.

I'm really not a good waitress.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 6:59 AM
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That is, the tip was as much as I was charging, per hour, for the whole party.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 7:00 AM
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Have I told the story about how I broke Sam Zell's sideboard?

Yes.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 7:06 AM
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Oops, I meant: yes.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 7:09 AM
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You're right, I should have googled first ("Billionaire sideboard" works if anyone's interested.) But not since '08, so that's something. And this version was fuller.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 7:09 AM
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Although you padded that one out in subsequent comments.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 7:11 AM
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Zell had a Rodin bronze on a plinth in his apartment. I've never been so intimidated in my life.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 7:13 AM
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That story needs more sledgehammer, hors d'oeuvre platter overturning, and "I'm going to kill you first, Zell."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 7:13 AM
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Let's all post the story of how we would have broken Sam Zell's sideboard.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 7:15 AM
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"And that was the time I fucked Sam Zell's sideboard and broke it!:"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 7:16 AM
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231 was my entry.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 7:17 AM
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His son was kind of unpleasant, beady-eyed. Never went to his house that I can remember.

How do bad people want their kids to turn out, similarly hampered, or capable and perceptive?

With the force of casual repartee and an understated flex of my jaw, I compelled Z to destroy his own sideboard in a spasm of frustration at his wasted life, this before devoting his remaining days to eradicating Malaria.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 7:26 AM
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I cleaved Zell's sideboard with my broadsword, fashioned out of a branch. It had taken me all party to get in position, but I honed in on it.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 12:46 PM
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244 doesn't jive with my recollection.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 12:49 PM
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Sideboard splintered. Under wife. Sam Zell.


Posted by: Banastre Tarleton | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 1:33 PM
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Zell had a Rodin bronze on a plinth in his apartment. I've never been so intimidated in my life.

Most of those were cast many times, right? I mean, it sounds expensive, but I would have thought less so than more unique works of art.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 3:52 PM
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Fair enough. There was other stuff too, the Rodin is just what stuck in my head.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 3:59 PM
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Ow, sharp!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 4:09 PM
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That story needs more sledgehammer, hors d'oeuvre platter overturning, and "I'm going to kill you first, Zell."

LB as Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Zell, vols. 1 & 2.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 4:16 PM
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OT: So, question to other litigators. I'm doing an arbitration, which I don't do a lot of, and opposing counsel served me with a document styled a 'subpoena' looking for discovery. Obviously, it's not a functional subpoena, because there's no judicial action to which it relates. And separate from it not being a subpoena, there's no statutory right to discovery, again, because we're not in court. And the governing contract doesn't give them a right to pre-arbitration discovery.

Nonetheless, our practice is to give reasonable prehearing disclosure as a courtesy; if she'd written a letter saying 'please', I'd have given her most of what she's asking for. And, to be clear, I am giving her most of what she's asking for, because that's our practice -- we don't have any interest in arbitrating this by surprise.

But I am seriously pissed off. Styling something a subpoena that has no judicial force behind it reads to me as an illegitimate threat. I want to (I'm not going to, but I want to) withhold documents that I would have produced if she'd asked politely for them, just to make it clear that I'm not a chump that can be bullied with non-functional mock-legal process.

Am I unreasonable to be this annoyed? Like, do normal lawyers do this kind of thing -- oh, I'd like some documents, I'll call the request a subpoena even though it's meaningless in this context? I'm having a rotten enough month generally that I may be a little hair-trigger with the annoyance. I was crabby on the phone with her about it, which in retrospect may have been petty.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 4:46 PM
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What area does she normally practice in? It's sometimes possible to get a discovery subpoena for documents issued in an arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act if the arbitrators agree to issue one, or at least I think that it was the last time I looked at a similar issue, and specific arbitration rules (e.g., the FINRA rules) often give arbitrators powers to issue discovery subpoenas.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 5:46 PM
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She's generally in exactly this type of arbitration, and after looking into it (because I don't, myself, do much arbitration), I'm solid that her 'subpoena' is pure fantasy. It's not issued by the arbitrators -- she signed it herself without going to anyone.

I'm just wondering if the procedural bullshittery seems norm-violating to anyone else, or if it's not as weird as it seemed to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 5:52 PM
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The level of outrageousness depends on how bullshitty it is. If there's even a small possibility of her getting a subpoena or having that accepted by the arbitrators eventually, then it's a bit annoying but not really that big a deal, she's just kind of overpapering in a way that's not that unusual. If not it's a little more weird and outrageous, although I guess it gives you the document requests in a more traditional/itemized format than would be there otherwise. Since I don't know exactly what rules you're operating under it's hard to say how bullshitty it is from a distance.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 6:15 PM
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That would annoy me, probably to the point of inquiring in my response letter what her basis was for calling her document request a "subpoena," but I'm a known procedural nitpicker who doesn't do arbitration, so I'm probably not the one you want for a reality check here.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 6:22 PM
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Goddamn litigation sounds uncivilized. Why can't you just call her and say "hey, we typically give reasonable prehearing disclosure as a courtesy, and I'm happy to respond to most of your requests, but why is this thing labeled a "subpoena"? It's not a subpoena. Was that just a mistake?* It came across like an empty threat; we don't technically owe you anything." And then listen to her response?

*Because "just a mistake--picked up the wrong form for document request" would be my working assumption, but maybe I work across from less competent other lawyers than you do.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 6-13 6:35 PM
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Different state, different government functions, not in the context of arbitration, etc. etc., but there are those in my state government who can be supremely unresponsive to queries, to the point of my wondering if they're animal or vegetable. Even when it's part of their job to be responsive in this way, and even in one case where responding would clear the way between them and more money. If that's in this counsel's experience, this fake subpoena is still rude and uncalled-for, but a little more understandable.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:01 AM
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Huh. Anyone out there thinking that way, it's at least sometimes counterproductive. I was pissy enough about it that I let the (bogus, short) due date on the 'subpoena' blow by, and waited for her to contact me about it again. A letter I would have responded to more promptly. (Didn't slow down the rate at which I'm getting her the actual documents, but it delayed the conversation in which I told her when I'd be able to get things to her.)

Empty threats put my back way, way up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:19 AM
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Were you able to confirm that it was actually meant as a threat?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:21 AM
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Threat, what's a threat. I pointed out that it wasn't a subpoena, but as a courtesy I was going to be providing her some documents when I got around to it, and that I found her styling of the request as a subpoena a little surprising under the circumstances. She didn't suggest in response that it was enforceable, but did get a little shirty about that's how they always do it, and my finding it odd was odd in itself.

I mean, it collapses as a threat once you're talking to someone who knows it's not enforceable -- if it was a stupid bluff, she dropped it when I called her on it, but that doesn't mean it wasn't initially meant as a bluff. And if that bluff was intended, I think it was both unethical and insulting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:28 AM
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I wouldn't worry about ethics. Focus on the insult and work her over for that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:31 AM
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Oh, yes, I'd agree that's unethical and insulting, and was meant as a bluff/threat. I was sort of hoping/expecting she'd have said "oh, sorry, I guess you're right, that's just the standard form and I wasn't thinking about it." If she got shirty, that's aggravating.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:32 AM
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(I admit I don't really know what it means to get shirty. I'm inferring meaning based on the context in which it was used.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:33 AM
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(And according to the dictionary I'm inferring meaning correctly!)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:38 AM
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Great. I'll fax you a sticker.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:42 AM
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258: Yes, I'd agree it would be counterproductive even if used on the worst goldbrickers imaginable.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:29 AM
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Somebody empty threatened me at work the other day, and I went from mostly compliant to completely intransigent in zero seconds flat.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:53 AM
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Come to think of it, I was annoyed enough at being empty threatened that I spent a few hours undermining the threatener's efforts to make good on his threat, going so far as to enlist the help of current and former unfogged commenters.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:58 AM
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[I'm imagining "Get Shirty" printed on a pirated DVD cover from China. To complete the image, it would have a photo of John Travolta as he appeared in Welcome Back Kotter and Danny DeVito as he appeared in Batman Returns.]


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:08 AM
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268: yeah, I don't think that guy's going to be giving you any more trouble any time soon. (cracks knuckles)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:17 AM
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Because I am compelled to announce when I've been a jerk, I will say that I'm working in a procedurally unfamiliar area, and the thing I was bitching about wasn't nearly as out of line as I thought it was. It was still messed up, but much more along the 'normal overpapering' lines Halford suggested in 254, and not at all the sort of thing I would have been actively bitchy about if I hadn't been confused myself. There's nothing to actively back down from at the moment, and the papers as served were wrong enough that it doesn't make sense for me to apologize, but I'm feeling like an asshole.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:02 AM
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Boy is my face red. I arranged for a guy to put a dead cat in her trunk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:04 AM
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I'm really not having a good month here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:11 AM
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If you want cheered up, maybe the guy hasn't killed the cat yet and you'd like a pet. It's already paid for.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:13 AM
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I can't say I don't want cheered up, but I'm not sure Schrodinger's threat there is going to do it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:32 AM
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273: Wait didn't you just successfully clear up that Jarndyce v. Jarndyce thing left over from a previous administration?

And speaking of court cases, there was an interesting and long article in the NYer on civil forfeiture that I was going to send along to someone as a Guest Post except that I'm sort of having the month you're having. But let me just say United States v. Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:44 AM
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I'm having a good month, but I don't have any ideas.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:55 AM
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United States v. Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins

Law & Order: SyFy Movie Unit


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:31 AM
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In these cases, why is it "United States v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola", but "One 1958 Plymouth Sedan v. Pennsylvania"? The inanimate objects flip from plaintiff to defendant at the national level.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:44 AM
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The caption flips depending on who brings the appeal. So the US brings a case against, say, a couple of dozen potted plants, and the US is in the caption first as the plaintiff. The US wins, and then the plants appeal, and they're in the caption first as the appellant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:47 AM
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That makes sense. But why is it always(?) the state last, or the US first?

Has there ever been a case where both sides were inanimate objects? Or do we have to wait for the Culture for that?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:50 AM
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I never realized that Alien v. Predator was a courtroom drama.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:54 AM
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I never realized that Kramer v. Kramer wasn't about a fight between two alien species.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:59 AM
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I would actually watch Freddy vs Jason if it were a courtroom drama.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:04 AM
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I've actually seen Freddy vs Jason.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:08 AM
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I've seen Freddy vs Jason off the shoulder of Orion.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:11 AM
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Has there ever been a case where both sides were inanimate objects?

Bush v. Gore?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:11 AM
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Do commenters win threads on Unfogged? Because if so, ajay's 247 would have done.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:14 AM
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I've seen Freddy vs Jason off the shoulder of Orion.

And they were both on fire at one point.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:15 AM
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Do commenters win threads on Unfogged?

Are we still playing by Chopper Rules?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 10:14 AM
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290 So yes but unless ajay is the last to comment he does not actually win the thread.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 10:22 AM
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Frist!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 11:57 AM
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Lsat!


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:29 PM
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Well then.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-13 8:17 AM
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Nice try.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-14-13 8:22 AM
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1000!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-13 8:23 AM
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100101000100101001


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-13 8:24 AM
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Insert [this] here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-14-13 8:39 AM
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