Re: Inside Cricket

1

Hey, the land-value tax. Pittsburgh had that until the 80s or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:23 PM
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Really! What were the arguments for getting rid of it?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:27 PM
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Wikipedia says it was until 2001, when reassessments had the value of land skyrocketing. So I guess no one wanted to be responsible for dropping a huge tax on landowners (rather than thinking the land value tax itself was a bad idea).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:30 PM
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This seems to call for a useful answer. Give me a second.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:31 PM
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Don't bother, the 80s/2001 discrepancy has already unmasked you as a German spy. You'll be shot at the next meetup.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:32 PM
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Allow me to be the first to suggest Wikipedia.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:32 PM
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I had no idea it lasted that long. Anyway, my house's assessment is still split into land value and building value.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:32 PM
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I know, slightly, a guy who belongs to a Georgeist tax advocacy organization.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:32 PM
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Wikipedia says it was until 2001, when reassessments had the value of land skyrocketing. So I guess no one wanted to be responsible for dropping a huge tax on landowners (rather than thinking the land value tax itself was a bad idea).

Under the normal real estate tax it seems like your property gets assessed every 17 years or so, and then the "value" stays the same until 17 years later or it gets sold, whichever happens first. Why would the land value tax be more responsive to actual values of things?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:36 PM
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The argument that land-and-property-value taxes discourage building or improving sounds awfully like the argument that progressive income taxes discourage work. If you invest more (/ get more income), your taxes go up, but you are still at a net positive.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:41 PM
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I was the speaker in favor of a Land Value Tax at a debate club a couple of years ago. I think it's a good idea, but it's not a magic bullet. The main benefit is that it would strongly discourage speculators leaving parcels un/derdeveloped, but while there are a few areas of the city where that's an issue, particularly the central waterfront area, the main problem is the neighborhoods of 1- and 2-story houses, especially in extremely transit-friendly neighborhoods. The areas around the BART stations--all of them, even unto Colma, SSF, Millbrae--should be zoned for 10+ stories, at least. But it's hard to do this in a way that reassures current tenants that they aren't just going to get kicked out and replaced by rich programmers.

Speaking of which, an anecdote! One of the members of my coding bootcamp cohort got a job immediately after the program--I didn't hear the exact number, but my sense is around 100k--and promptly rented a place downtown, a block or two from his new workplace, for over 3k a month. Because why not? He's 19 years old, he has the cash, he has nothing else to spend it on--why not spend a third of your salary on a swanky apartment? Anyway. This, happening thousands of times over, is a large part of what's going on, and a land value tax by itself wouldn't do all that much to change it. You have a lot of newcomers with tons of money outbidding people without much money.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:47 PM
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I think it's a good idea, but it's not a magic bullet. The main benefit is that it would strongly discourage speculators leaving parcels un/derdeveloped, but while there are a few areas of the city where that's an issue, particularly the central waterfront area, the main problem is the neighborhoods of 1- and 2-story houses, especially in extremely transit-friendly neighborhoods. The areas around the BART stations--all of them, even unto Colma, SSF, Millbrae--should be zoned for 10+ stories, at least.

Yglesias agrees.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:53 PM
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When you get into the weeds of how it would work, it can get complicated. You really do want assessments to be frequent, at least for some sorts of parcels--vacant or undeveloped ones, for example. But if you're in favor of some sort of rent stabilization, it doesn't make sense to allow the parcel's LV tax to be constantly reassessed; in a situation of skyrocketing land values, like we've got now, it'd only further incentivize kicking out all the tenants in order to turn the building into condos. (Ellis Act evictions are way, way up over the past few years.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:53 PM
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First of all, Prop 13 makes this impossible. Second of all, property taxes in California (at least in LA County, and I assume in the City and County of SF) already break out land value and property value, and generally land value is like 85-90% of the assessed value. If property taxes were allowed to rise with the market value of land (they aren't, see Prop 13) you'd already have an effective Henry George tax in place. For properties like large rental units that (I think) are exempt from Prop 13 you already do have an effective George tax based on land value.

But the whole premise is silly. Developers would love to build in San Francisco. They're not being held back by fear of tiny increases in the structures part of their property tax, they're being held back because the City has made it effectively impossible to build there, because it has decided, more or less democratically, that it wants to be a playground for rich people and grandfathered-in current residents, plus a smattering of homeless, to preserve "character."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:54 PM
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Yglesias agrees.

Yeah, I read that earlier, and believe me, it irks me to no end that I'm basically parroting him.

I should be clear that I don't think just getting out of the way and letting the market work its magic is what's called for.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:56 PM
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Right, me neither. You still need an affordable housing policy no matter what. But a George tax is a particularly irrelevant issue in San Francisco (actually, it's so irrelevant, so inattentive to detail, and so one size fits all undergrad-y, that I'm surprised Yglesias isn't more in favor).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:59 PM
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My land value is half my building value, because my building is made of gold.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:01 PM
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I think the protestors, instead of focussing on google busses, should start camping in yards in Mountain View until Mountain View starts approving some new development. Either you have new apartments housing programmers, or you have tent villages housing activists, your choice silicon valley towns.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:01 PM
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Occupy Silicon Valley.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:02 PM
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Developers would love to build in San Francisco. They're not being held back by fear of tiny increases in the structures part of their property tax, they're being held back because the City has made it effectively impossible to build there

This may be more or less accurate right now, but my impression is that large portions of the eastern part of the city lay undeveloped for decades because basically there was no financial reason not to hang onto it for speculative reasons until external factors and a bubble made it possible to put together some big fancy deal. That said, I was told this by a retired Bech/tel exec whose greatest source of pride was the role he played in setting up precisely those zoning regulations you're talking about. So, grain of salt.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:05 PM
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Unsurprisingly this has me feeling super depressed, so feel free to pass along recommendations of escapist novels, Mineshaft.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:14 PM
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Or because land is much, much less valuable here than in San Francisco.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:16 PM
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21: I've been having good luck with Dorothy Sayers and Rex Stout.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:26 PM
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I don't know much about the land value tax -- I might have heard most of the information in the linked article somewhere before, but nothing more than that -- but I tend to think it's good.

I suppose if I were a conservative who liked to donate money to Republicans the D'Souza indictment might make me worry about being targeted, but then I suppose I'd be calmed knowing that Republicans packed as many U.S. Attorney's offices as possible with Federalists not long ago -- and they were pretty young, as I recall -- so things should stay fair and balanced for awhile. Then I'd probably laugh.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:35 PM
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I wouldn't be so complaisant. US Attorney posts roll over with each new Admin. AUSAs don't, of course, but a new USA really does have a lot of power to push the agenda one way or the other. And the right wingers who take AUSA jobs are just authoritarian enough to feel bound to take orders from the new boss.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:55 PM
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It is depressing how perverse islands of self interest develop as well. For instance, if you look up the assessment on the place I live in now, the assessed value of the property is less than 10% of what I know it would sell for, even if the place were leveled and replaced with condos (the most likely outcome if sold). We have well below-market rent, and were it to be taxed at current value, that would likely make the landlord want to sell - I'm rent stabilized, so he couldn't easily pass that on.

Fucked real estate market is fucked.


Posted by: Grumbles | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:48 PM
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What is the Silicon Valley housing market like now? I always thought most of the people who work there but can't afford to live nearby were not in high wage jobs while people in high wage jobs who live in SF were mostly doing so by choice.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:02 PM
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27: It varies a lot, because there is so much more of it. There is also a heavier emphasis on buy vs. rent. San Jose, or at least parts of it, are nearly as expensive as SF, but I think that is the most expensive area, outside of tiny, highly attractive micro-regions like Sand Hill Road and the various beachfront roads.


Posted by: Grumbles | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:40 PM
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Sorry for the back-to-back post.

People who live here and work south of here absolutely do so by choice. They could certainly have cheaper housing closer to Mountain View or Cupertino or wherever. Doing so requires a car, so that at least partially partially offsets the cost difference, depending on where you do live and what you want to drive. (So sick of the fucking Teslas. And that is in SF.)


Posted by: Grumbles | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:47 PM
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I thought we solved this recently: the way to solve everything about San Francisco is to move the tech industry to Cleveland.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:08 AM
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NE OH is where faith in humanity goes to drink itself to death and make everyone around it miserable while doing so.


Posted by: Grumbles | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:29 AM
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What was the thread recently about bad accents in movies? You know what's a good movie with a pair of really overdone, bad accents? Thelma and Louise. Thayulma and L'weeyuz.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:07 AM
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a plot of land in downtown Manhattan will be worth much more than an identical plot in rural Kansas, even if they have identical houses built on top of them

I'm disappointed that he didn't go for the "plot in rural Kansas, also named Manhattan" joke.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:35 AM
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Hm. Uneven movie, I will amend that to.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:53 AM
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Outside cricket is too bright for reading.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 3:06 AM
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escapist novels: socialist futures among the stars courtesy of Iain M. Banks.


Posted by: simulated annealing | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 5:38 AM
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Clearly what we need is a new version of monopoly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 6:14 AM
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escapist novels: socialist futures among the stars courtesy of Iain M. Banks.

Mmyes. Not great for depression. In the words of Mr Banks, "Someone once asked on a message board whether all my novels end with all the characters dead except one, and the answer was 'no, sometimes they all die'."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 7:24 AM
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Nevermind that the term "gigadeaths" only seems to be used in proximity to his novels. (At least I hope that's true.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 7:26 AM
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For fluffy escapism, I just read a couple of fantasy police procedurally by Ben Aaronovich (or something recognizably close to that). London police with magic. Not life changing, but killed a pleasant couple of hours.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 7:29 AM
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Procedurally s/b procedurals.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 7:30 AM
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40: the Peter Grant boks. Yes, they're rather good. (Aaronovitch.) Though the Latin is wobbly (albeit not at a Harry Potter level, but still not good).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 7:33 AM
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What is the proper Latin wording for making something fly through the air?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 7:36 AM
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I also really enjoyed the Peter Grant books, and I think the fourth is available in the US soon. They handle race well and I really liked having a male protagonist who definitely objectifies women in terms of checking them out all the time but at least cares about consent and so on in actual interactions.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 7:37 AM
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||

No comment but mmm.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 7:47 AM
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I saw that last week and it's her voice in denying it that really makes it delicious- "and that's actually not truuuueeee..."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:00 AM
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I reread all of Stephenson when I was in Cleveland, and Anathem was released then, which gave me several days of puzzlement/enjoyment. And Iain (+-M) Banks helped as well, although explaining The Wasp Factory (for instance) to relatives was... Interesting.


Posted by: Grumbles | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:09 AM
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What struck me about that was the live audience. Not to ring the bell on the Gusty Bus or anything, but how barren must one's life be so that being in the audience for such a thing seems like a worthwhile use of time? It's not just sitting there listening to her, but these people drove to the studio in traffic, parked, hired sitters, the whole deal.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:12 AM
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Escape From The Planet Of The Fascists:
Sandman Slim series by Richard Kadrey -- not that they're so brilliant, but his world-building is pretty solid and the take on urban fantasy/horror is amusing.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:24 AM
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Just out of curiosity, do people convicted of evading campaign donation limits ever do prison time?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:34 AM
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I think The Story of the Eye might have made more sense to them, if only because it was older and surrealism is just what kids like to read. The Wasp Factory reads too close to what has actually happened in a family with mental health issues over the last few generations.

(This is to say, my issues are mostly about self-harm, and the reason I am on this coast is it is as far away as I can get without leaving the country. I won't get in to therapy crap, but if you can't find something in the Bay Area to help you, you probably aren't looking reasonably. )


Posted by: Grumbles | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:35 AM
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I wonder why D'Souza would do something so penny-ante corrupt. I guess that goes for anyone who does it, so clearly there are people out there willing to play the game, but they are all stupid.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:42 AM
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52: Because Obama is destroying American and you don't care.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:42 AM
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31: It was one degree below zero this morning in my little corner of northeast Ohio, so I am totally on board with drinking until I kill the brain cells that are in charge of "hope" and "joy".

The Peter Grant books are fun, but there's been some diminishing returns problems. How about Hannu Rajaniemi's Banks*-meets-Lupin The Quantum Thief?

* More like MacLeod, I guess. But hey.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:49 AM
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48: It seems to have been held at the Kaufman Music Center, a couple of blocks from Lincoln Square. Somehow I suspect most of the audience did not drive in.

And I share your perception of mainstream political back-and-forth being kind of a barren thing to focus on, as with CSPAN callers, but really, what on earth is wrong with people taking some interest in current events, even at a shallow level? 150 years ago everyone would have shown up if they could. It's certainly less stupid an event than almost all network or 24-hour news.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:49 AM
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I care deeply about Barack Hussein X and his war on America. I'm just disapointed that it's going so slowly.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:50 AM
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56 to 53


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:51 AM
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All funning aside, I'm impressed at Obama's ability to avoid any significant scandals during his terms so far. I would guess that people have been out digging with the usual gusto, so either they've been really misguided about where that digging should occur, or he's just an incredibly decent family man.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 9:05 AM
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I guess 58 contains a false dichotomy -- it could be that the diggers were really misguided and that Obama is a good husband. Still you would think they'd have paid a white lady to make up some stories by now.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 9:09 AM
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They got dressed and expended effort to hear McArdle speak. In a context where they could just get up and go get a sandwich, or switch over to a ball game, if it got too inane. Clearly, New York needs some better entertainment options.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 9:12 AM
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couldn't


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 9:12 AM
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They had to put on shoes!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 9:14 AM
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It's possible they already had on shoes. Lots of people wear shoes in the house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 9:15 AM
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It is not the case that you can save lots of money (as opposed to, say, time, aggravation and delicious tacos) by moving from San Francisco to Mountain View. East Palo Alto, maybe.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 9:21 AM
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The big advantage of living in Cupertino would be not having to re-set your location for the weather report on your iPhone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 9:23 AM
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Chris Ewan is good fluffy escapism, if you haven't encountered him.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 9:49 AM
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Is the premise of the OP that prominent Indian-Americans will hunt down and kill other prominent Indian-Americans who are their ideological enemies, and that's why it's "inside cricket" and "there can only be one"? It took me a while to figure out what was going on.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:00 AM
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I rewatched the Highlander recently, and while I wouldn't say it "holds up" exactly it is still pretty great. I'd forgotten that Sean Connery, the only actual Scotsman in the movie, plays a Spaniard/Egyptian.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:02 AM
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I don't think people should let kids see it in case they get the idea that every bolt of lightening means somebody got their head cut off.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:09 AM
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Every bolt of lightening means that Sam may finally be making the quantum leap home.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:12 AM
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re: 68

Yeah, I watched it not that long ago when it was on the telly. It's still a pretty entertaining film. The casting of Connery is hilarious, and must have been a deliberate joke on the part of the producers/director.

Connery's late career big-and-dumb high water mark is The Rock, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:13 AM
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Have you see The Avengers?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:20 AM
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With Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes? No.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:26 AM
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Right. To be explicit, my argument is that movie is bigger and dumber than The Rock both overall and in terms of Connery's performance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:30 AM
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Connery's late career big-and-dumb high water mark is The Rock, though.

Spoken like a man who's never seen "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:35 AM
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Another good point.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:36 AM
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Sick Boy: It's certainly a phenomenon in all walks of life.

Mark "Rent-boy" Renton: What do you mean?

Sick Boy: Well, at one time, you've got it, and then you lose it, and it's gone forever. All walks of life: George Best, for example. Had it, lost it. Or David Bowie, or Lou Reed...

Mark "Rent-boy" Renton: Some of his solo stuff's not bad.

Sick Boy: No, it's not bad, but it's not great either. And in your heart you kind of know that although it sounds all right, it's actually just shite.

Mark "Rent-boy" Renton: So who else?

Sick Boy: Charlie Nicholas, David Niven, Malcolm McLaren, Elvis Presley...

Mark "Rent-boy" Renton: OK, OK, so what's the point you're trying to make?

Sick Boy: All I'm trying to do is help you understand that The Name of The Rose is merely a blip on an otherwise uninterrupted downward trajectory.

Mark "Rent-boy" Renton: What about The Untouchables?

Sick Boy: I don't rate that at all.

Mark "Rent-boy" Renton: Despite the Academy Award?

Sick Boy: That means fuck all. Its a sympathy vote.

Mark "Rent-boy" Renton: Right. So we all get old and then we can't hack it anymore. Is that it?

Sick Boy: Yeah.

Mark "Rent-boy" Renton: That's your theory?

Sick Boy: Yeah. Beautifully fucking illustrated.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:36 AM
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re: 75

I have seen that, but I don't think it's as successful-in-a-big-and-stupid-way as The Rock.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:36 AM
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re: 77

Heh heh.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:38 AM
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I wouldn't be so complaisant

I, however, would be pedantic enough to point out that the word you want is "complacent". "Complaisant" means "eager to please".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:42 AM
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-- ttaM? He doesnae count, he's got no moral fibre.

-- He knows a hell of a lot about Sean Connery films manuscript archiving photography kicking people in the head.

-- That's hardly a substitute.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:43 AM
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I can't remember how I ended up going to see The Avengers, but I'm pretty sure it's the worst movie I've ever seen in a theater.

I'm honestly puzzled as to how it got made. At some point someone must have looked at and said "Wait a minute, this is completely incoherent even by the standards of big dumb action movies!"

I suppose by then it was too late.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:46 AM
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Another great thing about the Highlander is that the hot chick/love interest is a beautiful, sexy ... specialist in the metallurgy of antique weapons. Keep dreaming, army surplus store clerk guy. Keep dreaming.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:47 AM
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One odd thing about The Avengers is there are almost no scenes containing more than four actors. Usually just Feinnes, Thurman and one other person. In one of the several large-scale action set pieces, and possibly the only one with a whole room full of people, all the characters are wearing giant furry animal suits.

I think more than half the listed cast is people who just appear in the opening training sequence with the nuns and the pram and whatever else was going on.

Shouldn't this sort of movie have, like, extras?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 10:52 AM
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all the characters are wearing giant furry animal suits

I took that as an obvious homage to Kurosawa.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 11:03 AM
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Continuing from 83, her thousand page book is called "A Metallurgical History of Ancient Swords." Sexytime! Also, she works for the NYPD, which to be fair really does employ at least 30 ancient sword metallurgists.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 11:03 AM
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Did I mention that I haven't seen Highlander in its entirety? I fell asleep somewhere near the beginning and may have woken up a few times, but not enough to follow it.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 11:08 AM
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86: Of the approximately 10,000 forensic "crime scene investigation" shows currently running, I'll bet none of them feature a sexy ancient sword metallurgist as the main character. Someone needs to get on this asap.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 11:10 AM
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I have seen that, but I don't think it's as successful-in-a-big-and-stupid-way as The Rock.

Yeah, The Rock is great fun for a big dumb action movie, especially when you consider it's a Michael Bay film. On the other hand, it does mark the beginning of Nicolas Cage's descent into, well, Nicolas Cage.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 11:16 AM
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Is it "CSI: Toledo" or "CSI: Damascus"?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 11:17 AM
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91

"So sick of Teslas" makes me think that I've just reached the innermost sanctum of the "first world problems" domain. And indeed, I did just get stuck with the problem of having to commute to Silicon Valley 9-5 without living there, as I worried a few months ago would happen. It turns out that even if you're getting paid, the rents are still upsetting and you still don't want to pay them -- kayak described it as "leaving the bathtub faucet running all day because someone else is paying your water bill." Definitely the case that, if you restrict your search to places that don't suck, SV and SF are about equally expensive. I don't think I can move the family to East Palo Alto. We found one $3000/mo. 3-bedroom house in Mountain View that is the standard-bearing "reasonable option." (This job is a 4-month contract and I don't necessarily have to stay there, and thus move, after the contract ends. I do have to ride the trains a lot, because there's no way that I'm driving. I could try to carpool with the Berkeley resident who commutes to Google in his self-driving car, I suppose. I'm hoping they'll let me work on the train or at home in the evening.)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 11:32 AM
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It turns out that even if you're getting paid, the rents are still upsetting and you still don't want to pay them -- kayak described it as "leaving the bathtub faucet running all day because someone else is paying your water bill."

But of course this is ridiculous. Do we need to talk about it?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 11:38 AM
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"So sick of Teslas" makes me think that I've just reached the innermost sanctum of the "first world problems" domain.

Are you also sick of Google Glass?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 11:44 AM
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Only a true Scotsman can play a Spaniard and/or an Egyptian.


Posted by: Grumbles | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 11:55 AM
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91: Congrats on the job, at least? I remember considering a move to SV a few years ago and realizing that it would be very unlikely we could afford even a condo, much less a house, in the next 20 years. The boyfriend doesn't quite understand why I keep telling him we can't afford northern CA.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:04 PM
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Would this be a good time to point out how many months of mortgage payments $3,000 is for me?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:05 PM
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Spoken like a man who's never seen "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen".

You can't top the fact that Connery took the job because he'd passed on two movies* that he looked at and thought, "this doesn't really make sense to me" and both of them went on to be gigantic hits, so he took the next movie that was offered which didn't make any sense.

* I know this because, having gotten The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen from the library I (correctly) decided that the extras would be more interesting than the feature film. I may be able to remember what the other two movies were -- The Matrix might have been one of them.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:07 PM
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having gotten The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen from the library I (correctly) decided that the extras would be more interesting less mind-numbingly awful, idiotic, excrescent, putrifying, aaaagghhh-I-want-to-rip-my-eyes-out-of-my-head unwatchable than the feature film.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:11 PM
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Pretty much right in 67, Halford, but it's Bharara in particular who seems to be prosecuting another South Asian every time I turn around. I did some "Is it just me, or...?" googling before I posted (that's right: research) and sure enough, found an article accusing him of Sistah Soujahring his brown brethren, in preparation for a run at some office. I don't actually believe this (although I haven't been following the man's career at all beyond the headlines), but it does amuse me to contemplate.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:13 PM
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I may be able to remember what the other two movies were -- The Matrix might have been one of them.

Connery supposedly turned down The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings. Which, come on, anyone can understand The Lord of the Rings. It was written 70 years ago in a spirit of intense nostalgia.

Meanwhile, who knows what The Matrix would have turned into with any of the 950 actors who supposedly turned down the roles. Will Smith as Neo, Sandra Bullock as Trinity, Sean Connery as Morpheus. Or Nicolas Cage as Neo, Lauryn Hill as Trinity, and Val Kilmer as Morpheus.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:17 PM
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Who killed Gmail?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:19 PM
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Man, I had it good when I lived in the Bay Area. Sounds like things have gotten tougher, even from five years ago. Much as I loved it there, and still really consider it home, it's clear to us that it would be crazy to move back.

We met a family who lived in Winslow, Arizona who had moved from Silicon Valley (one a doctor, the other an engineer, both smart as hell) because they thought it was an insane, money-drenched place to raise their kids. They homeschooled in AZ for several years, and recently moved to a small farm in, you guessed it, Ohio.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:19 PM
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96: The boyfriend had an off-site interview with a company located in Mobyburgh. The company goes by its initials, one of which is the city's name. He was asked point-blank, "You do understand that this job is in Mobyburgh, right?" The boyfriend replied, "Well, the name of the company does kind of give it away, doesn't it?" and blathered on about how much he loves and misses the Rust Belt. He didn't get an offer. Perhaps actually liking the location caused them to question his judgment?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:20 PM
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San Francisco is a garden of Eden, it's a paradise to live in or to see...


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:21 PM
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101: It's dead here also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:21 PM
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96: Yeah, ours just dropped by $100, due to our neighborhood having its tax rate reduced for like 5 of the 6 years we've been living here.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:24 PM
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103: It's possible they found the term "Rust Belt" insulting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:27 PM
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I stayed close friends with a high school friend for almost 25 years, but she's lived in Cupertino and worked for Apple, Cisco, Google for the last ten years. The way she references money and necessities has made her pretty much incomprehensible to me. Her milieu is not my milieu. Just in the last couple years, we haven't stayed close and money is a big part of it (and I'm not poor!).

I have to say, I also don't get her lack of self-awareness on this. She grew up one of four Vietnamese kids in a one bedroom apartment in bad Los Angeles. The mom and every kid worked and their dad took all their wages to gamble. What does she mean when she says her daughters need {some disproportionate extravagence}? Does she not remember her very own self?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:28 PM
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If you grew up with holes in your zapatos, you'd celebrate the minute you been having dough


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:31 PM
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107: Oxidation Belt?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:32 PM
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103: There's no end of people in the Mobyburgh diaspora who want to move back.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:32 PM
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Mobyburgh sounds great, except for the weather. It's been almost 70 here almost every day of the last, I dunno, forever.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:36 PM
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Don't believe the haters. It was cold this morning, but it's already up to 12.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:38 PM
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Mobyburgh is a great place to cultivate seasonal affective disorder. You'll develop a well-refined taste for the many different sorts of gray, cloudy days.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:50 PM
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Mobyburgh is fantastic, even though as a resident of Rftsland I am supposed to despise it.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 12:55 PM
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After I build my cob house, I'll be able to sell my regular house for a huge profit and retire.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:00 PM
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Pittsburgh despising Cleveland and vice versa is a stupefyingly boring amalgamation of the narcissism of small differences and the viciousness of academic politics being a result of the smallness of the stakes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:07 PM
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That and Cleveland smells funny.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:08 PM
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Even I liked Mobyburgh a lot during my brief stay there, which to be fair didn't last into the winter, and I sometimes contemplate the impossible move after making a mortgage payment. Cleveland is too flat.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:10 PM
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And has the ineffable feeling of grossness that accompanies all things Ohio.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:11 PM
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There's a very nice river valley south of Cleveland.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:12 PM
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My wife wants us to move to Nashville. One of these days, I'm going to have to tell her that I'm Middle-Eastern.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:13 PM
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Cleveland is like Pittsburgh but without the good parts, and with extra snow.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:13 PM
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Nashville is actually pretty awesome. Actually I've never been there but I hear it's pretty awesome.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:13 PM
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amalgamation of the narcissism of small differences and the viciousness of academic politics being a result of the smallness of the stakes.

Isn't that sort of redundant?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:14 PM
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I guess that was cryptic. I know people who like Nashville and it seems like a reasonable place to live. Value adding!!!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:14 PM
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I've heard the same. Scouting trip this spring. Fact: Nashville has the largest Kurdish community in the US.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:16 PM
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125: No, they are subtly different. I and I will fight about that to the bitter end.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:18 PM
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-I


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:19 PM
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And has the ineffable feeling of grossness that accompanies all things Ohio.

/slimes Halford


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:21 PM
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Why are you fighting with will?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:21 PM
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I guess it makes more sense if I delete the other 'I'.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:22 PM
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Cleveland is like Pittsburgh but without the good parts, and with extra snow.

Sadly, that's about how I feel about it, too, and yet here I am firmly here instead of there. Oh well, at least my job is in fact pretty damn delightful.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:23 PM
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The "good parts" are french fries on salads, hills, and fewer serial killers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:29 PM
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Also the Carnegie museum and a much more pleasingly organized arrangement of stuff I want to walk to/places I would want to live and walk to it from.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:34 PM
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The dinosaurs and the giant hall of "let taxidermy everything that moves" are great. I think Cleveland has better art. At least, it has art by people I've heard of.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:36 PM
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Cleveland has a better amusement park. And is the home of the annual MAC basketball championship tournament!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:41 PM
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I should go to Lake Erie this summer instead of South Carolina. A beach is a beach.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:44 PM
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I think Cleveland has better art.

No way. Not a bad collection, though, I'll certainly admit.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:50 PM
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the giant hall of "let taxidermy everything that moves" are great

Well described! I love that part.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:51 PM
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If you work for a school, you can get them to lend you a few boxes of dead things for your lessons. You can keep them for weeks. But they won't let you borrow even a case of squirrels for private birthday party.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:55 PM
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xoxox 141.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 1:57 PM
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"taxidermy everything that moves"

The Carnegie Museum's "Arab Courier Attacked by Lions" remains burned into my memory from a school field trip.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:02 PM
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It's still there, but I think they replaced the original Arab guy with a mannequin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:05 PM
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My wife wants us to move to Nashville.

A friend of mine who does science writing for kids lives in Nashville. With his midwife wife, and their three kids, the youngest of which I think is the same age as one of your kids. You'd like them.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:09 PM
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Speaking of the Midwest, today's XKCD (sorry neb) is both surprisingly good and mentions St Louis.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:16 PM
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Ohio has many interesting things to see. At least that's what I wrote in a certain travel book; I didn't actually go to any of those places.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:18 PM
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Sadly, that's about how I feel about it, too, and yet here I am firmly here instead of there. Oh well, at least my job is in fact pretty damn delightful.

As I recall, Shaker Heights/University Circle really weren't bad at all.

Bummer about the serial killers though.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:27 PM
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You'd like them.

I'm sure! I've very curious to see whether the vibe is young and hip, or staid and conservative, or something else. Asheville, NC totally surprised me when I was there, and I've heard even better things about Nashville.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:35 PM
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130 -- look, it's not like there will be no collateral damage from my ongoing attempt to exacerbate the narcissism of small differences/have a low stakes battle with the Stormcrow. That's the way of the very pointless warrior.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:37 PM
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Lots of church homes to pick from in Nashville.

(My uncle lived there and got asked if he had a church home soon after arriving. I was reminded of this because a dude in my lab just took a faculty job in TN and got asked that in the thread where he told FB. It's a thing, I have determined.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:41 PM
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Asheville is a great city.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:41 PM
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A church home like one of those old wooden churches converted into an awesome loft space?


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:42 PM
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the way of the very pointless warrior

The manifesto of Halfordismo!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:43 PM
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151: Like, a home that was formerly a church? I've always wanted one of those.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:43 PM
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It's still there, but I think they replaced the original Arab guy with a mannequin.

The stuffed lions were attacking an mannequin back when I saw it, but the story was that there had been a real taxidermied person in there at some point. This was catnip (so to speak) to our third- or fourth-grade class.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:44 PM
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Or, you know, what Bave said.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:44 PM
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156 to Standpipe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:46 PM
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Asheville is a great city.

With shitty swimming pools.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:50 PM
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But great nearby rivers and springs to swim in.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:51 PM
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That's very funny.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:53 PM
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I went to summer camp near there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:53 PM
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With shitty swimming pools.

The Homestead Public Library has a 50 yard pool in it. It's one of the old, old kind made of tile and where the deck is about a foot higher than the water. If only somebody would clean the locker rooms and maybe set up the filter to pull the hair out of the water.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:53 PM
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As I recall, Shaker Heights/University Circle really weren't bad at all.

No, not bad, just a bit dull. Of course I suppose most things would feel dull in this weather.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 3:03 PM
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How about Hannu Rajaniemi's Banks*-meets-Lupin The Quantum Thief

Oh, I just obtained this after reading a quick summary. Did you like it? It sounded like fun to me.

Rivers of London et al were enjoyable, but for some reason they just didn't hook me the way I thought they would.

Finally, I really like Cleveland and NE Ohio, probably because I only ever visited as a child/young adult and, well, Grandpa! I still enjoy Ohio's scenery, though.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 3:26 PM
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but for some reason they just didn't hook me the way I thought they would.

You want me to pick them apart? I liked them enough to get critical. Mostly, I think Nightingale's not enough of a character -- he's a lay figure with very little personality, despite what could be an interesting backstory. All of the "I thought magic was dying out so I'd never need a replacement" routine doesn't make sense when you look at the amount of ongoing magic that's going on all the time, the fact that there are teams of paramilitary ready to deal with magical problems and so on.

(The books could have been written with Nightingale more intentionally absent, and that could have worked fine, but he's sort of there and not there, and it's a weak point.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 3:53 PM
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139: Cleveland has a really top notch Greek and Roman collection.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 5:13 PM
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167: Have you seen the one we have? I haven't checked out Cleveland's. Maybe there will be a kiddie road trip in our future, although that's sort of a bad idea since they don't care all that much about antiquities.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 5:20 PM
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165 - I liked it; the sequel didn't grip me as much, because the AIs-as-memes-as-Arabian-Nights-stories schtick didn't work as well as the altered-reality-privacy-filter narrative stuff in the first book, which reminded me slightly of a less deliberately maddening version of Gene Wolfe's silliness in Soldier of the Mists. But the first one was quite good, I thought.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 6:12 PM
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149: Asheville, NC totally surprised me when I was there

Sadly, politically, public policy-wise, it's shitty. A friend of mine has decided in the last few months to leave the state in favor of returning to Maryland. That NC has become so starkly and rather screamingly red from its former blue or purple status -- state government now under full Republican control -- is a relatively recent turn of events, though.

Back in the day, a person mightn't have needed to think very much about state political alignments, but I'm not sure I'd go lightly these days. Maybe the Moral Monday movement will make some headway in NC.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 7:26 PM
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North Carolina is having a revanchist Republican moment, but Asheville itself, I'm pretty sure, remains as hippy dippy as a town in the South can be.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 7:39 PM
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Is it as hippie as Carrboro?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 7:45 PM
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It's been so long, all I can remember of Carrboro is Carrburrito.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:02 PM
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171: Right (although my friend who lives just outside of Asheville isn't feeling it). I was musing about the extent to which a state's politics could or should influence one's decision making.

On the one hand, you might feel that any state that is, frankly, stupid and disgusting in its policies should be shunned, either because maybe they'll get the message or because they're making the place just hostile to your needs and concerns. On the other hand -- perhaps because the troubling policies don't affect you personally -- you might feel that a countervailing voice and population, i.e. you, might help set things straight. You'd be able to vote there, and all that.

You'd either be giving the state's current state of affairs a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

Dunno what the situation is, quite, in Tennessee. But maybe those things aren't as important as the local community; I can understand that, but I'm starting to take state-level policy more seriously. Our Texan unfoggetarians presumably have feelings about these matters.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:11 PM
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lives just outside of Asheville

I'm no authority on the South, but I'm confident of this rule: Never leave town. Nashville is the same way, from what I can tell: there's a sharp demarcation between voters inside and outside the city limits.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:34 PM
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||
Saw Lone Survivor. I guess "NYFD" is basically our equivalent of "Blut und Ehre" now. A war movie in the grand tradition of Spielbergian "always-kill-the-prisoners-when-you-have-the-chance" revanchism. Thankfully, now it's all done with drones, so our chaps can clock out and pick up some Arby's real quick on their way home so they don't miss Duck Dynasty. 'Cause that would be a real tragedy.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:42 PM
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175: I've gathered that, from what the Asheville environs friend says. It seems okay to live that way for a while, maybe when you're young -- to never leave town -- but it gives me the willies now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:50 PM
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Do I have a brother in hating the fuck out of moral monster Steven Spielberg? I should have known there would be others.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:51 PM
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Sure, haven't we discussed all that before here? Maybe it was while somebody wasn't commenting.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:52 PM
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Anyway, I know Marky Mark's heart is supposedly in the right place, after all, he's only made two movies highlighting people in the Muslim world torturing US soldiers, with a pronounced lack of the reverse being showcased. But the whole thing was pretty creepy. There is a very refined air of absurdity around the fact that we can't even make grisly, jingoistic, racist propaganda films without including lots of product placement for a tough-guy brand of underwear.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 8:58 PM
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Marky Mark is such the racistest little midget dickhead god. Fuck that guy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 9:11 PM
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What about Louisville? Louisville seems nice.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 11:37 PM
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Too many horses.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-25-14 12:01 AM
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I'm just crazy about horses.


Posted by: Opinionated Ella Fitzgerald in that Odd Last Line of Sleigh Ride | Link to this comment | 01-25-14 12:14 AM
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166: I think that's spot on as to why they nagged at me.

169: I shall stick to the first one, then! (Unless really compelled to try the second.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-25-14 1:34 AM
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185 > 183.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-25-14 3:06 AM
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I've now applied to a not-programming job in the vicinity of Mountain View. In the unlikely event I get an offer, I'd have to look at how it would work financially. But I'd probably take it to get back to California even if it meant a longish commute or a tiny apartment or both.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-25-14 1:07 PM
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Asheville itself, I'm pretty sure, remains as hippy dippy as a town in the South can be.

Asheville was first described to me as "Charlottesville with more weed." So, yes. You might also like Boone.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-26-14 4:50 PM
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Cleveland has a really top notch Greek and Roman collection.

Cleveland had Harvey Pekar which in itself puts it ahead of Pittsburgh.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 8:00 AM
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