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DC Mini-Meet-Up (1 of 2): A Remindful Post

Posted by Stanley
on 03.27.09

Many fine examples of great moral character are to be found at Café Saint-Ex tomorrow night. Some Mineshaftarians will be there, too.

The details:
Saturday, May March 28th
Café Saint-Ex, 7pm
www.saint-ex.com
1847 14th St NW (corner of 14th & T)

The comment section I leave to you for last-minute planning, badinage, and repartee.


 

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Yes but these Sneeches have stars upon thars.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.27.09

I generally hold xenophobic people in contempt. But it occurred to me that the main reason I'm not xenophobic - and I confidently say that I'm not - is that the people whose ideology scares me most are homegrown right here. (Yes I did patiently listen to a good ol' boy explain how eloquent that Bobby Jindal is, yesterday at lunch. His takedown of the State of the Union Address was wonderful, but of course the liberal media ripped it apart. But who can stand the media?)

But if I lived in a homogenous liberal nation, and evangelical right-wingers started flooding our little community, it would probably terrify the shit out of me. I can see wanting grandfather clauses and backdoor priviliges just to ensure they stayed out of the most important decision-making capacities.

If I lived in a threatened utopia, I don't honestly know whether I'd put my belief in a free representative government that lets everyone participate ahead of my fear of the societal destruction that would ensue if the evangelical right-wingers started vastly outnumbering the people I agreed with. (Good thing I'm far, far, far away from being placed in that pickle.)


 

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Ask The Mineshaft: Twittering From The Womb Edition

Posted by Becks
on 03.26.09

A relative of mine asked me some advice for what to do about her daughter. I think she's about 13 and some of her friends have started to create Facebook accounts. Some of the parents are allowing it and some aren't. Since I "know the Internet" she wanted to know whether I thought it would be OK or would be trouble.

I haven't replied yet but thought I'd poll the parents out here to see what you think. What are the policies about internet use and social networking sites in your household? What age did you let kids do different things and what did you tell them in advance?

Having seen my high school aged brother use Facebook, I think that these days not letting your kid use it would quickly make them a social pariah, whether intentionally or just from being accidentally left out of all of the time.

They were very concerned about whether it is "safe" but I expect they're focusing on the wrong dangers. What would worry me more than online predators are the tendencies of 13 year old girls and the possibilities of taking the "relational aggression" (that special kind of girly bullying) that goes on at that age to a whole new level.

Also, I'd want to warn kids that what they do online can have real-world consequences these days (like getting grounded/suspended from school) and that anything you say online under your real name will be traceable to you for life.

What say you, parents? And others?


 

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The return of Jena & Gomorrah

Posted by Ben
on 03.26.09

Previous titles have^Hing been deemed exclusionary I return to this, which I like just as much anyway, thanks, honestly, for a limited time one-day-only return engagement at KZSU tomorrow from noon to three pee em Pacific. You might be wondering to yourself how it is that I am able to concoct such sublime sets, in which mingle harmoniously, as if they belonged perfectly together (for in truth, they do), such seeming to the common run disparate artists as Mirah (to be represented by the only good thing she's ever done), John Butcher, Gram Parsons, LĂȘ Quan Ninh, the Etchingham Steam Band, Linda Perhacs, Vasilis Tsitsanis, Bleaks, Chad VanGaalen, D. Rider and Cheval de Frise (to mention a mere sampling). It's really quite simple: all that's necessary is a lifetime of experience married to a subtle, restless aesthetic sensibility and wide, unprejudiced listening habits.


 

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Sometimes instead of doing research, I just write a post.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.26.09

So I have some Wall Street questions. First, with this new TARP asset-buying program...Some of these toxic assets are mortgages, but quite a lot of them are these sketchy made-up derivatives and speculation. Wouldn't we just be propping up the credit defaut swap market and the other hocus-pocus markets if we underwrite these transactions?

That's not an argument not to implement the program. If it unfreezes the credit market, then it sounds good to my wholly uninformed ears. But it is perpetuating and subsidizing an arena that we should be closing down and regulating, no?

Second, if AIG and others are too big to fail, why can't they be trust-busted and forcibly broken into failable-sized businesses? Even if we ended up bailing out all the bite-size businesses, wouldn't it be protective to have lots of tiny AIGs instead of one big AIG? (I'm picturing the flooding scene from Fantasia. Nothing went wrong there when they chopped up the broom into a million tiny brooms.)(Also, I get that AIG isn't a monopoly. But isn't there an argument that the danger posed is similar to a monopoly?)

Finally, this article was linked in the comments, and then again endorsed by Rachel Maddow, and I'm only on the second page because I need to get grading done. But here, others seem to like it.


 

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Rorschcock

Posted by Becks
on 03.26.09

I liked this article from the NYT Proof blog about one's signature cocktail. I, too, have been in situations before where I've been conflicted about what to order when trying to send the right vibe to someone new so as not to appear too stuffy/unserious/childish/alcoholic, depending on the circumstances.

It's even more amusing when we are trying to give off one impression and fail miserably. When I was in college, I would order White Russians if I was trying to be fancy, thinking them far more sophisticated than fruity drinks because they came in a rocks glass.

If I were to have a signature drink, though, it would have to be the "Becks". No, not this. A Becks is cranberry juice, club soda, and a splash of Rose's lime. (If you want to get fancy, shake the cranberry juice and Rose's lime before filling with club soda. It tastes even better that way. You can also use Sprite if you're feeling in the mood for something sweeter.) I'm not sure what this says about me, besides the fact I'm so lame that my signature cocktail isn't even alcoholic.

What's your signature drink and what do you think it says about you?


 

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On The Veldt, The Most Reproductively Successful Cougars Dug Swimming Pools To Attract Virile Young Men To Father Their Children And Bring Them Drinks With Little Umbrellas

Posted by LizardBreath
on 03.25.09

No, really -- science proves that the children of older mothers are more intelligent than those of younger mothers, while the children of older fathers are dumber than that of younger fathers. The older-man/hot-young-woman pairing is tantamount to prenatal child abuse. (This research reported in the well known scientific journal, New York Magazine.) A description of how this self-evident evolutionary truth has shaped our society is left as an exercise for the reader. (Hat tip Alas, A Blog.)


 

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Get yourself some books

Posted by Ben
on 03.25.09

From the nation's best bookstore, provided only that you can convince the Quarterly Conversation people, in 200 or fewer words, that the book you describe in those words is the best of which they've never heard. Naturally, I went with that work of the noted around these parts amorous Greek which David Connolly did into plain English.

Alternately, you could use this thread to show off your knowledge of obscure books—it wouldn't bother me—or to engage in behavior yet abstruser.


 

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A continuación del "found" theme

Posted by Stanley
on 03.24.09

Sir David Attenborough thinks the question of whether there's a Yeti is still open, but the Loch Ness monster thing is closed [start around 4:50 if you're pressed for time]?

His reasoning seems sound, but I've long relegated such topics to the realm of Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Boogyman, God, and The Lost City of Atlantis. Which is to say: their existence, at this point, is undisprovable.

Am I off my rocker?


 

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Maybe I Should Have Him Trained As A Scout

Posted by LizardBreath
on 03.24.09

Yesterday, I left for work in the morning wearing a dangly pair of earrings I like. I got to my desk, and realized I was only wearing one -- I cursed a bit, and put the single earring in a desk drawer.

This morning, I was walking the kids to school, and Newt said "Hey, there's an earring!" A full day later, he spotted my lost earring lying on the path through our park where it had fallen out of my ear. He's a voluble child, but acute. I think we'll keep him.


 

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Swimming outlaws sausage casings.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.24.09

I got an e-mail that my school was giving a free water aerobics class, and so I found out yesterday that IMHO, treading water for 5 minutes is hard. And I'm particularly buoyant.

David Weman passes along interesting articles about certain swimming suits being recently banned in official competitions, due to advantage-causiness.

One thing I found interesting about the Oscar Pistonius threads is how wide the gulf between people on either side seemed to be. It was like arguing about music; neither side could fathom how the other side could feel that way. From my perspective, these articles about microscopic swimsuit variations confirm my belief that in sports, the context must be held as rigidly constant as possible to compare performance, and therefore I will not condone old Oscar's hypothetical participation in the Olympics.


 

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You've no joie de vivre

Posted by Ben
on 03.23.09

I could not find it the last time I looked on youtube for it, and had no desire to obtain the entire movie just for its sake, though indeed many things are worth doing for its sake, so I was delighted to discover on this most recent searching that the clip below, the last and the best segment from Coffee and Cigarettes, is now online:

Now if only we could get some Sprockets clips up, we'd be in good shape.


 

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The conservative movement is an aesthetic movement that precedes a bowel movement

Posted by Standpipe Bridgeplate
on 03.23.09

Indeed, just as the happiness of a social democracy is not the true happiness, neither is the productivity of an industrialized nation the true productivity; nor is the cheap snark of the interwebs the true cheap snark.

I can't stop imagining how deeply satisfying Charles Murray would find a punch in the nose.


 

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In Sickness And In Health

Posted by Becks
on 03.22.09

Two of the recent Modern Loves have been about relationships/families coping with medical challenges, in one case a paralyzed partner and in the other Alzheimer's. Both have been much less sucky than the usual ML standards.


 

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