(Via a bunch of people on FB), the conservative takedown of Bowdoin College is awesome.
Victorian Society Ladies Defended Their Honors With Jiu-Jitsu. I think I may have seen some of those pictures before, but it's still pretty great.
Want to share your poetry? Do so here. Want to write some poetry just to celebrate that it's Friday? Do so here.
Via Snarkout: Mythical camp monster actually a crazy hermit who went feral, after Chernobyl, and lived in a make-shift tent in the middle of a Maine forest for 27 years. He basically supported himself by looting local summer camps.
Vaguely reminiscent of that Siberian family who lived in utter isolation from 1936 to 1978. I can't imagine. (Or am I supposed to say "I can only imagine?...")
CharleyCarp sends along Talk Deeply, Be Happy, with a note "I bet you have an opinion on this."
I do have an opinion! Small talk is annoying. Of course the more of it you have, the more annoyed you're going to be. You're trapped in annoying circumstances. Whereas there's no expectation that you have substantive conversation. If you want it, have it, and if you don't, don't. Great!
This is fascinating. The investigation of a successful hoax article claiming that Dostoevsky had a chat with Dickens in London leads to the discovery of a mutual aid society of composed of the many pseudonyms of a curiously nipple-obsessed independent scholar.
Let's discuss whether Humans of New York is irritatingly-too-quirky-by-half, or full of charming people. I'm going to say that the blogger is annoying, for over-sampling a certain kind of quirk and under-sampling bland-looking people, and the people themselves are charming.
Big Brother is your friendly local professor:
"Teachers at 9 colleges are testing technology from a Silicon Valley start-up that lets them know if you're skipping pages, highlighting text, taking notes -- or, of course, not opening the book at all. '"It's Big Brother, sort of, but with a good intent," said Tracy Hurley, the dean of the school of business at Texas A&M.
Says Clew, who sent it in, "Personally, I'd show this to the students not the prof, and publish the relation-if-any between `reading' and grades at the end of the course. (Which might embarrass the students, might embarrass the lecturer.)"
When you post an assignment on BlackBoard, you can already see at least who has opened it up, although you can't really know what they did with their eyeballs. So this isn't entirely new.
(On a different note, a math faculty person I know linked to wetakeyourclass.com, and judging from the comment thread it appears that many middle-aged people are able to click through and see exactly what the deal is. But when I click through, from my house, I get a note saying my IP address has been blocked. Nefarious scheme?)
Accidental Racist. It even sounds like a punchline.
Nick S. writes: I've known for a while that I'm unusual for preferring to buy music on CD, but I hadn't realized the music business had changed so much, so quickly. According to that chart, in 2006 CD sales accounted for 80% of music revenue (down from a high of 95%), and last year they were just 36% of revenue (based on RIAA figures).
Anecdotally I would note that it's more difficult to find cheap used CDs on Amazon/eBay and this would explain that -- CDs are shifting towards being a premium format rather than a mass-market format. (via Ezra Klein)
Heebie's take: At the link, you can watch a morphing pie chart, from 1974 to 2012. Pretty!
I don't know why I've found it impossible to acquire music digitally. I don't have any sense of how to organize this task, and now I barely have any time to listen to music (since I can't read or write with music playing). Pretty much I'm pathetic.
Methods companies use to boost productivity. Counting keystrokes, monitoring length of bathroom breaks, etc. It's not breaking news, but a depressing overview of how exactly companies have managed to boost productivity while cutting the labor force.
The thing that baffles me about people on the right is that they can get all in a frenzy about the government mythically taking away their rights (by providing health care or services?), and they are perfectly complacent about corporations stomping all over their civil liberties.
The meme I keep seeing that makes me see red is to the effect of "Corporations can drug-test their employees, so why are people crying that it's unconstitutional if the government drug-tests welfare recipients?!" (I don't think any of you need me to unpack the twelve things wrong with this meme.) But it does illustrate the point: it's taken as axiomatic that corporations ought to be drug-testing otherwise unremarkable employees, without cause.
You don't need to stay inside listening to Smiths albums. Take a listen to The Coup: Piss on Your Grave. You do need to listen through to understand whose graves he's pissing on. Not merely those of their rivals in socially conscious East Coast 90s rap.
Alternately, let Teddy Pendergrass bring the love #slatepitch #highbroderism #britainneededsomesternmedicine
May Margaret Thatcher not be the subject, either.
Also, oh no, please not the briar patch.
Lilly Pulitzer! This is one of those "surprised she's still alive" obituaries, to some extent. I love Lilly Pulitzer. It is a source of chagrin to me that I cannot, at the moment, fit into my grandmother's pink-and-green daisies (much faded, therefore preferable) pants. But I have plenty of other ludicrously patterned things to wear.
When I was a child, the Maidstone club in the summer was an undifferentiated mass of tan, thin women in shift dresses from The Lilly, Jack Rogers sandals (also brought back from Palm Beach), dome cocktail rings, white sunglasses, and this certain chalky coral color on their toenails that I have never been able to replicate, lo these many years. (Truthfully, I could dress like this every day now and be perfectly happy. I often ask myself, WWNW: what would Nannie wear?) Then there were men, but most of them waited until the evening to don the Lilly Pulitzer pants. The sight of a robust, red-faced man tossing back a highball, in pants with a print of flamingos, palm trees, and lions in pink, red, and acid green--well, I'd say it's not the sort of thing you see every day, but I did in fact, for a time, see it every day. Among my actual family it never really went out of fashion, though the men toned it down a bit with the pants. (Blue corduroy pants with whales embroidered on them? Still fine. I feel as if there's some more horrid option they also continued. Little pheasant? Oh, ducks. Well, drakes, I guess.) Everyone inherited their mom's shift dresses in turn, cycle of life, etc. Actually if you go to the Maidstone club now it looks pretty much the same. Though people are wearing Diamonds During the Day, and It Just Goes to Show. With my grandfather dead I don't have as much reason or opportunity to go back, but I will miss East Hampton. I have loved it since before I can remember, with the love only a child can have for the smell of cut grass, and blooming privet, and rose-hips on the dunes, and a freshly opened can of tennis balls.
The most successful eBay purchase I have ever made was a Lilly Pulitzer dress for my older daughter with monkey jockeys on it (they have little round caps, and jackets with numbers!) racing one another on zebras. A relatively sober robin's-egg-blue and green and yellow. It was vintage when I bought it, and she but a few months old. She wears her school uniform most of her waking hours, but puts on this dress every Saturday morning. You can scarcely see the design at all now; she has art class on Saturday and some of the paint hasn't come out. It's special to me that my grandmother Nannie would approve of this in every way. I got it second-hand (as if from the LVIS!), and my daughter has continued to wear it for many years as she has grown taller, and I let the hem down. Nannie was a big lover both of thrift and The Lilly, so she would be happy.
Emdash sends along this idiot: How Machiavelli Saved My Family. Basically, if you go through parenting with a bunch of nonsensical, unreflected ideas about parenting, then anything is an improvement:
So, on our next trip to Target, I applied Machiavelli's advice to my unsuspecting young subjects. Usually, on such outings, they would greedily toss DVDs and dolls into our cart. If I insisted that they remove the booty, temper tantrums would ensue. This time I had a plan. Instead of waiting for disaster, I stopped at the entrance and handed each of them $10.
"What's this?" my 7-year-old daughter Teddy asked.
"It's a 10-dollar bill," I said. "And it's for you to use today, but that's all you're going to get, so use it wisely."
Neat, the kids learn the value of the dollar and live happily ever after. Etc. She has five different lessons, not all as mind-bogglingly dumb as the one above.
But seriously - you don't have to give your kids $10 to behave in Target, either. She's the kind of person where the best advice is "Try to approximate what a normal, sane person would do in a situation, okay? Then do that."
(I'm being super harsh, but it's only because she has a platform to write in the Wall Street Journal. An ordinary parent, with gigantic blindspots - I'd applaud them finding a way to some insights. Being a step-parent sounds like a super tough gig, so I'm actually not trying to shit on her for having trouble navigating that.)