Minivet writes: Apparently the elite have used the post office crisis (which may be partly manufactured, I'm not sure) to purchase boatloads of urban real estate for 2/3 of its value. Especially damning: the company hired by USPS to negotiate these sales, CBRE, had its contract "amended in 2012, at the request of CBRE, to allow it to negotiate on behalf of both the Postal Service and prospective buyers."
Heebie's take: happy Saturday. Have some corruption so utterly lacking in a splashy victim that no one will ever take it seriously, but that chips away at public institutions, like everything else in these sad times.
Do we hate Jonathan Franzen? I've never read anything by him but he seems like he sucks.
I don't know anyone who has actually red-shirted their otherwise-prepared kid for kindergarten. But a close friend of mine swears that on SAHM message boards, it is debated endlessly and really, really common, and the generally theory is to game Gladwell's "all the bestest people are born with birthdays right after the birthday cutoff for starting kindergarten" thing. According to said friend, the boys are red-shirted much more often than girls, which is believable. In general, I have very little patience for people who spend excessive energy trying to game a system, so I find this phenomenon irritating.
What your taste in music says about you. The Mandy Moore one made me laugh out loud.
You can teach someone to drive a stickshift smoothly in under 30 minutes, as long as you break the process down into sufficiently bite-size pieces. Or that someone may be you! Go teach yourself, you modern bird.
1. Just the gas pedal: with the stick-shift in neutral, have them practice holding down the gas pedal so that the tachometer holds steady between 2 and 2.5.
2. Just the clutch: press the clutch and put the stick-shift into first gear. Without touching the gas pedal, have them practice releasing the clutch slowly, until they feel the car first shudder, and then press the clutch down. Have them get comfortable with moving the clutch slowly, and responding smoothly to the moment when the car gives a slight jerk, so that they get to know that spot.
3. Describe the "simultaneous clutch and brake" thing, so that when they're in motion (in step 4) they're prepared for you to say "Clutch and brake! Clutch and brake!" when they want to stop. And that it's okay to slam the clutch in fast, while braking normally.
4. Both pedals, but not the full action yet:
With space to drive, and stick-shift in neutral, have them do Step 1: rev the engine and hold the tachometer 2-2.5.
Holding the tachometer at 2+ RPM steady, have them press the clutch in, and move the stick-shift to first.
Now have them do Step 2: slowly release the clutch, and presto! Smoothly driving in first gear.
(Clutch and brake! Clutch and brake!)
Practice this for awhile.
5. Turn the car off. Push in the clutch, and practice finding 2nd gear with the stickshift, from the 1st gear position. Practice without looking, so that they only need a slight glance down when driving.
6. With the car still off, practice: clutch in, find 2nd gear, clutch out.
7. With the car back on, practice step 4 followed by step 6. Voila! Smoothly driving in second gear!
They will need more practice to retain all the muscle memory beyond that 30 minute period. But they will be driving smoothly in 30 minutes.
(There are some details that go unsaid: when to release the gas pedal, for example. Their natural instinct should work fine there, or you can add it in whenever they seem like they're ready for a new detail.)
Ylvis is pretty great.
(Probably everyone's seen the fox one, right?)
Former via E. Messily
What was obstruction like in the past, when other major social reforms were implemented? Was it conventional that you stopped fighting once a law was passed? Or were there these efforts to defund, to misinform, and to sabotage, the way you see with ACA (and other current legislature)?
This links to an entirely unremarkable blog post about Jonah's First Birthday Party, until you get near the end, where she describes how they made a time-capsule for Jonah:
Time Capsule 2030: to be opened when Jonah turns 20! Write Jonah a note, and make a prediction about what he will be when he grows up, and don't forget to sign your name!
(There's seriously no need to click through.)
Maybe they will all be super-silly, and 20-year old Jonah will enjoy the time capsule very much. But it is also possible that they write really optimistic, rosy things, and then 20-year-old Jonah feels not so good about himself and maybe even a smidge angry.
You know, I think having a middlebrow FPP is good enough. If I were highly knowledgeable about all sorts of esoterica, I'd probably put out a bunch of incredibly interesting threads where no one could dig in. But by tossing out middlebrow prompts, each marvelously unique commenter is able to showcase their highbrow expertise now and then, and drag the thread in that direction.
Have some gorgeous 90s R&B:
I sometimes don't post things, because I don't have an angle. The whole thing seems cut and dried. For example, the former football player who was seeking help after a car crash, so police officers killed him. And the racist backlash against Miss America. (Maybe the angle could have been "Hey, these are breaking stories" if I'd posted them a day or two ago.) They still seem ripe for discussion but it's hard to see how opinion would possibly split here.
I just spent an enjoyable 10 minutes reading all about D.B. Cooper, who hijacked a Boeing 727in 1971, and parachuted away with $200,000 over southern Washington State.
Two facts that struck me:
1. In the year after his hijacking, there were 31 hijackings in the United States. About a third were "Take me to Cuba!" and the other two thirds were for money. Still, 31 hijackings! In one year!
2. His original airplane ticket, from Portland to Seattle, cost $18.52. He paid with a twenty, so he got some change back.
There is a barbershop on the town square, which has been there forever. Apparently the owner of the building decided not to renew their lease. Then, when the barbershop owner was getting ready to move out, the building owner asked if he could purchase all the equipment. It turned out that the building owner wanted to open up a barbershop, right there.
Somehow that seems a little wrong? A barbershop is something that relies on routine customers and a base and loyalty and all these things that take years to establish. There ought to be a non-compete clause in the lease, or something.
Things that seem wildly more wrong: my friend who teaches in a HeadStart classroom has 22 four year olds, and splits one teacher's assistant with another classroom. I cannot imagine how exhausting that job must be. (And obviously HeadStart preschool teachers make the big bucks.)
Copulins make men batty, apparently. Here's how you might deposit them into his system:
The process is called "coupling." A man has to be inside you, but not thrusting. You lie together like puzzle pieces, and:While the penile duct is being opened, the vaginal walls begin secreting a much thicker fluid, thicker even than the fluid holding the penis in place. The fluid is chemically attracted to semen. In short, the fluid enters the penis, follows the semen down the shaft and directly into the gonads. This process can take as long as fifteen minutes, and requires that the vagina produce up to and exceeding 100 milliliters (a little less than half a cup) of this fluid in order to completely fill the penile shaft and gonads. This is over twenty times as much fluid as is ejaculated by the male during sexual intercourse.Feel free to visualize this process. You're welcome for the lovely picture of half a cup of fluid flowing down a guy's pee-hole and nesting in his balls.
(There is fluid holding the penis in place?) Anyway, the whole article is a fun read.
Via Jammies, whose shaft remains one-way.