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Union...Guess Not!

Posted by Ogged
on 02.15.14
Mike Burton, a VW worker who led the anti-union drive, said many workers felt that they were paid well and treated well without having a union and thus saw no need to have one. ... "We don't need the U.A.W. to give us rights we already have," he said. "We can already talk to the company if we have any problems."

You wouldn't guess it, but I think Mike Burton is a fat lady.


 

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Old Tats

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.15.14

I thought this essay about tattoos was funny. Maybe because I'm the same age as the author, but with slightly more tattoo-related common sense in my prior self.

Twenty minutes of brisk outlining and six hours of bloody fill work later, I had a recreation of the asterisk on Anthony Kiedis's wrist, which I hadn't realized was the central motif in the logo for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Over the next few years, the Chili Peppers went from a band I sort of liked to one that annoyed me immensely. They sound like Vinnie Barbarino arguing with a pinball machine. Occasionally someone will see my eight-pointed asterisk and ask if I am a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan, and I claim to be the victim of a bad coincidence. Really, I saw Kiedis's asterisk and thought I could get away with it.

I've wondered about this, too - all those barbed wire arm cuffs from fifteen years ago are now fifteen-year-old barbed wire arm cuffs.

"Asterisks are cool," Past Dan says. "I will tattoo an asterisk on my body, so that people will see I am an exception to something and I will remain cool forever." The problem with this is that tattoos are symbols, and their meanings change with context. "Oh, right," Present Dan says when he catches his asterisk in the mirror during yoga. "I used to be a jerk."

I still intend to get tattoos, post-mastectomy, but there's got to be some upper bound on planning, where it's actually a thoughtful thing to do. I'm not actually anti-tattoo. I quite like Jammies' tattoo (the word "DICK" in handwriting, on his upper arm, which is a copy of the tattoo that his Grandpa Dick got when he was in the army.) I quite like AWB's tattoo.

Getting a tattoo may be a way for your past self to dominate your present self, but getting sick of your tattoo is a way for your present self to betray your past.

I don't know why I think this topic is so hilariously funny. But I do.


 

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Industrial music

Posted by Ben
on 02.14.14

Remember all those floppy drive renditions of popular tunes?


 

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With Apologies

Posted by Ogged
on 02.14.14

Things I wish I had time to blog about.

--Dude, K-Dru, you can't measure the hot-hand statistically (at least not in any straightforward way) because it's a feeling. Has no statistician every played a sport?

--Hey, one of the most hardest hitting safeties in the league, you're young, hot, rich, and famous--why did you have to Cosby those women? You could have asked them to pretend to be unconscious; groupies will do that for you.

--Surely someone, somewhere, has linked to the Samuel L. Jackson reaction to Sam Rubin's question? Surely!


 

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Guest Post - In D.C., Dog Not Barking in Night-Time

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.14.14

Minivet writes: It seems worth noting that the debt-ceiling bill, which we were all pessimistic about last year, has now passed cleanly, and so we seem to enter a new phase of more limited Tea Party impact, closely linked to Democrats maintaining a hard line against negotiations.

It's also something, though, that Boehner couldn't even pull together 30 votes for sanity, so I wonder if the caucus is going to slough him off and return to past practice.

Heebie's take: Only tangentially related, I'm worried that the establishment Republicans will successfully prevent the Tea Party from hijacking nominations this year. That midterms will be a doozy.


 

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YOLO

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.13.14

I've never been to LA. I don't think I've ever even met a celebrity, Doublemint twins aside. (Not a euphemism. We went to middle school together.) Omgomg. What do I wear? I can go all touristy and shamelessly take photos the whole time, right? How does one play it cool? Will KB sign my sloth? (Not a euphemism, just a figure of speech. Get your mind out of the gutter.)


 

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Addiction

Posted by Ogged
on 02.13.14

Pretty good overview of the state of debate in addiction studies.


 

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Your Mother, She Is?

Posted by Ogged
on 02.13.14

We can never tire of regionalisms. In this case, it's greetings. One suspects that anecdotal summaries like this are mostly bullshit, but as long as they confirm our prejudices, then we have a beautiful kind of truth.

I find myself living a "How do you know...?" kind of life at the moment, although on the rez it was "Where were you before this?" which fit the nomadic lifestyle of so many people who worked there, and didn't pry into "And why were you forced to leave?"


 

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Various

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.12.14

1. Surya Bonaly...wow.

2. Kids who commit to a college before they even begin high school. That seems fraught.

3. Nick S sends in:

A new analysis of test-taking data finds that in Mississippi and Montana, no female, African American, or Hispanic students took the Advanced Placement exam in computer science.
In fact, no African-American students took the exam in a total of 11 states, and no Hispanic students took it in eight states, according to state comparisons of College Board data compiled by Barbara Ericson, the director of computing outreach and a senior research scientist at Georgia Tech.
The College Board, which oversees AP, notes on its website that in 2013 about 30,000 students total took the AP exam for computer science, a course in which students learn to design and create computer programs. Less than 20 percent of those students were female, about 3 percent were African American, and 8 percent were Hispanic (combined totals of Mexican American, Puerto Rican, and other Hispanic).


 

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Guest Post - Holy shit!!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.11.14

A lurker named Airedale writes in: I am a longtime lurker on Unfogged, and wondered if you might be able to post this note to help me (and hopefully one other Unfogged commenter or lurker). I donated to the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter campaign at the level where you get 2 tickets to the Hollywood premiere and after-party. None of my friends are able to make the trip cross-country and I don't know very many people in LA. But I thought maybe I could find a VM fan who would like to attend the event with me through Unfogged. It seems like there are quite a few fans of the show here, although I don't know whether any of them are conveniently located to LA. The premiere is on Wednesday, March 12. If you could post this, I would very much appreciate it. I've created a throwaway e-mail account (vmunfogged - at google's e-mail service) so anyone who is interested can e-mail me there, although I am, of course, willing to give my name and e-mail address to the person who can attend. I hope this works - otherwise I will have to reach out to Facebook "friends" that I haven't seen since high school, and I'd much rather go with someone from Unfogged.

Heebie's addendum: Airedale provided some extra details that she is legitimate. Not that I ever doubt our dear lurkers.

Also if no one steps up, I will be deeply tempted to figure out how the hell to get out to LA for that day. But it would be rough, so please do not put me in that position.


 

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Dance and Games

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.11.14

I like to read all the pop-science articles on what's the best possible exercise, and so on, to optimize your health and well-being and fitness.

The conclusion - my own, not one I've read - is that all these nitty-gritty details are trying to replicate what happens naturally when you play sports and dance to music. Not to be all on-the-veldty, but srsly, on the veldt, we undoubtedly played physically active games and danced to music, and groups that did so maintained their health longer than groups that were inactive during stretches of surplus. Flexibility? New sequence of motions regularly? Getting your heart rate up for a few minutes at a time, over the course of an hour or two? Done, etc. Bonus - this also selects for finding music pleasurable. Done.


 

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"I Remember Stuff. Lots and Lots of Stuff"

Posted by Alameida
on 02.11.14

This is said by Scott Pilgrim when he tries to remember things, but it turns out he has an 8-bit memory and thinks he's skipping around in the Mario raccoon suit that makes you be able to kinda fly, and his ex is saying "omg scott u r so sexy and gr8." Memories can be like that sometimes. But do you think someone could convince you that your childhood was happy and awesome when it was actually horrifying? I mean, they can, kinda, in the sense that everyone is happy as a kid to a large degree. In "The Gulag Archipelago" I remember Solzhenitsyn talking about a 16-year-girl who's a crane operator in Siberia, and she's singing while she works, and he says that everyone is young once, even if it's in the gulag.

Just like, was my dad angry and violent when my parents were still married (until I was 7)? If you had asked me then, I would be able to say yes even though those were the happiest years of my life. Well, if anything I would have been likely to defend him and say he wasn't really that angry (this happened during the divorce, so I guess this is a non-hypothetical). I can only think of a couple of instances that I remember in particular, though. If you were to ask me about them I would probably get a lot of the details wrong, even important details like what season of the year it was. Did he throw our shortwave radio out of the window, breaking the screen, from the second story sleeping porch one time, so that my bro and I found it in the yard? Yep. We called up to ask my mom and dad did they lose it by accident and I realize (in retrospect) my mom was embarrassed and had to make something dumb up that I believed. This is not a thrillingly violent story about a man who also tried to kill me, and who shot out every pane of glass in the house (every pane, separately, with a rifle), and who hacked the phone out of the wall with an axe while my mom was talking to her parents, and then, happily, got grabbed by my godfather in a big old bear hug when he turned the axe on my mom. Our stereo receiver survived even with a hole/crack in it, so all through the rest of my youth we still used it, even after every pane had been repaired long ago by the glaziers. My dad is actually being awesome now and (I touched wood) we're getting along really well. I'm superstitious as HAIL so I just extra knock wood three times and say again that he has mellowed out and is a fun person to be around.

This is what makes me feel skeptical about how you could go about convincing a seven- or eight-year-old child they were being sexually abused all the time, when they weren't, and then their whole life they would go on remembering that as having been their childhood. Do you all feel like you remember things generally from that age, like, what were people like, were they scary or not?

UPDATED: truly it would be fairer to say my parents were married until I was 8. So the stuff I remember is stuff until I was 8, pretty much. IRONICALLY.


 

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Parenting

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.10.14

I had a parenting post lined up and ready to go last week, followed by five days decisively demonstrating that I am a short-tempered beast, and felt too hypocritical to post it.

The idea was this: when you are at a loss for how to handle a situation, just describe what you see to the kid. For example, "I see a kid who is playing with his trains even though he is only half-dressed" will often be enough for Pokey to put down the trains and finish getting dressed. Or "I see one kid who is mad because she was doing [whatever] by herself, and I see another kid who is mad because Hawaii won't play with him" when they're having a holy fit. Or "I see dishes on the table!" Etc. Often they meet me at whatever I'm saying and are at least attuned to me, and then they start moving forward. (I'm pretty sure I got the idea from the Faber and Mazlish books. But it is in fact very helpful.)

It's fine as long as the problem isn't you. I forgot to use this a lot over the past five days, and it doesn't exactly buy you more reserves of patience, if you've already spent yours.

I think it's interesting though that it's helpful at all: sometimes kids just need someone to lay out the facts on the table, so that they can resume course. And there's an adult analogue - this is basically what I do in office hours, when a kid is stuck - organize and say back to them what they've just said to me. Add in the key facts that would help them answer their own question. Let them stew.

God, all we want is to be listened to and understood, isn't it. That and enough sleep.


 

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Guest Post - A Look Back At The White And Black Of Sports In The Late 20th Century

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.10.14

JP Stormcrow writes:
The White: Twenty years ago it was the Tonya and Nancy show. Led to a few recent retrospective pieces; I thought this one in The Believer was pretty good.
DISCUSSED: Weapons Not Used Against Nancy Kerrigan, Factors Likely to Sway an Olympic Judge's "Artistic Expression" Score, The Triple Axel, Sponsorships in the '90s, White Trash and Working Class, The Non-Sexualized Female Athlete, Tonya Harding's Brief Acting Career, Fast-Food Restaurants near the Former Skating Rink in Clackamas County.

There was also a 90-minute segment on ESPN's 30 on 30 (they seem to get repeated, and it may be available from On Demand or other sources). A lot of time spent with Harding (Kerrigan was not interviewed), but it is not particularly sympathetic to Harding's version of events. An Alyssa Rosenberg review here.

Oh, and here's a interview with Harding's ex Jeff Gillooly (now Jeff Stone). A co-worker at the time was a big fan of figure skating so I followed it more closely than I might have otherwise.

The Black: Here is an oral history of the making of Hoop Dreams. Parts of it get pretty deep into the trials and tribulations of the filmmakers in parts, but if you were at all fan of the film worth a read. Some on the families, for instance they did get a share of the take. William Gates' brother and Arthur Agee's father were both murdered in the ensuing years.

The White and Black: Finally, as discussed deep in some earlier thread, I recently read the original Friday Night Lights book. Highly recommended; and there is an edition with a ten-year update on the main characters.

Heebie's take: The first ice skating link is a seriously good read. I read it back the LAST time Stormcrow linked it, and it has really stuck with me. Having not paid that much attention to Harding and Kerrigan the first time around, the article goes into the cultural roles that they played, and frankly how awful and tragic Harding's life has been.


 

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The Classics

Posted by Ogged
on 02.09.14

It didn't really need an update, but, well (audio link).


 

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Personality Quiz

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.09.14

I'd like to write a personality quiz, consisting of a 100 Likert scale questions. At the end of the quiz, you'd be told that you are a True Multitype, and the description would consist of all the statements that you strongly agreed with. Your opposite would be the Possible Xeriscape, which would obviously be all the statements you strongly disagreed with. Take my quiz! Right after you write my quiz.


 

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