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Vintage Tees

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.23.15

I saw a guy the other day wearing a not-vintage, vintage-style Reagan Bush '84 t-shirt. What an ass. It must be nice to be so simple-minded.


 

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Horror Movie

Posted by Ogged
on 05.22.15

This is too horrifying not to share. I'm sorry.

A woman was found in a Maryland park on Friday morning, pushing her dead three-year-old son on a swing ... The sheriff's office said that a resident called authorities at 6:55 a.m. to say that a woman had been pushing a child on a swing in Wills Memorial Park in La Plata for a very long time, possibly since the previous day ... the child and his mother had been seen by witnesses at the park the day before, but it was unclear if the child was alive then.


 

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Field Trips

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.22.15

I went on a kindergarten field trip yesterday, up to the Children's Museum in Austin. It was fine. Growing up, our default field trip was to the coquina fort in St. Augustine, or sometimes to Marjorie Kinnan Rawling's house, once to Washington DC for a week, once to the movies*, and once to Epcot in high school. There must have been other trips, but they did not leave much of an impression on me.

*"Big", on my birthday, 6th grade for good behavior. I was permitted to take a can of soda from home as a treat. I put it in a purse, which I spun on my finger for hours until the movie started. When I opened the soda, the entire thing exploded all over me. My sense of embarrassment outweighed my desire to clean up, so I sort of pushed the coke suds onto the floor from my lap and sat still.


 

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Guest Post - Minimum Wage

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.22.15

Nick S writes: People writing about the LA minimum wage increase seem to agree that (a) we don't know exactly what the effects will be, (2) that it will be interesting to find out and (c) that it's possible that $15 is too high (but also possible that the phase-in time will mean that inflation will reduce the value of that $15 number).

It made me curious if there was any clear sense, yet, of how the Seattle minimum wage increase was going. It's still early, but I found this article interesting. It looks specifically at restaurants, which makes sense because that's one of the types of businesses which will be most affected (low margin, high labor costs).

I was most intrigued by this bit:

Ivar's, the Seattle-based seafood chain, has responded to that dilemma by experimenting with doing away with tipping entirely. Since April, the menus at Ivar's Salmon House, the company's sit-down restaurant on Lake Union, include a note saying that tipping is no longer expected
.
The restaurant has also raised menu prices 21 percent. A fifth of that increase will allow the company to immediately raise the starting wage at the restaurant to $15 an hour, three years ahead of schedule. The other 17 percent, which Ivar's president Bob Donegan said is the equivalent of the average tip at the restaurant, will be shared by all employees, in both the front and back of the house.

That seems like a great idea (but I was convinced by an article that Witt linked to a while back that getting rid of tipping is already a good idea).

Heebie's take: Has there been any country or city that has ever set the minimum wage at a level where clear-headed people have, in hindsight, agreed that it was too high and the negative consequences outweighed the positive?


 

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Guest Post - Actual Return of Medieval Age

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.21.15

Dairy Queen writes: Is the purportedly "sharing economy" (puke!) bringing back serfdom?

Many of the participants at the Ouishare Fest are concerned what's really happening is that we're blindly and voluntarily subscribing to a new type of digital feudalism. And while this concern isn't necessarily a new idea, what is interesting are the discussions about how to resolve the problems.
Amongst those solutions is the idea that people should take charge of their own digital footprint and online reputation. Platforms should not, in other words, make it impossible for you to leave their territory because upping and leaving means letting go of your digital reputation, verification and earned social rights.
Fully portable digital credentials and passports in some sense are seen as the solution. How else can you take your reputation and your accumulated credit with you to another territory or platform without having to start again? How can you ensure freedom and preserve your reputation if every time you change your mind about where you want to engage in bartering or sharing online you're going to have to start with a zero reputation score?
If all of the above sounds like a frightfully medieval problem for society, that's probably because it really is an uncanny echo of that era in history. The only real difference now is the digital form of the landscape. The nature of the lords taking tribute payments remain the same.

First up - hellaciously bad name for the get together - whoever came up with "Ouishare Fest" needs to be flogged pronto.

Beyond that of course capital would love to bring back serfdom! The speed and extent of its success is remarkable. What can we do to speed up the backlash of the villeins? Is there any radical guild action in that horribly violent TV show I'd never watch in a million years?

Heebie's take:
1. The website linked is really annoying with pop-ups and such.
2. I sort of wanted to make a "bringing sexy back" joke in the title
3. One time, elsewhere, Snarkout had a knock-off line about the three goals of a sharing economy, and I committed it to memory so that I'd come off looking smart when the topic eventually arises in my non-internet world. His line was something like, "What the sharing economy does is let companies avoid complying with regulations, pay starvation wages, and shifts risk from the company onto the individual contractor." Aren't I smart to parrot him?


 

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Occult Government Publications

Posted by Ogged
on 05.20.15

I knew that federal guidelines for safe temperatures for cooked meat were "conservative" and that you could get away with cooking to slightly lower temperatures without instantly killing everyone who looks at your food, but I had no idea that the government itself very clearly contextualizes its recommendations. Here you go. I feel like this is supposed to be classified.

The summary is that the publicized recommended temps are what will kill bacteria nearly instantly, but you can be just as safe if you hold your meat at lower temperatures for more than a few seconds, and the linked pdf contains time/temp tables describing precisely how long at what temp for several meats.

A note: I've been following links about this for about an hour and it is incredible how much government research has been done on this and how many words written. You think of a kind of food, and there's a wicked detailed government doc about its safe preparation and handling.


 

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Fidget

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.20.15

Fidgeting seems to be having a moment. I'm a big fidgeter. Hokey Pokey's teacher routinely gives him fidget toys to help him concentrate or sort out an emotional outburst.

I'm also a big skin-picker, and it's gotten much worse since having kids for a few (uninteresting) reasons. Finally I googled "how to stop picking your skin" and somehow was surprised that it pulled up all these trichotillomania sites. According to them:

Differentiating between A/B/C spots. At the 2006 TLC Conference in LA, Charles Mansueto, PhD, explained that some skin pickers find it useful to think about different levels of picking. "A" spots are like the whitehead on the end of your nose; spots that most humans would clear out. "B" spots are sore or infected, but are better off left alone; they will probably be worse if you pick at them. "C" spots are healthy skin.

On the one hand, I do pick C spots, all the time. OTOH, it's mostly out of boredom or mindless fidgeting, not anxiety or some psychological thing to unpack. I do have all sorts of little marks on my arms and legs from picking, but they don't really cause me distress.

Anyway, among their recommendations was to keep fidget toys around, and so I've started doing that more intentionally. I do love to fidget.


 

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Guest Post: Mad Max

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.19.15

Walt Someguy writes: The new Mad Max movie may be the most guy movie ever made. The plot is literally Tom Hardy (Mad Max) and Charlize Theron (Furiosa) rescue scantily-clad supermodels. If you asked me when I was 15 to list movie ideas, the list would have gone something like: scantily-clad supermodels, 18 wheelers, guys getting shot, guys getting blown up, fist-fights on top of an 18 wheeler, guys with chainsaws, guys getting run over by 18 wheelers, guys with guitars that shoot fire, and cars crashing into 18 wheelers and blowing up. This list is basically the script for Mad Max: Fury Road. The only thing missing is a helicoper piloted by velociraptors crashing into an 18 wheeler. But there's always the chance of a sequel.

It's a sign of how deranged gender issues in the US have become that this movie, which has a ratio of cars blown up to words spoken of about 2 t0 1, has inspired a boycott by men's rights activists, in turn making it a feminist cause-celebre. For MRAs, it's not sufficient that it be a guy's movie full of things guys like. It must be actively exclusionary towards women. In the movie, most of the dialogue is by the supermodels -- Max and Furiosa is restricted to clenching and unclenching their teeth, action-hero style. The villain is explicitly patriarchal, and the heroes are rescuing them from a life of only pushing out babies for him. Furiosa shoots approximately 80 guys in the head in the movie. The existence of any element in the movie that women might enjoy or identify with completely ruins the experience and makes it a tool of the SJW agenda.

To which all I can say is this: if you are a guy and you refuse to go on your rescuing-supermodels adventure because Charlize Theron is coming with you, you really need to reconsider your commitment to heterosexuality.


 

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All you need is ... HEADCLEANER

Posted by Ben
on 05.18.15

You know what I think is neat? Songs that incorporate other songs, the singing of other songs, or singing on the part of the, how do you say, "lyrical I" of the song. For instance, part of "Headcleaner" is a parodic version of "All You Need Is Love"; Tom Waits' "Xmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" incorporates "Goin' Out of My Head", and part of "Desperadoes under the Eaves" involves the lyrical I imitating the hum of a radiator. These aren't medleys (though that Tom Waits performance is also a medley) since the sung-within-the-song songs (or hummed-within-the-song hums) are part of the songs in which they appear, not merely independent songs strung together. There must be many other examples of this, no? Perhaps you can tell me about them.


 

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College

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.18.15

Witt sends in: The Economic Value of College Majors. TRO/Halford should like this!

Heebie's take: Tangentially, I've been musing about the Heebie U business model: it's a relatively cheap private liberal arts college that serves a lot of first generation students. As you might suspect, it' not a very lucrative niche, and administration would prefer that we increased in prestige, but it's hard to snap your fingers and increase in prestige.

In higher ed, ideally the large public universities would be well-funded, and there'd be private school alternatives for those who can afford them. IMO, Heebie U does a social good by nurturing first-generation students who would drown in a large university, but who can succeed with perks like smaller classes and teachers who know you individually. My question is: In a world where the public universities were already well-funded, should a place like Heebie U get subsidized in order to focus on weaker students? Should the state provide small, nurturing public liberal arts colleges for mediocre students, who benefit enormously if they choose to forgo the party scene? Or, since it's not a very strong business model, should they be subject to the free market and wither and die? Nationally, our kind of institution is going out of business - the sheer population growth of central Texas is keeping Heebie U afloat, from my understanding.

I have a vested interest in believing that Heebie U is worth doing, of course, but maybe it's not. Maybe you shore up the large land-grant universities and make sure that non-degree jobs are plentiful and pay non-starvation wages, and you've done your job as a government.


 

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I'll say this in favor of Jeb Bush

Posted by Ben
on 05.18.15

He doesn't look as extremely punchable as his brother.


 

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Wife Bonus

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.18.15

Knecht sends along this self-parody: SAHMomthropologist analyzes her upper west side cohort, and Knecht asks "Who is being trolled here?"

It didn't take long for me to realize that my background in anthropology might help me figure it all out, and that this elite tribe and its practices made for a fascinating story.

For starters, I hate the author.

If there's any shred of actual writing there, she's trying to make a case that there is intense sex segregation that is disempowering the wives in this very powerful group. It's a pretty weak case.


 

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