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Guest Post - Potato Saboteurs

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.03.15

E. Messily sends along this very weird story with this great headline:

Canadian potato farmers on the hunt for saboteurs: 'These are really evil people'


 

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As I Suspected

Posted by Ogged
on 07.02.15

I had a moment where I wondered, "Hey, whatever happened to that teacher who was fired a few years ago for doing porn?" and although I didn't find the answer, I did find an article that made me laugh. It turns out that she had been quietly let go from two other jobs. Let's see.

A coach at Simi Valley High School reported to his boss during the 2007 school year that he thought he recognized Halas in a video he had seen online. She soon resigned.

Halas moved on to the Conejo Valley district, which was "informed" by Simi Valley "that Respondent was eligible for re-hire," the panel states. "No additional information was provided."
Again, a coach reported during the 2008-09 school year he thought he recognized Halas in a video. She was allowed to resign with a recommendation for her next gig.

Coaches! Those goddamn masturbating tattletales.

As I recall, when I first heard the story, I thought, "Who are they to tell her what other jobs she can do!" and then I watched one of her videos and...wow, no, this person will probably be somewhat distracting and difficult to explain to middle-schoolers. Sometimes it can't be about the principle.


 

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Bleg

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.02.15

Chris Y writes: A colleague (middle grade civil servant) has sent this request to Mrs y:

I was wondering if we could do a mentor session on the underpinning economic philosophies (lenses) - I have always wondered what the main underlying philosophies are and the risks associated with viewing economics through particular lenses like Neo-classical or Neo-Keynesian. I know you are quite good at the economics stuff, what do you think?

I think getting a better understanding the underpinning philosophies will enrich my view of economic research.

I interpret this as a plea for something like Economic Philosophy for Dummies that could be used in a mentor session or series thereof. The person in question is formidably intelligent but severely dyslexic, so something that can be read in bite sized chunks would be good, better still a video course or something that comes with audio.

Any ideas?


 

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Sharks

Posted by Ogged
on 07.01.15

--Isn't it customary, NORTH CAROLINA, to close a beach after there's been a shark attack? Might you consider it after there have been six in a little over a month? And wouldn't it be prudent, PEOPLE OF AMERICA, to stay out of the water near those attacks until there's some indication that it's safe?

--You can look up the (alleged) background yourself, but if Tiger wants to pull off the greatest heel-turn of all time (or was he always already the heel?), he will have started shtupping banging nailing consorting with Amanda Dufner when she was still married. This is just some crazy compulsion with this guy, right? For fuck's sake (heh), at least stay away from people who are famous and/or colleague's wives.


 

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Canada's Race Problem

Posted by Ogged
on 07.01.15

Following some "I hate ACA/gay marriage, I'm moving to Canada" tweets, I eventually wound up at this, which is not funny at all, but a serious look at racism in the land of nice.


 

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Free Spirit

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.01.15

I thought this was funny, and you all seem to like to talk about breasts.


 

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Reading group: for reals, though

Posted by Ben
on 06.30.15

At least some people indicated a willingness, even an interest, in doing a Transformative Experience reading group, and I want to read it, and unlike snarkout who suggested The Black Jacobins I can actually make posts, so … let's do a TE reading group, gang!

As I recall from the Piketty group that I sort of dropped out of partway through, there was a weekly post with a summary of that week's section, and that seemed to work out pretty well. TE is fairly short (especially compared to Piketty) and of unknown density, but presumably something similar could be worked in this case as well, with, say, one week on chapters 1 & 2 (chapter 1 is extremely short, this would take us through p 51), then ch. 3 (through p 105), ch. 4 (through p 123), and the afterword (through p 178). There's also a set of précis, essays, & responses in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research that, though it hasn't been published yet, we could probably read if we wanted to be really hardcore. (The précis, for the curious, is in the first five pages here.)

Does that sound reasonable? And, if so, would starting the 13th also sound reasonable? Who is in? Etc.


 

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Guest Post - Ghosting

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.30.15

JRoth writes: I don't have much to say about this - I've never ghosted nor been a ghost - but my favorite detail is this one:

"After the one date in Chicago: crickets. "He fell off the face of the planet," said Ms. Scotti, who didn't see him again until he moved into her building in Brooklyn with his girlfriend three years later."

My understanding is that Brooklyn has many, many buildings. What are the freaking odds?

Heebie's take: Ghosting is basically the Fade Away, but less funny.


 

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Pixar

Posted by Ogged
on 06.30.15

There are many lists ranking all the Pixar movies, but this one is closest to how I'd rank them, with a few exceptions. For example, Ratatouille is underrated on all these lists. I've seen almost all the Pixar movies (save Cars 2, Brave, and Monsters University) and most of those about ten times now, and Ratatouille is the only one I can imagine putting on without the kids around. And I know everyone loves WALL-E, and it's very well done, but I can't get all that excited about a main character who is a robot, even if he has more "heart" than the humans.

The linked list is too old to include Inside Out, which we recently saw, but I think it would go somewhere in the bottom half: a difficult conceit, very cleverly pulled off, but the movie was kind of episodic and didn't have much emotional weight for me.


 

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Unknown Unknowns

Posted by Ogged
on 06.29.15

Brian Phillips is very good at his job. But who knew there even was such a job? Go watch some sports and every few days or weeks write a meditative piece about what you saw. Dude, if only I'd known.


 

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Judge Not

Posted by Ogged
on 06.29.15

Pretty good short video from Vox about that oldie but goodie: the difficulty of judging wines blind, and the effect that knowing the price has on our brains. But one part struck me: around 1:50, she says that when surreptitiously presented the same wine, only 1 in 10 judges consistently rated it the same way. So maybe it's not impossible to judge a wine, it's just that 90% of wine judges are charlatans. Doesn't that make even more intuitive sense than "there's no detectable difference in quality here"?


 

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Guest Post - Reading Material

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.28.15

Lw writes: The group reading of Capital here was really nice. Have folks here tried finding other reading groups elsewhere? It seems like coordinating timing of reading the book is important, just talking about an ambitious book with random people online might lead to Crooked Timber's comments section. Has anyone tried discussion at Goodreads? I'm slowly working through a flawed book on a serious topic, Pinker's Better Angels, I am enjoying it. I don't know that it would work here, since Pinker is not good with discussing culture or actually the present. I believe that it's a book which is intentionally overinclusive rather than a carefully pared argument, either that or he's now such a star that there's no way for an effective editor to suggest improvements.

On a related note, there are a couple of interesting-looking new-ish magazines, Nautilus and Cabinet. Other than poking around on the web and maybe twitter, how do others find interesting stuff to read?

Heebie's take: How do others find time to read all this interesting stuff?


 

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