Headline: A Hipper Crowd of Shushers
Clipping: In the last few years, articles have decried the graying of the profession, noting a large percentage of librarians that would soon be retiring and a seemingly insurmountable demand for replacements. But worries about a mass exodus appear to have been unfounded.
Reaction: There was never any risk of the country running out of librarians. Seriously. Nearly every Lit major I know were angling to become librarians. Beats serving coffee.

Headline: Research Links Lead Exposure, Criminal Activity
Clipping: The theory offered by the economist, Rick Nevin, is that lead poisoning accounts for much of the variation in violent crime in the United States. It offers a unifying new neurochemical theory for fluctuations in the crime rate, and it is based on studies linking children’s exposure to lead with violent behavior later in their lives.
Reaction: Doesn’t seem right intuitively, but fascinating if it is. The Post wastes too much space talking about the presidential implications and are missing the true story: if banning lead caused the crime droppage, that would make environmentalists and medical professionals the strongest crimefighters this country has ever seen.

Headline: No happy ending for divorced boomers
Clipping: Australia’s first wave of baby-boomer divorcees are far less happy as they approach retirement and suffer more physical and mental health problems than their married friends. No matter how many years have passed since their split, members of the growing grey army of over-55 divorcees without a new partner are likely to be less satisfied with life than a married person. And to confirm it is divorce that has the negative effect on wellbeing, divorced women who remain single are less happy than widows in the same situation.
Reaction: Uhhh, how many people that divorce intend on still being single at 55? Some, I’m sure, but not many. Wouldn’t it have been a more interesting study if they’d instead looked at whether trading spousing had any affect on happiness? I honestly suspect not for the most part, but it’s a more interesting question than this one.

Headline: Bring It On
Clipping: “I’m big on unstructured time,” says Reilly. “My kids aren’t booked all summer.” Her son, for example, would probably like to play league baseball year-round, but she discourages it. “Hey, I teach yoga. You’ve got to be able to feel good about doing nothing.”
Reaction: The second most irritating thing about Baby Boomer parents was their tendency to take whatever decision they decided to make for whatever reason they decided to make it (laziness, to be liked by their kids, cause the other parents are doing it) and exalt it into some zen-like state. It’s the parental equivalent of layabouts that have decided that they won’t get a job cause that’s what “the man” wants them to do.

Headline: An alternative political future for the District
Clipping: A proposal to grant the District a full vote in the House has passed the House and the Senate government affairs committees, and a full Senate vote is scheduled for July. President Bush threatens to veto the measure if it passes. But the congressmen promoting it are overlooking a radical and vastly superior alternative: giving the bulk of the District back to Maryland, just as Congress returned Alexandria and Arlington to Virginia in 1846.
Reaction: I was actually suggesting this to Clancy last week. This would ostensibly take care of the disenfranchisement problem, but it would come at a cost. Right now 400k people or so get three electoral votes all to itself and they’d have to trade that for a minority stake in Maryland’s senate seats and a shared congressman. In that light, it really doesn’t seem that DC has a bad deal at all.

Headline: New hazard: Driving while wired – States target growing use of electronics in vehicles
Clipping: Lawmakers in a dozen states are trying to ban drivers from using video games, computers and fax machines in cars in a new wave of driver-distraction legislation. Since January, states including Texas, New York and Arizona have considered bills that would limit the use of car electronics that go far beyond cellphones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Reaction: It’s really pretty hard to argue against these laws, though I’m sure some libertarian might try. It would be hard to enforce, but would be useful when people are pulled over for some other reason or for declaring fault in case of an accident.

Headline: Al Gore’s son busted for drugs in hybrid car
Clipping: The deputy smelled marijuana and searched the car, said sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino. The search turned up a small amount of marijuana, along with prescription drugs including Valium, Xanax, Vicodin, Adderall and Soma. There were no prescriptions found, he said.
Reaction: For some reason this whole incident made me think of A.J. Soprano. Nobody knows better than the former vice president how tough it is to be a politician’s kid. Though Albert Jr himself never took the oath, the history of First Children is a long and mostly sad one. I’d say that this should put to rest any concerns Republicans might have about Al-3 having a political career, but considering the White House’s current occupant not necessarily.


Category: Newsroom

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5 Responses to News & Reactions IV

  1. Peter says:

    New York City’s experience makes me somewhat skeptical of the lead paint/crime connection. It has a fairly old housing stock, especially in poorer areas, which means that lead paint exposure is a bigger concern than in most other cities. Yet few if any large cities have seen a more dramatic fall in crime rates.

    Yes, I know there are other factors affecting crime rates, but my skepticism remains.

  2. trumwill says:

    Skepticism is not unwarranted. Like I said, intuitively it just doesn’t sound right. On the other hand, I think the primary data point was not lead in walls but rather leaded/unleaded gasoline. On the other (squared) hand, if that’s true, you’d think the effect would be bigger in places like Los Angeles where cars are so much more dominant. On the other (cubed) hand, LA is less dense so they may be breathing less of it, even if there are more cars.

  3. Abel says:

    I think the real news in the Al Gore III story is that someone actully got a Prius to go 100 mph.

  4. Rob says:

    I read somewhere a long time ago (too lazy to find a link) that serial killers tended to have high lead levels.

    There is the possibility that IQ is the mediating factor. Lead makes you dumb. Dumb people commit more crimes.

    Oh, I like your spam protection. Way easier than random combinations of hard to read letters. Does it work?

  5. trumwill says:

    Rob,

    Thus far it’s worked splendidly (knock on wood). I have no idea why it would be more effective than captcha, but it has proven to be so. I hope it stays that way.

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