InCaseOfFireIs Canada home to the nation’s biggest housing bubble?

Successive extentions and alterations of copyright law have limited our access to over fifty years of culture.

As software has come to control ever-increasing parts of our lives, it might behoove us to start coding better.

Teachers often feel like they are the punching bags of the current education debate. It turns out that they are still among the highest thought-of jobs, and have become moreso over the last twenty-five years.

The Dragonlance novels had an indelible influence on Dungeons and Dragons.

The debate around the efficacy of Alcoholics Anonymous has bounced around back and forth over the years. Penn & Teller made waves by declaring it bullpucky. Keith Humphreys argues, however that it’s actually as effective as psychotherapy.

Richard Nixon is often used as a punching bag in discussions about the Drug War, but it turns out that may not be so accurate.

Good news! We’re better at keeping drug use out of our prisons than is commonly perceived.

Important: The history of the ramen noodle.

According to tailor Charlie Allen, American business suits are for slobs.

Ben Shrecklinger argues that we should do away with the seven-day week. I’ve probably thought about it in the past, but while days are earth axis rotations and months are lunar rotations and years are revolutions around the sun, weeks are cultural.

Models for stock photography have no idea where their image will turn up. Digiday interviews a guy who turned up on Cialis ads.

Eric Barker explains the scientific method to a great first date.

A lot of people think that hosting the Olympics is a huge waste of resources. Cities themselves are coming around to this view.

Stephen Marche explains how Dead Poets Society has ruined our literary culture, while Robert Pindiscio worries that modern curricula and incentives are teaching young people to mostly write about themselves.

Ever wonder why it’s expensive rather than bargain hotels that charge for WiFi?


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9 Responses to Linkluster Northwest Richmond

  1. Abel Keogh says:

    The Dead Poets Society article is half right: Most creative writing courses today are worthless and do little, if anything, to help you be a better writer. However, the rest of the article shows why students don’t give a damn about our literary tradition. For example:

    “The business of studying literature is often nasty and inconclusive and just generally in bad taste. The canon is full of racists and sexists and other vicious figures in the nightmarish history from which we are trying to awake.”

    Yeah, I’d take a creative writing class too.

  2. Ever wonder why it’s expensive rather than bargain hotels that charge for WiFi?

    In the UK, I stayed at an Ibis hotel in London which offered free WiFi at 512k, but paid WiFi ($6 per night) at 10Mbps. Ibis is a chain of European hotels that cater to those on a budget, so it’s not just high end hotels looking to recoup the costs of their internet service.

    • trumwill says:

      I was wondering if it might be an American thing. It strikes me that policy is probably the right compromise. Save bandwidth for those who really want it, but offering something to the rest. Mandalay Bay did that in Las Vegas. The only downside was that the low-rent Internet was so weak (as in, seemed not to load basic websites) that I wasn’t sure that paying for it would actually make it better or whether it was just sucky WiFi. The limit was ostensibly 1mps, and I wasn’t able to open Hit Coffee.

  3. A lot of people think that hosting the Olympics is a huge waste of resources. Cities themselves are coming around to this view.

    Admittedly, the Athens example was bad because of the baseball and softball stadiums, but those sports are no longer on the Olympic calendar. The real problem is that with the games, you’re stuck with a lot structures that end up seeing limited use during the games, and become white elephants afterward. New York City has been mulling a bid for years, and despite existing stadiums and various other ancillary structures that could serve as venues, we’re still stuck with the costs of building an Olympic Stadmium that will be a white elephant for years after the events take place. London ended up using some of their existing facilities to reduce the need to build new structures, and most of the new structures were designed to be temporary and moveable. And they’re converting the Olympic stadium into a football stadium that will see use by two teams, along with use for rugby matches and international track and field events. The rest of the land will be turned into commercial and residential development.

    FWIW, at least the summer games can pan out as a de facto three week tourism campaign that worked for places like Sydney and Barcelona. To a certain extent, Vancouver lucked out with that in regards to the winter games, but you’re less likely to get that effect with the winter games, and despite being shorter in duration, one needs far more infrastructure in many cases to make the isolated mountain areas that get picked to be usable for the short duration.

    • trumwill says:

      These are all good points. It strikes me as probably the best deal for more mid-range cities that are trying to put their name out there. Chicago may have been lucky not to get it because Chicago’s Chicago. But Salt Lake City, on the other hand, may have benefited from the exposure. So, too, might a city like Birmingham more than a city like Dallas.

      (The same may apply to professional sports teams. Cities do seem to be given cred when they have them. People think of Jacksonville as larger than Norfolk, even though the latter is larger, and over time that may provide tangible benefit.)

      • Abel Keogh says:

        Salt Lake’s benefit from the games was that it has some world-class facilities that other cities (Denver, for example) can’t complete with. It doesn’t cater so much to tourists (because who can really use a ski jump) but for athletes looking to train and complete in the Olympics. Park City and Salt Lake are home to some world class athletes now because of the games.

        As for the exposure thing, eh, not so much benefit.

        • trumwill says:

          Well, speaking from the outside, the Olympics and the Jazz tend to lend people to the belief that Salt Lake City is bigger than it is (comparable to Raliegh-Durham). That may be mostly the Jazz, though. But such perceptions do matter to businesses and folks.

        • It doesn’t cater so much to tourists (because who can really use a ski jump)

          FWIW, we’re about five to six hours away from Lake Placid where the 1980 games were held, and other than athletes looking for a place to train on the East Coast, it’s not exactly prime tourism material.

          FWIW, in theory, Denver *could* hold the Winter games if they pulled a Vancouver and made Vail into the centre for outdoor events.

      • It strikes me as probably the best deal for more mid-range cities that are trying to put their name out there.

        I’m for NYC getting the games, but I’m biased because I’ve been to three global cities that have actually had the games already. 🙂

        Chicago may have been lucky not to get it because Chicago’s Chicago.

        In an American context, Chicago is a well known city, but on a global level, it’s still second fiddle when compared to NYC or LA. Other than NYC, somewhere like Chicago or San Francisco would be an interesting option for hosting the game given the “three weeks of tourism” that the city gets in the rest of the world.

        So, too, might a city like Birmingham more than a city like Dallas.

        Given how the ’96 games played out in Atlanta, I don’t think the IOC is interested in giving the games to a Sunbelt city in the US. Hell, I don’t think that they’ll actually bother with that given that our federal government simply isn’t willing to back the host cities in a way that other countries do.

        Regardless, the summer games would still go to a Dallas or a Houston before they’d go for somewhere as small and forgotten as Birmingham. The winter games can get away with going to small towns in some mountain somewhere, but that presumes a small town with the natural setting for the games.

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