happosaiThe legend of used panty machines in Japan is perhaps more fiction than fact. Oh, well. Happosai was still kinda cool.

John Nova Lomax writes about the deliberate transformation of Texas from a southern state to a western state. I don’t blame Texas for wanting to move past its confederate associations. Would that more states had a way of doing that. I’m far more perplexed by people in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, and West Virginia who seem to feel some allegiance to something they should be trilled that they weren’t (technically) a part of.

David Wheeler argues that Silicon Valley has declared war on Millenials.

New research suggests “plain packaging” on cigarettes reduces smoking’s appeal to teenagers. Which I thought was cool because I am down with plain packaging laws. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be talking about “plain packaging” as much as “revolting packaging.” Fortunately, we’re less likely to find that horror porn come to fruition over here.

I bet you want to see some hilariously bad Kindle book covers, so here you go.

Sarah Rainey writes in the Telegraph about the Nazi Bride Schools.

I am not surprised that support for government redistribution is falling among the elderly (a lot of what they get, they don’t see as such), but I am a bit surprised about African-Americans.

It’s really, really difficult to describe why exactly watching little ones can be as exhausting as it is. There’s just nothing to compare it to. Here’s some research.

As the university becomes marketized, perhaps we should embrace a model where some students have to go to chapel, and others to workshops.

Todd VanDerWerff makes the case that the best sitcom of the ’90’s was NewsRadio. I’m not sure if it was the best – there’s a lot of competition – but it’s up there.

Caste-based discrimination is helping Christianity convert Indians.

Category: Newsroom

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21 Responses to Linkluster Days in a Standard Year

  1. Mike Hunt Ray Rice says:

    Part of the reason I refuse to watch NewsRadio is that Andy Dick and Joe Rogan are so unlikeable.

  2. Michael Cain says:

    Re the Texas thing… I play with inter-state migration data, on the assumption that it shows some cultural linkages. The Census Bureau’s West consists of 13 states — the Mountain West, the Pacific Coast, plus Alaska and Hawaii. Cluster analysis groups those states together, with the exception of New Mexico. New Mexico gets linked to Texas, but a preliminary look at the county-level data says that’s almost all due to migration back-and-forth around El Paso. It also suggests that El Paso is more closely tied to New Mexico than it is to the rest of Texas. The rest of “Greater Texas” that emerges in the cluster analysis consists of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

    The western image that Texas is trying to project is the Great Plains “West” that existed for a pretty narrow period of time — say, from 1865 to 1895 at most. It’s distinct from the “West” on the other side of the GP, where the frontier symbol of independence should be the prospector, not the cowboy. The GP appear to be a rather remarkable dividing line in the migration data.

    • trumwill says:

      That was one of the thoughts that occurred to me. At least in my mind, the “Old West” is defined as much by Kansas as Arizona or Montana. And the Old West in my mind is kind of exactly the era you describe.

      • Michael Cain says:

        When I lived in New Jersey, I had a sort of perverse fascination with how people who had never been farther west then Philadelphia viewed western history and geography. Largely drawn from television westerns, of course. It never occurred to them that Dodge City was in Kansas because they knew Kansas was flat, but Gunsmoke had mountains, at least in the distance. I think what got them the most was when I pointed out that Jesse James did most of his outlaw stuff in Missouri and Iowa.

        • FWIW, years of watching something like Bonanza would have lead my immigrant parents to suspect that the Old West was somewhere in Nevada or mountainous regions of Northern California given the references to hills and prospecting, while the show that reeks of Great Plains for them would be Little House on the Prairie. Maybe they would have thought about some Western films being set in Texas, but I don’t think they’d see Kansas as a place where one would set a Western.

        • Michael Cain says:

          I know it’s picky, but Little House is nominally set on tall-grass prairie in SW Minnesota — the Great Plains don’t start until quite a bit farther west. Of course, the exteriors for the show were shot in California and Arizona, and bear little resemblance to that part of Minnesota anyway.

    • Peter says:

      According to most maps far western Texas around El Paso is the one part of the state outside the famous Pin Pen Merger.

      • Michael Cain says:

        El Paso is a strange beast. The city is farther west than Denver and Sante Fe. Their political leanings look more like New Mexico than Texas. They’re part of the Western power grid, not the Texas grid (El Paso Electric owns a piece of the Palo Verde nuclear plant in Arizona). At El Paso, the natural gas pipelines pump west towards Arizona and Southern California. Anecdotally, the long-distance Spanish-language bus companies operating in the US that I’m familiar with run north-south between Denver and El Paso, and east-west between El Paso and San Diego.

        • Peter says:

          Interesting you mention natural gas pipelines. Petroleum pipelines are a major regional marker. None of them cross the Rocky Mountains, which means that the west coast is for all intents and purposes a completely separate petroleum market from the rest of the country.

          New England is the least “pipelined” part of the country. Without much gas pipeline capacity the use of gas for home heating, nearly universal elsewhere, remains relatively uncommon. Similar limitations on petroleum pipelines means that most gasoline and other petroleum products arrive by barge or tanker ship from New Jersey and other Mid-Atlantic areas. Barge/ship use is also common in Florida, which does not have many petroleum pipelines.

  3. Oscar Gordon says:

    Kindle covers…

    can’t stop…


  4. the deliberate transformation of Texas

    I’ve never really thought of Texas in the same category as the rest of the South, but it’s hard to lump it in with the rest of the West. As the article pointed out, the settlers were different, and the Hispanic portion of the population skews things somewhat, so it’s really easier to just paint the state as it’s own region, especially given it’s large size.

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