Monthly Archives: June 2013

Category: Theater


Jon Last writes about how family formation delivers political results for the GOP. The problem is that he’s looking at 2000, when I’m not sure how much the results hold up in 2012.

Carbon dioxide emissions aren’t just attributed to causing global warming, but global greening as well.

Be careful what we wish for. In Sweden, parental leave may be contributing to the gender gap.

Photos of famous landmarks… under construction.

Facebook can give you a self-esteem boost.

Americans are becoming less religious, while lamenting the fact that we’re becoming less religious. Here’s a map of the world’s atheists.

How monogamy became normal.

From a business perspective, McDonalds is pretty awesome.

Online marriages are pretty awesome, evidently. The surprising part to me is the apparent lack of success in chat rooms. That actually strikes me as a not bad sort of thing.

How science should influence science fiction, when it comes to exoplanets.

It seems highly unlikely that eBook prices will actually be able to stay where they are, however much the publishers wish otherwise.

John McCain should be honored that the Chinese found hacking his campaign to be worth their time.

You know, I hadn’t thought about it, but when mentioning someone from the UK that isn’t Anglo, I have almost always favored the term “British” over “English.” Apparently, so do Bangladeshis.

Category: Newsroom

At long last, proof that southerners are the only people who use correct words and pronounce them correctly!

I actually do have most of the southern affectations listed here. Some of them I didn’t know were even regional. Does nobody else know the difference between a highway and a freeway? Seriously?! And it’s definitely lawy-er, not “loyer.” What the heck?! (Unless you’ve been listening to too many Grisham audiobooks, in which case it’s “law-yah” PaJAMas? No, no.

Though it’s not on the map, I do hope that someday Nevada and Colorado will pronounce their home states correctly.

Here’s a related map that’s pretty cool. Though, I have to say, it doesn’t correspond with my impressions very much. Particularly of the south. The recordings are pretty interesting.

Category: Coffeehouse


Hit Coffee favorite Jordan Weissman has a series going on unpaid internships. It turns out they really don’t help you land a regular job, and they are actually the province not of the rich, but of the poor and middle class.

As I’ve said before, if you’re a doctor, and you’ve been sued, you’ve already lost.

The EIA has declared that we have more oil and gas than we thought we did.

natural gas and renewables are complimenting one another in Texas. Meanwhile, Mongolia is trying to go green, with mixed results.

Derek Thompson says that credit cards are making us dumber, fatter, and poorer.

The Atlantic has a good piece on the SkyMall, and The Verge has an article on its darker side. I look at it pretty regularly during take-off and landing, making me wonder if they’re worried about recent happenings with the FAA.

In Colorado, a district is breaking from custom and will pay science teachers more than English teachers.

Look at the dumb pretty girls! Look at the dumb pretty girls! Haha, we’re so progressive.

Sally Satel, the recipient of Virginia Postrel’s donated kidney, makes the case for compensated donorship. Virginia Postrel makes her case here.

All is not well – though all is not lost – in the Australian economy.

The Hubble may have discovered a planet that shouldn’t exist.

Category: Newsroom


Driving through town today, I saw confirmation of a creeping suspicion that I have lately been having: over the past couple weeks there has been an influx of vagrants in the Callie area. Or dirty hippies. Or something. It started off with noticing a couple of panhandlers in a place where panhandling is not very common. I shrugged it off because it’s summer and when we do have them it’s during the warm months for rather obvious reasons.

I went into town with Lain today, though, and they were suddenly everywhere. It has begun.

Every few years, there is some national organization of nature loving individuals that descend upon Callie. Some places lobby for the sorts of events that bring commerce to the area. A place where I previously lived boasted about having more World Horseshoe Championship Tournaments than any location outside of Las Vegas. Callie, though, made no such lobbying effort. We have our rodeo (which is a pretty big deal around here) and our crashy derby, but by and large, there’s no great push to bring lots of people to town. And certainly not hippies.

Now, one of the things that I like about the west is that the relationship with hippies is different than back home. They are not considered quite so dirty. Indeed, their appreciation of nature is appreciated. Sometimes with an eyeroll, but hey, they’re heart is in the right place. The personification of the irritating environmentalist isn’t some guy with long hair and tie-dye, but more along the lines of some guy in a suit in New York City who thinks he knows what’s best for the folks out here. Hippies? Harmless, for the most part.

Callie is a pretty Republican area, though, so the goodwill is not unlimited. And, to be honest, the problems that these events bring to the town are legendary. The town is equipped for 5,000 and these events boast between 7,000 and 25,000 people which is far more than its built for.The city’s part-time police force goes full-time. Off-duty cops from other parts of the state come into town. Fire departments are on stand-by. Shop-lifting becomes a problem. And the hospital becomes cluttered with people who do stupid things possibly under the influence of narcotics. Clancy’s last day is Friday, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. Nor is the fact that we will be sending July Fourth back in Deltona.

So, for fear of any more unwanted visitors late at night (no, we’re pretty sure our previous visitor was not a hippie), we are going to start locking our doors while they continue to roll in.

We will nonetheless be showing our solidarity by putting the baby in tie-dye when we take her out.

Category: Downtown


According to Dan Munro, healthcare pricing transparency is gaining momentum.

Matt Yglesias and others – including myself – have talked about how it’s important to finish college if you go. Well, maybe it’s advantageous to go even if you’re going to drop out. I’m not sure how you disaggregate for the self-selection, though. And there’s the collective action aspect of it.

McArdle wonders if those leaving the European periphery will indeed return home.

Charter cities have had a breakthrough in Honduras.

CIA agents explain what they would do if they were Edward Snowden, and on the run.

The Harlem Globetrotters are up for sale. I have some fond memories of those guys.

Ilya Shapiro of Cato draws out attention to a weird scandal involving foreign knights.

Honestly, I have no objection that news media has my side’s back on the gay marriage debate. But it should be acknowledged that it has been taking sides for quite some time.

David Freedman thinks we might be able to tackle obesity by embracing junk food.

It’s nice to know that gay weddings can be the backdrop of stupid-arse drama, just as straight weddings can.

I can’t say I’m sorry that this guy is off the street, but… entrapment? I know, it’s not entrapment if it’s not the police that do it. But it still makes me uncomfortable.

Category: Newsroom

Much hay has been made out of this report, on the dreadful state of teacher education:

The National Council on Teacher Quality review is a scathing assessment of colleges’ education programs and their admission standards, training and value. The report, which drew immediate criticism, was designed to be provocative and urges leaders at teacher-training programs to rethink what skills would-be educators need to be taught to thrive in the classrooms of today and tomorrow.

“Through an exhaustive and unprecedented examination of how these schools operate, the review finds they have become an industry of mediocrity, churning out first-year teachers with classroom management skills and content knowledge inadequate to thrive in classrooms” with an ever-increasing diversity of ethnic and socioeconomic students, the report’s authors wrote.

“A vast majority of teacher preparation programs do not give aspiring teachers adequate return on their investment of time and tuition dollars,” the report said.

This was cited over on Unfogged (a very liberal blog), with some skepticism, only to have many of the commenters reply that yeah, a lot of it is really quite bad.

My experience with Southern Tech’s College of Education, where I was going to get my original minor, was out-and-out depressing. Do they not turn out teachers anymore like the ones I had? I wondered. Or were the teachers at my district – a fairly wealthy suburban one – really just that good?

But then I started substituting at Redstone – which is not wealthy – and I was rather impressed with the teachers I met at all levels. So what could be the disconnect? Could it be this…:

Some 239,000 teachers are trained each year and 98,000 are hired — meaning too many students are admitted and only a fraction find work.

That’s a truly astonishing number. Enough so that I am a little skeptical of it. What happens to all of the other trained teachers?

Category: School

Bloomberg apparently thinks I am a very warped individual:


For the record, I do not like news of sodomy hazing leading to 13 year olds being outcast.

I do not like news like that at all.

Category: Newsroom


Figuring out business models for WiFi is hard. This is one of those things that’s crying out for a systemic solution. The equivalent of calling cards.

Next up: water crisis. There’s a pretty strong likelihood that desalinization is going to be critical to humanity’s future.

How Brazil is tackling its rural physician shortage. I find it odd that doctors would immigrate from Spain and Portugal to Brazil.

The Atlantic has a good article on the dubious sustainability of China’s urbanization project.

An interview with a dead man.

How many terrabytes can you fit into a brain?

Washington Post lists seven thrilling facts about the carbon tax. Credit to them for mentioning the regressive nature of it. It’s probably the best way to combat AGW, but consensus would be monstrously difficult and I hate that one of the biggest question is “What would we do with the money?”

The ruins of Jerusalem… in a decaying theme park.

Marijuana makes for better proscuitto.

Hugo Schwyzer explains why men need to find women their own age.

Overspending as modern mating deception wouldn’t be an issue if aspects of our culture didn’t suck so bad.

Presenting… The 8-bit Iron Man.

Category: Newsroom

This is terrible!

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain had said earlier this year that it was evaluating whether to continue selling the Angus Third Pounders, which were introduced in 2009. The company also said at the time that it was it was cutting Chicken Selects and Fruit & Walnut Salad.

The changes come as McDonald’s looks to keep up with shifting tastes, even as it underscores the affordability of its food. Notably, the Angus burgers were among the chain’s priciest items.

At a time when the restaurant industry is barely growing, McDonald’s has been playing up its Dollar Menu in ads to boost sales and steal customers away from competitors. Even if that hurts profit margins, executives say the strategy is critical to gaining market share and ensuring the long-term health of the company.

But Richard Adams, who consults McDonald’s franchisees, noted that Dollar Menu has also made the Angus burger a less attractive option at around $4 to $5.

“When you can get four or five burgers off the Dollar Menu, nobody’s going to buy the Angus burger,” he said. “The Dollar Menu has become a real problem for these chains.”
But… but… but I was buying that burger!

If you never had an Angus burger from McD’s, it was actually surprisingly good. It isn’t just about the meat. The other ingredients were better, too. It really tasted like something other than a McDonald’s burger.

So why, you might ask, would one Will Truman go to McDonald’s for a burger that expressly doesn’t taste like a McDonald’s burger and cost significantly more than a McDonald’s burger? Well, because I live in Callie Arapaho. There are two fast food burger places. As it happens, the other is Dairy Queen, which serves good burgers also, but (a) it keeps shorter hours when it’s open and (b) it’s only open when the owner feels like it. I mean seriously, sometimes it’s closed for months at a time. It also lacks a drive-through.

We don’t have In-and-Out Burger here, or White Castle, or Happy Burger. To get a good burger, you have to go to a real restaurant or make it yourself.

Despite the initially shocking cost, I thought that there was a good market rationale for having that burger on the menu. Basically, because sometimes you have mixed families. By which I mean, you have people like my wife married to the guy who I was ten years ago. She could get the Angus burger, and I could get the cheapo burger. The range made McDonald’s a good compromise location so that she wouldn’t have to get a lackluster fast food burger, and I wouldn’t have to spend $5 on my burger.

Apparently, that isn’t enough anymore.

I blame assortive mating. Now fast food people marry fast food people, and gourmet fast food people marry gourmet fast food people.

Category: Kitchen, Market