Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Evening Shenanigans

The dog escaped the yard this afterrnoon. It was terrifying. He's back at the foot of the bed now, quite pleased with himself.


Killer first line of the moment:

"When I set fire to the reed patch"

from "When I Set Fire to the Reed Patch" by A.R. Ammons

(Collected Poems: 1951-1971, W.W. Norton, 1972)


Bikini-clad female visitors frolic under the Caribbean sun in an outdoor pool. Marijuana smoke flavors the air. Reggaet├│n booms from a club filled with grinding couples. Paintings of the Playboy logo adorn the pool hall. Inmates and their guests jostle to place bets at the prison’s raucous cockfighting arena.

-via NYT


Hey Seattle Writers! Tomorrow is the deadline to apply for the most excellent Hugo House Writer in Residence gig...


I got the question in that form only once, but I heard it a number of times in the unmonetized form of “Why did we have to read this book?” I could see that this was not only a perfectly legitimate question; it was a very interesting question. The students were asking me to justify the return on investment in a college education. I just had never been called upon to think about this before. It wasn’t part of my training. We took the value of the business we were in for granted.

I could have said, “You are reading these books because you’re in college, and these are the kinds of books that people in college read.” If you hold a certain theory of education, that answer is not as circular as it sounds. The theory goes like this: In any group of people, it’s easy to determine who is the fastest or the strongest or even the best-looking. But picking out the most intelligent person is difficult, because intelligence involves many attributes that can’t be captured in a one-time assessment, like an I.Q. test. There is no intellectual equivalent of the hundred-yard dash. An intelligent person is open-minded, an outside-the-box thinker, an effective communicator, is prudent, self-critical, consistent, and so on. These are not qualities readily subject to measurement.

-via The New Yorker


I love this song, and this video, if only because the drummer totally flubs the first 30 seconds. The look on the guitarist's face says it all.

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