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.


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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)


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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


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



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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


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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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