As a person who can't drive due to a visual disability, I am personally effected by the MTA transit strike (that is rumored may last several months). State employees are not allowed to strike. Shouldn't that also be the case for essential services, such as public transit? posted by lola at 9:14 PM PST - 80 comments
Kafka at Camp: The Lost Diaries July 10,1897—In Arts and Crafts, that humid hut, the teacher stops. He looks down. I look up. I am working on something intricate, something simultaneously nothing and everything. It is made of paper.
"I always wanted you to admire my origami," I say.
"I do. I do admire it."
"Well, you shouldn't," I say.
"You're a weird little dude, Franzie." posted by GriffX at 6:53 PM PST - 16 comments
Unmarried America According to stats [1,2] gathered in this BusinessWeek story, Marriage in America truly is a fading institution. Married Couple Households "have slipped from nearly 80% in the 1950s to just 50.7% today. That means that the U.S.'s 86 million single adults could soon define the new majority. Already, unmarrieds make up 42% of the workforce, 40% of home buyers, and 35% of voters..."
As a percentage, Never-marrieds, Late-marrieds, Widow(er)s, Single-sex Relationships and Unmarried Cohabitation all have grown significantly, while traditional marriage (and remarriage) has faded. I had no idea that there had been such a downturn. BusinessWeek's angle is that this is an emerging dominant demographic, and will be targeted as a whole, like Gen-X or the Baby Boomers. I Guess that means more flavors of Single-Serving Hot Pockets are on the way. posted by kokogiak at 10:41 AM PST - 229 comments
Do you have to be black to possess that elusive quality known as "soul"? Soul Music's New Face: 16, Blond And British. Joss Stone, the 16 year-old winner of the BBC TV talent show Star for A Night, traveled to Miami to work on songs for a pop album. Instead, she hooked up with a group of gifted but long-overlooked musicians who were among the prime movers and shapers of "The Miami Sound" of the Seventies: Betty Wright ("Clean Up Woman"), Timmy Thomas ("Why Can't We Live Together"), Latimore ("Let's Straighten It Out") and Little Beaver ("Party Down"). Some of them had not been in the studio for years; Little Beaver was working for Amtrak and Timmy Thomas was a college administrator when they got the call. Together they recorded her first album, The Soul Sessions, in only four days. Listen on All Songs Considered or download full mp3 versions of the first 2 songs at Amazon. posted by probablysteve at 10:22 AM PST - 46 comments
Americans are not going broke over lattes! Salon (warning: ad click-through required) interviews the author of a book who contends that American middle class overconsumption is a myth. This made me really think about how I relate to my $$$, and what I think is pushing me deeper into a hole. According to this author, kids are forcing people into bankruptcy, and it's not because we buy them gameboys and expensive clothes. The author also claims that credit card companies and mortgage lenders need to be regulated by the govt., as they are feeding off of middle class hardships. It's also making me wonder why real estate developers aren't building small homes anymore, at least in my state of the union. posted by archimago at 8:13 AM PST - 91 comments
Wisconsin strip club owner discovers art. A Milwaukee Common Council committee last week agreed to designate Club Paradise, a strip club in Walker's Point, as a "Center for the Visual and Performing Arts" based on the art collection displayed there. This would allow the club to admit underage customers. posted by Durwood at 8:08 AM PST - 9 comments
Travels in America. Another amazing resource from the Library of Congress, this contains "253 published narratives by Americans and foreign visitors recounting their travels in the colonies and the United States and their observations and opinions about American peoples, places, and society from about 1750 to 1920... The narratives in American Notes range from the unjustly neglected to the justly famous, and from classics of the genre to undiscovered gems." Go to "Search by keyword," put the name of a city into "Search Full Text," and enjoy. (The quote in the post title is about Santa Barbara, from First impressions in America by John Ayscough [pronounced "ascue"].) Via MeFi's own plep. posted by languagehat at 8:00 AM PST - 5 comments
Morning person or night person? "Scientists believe they may now know why some of us are early risers while others prefer to burn the midnight oil. ... Researchers have found that people with an extreme preference for early mornings are more likely to have a long version of [a gene called] Period 3." The article also notes "Your day or night preference is obviously a complex behavioural trait. It is not solely down to one single gene."
My wife and son are morning people; I am a night person. I have often wondered if I, through force of will, could become a morning person and thus spend more quality time with them. Now I have my doubts.
What success have Mefites had trying to change from one to the other mode? posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:04 AM PST - 56 comments
Seeing with sound.
A researcher in the Netherlands has developed a system that converts pictures from a head-mounted camera into highly complex soundscapes, which are then piped to the user via headphones. After only a week of use, a woman who has been blind from birth can tell a CD from a floppy, and discern whether the lights are on or off. Not quite up to either a bat and/or Daredevil standards, but very cool nonetheless. posted by Irontom at 4:12 AM PST - 5 comments