Bearpath is a gated community in Minnesota. It's not all that special, except for the fact that it's the only gated community in the state. With membership fees to the golf club topping $10,000, it's obvious they want to keep out people who aren't filthy rich, or knows someone who is.
Places like Florida, California, or Texas have many more. What causes people to want to move out to the sticks and put up a giant fence around their property, with tightly controlled access to the neighborhood?
Is fear of crime a legitimate reason for digging in behind a fence with armed security guards? Or is it just to get away from people? Why is the thought of somebody isolating themselves this much from a community so fascinating? posted by manero at 9:25 PM PST - 55 comments
"Oh, mighty city of New York, you are wonderful to behold--
Your buildings are magnificent-- the truth be it told--
They were the only thing that seemed to arrest my eye,
Because many of them are thirteen storeys high;
And as for Central Park, it is lovely to be seen--
Especially in the summer season when its shrubberies are green
And the Burns Statue is there to be seen,
Surrounded by trees on the beautiful sward so green;
Also Shakespeare and the immortal Sir Walter Scott,
Which by Scotchmen and Englishmen will never be forgot. "
The collected poems of William Topaz McGonagall posted by sgt.serenity at 5:42 PM PST - 18 comments
[A]nother race may have pre-dated native Americans. ....Dr Gonzalez told BBC News Online: "We believe that the older race may have come from what is now Japan, via the Pacific islands and perhaps the California coast....this discovery, although it is very significant, raises more questions than it solves."
This seems like real news to me: the 'Bering Straits' route is still the dominant theory of pre-Colombian migration, is it not? Yet clearly, for anthropologists, it hasn't that simple for quite some time. Are we on the verge of a new consensus about human expansion across the globe? Or is this doomed to fail, like previous speculation? [Kon-Tiki, anyone?] posted by dash_slot- at 3:37 PM PST - 42 comments
In a long letter to Esquire magazine, the former head of Bush's Office of Faith-Based Programs blasts the White House as having practically no interest or expertise in making sound social policy: "[O]n social policy and related issues, the lack of even basic policy knowledge, and the only casual interest in knowing more, was somewhat breathtaking." DiIulio may have a bit of an ax to grind here, but it is still a fascinating look inside the Bush policy-making apparatus. (The letter was the basis for an article by Ron Suskind in Esquire which is not available online [press release here]. The saga leading to the publication of the letter is recounted in today's Tapped) posted by boltman at 1:02 PM PST - 22 comments
Tarkovsky's Stalker coming as video game in 2003. I always wondered how long it would take for a more artistically-informed bunch to come to the $18B/year video game market (bigger than Hollywood). Will our generation have its video-game counterparts to Faulkner and Fitzgerald? A David Foster Wallace or Don Delillo authored game? Are there other video games that can stand up as "Art?" posted by minnesotaj at 1:02 PM PST - 65 comments
The other one in Weird Science What was it like to be a 15-year-old boy kissing 30-year-old Kelly LeBrock? Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) tells all about his childhood acting days. He did not turn to a life of drugs, but to a life of academia. Is it "healthy and important for us to see that the guy who played Wyatt is a real person"? I'm not sure about that, but it was an interesting interview, and, of course, a great movie. posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:25 PM PST - 13 comments
Take a peek at this military timeline. And let's figure that the time from when Johnny, sergeant, age 25, gets home from fighting the war and tells 5 year old Junior about the experience to when Junior, Major/Lt.Col, grows up and wants to CAUSE a war, averages 30 years.
Now let's do some math...starting with the French and Indian War, 1754-1763. Add 30-ish years (21). American Revolution, 1775-1783. Add 30-ish years (38). War of 1812, 1812-1814. Add 30-ish years, numerous Indian wars. Add 30-ish years. American Civil War, 1861-1865. Add 30-ish years (37). Spanish-American War, 1898. Add 30-ish years (19). America in World War I, 1917-1918. Add 30-ish years (25). America in World War II, 1942-1945. Add 30-ish years (20). Vietnam War, 1964-1973. Add 30-ish years, and it's the turn of the millenium....it's now.
We haven't learned from 250 years of this cycle, and there's no reason to think we've learned anything since. I didn't count the Gulf War cause it wasn't much of anything, and I know the numbers are a bit forced...but I think this trend is worth discussing. posted by taumeson at 11:44 AM PST - 44 comments
McCain-Feingold doomed (NYT reg req) The law enforcing the soft money ban goes to court tomorrow. Opponents of the law will be led by Kenneth Starr (!), while the defenders of the law will eventually be led by Bush's solicitor general, Theodore Olson, the guy who argued the case that made George W. Bush president. Gee, that sounds fair --- everyone's an arch conservative. This law is toast. Back to the trough! posted by fungible at 8:30 AM PST - 28 comments
How I love Mutant Storm [demos available for Windows, Linux and, yes, Mac!]. It's amazing the dross that the big players can come up with while games like this aren't even available in the shops. Yay for the web, I say. posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:15 AM PST - 9 comments
Hunger rates highest in rural West. "Unemployment and prevalence of seasonal labor go hand-in-hand with hunger, experts say. Oregon, Washington and Alaska rank high in both jobless and hunger rates. Across the West, the agriculture industry relies on seasonal labor to harvest everything from mushrooms to apples. Families that work in the summer often can't make ends meet in the winter." posted by crasspastor at 2:14 AM PST - 6 comments