Don’t Want Me to Recline My Airline Seat? You Can Pay Me [New York Times]
"...airline seats are an excellent case study for the Coase Theorem. This is an economic theory holding that it doesn’t matter very much who is initially given a property right; so long as you clearly define it and transaction costs are low, people will trade the right so that it ends up in the hands of whoever values it most. That is, I own the right to recline, and if my reclining bothers you, you can pay me to stop."
CBC host Peter Oldring discusses
customer services at Canadian border crossings with Officer Murray Swift. Five minutes of unbelievable audio.
It's time for MIND YOUR MANNERS with BILLY QUAN
, a recurring spoof on martial arts movies from classic Seattle sketch comedy group Almost Live! Today's episode:
, 8 BALL
ENTER THE BOWLER
, NEW YEAR
, FIVE IRON
Remember kids, BE LIKE BILLY. BEHAVE YOURSELF!
The American way of using a fork and knife is inefficient and inelegant. (SLSlate) Do you cut-and-switch? Well, you've got to stop. The more time you waste pointlessly handing utensils back and forth to yourself, the less time you’ll have to cherish life and liberty, pursue happiness, and contribute to America’s future greatness. And also—though that snob at dinner surely didn't know this—the supposedly all-American cut-and-switch is in fact an old European pretension, of just the sort we decided to free ourselves from 237 years ago.
Medieval tines: A brief history of the fork.
There are many further details in this Leite's Culinaria article, The Uncommon Origins of the Common Fork
, linked in the post.
Dogs with table manners.
Slow, surreal and delightful.
"The Japanese Tradition" was a series of nine short, parody "How To" videos that gently mocked the formality of Japanese culture, from comedy duo Rahmens
) and Japan Culture Lab. They're available on DVD,
but nearly all of them can be seen on YouTube, including Sushi
(tea). [more inside]
The three annoying train monsters shown in the poster are Nesshii (the sleeping monster), Asshii (the leg-crossing monster), and Shinbunshii (the newspaper-reading monster). Tokyo Subway Manner Posters, '76-'82
What has long
as the world's longest undefended border
(that running between Canada and the United States) has undergone many changes
. In an effort to secure its Northern border, the U.S. now employs Predator drones
, Blackhawk helicopter patrols
, high speed boats
, and Google searches
. There may even be a big fence
in our future. More troubling still are increased demands for information on Canadian citizens
, and increased searching powers of U.S. border guards
And don't ask them to say please
The Manners Manifesto
For example: "(11) Talk to people at the check-out
. You don't have to say much. God, even something inane like, "Busy in here, today, isn't it?" or "Not as busy as usual in here, today, is it?" might put us on the road to peace in the Middle East. Carrying on grumping around and spreading those grump vibes certainly isn't going to help."
5 students were barred from receiving copies of their diplomas (NYTimes Link)
at the Galesburg High School
graduation, after friends and family members cheered when their names were read. Good luck to future graduates to keep Nana and Aunt Bertha in check.
Miss Abigail's Time Warp Advice.
Miss Abigail dispenses wisdom from her collection
of vintage advice books
(published from 1822 to 1978). Topics include Minding Your Manners
, Looking And Feeling Good
, Around The House
, Frank Talk About Petting
, and much more. The advice ranges from the very useful to the hilariously quaint, with some unenlightened shockers thrown in for good measure.
Speak softly, don't argue and slow down'
The reputation of the "Ugly American" abroad is not..... just some cruel stereotype, but - according to the American government itself - worryingly accurate. Now, the State Department has joined forces with American industry to plan an image make-over by issuing guides for Americans travelling overseas on how to behave.
When you write a letter to the Pope,
be sure to end it: I have the honor to remain Your Holiness's obedient servant
, but for a Cardinal, simply use: Yours very truly
. And remember that
Emperors are addressed Your dignified Majesty
while Kings are just called Your Majesty
can be quite fascinating, for example, Queen Elizabeth is also
an official Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Gynecologists and is an Honorary Bachelor of Music at the University of Wales. Even if you don't have those impressive titles, you can definitely find one for you in the giant Dictionary of Occupational Titles (largish html file - my personal favorite is "Fancy packer")
; or just go for some obsolete job titles
"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience." George Washington's Rules of Civility
Business Card Etiquette
Do not play or fiddle with people's business cards - treat them with respect. A Western businessman once famously lost a big deal for picking his teeth with one of his colleagues' business cards, and was never given the opportunity to do business with the company again.
Mind Your Manners!
Put your knowledge of excruciatingly correct behavior
to the test: "Adopt the role of a late 19th century character and try to earn your place in a world where every move is governed by the rules of etiquette."
For those who throw good manners, common decency, and proper etiquette to the wind, here is a website collecting stories about social gaffes that are often hilarious.
Gothic Miss Manners
: advice from a Gothic perspective.
Be Careful Out There: Your Etiquette May Be My Nyetiquette Oh behave!
We've all made faux pas, gaffes and complete
asses of ourselves when dealing with foreign cultures. Travelling abroad isn't even necessary - a simple sushi meal
is fertile ground for a vast panoply of unintended rudeness. While not even the most experienced traveller can insulate himself or herself completely from ocasionally shocking, disgusting or insulting his or her hosts, here is a little something worth keeping in your laptop. Some cultures are more difficult than others but I'll bet we all have our own embarrassing etiquette bloopers, right?
If you would, please, I'd like to politely invite you to consider The Decay Of Manners
: "We rush through life in such a hurry these days, that there is little or no time or thought for the refinements and courtesies that in the good old days of our grandparents were considered necessary to good manners.
Minnetonka Record, November 21, 1902
. Thank you very much for your time.