This is my window. Or my windows—the view from my living room, where I sit and write. Might not seem very inspiring. I wish I could offer green mossy lava, roaring waves, a glacier mountain top. I do have other spaces—in an abandoned powerstation, a favorite fisherman’s cafe by the harbor, a summer house on the arctic circle—but this is my honest view, what I really see most of the days. This house was built in the 1960s when people were fed up with lava and mountains; they were migrating to the growing suburbs to create a new view for themselves. The young couple who dug the foundation with their own hands dreamed of a proper garden on this barren, rocky strip of land. They dreamed of trees, flowers, shelter from the cold northern breeze. What is special depends on where you are, and here, the trees are actually special. They were planted fifty years ago like summer flowers, not expected to live or grow more than a meter. The rhododendron was considered a miracle, not something that could survive a winter. It looks tropical, with Hawaiian-looking pink flowers; Skúli, the man who built the house and sold it to me half a century later, took special pride in it.
I am not a great gardener. We are thinking of buying an apple tree, though they don’t really thrive in this climate. I would plant it like a flower, not really expect it to grow, and hope for a miracle. —Andri Snær Magnason [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle
on Aug 9, 2013 -
Carles of Hipster Runoff discusses the relationship between mediocre quarterbacks and office jobs
The most intense forms of competition, stress, conflict, and insecurity that most of us will ever feel take place at work. We embrace mediocrity as a safety net to alleviate our minds from these uncomfortable thoughts, and hide from the idea of heightened accountability and expectations. Instead, we choose to live vicariously through other people we don't know who are actually 'special.' Athletes, technological entrepreneurs, and other people who are recognized for being legitimately 'gifted and talented' serve as our daily inspirations and escapes. While society tends to praise greatness and unique achievement, the public ceremony of 'exposing' mediocrity provides us with the opportunity for humor and hyperbole that inspires a dark breed of empathy and fan interest.
posted by Copronymus
on Jan 9, 2012 -
Cranking. "She couldn't really help my Dad. My Dad couldn't really help her. But they sure tried. She cranked and cranked. I was seven. I didn't know how to help anyone."
- A brief essay on life, happiness and work by Merlin Mann.
posted by Memo
on Apr 24, 2011 -
The End of Men
, in The Atlantic. An article about the rise of women (now over 50% of the U.S. workforce), and implications of the attendant changes for both women and men. [more inside]
posted by marble
on Jun 10, 2010 -
Got My Mojo Working
was written by the little-known Preston Foster
and first recorded
in 1956 by the only slightly better-known Ann Cole
. It was, of course, the Muddy Waters version
that became the hit and a signature song for him: he sang it throughout his entire career
, and it has become one of the best-known blues standards of all time. The song itself just has a lot of mojo, you know, so naturally plenty of others have covered it through the years: a small sampling from the YouTubes would include Carl Perkins
, Willie Dixon
, Elvis Presley
, Clarence Gatemouth Brown
, JJ Cale
, Pinetop Perkins
and Louis Jordan
. Hell, even Bobby Darin
couldn't resist the mojo!. NOTE: Check hoverovers for link descriptions. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Jan 6, 2008 -
NYU President John Sexton warns striking grad students that they must resume teaching or lose their benefits.
outside Bobst library and refusing to teach classes, NYU grad students have been sent a letter
from President John Sexton, warning them that any TA who does not return to work next week will lose their stipends and eligibility to teach next semester. Until recently
, NYU was the only private school that allowed graduate teaching assistants to unionize, following a 2000 NLRB decision
, which was subsequently reversed. NYU claims
that it has negotiated in good faith and that the union's demands would limit decision making that should remain in the hands of academics, while the grad students argue
that they cannot trust NYU's admistration to take care of them without unionization (and representation by the UAW
). Meanwhile, many undergrads paying tuition upwards of 50K/year will have to retake classes or opt for pass/fail
. Do you sympathize
with highly educated American grad students who receive free tuition, health insurance, and stipends
in exchange for modest teaching duties (when many other students depend on student loans), especially compared the with 19th century coal miners
, third-world factory workers
, and modern-day wage slaves
we normally associate with unions and strikes?
posted by banishedimmortal
on Nov 30, 2005 -
Get that MP3, and get the boot
In a -IMHO- patetic effort to try to stop what can't be stopped, the RIAA and MPAA are urging companies to monitor their employee's downloading habits or face suing, damages, sanctions and what have you against them. In other words, inciting companies to treat their employees as potential criminals and dispose of them accordingly. While the risks of using P2P at work such as virii and leaking of private files do have a point, this is really about the RIAA/MPAA resorting to more desperate measures each time to try to stay afloat with their jaded business model, which will do nothing but accelerate their long-forecast demise in the "real" new economy.
posted by betobeto
on Feb 15, 2003 -
Facing Serial Unemployment, it's Time for a New Game Plan.
Anyone else frustrated with jobs that disappear out from under them? What is the "new game plan" that works? (Say an unemployed person realizes that these Boston Globe articles disappear just as fast as their jobs do. In solidarity with other unemployed workers, they violate copyright and cache this article on a website. Do we prosecute?)
posted by sheauga
on Jul 19, 2002 -