October 14, 2003


Labor Unions in a free market. Southern California is being gripped by crippling strikes by transit workers and grocery clerks -- both over health care -- that has stranded thousands of mostly poor commuters across Los Angeles and is expected to sap millions from the local economy.

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

Haiku. About mullets. Oh, and there's beer, too.

Mullet haiku, brought to you from the fine folks at the Beer Church (The Largest Unorganized Religion in the World!)
It's Two! Two! Two links in one!
posted by yhbc at 8:34 PM PST - 2 comments

Kafka at Camp: The Lost Diaries

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

China Launches Manned Space Mission

China Launches Manned Space Mission

Godspeed, Yang Liwei.
posted by Argyle at 6:39 PM PST - 50 comments

Over God

Founding fathers quotations about religion. Sick of hearing fundie pundies say "the US was founded on a vision of Christianity"? Let TJ and the crew speak for themselves.
posted by condour75 at 6:38 PM PST - 37 comments


The Amazing Baconizer: Take two books, CDs or films and find out how they're connected via Amazon's "people who bought this also bought..." database. (Wiki, including a short FAQ, here.)
[via kegz on eggz]
posted by me3dia at 2:28 PM PST - 15 comments

Awesome Music Videos on DVD

Groundbreaking music videos (quicktime req'd) courtesy of Palm Picture's exciting new Director's Label. The first collections are courtesy of Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry & Chris Cunningham.
posted by boost ventilator at 12:11 PM PST - 13 comments

Unmarried America

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

This is not the 555 area code

Now it's officially a trend: Attacking the privacy of those who invade privacy (bottom of page) by publicizing their information. What's the verb for this going to be? I think "Barrying" should be a contender.
posted by soyjoy at 10:25 AM PST - 19 comments

Joss Stone

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

End of a Poetic Legacy on Penn. Ave.?

Other U.S. Presidents have dabbled in poetry (that is, if they weren't busy winning Pulitzers before hitting the Oval Office). But Our Fearless Leader's poem has been rejected by the Missouri Review. "While we realize that the phrase 'lump in the bed' has a personal meaning that is meant to be endearing (please give the First Lady our regards), we fear that it portrays a, shall we say say, less than progressive attitude toward women." Is there any hope for Bush's literary inclinations? And what does this mean for the future of Presidential dignity?
posted by ed at 9:35 AM PST - 21 comments

I am blue and gold and white and full of links. What am I?

Riddles and more riddles - Easy Riddles and Ancient Riddles, Math Riddles and Traditional Riddles, Anglo-Saxon Riddles and Lawyer Riddles, Dirty Riddles and Logic Riddles, Medieval Riddles and Awful Riddles. Finally: Ambiguity, Classification and Change: The Function of Riddles.
posted by anastasiav at 9:33 AM PST - 14 comments

Diploma mills

Ever wonder how people buy those fake PhDs? It turns out a number of real people, including psychologists, criminologists, and university faculty are using diploma mill degrees to earn positions. Absolutely fascinating.
posted by MikeB at 9:28 AM PST - 36 comments

Is the Pledge Unconstitutional

A follow up on the debate concerning the Constitutionality of the pledge of allegiance. Apparently the Supreme Court is going to hear it.
posted by sourbrew at 8:58 AM PST - 26 comments

Baby Got Bacchus

Large buttocks are pleasing to me, nor am I able to lie concerning this matter. A colorful tune is translated into Caesar's tongue. (via boingboing)
posted by gottabefunky at 8:45 AM PST - 26 comments

Miss a Payment, Triple Your Interest Rate

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

Club Paradise

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

This place is dazzlingly, I was going to say glaringly, beautiful...

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

First you hover....then you bump!

Hoverbump -- float your robust character around and defeat the evil El Bobo! (shockwave - via tui)
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:51 AM PST - 1 comments

Morning person or night person?

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

Kissing Etiquette In Europe

So, How Often Do You Do It? And is it true the French do it more? Even, as Joni Mitchell testifies, on Main Street? And how the hell should Kullyfornia start preparing itself for Arnie's Austrian style? (Main link via Bifurcated Rivets.)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:13 AM PST - 23 comments

Seeing with Sound

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


Group Hug People Time to confess people. On the site or in the thread.
posted by Frasermoo at 3:07 AM PST - 28 comments

Half century in an iron lung.

Half century in an iron lung. Actually, its not really, but there's still plenty in this story to make you wince.
posted by biffa at 3:00 AM PST - 10 comments

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