MetaFilter posts by MattD.
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Bloomberg wonders why last's year Bar Exam pass rates were notably lower. Officials who administer the national multiple-choice portion of the exams said this was a predictable result of the lower credentials of the test-takers when they entered law school versus those of earlier entering classes. Deans of lower-ranked law schools whose accreditation (and federal loan eligibility) depend in part on Bar pass rates don't like that answer. (Earlier this week, the WSJ noted the growing debt of law students, the expanding programs which reduce payments and ultimately forgive balances, and suggests the latter is now starting to drive the former: some people are only borrowing because they know they won't have to repay in full.)
posted on Aug-20-15 at 11:55 AM

Regulators 1, Lyft 0 (or perhaps 0.5). After trying to launch its unlicensed "ride sharing" model in New York City, Lyft has capitulated to the regulators' demands and will instead launch as an ordinary livery car service -- using only TLC-licensed cars with TLC-certified drivers.
posted on Jul-27-14 at 6:38 AM

As reported recently by the San Jose Mercury News, Asian-American Democrats in the State Assembly now look to be blocking the reinstatement of race-based affirmative action in California, previously on the fast track for the November ballot, after it passed through the State Senate with all Democrats, including three Asian Americans, supporting the measure, and all Republicans opposing.
posted on Mar-16-14 at 1:42 PM

All you can eat just got a little stickier. The number one all-you-can-eat chain Golden Corral is rolling out cotton candy to all of its buffet lines nationwide.
posted on Nov-6-10 at 2:46 PM

The San Francisco Chronicle to suffer deep cuts and possibly closure. Noting an acceleration of long-standing losses, Hearst is taking drastic steps with the Chronicle, without (in its announcement, at least) any of the brave promises of perseverance which often accompany such news. Sale or (failing that) closure will ensue if the cuts don't work fast enough. Fallen into bankruptcy in the past two months have been publishers of four major newspapers (LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer and Minneapolis Star-Tribune) -- but so far none of those papers appears in any risk of folding.
posted on Feb-24-09 at 6:21 PM

Slate Remembers Nerd Camp. I'd thought all parents everywhere were sending their kids to turn-pro-at-18 camp now, but it seems that CTY is bigger than ever. (Albeit subject to accusations that the standards have been watered down.)
posted on Jul-21-06 at 11:31 AM

In Middle Class, Signs of Anxiety on School Efforts. The New York City Department of Education has made a number of changes to gifted and talented and special admission programs, and has increased the emphasis on test preparation. These changes (it is suggested) may start pushing middle-class parents out of the (relatively few) public schools regarded as good. Parents who can afford the $20k tuition and who can manage the admissions process will go to private school ... one supposes those who fall short on either front will go to the suburbs.
posted on Dec-27-05 at 6:24 AM

"L" Train Won't Run on Weekends. Although the true hardcore won't be bothered -- because they never leave Brooklyn on the weekends -- this might cramp the style of the rest.
posted on Nov-1-05 at 7:21 AM

"They [the bipartisan elite] have imposed a public morality that affords maximum sexual opportunity for themselves and guarantees maximum domestic chaos for those lower down." While a lot of people (okay, maybe just me) have criticized David Brooks' column as an only-infrequently-successful attempt to channel Malcom Gladwell for the McCain-Specter set, I think he may have stumbled onto a provocative insight here.
posted on May-29-05 at 7:49 PM

TiVo saved? After a grim 4Q04 conference call, focusing on bells and whistles for which there's little evidence of customer demand, it's now reported that TiVo is on the verge of striking a deal with Comcast to integrate TiVo software and services into Comcast's integrated tuner-DVRs. TiVo needs this deal very, very badly...
posted on Mar-15-05 at 4:32 AM

Court orders $5.6 billion per year increase in NYC schools funding. The order, being appealed by Gov. Pataki, compels a 35% increase in operating funds for NYC public schools, and an additional $9 billion for school construction, but doesn't say which taxes ought to be raised to pay for it. Supporters and opponents both agree that, if implemented, the order would have a dramatic effect. Supporters think poor black and hispanic students will get a better education; opponents are dubious about the educational benefits and certain of the disastrous effects of a massive tax increase. A second arguments concerns whether the city ought to bear some of the costs, or the state should have to bear them all.
posted on Feb-18-05 at 11:56 AM

Pork Farmers in Hog Heaven! Atkins and skyrocketing beef prices result in pork producers "experiencing demand far in excess of anything [they]'ve seen historically." Pork prices are very high on the spot and futures market but still a value relative to meat. Perhaps this will increase the demand for tasty Berkshire hog pork, the kind that pre-dates the breeding which produced the "other white meat."
posted on Oct-19-04 at 5:21 AM

Why this election is so disappointing... Opposite today's New York Times' 30-column-inch endorsement of John Kerry, Thomas Friedman makes a good case that several of the most important issues are not being talked about by either candidate in any serious way.
posted on Oct-17-04 at 11:05 AM

California bill to ease "move aways" by custodial parents pulled. Until a recent CA Supreme Court decision, it was easy for custodial parents to move themselves and their children far from their ex-spouse. The Court reversed the old rule and held that the move could be blocked if the non-custodial parent could show that it would interfere with his/her relationship with the kids. Legislation to reimpose the old permissive standard passed through the State Senate, but has now been pulled off the legislative calendar after an outcry by father's rights groups.
posted on Aug-18-04 at 1:03 PM

That damn Costco mayonnaise I like the East Village, but is Staten Island really that bad?
posted on Jul-18-04 at 2:10 PM

Unmitigated gall. The illegal aliens who got two hearts and two lungs for their daughter REFUSED to have any of her organs donated when it was clear she was brain-dead...
posted on Feb-22-03 at 5:35 PM

Internet advertising to be second only to TV ads in the near future? A Slate dialogist predicts that within 1,000 days (a little under 3 years) the aggregate Internet advertising spend will exceed that for each of the other media (except for television). More than radio, more than newspapers, more than magazines. Believe it?
posted on Jan-13-03 at 2:32 PM

"This car isn't meant to be an SUV, a mini-van, or a sedan" ... becuase, of course, it's a station wagon (the body type that dare not speak its name), albeit a sleek new Chrysler Pacifica, now starring in double-page spreads in your finer magazines. The Europeans have never stopped making great wagons, but its been a while since anything less apalling than the Taurus Wagon came out of Detroit or Tokyo.
posted on Dec-18-02 at 4:18 PM

Oregon Measure 23 Oregon's single-payer-health-care referendum: Sanity in the face of returning double-digit annual cost increases (after an HMO-induced respite), or a tax-and-spend, job-destroying nightmare which even the public-employee unions (not well-known supporters of any for-profit system) oppose?
posted on Oct-30-02 at 12:32 PM

Strippers a better catch than a woman lawyer in a big firm? The Greedy Associates boards typically obsess over how hard it is for a 27-year-old, already making $150,000 a year, to make their Christmas bills without a mid-four-figures bonus. "Howard Beale" sparked a debate on whole 'nother issue...
posted on Oct-23-02 at 10:33 AM

How will Democrats respond to a left-wing, pro-life, presidential candidate? Congressman Dennis Kucinich is being loudly promoted as the left-wing dream candidate for 2004 -- someone who can bring the Naderites back in the fold and send a message, that mainstream / moderate Democrats won't or can't, about being for the "people, not the powerful." Yet he has always and continues to oppose legal abortion. Can he be nominated? Would most progressives prefer a conservative Democrat who is right (in their opinion) on abortion, to a progressive who they see as wrong in that issue?
posted on Aug-13-02 at 8:50 AM

Whither the Green Party USA? Reporting from the Green Party 2002 midterm convention, The Nation's writer reports an (uneasy) consensus for "spoiling" selected races against the Democrats, but less clarity on how to get from there to a policy-making role in government.
posted on Aug-5-02 at 1:41 PM

"Law and Order SVU" writers, sharpen your pencils! Prep school girls, bored with Dalton boys, are posing as Ivy Leaguers and aspiring actresses to lure unknowing 20-something investment bankers in Manhattan hotspots ...
posted on Jul-25-02 at 11:08 AM

Poverty is Expensive (part 59) The "i-Gen" prepaid MasterCard, available at a Rite-Aid near you, for those who don't have bank accounts (for debit cards) to say the least of credit ratings sufficient to get credit cards. Pay a $10.00 upfront fee, pay another $5 a month plus a "reload" fee of at least $5 every time your card runs down, all for the privilege of letting them hold on to your cash at no interest.
posted on Jul-7-02 at 9:09 PM

History repeats itself? Lest we forget, constitutional qualms about the Pledge helped bring down Mike Dukakis 14 years ago ... will the Democrats, in an urge to avoid the same fate, let through Bush's slate of conservative nominees? How about a new Justice if Rehnquist retires?
posted on Jun-27-02 at 11:13 AM

c2it to be free; PayPal raising fees. Will this spell the end of PayPal? Free c2it from Citibank can be used the same way the "old" PayPal could (for friends and roommates to settle up bills) as well cutting deeply into PayPal's core on-line auction settlement business (well over half its revenue), already under attack by eBay's Billpoint.
posted on Nov-16-01 at 1:09 PM

Paratroopers? Or cruise missiles? What will America's military response be if the Taliban are determined to be liable? The Russians certainly didn't too well with a conventional military attack on Afghanistan.
posted on Sep-11-01 at 6:49 PM

Home schooling goes mainstream (cover story of Time). Although the article is appallingly poorly-written (does Time have editors anymore?), it points to double-digit growth with only a few anecdotal chestnuts about "socialization" to throw against the trend.
posted on Aug-21-01 at 8:12 AM parent buys HotJobs. TMP, the parent company of, has acquired HotJobs for $460 million in stock. Although they plan to maintain HotJobs as a "stand-alone brand" the jobs and resume databases will be merged. I'm really skeptical -- virtually everyone I know searched both Monster and HotJobs, and posted resumes on both places, so what are they really getting but duplication? (HotJobs used to have a very distinctive approach -- no headhunters, in short -- but it had backed off of that recently.)
posted on Jul-1-01 at 3:51 PM

Communists infiltrating the Oakland, Calif. teachers union. The Trotskyites of the Revolutionary Workers League, having branched out from the perpetual student-revolutionary ghetto on the fringes of UC Berkeley (2 miles north of the Oakland city limits), are hungering to grab a bully pulpit and $300,000 a year worth of dues, and are well on their well to controlling the union's executive board.
posted on Jun-15-01 at 11:46 AM

Prom dresses getting skimpier (NB: New York Times link). I have to believe that Principal Matakovich would have made prom night a quick roundtrip home for any girl who showed up at the San Luis Obispo High School prom dressed in one of these ... (although one hesitates to use Size 2 Spence girls as a firm sign of a trend).
posted on May-29-01 at 10:50 AM

Proxicom bought by Compaq, last week's purchase of Mainspring by IBM, the dissolution of MarchFirst, and the not-so-slow slide of Viant, Scient, iXL and the rest ... is there any future for the independent style of "e-consultancies" which seemed poised to revolutionize the business world only a couple of years ago?
posted on Apr-27-01 at 9:31 AM

Bush's strategy: court the Catholics. Bush won as high a percentage of church-going Catholics as did Reagan in 1984, as Reagan was winning 25% more votes than did Bush. There's a strong Catholic vote in many states Bush narrowly lost, suggesting that consolidating his Catholic edge could assure victory in 2004.
posted on Apr-16-01 at 5:14 PM

Palm Vx & cell phone combo has swept the streets of New York ... the Verizon stores sell out of them within hours of each shipment's arrival. I was one of the first, and I am, by and large, extremely satisfied ... more within.
posted on Apr-10-01 at 8:28 AM

Polls show Bill Clinton would be elected Mayor of New York City in a landslide. No Democratic or Republican challenger would come within a mile of him. Would solve his little "office budget" problem, too, and get him and Hillary back in public housing in NYC! So long, Chappaqua...
posted on Mar-11-01 at 3:12 PM

The University of California may eliminate SATs scores as a criterion for admission of undergraduates.
posted on Feb-17-01 at 7:29 AM

A corporate MetaFilter? The editors of Suck present, a moderated web log with commentary, in collaboration with editors from about a dozen other leading cultural / news print and on-line zines
posted on Jan-15-01 at 8:06 AM

Tom Hanks = the Jimmy Stewart of our day? one of Salon's useful popular media pieces, but nothing you couldn't read on Sunday Arts section of the Times, such pieces being the Holy Ghost of Salon's Trinity (see inside for the Father and the Son)...
posted on Jan-12-01 at 4:12 PM

Other not-so-free-anymore things Apropos of the NetZero not-so-zero-anymore change, PayPal has essentially made its system unusable for the purpose that first sucked us in -- a fast, convenient way for friends to share rent, settle up bills for dinners and weekend getaways (more inside).
posted on Dec-26-00 at 6:55 PM

DirectTV with built-in TiVO rocks. (Note to self: buy flowers for wife on day that credit card bill for this set-up and $199 lifetime TiVo service arrives.)
posted on Dec-13-00 at 3:32 PM

Amputation by choice people who want to have one or more limb cut off (and in some cases achieve their desire, by self-help or medical intervention) explored in The Atlantic (more inside).
posted on Dec-13-00 at 3:12 PM

The _real_ next President is chosen ... well, of the Fortune 500, anyway. Today, Jack Welch tapped his successor as CEO of the worldest largest and most profitable public corporation, General Electric. As expected, he chose an executive in his early 40's which (with luck) will give GE another king with a 20+ year reign.
posted on Nov-27-00 at 7:33 AM

The last time Electoral Votes were disputed was in 1876, with the Florida votes being handed over to Rutherford B. Hayes, who had lost the popular vote. But the real story was that the Democrats gave in order to clinch a secret deal to end Reconstruction, paving the way for 90 years of Jim Crow...
posted on Nov-9-00 at 8:15 AM

Nader Pro and Con (omnibus). The L.A. Weekly brings you about 20 prominent liberals' statements on whether they are voting Nader or Gore, and why ... captures pretty much all of the nuances in once place.
posted on Nov-2-00 at 11:17 AM acquired by old-media concern Primedia for $690 million in Primedia stock. One of the true original web-content concepts has found a valuation anchor.
posted on Oct-30-00 at 11:44 AM

$14,000 a year for devout Christians attending "top 5" graduate and professional programs, in order to seed national leadership with believers. An alternative approach is Ave Maria School of Law, founded by Domino's Pizza founder Tom Monaghan expressly because they believe that Christian professional education is essentially impossible in the elite institutions.
posted on Sep-17-00 at 1:33 PM