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much higher education
a plus b no longer equals c
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: news
11.2.11 • CLASSIC

Many, many years ago, I made one of those life-altering decisions that seemed like the only option at the time, felt like giving up, and would eventually cause pangs of regret in the years to follow. But now, in full hindsight, it turns out to be the smartest decision I ever made.

After graduating from high school on the positive side of the grading curve but not necessarily smashing that curve in any notable manner, I wound up at a prestigious, private technical school in upstate New York (Go Fractals!), one that I had worked very hard to get into and to which I had even earned a partial scholarship covering a good chunk of the total cost.

But from the moment I attended orientation and got the speech about which two thirds of us nerds would not be there at the end of four years, I got the shakes. Bad.

It wasn't about the courses, or the work, or the looming social scene or complete lack thereof. It was about the money.

read on

a tale of two hashtags
soaring and giggling on twitter
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: pop culture
6.6.11 • CLASSIC

I woke up late Saturday, hoping to make progress on a boatload of writing assignments (including this one) and took a quick moment to check Twitter. If you're on Twitter, of course, you understand how "a quick moment on Twitter" oh-so-quickly turns into 15 minutes or a half-hour or more, for a number of reasons. Because it's a conversation. Depending on who you're talking to, and what they have to say, you might close the window and walk away after a moment -- or you might find yourse

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top of the drop
hitting the apex and picking up speed
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: news
8.10.11 • CLASSIC

My father called me the other day.

This, in itself, is not news. We talk a lot. However, it did seem to be a good way to open a column, especially since my next few paragraphs have to do with that conversation. Otherwise, you'd be totally in the dark, and I'd have failed without even getting started. Luckily for both of us that didn't happen.

Anyway, in the course of our conversation, the current political and economic climate came up (we're very intellectual, he and I). My family has traditionally been moderate liberals (some less moderate than others), and we both agreed that the current Republican Party has us appalled. And the current Democratic Party has us mostly disappointed. I mentioned that I had been curious, following last week's debt ceiling debacle and the stock market drop that accompanied it, as to what my least favorite economic talking head, Larry Kudlow, had to say about it.

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ticket to ride
how ticket pricing trends are hurting fans
by michelle von euw
topic: sports
9.9.09 • CLASSIC

It’s a gorgeous Labor Day weekend, and the weather is pitch perfect. The famous humidity that usually characterizes this time of year has been all but absent from the weather forecast, and there’s a light breeze that makes the low 80s temperatures ideal for soaking up a ballgame. But there’s practically no one in Camden Yards today, despite a mid-afternoon matchup between the Orioles and the Wild-Card chasing Texas Rangers. Every time the camera pans back, the screen is filled with green empt

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the reinvention of everything
oh, we back on that again?
by mike julianelle
topic: pop culture
2.5.10 • CLASSIC

Avatar is the number one grossing movie of all time (before you adjust for inflation. When you do that, it’s like number 312). As a result, nearly every potential blockbuster is being reformatted to fit 3D theaters. Prepare for an onslaught, from Clash of the Titans to Harry Potter And the Fact That Our Stars Are Now All 25 and Weird Looking (the Hot Girl Obviously Being the Exception) to Sex and the City 3D: Shoving Samantha’s Sexuality Even Further In Your Face! How hard is it to switch a no

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american dream 2.0
what we have in common makes all the difference
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: news
4.29.11 • CLASSIC

I recently attended a presentation of a consumer research company about the proverbial state of the union. The company surveyed thousands of people and analyzed their opinions regarding the status of the economic environment and whether we, the people, still believe in the American dream. The answers? Dismal and, um, no, not so much. The majority of this information was presented for the sake of advertising and marketing, but there’s an undercurrent of the basic human condition that offers fa

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i drank champagne with tiger woods
riding a celebrity's coat tails to the moon (and beyond!)
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: pop culture
12.14.09 • CLASSIC

The relationship between celebrities and non-celebrities has always been fragile. Even in the Bible, we only know Bathsheba because she had an adulterous affair with one king (David) and gave birth to another (Solomon). Her whole life, for historical purposes, was only recorded because of an act of infamy with the most powerful king in the Old Testament. Had she not been bathing on the rooftop that one day, we would've never known her name. But Tiger Woods' scandal is the biggest to affect a

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message to the reluctant parent: part 2
grinch heart
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: general
5.18.11 • CLASSIC

I’m proud to announce that on April 18, 2011*, my wife and I experienced the joyous birth of our first child, Linus Theodore Walker, at 7 lbs. 3 oz., 20” long, and with a full head of beautiful dark hair. I ran a piece last December (you may recall) wherein I discussed my anxieties vs. my hopes about having a baby. I promised at the end of that piece that I’d keep you posted on my thoughts about becoming a parent -- the "afterbirth", if you will. Hence, this part 2. So what’s it li

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everybody poops
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: general
9.4.12 • CLASSIC

First of all, I want to preface this column with the statement "I don't mean to have my mind in the gutter." I really don't. But pooping is almost always on my mind, so now I'm going to write about it. If that makes you uncomfortable, then you should probably click away. If you're fine with dishing the dirty details, then read on.

When I was 20, I would have been completely ashamed to talk about pooping. I would have denied ever having done such a thing. If I stayed over at my boyfriend's house, I would avoid bowel movements altogether - sometimes for days at a time! Now that I've reached thirty, if I go for two days without 'taking care of business', I'm concerned. Longer than that and I start to get cranky. Or I start cramping. I'm irritable. Slow-moving and slow-thinking. Lethargic.

My boyfriend will cheerfully, if somewhat abashedly, grab his iphone and slink off to the throne room for some alone time Every Single Day. Without fail. Okay, I haven't been home every single instance, but I've observed that it is consistent and for him - a non-issue.

For me? Ugh. When is it NOT an issue?

read on

you could be sookie, or lafayette
the astrological guide to true blood's season 2
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: humor
8.17.09 • CLASSIC

Face it. You're a "True Blood" junkie. You want a Fangtasia T-shirt. You've taken a dive into Charlaine Harris's writing, even though you don't actually read. What you really want to know is if the new Tru-Blood drink will be worth serving at your viewing parties. Especially with vodka. Plenty of vodka. But, what really makes you a "True Blood" devotee is how well you know the crazy little backwater that is Bon Temps. You've already picked which vampire you'd like relations and a bite mark fro

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a part of our speech
by sarah ficke (@DameMystery)
topic: news
4.16.12 • CLASSIC

Loving: Noun
Loving begins as a noun, but not just any noun. Loving is a personal noun; it is something we experience only through the prism of ourselves. We can’t point to the source of love, diagram its location, or dissect it from our body, and yet it is there. Loving is also a noun in the stricter sense: Richard Loving, a white man born in Caroline County, Virginia, in 1933.

Loving: Verb
Loving may begin as a noun, but we know it best as a verb. We recognize love only because we see it in action: caring, sharing, laughing, kissing, touching, soothing, healing, helping, grieving. These actions can shape our lives, yet we can’t trace them to a source. Love – of nature, of creatures, of music – is a mystery in the abstract, but vibrant in reality. Something happens in your spirit, your physical heart might thump, your nerves might jitter, and suddenly that potential for love comes out into the open. That kind of spark caught Richard Loving (noun: white) and Mildred Jeter (noun: black) and whirled them into action. They were loving each other, and – as it always does – that love was shaping their lives.

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the great american sameness
a plea for difference
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: pop culture
8.24.11 • CLASSIC

A few weeks ago I went on a road trip. My wife and I drove from our home in North Carolina to Minneapolis, Minnesota for a wedding. A smart man may have flown, but that man was probably not transporting kegs of beer to serve at said wedding. During this trip, we went across an amazing array of American countryside.

The trip spanned North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and finally, Minnesota and it struck me again - as it did when we drove across the country about a decade back - just how vast and variable our country is. To put it simply, it is amazing and majestic.

From North Carolina driving north into West Virginia we drove through the Blue Ridge Mountains, these beautiful verdant green, sheer-drop landscapes. It feels as though the forest is soaring over your head and flowing under your feet as you bend through the roadways there.

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longhair tv
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
topic: pop culture
2.24.10 • CLASSIC

My hair used to be REALLY long. Cliff Burton long. Conan the Barbarian long. Born-in-the70's-hit-puberty-in-the-80's long. There was nothing ironic or unusual about this. In my day - and at a burly 38, I feel entitled to an occasional in my day - if you were a young man who knew how to rock and roll all night and party every day, this was barely a choice at all. Growing your hair was as much a conscious decision as wearing jeans or eating fast food. It wasn't a question of should I grow it out

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re: irrussistible
I am not going to read it this time. I do and I just cannot pull myself together to comment. It is a beautiful tribute. I am very glad that you wro...

re: guns don't kill people....
Can we please find a way to heal and protect? I NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A man opened fire Friday inside two classrooms at the Connecticut elementary sc...

re: a year without netflix
I would expect that and especially Netflix. Marketing, baby. They're spending zillions to get new subscribers....

re: everybody poops
What a bunch of crap! :-D Sorry. I tried to let it pass. Butt I'm weak. [edited]...

re: you are on your own heroes journey
Too short. Sigh. Thanks Maigen. I just miss him. I am glad that I can find people who cared deeply for him here. He had such good friends here!...


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