Friday, November 08, 2002

Remember when we talked about Ayn Rand? Steven eventually posted a critical essay that reads like the National Enquirer of Rationalism.
Collaborative book club?

I (well, Sean, really) think that Jaq came up with the idea of a Collaboratory book reading/discussion. I'd like to ressurect the idea now that we've got our feet a bit on the ground. Is there interest in this still? If so, how would it be done? (my ideas inside).

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Once I had landed my [space vehicle description] near the fabled [landscape feature name] on [planet name], I took the [magic potion ingredients] I had previously acquired to brew the potion I would need for the [dark ritual name] that I would perform that night. (Fill in the blanks using the generators linked!!)

And once you're done playing with those, you can generate actual planetary maps with this generator. What fun!!

(links courtesy of Star Lines.)

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

My business is circumference . . .

Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman form the center of the American poetry canon. Both are slippery, but for different reasons; they are a kind of yin-yang pair. Neither is really "easy," but Dickinson leaves me shaking my head more often, in puzzlement and amazement alike. (The linked site is not great, but it does have fair versions of all her poems.)

761
From Blank to Blank --
A Threadless Way
I pushed Mechanic feet --
To stop -- or perish -- or advance --
Alike indifferent --

If end I gained
It ends beyond
Indefinite disclosed --
I shut my eyes -- and groped as well
'Twas lighter -- to be Blind --

Are there poets you turn to, out of habit, maybe, or need?
Legos for me, please.

Try watching 15 minutes of Nickelodeon without seeing a commercial for a kid's product that makes your skin crawl. Here are a few things they're selling to kids these days:

Something for the boys: "Slithering Jake" the Snake. I have never seen a girl holding a remote control anything.
Something for the girls: Mystery Date. Game? Or training device?
Something for everyone: Kidz Bop. There's a Kidz Bop 2, if you can get enough.

My son's big toy these days is an old phone cord that he calls a fire hose.
What won't you be buying kids for Christmas (or any other holiday) this year?
Man,this site needs help. So, here it is:

What's your ideal dance mix cd?

At least 10 songs.

This is for the masses. This is not songs only you would know. (Though feel free to post that in addition, separately).

Grist for your mill: About.com Top 40/Pop Top 100 Hits (laugh if you will).

Mine:

Vogue - Madonna
Disco Inferno - The Trammps
Shout - The Isley Brothers
It Takes Two - Rob Base
Brick House - The Commodores
Loveshack - B52s
Get Down Tonight - KC and the Sunshine Band
I've Got the Power - Snap
Celebration - Kool and the Gang
Stand - REM
YMCA - The Village People

Laugh if you will. If I'm the DJ, the masses will be lovin' me with this mix. You know it's true (oo, maybe I should add some Mili Vanilli).

Monday, November 04, 2002

Do we need more voters or better voters?

Thomas Sowell weighs in on the better voters side saying:

During election years, people in the media seem to be forever lamenting the fact that millions of Americans who are eligible to vote do not in fact go to the polls. When speculating as to why those people don't vote, the media often assume that there is something wrong with a society in which voter turnout is low, by comparison with the past or by comparison with other countries.
Actually, some of the most strife-torn countries, with seething hatreds between various ethnic or religious groups, have much higher voter turnout than the United States has. Where each group is desperate to seize power from other groups, or to keep others from acquiring power over them, getting high voter turnout is no problem. But it can be a symptom of other serious problems.


Sowell raises the age-old question of "is it better to have an ignorant vote, or no vote at all?". With election day coming up tomorrow, it's probably a good time to discuss this. Assuming that the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle, as it usually does, how do we acheive this middle ground, both on a personal level (those close to us) and a larger, broader, societal level? It's probably too late for this year, but what about next time around?

shamlessly stolen from MeFi.
We had an earlier post here about Ayn Rand. Steven den Beste is asking her minions not to write to him.