Thursday, June 21, 2007

The death of Converse All-Stars

Sunday, June 17, 2007

MSNBC: "Are we raising a nation of little egomaniacs?"

From MSNBC: "Are we raising a nation of little egomaniacs?"
Twenge primarily attributes the increase in narcissism to the obsession of parents and educators, beginning in the early 1990s, with self-esteem, praise and making sure children feel good. [...] “In the American Academy of Pediatrics guide to caring for your young child, self-esteem is mentioned seven times in 10 pages,” says Twenge. “From the beginning, there is so much focus on children feeling good about themselves now that other things appear to be falling by the wayside.”
This brings me to an article published in the July 2006 issue of Scientific American, "The Expert Mind". The authors touch upon a lot of subject, but the one I found most profound was that a large part of achieving expertise in something is, if I may summarize, just giving a shit:
Ericsson argues that what matters is not experience per se but "effortful study," which entails continually tackling challenges that lie just beyond one's competence.[...] Even the novice engages in effortful study at first, which is why beginners so often improve rapidly in playing golf, say, or in driving a car. But having reached an acceptable performance--for instance, keeping up with one's golf buddies or passing a driver's exam--most people relax. Their performance then becomes automatic and therefore impervious to further improvement. In contrast, experts-in-training keep the lid of their mind's box open all the time, so that they can inspect, criticize and augment its contents and thereby approach the standard set by leaders in their fields.
While I'm not a behavior scientist, it feels to me that self-esteem based education ends up putting kids into the comfort zone as fast as possible, essentially taking them out of the realm of "effortful study", and into the realm of permanent mediocrity.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Video Friday: Flight of the Conchods, "The Humans Are Dead"


Also, Frodo Don't Wear the Ring.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

In my dreams

Screaming and crying, George W. Bush was escorted out of a courtroom and back to jail Friday after a judge ruled that he must serve out his entire 45-day sentence behind bars rather than on his Texas ranch.

"It's not right!" shouted the weeping Bush, who violated his parole in a corruption case. "Mom!" he called out to his mother, Barbara Bush, in the audience.

Bush, who was brought to court in handcuffs in a sheriff's car, came into the courtroom disheveled and weeping, hair askew, wearing a gray fuzzy sweatshirt over slacks.

He cried throughout the hearing, his body shook constantly and he dabbed at his eyes. Several times he turned to his parents, seated behind him in the courtroom, and mouthed, "I love you."

Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer was calm but apparently irked by the morning's developments. He said he had left the courthouse Thursday night having signed an order for Bush to appear for the hearing.

When he got in his car early Friday, he said, he heard a radio report that he had approved Bush's participation in the hearing by telephone, but he had not.

"I at no time condoned the actions of the sheriff and at no time told him I approved the actions," he said of the decision to release Bush from jail after three days.

"At no time did I approve the defendant being released from custody to his home in Crawford," Sauer said.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Video Friday: Tainted Love, a chronology

Gloria Jones, no video:

Soft Cell:


Shades Apart:

My Ruin (amateur fan video):

La Union (Spanish version, Falso Amor):

Marilyn Manson (NSFW because of bewbies):

Pussycat Dolls (NSFW because your coworkers will think you're an idiot. That type of mildly entertaining performance is what this competition is all about):

Oh, some might say we should have stopped with the Pussycat Dolls. But there's more. Much, much more:

Milk, Inc.:

Richard Grey:

Killwhitneydead (amateur fan video):

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Google van self-portraits.

The new street-level view feature on Google maps has everyone in the covered areas looking for photos of their car, their house, or even their cat. Boingboing's been talking about it all week ("The Great Google Street View Freakout of 2007: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7." ). I was most fascinated the high-resolution photos of the van.

That got me thinking: the van must have have taken photos of itself! "Google van" self-portraits, if you will. Here's the best one I could find so far, but it's a little obscured by a logo. There must be better Google van self-portraits out there: please post your finds in the comments!

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