In which we post a new collection of random links in an effort to see if the RSS feeds actually work now but aren’t showing anything because I haven’t posted anything.
- Craig Sager’s Suits and Sideline Sartorial Disasters – Grantland
You’ve been blown off your couch and knocked from your barstool with disbelief — even though you know it’s coming. The structure of an “NBA on TNT” broadcast never really changes, so you always know! Still: Cue the beer spit take and the salsa sliding off the nacho you can’t remember to put into your gaping mouth. Because you can never bring yourself to believe that it’s happening. Again. Craig Sager is wearing the ugliest clothes you’ve ever seen.
- Confessions of a Community College Dean: Grant Math
How is it that a multimillion dollar grant offered to an underfunded community college system can make a minimal difference on the ground? The answer is in the math.
- The Fandom Issue: Marvelous – Parabasis
The Tea Party, representing an overwhelmingly white, Christian, straight, rural base, has spun out a narrative of overt political oppression and marginalization, despite the fact that the country’s most powerful political bloc has always been white, Christian, straight, and rural. Our legistlative system significantly overrepresents their desires, by awarding equal representation in the Senate to low-population, rural states—overwhelmingly populated by people of the aforementioned demographics—as to high population states like New York and California, which have significantly higher minority populations. Comic books and sci-fi, meanwhile, are endlessly appealing to major studios because they have preexisting fanbases to spread the word and create buzz, as well as ample, lucrative merchandising opportunities. In both cases, what we have is the rage of the enfranchised: an implacable hunger for more recognition for a group that could scarcely be more recognized.
- Confessions of a Community College Dean: The Paradox of Conflict Aversion
The paradox of conflict aversion is that it doesn’t actually avoid conflict. It hides it, distorts it, and allows it to fester. If the squeaky wheel always gets the grease, over time, you should expect a hell of a lot of squeaking. And when Prof. Jones finds out that Prof. Smith got a better deal than he did, as a result of one backdoor deal or another, you can expect that Prof. Jones will be righteously pissed. Pissed-off people talk to each other, sometimes embellishing as they go. Others listen and fill in the gaps with whatever resentments they already had. Before long, you have another, much bigger, problem.
- The changing complexity of congressional speech – Sunlight Foundation
Congress now speaks at almost a full grade level lower than it did just seven years ago, with the most conservative members of Congress speaking on average at the lowest grade level, according to a new Sunlight Foundation analysis of the Congressional Record using Capitol Words. Of course, what some might interpret as a dumbing down of Congress, others will see as more effective communications. And lawmakers of both parties still speak above the heads of the average American, who reads at between an 8th and 9th grade level.
- The eerie similarities between Barack Obama and Richard Nixon as two of our biggest sports fans in chief – Grantland
So Obama is a huge sports fan. What’s interesting is that the White House talks so relentlessly, and self-consciously, about Obama’s fandom. Spikes the football, to borrow a recent D.C. catchphrase. In this, Obama has started to sound a lot like a certain former fan in chief. Not the Texas Rangers co-owner. Nor the Michigan Wolverines center. No, Obama has started to sound a lot like Richard Nixon. Obama and Nixon are soul mates in their need to tell voters, “I am a sports fan!” If you understand why Nixon had to talk about sports, you begin to understand why Obama does, too.
- What a Physics Student Can Teach Us About How Visitors Walk Through a Museum | Articulations
Basically, Andrew sat for about 20 minutes apiece in three galleries of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and as visitors entered he tracked their route and made notations of where they stopped and for how many seconds. A line indicates a path of movement. A dot indicates when someone stopped to look. The dots are accompanied by little notations indicating how many seconds the viewer stood still. There are also other scattered notations indicating the sex and general age of the people who were being tracked.