Saturday, December 29, 2007

That book about Starbucks

Has anyone read that new book, 'Starbucked'? (I haven't). The writer had a piece in Slate this week specifically about how more independent coffee shops have opened up around the nation since Starbucks became big, and how on a local level having a Starbucks in your area helps the little cafes. It all sounds a bit far fetched, but if there's a trick in those stats he presents, I can't think of what it would be.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I've been hoping for something like this for a while, and New York magazine has really come through:

The Wishy-Washy, Squishy-Squashy Pseudoscience of Electability

Electability is completely ephemeral. Even those hoary and maddeningly indefinable political qualities like “character” and “authenticity” have more meat on their bones.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bulldozers on Saturday

This weekend the federal government will begin destroying the public housing buildings in New Orleans. These are units that were damaged somewhat -- but not structurally -- by Katrina and have been closed to residents who wanted to return ever since.

They are going to be replaced by mixed-income private development. There will be some affordable units, but only a small fraction of the total number there were before. HUD is the agency that controls this; they also have the support of much of the city and state political world. Thanks to the efforts of Maxine Waters, the US House voted in March to require 1-for-1 replacement of public housing units but the Senate hasn't yet done something on the bill. Senator Landrieu supports it, but Senator Vitter opposes it, as the Times-Picayune reviewed on Wednesday.

Thanks to this move, fewer New Orleans residents will be able to return home, at least any time soon.

John Edwards -- who opposes public housing complexes in general, in favor of the notion of 'dispersing' poverty -- issued a statement on Tuesday opposing the demolitions.

Democracy Now ran a segment on it Wednesday.

Public housing residents and out-of-town activists have vowed to block the bulldozers.

Monday, December 10, 2007

News of the bizzare

Today's Daily News touted an article about four women taping a video of themselves pole-dancing on the subway (I swear, I don't read the Daily News -- it was just linked on Streetsblog). Here's the amusing video (which is actually 8 months old, it turns out, but whatever).

The most bizarre part? Dave Kadden '05 makes an appearance in the video (2:05 and 3:05).

Friday, December 07, 2007

Making lemonade from those lemons

Remember how the Wesleyan campus is a mess when it rains? Like, all the paths just flood. Jumping the puddles is fun for a moment and then the novelty wears off.

Particularly dreadful was the path behind Olin; it was a pond, and the grass just to the side of it would be mud. It made for a challenge dashing from Hewitt to class in PAC or a meeting in the campus center.

What you may not have known is that this situation is actually something for the school to be proud of! In today's mail I got the "2006-2007 Annual Update" from Wes and here's the photo inside: