“When a hurricane makes landfall, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency relies on a couple of metrics to assess its destructive power.
First, there is the well-known Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. Then there is what he calls the “Waffle House Index.”
Green means the restaurant is serving a full menu, a signal that damage in an area is limited and the lights are on. Yellow means a limited menu, indicating power from a generator, at best, and low food supplies. Red means the restaurant is closed, a sign of severe damage in the area or unsafe conditions.”
“If you can sleep on a plane, after all, you must have a higher consciousness that doesn’t stew about cramped quarters or fellow passengers. […] Is it too grandiose to say that the airplane sleeper is in touch with his humanity in a profound way?”
This is a map of Illinois’ new Congressional districts.
The red marker is my apartment.
Yeah, that’s pretty bad. And Bobby Schilling of the 17th is a lot less interesting than Aaron Schock… But at least it’s not as bad as the 17th was before:
“This research undertakes a carefully designed and detailed empirical study to gain insights into (1) the extent of price differentials between wealthy and poor neighborhoods; (2) what induces such differentials, especially the nature and intensity of competitive environments, including mass merchandisers like Wal‐Mart; and (3) their relative impacts. It finds a price differential of about 10%–15% for everyday items. Even after controlling for store size and competition, prices are found to be 2%–5% higher in poor areas. It also finds that it is not the poverty level per se but access to cars that acts as a key determinant of consumers’ price search patterns.”
“The difference is this: Our current President is listening to what your requests are, and wants to hear them. Steve Jobs doesn’t give a fuck about you. I promise.”
As Marginal Revolution put it, at least they get that it’s complicated.
“There’s a theory in the sibling psychological literature called “deidentification,” which finds that siblings aren’t so much choosing their own identity as choosing what not to be in response to who their siblings are. In The Bin Ladens, Steve Coll describes the necessarily complicated dynamics that result when one father has 54 children. Most of the Bin Laden siblings grew up to embrace the entree to the West the father’s money gave them. In this psychological portrait, you could say that Osama Bin Laden, who made it his mission to destroy the United States, where many of his siblings were educated, lived, and did business, demonstrated the ultimate, homicidal case of deidentification.”
“Avatar is a fantasy about ceasing to be white, giving up the old human meatsack to join the blue people, but never losing white privilege. Jake never really knows what it’s like to be a Na’vi because he always has the option to switch back into human mode. Interestingly, Wikus in District 9 learns a very different lesson. He’s becoming alien and he can’t go back. He has no other choice but to live in the slums and eat catfood. And guess what? He really hates it. He helps his alien buddy to escape Earth solely because he’s hoping the guy will come back in a few years with a “cure” for his alienness. When whites fantasize about becoming other races, it’s only fun if they can blithely ignore the fundamental experience of being an oppressed racial group. Which is that you are oppressed, and nobody will let you be a leader of anything.”
“Years ago, I did a story on Tupac, and I tracked down some poems he wrote when he was in high school. They were all about flowers and sunsets and warm kisses. Before there was thug life, apparently, there was hug life. Who knew?”
Clogged toilets: one of many consequences of hyperinflation?
“Aside from its tradition of self-interestedness, Delaware has historically distinguished itself primarily by its retrograde approaches to race, political reform, and the administration of justice. In 1798 it effectively barred blacks—slave or free—from even entering a county seat on Election Day. As residents of the last Union state to ban slavery, most Delawareans sympathized with the Confederacy, and its senators attacked President Abraham Lincoln as a “monster” (in the words of one) and a “despot” and “weak and imbecile man” (in the words of the other). Despite siding with the Union during the Civil War, the legislature earmarked funds to assist drafted men seeking to buy their way out of military service—reflecting either its affinity for the Confederacy or its general support for the principle of shirking one’s patriotic obligations. Its political parties spent much of the late nineteenth century accusing each other (falsely, alas) of supporting black equality. Delaware voted against the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution, which freed the slaves and gave them the vote and equal protection. It retained its Jim Crow laws into the 1960s, yet, perhaps due to its puniness, managed to escape the disrepute given to segregationist contemporaries like Alabama or Mississippi.
Delaware also set itself apart through its fondness for medieval forms of punishment. It was not until the early 1900s that Delaware became the last state in the Union to abolish the pillory, a twelfth-century torture device. (The pillory resembled the stocks, but it was even crueler in that it forced the convict to stand, with his neck craned at what drawings indicate to be a highly uncomfortable angle.) In addition, Delaware achieved minor notoriety as the last state to ban public whipping. Connecticut renounced the practice in 1828, Pennsylvania in 1790. Delaware, by contrast, flogged its last convict in 1952.”