Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How to Tell

Here's one that missed the cutoff for yesterday's Twitter round-up, and so deserves its own post:

(Click to enlarge.)

via @LiberalEffects

Monday, March 30, 2015

Marching Through Twitter

The month ended with the news about Indiana's right-to-discriminate bill:

Dear conservatives: I know "your intolerance of my intolerance is the real intolerance!" sounds clever to you, but it convinces *no one else*.
By David Roberts

The people asking for a religious exception to generally applicable laws are the ones who spent decades railing against "special rights."
By Josh Barro

Jesus regularly ate dinner with thieves and whores, and you're telling me it's against your religion to bake a cake for a gay person?
By Keri Karandrakis

Being gay is natural. Hating gays is a lifestyle choice. - John Fugelsang
By Curt Rice
Which followed the Starbucks "race together" P.R. disaster:
real talk:

By Disgruntled Haradrim

Starbucks CEO Schultz wants us to write political stuff on cups. He pays workers $7.62/hr. So I start here:

By Mike Klonsky
I thought that this time I would consolidate the tweets about education. Gosh, there are a lot of them:
What if lawmakers supported schools that kids wanted to go to instead of passing truancy laws?
By Ira Socol

We put you in a game without asking if you want to play. We explain that the losers are doomed and if you don't follow the rules we call you a cheater.
By Sisyphus38

Have you seen any discussion about the fact that [Commom Core] tests are timed, so speed is privileged over other intellectual proficiencies?
By Alfie Kohn

Class size matters because children learn through relationships. These can't be realized in classes of 30.
By leonie haimson

Choice = a sorry substitute for equity and quality in a city and state that can't/won't uplift our schools & neighborhoods.
By Helen Gym

Is it weird that major companies like Coke & Google use emotion to tell their story & schools use grades & numbers to tell theirs?
By Justin Tarte

All this talk about grit [in education] is a bit like watching the Four Yorkshiremen skit by Monty Python.
By Lizzie Steven

By teaching kids to memorize mathematical facts we rob them of the pleasure of finding out on their own.
By Sisyphus38

"Grit." How to get kids to plow through anything put before them no matter how idiotic, irrelevant, or boring. Really folks?
By Sisyphus38

Expecting 8-year-olds to read at an adult rate isn't high standards. It's developmentally inappropriate:

By Steven Singer

If you think it's your duty to make children do what you want, then it follows that you must make them afraid of what will happen if they don't.
By Sisyphus38

When people refer to schools as 'delivery systems', it's hard to take their ideas on 'innovation' seriously.
By Adam Holman

Those who like to talk about “preparing kids for the real world” rarely seem concerned about preparing kids to improve that world.
By Alfie Kohn

Powerful, uncompromised morality worked with banning fracking and net neutrality. Now [we need] a moral fight for public education, against testing.
By zephyrteachout

I think this debate isn't about achievement or about quality. It's about being able to do education on the cheap.
By Sally Jo Sorensen

You can't get great people to become teachers by taking away their autonomy, respect, and creativity.
By zephyrteachout

"If they can do the worksheet, they don't need it. If they can't, it won't help them." – Marilyn Adams
By Alfie Kohn

Required: all adults who mandate tests should take them and publish their scores.
By Diane Ravitch
And then there's the rest of the topics:
Every time my boss told me that I should be grateful anyone even wanted to sexual harass me, I lost a bit of myself. Every. Time.
By KillerMartinis

Ultimately people want to believe that they exist in a meritocracy and get angry when their luck or privilege is exposed.
By Sarah Siegel

A beautiful Paradise Tanager:

By Strange Animals

DIVERSITY IS GREAT BUT NOT AT THE COST OF QUALITY! As if we haven't sat through 1000 shittily-made white movies every year for decades. [Referring to the Deadline article that wondered if there weren't suddenly too many black people on television this season.]
By Saladin Ahmed

The Ellen Pao case teaches us it's risky to hire men. They create conditions that put company at risk and interfere with women doing their jobs.
By Phil Haack

Reminder that hiring women and minorities is not you taking "risks," it's just you not violating the Civil Rights Act.
By Susie Cagle

Some people say anyone who criticizes Netanyahu's policies is anti-Israel. Then does criticizing Obama's policies make one anti-American?
By Steven Greenhouse

By Harry Stopes

By labeling some of America's most common jobs as low skill, we rationalize relegating workers to near-poverty wages.
By Century Foundation

There is a slippery slope between self-confidence and self-righteousness.
By Heather Davies-DeVoe

I've been thinking about privilege while writing this book. It's amazing how easy it is to think your baseline of okay is typical. Only nobody knows anyone else, really. And so the comfortable blame the poor for their poverty, whites blame blacks for their own oppression. Like wherever you happen to be on Maslow's pyramid is where everyone probably starts. We never question that.
By KillerMartinis

Why we walk in cities! How far 1 mile can take a pedestrian in a US city & a US suburb:

By Max Roser

"I believe in free speech, but..." is the censor's equivalent of "I'm not racist, but..." The "but" reveals the truth.
By Will Shetterly

ALEC is bad because of the likely outcomes of their policies. Not because they write model legislation. Model legislation is good.
By David Kaib

The apparatus of white supremacy is sustained by its ability to tell a consistent narrative of white as radically, gloriously, human.
By DeRay Mckesson

All the draft-dodging war-mongering chicken-hawk neocons are outraged about the cowardice of Bowe Bergdahl.
By Frank Conniff

Shocking. Male and female academic job applicants' recommendation letters:

By Phil Baty

People always talk about how income equality depends on quality childcare, without addressing who's expected to provide it and for how little $$.
By Occubrarian Rachel

Words that, believe it or not, don't actually mean 'Black': Ethnic. Urban. Inner-City.
By Saladin Ahmed

women belong in the kitchen
men belong in the kitchen
everyone belongs in the kitchen
the kitchen has food
By Maeve Gimpl

My theory: Steve Jobs was a cutting, arrogant asshole AND a loving, generous person who wanted to make the world better. Aren't we all?
By Gina Trapani

I tried to talk my son Griffin (11) into taking a walk. He said, "a walk is just like standing there for 30 minutes, moving your feet."
By David Roberts

It is always extremely upsetting to see good people go for each other because of perceived ill intent, when you know everyone means well.
By KillerMartinis

A baby Polar Bear! They can weigh as much as a pound when they are born!

By Science Porn

If you say "35 MPH feels so slow on this road," what you should say is, "They really over-designed this road."
By Jeff Tyndall, AICP

Today the 2-year-old (boy) dressed up a doll and had her put on a "ballet show" for me. My first reaction was, "What a pretty ballerina!" Then I caught myself and added, "She must be strong and flexible to do such graceful dancing. I bet she works hard at it." Just a reminder that anybody who comes into contact with kids can help overturn deeply ingrained misogyny for the next generation.
By Occubrarian Rachel

"People can cry much easier than they can change." – James Baldwin
By Ryan Dalton

1962 Life magazine ad by ExxonMobil forerunner Humble Oil:

By SaskWind

Cinderella marrying the prince isn't a passive, antifeminist act. Loving and being loved are super hard when you grow up with abuse.
By Melissa Grey

Running for president is the worst. I'd vote for anyone who refused to do it and announced their candidacy the week before the election.
By Josh Gondelman

Traveling is the best education. You see the world through another lens. You realize your homeland isn’t the only reality, there’s many.
By Joshua Anderson

Despite my best attempts to read through the books I haven't yet, I can't stop buying new ones. Book glutton. Book Sisyphus.
By mollycrabapple

"Harassment is just the price you pay for being on social media." No, fuckface, it's the price we pay for YOU being on social media.
By Bastard Keith

Why do we say "underprivileged" when it's often "unprivileged"?
By David Brauer

"Book are machines for becoming other people. That is the magic of books. That is the point of books." – Scott Westerfeld
By Rachel Stark

"Redistribution" implies a natural income distribution disturbed by government, which is nonsense.
By David Kaib

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is 2015!...

By stefano mariani

How meaningful can a relationship with God be if there’s a threat involved?
By Hemant Mehta

“It’s just a toy!”
“…tv show!”
“…video game!”
“…ubiquitous, inescapable, tacitly accepted culture.”
By Katie Mack

FAFSA sounds like a militia of liberation fighters.
By Chris Steller

"The GOP isn’t anti-environment. Nixon created EPA!" = "The GOP isn’t racist. Lincoln freed the slaves!"
By David Roberts

Cities that added the most parking since the 1980s saw median incomes fall by 20 to 30%.
By Next American City

"We know...that cooperation...with the law begins with trust in it and not fear of it." – Phillip Attiba Goff
By Trust and Justice

Another day ruined by bar of soap's failure to deliver TV commercial promise of giggling hallucinated flowers slaying Bigfoot stink enemies.
By Bigfoot TheBigfoot

time flies when you're having fun. otherwise, timing flies would be boring.
By rachel axler

Just for fun: Get hired as a "Code Ninja."
Don't show up the first day.
When they say "We didn't see you at the office today."
Say "Exactly."
By kim gardner

Apparently the most innovative idea from tech in a decade is "Hey, I bet everyone actually wants to be a cab driver."
By Tom Conrad

What you say: "I'm a web developer." What people hear: "I can fix any computer problem you have. Ring me anytime."
By Daryl Ginn

"Nobody is ever involved in an aggressive war; it's always a defensive war -- on both sides."
By Noam Chomsky Quotes

sometimes when i see anime clothes i just:

By reiji's boning tool

You can't ignore racism and raise anti-racist children. You have to tackle it head-on.
By Then Ms Murphy Said

"Suburban values -- anti-tax, anti-public-transportation, pro-safety -- translate into large police departments that need revenue from somewhere."
By Myecoll

People who spend money on things I don't value are just showing off. People who don't pay for things I value have no taste.
By Benedict Evans

Racism is a system of economic exploitation, not an attitude problem.
By Saladin Ahmed

What percent of radio news listeners need stock market updates more than weekly?
By Chris Steller

Blue footed boobies:

By Strange Animals

The argument that it's uniquely politically difficult in the U.S. to win good public benefits because whites hate non-whites seems plausible enough to me. But surely that also entails that private employment and everything really (also controlled by whites) is not going to deliver much either. To believe otherwise is to think a white boss forms his politics based on hatred of non-whites but this won't affect hiring/pay practices.
By Matt Bruenig

"Americans are confused about who's rich," says the media that treats Wall Streeters as struggling but teachers as living high on the hog.
By David Kaib

By the time I'd managed to collect an infinite number of monkeys nobody made typewriters anymore.
By boothby graffoe

The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it. – Terry Pratchett
By Paul Thomas

I constantly confuse William Morris and Phillip Morris. Hilarity ensues.
By Maggie Koerth-Baker

The hardest part of design isn't design, and the hardest part of coding isn't coding. The hardest part is influencing people.
By Aza Raskin

"Talking about race proves YOU'RE the REAL racist" makes as much sense as "Talking about a house on fire proves YOU'RE the REAL arsonist."
By Saladin Ahmed

Globally, growth of per-capita consumption (2-3% per year) has become a much bigger factor than growth of population (1% per year).
By Kees van der Leun

Every celebrity who comes outta the closet after finding success should give $100k to a peer who's always been out & never given a shot because of it.
By Janine Brito

Let's be very clear: lethal injection has been devised for the sensibilities of the witnesses, not the person being killed.
By Christopher Hayes

Wife dabbles in art:

By Rabih Alameddine

Bill Kristol blames hip-hop for the racist frat video. What a shock - the biggest Iraq War advocate goes after the wrong target.
By Frank Conniff

The city manager of Ferguson just resigned. Imagine if every police department in America was investigated… Ferguson is NOT unique.
By Michael Skolnik

Police should consider themselves 'guardians,' not 'warriors,' says Laurie Robinson, co-chair of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
By Vera Institute

For the love of God, try to avoid describing women as "females." You ALWAYS sound like a Ferengi:

By Spacekatgal

Meanwhile, I wonder how it's possible for low-wage workers putting in three jobs to lean further in than that. Lean into what, the abyss?
By Elizabeth Stoker

If you are currently working on ways to bring advertising to a wristwatch, now would be a great time to rethink your life choices
By Marko Karppinen

This is insane. My landlord won't accept "great exposure" as rent when we all know it's a perfectly acceptable alternative to payment.
By erin whitehead

The conventional 50% discount on the face value of food stamp sales suggests cash would be so much more helpful.
By Matt Bruenig

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? Probably get hella bored & start answering rhetorical questions.
By Aparna Nancherla

The mistaken belief that marijuana is a gateway drug has destroyed far more lives than marijuana ever has.
By Alan Mills

Afternoons are evil sleep traps. It's the EASIEST time to sleep, but if you do sleep, you wake up feeling empty and concussed.
By Rainbow Rowell

Petty, capricious use of government power and corrupt extraction of revenue: Ferguson sounds a lot like the Founders' complaints against King George.
By Christopher Hayes

Is NPR's morning news ever not marketplace?
By William Lindeke

Can you imagine if [a magazine] printed "10 best sex positions for boys"...??? blugh. So much accepted infantilizing of women.
By Emily

Color is incredibly fucking relative:

By Edward Sanchez

There are more men named David running large companies than there are women named anything.
By Daniel Victor

If you are wondering why so many programmers are pedantic jerks, we become who we work with. The computer is the ultimate pedantic jerk.
By Jeff Atwood

The point of white supremacy is not to be mean to black people, it's to take their stuff. It is not about bad manners. It's about plunder.
By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ben Carson says people choose to be gay. I can see how he'd believe that since he's a brain surgeon who chose to be an idiot.
By Frank Conniff

Can we talk about how messed up it is that the way to get white people interested in SWAT abuse is talking about dead dogs & not dead black people?
By Arthur Chu

It’s not a solution, but you could ameliorate some of the problems of the Greater St. Louis area by dissolving and merging municipalities.
By Jamelle Bouie

Many say they can’t afford to marry. Weird. Love and marriage no longer like a horse and carriage, but require a house and carriage. Media effect?
By Isabel Sawhill

In the broad sweep of history, what percentage of humanity’s problems can be traced to insecure, macho guys demonstrating their toughness? 98%?
By David Roberts

"What is modern about genocide & mass violence is the embarrassment about it." – A. de Swaan
By Steven Pinker

Hey men: If hearing about the sexist crap women have to put up with bothers you, perhaps you could lean in to reducing the amount of sexist crap.
By Janet D. Stemwedel

lol, the U.S. married-couple child poverty rate is *higher* than the Nordic *single-mother* child poverty rate:

By Matt Bruenig

My suspicion: what is *experienced* as a need/desire for "something more" can usually, in practice, be satisfied by community. If everyone was part of a real community, was loved & valued, was part of a meaningful larger project, I think the need would dissipate.
By David Roberts

If Scott Walker sees 100,000 teachers & firefighters as his enemies, maybe it's time we take a closer look at his friends.
By Elizabeth Warren

Privilege constantly manufactures trauma out of personal inconvenience while trivializing the trauma of others, as mere inconvenience.
By jesse williams

Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the Universe.
By Kurt Vonnegut

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Satan is awesome:

By Ryan Broderick

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Five More Signs of Seattle

They have different messages and they come in a range of media, but today's signs all failed to communicate in some way.

First, this fading beware-of-dog sign looks more like folk art than a warning.

This tiny "do not enter" sign is scaled perfectly to address any fairies or garden gnomes who might happen past.

This logo makes the business look like a place where they bow down to offer extinguishers to fires.

Fifty-three years after the Port Huron Statement, Students for a Democratic Society is so little-remembered that a law firm can use the initials SDS and stay in business.

I wonder if you could make a legal argument that you thought this park was a free zone for drugs, since the sign is missing an important hyphen? (As discussed earlier in cases like this and this.)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

So Seattle

The trip is winding down in Seattle, where it's sunny and pleasant. (I think they make up that story about gray days and rain to keep us all from moving there.)

I finally went on the Underground Tour of the oldest part of Seattle, which was fascinating. Basically, Seattle's waterfront downtown burned in 1889 and when they rebuilt, they decided to raise it all up 15 to 35 feet so that it could be infilled with soil (allowing for a better sewer system and more stable ground than the previous sawdust).

So they built the streets up, but reconstructed the buildings at the original ground elevation with a plan that the second or third floor of the buildings would become the ground floor later on.

The sidewalks stayed down below (you had to use a ladder to cross the street!), until they were eventually covered over. This created what I like to think of as an anti-skyway (protected walkways between buildings just like a skyway, but below ground instead of above it).

These glass inlaid panels, found at some of the street corners, may look like decorative elements, but when you get down below...

...you see that they're skylights, complete with ferns that manage to grow in the low light.

Nearby, Seattle is in the midst of a huge public works project/boondoggle to turn state highway 99 into a tunnel, detailed by David Roberts at Grist a few months ago. The drill has gotten stuck with no way to reverse, and now they're digging a big unstable hole to access the drill and fix it. I got a chance to see the scale model of the drill:

Be sure to notice the silver car at the bottom middle of the frame, which shows the scale of the darned thing.

I've seen a few logos I like while out and about:

This one, for a parking garage, made me smile. I wonder if IBM would have been successful if this was what their logo looked like?

This quietly clever TRACE lettering struck me as just right.

Unlike the door to the upper level of the Seattle Central Library:

Does this look very welcoming? The doors on the right say "exit only," while the left side displays the disability access icon, though it seems a bit out of context on the blank gray slab. And then there's a revolving door in the center, but when I first approached no one was using it and the glass doors were aligned with the gray solid doors, so it looked like a window. No signal that this is an entry at all.

A little while later, I saw this while looking down:

And then along the street near the convention center, I came across this symbol of change in the drug laws in Washington:

Although maybe it's not a bus for people who want to smoke cannabis... maybe it's full of tropical flowers like these:

Friday, March 27, 2015

More Signs from Washington

It amazes me what you see when you're in a new place. Today seemed like one verbal (and sometimes visual) oddity after another.

Now that's a movie that I'd pay to see.

I can only imagine that Plugra (PLUGRA?) is a shortened version of two words from another language, such as plus grand in French. But in English it sounds like a drain-clearing product more than an expensive butter.

Everyone remember: Sunlight makes ink fade and the red ink always fades first. Therefore, don't put the key word in red.

It was a day of ferry rides, so there were a couple of on-board oddities, such as this mashup of uses below-decks.

There was also this fine grouping of alien life forms. Not to mention, how many people these days know what the word "muster" means?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Red, White, and Blue in Washington

Today I'm visiting San Juan Island on the way from Victoria to Seattle. Along the way, I noticed an unintentional color theme in the photos.

This wasn't the first photo of the day, but it's the one that made me realize I was seeing a lot of these three today.

This is the blockhouse at the English Camp. Which is meaningless unless you know that in 1859, San Juan Island was almost the cause of a war between the U.S. and the British Empire. Even though the two countries had settled on the 49th parallel for a border back in 1846, they had never quite decided who got this island, and almost came to blows over it just before the Civil War.

For 12 years, there was an English encampment at the north end of the island and an American one at the south end, enforcing the truce. The top of the block house shown here is turned 45 degrees to protect the shooters who use those little holes, and it also allows for overhangs from which the fighters can drop things onto forces attacking from beneath. The top floor did double duty as a brig.

Boxed water is not better, no matter what the packaging says. But it sure is pretty between the red water and the blue label.

This fire boat is supposed to be red, but has turned pink from the sun. Girl Power to the rescue in Friday Harbor!

Am I the only one who sees this vending machine as a glowing version of an Easter Island stone head?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Few More from Victoria

Wrapping up my visit to Victoria, British Columbia, with just a few more pictures.

First, I find the city of Victoria logo better than the average city logo:

Simple and visually striking. It doesn't try to do too much.

Today, while visiting the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, I discovered three women artists I'd never heard of. First, there's Emily Carr (1871-1945), who is a quite prominent Canadian painter:

She's known for her images of the old-growth forests of British Columbia and of the cultural icons of the native peoples of the West Coast.

Next were a pair of print-makers who went to the same art school a few years apart, first Sybil Andrews (1898-1992):

Andrews worked primarily in linoleum in multiple colors. Her swirling shapes and color use are invigorating.

Second was Gwenda Morgan (1908-1991), a wood engraver whose subject was mainly the countryside of Sussex, where she lived. I love the pollarded trees in this piece, particularly. Her work reminds me of Virginia Lee Burton's.

And then, one final shot from the city. This is the blue bridge that separates Victoria's downtown and Inner Harbor from the town of Esquimalt:

But all I see when I look at the bridge is a goofy light blue bull.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Six from Victoria

Here are a few from Victoria, B.C., a charming city.

First, see if you can spot Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton in this mural on the back of a hotel.

I've been reading Chasing the Scream, a history of and jeremiad against the Drug War, so I couldn't help noticing this bit of evidence of Canadian humaneness.

And then there's this evidence of Canadian male inhumaneness. They've taken Princess Leia, the most accessible female character in fantasy/science fiction, and turned her into a typical boobs-and-butt cartoon character. Ugh.

Cartage -- a term not used much anymore -- along with what may be the best tag line ever, "Careful since 1890."

Here's one more piece of evidence that some folks think quote marks are a form of emphasis.

And finally, one more name that I think would be literally bad for business. Can you ever start any business name with the prefix "mal"? Well, these people did.