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  1. about 18 hours ago on Peanuts Begins

    If you haven’t read it already, I would highly recommend you look for a copy of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops. I’m sure you’d be able to appreciate it. It’s hilarious, though also a bit depressing as a comment on human nature and intellectual capacity.

    Since my personal experience of bookstores has always been from the customer’s perspective, I have to say I like those that make browsing pleasant, though I don’t necessarily expect to be able to sit in a comfortable chair all day, and I will usually end up buying something. I’ve been in some bookstores that were so cramped that I looked as quickly as I could for the books on my list, and got out. Years ago, I even encountered one used bookstore in the backpacker haven in Bangkok where the woman complained if you stood there looking at a book for more than a minute (needless to say, I didn’t go to that one again).

    But I can also see it from the bookseller’s perspective. If people don’t make a mess or otherwise disturb the staff or other customers, I suppose it should be okay if they spend all day there, but they really ought to at least occasionally buy something. Making a mess and never buying anything is definitely not okay.

  2. about 18 hours ago on The Born Loser

    I used to stick mainly to the middle and late period Beatles, and that is still their most creative work. But the early stuff really isn’t bad. It’s lyrically shallow and basically aimed at teens, like pretty much all early rock n roll was, but there’s a lot of melodic inventiveness even so. The music critic for The Times, William Mann, famously praised the Beatles as songwriters even from their early days. He once made a reference to one of their early songs ending in “Aeolian cadences”, prompting John Lennon to remark he had no idea what those were. Dylan also remarked that the Beatles used “outrageous” chords, as they would do things that violated the “standard” progressions, thereby creating something new. But it’s true that they got even better when they left the teenybopper material behind and recorded albums like Revolver.

  3. 4 days ago on Pearls Before Swine

    Sure, it’s an easy generalization, but it’s true that when it comes to a lot of issues of political contention, the facts tend to favor the liberal side of the argument. For instance: trickle down economics doesn’t work, immigrants on the whole are good for the economy and are less likely to commit crimes, national health insurance programs get better overall results than the US system, countries with strict gun control have far fewer gun deaths, and, to mention an issue Bill Nye has spoken about often, humans are causing major alterations to the world’s climate that will have deleterious effects on humanity and most other life on Earth. Of course there are also aspects of reality that favor a conservative approach, e.g., it is wiser to be conservative about our use of natural resources or of risky, untested technologies like genetic engineering.

  4. 4 days ago on Pooch Cafe

    Sure, many people wouldn’t make that leap, and even those who might do so sometimes wouldn’t do it all the time. But the mind can work in weird ways at times. I recall something about an ex-girlfriend who watched a nature program about squirrels mating…..

  5. 5 days ago on Pearls Before Swine

    You mean he’s a scientist who tends to recite facts? Of course, it’s well known that reality has a liberal bias.

  6. 5 days ago on Pooch Cafe

    I could think of a few cartoon characters that could be considered sexy, but in this case I think it’s a matter of mental associations. That is, you see a female cartoon character with no clothes on, and from there it’s a short mental leap to thinking about real life women in a similar state of undress. Maybe not everyone would make that mental leap, but I’m pretty sure a fair share of straight men would (I don’t know about other genders or sexual orientations).

  7. 5 days ago on Jen Sorensen

    I notice you still have not revealed any of these supposed facts that Warren ignored, just what you say they were in relation to. If you expect your attack on Warren to be taken seriously, you’ll have to do better than that.

  8. 5 days ago on Peanuts

    45% Arab?? What on earth do you base that on? While Arab traders were active in Kenya for centuries, the Obamas were from the interior of the country, whereas the Arabs (who were always a minority anyway) were concentrated on the coasts. In any case, one look at Obama’s father will show that the idea he was 90% Arab is ludicrous. Equally ludicrous is the idea that Herman Cain would have been a better president. In any case, you should stop obsessing about Obama and worry about the actual con man who is currently in office. But then probably you are one of those that, despite the transparency of his corruption and incompetence, he has successfully conned.

  9. 24 days ago on Shoe

    In the current system, the vote of a given individual in Wyoming or South Dakota is just as valueless as that of a voter in New York or California, because they all are solidly in one column or another. A national popular vote would change that.

    But even aside from that, the president is the leader of the whole nation, so she or he should be elected by all the people of the nation, without regard to where they live. If that means that urban voters are more likely to get someone they want than rural voters, then so be it; as I said already, most Americans are urban residents. The rural voters, or the rural states, should not be able to ride roughshod over the right of the rest of the population to choose the leader that they want. That simply replaces majority rule with minority rule. There are far fairer ways to protect the rights of the minority of rural Americans than allowing them to choose the president against the interests of the majority of the country’s people.

  10. 24 days ago on Frazz

    That song is not a blues song and it doesn’t claim to be. It’s a song about the blues (both the emotion and the genre). It’s also a great tune, despite the dismissiveness of your McDonalds vs. fine dining analogy. But then fine dining is not what I’d associate with the blues anyway. A far better restaurant analogy would be fast casual restaurants (Elton John) versus down home cafes (the blues), where they are clearly different but neither is superior to the other.