« on: June 10, 2008, 12:57:24 PM »
As entitled. This should have been done a while ago; let's see if it catches on ( @ Miss P)
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OSA and I hereby challenge each of you to partake in the BLSD Investment Game. In order to force people to pick wisely, and perhaps to approximate an amount that the average BLSDer would actually invest right now or in the near future, you are limited to $2500. Fun starts tomorrow.
Here's the link:
ETA, 08/03: PM me for the password if you would like to join.
« on: March 03, 2007, 05:44:57 PM »
A pretty interesting read:
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Speaks
Justice Thomas talks about the lasting influence of the man who guided him through his years at Holy Cross and why he's not a beneficiary of affirmative action
Of all the influences in the life of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, little attention has been paid to the Reverend John E. Brooks. During his time at Holy Cross and in the years since, the Jesuit priest has been, in Thomas' words, "a combination of friend, uncle, priest, father, saint, Good Samaritan." In this exclusive interview with BusinessWeek senior writer Diane Brady, Thomas reflects on racial politics, his job, his college crowd, and the influence of Brooks on his life. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation:
Thank you for meeting with me.
Father Brooks asked me to do it. One of the reasons I don't do media interviews is, in the past, the media often has its own script. One reason these stories are never told is that they are contrary to the script that people play by. The media, unfortunately, have been universally untrustworthy because they have their own notions of what I should think or I should do.
Why is Father Brooks such an important person in your life?
That was an era of in loco parentis. It was a transition period unlike today when you have these notions of race entrenched. It was a time, actually, when there was no set road map for kids. Father Brooks understood something intuitively, that we were just kids. He knew we were from a lot of different environments.
Father Brooks made a point of trying to recruit a lot more African Americans to campus in the months before you came. Do you think that recruitment drive helped you?
Oh no. I was going to go home to Savannah when a nun suggested Holy Cross. That's how I wound up there. Your industry has suggested that we were all recruited. That's a lie. Really, it's a lie. I don't mean a mistake. It's a lie.
I had always been an honors student. I was the only black kid in my high school in Savannah and one of two or three blacks in my class during my first year of college in the seminary. I just transferred. I had always had really high grades so that was never a problem. It was the only school I applied to. It was totally fortuitous.…The thing that has astounded me over the years is that there has been such an effort to roll that class into people's notion of affirmative action. It was never really looked at. It was just painted over. Things were much more nuanced than that….You hear this junk. It's just not consistent with what really happened.
What did Father Brooks do?
Father Brooks realized that we needed to be nurtured—not that we needed it every day—but that we were going to have unique problems. When you have six blacks in a class of 550 kids, you need that. We all came from very different backgrounds. That's something that gets lost in this weird notion of race—that somehow you can come from New York and Savannah and Massachusetts and somehow you're still all the same. That's bizarre, and it denigrates individuals. Father Brooks understood that. He saw people who were individuals who happened to be black who had very different outlooks.
What was your mind set when you got to Holy Cross?
I was a kid. I was confused. I was 20 years old. I had no place to go. I had no precedent for anybody going to college. I had no precedent for anybody being in New England. I had no road map. I didn't know anybody to call. I had nobody to talk to. I had nobody to give me advice. Now, what do you do? You were just a kid, trying to make all these choices.
Were you angry?
Sure. I was upset. I was upset with a lot of things. You get there and you sort it out. Look at that neighborhood there [Thomas points to a photo of a desolate strip in Georgia]. How do you go from that to Holy Cross? How do you do it? That's why some of us were really concerned about throwing some of these kids into those environments without thinking because you have a theory. That's the neighborhood I lived in before I went to live with my grandparents. Doesn't look very good, does it?
There were a lot of changes to absorb. Just to think about it was fatiguing. It's still really fatiguing. It's also fatiguing that people assume we all showed up the same. A friend of mine sent me that print there. [A sketch of an African American man, draped over a desk with his hands extended toward the floor.] He has since passed away. He thought it captured my life.
Oh yeah. That's why I keep it there. Look at the hand. Look at the exhaustion.
What sort of exhaustion?
Everything. Mental. Physical. Spiritual. Just constant change. You just want to slow down. You see people take a walk and you want to, too.
Isn't this where you want to be, where you can have the greatest impact?
Nah. I don't think you should do these jobs with that in mind. I don't think you should relish affecting people's lives like that, because you don't know whether you have the right answers. Along the way, you learn that.
Would you approach your education any differently, knowing what you know today?
I didn't come with a lot of confidence. People were attaching a lot of the racial baggage at the time, and a lot of us were very upset about that. You're young. If I could go without all of that, I would go to school a lot differently. There were things that I would enjoy, that I would take in, things that I rejected.
Simple things, like different classes. Maybe I would have taken classes like Russian history or more science, maybe, more math courses. I would have taken more history courses, more philosophy courses. Maybe I would have gone to more events, some plays. I rejected all that. I would have been more open to some of the offerings that were different from the life I had become accustomed to. If you're intellectually alive—which you are at that time—you want to explore.
Why'd you have to go and use the n word?
Richards has angry outburst at club
Michael Richards stunned a comedy club audience, shouting racial epithets at people who heckled him during a stand-up routine.
The 57-year-old actor-comedian, best known for playing Jerry Seinfeld's eccentric neighbor Kramer on the hit TV show "Seinfeld," was performing at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood Friday night when he launched into the verbal rampage, according to video posted on TMZ.com.
The tirade apparently began after two black audience members started shouting at him that he wasn't funny.
Richards retorted: "Shut up! Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a f------ fork up your a--."
He then paced across the stage taunting the men for interrupting his show, peppering his speech with racial slurs and profanities.
"You can talk, you can talk, you're brave now mother------. Throw his a-- out. He's a n-----!" Richards shouts before repeating the racial epithet over and over again.
While there is some audible chuckling in the audience throughout the outburst, someone can be heard gasping "Oh my God" and various people "0oh" after Richard uses the n-word.
Richards performed the next night at the Laugh Factory without incident.
Calls to Richards' representatives were not immediately returned early Monday.
He refused to comment on-camera when reached by CNN, but the network reported that he said off-camera he felt sorry for what had happened and had made amends.
EDIT: His "apology" on Letterman: http://vidclick.blogspot.com/2006/11/seinfeld-star-apologizes-on-letterman.html
« on: May 11, 2006, 04:08:01 PM »
Forget cosmetic surgery:
Men Pay the Ultimate Price to Attract Women
Robert Roy Britt
LiveScience Managing Editor
LiveScience.com Thu May 11, 11:00 AM ET
While it is tough to be a woman, being a man can be downright deadly.
Women live longer than men. And now scientists suggest a simple Darwinian reason: Competing for a mate can wear a guy out or get him killed.
"Women live longer in almost every country, and the sex difference in lifespan has been recognized since at least the mid-18th century," said Daniel Kruger at the University of Michigan. "It isn't a recent trend; it originates from our deep evolutionary history."
The idea is presented in the spring edition of the journal Human Nature.
In common chimpanzees, Kruger and his colleague Randolph Nesse report, mortality spikes among males around age 13, just as they're old enough to breed and start competing for social status.
Males of many species must fight vigorously for the right to mate. Think of rams butting heads. Spectacular male bird plumage is another example of biological effort required to succeed, effort that uses energy and can shorten a life.
In this scheme of natural selection, evolution shapes traits that help the best genes survive, sometimes to the detriment of individuals.
Human males don't always have to wrestle to get a woman these days, but the pressure to succeed sexually hasn't changed much, the researchers argue. Only the methods have been revised.
Drop your club
Though society may be changing dramatically even from this generation compared to the last, some things never change. Women still have to bear the greatest burden of raising a family—giving birth—and often take on more of the day-to-day responsibilities for the ensuing 18 years. So just as in ancient times, they remain very choosy in selecting a mate.
Now, if you buy all this logic, here's the critical part: To impress women, men remain prone to risky behavior, just as they have been for millennia and just as other male animals are.
In caveman days, being good with a club was one way to get a mate. Now, the ability to purchase a blinged-out SUV has similar value, the scientists suggest.
"Men compete for resources and social status, which are criteria men are valued for in mate selection," Kruger told LiveScience.
Own worst enemy
The pressures of mate selection might be most intense for those just coming into adulthood. And likewise the recklessness of youth, as previous researchers have suggested, is a foundation for human social systems. Young men form the front lines in wars, for example.
One old study on the topic put it this way: "Lacking the opportunity for warfare, some [young adult men] will find other ways to place their lives at risk."
Another study last year, reported in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, reached similar conclusions. It cited "excessive risk taking, aggression, and the suppression of emotions by boys and young men" as being directly related to lower life expectancy in men.
Among the not-so-beneficial behaviors this includes are smoking, reckless driving and violence, Kruger and Nesse write. This idea is reinforced by data that show low social status has a greater impact on male mortality rates than on those of women: Men of lower status or who lack a mate are more likely to engage in a riskier pattern of behaviors, Kruger said.
Very interesting article: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/11/national/11atlanta.html?hp&ex=1142139600&en=9aa792497d0c6072&ei=5094&partner=homepage
Gentrification Changing Face of New Atlanta
By SHAILA DEWAN
Published: March 11, 2006
ATLANTA, March 8 — In-town living. Live-work-play. Mixed income. The buzzwords of soft-core urbanism are everywhere these days in this eternally optimistic city, used in real estate advertisements and mayoral boasts to lure money from the suburbs and to keep young people from leaving.
Loft apartments roll onto the market every week, the public housing authority is a nationally recognized pioneer in redevelopment and the newest shopping plaza has one Target and three Starbucks outlets.
But although gentrification has expanded the city's tax base and weeded out blight, it has had an unintended effect on Atlanta, long a lure to African-Americans and a symbol of black success. For the first time since the 1920's, the black share of the city's population is declining and the white percentage is on the rise.
The change has introduced an element of uncertainty into local politics, which has been dominated by blacks since 1973, when Atlanta became the first major Southern city to elect a black mayor.
Some, like Mayor Shirley Franklin, who is serving her second and final term, play down the significance of the change, saying that the city — now 54 percent black — will remain progressive and that voters here do not strictly adhere to racial lines. Others warn of the dilution, if not the demise, of black power.
"It's certainly affecting local politics," said Billy Linville, a political consultant who has worked for Ms. Franklin. "More white politicians are focusing on possibly becoming mayor and positioning themselves accordingly, whereas in the past they would not have. The next mayor of Atlanta, I believe, will be African-American, but after that it may get very interesting."
The changes do not mean that Atlanta has lost its magnetism for blacks. Twenty-year projections show the percentage of African-Americans continuing to inch upward in the 10-county metropolitan area. Blacks already hold the majority on the Clayton County commission, and they are gaining footholds in counties like Cobb and Gwinnett.
But the city itself, a small splotch of fewer than half a million residents in a galaxy of sprawl, is now attracting the affluent, who are mostly white, in part because they want to avoid gear-grinding commutes that are among the nation's longest.
In that sense, demographers say, the shift is driven by class rather than race. In 1990, the per capita income in the city of Atlanta was below that of the metropolitan area as a whole, but in 2004 it was 28 percent higher, the largest such shift in the country, according to a University of Virginia urban planning study.
So rapid is the explosion of wealth that Ms. Franklin recently tried to impose a moratorium on McMansions, new houses bloated far beyond the size of their older neighbors.
According to census figures, non-Hispanic blacks went from a high of 66.8 percent of Atlanta's population in 1990 to 61 percent in 2000 and to 54 percent in 2004. In the same time period, non-Hispanic whites went from 30.3 percent to 35 percent. The 2004 figures are estimates.
Even the Old Fourth Ward, the once elegant black neighborhood where Martin Luther King Jr. was born, is now less than 75 percent black, down from 94 percent in 1990, as houses have skyrocketed in value and low-rent apartments have been replaced by new developments.
"There could be a time in the not-too-distant future when the black population is below half of the city population, if this trend continues," said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington research group.
Atlanta's upward shift in its white population is atypical, Mr. Frey said. Although many other cities have embarked on revitalization programs, only Washington is seeing a similar, if less stark, racial trend as Atlanta. More often, blacks and whites both are losing ground to a surging Latino population. Even in Atlanta, the Latino population rose to 26,100 in 2004 from 18,700 in 2000.
Most mayors would see a physical revitalization like Atlanta's as an accomplishment. The city has led the country, rivaled only by Chicago, in the race to replace public housing projects with mixed-income developments.
« on: June 27, 2005, 01:31:09 AM »
The American public never ceases to amaze me. All the guy did was appeal to Southerners and get them to vote Republican. No small feat, granted, but that hardly makes him the "greatest American." Lincoln held the country together. Washington helped gain its independence. King led the movement to empower a whole race of people. Reagan gives the southern redneck undue influence and he's the "greatest American." Right.
AND I LOVE IT!! It has to be one of the coolest things I've ever bought. I've typed on the keyboard for the past couple of hours with no problems (the enter key is a bit small, but I've gotten used to it). The screen is fine, even if the resolution isn't as high as I would like. All in all, I am very satisfied.
Here are the specs:
1.5 ghz processor
40 GB HD (actually 33.3--in retrospect, I probably would have gotten the 60 GB)
512 MB RAM
fingerprint reader (not only sounds cool, but IS cool...I've set it up and I love it already...no typing passwords)
all the standard stuff
Price: about $1800 with my university's discount
IBM USB multiburner drive (very small and slim, but pricey: $350 with my student discount) (http://www-131.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=-840&langId=-1&partNumber=22P9163&storeId=10000001): I've been using this for the past half hour with no problems. It's very thin and portable.
512 MB RAM (about $100 from crucial.com): I installed this with no problem.
19" Dell LCD monitor ($300 with coupon)
(http://reviews.cnet.com/Dell_UltraSharp_1905FP/4505-3174_7-31232074.html?tag=topprods): I haven't gotten this out of the box, yet...the regular display is just fine for what I'm doing now.
There are a number of small improvements in the X41 over the X40, with not much of a difference in price with the same system configurations.
For me, it was basically between the X41 and the Dell 700m. Since I knew I would primarily be using the computer for taking notes and writing e-mails, the keyboard was my primary concern. I tried out a friend's 700m and was quite annoyed by the placement of the period key (right below, instead of slightly below and to the left of, the "L" key) and disappointed by the overall feel of the keyboard and build of the system. The 700m does have a great display, however...
I cannot understate how amazing the X41 keyboard is for such a tiny machine. I have large hands (I can palm a basketball), and it does not feel cramped at all. And the overall quality of the machine is second to none.
I decided against the docking station since I could get the DVD burner for the price of the docking station and CDRW drive. I don't mind plugging in a couple of cords when I get home.
I got a great deal on the Dell monitor, but the offer has ended. Another will probably pop up at some point.
I do not see any reason not to get an ultraportable for the basic tasks one will be doing in law school, especially if you go with the X41. The T43 is nice, but it still has a fairly large footprint. The X41 is incredibly light, compact, and comfortable. I love it.
Ask any questions.
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