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M Sinclair Stevens
Works at Making a Simpler, More Beautiful G+
Lives in Austin
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Education: The Customer Myth
 
quote: If given the benefit of the doubt, these assertions have some merit: College today is far too expensive. But let’s leave aside the fact that ballooning tuition does not, I repeat, does not, go to professors’ imaginary $200,000 salaries. Faculty are by and large co-victims, along with students, in the cratering of the American university system. Scaring the beejezus out of professors is largely redundant, and the GOP’s thirst for their blood is ideological.

But college students are not customers. That analogy needs to die. It needs to be drowned in the world’s largest bathtub. It needs a George R.R. Martin–esque bloodbath of a demise.

Legitimate research has determined that student evaluations of professors are biased, and so their “customer ratings” aren’t fair. Legitimate research also indicates that while professorial popularity and effectiveness do overlap, one does not immediately signify or correlate with the other. Further, most students don’t actually view themselves as customers, because they know how education works and actually want to get one.
In what is apparently a vogue of Republican state legislators exercising misplaced vendettas against college professors, Iowa Sen. Mark Chelgren recently made headlines when he introduced Senate File 64, “an Act relating to the teaching effectiveness and employment of professors” at Iowa public institutions. Each year, the bill stipulates, any...
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Language: More Fun with Google Translate 
"Before a doctor became a demon instructor, every one of the cycle clinic also cringing. Driving school is a series of happenings! "
 
【あす】チャリダー★快汗!サイクルクリニック「本日開校!自転車教習所」
[BS1]5月23日(土) 午後6:30~6:50

本格的自転車情報番組「チャリダー」。
サイクルスポーツがブームになっている中で、意外に知らないのが、そのルールとマナー。
ドクター竹谷が教官となって、楽しく自転車の乗り方を学ぶ教習所がオープン! 手信号や、交差点のわたり方、必須の装備など、チャリダーならしっかり知っておきたいルールを学ぶ。
鬼教官となったドクターを前に、サイクルクリニックの面々もたじたじ。教習所はハプニングの連続!

【司会】うじきつよし
【出演】朝比奈彩,猪野学,レイザーラモン,堤下敦
【コメンテーター】竹谷賢二
【語り】千葉繁,七緒はるひ

==========
チャリダー★快汗!サイクルクリニック
[BS1]
土曜 午後6:30~
http://www.nhk.or.jp/charida/
==========
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"Free sweat!"
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Politics: Education and Democracy
"...the evolution of neoliberalism from a set of economic policies into mode of reason imperils not just liberal institutions but democracy itself. Education across the board is jeopardised by the corporate university model."
 
In 1968, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and his colleagues at the University of Nairobi called for the abolition of the English department. They attacked an enduring colonial legacy and envisioned an intellectu...
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Wonderful shot +M Sinclair Stevens! Great balance of lines, curves and colour. Has fast and fresh all over it.
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Artifacts: Save Our Global Cultural Wealth
+nomad dimitri "It makes me sad that, as we spend our time chatting about receiving Amazon packages via drones, using self-driven Google cars, hailing taxis via Uber, and counting our calories with Apple smartwatches, this historical masterpiece will be forever wiped out."

"Why haven't the global tech giants, in particular, who could provide funds, reconnaissance & tech support, teamed up with the UN to help protect our shared cultural heritage from thieving fanatics? "
nomad dimitri originally shared to At Home in the World:
 
Don't let IS destroy Palmyra, the "Venice of the Sands"

The city of Palmyra, in Syria, more than 2000-years-old, is one of the most magical places I have ever visited.  Islamic State (IS) fighters have been advancing towards Palmyra and it is a matter of days before it falls into their hands to be pillaged and destroyed.

Palmyra sits at the edge of an oasis of date palms and gardens and has been, for millennia, a watering place on a trade route from the east.  Think caravans bringing Chinese silks, stopping to water their camels on the way to Rome!

It makes me sad that, as we spend our time chatting about receiving Amazon packages via drones, using self-driven Google cars, hailing taxis via Uber, and counting our calories with Apple smartwatches, this historical masterpiece will be forever wiped out.

Why haven't the global tech giants, in particular, who could provide funds, reconnaissance & tech support, teamed up with the UN to help protect our shared cultural heritage from thieving fanatics?  

Larry, we need an initiative urgently: this is a hornet's nest but it is your cup of tea as well.

(read more about Palmyra on BBC today: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32748392)
---
#nomadimitritravel
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ATX: Reflection Congress Ave
circa 2006
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Travel Yosemite: Mist and John Muir Trails
Five years ago today, we did a short version of our Half-Dome hike, making a loop by going up the Mist Trail to Nevada Fall and then coming back down the John Muir trail.

What a difference the season makes. Our first experience of these trails was in September 2009 and then the Mist Trail was as dry as a bone. This time, in late spring, the Mist Trail lived up to its name. We were walking enveloped in cloud, water streaming around us. When we reached Vernal Falls rainbows danced in the mist as the sun broke into the valley.

At the top of Nevada Fall, the weather changed abruptly and it began to snow lightly. Snow melt was running in rivulets, cascading down mountain everywhere including the trail. A wet hike home.

This paragraph describes our experience in May of 2010 exactly, even to the rainbows. "To proceed directly to the top of Vernal Fall, follow the Mist Trail 0.5 miles (0.8 km) up a steep granite stairway of over 600 steps. Prepare for slippery footing and a tremendous amount of waterfall spray in spring and early summer (hence the name for this trail!). You will delight in views of Vernal Fall all along this stretch of trail and may even be able to see a rainbow in the spray of the fall. At the top of Vernal Fall, you can experience jaw-dropping views straight down the length of the 317-foot waterfall (please don't cross the railings and use extreme caution while you're near any flowing water or wet rock in this area)."

When we went the first time in fall,  it was quite dry and we wondering what the guide books were talking about.

Whenever people say, "Been there. Done that." I always laugh. It's never the same twice. Season, weather, time of day, and even changes in your own life experience all filter the moment.
-------------------
For more information about this hike: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/vernalnevadatrail.htm

#yosemitenationalpark  
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I did the hike up Half Dome before. There is just magic at every turn.
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Power: How Prestige Overcame Strength
And how you can make being an asshole work for you. 

This was a long article and I almost didn't get to the good part because I thought it was going to blithely confuse correlation with causation. However, it turned out to be worth the read, more thoughtful and thought-provoking than is initially apparent.
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From the article, "Homo sapiens developed a newer, uniquely human path to power. Scholars call it “prestige.”... Prestige emerged when our ancestors gained the ability to exchange know-how. An undersized ape-man who knew a better way of finding berries or building a fire or trapping a gazelle could now, instead of being forced to accept beta status, attract a clientele who would trade deference for access to his expertise. Unlike dominance, which is mediated by fear, prestige is freely conferred. But once conferred, of course, it decisively changes the dynamic of power: five ordinary ape-men can, in conjunction, overcome even the strongest single antagonist. The question of “who’s in command?” was now complexified by the question of “who’s in demand?”"

Whether this new, competence-based path to power emerged is not debated by scholars. If it hadn’t, The Iliad wouldn’t have opened with Achilles, the greatest warrior in all of Greece, working for Agamemnon. The question is whether prestige supplanted dominance as the only path to power—or whether the older system also remains operational.
New research confirms what they say about nice guys.
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Travel Wales: Powis Castle
Gardens are not all about the flowers. Contrast in foliage (texture, color, shape) provides interest. Long term investment versus short term.
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Artifacts: Cultivating Delight 
One of my continuing interests has always been what the physical objects which we create and with which we surround ourselves say about us, both as individuals and as a society. 

Who does not walk into someone else's living space and eye the collection of books, or music, or video to help form some opinion of the person who lives there?

Our possessions are both archival (what we treasure about our pasts) and aspirational (what we hope to accomplish in our future). When we feel overwhelmed by our possessions, a need to purge them, it's evidence that we need to move on from some impediment, some shackle to the past or illusory future. 

People tend to foist stuff on us (think spam mail) and we find it hard to say no. Tidying up is the physical first step to regaining our sense of self, to assessing our own true needs and desires.

In writing these little meditations on "what we keep", I came across Marie Kondo and her konmari method for taking control of clutter. Her method is far closer to my own than say, the Puritan-style "Clutterers Anonymous". Cleaning isn't about focusing on what to get rid of, on shaming people to get rid of their stuff. (Apparently so they can buy new stuff and keep the consumerist economy going.) No. No. No. It's about focusing on what to keep, those things that bring us delight.

When I sit here drinking my tea, I consider my cup. And yes, it brings me delight. Because I was quite poor in my youth, I always spent a great deal of time carefully weighing the characteristics of any purchase until finding just the thing that brought that spark of delight. If I didn't find it, I didn't buy it. (For example, I didn't own a couch until my late 30s).

When I look at my tea cup, I also think of the Japanese tea ceremony, which is about truly appreciating (paying attention to) the present moment, the radiance of the ordinary. Every time I look at this cup it makes me happy. I just have to remember to look.
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So ends my long introduction to the linked story which examines the KonMari Method from the perspective of an economist. I think it will be interesting to those of you who prefer a less lyrical explanation.


#whatwekeep   #theradianceoftheordinary  
Is Marie Kondo's how-to book the dismal science in disguise?
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+Gretchen S. Your dog story sparked an epiphany for me. I am exactly the same way and, because my father was in the US Air Force, I moved every couple of years as a child. But I would do the same thing.I'd have my little collection of cherished possessions. When we'd arrive in new digs, I'd arrange them in their familiar pattern. And then I was home in the new place. 
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ATX: Charting Tech Start-ups
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Women Work: Erased From (Cinematic) History
Another example of how some demographic groups seem never to have participated because they are specifically erased from history. This case is so weird because it's fiction...and it's something that would give anyone who just saw the movie a double-take. "Wait, Captain America wasn't in that scene. It was Black Widow."

So what possible justification could there be? Only the very recent idea that boys won't play with girl action figures. Hell, in my day, the boys had to commandeer the girls Barbies to create our fictional universes with female adversaries and allies for our GI Joes.

#genderdeterminism   #pinkghetto   #blueghetto  
In a movie stuffed with crowd-pleasing scenes, few moments elicited greater cheers from the audience than Black Widow dropping out of a moving jet on a custom-built Harley Davidson to rush to Captain America’s aid in...
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+David Scott then explain why you can buy other male 'motos' figures that fit (such as Iron man, Hawkeye and Ultron), but no Black Widow for Mattel's edition, as well as otgees that fit Hasbro's version, but no Black Widow?
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M Sinclair Stevens's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Desperate Residents of Austin Surrounded by Texas - The New Yorker
www.newyorker.com

Austin has traditionally enjoyed freedoms as a semi-autonomous region, hosting film festivals and literary events without the interference o

The Greatness of Günter Grass - The New Yorker
www.newyorker.com

He was the great dancer of German literature, dancing across history’s horrors toward literature’s beauty.

Cruz’s Constant References to Jesus Drive Millions to Atheism - The New ...
www.newyorker.com

Ted Cruz’s constant references to Jesus Christ in his speeches and campaign ads are sparking a strong interest in atheism among millions of

Dear Diary, I Hate You
www.newyorker.com

Reflections on journals in an age of overshare.

The Middle of Things: Advice for Young Writers - The New Yorker
www.newyorker.com

As you age, you’ll notice that time is the weirdest thing in the world, that surprises are relentless, and that getting older is not a strol

Remembering a Crime That You Didn’t Commit
www.newyorker.com

A pair of forensic psychologists have created false memories of wrongdoing in law-abiding minds.

Why the future of tech demands smarter people, not smarter gadgets
www.techrepublic.com

The next 30 years of innovation risk being wasted unless society does a better job of educating people about the potential - and downsides -

8 pronunciation errors that made the English language what it is today
www.theguardian.com

Think hyperbole rhymes with Super Bowl? Don't worry, it could be the start of something beautiful

George Packer: Is Amazon Bad for Books?
www.newyorker.com

To many book professionals, Amazon is a ruthless predator; recently, the company has even started publishing books. A monopoly is dangerous

Cartoons from the Issue of February 10th, 2014
www.newyorker.com

Online version of the weekly magazine, with current articles, cartoons, blogs, audio, video, slide shows, an archive of articles and abstrac

75 6-Second Illusions by Zach King
twistedsifter.com

With great editing and creative ideas, Zach King has become a major sensation on Vine, amassing nearly 600K followers in the process. Accord

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Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau, April 09, 2012 Via @GoComics
www.gocomics.com

One of the many great comics you can read for free at GoComics.com! Follow us for giveaways & giggles.

'Well, that's the end of the Booker prize, then'
www.theguardian.com

Allowing US writers entry into the UK's most prestigious prize spells disaster, says Philip Hensher

George Packer: Can Silicon Valley Embrace Politics?
www.newyorker.com

Throughout most of Silicon Valley’s history, its executives have displayed a libertarian instinct to stay as far from politics and governmen

Readability Test | minority reports
peterstrempel.com

All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years ol

A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior
www.coursera.org

A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior is a free online class taught by Dan Ariely of Duke University

the color of: an attempt to find out the color of anything
www.thecolorof.com

find gallery about contact. Tweet. find the color of. sensations places sounds days. These are some examples of colors derived from the syst

"Goldfish Salvation" Riusuke Fukahori 深堀隆介
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I'm so glad that all copyright issues have been solved. Many thanks to ICN Gallery provide this video clip thus we can have the opportunity

I was excited by the prospect of upscale pub food in a desolate section of South Austin where the most prevalent options otherwise are fast food and taco shacks. On the plus side, the atmosphere is light and airy, casual but smart. The beer selection is solid. Although we didn't try cocktails, the menu looked promising. The food is inventive but, as is often the case especially when cooking with good-quality ingredients, simpler is preferable. In the case of my Porter Burger ($14), the flavor was obscured by too much salt and grease. In contrast to my reaction, my companion enjoyed the Lamb Burger ($15). (Note: See photo of burgers posted here.) Another plus: the portions on the Large Plates were generous. Hungry men will leave satisfied. However, the prices were more downtown Austin than South Austin. This is really a downtown restaurant pioneering a new neighborhood. For this reason, I wish them success and will even go back to try cocktails and small plates to see whether I can become more enthusiastic overall.
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Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
When I meet someone for lunch, I always suggest Buenos Aires Cafe. Every creamy soup is rich and flavorful. When I'm eating healthy, I opt for the spinach salad at lunch. Otherwise I go for dinner and have the four types of gnocchi. Some of the best desserts in town.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Quality: ExcellentAppeal: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Appeal: Very GoodFacilities: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
11 reviews
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What a disappointment. We've been here once before for cocktails and snacks. I fell in love with the Gin and Jam cocktail ($8). Three of us managed to drink and nibble our way through more than $100 of delectables. Our memories set lofty expectations and, as such, our lunch experience last Friday (2013-08-09) was a real letdown. We were shoe-horned into a tiny table next to the bar where I could feel the body heat of the person sitting at the bar radiating down on me. As the place filled up with the lunch crowd, it felt even more claustrophobic and cramped despite the architecture which has pleasing natural light, large windows, and high ceilings. The food was the biggest disappointment. Nothing distinguished it and as I looked around at my fellow diners, I didn't see another dish I wish I had ordered instead. If you want a better burger than I had, go to Zax Restaurant and Bar across Congress Avenue bridge. If you want a better upscale Banh Mi go to Elizabeth Street Cafe. $12 for my burger and $11 for my date's banh mi.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Although many descriptions of Piattini emphasize the "small plates" (and there is a good selection of those), be aware that there are choices with generous portions. Don't be scared away thinking that all you are going to get is a tiny, artsy serving of food on a large plate. It's not like that at all. This is solid, good food. We shared an appetizer of the bruscetta. Wonderful. My partner had two small plates and was unable to finish the calamari because he was so full. I had a larger portion of lobster ravioli and was stuffed enough to be able to refuse the dessert menu without regret. I'm so happy we discovered Piattini and look forward to returning.
• • •
Food: Very GoodDecor: Very GoodService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Very nice for what it is. Not fancy but clean, neat, quiet, and reasonably priced. We were very happy with our stay and would stay here again. Small fridge in the room was appreciated. Mancos is the best place to stay if you are visiting Mesa Verde.
Quality: Very GoodFacilities: Very GoodService: Very Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago