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Category Archives: Pop Culture

Why the Rapture Doesn’t Have to Get in the Way of Your Plans

by Kristen

According to a lunatic, tomorrow is the official end of days. I can’t pretend this is going to be pleasant for everyone, as only the good will be sucked into heaven, but don’t let that get you down! It looks like the rest of us are going to have five months after tomorrow’s devastating earthquakes until the official end of the world in October. These are the most common New Year’s Resolutions, and I think this is the perfect opportunity to get them all done.

Get a Better Career
Everyone will be starting over, so now you can establish yourself in any job that you want. Always wanted to lead your own rebel group? Now is your chance. Not into upper management? Go rogue, be your own boss. Just want to bum around and read? As long as you blockade yourself in a stronghold, I don’t see why you can’t do that. Assuming you are left behind, you can now be whatever you want to be.

Try New Things
Were you resolved to branch out this year? Your options may be limited, but just change your attitude. I have always said that one person’s steak tartare is another’s apocalypse raccoon meat. Perhaps this isn’t the year that you learn a new language, but you could spend more time in museums. Plus, there are bathrooms and thick walls in those places.

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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Kristen, Pop Culture

 

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My 3 favorite old fashioned typewriters

by Kristy

There is something about the sleek black metal, the over-sized upright frame, the click of the keys, and ding when you reach the end of a line….old fashioned typewriters may have been functionally superseded by computers, but their ergonomic and aesthetic functions will never be replaced.

My 3 favorite old fashioned typewriters

1. Underwood

upright and fabulous


The Underwood typewriter was first produced in 1895 by John Underwood, who was the son of a typewriter ribbon manufacturer These typewriters, including one my grandmother used to type up news stories for her local newspaper, dominated the market for decades, and are nearly worthless today, even as an antique.  But regardless of value, these typewriters are certainly handsome.

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Things we believe, despite mountains of data disproving them

by Kristy

Birthers believe that Obama wasn’t born in the US, Creationists believe in a divine story of why humans walk the Earth, conspiracy theorists conspire, psuedoscientific claims abound, alien watchers scope the skies, and people spend fortunes on psychic chat lines.  Why do we want to believe so badly, that we ignore the convincing evidence to the contrary?  Sure, this is a controversial topic, and my list could be a top 500 instead of a top 5, but here we go…

Top things we believe, despite mountains of data disproving them:

1. Psychics, Aura readers, Reiki practitioners and the like.  The most troubling aspect of these beliefs is the money they cost.  All these treatments are expensive (as are any “medical” treatments that may accompany them – see #5 below), and despite centuries trying to prove that the supernatural is super natural, there is not an inch of data to support it.  The most outrageous claim?  Psychic water, of course.  One interesting aspect of these examples is the phenomenon where people cling even tighter to beliefs when they are challenged, or when their doubts are raised.

2. Where are we in the solar system?  As the film “A Private Universe” uniquely displays, many intelligent children can’t wrap their minds around the solar system, how seasons occur, and what causes an eclipse. Is it a failure of the educational system?  A short-circuit in our cognition?  Or is it exemplary of our willingness to believe what is comfortable and easy, instead of what is real?

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Things We’re Tyrannical About – May 2011

by Kristy and Kristen

Kristy is Tyrannical About:

1. Pig-themed pub nights: Whether drinking Sow’s Ear wine from Brooksville, ME or Porkslap beer, the best pub game has to be Pass the Pigs.  The dice are 2 pigs, and the goal is to get your roll just right so the pigs land in compromising positions (each with different point values).  Endless fun.

Go ahead, put a BIRD on it, Portland!

2. Portlandia.  There are far too few of these hilarious shows on IFC right now. I want more.  And everywhere I go, I just want to PUT A BIRD ON IT. (This is also a great replacement for those sorely missing Flight of the Concords, like I am.)

3. The Three Cups of Tea controversy.  It started with a 60-minutes expose (and yes, I DVR this show, can’t get enough Andy Rooney – Kristen does the best impression of him, BTW), followed by Krakauer’s ‘brochure’ on the new byliner website, and Mortenson’s friend Kristof’s NYTimes opinion piece defending him.  As someone who relished this book, supported the cause, and spread the word on both, I must get to the bottom of this – what are the accusations and are they worth getting so upset that I donate my book to charity and ignore Pennies for Peace?

Update: the lawsuit

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Hey, Baby Boomers: We R’nt Entitled, We R Stupid!

Alls I needs to know is this city is delicious. News shmews!

by Kristen

I tire of my parents’ generation (the “Younger Boomers,” born between 1955-1964) telling my generation (the “Millennials,” born between 1977-1992) that we have a sense of entitlement about free online content, especially in regard to the New York Times paywall. It makes my generation sound cheap and stupid, and I would like to argue that we are mainly the latter. Based on how we spend time on the internet and what we are interested in, we were never going to buy the digital NYT. I care about my mom, a journalist, and about the decline of engaging content online, yet I think her generation has some misconceptions about mine. I am not enthusiastic about this argument, but regardless: We don’t buy the NYT mainly because we are moronic, not because we have a sense of internet entitlement.

1. Fancy City Newspaper Say Wha?
The NYT wants you to believe that the majority of readers are young. In 2009, they reported their readership’s largest age group as 25 to 54. But once you unclump the ages and make 25 to 35 a separate category (and therefore about 16% of readership), the largest readership is actually ages 50+ (at about 37%). The Pew Research Center found only 17% of the population reads a national newspaper like the NYT. That means my generation’s interest makes up 16% of that 17%. I’m no mathemagician, but that isn’t a lot of Millennials. The point is, the majority of us weren’t reading it anyway, and we certainly aren’t going to start with the paywall.

Scoreboard: Entitlement= 0, Stupidity= 1

2. If by “News” you mean “Weather”
The #1 news subject we are looking for online? At 81%: the weather. We literally only care about the world around us, in so much as it is made up of air at a certain temperature and humidity which allows us to continue to play video games and mouth breathe.

Scoreboard: Entitlement= 0, Stupidity= 2

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Posted by on April 29, 2011 in Kristen, Pop Culture, Top Fives

 

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Silly British Traditions to Adopt While Leading up to the Royal Wedding

By Kristy

While I appreciate the argument that as Americans, long ago castrated from our mother-land of Great Britain, we should not give a toss about the Royals (note: Britishism here), it is nearly impossible not to be aware of the fanfare and ceremony of a momentous occasion such as the wedding of a future King.  Therefore, this week I will be adopting these rituals as a salute to my homeland (both ancestrally, and from 2007-9*).  I suggest you do the same.

Silly British Traditions to Adopt While Leading up to the Royal Wedding

1. Throw a “cheerio ol’ chap” into any of your email or phone correspondence

2. 4pm is now Tea Time, whether you like it or not

3. Wear a fascinator or Philip Treacy inspired hat to the office

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The Unintentional Soundtrack to My Life

by Kristen

There is music that immediately makes me feel like a kid (TMNT theme), songs I inexplicably know all the words to (Reading Rainbow), and soundtracks that pinpoint the moment I was no longer a child (Dirty Dancing). For me, those lists could be endless, but there are a few tunes that  are so deeply engrained in my subconscious that they play in my head as if part of my life’s soundtrack. I would chose very different music to accent my days, I want to stress that, but these are the tunes I involuntarily hear:

1. The Jurassic Park Theme
When the movie came out in 1993, I saw it in the theater four times. It blew my 13-year-old mind and made me feel like anything was possible. (I’d like to say this is the movie that inspired me to be a scientist, but really it was the 1995 hit featuring infectious diseases and Rene Russo, Outbreak. I’m not kidding.)  Many years later when I moved out to Sapelo Island, full of wild animals and draped in Spanish moss, I felt like I was on a different planet. As I drove my golf cart from the ferry dock to my trailer, I used to hum Jurassic Park‘s theme song. Again, I’m not kidding. MY DOG’S NAME IS T REX. This movie changed my life.

2. The Imperial March
Whenever anyone of authority walks down a hallway, this song plays in my head. I hear it when I’m in a hurry at the grocery store, plowing
through aisles and trying not to give the Vader Force Choke to people in my way. The Imperial March was the only ringtone I ever purchased, mostly because I thought it was funny to say, “Excuse me, that’s my mom calling.” Turns out, not everyone finds that funny. I honestly meant no harm by it and I find her lack of faith disturbing.

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Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Kristen, Pop Culture, Top Fives

 

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