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Is It Possible To Build an Economy Without Jobs?
Published on April 30, 2012 by Sara Foss

This interesting Alternet piece tries to imagine a different system.


History Colorado
Published on April 30, 2012 by Sara Foss

My friend Melissa's museum was reviewed in the New York Times, which makes me eager to visit it the next time I'm in Denver.

However, the review also makes me wonder whether it's possible to work at the Times and not be a raging snob. Check out the first three paragraphs:

"An East Coast visitor’s first reaction, provincially enough, has to be skepticism: does Colorado even have that much history?

Enough history to justify a $110 million museum — the History Colorado Center — which is opening on Saturday, with plans for 40,000 square feet of exhibitions costing an additional $33 million, state-of-the-art technological displays, a research center and archival storage for over 15 million items, including more than 750,000 photographs and 200,000 artifacts?

The state is under 140 years old, and even if you include the ancient cliff dwellings preserved in Mesa Verde National Park, there is little documented history before the incursion of outsiders in the 18th century."

I think Erik Loomis captures the ridiculousness of this review pretty well, when he writes: "Well, thank you Mr. East Coast Elite for giving your seal of approval that a state like Colorado has History! As a native of Oregon, will you please fly out to Portland and tell us whether we have enough history so I can know whether to write my book or not?"


NBA Playoff Picks, First Round
Published on April 30, 2012 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I offer up my NBA playoff picks for the first round.

Click here to read them.


More! More! More!
Published on April 29, 2012 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about my insatiable greediness.

Here's an excerpt:

"The other day, I set up a new CD rack to accommodate my ever-growing music collection.

My CDs now span an entire wall — albeit not a very big wall. And the racks are only a few feet high, so this isn’t as excessive as it sounds. But my CD collection is likely to keep growing and at some point I’ll need to get another rack, and then what will I do? I’m running out of room for my CDs. And the situation is only going to get worse, not better.

One option, of course, is to stop buying CDs altogether and stream everything on my computer. I’m not quite ready to make that step, despite eye-rolling from friends who are opposed to things like clutter. I happen to like having a large CD collection, and I’m always updating my list of music, both new and old, that I want to acquire.

Years ago, my mother questioned the size of my CD collection. Which is funny, because it was so much smaller back then. She said, 'Don’t you think you own enough CDs?' My mother might as well have been speaking another language. The idea that there was a limit to how much music one could, or should, own just didn’t make any sense to me.

Click here to read the whole thing.


Top Reads of the Week
Published on April 27, 2012 by Sara Foss

Responsibility: Sara Foss on jury duty

Work: R.B. Austen on working as a parent aide

Movies: Sara Foss on "The Kid With a Bike"

Politics: George Costanza's Number One Fan on three recent scandals

Parenting: J LeBlanc on buying dishware for kids


The Storm Comes Around
Published on April 26, 2012 by Sara Foss

I'm afraid of tornadoes. My grandfather died when an F-5 tornado hit Massachusetts in 1953, and my mother, grandmother and uncle were all injured. I've covered the aftermath of a tornado that hit Tuscaloosa, Ala., and I'm worried about friends in the South when subsequent tornadoes have hit.

Which might explain why I appreciated John Hawbaker's essay about living in tornado country at The Morning News.

Click here to read it.


Tetris and PTSD
Published on April 26, 2012 by Sara Foss

When my friend Kori committed suicide, I spent a lot of time playing Tetris. It helped me relax. Which made me think that maybe Tetris was good for the soul.

Anyway, new research suggests that playing Tetris might help people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Based on my own Tetris experiences, I believe it.

Click here to learn more.


State of the Teams
Published on April 26, 2012 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I offer brief thoughts on my four favorite teams: The Celtics, Red Sox, New England Patriots and Bruins.

Click here to learn more.


Lessons in Parenting
Procrastination Station
Published on April 25, 2012 by guest author: J LeBlanc

When it comes to baby dishes, I have been very lazy. I just haven’t bothered to get any, even though my son has been eating solids for nine months now. When he was about five and half months old, I started thinking about the whole feeding thing, as he was starting to go bug-eyed every time I ate something. One friend had just bought a set of bamboo dishes for her baby. I liked the sound of that - environmentally friendly and chic - until I read an internet review which said they could get moldy if they didn’t get fully dry. Since I was planning to buy only one set, I figured that was a distinct possibility - what were the odds of it drying fully once I was feeding him several times a day? Another friend bought a plastic set with a cute whale on the bottom of the bowl. Her son loved the whale. So much, in fact, that he would dump his food out of the bowl to get a better look.

Unable to decide, I bought a sippy cup and a set of four baby spoons to help me get by in the short term. I used my conveniently microwavable teacups to heat his food and fed him from those. The sippy cup didn’t get much use - he didn’t seem to have the hang of it (he never drank well from a bottle either) and I quickly realized that, with only one, I’d have to wash it after every meal. So I just gave him a small amount to drink in the same half-glasses my husband and I use. Since there are twelve glasses, I can go quite a while before running out of them. At least now he is a pro at drinking from a glass, although he gets bored quickly and likes to waggle his fingers in the bottom of the glass or tilt it the opposite way, so that all the liquid spills out onto his high chair tray. 

 (More)


Ranking Stephen King's Work
Published on April 25, 2012 by Sara Foss

The Vulture ranks Stephen King's work in honor of the publication of his 62nd novel, "The Wind Through the Keyhole."

Given King's voracious output, I've barely made a dent in his work. But I once read him somewhat voraciously, and my favorite King book is "It." "It" is over 1,000 pages long, and I've read it twice. The characters remain as vivid to me as those in "Anna Karenina" and "Moby Dick," and the story still mesmerizes. 

Anyway, click here to see the list.


Adventures in Work
Life As a Parent Aide
Published on April 24, 2012 by guest author: R.B. Austen

Working as a Parent Aide is a mixture of supervising visits between parents and children and providing families with needed supportive services. I have quickly learned that each family and their circumstances and challenges are different. This also means that even when I think I know how a family visit may go, I need to also expect the unexpected.

Sometimes the goals of a visit are fairly straightforward. I work with one couple and their two children, Nahla, age 3, and Miley, age 1. (All names have been changed.) The girls are fun, funny and outgoing, but they were not getting enough opportunities to interact with other kids their age. I found a community playgroup to take them to. Mary, the mom, knew that this was a great idea, but was very anxious about the unknowns of a playgroup. She bombarded me with many questions: How many kids would be there, was she supposed to talk with other parents, how would Nahla and Miley do?

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Bear Attack
Published on April 24, 2012 by Sara Foss

My favorite story of the day brings together bears and the media.


Watching "The Kid With a Bike"
Published on April 24, 2012 by Sara Foss

This week I review the new film from the Dardenne brothers, "The Kid With a Bike."

Click here to read it.


Was There Cocaine? Pondering Three Scandals
Published on April 23, 2012 by guest author: George Costanza's Number One Fan

Things in the media change so fast that if you don't write about a story in 24 hours, it is too late. Unless of course it isn't. There are three scandals that President Obama has had to deal with recently: The Secret Service hiring hookers in Columbia, the General Services Administration's lavish spending at a Las Vegas resort and a Democratic strategist's poorly received comments about Ann Romney.

Scandal One: Secret Service agents partying it up with hookers in Columbia. Two thoughts on this: Was there cocaine involved? and Do you think this scandal will help recruit more young men to become secret service agents? Maybe we should just get some Nevada prostitutes to travel with the Secret Service. Or is this diplomacy in action? Americans use other countries' prostitutes, and to thank them, we give the other country free trade and other perks, such as blue jeans and movies? Assuming the other countries still want our blue jeans and movies. Perhaps by partying with the local talent we buy security for our leader?

 (More)


Why Don't People Trust the Press?
Published on April 23, 2012 by Sara Foss

Trust in the media has been steadily falling for decades, with 70 percent of Americans reporting that they had a great deal or fair amount of trust in the press during Watergate, and just 44 percent making the same claim today.

Why is this happening?

Over at his blog, press critic Jay Rosen makes an attempt to provide answers, noting that many institutions, such as the government and the church, are less trusted today than they once were.

Click here to learn more.


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