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Latest links of interest:

Higher Education Is Not a Mixtape - The Atlantic

It's not the main point of the article, but it's all the more powerful for that: Financial aid and student loans are helping colleges avoid financial pressure to reform and slim down.

"With government chipping in more than three dollars for every dollar a student pays in tuition at public schools, and underwriting private ones as well, the real consumers of higher education aren't students at all. The real consumers are Congress and state legislatures--and so far they have exerted little cost pressure on higher-education institutions.

"Further confusing the education cost-and-demand market is the fact that most students don't actually pay their college costs at the time of purchase. According to the Project on Student Debt, more than seven in 10 U.S. college students take loans to pay for college. If purchase-price considerations significantly affected higher-education consumption, at least some intuitions would be lowering costs to attract students. Instead, costs continue to escalate and the most expensive schools have the most buyers."

The article also indirectly makes the point that students, parents, and guidance counselors are still mired in the traditional way of choosing one's higher education path.

GS Tram Site Home Page

Maps and photos of historic and present day trams, streetcars, and light rail systems in cities all over the world. Some examples: London 1940, Los Angeles 1941, Boston 1946, Prague 1990.


History of the London Underground Tube Maps from 1889 to the present. 1932 was the year they moved to Harry Beck's schematic depiction, which became the system's trademark. And here is The Real Underground Morphing Map, an interactive animation that switches you between Beck's map, the modern-day map of the lines in central London, and a geographically accurate depiction of routes and stations.

You can see and ride old streetcars at many locations around the US, including the Fort Smith Trolley Museum in Arkansas, Western Railway Museum, east of Fairfield, California, the Market Street Railway in San Francisco, the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine, the National Streetcar Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts, the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum near Washington, Pa., and the National Capital Trolley Museum in Colesville, Md.

Winston Churchill's favorite hymns: Institute for Religion and Democracy

A post marking the 50th anniversary of the death of, arguably, the greatest man of the 20th century:

"Some claim Churchill was religiously indifferent. He's said to have called himself a flying buttress, supporting the church from the outside. The truth of his faith is likely more complex than commonly realized. Certainly he relished the drama of liturgical worship and great hymns, both of which applied to his funeral, for which he had left some instruction, promising, 'There will be lively hymns.' They were 'O God Our Help in Ages Past,' 'Fight the Good Fight with All Thy Might,' 'Who Would True Valour See,' and 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic,' sometimes said to be Churchill's special favorite.... All four hymns speak of courage, perseverance, faith, conflict and reliance on God's strength. "

The post includes the lyrics of all four hymns as sung at the funeral. Additional Amendments to the Constitution

Amendments to the U. S. Constitution following the Bill of Rights. An interesting presentation because it includes five amendments that were sent to the States by Congress but which were not ratified, and notes questions about the validity of the ratification of other amendments.

KA-CHING! • If there is any one proof of a man's incompetence,...

"If there is any one proof of a man's incompetence, it is the stagnant mentality of a worker (or a professor) who doing some small, routine job in a vast undertaking, does not care to look beyond the lever of a machine (or the lectern of a classroom), does not choose to know how the machine (or the classroom) got there or what makes his job possible, and proclaims that the management of the undertaking is parasitical and unnecessary. Managerial work--the organization and integration of human effort into purposeful, large-scale, long-range activities--is, in the realm of action, what man's conceptual faculty is in the realm of cognition. It is beyond the grasp and, therefore, is the first target of the self-arrested, sensory-perceptual mentality."

-- Ayn Rand, "The Cashing-In: The Student 'Rebellion'" in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

(For an approach to organization and management grounded in similar insights, look into "Requisite Organization," as developed by Elliot Jaques (the man who coined "mid-life crisis" and the first to use the term "culture" in a management context) and Wilfred Brown, among others.

Not a Very P.C. Thing to Say -- Jonathan Chait -- NYMag

"The p.c. style of politics has one serious, possibly fatal drawback: It is exhausting. Claims of victimhood that are useful within the left-wing subculture may alienate much of America. The movement's dour puritanism can move people to outrage, but it may prove ill suited to the hopeful mood required of mass politics. Nor does it bode well for the movement's longevity that many of its allies are worn out. 'It seems to me now that the public face of social liberalism has ceased to seem positive, joyful, human, and freeing,' confessed the progressive writer Freddie deBoer. 'There are so many ways to step on a land mine now, so many terms that have become forbidden, so many attitudes that will get you cast out if you even appear to hold them. I'm far from alone in feeling that it's typically not worth it to engage, given the risks.' Goldberg wrote recently about people 'who feel emotionally savaged by their involvement in [online feminism] -- not because of sexist trolls, but because of the slashing righteousness of other feminists.' Former Feministing editor Samhita Mukhopadhyay told her, 'Everyone is so scared to speak right now.'

"That the new political correctness has bludgeoned even many of its own supporters into despondent silence is a triumph, but one of limited use. Politics in a democracy is still based on getting people to agree with you, not making them afraid to disagree."

I Wasn't Treating My Husband Fairly, And It Wasn't Fair

"What this constant nagging and harping does is send a message to our husbands that says 'we don't respect you. We don't think you're smart enough to do things right. We expect you to mess up. And when you do, you'll be called out on it swiftly and without reservation.' Given this kind of negative reinforcement over time, he feels like nothing he can do is right (in your eyes). If he's confident with himself and who he is, he'll come to resent you. If he's at all unsure about himself, he'll start to believe you, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Neither one is a desirable, beneficial outcome to you, him or the marriage....

"If we keep attempting to make our husbands feel small, or foolish, or inept because they occasionally mess up (and I use that term to also mean 'do things differently than us'), then eventually they're going to stop trying to do things. Or worse yet, they'll actually come to believe those labels are true.

"In my case it's my husband of 12+ years I'm talking about. The same man who thanklessly changed my car tire in the rain. The guy who taught our kids to ride bikes. The person who stayed with me at the hospital all night when my mom was sick. The man who has always worked hard to make a decent living and support his family.

"He knows how to change the oil in the car. He can re-install my computer's operating system. He lifts things for me that are too heavy and opens stuck jar lids. He shovels the sidewalk. He can put up a ceiling fan. He fixes the toilet when it won't stop running. I can't (or don't) do any of those things. And yet I give him grief about a dish out of place. He's a good man who does a lot for me, and doesn't deserve to be harassed over little things that really don't matter in the grand scheme of things...."

Cleaning Out the Stuff that Bogs Us Down. | elephant journal

Insights from a 30-day social media cleanse:

"I recently took a 30-day cleanse from social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) after laying in bed on a lazy Sunday morning for five hours looking at acquaintances that are classified as friends, friends of friends and then diving into 'people you may know.' Really?

"Those five hours did nothing to serve me, make me feel purposeful, useful or even happy. I was angrier with myself for wasting precious time instead of using it productively. With a lengthy to-do list awaiting me, I decided this was a habit I needed to confront and deal with!

"When we get caught in traps where we find ourselves engaged in mindless activity that leaves us feeling empty, it's time to 'pause' and discover what life can be like without that activity for 30 days. This was an experiment for me with social media, but I challenge you to replace it with anything that is a time sucker, energy waster or emotional depleter. Keep your mind open to the new opportunities, possibilities, and self-discoveries that emerge from letting go....

"I didn't realize how dependent I was upon social media to serve as a numbing mix. It is like getting a hit of mild anesthesia where the mind doesn't have to think, but just function. I realized that feeling anxiety is a trigger for me to numb out and social media is just one of my many 'fix-its.' Releasing the need to use social media, I became aware, took pause and asked, 'is this serving me to learn and grow?' Since I committed to 30 days of this, I was determined to not fail."

European 'No-Go' Zones: Fact or Fiction?

The Gatestone Institute links to dozens of reports in the French media about neighborhoods and suburban districts where "where police and gendarmerie cannot enforce the Republican order or even enter without risking confrontation, projectiles, or even fatal shootings." A couple of examples:

"The Socialist mayor of Amiens, Gilles Demailly, has referred to the Fafet-Brossolette district of the city as a 'no-go zone' where 'you can no longer order a pizza or get a doctor to come to the house.' Europe 1, one of the leading broadcasters in France, has referred to Marseille as a 'no-go zone' after the government was forced to deploy riot police, known as CRS, to confront warring Muslim gangs in the city. The French Interior Ministry said it was trying to 'reconquer' 184 square kilometers (71 square miles) of Marseille that have come under the control of Muslim gangs.

"The French newspaper Le Figaro has referred to downtown Perpignan as a 'veritable no-go zone' where 'aggression, antisocial behavior, drug trafficking, Muslim communalism, racial tensions and tribal violence' are forcing non-Muslims to move out. Le Figaro also reported that the Les Izards district of Toulouse was a no-go zone, where Arab drug trafficking gangs rule the streets in a climate of fear....

"Also in Aubervilliers, the magazine Charlie Hebdo reported in 2012 that the town hall was obligating non-Muslim men who want to marry Muslim women to convert to Islam first, even though France is ostensibly a secular republic....

"In 2014, Le Figaro published the contents of a leaked intelligence document that warns about the imposition of Islamic Sharia law in French schools in Muslim ghettoes. The 15-page document provides 70 specific examples of how Muslim radicals are taking over ostensibly secular schools throughout the country. These include: veiling in playgrounds, halal meals in the canteen, chronic absenteeism (bordering 90% in some parts of Nîmes and Toulouse) during religious festivals, clandestine prayer in gyms or hallways...."

RELATED: The Washington Post reports that CNN hosts and guests spoke about "no-go zones" as a reality but, unlike Fox News, hasn't issued any retractions or apologies.

BBC Genome Project

The BBC has digitized and posted online 86 years of radio and TV listings from the Radio Times as a starting point for a comprehensive, searchable database of its prodigious output. The public is invited to edit for scanning errors and schedule changes. Searches turn up some interesting stuff: In August 1941, C. S. Lewis began a series of five weekly talks on "Right and Wrong." Winston Churchill's first appearance is on 27 June 1924, on "Children's Corner" discussing Alexander the Great and Darius, King of Persia. Comedian Tony Hancock debuted on the TV variety show New to You on November 1, 1948. Better known these days for his political writing and filling in for Rush Limbaugh, Mark Steyn showed up frequently in the schedule from 1985 to 1995 presenting programs about Broadway musicals and the Great American Songbook, hosting "Kaleidoscope," a chat show called "Postcard from Gotham," a series on musicals called "The Land Where the Good Songs Go," and a musicals-themed panel game called "Let's Do the Show Right Here."

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