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How Stupid and Old Are You? Directions: You have two minutes to answer the following questions.

How Stupid and Old Are You?

If you do not have a timer, start counting. What Is Your Mental Age? 1. What’s the word for the stuff you sprinkle on your food but it’s not pepper? No, not salt, but like salt but supposedly better for you because it doesn’t have salt in it. 2. Depressed? Try Therapy Without the Therapist. Fixes looks at solutions to social problems and why they work.

Depressed? Try Therapy Without the Therapist

Remember Roger Mortimer - The New Yorker. Stanford: Day 8 (Aaron Swartz: The Weblog) Now came the big decision.

Stanford: Day 8 (Aaron Swartz: The Weblog)

What classes to take? Since looking for classes in topics I was interested in didn’t work too well, I decided to try a different tack. I went to the bookstore, looked for books that looked interesting, and wrote down what courses they were for. After investigating these and paring them down, I ended up with: Accelerated Computer Programming (CS106x) American Sign Language Introduction to Sociology Introduction to the Humanities: Freedom Equality Difference (required) Noam Chomsky: The Drama of Dissent Unfortunately, that’s apparently more classes than you can take. I grab breakfast (it turns out they don’t close early, they just move the door to another side of the room — how stupid is that?) The class in in Skilling Auditorum, which gets the excellent song Sokol Auditorium stuck in my head. The class is broadcast over TV to surrounding companies, so what appears to be an auto-following camera tracks the professor overhead.

Next is American Sign Language. Jeffrey Kluger. On Ideals of Feminine Accomplishment. “A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word [“accomplished”]; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions.”

On Ideals of Feminine Accomplishment

—Caroline Bingley, in “Pride and Prejudice.” Appearance and Grooming Proper Hygiene is of the Upmost Importance for a Lady who wishes to be considered “Accomplished.” Principally, the Lady of Accomplishment is able to shave in the Shower without the water washing off all the shaving cream before she gets to that part. In manners of dress and of Bearing, the Lady of Accomplishment outfits herself in such a way as to get Her Date, his Brother, and their underage Cousin into the club, while still fitting the Description “down to earth.” She does not glue her Real Eyelashes together while putting on False Ones, resulting in the loss of a Significant portion of the far-left upper and lower Eyelashes.

Languages. Acting French. I spent the majority of this summer at Middlebury College, studying at l’École Française.

Acting French

I had never been to Vermont. I have not been many places at all. I did not have an adult passport until I was 37 years old. Sometimes I regret this. And then sometimes not. I was there to improve my French. And there were the latest developments, the likes of which I perceived faintly through the French media. Acquiring a second language is hard. Aurora Shooting - We’ve Seen This Before. James Holmes must also have been insane, and his inner terror expressed itself, as it often does these days, in a link between pop culture and firearms.

Aurora Shooting - We’ve Seen This Before

There was nothing bigger happening in his world right now than the new Batman movie, and in preparation for this day, or another like it, he was purchasing firearms and booby-trapping his apartment. When he was arrested after the shootings, he made no attempt at resistance. His mission was accomplished. I’m not sure there is an easy link between movies and gun violence. I think the link is between the violence and the publicity. Should this young man — whose nature was apparently so obvious to his mother that, when a ABC News reporter called, she said “You have the right person” — have been able to buy guns, ammunition and explosives? The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia. Robin Williams and the Game of Golf - The New Yorker.

Of all the tributes to the late Robin Williams that have poured in during the past twenty-four hours, a couple of tweets in particular caught my eye, both of them by prominent golfers.

Robin Williams and the Game of Golf - The New Yorker

The first was by Rory McIlroy, the Northern Irish boy wonder who just won his fourth major championship, and the tweet read like it may have been composed by a P.R. person: “RIP Robin Williams…. He brought joy to so many people all over the world, will be fondly remembered and sadly missed.” The second, from Gary Player, the legendary South African who won nine majors, was a bit more personal, and it included a couple of famous lines from “Dead Poets Society”: “RIP.

Robin Williams. Oh Captain, my Captain. That’s for sure. In some circles, Williams’s golf bit is considered a cult classic. I won’t spoil the fun or run the gauntlet of our arbiters of good taste by providing a full transcript. Unlike many Hollywood actors, he doesn’t appear to have played the sport in any serious way. Not straight. Stepping Out - The New Yorker. I was at an Italian restaurant in Melbourne, listening as a woman named Lesley talked about her housekeeper, an immigrant to Australia who earlier that day had cleaned the bathroom countertops with a bottle of very expensive acne medication: “She’s afraid of the vacuum cleaner and can’t read or write a word of English, but other than that she’s marvellous.”

Stepping Out - The New Yorker

Lesley works for a company that goes into developing countries and trains doctors to remove cataracts.