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much higher education
a plus b no longer equals c
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: news
11.2.11 • CLASSIC

Many, many years ago, I made one of those life-altering decisions that seemed like the only option at the time, felt like giving up, and would eventually cause pangs of regret in the years to follow. But now, in full hindsight, it turns out to be the smartest decision I ever made.

After graduating from high school on the positive side of the grading curve but not necessarily smashing that curve in any notable manner, I wound up at a prestigious, private technical school in upstate New York (Go Fractals!), one that I had worked very hard to get into and to which I had even earned a partial scholarship covering a good chunk of the total cost.

But from the moment I attended orientation and got the speech about which two thirds of us nerds would not be there at the end of four years, I got the shakes. Bad.

It wasn't about the courses, or the work, or the looming social scene or complete lack thereof. It was about the money.

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agents of change
a literary agent blog roundup
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: writing
6.4.10 • CLASSIC

For every complaint I hear that publishing never changes, I hear an equal and opposite complaint that it's not what it used to be. And in many ways, it's not. I can tell you from experience that at least one segment of the road to publication -- the part where you search for an agent and secure representation -- has been completely revolutionized in the past five years. Not even ten. Five. A few years ago I was shocked to find that a few literary agents were blogging (see th

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not married, without children
even adam thinks he might be abel to raise a little cain
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: general
1.8.10 • CLASSIC

I've spent a large portion of the last week watching movies. Most recently (ten minutes before writing this), I viewed for a second time a 1996 movie called Bullet, which centers around an exceptionally dysfunctional Brooklyn Jewish family. In the title role, Mickey Rourke (about halfway between his transformation from "attractive guy in Diner" to "weird looking guy in The Wrestler") is a heroin junkie and petty thief. A 23-year-old Adrien Brody is a slacker artist who paints on anything but an

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the pleasures of a hometown paper
by michelle von euw
topic: news
4.14.08 • CLASSIC

As far back as I can remember, mornings in the house where I grew up always focused around the Boston Globe. We were a newspaper family; whether it was Mike Barnicle or Will McDonough or Jim Davis or James Carroll or Bella English or Anne Landers, we were always reading somebody over our Cheerios and orange juice. It was one of the absolutes of my childhood: we’d wake to find the Globe on the front steps (or later, after my dad befriended the delivery man, folded neatly on the table inside t

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tattoo you
carve yourself a personality
by mike julianelle
topic: humor
12.7.07 • CLASSIC

Just like Allen Iverson, I've had a fair amount of conversations about tattoos (I also hate practice). Just like everyone else, I've considered having someone brand my skin with a hot needle, but never very seriously. I have, of course, spent some time thinking about what tattoo I might get, were I to make such a mistake. Based on these brief ruminations, I've realized such a decision would likely be the hardest of my life. I just know that after months of going back and forth about what tattoo

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sporting memories
inside the athlete
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: sports
6.29.07 • CLASSIC

When it comes right down to it, it’s just you and the ball. You know beyond all doubt that it’s coming back to you, because you put it exactly where you want it to go and it’s going to bounce up or off or back. Even when you slide the ball over in the rack in the garage to get to the weed control or 10W-40 or windshield wiper fluid, you touch that ball briefly and it rises up in your palm. Like a lover would. Like it belongs there. No one would know it to look at you now, because it’s not an

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my lunch with tommy
race, cinema and economics, live from beverly hills
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: film
5.16.11 • CLASSIC

Every so often, when I need to remind myself how close I am (physically, at least) to the A-list crowd in Los Angeles, I treat myself to lunch at an expensive restaurant often frequented by celebrities. It was a breezy Wednesday, in the low 70s, and the Beverly Hills hotspot was buzzing. As I was being led to my seat, I passed a table with an Academy-Award winning actor, and another with a blond, bubbly reality TV star. Still, I was there with them, in the middle of a weekday, so my presence was

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can't a successful man get laid around here?
lessons on how to get some keeping your dignity
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: news
6.14.11 • CLASSIC

You’d think a successful gentleman would know how to land a lady. I mean, especially in today’s economy – these days, a bottom line in the black should be enough to at least get a phone number. And, if on top of such moderate success, you have some modicum of clout, you’re more than ¾ of the way to closing the deal already. But contrary to those odds, in the past few months, and just within the confines of New York State, several high-profile men, all of whom appear to fit this ¾ of the way

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do you hear the words that are coming out of my mouth?
maybe we should work on our communication skills
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: general
8.22.11 • CLASSIC

Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information. It is what moves us through every day, through each interaction with another human being. Hand gestures can ask for more and say stop, can suggest movement and sketch ideas, can say thank you and disparage. A touch can convey compassion, sympathy, joy, exhilaration, excitement. Even silence can hold space for yourself or someone else when there are no words that seem tremendous enough to express the right meaning.

Verbal communication, using words and building a dialogue, is what sets us above the animals. We have millions of expressions at our disposal; we should carefully select simple but effective sentiments for any occasion – but it is increasingly rare that we do so. In the age of Twitter, Facebook status updates and texting, communication between humans has decayed in so many ways. Intentional verbal missteps have been made common, and due to their commonality, are being included in the ever-expanding communal lexicon. Despite these questionable advancements, it has never been more widespread than now – the age of instant communication – that communication itself has been so neglected.

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cutting the financial umbilical cord
getting money from mom and dad as a grownup
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: general
6.11.12 • CLASSIC

At the moment, my bank account balance is low. Depleted from this month's rent and an obnoxious cable charge I plan to cut in favor of Hulu (take THAT, Time Warner), the remainder is an amount that would pay for a great night in the Third World, or comfortably support a Jane Austen character for a year.

In New York City, it's an amount I pray to stretch like taffy till my next pay period.

Luckily, I'm not totally alone. Thankfully, my parents provide a small amount of regular support for me in the course of a month- a gift card for groceries, or extra cash varying between fifty to eighty dollars. Though I'm relieved to have the additional money and am not expected to repay it, I can't help feeling guilty.

After all, I'm close to thirty-seven (ugh). Apart from expecting myself to be wiser than I was under my parents' roof, I believe I should be financially independent. At what point is it no longer appropriate (or simply just wrong) to accept financial support from parents? How much is too much?

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the power to decide
why it’s necessary for women to control their birth control
by sarah ficke (@DameMystery)
topic: news
3.7.12 • CLASSIC

When Sandra Fluke stood up to testify in front of Congress on February 23rd about the importance of accessible birth control for all women, she probably didn’t expect to be called a prostitute. Women probably didn’t think that, in March of 2012, we’d be defending our right to use a medicine that was approved for sale 52 years ago. And yet, here we are again having to convince people – primarily men – that women do have the right to have sex without pregnancy.

We live in a time when men are lowering or erasing the barriers that allow them to get women pregnant (see: insurance-subsidized Viagra), while making it harder and harder for women to prevent conception. While the issue is birth control, no-one is really talking about condoms in this case. Condoms are available on supermarket shelves, they cost less to buy, and they are known to prevent STIs – a definite medical benefit. They also require the consent of a man. The real subject of the conversation is the pill: the birth control method that women control and that women can practice with or without a man’s knowledge or consent.* The question then becomes not just should women use contraception, but should women be allowed to choose contraception on their own? There are many excellent reasons why the answer is – and should always be – yes.

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every step you take
the latest in stalking technology
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: tech
7.21.08 • CLASSIC

Unless you've been under a rock for the past 10 years, you've probably heard of this series of tubes called the Internet. Chances are (unless you have particularly thoughtful friends who have printed this column out, thereby rendering any of the handy links that are to follow completely useless) you're on the Internet right now. You might even be familiar with the lovely term Web 2.0. Web 2.0 is, as briefly as possible, a term to describe websites that embrace interactivity and user-generate

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who moved my chi?
finding my way back to inner peace
by heather m. millen
topic: general
4.23.08 • CLASSIC

I'm an incredibly organized person. I keep an "Infamous To Do List" that is updated daily and nothing gives me greater pleasure than checking off items. I like clean surfaces and carefully arranged closets. Clothes belong in a chest of drawers, not the floor of my bedroom. I have boxes and drawers and baskets, all to better organize my life... and my husband's life if he would only listen to me and STOP LEAVING ALL THAT CRAP ON THE DESK! When something is lost in the house, it's inevitably

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possible ride effects
a blog at best
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
topic: advertising
9.28.07 • CLASSIC

It's Wednesday again, and I'm not impressed. Another ride to work on my aging Trek mountain bike, which has been modified only slightly with "hybrid" tires that make riding on the pavement a little less sluggish, but will explode if you hit a sharp curb. Fortunately, like most of the commuters you encounter in Boston, curbs in this teenytiny city are worn, dull, and slowly eroding into forms barely distinguishable from the street itself. As I ride in, I listening to yet another podcast. This t

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re: irrussistible
I am not going to read it this time. I do and I just cannot pull myself together to comment. It is a beautiful tribute. I am very glad that you wro...

re: guns don't kill people....
Can we please find a way to heal and protect? I NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A man opened fire Friday inside two classrooms at the Connecticut elementary sc...

re: a year without netflix
I would expect that and especially Netflix. Marketing, baby. They're spending zillions to get new subscribers....

re: everybody poops
What a bunch of crap! :-D Sorry. I tried to let it pass. Butt I'm weak. [edited]...

re: you are on your own heroes journey
Too short. Sigh. Thanks Maigen. I just miss him. I am glad that I can find people who cared deeply for him here. He had such good friends here!...


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