7 Quick Takes (8/20/10).


Sorry to go AWOL this past week.  I’ve been upstate at Lake Champlain with my family as part of my father’s 75th birthday celebration, and my internet access was limited to a half hour a day.  So, of course, when I arrived home Thursday night, I found over 1000 items in my Google Reader feed.  I’m nearly done working my way through the list, so I’m letting you tag along on the whirlwind tour of Things that Leah Found Interesting Enough to Take Note of, in Contrast to the 1000 Items She Only Skimmed.

Normal blogging resumes Sunday with a post that draws on my beach reading: The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom


I’m back to college next week, and I was quite entertained to see Beloit’s annual mindset list for the class of 2014 (h/t First Thoughts).  Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.
2. Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.
4. Al Gore has always been animated.
12. Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.
67. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always sat on the Supreme Court.
71. The nation has never approved of the job Congress is doing.


A real humdinger of a idea from Google CEO Eric Schmidt in a conversation with the Wall Street Journal (via The Atlantic)

[Schmidt] predicts, apparently seriously, that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends’ social media sites.

Clinton and his generation had to normalize marijuana to get elected, so I often wonder what will happen when my generation reaches an age to run for public office.  Schmidt’s idea may come too late.  And yes, I’m well aware that this blog (and others) disqualify me, but as an atheist, I was already well out of the running.

Another take on our very public online lives in Joseph Bottum’s On the Square article at First Things.


A Calvin and Hobbes search engine exists!  Scientific progress goes ‘Boink!”

(I will understand if you don’t make it back to this page after clicking the link)


Ebonmuse of Daylight Atheism has an interesting post charting the life of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a guru with thousands of followers and the alleged instigator of the only other bioterrorism attack within the United States besides the 2001 anthrax attack.  A sobering reminder of the danger of a religious demagogue.

Luke of Common Sense Atheism has another off-beat rebuttal to a common theistic argument in “The Superdog Explanation


I’m nearly ashamed to link to this one, since to do so, I must reveal my deep and abiding fandom for the sewing show Project Runway, but the two part commentary that Tom and Lorenzo of fan site Project Rungay have up on the ‘national costumes’ portion of the Miss Universe pageant is not to be missed. I can’t possibly introduce it better than they did.

Darlings, a bunch of biological females got together in Vegas this week for the world’s foremost drag event, the Miss Universe Pageant… [T]here is nothing more cracktastic than the national costumes portion of the Miss Universe Pageant. It makes competitive figure skating costumes look understated and minimalist.


Finally, I do occasionally use offline link aggregators.  The two primary ones are usually known as Mom and Dad.  Enjoy this wonderful clip of Kevin Kline on the Colbert Report featuring an enunciation showdown and competive Shakespeare (“I challenge you to act Shakespeare without your crutch of words!  Shakespeare with only your face!  And a grunt.)

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Kevin Kline
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

[Seven Quick Things is a blog carnival run by Jen of Conversion Diary]

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  • That list from Beloit makes me feel so OLD! I couldn't believe it that the Youngs have never worn wristwatches.

  • The only reason I didn't click the link (#4) is that Dad just called supper.

  • I love Lake Champlain. Have you been to the islands leading into Canada? We had a marvelous experience there years ago. My husband, a former forester turned photographer, wanted to take a picture of my son on a private dock on South Hero Island and tracked down the owner who turned out to be THE mover and shaker on the island and a former forester, too. We ended up spending the entire day with him, at his cabin on the top of the hill where the town council met (for lack of a more suitable place), and his farm with wood stacked by type of tree, something only a forester would do! Enjoy the time on the lake!