15 April 2011

Prince William no wants the PRECIOUS!!!

The NY Times looks at the brouhaha over Prince William's decision not to wear a wedding band.
For all the chatter about Prince William’s decision (palace officials reportedly said that he has never worn jewelry), double ring ceremonies are a relatively recent phenomenon. At the end of the Great Depression, only 15 percent of marriages were double ring ceremonies, said Katherine Jellison, a history professor at Ohio University and the author of “It’s Our Day: America’s Love Affair With the White Wedding, 1945-2005.” After World War II, she said, the number rose to 80 percent. This explosion was fueled, Dr. Jellison said, by postwar prosperity that allowed couples to afford three rings: an engagement ring, and two wedding bands.
Huh. Who knew? I guess it's one of those deals when a tradition is so culturally prevalent that you assume what's done now is what's always been done. I remember being surprised to learn that the prevalence of diamonds in engagement rings is a relatively recent development.

Aspects of Emily's and my wedding were definitely nontraditional (but damn if that all polka dance wasn't fun!), so I wholeheartedly believe everyone should make their weddings their own. That being said, I can't tell you how many times I pay conscious attention to my wedding band -- at least a couple times a week -- and am overwhelmed with such a sense of inner-peace and happiness. Just some food for thought, Will. Continue reading this post >>

12 April 2011

Pap smears, breast exams, and colonoscopies at Walgreens

Stewart and Colbert always get chuckles out of me, but this Colbert clip had me tearing up, particularly around the 3:18 mark.

So. Effing. Funny.

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11 April 2011

Good ole young adult post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction

Suzanne Collins, author of the The Hunger Games trilogy, is featured in the most recent NY Times Magazine. If you haven't read the trilogy, you should. I never thought I would get into young adult post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction -- and occasionally the prose and storytelling clunk -- but overall, the series is amazing.

A succinct description of the trilogy from the Times article:
The books juxtapose the futuristic fantasy of a gleaming, high-tech capital and early-industrial life in the 12 half-starved districts it controls. In a ritual known as the Reaping, two adolescents from each of these oppressed districts are selected at random to participate in the Hunger Games, an annual televised match in which children battle one another and mutated beasts to the death, like Roman gladiators in a glitzy reality-TV contest. The trilogy’s heroine, Katniss, 16 years old when the series begins, has the tough-girl angst of an S.E. Hinton teenager and is too focused on survival to spend much time on familiar Y.A. preoccupations like cliques and crushes. On the very first page, she stares at the family’s pet cat, recalling, matter-of-factly, her aborted attempt to “drown him in a bucket.” By the last book, she is leading a revolution.
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10 April 2011

So long, Jon Stewart's Glenn Beck impersonation

Jon Stewart says goodbye to Glenn Beck's soon-to-be-over television career. Wonderfulness ensues.

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06 April 2011

Downsizing Detroit

The NY Times looks at Detroit's plans to deal with extreme population loss (25% decline in the last decade alone) and decaying, nearly empty neighborhoods. It's a slightly less optimistic picture than the one presented in the Chrysler Super Bowl commercial with Eminem.
The ultimate plan for those neighborhoods — and the ultimate cost of consolidating them — is uncertain; some might become home to new industry, and some might be used to fill temporary needs, or for urban gardens and green space.

In more well-to-do neighborhoods, like Indian Village, where mansions fill the blocks and lawn-service crews were out in force last week, the idea of shrinking the city’s neighborhoods sounds appealing to many residents.

“When I go in some of the neighborhoods now, I have tears in my face, I just can’t believe what I see,” said Rukayya Ahsan-McTier, who was walking briskly for exercise in Indian Village, while clasping a golf club in one hand for protection from stray dogs or, as she said, any other trouble that might come her way.
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