“North Country is coming back big time”

The governor came up to the area to promote the outdoors and how great it is up here.

But that last line puts it into perspective:

Outside Indian Lake Central School, the staging area for the day’s events, Bruce Mitchell, a local resident tasked with shuttling dignitaries to and from the rapids, remained skeptical on the effects of such a star-powered event in this small community, the second in as many years.

“We still don’t have a grocery store,” he shrugged.

A New NewYorker.com

The New Yorker has radically changed their website and will lift paywalls this summer before trying a metered paywall this fall.

That they thought this line was funny tells you everything you need to know about The New Yorker.

For months, our editorial and tech teams have been sardined into a boiler room, subsisting only on stale cheese sandwiches and a rationed supply of tap water, working without complaint on intricate questions of design, functionality, access, and what is so clinically called “the user experience.”

Foodie High Ground

Food writers Jane Black and Brent Cunningham went to Huntington Alabama, the town where Jamie Oliver went to film his food-reality show and tried to change the lunch program and get people to eat better food. This feature, Servings of Small Change, discusses some of the things they faced while embedded in town and working on their book.


You’re sitting with people, and they’re really poor, and their lives, because they are poor, are very chaotic. Somebody’s brother is in jail, somebody is on drugs, somebody is working the night shift at the gas station, the kid has ADHD. And you’re sitting there going, “Have you thought about whole grains?” It sounds, to them, like somebody saying, “Oh, my private jet broke down.”

There’s always been an element of food snobbery mixed in with what should be about health. This discussion of food has been drifting from nutrition and towards supporting local farmers and artisinal crafts that charge a premium. Foodies have been unable to talk about this stuff without appearing self-righteous.


On trying to increase property values through fostering a rich, artistic community. “Rich” could mean at least two different things.

However, we need to be aware of a couple troubling trends underneath these celebrations of the transformative power of art. First, we have to ask who are they transforming an area for? And at whose direction? Because, as the excellent, if sobering, article “The Pernicious Realities of Artwashing” on CityLab.com details, too often the presence of artists is becoming a deliberately engineered move to increase the cache of a building or area, until prices rise and the artists themselves are priced out, along with the original lower income residents of an area.

“Defending the indefensible?”

Lawyers talk about representing some of the worst people ever.

John Henry Browne, who defended Ted Bundy.

My father once said: “To keep our society free and democratic, someone has to do your job, and do it well.” Then he paused and said: “I’m just really sorry it’s you.” I feel the same way.

“Incarceration Society”

Related to the post about the Upstate NY tourism economy: North Country Public Radio has recently reported on how prison closings will affect communities upstate.

It’s a messy conflict. State government wants nothing that could look like a for-profit prison industry and incarceration society, but people in rural communities have depended on those opportunities to support themselves and their families. For those that don’t depend on those jobs, the phrase Nimby comes to mind.

Adirondack Tourism Lifts Some Boats

If you want to know how things are in rural areas like upstate New York, this report by Brian Mann sheds some light.

There has been a tug-of-war between tourism and industry here, but I think most industry has given up the fight because of changing economic realities. Young people don’t usually stick around the area because of job opportunities elsewhere, leaving an industry of tourism built upon remote areas. Now the traits that have made these areas desirable before can end up hurting them because of their lack of infrastructure.

This report states that in 2012 about 12% of the jobs available in the Adirondacks were tourism related. I thought it was higher.

A Quest for the Secret Origins of Lost Video-Game Levels

This story focuses on Sonic 2, but there are other stories out there. People are still looking for secrets in Shadow of the Colossus.

In 2nd grade there was a boy in my class who told me there was a boxing level in DuckTales for the NES.

Other video game rumors I remember:

“Millennials’ Political Views Don’t Make Any Sense”

Millennials are more liberal than the rest of the country, particularly on social issues, but they get more economically conservative when they make more money.

…something interesting happens when Millennials start making serious dough. They start getting much more squeamish about giving it away

…makes sense to me.

“The CD Case”

Making the case for preserving music on CDs.

I don’t know – I’m beginning to think that a lot of our attraction to media is because for years we got to have a THING that represented it, namely plastic discs and dead trees. Now that those are all going away it’s much easier to lose the attachment to those works – because then it’s just some kind of art form separated from a thing that held it.

When one does things like alphabetize a record collection, like I did for years, are we really celebrating an art form or are we just obsessive about our possessions?

For years I had told myself that I liked having a physical format for music, movies, and books. But today I look around at all this stuff and think of how much space they take up and how it will be a pain to move them if/when I move. “Music is timeless,” I told myself. “Art is timeless.” If so, then how come I rarely go back to most of them? If so, then how come there are such things as albums that work better on a CD or on Vinyl?

As I get older I see that these things from my youth that I told myself were very important, that spoke to me, were merely just what was available at the time I was growing up. Musicians like to talk about how music can speak to you, about how a song can hit at a time in your life when you need it. Weezer’s Blue Album is important to me because it came out when I was in junior high and I listened to it a lot. But if I came up during a different time wouldn’t it just have been some other album? Would the Beatles have gotten as big as they did if they weren’t marketed heavily to tons of up-and-coming baby boomers?

At its best, all this media can be something that speaks to you, but it can also be a reminder of who you once were or believed you could be. At its worse, they’re just things in a box taking up space in your new life.

So Like Us?

Mani Cavalieri’s answer to “What should I watch out for when fighting a chimpanzee?

As many other answers have noted, chimpanzees are far stronger and faster than us. Judging from the question details, though, you may be having a hard time translating the facts you are reading about their strength to the visual image of these smallish, furry things.

So let me try to illustrate.

Then a bunch of horrible stuff.

The Tables Have Turned

When Nerds Get Money


Filled With Goodness

Junk food masquerading as health food:

Call them Trojan horse foods: nutritiously pleasing ingredients (oats, yogurts) that conceal a whole host of junk. We struggle to think of them as unhealthy, because they seem so pure, so wholesome, so stocked with goodness. We want them to be healthy because we have certain dietary cravings, and these foods taste so, so good. And they taste so, so good, of course, because they’re filled with the dietary equivalents of marauding Greeks. Namely, sugar, sugar, and more sugar.

Mom Or CEO – The Choice of A New Generation

PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi on being a mom and a CEO:

Q. What’s your opinion about whether women can have it all?

I don’t think women can have it all. I just don’t think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all. My husband and I have been married for 34 years. And we have two daughters. And every day you have to make a decision about whether you are going to be a wife or a mother, in fact many times during the day you have to make those decisions. And you have to co-opt a lot of people to help you. We co-opted our families to help us. We plan our lives meticulously so we can be decent parents. But if you ask our daughters, I’m not sure they will say that I’ve been a good mom. I’m not sure. And I try all kinds of coping mechanisms.