Friday, October 28, 2011

Mansions, Mormons and Magic, oh my

In which I report on the funner side of the news.  Yep, funner.

Real estate agents go all-out to market luxury homes
LA Times
Real estate agents listing an $8-million home in Santa Monica wanted to ensure a good crowd for an open house last month, so they hired a stilt walker, shirtless male jugglers and a contortionist who floated in the pool, encased in a clear plastic bubble.

It's like a dream, or what we expected to find when Michael Jackson died.

Generation Catalano: The generation stuck between Generation X and the Millennials
In contrast, the relatively bland main characters on much more successful, Millennial-targeted shows of the late 1990s and early 2000s, like Dawson's Creek, One Tree Hill, and The O.C., presaged the current crop of high school-centric series like Glee, Pretty Little Liars, and Gossip Girl, whose lead characters—much like Millennials themselves—are convinced that it's not just possible, but expected to be pretty, popular, and go to Brown.

How do siblings shape your personality?
Boston Globe
Firstborns and only-children, for example, have a 3-point higher IQ on average compared with those born second, according to a 2007 Norwegian study cited in the book, and second children are about a point ahead of those born third.  Those differences may seem subtle but they translate into a 15 to 20 point difference in SAT scores, which could explain why your older sibling got into Harvard or Penn while you had to settle for Dartmouth or Cornell.

Go back to the above picture.  She wants to go to Brown, but is unfortunately the youngest of five.

Texas debates Confederate flag license plates
LA Times
Marshall Davis, a spokesman for the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a Columbia, Tenn.-based group that claims 30,000 members nationwide, said they aimed to preserve history and to teach people about the "war between the states." Once a certain number of plates are sold, a portion of the proceeds will be returned to the group and used for educational purposes, he said.

Educational purposes.

THE three titans of rock put down their sushi and unleashed a Babel of gush.
In tones usually reserved for describing love affairs and exquisite desserts, they effused all at once about the moment they first cranked up together.
“Our jaws were dropping.”
“We were going, ‘This is amazing.’ ”
“Beyond, beyond, beyond heaven.”
Meanwhile the Internet has been having its own discourse about “Lulu,” which will be released by Warner Brothers on Tuesday, and mostly it has been quite the opposite of gush. (“Is this a joke?” reads one typical blog comment.) 

The Irish Times
Barbara Lee, who describes herself as an Alexandrian high priestess, has been practising witchcraft or Wicca since the late 1970s, and has run a coven for nearly 30 years. Lora O’Brien, who met Lee when she was 18 (“back when she was just a baby witch”, Lee says), is known as a high priestess too, although she prefers to be called Bean Drao√≠ – which means female user of magic. “I will answer to plain old witch too though,” O’Brien says.

There are a lot of multipurpose pictures today.

To Be Young, Hip and Mormon
The New York Times
When Britain Baker was at B.Y.U., he had to go to considerable effort to secure a beard waiver, to go with his vintage T-shirts and rolled selvedge jeans. Generally, students need to prove a skin condition like razor bumps. “You have to shave every day for three days,” he said, “and if you still have bumps on the third day, they will give you a special razor.” A “beard card” is granted only after the razor also fails.
Since he didn’t have a skin condition, Mr. Baker tried a novel approach: he applied for a part last year as an extra in a student film about Jesus.

Hipster Jesus died for sins you haven't even heard of yet.


  1. Hipster Jesus was into Kafka 1863 years before Kafta was even born.

  2. Hipster Jesus was born rich, but hangs with the poor.

  3. "Oh, you've never heard of Nazareth? Yea, I'm not suprised, it's kind of off the beaten trail."

  4. "Burning Man has really sold out now that everyone knows about it. I like to just go out to the desert by myself for 40 days."

  5. Hipster Jesus was a Christain before it got all mainstream.

  6. Hipster Jesus makes his own wine.

  7. Most of hipster Jesus' good friends were authors, although they didn't really publish anything.

  8. Hipster Jesus is really anti-commercialism, especially in His Father's house.