Monthly Archives: July 2012

The expression ‘both sides’ is an important clue that the question itself is improperly framed. The notion that there are exactly two sides to every story is a byproduct of politics, not the search for knowledge.

Joshua Engel responds to the Quora question, “Is the climate change debate being effectively argued? Are we hearing equally from both sides?”

‘Cincinnati is a city worth fighting for’

Ronny Salerno on the efforts to bring the 2012 Olympic Games to Cincinnati:

This city is often overlooked and under appreciated, even by those that live here. [Cincinnati 2012 President] Nick Vehr dared to challenge the public perception of Cincinnati. He dared to dream big. Cincinnati 2012 may not have brought us the Olympics, but it did bring a sense of civic pride to the city. […] While in recent time, Cincinnati has certainly been on the rise, Vehr’s Olympic story shows us that you can combat the naysayers and change the perception — Cincinnati is a city worth fighting for.

Game-studies scholars (there are such things) like to point out that games tend to reflect the societies in which they are created and played. Monopoly, for instance, makes perfect sense as a product of the 1930s — it allowed anyone, in the middle of the Depression, to play at being a tycoon. Risk, released in the 1950s, is a stunningly literal expression of cold-war realpolitik. Twister is the translation, onto a game board, of the mid-1960s sexual revolution. One critic called it ‘sex in a box.’

Angry Birds, Farmville and Other Hyperaddictive ‘Stupid Games’

Naked TSA protester at PDX found not guilty

John Brennan, a frequent-flying businessman from Portland, set off an explosives wand in April and stripped naked to show Transportation Security Administration screeners he was not carrying a bomb. […]

A judge found Brennan not guilty of public indecency on the grounds that he stripped naked as a form of protest, which is protected speech.

It could be cheaper to buy groceries at Kroger with cash

People love the convenience of paying with credit and debit cards, but they don’t often think about the fact that credit card companies add processing fees that increase the cost of everything we buy. Since most businesses aren’t allowed to charge extra for using a credit card, even customers using cash pay this credit card “tax.”

Giving cash discounts gives the choice back to the consumer. You can pay cash, get a discount, and remain relatively anonymous; or you can pay with credit, continue to earn points/frequent flyer miles, and never worry about going to the ATM.

It’s good to see major retailers like Kroger taking this idea seriously.

Sherrod Brown fights for Cincinnati

I wrote to Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown regarding Representative Steve Chabot’s attempt to overturn the will of Cincinnati voters and insert an anti-earmark against bus and rail transit into a federal transportation funding bill.

Fortunately, Senator Brown sees the danger of the amendment, and replied:

I appreciate hearing your views on how important it is to fund transportation initiatives in Cincinnati. Recently an amendment was offered to the House appropriations bill that would restrict funding for light rail or “fixed guideway” systems in the City of Cincinnati. I share your concerns about this potentially overbroad language.

Should relevant legislation come before the Senate, you can be sure I will keep your concerns in mind.

On the latest episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, we discuss Rep. Chabot’s amendment, which would ban future federal funding for any sort of light rail, commuter rail, streetcar, freight rail, bus rapid transit (BRT), or other “fixed guideway” system in Cincinnati.

We also discuss how the extreme politicization of transportation issues results in politicians “selling out” their own constituants and costs taxpayers much more in the long run.

Bunbury, Isle of White

CityBeat’s string of whiny editorials continues.

This time, Kathy Y. Wilson, author of the column “Your Negro Tour Guide,” complains that last weekend’s Bunburry music festival didn’t have any bands that “vaguely interested” her, despite her claim that she’s a fan of “all kinds of music.” She’s also upset that it was full of so many darn white people!

Wilson also takes a number of weak jabs at festival founder Bill Donabedian, who put his personal reputation (and probably his credit score) on the line to organize this ambitious event. The first annual festival drew headliners Jane’s Addiction, Weezer and Death Cab for Cutie, and met attendance expectations of 55,000 people.

I didn’t go to Bunburry this year. I was out of town for one of the nights; I’ve already attended one three-day music festival this summer; and there weren’t enough bands I wanted to see that justified buying a $46 one-day pass. But it would be absurd for me to dismiss this festival because it didn’t cater to my specific musical tastes.

I love the first comment from an anonymous reader:

If you couldn’t find one artist in the lineup that interested you then you’re not a fan of “all kinds of music”; you don’t like alternative/indie rock music, which was the genre of this festival. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but there are different genres of music, and sometimes festivals cater to a specific one.

I’m not sure what CityBeat’s new owners are thinking, but they must be attempting to reduce the publication to tabloid-quality journalism. They should’ve kept Kevin Osborne and laid off Kathy Wilson instead.

Jerry Seinfeld is in this position that’s sort like one of the Beatles after the Beatles broke up. It’s sort of, how do you follow that act? You have a guy with this incredible, fertile comic imagination and a love of comedy, and it’s almost impossible to follow Seinfeld.

Seinfeld Hits The Web, Still Talking About Nothing