Child Sacrifice, For Children Who Love Freedom

Mummification, human vivisection and live burials in a format children can understand. Yes, really.

You Wouldn’t Want to Be an Inca Mummy will let parents address most of the uncomfortable questions that don’t involve sex, including human sacrifice, what happens when you yank out someone’s heart, the various ways of clubbing someone to death, and how the commoners should prostrate themselves before their rulers. The authors certainly aren’t operating under a belief in the concept of the Noble Savage. And,  it has a cartoonish format and simple text that is suitable for first and second graders.

While the book really is disturbing (and disturbing for someone who used to read alt.tasteless on Usenet ), and I’m still not sure when I’d read it with Max,  that I’d find this prominently displayed on the “New Books” shelf in the children’s  section of the library absolutely thrills me. When the media seems to be failing in its critical role as defenders of open, free expression, we still have librarians who will fight to put whatever they damn well want to on the shelves.

Here is another example. F’d Companies is the most profane, nearly obscene,  book I’d ever admit to reading, but it is also an important chronicle of the insanity of the late 1990’s. I nearly howled with joy when I saw it on a public library shelf. I could imagine the librarian placing it facing outward, thinking to herself that it would be a poke in the eye of every sanctimonious prude that passed by. God bless her.

Don’t forget, kids, child sacrifice is a privilege.

Dispatch from the Battle of the Sexes

Yes, we play golf to get away from you:

Secret #2: We actually do play golf to get away from you

More than 21 million American men play at least one round of golf a year; of those, an astounding 75 percent regularly shoot worse than 90 strokes a round. In other words, they stink. The point is this: “Going golfing” is not really about golf. It’s about you, the house, the kids — and the absence thereof.

“I certainly don’t play because I find it relaxing and enjoyable,” admits Roland Buckingham, 32, of Lewes, Delaware, whose usual golf score of 105 is a far-from-soothing figure. “As a matter of fact, sometimes by the fourth hole I wish I were back at the house with the kids screaming. But any time I leave the house and don’t invite my wife or kids — whether it’s for golf or bowling or picking up roadkill — I’m just getting away.”

But maybe you don’t get the hint?

Fit to a Tee
“My grandmother insisted that I learn how to play golf. ‘If your husband loves to play, you can go along and spend hours together,’ she said. So I took lessons, and now my husband and I hit the links once a month. We both love the game and are thrilled to share a hobby, even when we spend half an hour looking for my out-of-bounds balls!”
— Aimee Borders, 27, Houston, TX

Science Reporting Malfeasance at the New York Times

I’ve frequently found that the New York Times will publish articles about scientific research that directly contradict the research.
In this article the NYT reports that: 
A 1999 study by Alan B. Krueger of Princeton and Stacy Dale of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation found that students who were admitted to both selective and moderately selective colleges earned the same no matter which they attended. The study suggested that the motivation and drive of the student mattered more than the college.
Here is what the abstract of the report says: 
We find that students who attended colleges with higher average SAT scores do not earn more than other students who were accepted and rejected by comparable schools but attended a college with a lower SAT score. However, Barron’s rating of school selectivity and the tuition charged by the school are significantly related to the student’s subsequent earnings. Indeed, we find a substantial internal rate of return from attending a more costly college.
So, the report says that average SAT score doesn’t mater to a graduate’s earning, but tuition, Barron’s rating and selectivity ( “competitiveness” in the body of the paper )  does. From this, the NYT writer concludes the opposite, that selectivity does not matter. 
The NYT author either did not even read the report, or read it and ignored it, or is entirely illiterate, or is so dedicated to an ideology to be blinded by science.  
Thanks to Half-Sigma  and Study Hacks.