Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Musings

As you read this, try to imagine a turkey being annihilated in some cone-shaped device behind me. I like it that way.

Congratulations to Minneapolis, which rated as the 20th most crime ridden city in the annual crime survey published by the CQ Press. While we are nominally safer than Compton, CA (17th worst), we did manage to outcrime Washington D.C. (21st) and Miami (35th). Under Rybak's leadership, I think we can catch Gary, Indiana (7th) at by the year 2013.

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a conservative think tank, released the results of their civic literacy test. Of course, most people failed, and Harvard students proved that it is possible to be smart and ignorant at the same time.

Normally, I am leery of such pop quizzes. Americans aren't stupid because they don't know the name of Fillmore's Secretary of State, or the number of Members of the House of Representatives. And everyone makes a couple of dumb mistakes on any test.

But this test is pretty easy, unconcerned with minutae, and highly relevant to the political issues facing any voter. I got an 88%, and felt pretty dumb for having done that poorly. The average score on the test was 49%, which means (since the test is multiple choice) the average American only knows 37% of the answers. Blech.


As regular readers are aware, my wife watches HGTV (Home and Garden Television). This station is devoted to making prohibitively expensive, time-consuming remodeling projects appear easy and affordable. There is also copious editing and "swishing" transitions.

Of course, every home remodel involves "opening up the floor plan". 1,000 square foot great rooms with giant kitchens are the norm. Why? For entertaining, of course. That's all well enough, except that nobody entertains anymore. Most people never even see the inside of each other's houses.

As houses have gotten (much) larger, the number of people in each house has dwindled, and people leave their houses less. When they do go out, it's to visit parents or attend some wedding. So basically, people pump $85,000 into their kitchens so they have a nicer place to heat up frozen pizzas and store baby food.

This development is precisely stupid on so many levels.


On the topic of entertaining, Fat Lorenzo's deserves a shout out (can we still do shout outs, or is that too MTV Beach House?) for their oustanding catering of a celebration event at my brother's church.

Special touch: The manager responsible for our order (Lorenzo himself?) recognized that volunteers had not been included in the head count, and so brought back an entire pan of pasta just for us. You won't get that kind of Minnesota nice from D'Amico...


I think the Detroit Lions should embark on a bold experiment. Release every player not named Calvin Johnson, and draft a collegiate football team in its entirety. My vote? Ball St.

Let's bring a winning tradition on board and restore the roar!



Blogger Adam Omelianchuk said...

"You answered 31 out of 33 correctly — 93.94 %

Average score for this quiz during November: 78.1%
Average score: 78.1%"

Hey I did Okay! Unlike my Fantasy football team. McGahee got me a big fat zero and LT was mediocre. I won't bother posting the score this week... I feel like the Lions.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

I need to dodge a big game (18+ points) from the Green Bay D tonight, but I'm looking good to take first place in both of my leagues.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

Penn State would be a good draft. I would also like to give a shout out to Lorenzo. The pasta he gave to us was more expensive than the pasta that had been ordered.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Jerad said...

Same score as Adam--I was wrong about Puritans, and about when taxes=spending. December's average is 75.1%.

4:29 PM  

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