Tag Archives: Yale

That time Treehugger jumped the shark

[Editor’s note: As should be clear from the very first sentence, the following post was originally written well over a year ago. I can offer no explanation for my delinquency in publishing it other than I have been delinquent in publishing just about everything around here.]

I wrote a post last week complaining about an extremely misleading headline over at Treehugger. But upon further reflection, I don’t know what about the #fail it discussed exercised me so. After all, I’ve been aware that Treehugger jumped the shark for quite some time.

My suspicions were aroused back in September, when I came across an unusual “Photo of the Day”. Treehugger has long periodically posted photographs culled from reader contributions. The pictures — how do I say this without sounding like a snob? — typically portray attractive subjects, but the photographer’s execution can sometimes leave quite a bit of room for improvement.

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Sorry, Cass Sunstein, it’s already been done

Early last year, renowned legal scholar Cass Sunstein published an essay titled How Star Wars Explains Constitutional Law. I came across it through The Washington Post, but the piece was originally posted to a website called The New Rambler, which seems more appropriate — given that Cass managed to hold forth on the topic for over 4,500 words. This post will not carry on for nearly as long.

Continue reading Sorry, Cass Sunstein, it’s already been done

Cougars are ours and you can’t have them

Mountain Lion. Puma. Catamount. Lion of the Andes. Panther. All different names for the same thing: But unlike Death Cab for Cutie, none of those are authentically Washington. You see, out where I’m from, that critter you see above is called a cougar.

Although aware of the existence of those many alternatives, I actually went years thinking “cougar” is a relatively common term. It certainly helps that it has taken on a strong secondary connotation in pop culture. So imagine my astonishment when I took the New York Times’ Dialect Quiz about a year ago and discovered that the name is pretty much endemic to Washington:

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These are the people in charge of servicing my law school loans

About a year ago, Sallie Mae spun off part of its operations and named the new entity Navient. About four days ago, I received an email from Navient asking me to log in and view some document. Since I couldn’t remember the last time I had logged in, I unsurprisingly discovered that I also couldn’t remember my user ID. So I asked Navient to email me that information — and was taken to a page that looked like this:

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How did Michael Bennett explain his bike-thievery anyway?

So about that earlier post — titled “The New York Times inexplicably chopped this quote in half” — which accused the Times of twisting Seahawks DE Michael Bennett’s words:  Mea cul…pass (?)* It turns out that when I wrote it (at some point between 3 and 4 AM), I somehow failed to notice that the gap between the NY Times and the quote I remembered was wider than I thought.**

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New York Times op-ed writers interested in exactly the opposite of what I’m interested in

I recently stumbled across an Op-Ed written by two YLS professors that appeared in the New York Times nearly a month ago. The piece was titled, “Obama, the Least Lame President?“, a headline that immediately made me wonder: who was our most lame President?

One obvious contender, recently put forward by Parks & Recreation, is number nine, William Henry Harrison:

Continue reading New York Times op-ed writers interested in exactly the opposite of what I’m interested in

Jon Stewart and I spent our Passovers in basically the same way

I recently returned to school from celebrating Passover. For the two weeks I was out of town, I attended no classes, barely had a chance to read emails, played numerous games (well, a few games many times), and spent quality time with the family — it was an altogether glorious vacation.

I read two whole books over break — Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge — unfortunately, neither had anything to do with the class I was missing.

But I don’t want to give the impression that I slacked off the whole time. I also sat down by the pool with a casebook, Land Use Controls, and managed to get through about 100 pages by the end of Passover.

Meanwhile, Jon Stewart also took a fortuitously-timed break from The Daily Show between April 10 and April 21, which means he also took off the first half of Passover:

Stewart break

Leibowitz returned to the airwaves with a segment titled Apocalypse Cow, featuring — who else? — Cliven Bundy, and revealed that he spent his time away studying the exact same material:


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Source-checking Stephen Colbert, too

Fresh off my recent stint as a source-checker for the New York Times, I’ve decided to turn my attention to the words of Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA.

During his visit to Yale University about a month ago, Colbert sat down with the Yale Daily News for a brief interview:

You are obviously welcome to watch the whole clip — the interviewee is certainly adorable, if that’s what you’re into — but I just found myself curious about one statement in particular:

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First name Russell, last name Potter, so sayeth the Lord

[Editor’s pre-prescript: Earlier today, my dear Aunt who shall not be named asked me to give a Dvar Torah two months from now. So I thought it was as good a time as any to show her what she’s getting herself into.]

[Editor’s prescript: RW3 and JK Rowling both drew inspiration from a single Rashi. That’s basically the punchline — the rest of this post serves as an elaboration and explanation of that idea (with the exception of a very short list of parallels all the way at the bottom — feel free to skip ahead). If you choose to read all the way through, don’t say I didn’t warn you what was about to happen.]

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A new low, even for Whole Foods

I stopped by Whole Foods yesterday, collected a couple of necessities, got in line to check out — and only then realized I had left my wallet at home. (One must admit, of all places to have left it, I picked a pretty good one.)

And I wasn’t even upset, because as you shall see, the trip turned out not to be a total waste. I may have left the store empty-handed, but at least I came away having seen this (perched atop a small collection of scarves, hats, skirts, and what else have you):

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