A.J. Schwanz, who is the friend of a friend, and who is also a Friend, as is my friend, as am I, has an interesting take on church Youth Groups, and why so few of those kids remain an active part of their church, or any church, once they get out of High School. She uses the phrase "false communities" and I think she's onto something.
When I leave the soul sucking suburb in which I live, it is usually to get something to eat, and on these journies Jonathan Gold is my Virgil. His book Counter Intelligence approaches scriptural status at our house. This week in the LA Weekly he covers Pann's, an amazing old skool coffee shop near LAX which has been restored to its former glory. (Via Kevin Roderick at the wonderful L.A. Observed)
Marc Cooper uses poker tells to figure out when Donald Rumsfeld is lying. So when does he lie? Pretty much all the time. (Via Kevin Drum)
In this summer of the Wedding Crashers, Tyler Cowan of Marginal Revolution points to this article about a company in India which hires out wedding guests, thereby helping families avoid the embarrassment of having a poorly attended event. Cowan comments, "Funny thing is, I would pay people to stay away from my wedding..."
I'm not sure how I found this, but take a look at Wordcount. This nifty website lists words in English by their frequency, creating interesting (at least to me!) juxtapositions. For instance, a search of some of my more recent preoccupations reveals that "assassination" is the 10330th most frequently used word in English, preceded fittingly by "predator" and followed by "moist". More happily, "soccer" is the 5839th most frequent word, preceded by "striker" ("Figures!" grumble mid-fielders and defenders) and followed by "Vienna". Hmm.