Culture

Some Costs Associated With My Roommate’s Boyfriend

I am in a good place right now: I have a job that can pay my bills, my student loans; I have health insurance; I can afford fancy cheeses when I want to play Russian roulette with my cholesterol. I have a kickass apartment with a washer and dryer, an L-shaped couch, and a working thermostat. It also has a roommate, and she is the best roommate I’ve ever had. She’s funny, she cleans, and she has a puppy. There is only one flaw: her boyfriend.

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Coworkers Who Steal Your Lunch

From The Salt: Etiquette Hell is a website that has documented more than 6,000 first-hand bad etiquette accounts, and the most frequent complaint is about “fridge theft.” Apparently, it is also a major issue at NPR!

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Tipping and Smiley Faces

This week, The New Republic’s Alice Robb reports that research into tipping culture has shown that customers have a tendency to give bigger tips not because of good service but because of things like: the waitress is a woman who drew a smiley face on your check, or the even more biased: the waitress had blond hair.

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Your Bosses Think They Work Longer Than You Do

Studies have shown that we have a tendency to overestimate how much we work, but how much? One study shows that the higher your status in a profession, the higher number of hours you estimate.

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Fronting

At The Root, Demetria Lucas writes about a phenomenon that is happening among young adults: “fronting,” or running up deep debts to project the professional success they aim to achieve (“fake it till you make it,” “dress for the job you want,” etc. etc.). Lucas tells the story of a friend who wanted to launch himself as a nightlife entrepreneur.

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An Elegy for the “Non-Creepy” Realtor, aka Maggie Estep

Lately I’ve been hearing about writers in my Gen X demographic taking jobs in real estate — one of the more flexible, potentially decently paying occupations that, say, a middle-aged writer can qualify for with relatively little prior training. First it was the former bureau chief of an NPR affiliate station. Next, a colleague from a magazine I once worked at.

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Children And Their Toys Across the Globe

Gabriele Galimberti traveled to 58 countries and photographed kids of various ages with their toys. From Smithsonian Magazine:

Working on this project, Galimberti found it interesting how children’s favorite toys reflected their living situations. In Nopaltepec, Mexico, he met Abel, a four-year-old whose favorite toys, trucks arranged like a convoy, were similar to the ones Galimberti saw driving to and from a major sugar cane plantation down the road from his home. He also saw that the fewer toys children had, the more willing they were to share and let Galimberti arrange them. Children who enjoyed playing outside in the country also seemed less possessive of their toys. But time and again throughout his book there are similarities between children living on opposite sides of the world. A few have a favorite stuffed animal; others have favorite trucks, cars or trains. Between all 54 portraits in Galimberti’s book, everyone is bound to find an image that reminds them of themself or someone they knew as a child.

If there was a photo of me in the book at age 7, I would have been photographed with Legos and Transformers. Smithsonian has a collection of the photos on their site.

Photo: Chris Hau

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A Brief History of Lawyers Yelling At Us Through Our Television Sets

This week’s edition of Roman Mars’ excellent 99% invisible design podcast is about the history of, your favorite and mine, late-night basic cable crazy ass lawyer TV ads.

Apparently lawyer ads have traditionally been a very regulated industry:

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Who Will Buy the Only Copy of The Wu-Tang Clan’s Next Album?

The Wu-Tang Clan’s next album, “The Wu – Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” will be “available for purchase and ownership by one individual only,” reports ArtsBeat. This means that there will be just one album, and it can only be heard while the album is “on tour”.

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Movie Investing for Those With Deep Pockets

Putting up capital isn’t usually how corn-fed, dreamy-eyed boys and girls across America hope to break into the Entertainment industry. As of this week, though, it might be the most accessible way for them to do it. The New York Times reports:

A start-up, Junction Investments, plans to open for business on Wednesday, allowing wealthy individuals to invest in movies alongside veteran film financiers.

At the start, the company will offer an online chance to back “A Hologram for the King,” an adaptation of the Dave Eggers novel that will star Tom Hanks. Soon after, would-be mini-moguls will be able to invest in “Triple Nine,” a thriller featuring Kate Winslet, the “12 Years a Slave” star Chiwetel Ejiofor and Woody Harrelson.

The Junction Investments-backed films are films that will be made anyway, with or without your cash. They are not Tinkerbells that will die if you don’t clap, like the Veronica Mars movie, which became a three-dimensional manifestation of an audience’s enthusiasm after its on-a-whim launching on Kickstarter.

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Will Bowling Ever Be Cool Again?

This Priceonomics piece on The Rise and Fall of Professional Bowling is really fun. It’s full of history, actual salary numbers, and best of all: stories about old New York bowler gambling, where Italian guys would bowl all night and make thousands of dollars and threaten to kill each other if they lost:

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Diversity Hiring and the Concept of ‘Fit’

In the newsroom diversity debate, some of the criticism has centered around this idea: that the reason why these new media ventures have such monochromatic, sausagey mastheads is that they are insulated from the wider culture, and therefore dependent on mostly white, mostly male, and mostly coastal networks for their hiring needs.

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