Small Triumphs

by WCE

After a few years of saving the plastic twist ties from the bread products, because my sons often broke them when attempting to replace twist ties on the bread products, it appears that everyone over 10 in my house can now use a twist tie successfully. What small triumphs have occurred at your house lately?

Not the calculus track

by Rhett

I thought this article offered an interesting contrast to the totebag focus on the calculus track.

Stanford dropped 11 varsity programs, including fencing, squash, and men’s crew, citing factors such as gender equity, potential savings, and fan interest….Taken to the extreme, the fear is that the coronavirus will become a mass-extinction event for squash and fencing and their ilk.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/squash-lacrosse-niche-sports-ivy-league-admissions/616474/

Thursday open thread

We have an open thread all day.

Here’s a chart to start a conversation.

Percentage of the U.S. population with a college degree, by gender 1940-2019
Published by Erin Duffin, Mar 31, 2020
In an impressive increase from years past, 36.6 percent of women in the United States had completed four years or more of college in 2019. This figure is up from 3.8 percent of women in 1940. A significant increase can also be seen in males, with 35.4 percent of the U.S. male population having completed four years or more of college, up from 5.5 percent in 1940.

Regional Differences in Home Design

by Seattle Soccer Mom

An author (who lives in Texas) had a question on her blog that sparked an interesting conversation in the comments. Question: why don’t homes in Maryland have master bedrooms on the ground floor? Here are some of the responses. What regional differences in home design have Totebaggers noticed?

Texas typically has masters on the first floor, because we live in the Sunbelt: an area that would be miserable without air conditioning in summer. People either slept on sleeping porches in the summer and not indoors at all, early prairie houses had breezeways and the kitchen/living area was in one building, the sleeping in another, and masters were on the main floor because heat rises and it was cooler. The GRAND historic multi story homes, do tend to follow more of the colonial American influence with masters up stairs. But since most of our Texas architectural infrastructure came from a building and population boom that a/c enabled in the 1950s onward, we have newer homes, and buck the design trends of the architecture you see in other areas. A/C changed things ALOT, and it’s no surprise mid century modern design came into being when A/C was booming and took off in places like Nevada, Southern California, Texas, Florida, New Mexico. These days we think more of our knees and aging in place as factors of the design, than we do having downstairs public places, and upstairs private places.

It is going back to the fact that if you are building a 2nd story to give more living space, you do not want your guests going UPSTAIRS to visit, so you have the upstairs more private areas. Some houses have the 2nd, 3rd, etc. bedrooms upstairs, but if you are constrained by land space (common in more developed communities) you end up putting more on the other floors to give more yard. Or looking at newer houses, to reduce how much space you allocate per house instead (building UP instead of OUT).

I was always fascinated by the differences when I travel – Seattle and Portland houses have a totally different feel from coastal NC where I grew up…more and larger windows. Whereas NC (especially hurricane areas) go with fewer and smaller it feels like. Both for a heat AND for a danger aspect.

What do you keep obsessively checking on ?

by Louise

With so much information now at our fingertips it’s possible to obsessively keep track of things. In the old days people started the day with the newspaper while eating breakfast. But they moved on to other things. They didn’t have the tools to check on their stocks, bank accounts, what their friends, neighbors and random strangers had posted. They couldn’t see if a new prayer or motivational post had appeared.
What do you obsessively check on ?

Money, money, money

by Kim

Let’s discuss money.

Do you want to take a crack at the four questions?  Some may be hard to answer.

Why is it OK for you to have money when other people don’t
What does living well mean to you?
What is the No. 1 job you want money to do?
How does money connect you to other people?


And here’s a discussion of “subjective” and “objective” standards of living.  Among other things, technology is the difference.  As with many issues related to money, it’s a matter of perception.

Here’s the source.

Trends and Disparities in Subjective Upward Mobility since 1940

Why might subjective and objective mobility indicators diverge? Over the past decades, rising inequalities and a slowdown in educational expansion, occupational upgrading, and income growth all contributed to reversing intergenerational progress. Still, countervailing trends may have improved life for the average American in other respects. Throughout the post–World War II era, the diffusion of modern lifestyles and new technologies revolutionized both leisure and labor, not least within the household (Gordon 2017). During the same period, successive generations saw rising health and life spans, the expansion of civil rights, access to cleaner air and water, and improved safety from crime (Carlson and Burtraw 2019Pinker 2018Stevenson and Wolfers 2008Zimring 2006). More recently, “techno-optimists” have argued that the proliferation of new and often free digital goods and services is changing consumption across the income spectrum in ways that standard price indices fail to detect (Brynjolfsson and McAfee 2014).

Vacation Food Treats!

by Fred

This/these can be your favorite junk food, or just something local to the place(s) you’ve been and/or go back to every year.

DW’s family has a place in Ocean City, NJ and we go there every year. Some of mine/ours (w/DW) from there:
– Cheesesteak sandwiches from Voltaco’s
– Johnson’s popcorn
– Shriver’s Salt Water Taffy
– DW’s annual Funnel Cake on our night on the Boardwalk

Tell us yours!

Tuesday open thread

We have an open thread today.

Conversation starter from MooshiMooshi:

I saw this conversation starter on the Facebook group “NY Times Cooking”. It had 733 responses, many of which were entertaining. I wonder what our group can come up with
What’s the most interesting or random food fact you know?

Musical artist draft

by Denver Dad

Let’s do a musical artist draft. We take turns selecting our favorite bands or singers and explain why we like them, and list some of their best songs and albums. You can’t pick someone who has already been taken.

I did this on another forum and it’s a lot of fun, and it gives you some ideas for new music to explore. We did it in a strict draft order but that’s not really feasible here, so just let some other people pick before you pick again.

Travel Plans for the Holidays and 2021

by North of Boston

In normal times, this is the time of year when many of us would be in various stages of planning winter, spring, and even summer vacations. Even though nothing is normal now, I imagine a lot of us are dreaming about getting away at some point. What is everyone thinking about for 2021 vacations? Do you think you’ll stay put and just do staycations? Are you planning to go away, but only to places you can reach by car? Do you think you’ll fly somewhere? Has anyone gone ahead and booked plane tickets, given that some airlines are waiving fees if you change your plans?

As for the rest of 2020, what are your travel plans (or lack thereof) for Thanksgiving and the Holidays?

Conspire to such attire when you retire

by Tired

This couple looks fabulous in an ageless kind of way. She wears gloves, presumably to cover age spots, and he might need that cane to get around. But their attitudes of sass and class really make these pix come alive. Will you dress like this when you retire? How much attention do you pay to your appearance now? And the big question…do you have have that “it” attitude—how do you carry yourself?

This Elderly German Couple Steals The Show Every Time They Go Out