"YouTube Just Added One Of The Biggest Collections Of Live Music Performances"

Especially useful if you feel that some of the music of decades ago is better than the great majority of today's music.

Samples:

Crosby, Stills, & Nash, "Change Partners," Winterland, 10-7-73.

Van Morrison and The Band, "Caravan," Winterland, 11-25-76.

Aretha, "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Fillmore West, 3-6-71.

And Randy Newman performing his savagely satirical "Sail Away," Passaic, NJ, 2-11-78.

 


"In a Desert of School Failure, 96th Street Elementary in Watts Soars by Rewriting the Rules"

Rock on, 96th Street Elementary.

Nobody takes offense, everybody pitches in. It's a radical concept in a school district where the teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles, has fought the district for years over teacher evaluations, and where ineffective teachers are allowed to continue using the same techniques — in some cases for decades.

More good news: "After Katrina, Fundamental School Reform in New Orleans".


"If Democrats Don’t Have Jefferson and Jackson, Who’s Left?"

Funny.

Not to worry, though, because the Democrats are “accepting suggestions for a new name” for their fund-raising dinners.

By these standards, one wonders who else among the party’s historical luminaries could possibly make the cut. Let’s consider the options.

Similar, and also funny: "A modest proposal for Democrats purging their problematic history".

Being a Democrat is hard. You know deep down in your bones that you’re a “forward-looking” and “inclusive” person, but then you look at the current field of candidates seeking your party’s presidential nomination in 2016 and see five boring white people with an average age of 65.


"The 50 Unofficial State Cars of America"

"What model of car did, say, California buy far more often than any other state in the Union? We turned to auto analyst Tom Libby of IHS Automotive to help us crunch the numbers. First, Libby pulled data about the make and model of every car sold in the U.S., and calculated the popularity of each by percentage using registration data. Then, he did the same at the state level, and compared each state to the national average."

Measured this way, where in the U.S. is the Jaguar XK most popular? Go ahead, guess.


"I’m Too Old for This"

I differ greatly with the author on the specifics, but I really like the general approach.

There is a lot that is annoying, and even terrible, about aging. The creakiness of the body; the drifting of the memory; the reprising of personal history ad nauseam, with only yourself to listen.

But there is also something profoundly liberating about aging: an attitude, one that comes hard won. Only when you hit 60 can you begin to say, with great aplomb: “I’m too old for this.”

(When I worked at a university I occasionally had a reverie that featured the department chairman announcing, "All faculty will be expected to attend this year's meaningless meetngs, except for faculty who've served for 20 or more years and who are simply too old for that shit.")


"UNC Schools Don’t Need More Buildings"

With the qualification that, in my experience at least, a few of the "excess" classrooms have unsatisfactory acoustics, lighting, seats, and/or heating/AC--though this last is probably partly due to the university trying to save money on utilities--I agree.

And if new buildings really are needed, why not try harder to get "private donors" to pony up for them instead of this: "NC State receives approval for new dorm to house basketball players, non-athletes". 

$240K per bed--sheesh!


A Potemkin Village, updated

Theodore Dalrymple writes a moving account of visiting, 25 years ago, Pyongyang Department Store Number 1.

But this is no joke, and the humiliation it visits upon the people who take part in it, far from being a drawback, is an essential benefit to the power; for slaves who must participate in their own enslavement by signalling to others the happiness of their condition are so humiliated that they are unlikely to rebel.

Link via Ed Driscoll, posting at Instapundit.

Very much related: Glenn Reynolds briefly describes why "Free markets automatically create and transmit negative information, while socialism hides it."

. . . markets deliver the bad news whether you want to hear it or not, but delivering the bad news is not a sign of failure, it is a characteristic of systems that work. When you stub your toe, the neurons in between your foot and your head don’t try to figure out ways not to send the news to your brain. If they did, you’d trip a lot more often. Likewise, in a market, bad decisions show up pretty rapidly: Build a car that nobody wants, and you’re stuck with a bunch of expensive unsold cars; invest in new technologies that don’t work, and you lose a lot of money and have nothing to show for it. These painful consequences mean that people are pretty careful in their investments, at least so long as they’re investing their own money.

Bureaucrats in government do  the opposite, trying to keep their bosses from discovering their mistakes.

And Glenn links to this with the wisecrack, "The story of socialism in one Bernie Sanders T-Shirt".


"Stench and the City: SF's Summer of Urine"

"How bad is the urine situation in San Francisco? This is not a joke: Monday night, a light pole corroded by urine collapsed and crashed onto a car, narrowly missing the driver. The smell is worse than I have known since I started working for The Chronicle in 1992. It hits your nose on the BART escalator before you reach Market Street. That sour smell can bake for blocks where street people sleep wrapped in dirty blankets."

I certainly don't have anything to add.


"The Fundamental Way That Universities Are an Illusion"

"To understand the failures of the modern American college system — from admissions marketing to graduation rates — you can begin with a notorious university football scandal."

"Football scandal" is spelled U-N-C-C-H.

As the investigators wrote in their final report, Mr. Davis “found Chapel Hill’s attitude toward student-athlete academics to be like an ‘Easter egg,’ beautiful and impressive to the outside world, but without much life inside.”