Weekend Links

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Duck, wraps in the vacuum pack, and sauce in the yellow package.
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The treasures: a large cubic zirconia, some kind of Christmas thing that broke, a 2+1 Nescafe instant coffee, and a homemade bookmark, I think.

I had no idea just how powerful this blog could be until yesterday. Recently, I wrote about how we used to have Beijing-style roast duck for Thanksgiving. On Saturday, a student who had just come back from Beijing brought me a duck from the very restaurant about which I had written. No way that kid reads this blog. It must be magic! I guess I need to write a post about how nice it would be to have, oh, let’s say 10 million dollars. No need to be greedy.

One of the perks of being a teacher is getting gifts from students. Another student gave me a gift later that day. You can see it wrapped in one of the pictures above. Since the wrapping was see-through, I just assumed it was a small cake. A bit busy all weekend, I forgot about it until after lunch this afternoon. I noticed it when I was about to head back to work, and noting its existence to my wife, she said I should put it in the fridge. I did, though I’m not really sure why she suggested that or why I obeyed.

I always want to thank students for their gifts because it’s the right thing to do and I’d hate for them to think they aren’t appreciated. So this afternoon I made a point of thanking the student, a 9-year old who goes by the English name Gloria, for her gift, saying it was really tasty. Then she cried out in Chinese that it wasn’t something to eat! I told her I knew that (I didn’t) and that I was just joking (I wasn’t). That’ll teach me to lie to little kids!

I opened the gift after dinner tonight and you can see its contents in the above pictures. Such a sweet collection of little treasures. The kids all know I like drinking coffee as I often use that as a language example. Same goes for reading as one of my hobbies. Christmas is coming soon, I guess. But I’m really not sure what about me says cubic zirconia. It slays me that she gave me such a big one with a nice chip broken off it.

Anyway, I will thank her for the specific contents next week. It’s nice to end the day with such a warm feeling.

So much for the warm feeling. Links for the weekend:

  • Just awful news out of Colorado Springs. If only there was a word that begins with the letter “t” to describe incidents like this one when white men use violence in the pursuit of political aims. Though he didn’t use the word that apparently cannot be used when white men use violence in the pursuit of political aims, good on Obama for not otherwise mincing words.
  • I see already that gun rights absolutists are trotting out different versions of “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people” in response to the shootings. Stop, please. Cars don’t get people to work; people get people to work. Forks and knives don’t cut up food and put it in people’s mouths; people cut up food and put in their mouths. This is asinine. You’re not children. We’re not children. Time to put away childish rhetoric and think about what’s happening out in the real world.
  • Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone wonders what it means that Donald Trump can lie with impunity and concludes that the media itself is largely to blame. TPM‘s Josh Marshall reminds us why lies, insults, and refusing to apologize for one’s lies and insults works with the Right.
  • I share Marshall’s exasperation with much of the media for belatedly and grudgingly coming to realize that the Trump phenomenon is a thing that is real and that he has a real constituency. The inmates are close to complete control of the asylum and many of us have seen this coming since at least 2010. Even if Trump loses, which Marshall thinks is still likely, the Republican Party is beholden to the people fueling his rise. These would be the people who give us deposed Speakers of the House and government shutdowns.
  • This piece about the stupid pieces about arguing with your racist uncle during Thanksgiving made me laugh a few times. The author, Jeb Lund, says we shouldn’t argue politics at Thanksgiving; instead, save the energy for arguing against deep-fried turkey. Is Lund right? I’ve never actually had deep-fried turkey.
  • Not exactly the kind of positive note with which I want to end these links posts, but a good friend of mine passed on this article about “coywolves.” I want one.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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