House restores $100 million to public broadcasting

I guess all that petition-signing worked.

Sesame Street, Electric Company, Square One, Carmen SanDiego… yes! Also, coincidentally, I just recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point, which is a pretty mediocre book, but does mention that every single study done on Sesame Street has shown that it improves kids’ reading comprehension and problem solving. And it’s so fun to watch! Even to this day I can sing the “1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12” song.

In other news, I’m trying to find a good balance between work and play. Things were going well this week (read: I got lots of work done) but then today I started recording another song. Uh oh. Play is fun, though: I’m running again and it feels good, and I’m in three soccer leagues plus ultimate and tennis! Goodness. At least I’ll be physically in shape, if not mentally :).

Last weekend I saw my friend Ben play with his crazy Tom Waits Accordion Orchestra in a bar in the city. It was a sight to see: ten accordions and a crazy old German lady belting out Tom Waits songs. So awesome! This weekend hopefully I’m going to see a production of Othello with my brother and his girlfriend.

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6 Responses to Awesome!

  1. green518 says:

    Yes, I saw that today too! Great news.

    And wow, you’re really athletic. Three soccer leagues?! That’s really impressive.

  2. gdogg says:

    I’m about 2/3 through Tipping point, and I’m having a hard time finishing it. It reads like a college or high school student’s paper on a “theory of everything.” (Actually, it might make for a good History Day presentation). I hate when he says things like, “Now, I understand how this is highly unintuitive.”

    On the other hand, I read Freakonomics, and I really liked that.

    • aj says:

      Yeah, the Gladwell books are a disappointment. Esp. since his New Yorker articles are generally highly entertaining. I think the problem arises when he tries to take five articles, squish them into a book, and concoct some overarching theme. Just doesn’t work. (And the themes are generally bogus.)

      Freakonomics… yeah, considerably better. I liken the difference as such: Gladwell tries to make his point with anecdotes, and supplements them with studies. Freakonomics tries to make its point with studies, and supplements them with anecdotes. Clearly the second method is superior. (And also it doesn’t try to draw any bogus overarching themes.)

      However, there were a number of misleading or poorly-thought-out statistics in the book, which is disappointing considering that that’s what it’s supposed to be good at. (In particular, I recall the pool vs. gun argument, which may be right, but they use totally the wrong stats to back it up. And there are a number of other such snafus in the book.)

      Still, better than Gladwell.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Tom Waits Accordion Orchestra

    This: Tom Waits Accordion Orchestra, sounds terrific. Is that the name of the band? Do they have a website? When and where are they playing next? Thanks.

    • aj says:

      Re: Tom Waits Accordion Orchestra

      I don’t think they have a website, and I don’t know when their next gig is (although I’ll probably go when I find out!). But my friend’s name is Ben Blum and his email address is — I’m sure if you emailed him (whoever you are?), he’d be thrilled to put you on the email list for the next gig.