Monday, June 27, 2011

And Adam Young talks about introversion

Or rather, he re-posts a blog post about introversion:

I recently stumbled across a blog written by Carl King about the phenomenon known as the introverted human being and it struck a major chord with me. After each bullet, I felt like standing up and shouting “YESSSSSSSSS!” at the top of my lungs because these points (made by author Marti Laney, Psy.D) are total home runs. As an extreme introvert, this is like sweet manna from heaven.

And then follows the blog post, by Carl King of

So here are a few common misconceptions about Introverts (I put this list together myself, some of them are things I actually believed):

…Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

…Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Fascinating, I thought. And though I don’t consider myself an extreme introvert, as these two men do, I have noticed introverted tendencies, and the only letter of the Myers-Briggs test I definitely tested in was the I. (The NFP were actually fairly balanced between the dominant letters and their counterparts, so I just ended up with the default choices on those.) And of course, I picked these “myths” precisely because I can thoroughly identify with the more accurate descriptions that follow them. May I then describe myself as a moderate introvert?

I’ll say, though—as a journalist, I’ve had to get used to the whole “Hi, I’m so-and-so from the such-and-such-newspaper…” and exchanging pleasantries thing. Not especially good at it but I get the job done, and eventually people figure out I’m cool. Smile with tongue out

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Compendium of Links #10

My sister has been bugging me lately to update my blog, and she has a point. But I guess life after college is catching up with me. And after another month-long hiatus from link-browsing, I have few to offer—but they are pretty good ones.

The Case—Please Hear Me Out—Against the Em Dash from
According to the Associated Press StylebookSlate's bible for all things punctuation- and grammar-related—there are two main prose uses—the abrupt change and the series within a phrase—for the em dash. The guide does not explicitly say that writers can use the dash in lieu of properly crafting sentences, or instead of a comma or a parenthetical or a colon—and yet in practical usage, we do. A lot—or so I have observed lately. America's finest prose—in blogs, magazines, newspapers, or novels—is littered with so many dashes among the dots it's as if the language is signaling distress in Morse code.
The article immediately gets points for talking about the AP Stylebook and for being funny, but its most attractive aspect is that it’s talking about my favorite punctuation mark!

There is an entire website devoted to G.K. Chesterton in America. And a magazine.

I  never knew color photography was around during the Great Depression. But apparently the Library of Congress had some color photos from the period.

The War Against Girls: Since the late 1970s, 163 million female babies have been aborted by parents seeking sons. From the book review on
In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that's as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.

Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China's and India's populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.

What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion.
The book is “Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men” by Mara Hvistendahl and its subtitle basically tells what it’s about. Apparently Ms. Hvistendahl is still pro-choice (to use her term), but as the book reviewer points out, “Choice is choice. For if ‘choice’ is the moral imperative guiding abortion, then there is no way to take a stand against ‘gendercide.’”

And for your occasional dose of interesting video:

Yes. Somebody took economics theory and made a rap video out of it. I enjoyed it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Renaissance: Fireman’s edition

It’s been precisely four weeks, almost, hasn’t it?

Well, I might as well make the announcement—now that I’ve begun work as a journalist in a little town, a lot of the thoughts of which this blog is a fount will most likely revolve around my experiences each day.

Such as that time I rode in a fire truck at a firefighter’s training.

A couple days ago, I spent half the morning out at the wastewater treatment plant watching ten guys rip into a few cars as fast as they could while not endangering themselves. It was pretty cool, aside from the stench of the waste water…

There’s this little tool that firefighters use to break open car windows. You know, those reinforced windows that are designed to be difficult to break and even harder to shatter? It took one guy several hard whacks with a sledgehammer to get through one window. Anyways, this little tool—a little longer than a pen, and about the thickness of a man’s thumb, perhaps—will take out a car window with a couple jabs. Maybe one jab. And it turns the whole window into what looks like frost. All teeny tiny bits of broken glass that the firefighters can just scoop out of the way.

And I learned that the Jaws of Life are actually a set of three tools—one of which is a spreader, that works like Mom uses pliers to spread things apart. Ever done that? Stick a pair of needle-nosed pliers into somewhere and pull the handles apart? Think that, but about ten times as big and powered by a hydraulic generator.

Another part is a cutter, and that reminded me of a crab’s pinchers… only large and metal, of course. Then the third tool is a ram, which kind of works like a tension rod—it starts short, then when you put it between a couple things and power it up, it lengthens and forces the things apart. It’s for gaps that are bigger than the spreader works on.

Oh yeah, and the truck! At one point one of the firemen went over to back a truck up a few dozen feet, and asked, “you want a ride?” Well duh!

I do regret, though, having worn flip-flops. I was slipping all around the piled-up dirt next to one of the cars.