On Portland, Oregon

Claire Cain Miller for the NYT, “Will Portland Always Be a Retirement Community for the Young”:

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On ‘The Simpsons’ Marathon

Bill Carter, writing for the New York Times:

The 12-day, round-the-clock marathon, which also included the two-hour 2007 theatrical movie, produced ratings about three times as high as executives at the channel expected. It enabled FXX to finish as the highest-rated network in all of cable television among the audience most desired by advertisers — viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 — three nights out of 12. For its full run, the audience for the marathon had a median age of 28, one of the youngest in the television business.

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‘Loving Kids Like That Is a Waste’

Sarah Terzo for LifeNews.com, on pregnant couples aborting babies with Down syndrome:

Rayna Rapp, a former abortion clinic worker who aborted a baby with Down syndrome herself, conducted a survey of women and couples who sought amniocentesis to screen for Down syndrome and other problems with their babies. All of the interviewees intended to abort if the baby was found to have Down syndrome. Some of the things that these parents say about Down syndrome children are deeply troubling to anyone who values life.

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On Driving and Parenting

Ben Brooks, “So That’s It Then”:

You get in your car and you turn right onto James.

And you mutter: “So that’s it?”

And that really is it.

It is more strenuous to get a driver’s license than to be given the responsibility of raising a human life. And that’s both terrifying, and at the same time, the way it should be.

Even after two kids, I still cannot believe, that this is it.

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On Christopher Thomas Knight

Michael Finkel for GQ, “The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit”:

When, said Perkins-Vance, was the last time he’d had contact with another person?

Sometime in the 1990s, answered Knight, he passed a hiker while walking in the woods.

“What did you say?” asked Perkins-Vance.

“I said, ‘Hi,’ ” Knight replied. Other than that single syllable, he insisted, he had not spoken with or touched another human being, until this night, for twenty-seven years.

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On #Ferguson

David Carr, writing for the New York Times:

For people in the news business, Twitter was initially viewed as one more way to promote and distribute content. But as the world has become an ever more complicated place — a collision of Ebola, war in Iraq, crisis in Ukraine and more — Twitter has become an early warning service for news organizations, a way to see into stories even when they don’t have significant reporting assets on the ground. And in a situation hostile to traditional reporting, the crowdsourced, phone-enabled network of information that Twitter provides has proved invaluable.

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‘He Shared With Her His Firmest Handshake, Like I Taught Him’

Paul Ford, “How to Be Polite”:

Politeness buys you time. It leaves doors open. I’ve met so many people whom, if I had trusted my first impressions, I would never have wanted to meet again. And yet — many of them are now great friends. I have only very rarely touched their hair.

Great read.

(via Daring Fireball)

‘Stop Being a Tourist’

Thomas Ricker, writing for The Verge:

I consider “tourist” to be the filthiest of words. It’s the curse I grumble when caught behind pedestrians walking without purpose on big-city sidewalks. But I differentiate between explorer and tourist: the former being someone that travels to an unfamiliar place to learn about it, the latter a barbaric asshat driven by the desire to document his very existence. The “I was here” photographer with a penchant for flashing a peace sign.

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On Robin Williams and Mental Illness

Rebecca Ruiz for Mashable, “Finally, We’re Talking About Mental Illness Like Adults”:

For some, Williams’ death has served as a painful trigger and reminder of their own struggles. Those emotions only intensified on Tuesday when the coroner assigned to the case released graphic details about the nature of Williams’ suicide. Many believed this unnecessary information tested the public’s breaking point regarding Williams’ death.

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‘Life Is About Compassion, Not Fairness’

Ben Brooks, “Compassionate Tools”:

It should make sense to keep people from becoming homeless, or so financially burdened with taxes that they cannot afford to clothe their children, but then that system would not be fair in the least.

We should strive not to be fair on a whole, but to achieve fairness with each person. If paying taxes means you will go homeless, there should in fact be compassion there to analyze the situation and make a decision on a person-by-person basis. Fairness be damned.

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