aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Proper White Russians come to SC
Since 1973 South Carolina has been the only state in the nation to require minibottles be used in bars. The idea was to encourage temperance though critics said it resulted in stiffer, more expensive drinks because the 1.7-ounce minibottle packs a bigger punch than the 1.25-ounce shot typically poured in other states.
That will end come midnight:
[A] vote in 2004 and a law passed the next legislative session gives bars and restaurants the same choice every other establishment in the country has - to pour liquor out of big bottles. [...]
Liberty Tap Room in Columbia and a number of other bars also are having to train bartenders who with minibottles, simply had to twist the top and pour. Several are using a contraption that looks live several test tubes to teach bartenders how much an ounce feels like when pouring.
The biggest change from minibottles to free pour may come with mixed drinks. With minibottles, bartenders used nearly twice the alcohol, turning drinks like cosmopolitans into knee-wobblers and making it impossible to make a proper white Russian.
Why Americans attend church more than Europeans
I’ve just begun reading Is God An Accident? from the December Atlantic. From the first page:
[T]he religious divide between Americans and Europeans may be smaller than we think. The sociologists Rodney Stark, of Baylor University, and Roger Finke, of Pennsylvania State University, write that the big difference has to do with church attendance, which really is much lower in Europe. (Building on the work of the Chicago-based sociologist and priest Andrew Greeley, they argue that this is because the United States has a rigorously free religious market, in which churches actively vie for parishioners and constantly improve their product, whereas European churches are often under state control and, like many government monopolies, have become inefficient.) Most polls from European countries show that a majority of their people are believers. Consider Iceland. To judge by rates of churchgoing, Iceland is the most secular country on earth, with a pathetic two percent weekly attendance. But four out of five Icelanders say that they pray, and the same proportion believe in life after death.
More from the article later.
Trashy Wal-Mart in Athens
The Athens Banner-Herald has printed rejected letters “on the last day of the year for your entertainment.” Here’s one:
I couldn’t help noticing the other day that the trash cans outside the Wal-Mart bathroom are distinctly phallic in nature. I do not mean cylindrical or tubular, rather they are cylindrical and at the top have what appears to be a head - just like a penis.
How can this be an accident? What is next? Doors which resemble vaginas? Anus-shaped windows? I am disturbed by the sexualizing of American culture.
Please speak out against this rather than wasting your time writing about President Bush and his efforts, or lack thereof, to deal with Katrina. Frankly, virtually no one is listening to your lamentations concerning Katrina; it’s all happening 500 miles away. Take a stand on local issues.
I’m not entirely convinced this letter would have been rejected in my town.
Teach the controversy
John’s new strategy for spreading the word that “gay is ok.” Bring it to the classroom:
If the intelligent design debate is going on in your school district, then put forward a proposal that all the health classes, social studies classes, science classes, and any other class that even vaguely touches on marriage, human relationships, sex ed, or sexual reproduction in humans or animals teaches that the preponderance of scientific research says that being gay is genetic, normal and healthy, but that some people disagree.
Here are a few choice quotes from the wackos to use against them:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ It is simply “healthy education,” he contends, to teach students about the controversy....
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Christian educators’ advocate insists that government has no business banning viewpoints in the classroom. He says Judge Jones “needs to heed Dover’s recommendation to be open minded” and to allow all the available science to speak for itself....
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ “If the educational community had held this position earlier in our culture, we might still be teaching students that the earth is flat or that the sun revolves around the Earth,” Laursen asserts. “But as new theories developed, the logical place to debate these things and discuss these things and study these things was and is in the educational community.”....
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ He considers the recent court decision banning the mention of intelligent design in the Dover schools to be a serious blow to academic freedom as well as a case where ”[y]et another activist judge has forced personal prejudices on the educational community.”
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Nevertheless, Laursen promises, CEAI will continue to encourage its members to ”teach all the science available in the 21st century, whether it supports evolution or not.” He says the group will also go on urging teachers to bring supplemental science data and information beyond the mandated curricula into their classrooms.