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Member since: Sat Sep 24, 2011, 10:36 AM
Number of posts: 6,485

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The Boots theory of socio-economics

“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”

(Terry Pratchett, Men-at-Arms) (emphasis in original)

IMO, one of the most pithy explanations of real-person economics ever.

-- Mal

Beatles or Zevon?

Which of these songs about misguided maniacs do you prefer?

Both remind me of one of Gahan Wilson's better cartoons: guy is standing in a room surrounded by tables loaded with saws and cutlery with an open trunk in the corner. He's saying on the phone: "Gee, Linda, I'm really sorry you couldn't make it tonight."

I won't say which one I prefer, so I won't prejudice the vote. You'll have to cast your vote in the responses, as I can't make a poll.

-- Mal

B. B. King and Lucille

-- Mal

"Cry Freedom" end credits.

This clip seems particularly relevent today, as in 1987:

-- Mal

Question submitted by malthaussen

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Happy May Day!

-- Mal

Just walked past the TV, and my mother was watching an LPGA tournament...

... called "Swinging Skirts." Oh, the opportunities for humor there are staggering...

'Tis a lie, too, the women are wearing pants. It's cold outside.

-- Mal

Officer-involved shooting in PA justified "because she couldn't know if he had a weapon"

According to my local news station, the defenders of Lisa Mearkle of Dauphin County, who is shown on video shooting David Kassick twice in the back as he lies on the ground, is justified because the officer "couldn't know if he had a weapon." If this argument is a real one, and not a garbled media version, then any shooting is justifiable on the same grounds. The Little Old Lady From Pasadena better park her car henceforth and take the bus.

-- Mal

One of The Lounge's theme songs:

I invite suggestions for other Lounge Theme Songs.

-- Mal

NYT Best Seller List, 11 April 1965

The New York Times Best Seller List
April 11, 1965

1 HERZOG, by Saul Bellow.
2 UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE, by Bel Kaufman.
3 HURRY SUNDOWN, by K.B. Gilden.
4 FUNERAL IN BERLIN, by Len Deighton.
5 HOTEL, by Arthur Hailey.
6 THE MAN, by Irving Wallace.
8 THE ORDWAYS, by William Humphrey.
9 DON'T STOP THE CARNIVAL, by Herman Wouk.
10 AN AMERICAN DREAM, by Norman Mailer.


1 MARKINGS, by Dag Hammarskjöld.
2 QUEEN VICTORIA: BORN TO SUCCEED, by Elizabeth Longford.
3 THE FOUNDING FATHER, by Richard J. Whalen.
4 MY SHADOW RAN FAST, by Bill Sands.
5 THE ITALIANS, by Luigi Barzini.
6 REMINISCENCES, by Douglas MacArthur.
7 CATHERINE THE GREAT, by Zoe Oldenbourg.
8 SIXPENCE IN HER SHOE, by Phyllis McGinley.
10 STAGESTRUCK, by Maurice Zolotow.

Well, I was only nine at the time, but I'm impressed I only managed to read two of them in 50 years!

BTW, Bel Kaufman died last year at the ripe old age of 103.

-- Mal
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