Saturday, February 21, 2009

Beverages as a hallmark of "Southern-ness"... a little food anthropology for y'all to enjoy.

I've always thought that a better indication of "southern-ness" than the Mason-Dixon line is what I term, "The Beverage Line." If you order tea in a restaurant and it comes on ice in a glass, you're in the south. If your waitress asks, "What kind of coke do you want?" and she's offering Pepsi products, you're in the south. I'm in Louisville, KY, and I'm rather partial to Twinings Lady Grey, hot, two sweet n lows, maybe a slice of lemon. But my mother keeps a pitcher of tea in the fridge at all times, and I have been known to refer to my beloved Tab, or my son's Mountain Dew, as "coke."

Imagine my surprise to learn that science is on the case- at least, as far as Virginia is concerned. Check this out. Don't just read the text, go to the data as well. Fascinating stuff. Myself? I'd like someone to codify those variables for KY and Southern IN.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Local response to the lead law from hell...

Even my local paper, the Courier Cage Liner, realizes that this law is having unintended consequences for small businesses and thrift shops. Of course, being the cageliner, they frame it as "trimming inventory." Because they suck that way.
This woman is an idiot.

Demint's idea is basically to halt implementation of this law until we can clean up what we mean for the law to do. There is no threat to the safety of children, here. But SC representative Cobb-Hunter has her panties in a bunch "for the children." Ten to one she's not even read relevant EXCERPTS of the lead law, let alone the entire thing. I'm pretty sure she's ignorant of Demint's response proposal as well.

I'm starting to think we need to pass a law to the effect that failure to read a bill means you're not eligible to vote on it. I can see it now- The house leader passing out little bubble-in sheets and a paper quiz. "Okay, you have to score above a 70 on this in order to cast a vote on the subject this afternoon. Does everyone have a number 2 pencil?"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another wonderful entry on the Lead Law debacle. But even better, she has embedded a segment of Ray Bradbury talking about his love of books. Couldn't be more timely.


Yes, it is a Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very Bad, Day....

Here is this morning's round up of news on the lead law that is destroying kiddie books all over the country. (Not to mention, dirt bikes, baby clothes, and the careers of thousands of handicraft makers.)

And Overlawyered has responded to the NY Times' ridiculous editorial in favor of the law. You'll want to read both the original, and the response.

I didn't read a ton of kid's books as a child. I read what we had in the house, which was largely classic novels. The elementary school library, and the scholastic book club handouts, introduced me to all kinds of wonderful kiddie books. Just for the hell of it, I googled to see which of those I remember fondly have been out of print since 1985 or before. Under the new law, these books are now illegal to sell.

Confessions of a Toe Hanger by Christie Harris

Runaway Alice by Frances Salomon Murphy

The Bad Times of Irma Baumlein by Carole Ryrie Brink

Tee-bo the Talking Dog on the trail of the persnickety prowler and Tee-bo the talking dog and the great hort hunt, by Mary Whitcomb

The Resident Witch by Marion T. Place

This is just off the top of my head, a few books I loved in elementary and have either picked up, or been looking for new copies of, every since. This is to say nothing of my beloved Alfred Hitchcock and the three investigators, or Encyclopedia Brown- both of which are now "in print" again. But surely more copies were available at used bookstores around the country than are sitting on shelves at an Amazon warehouse. Those books will no longer find their way into the hands of children, and I find that tremendously sad.