👓 Donald Trump: Why US Law Makes It Easy to Stiff Contractors. | Fortune

Read Why U.S. Law Makes It Easy for Donald Trump To Stiff Contractors (Fortune)
Fortunately, the practice is not common in business.

I came across this article while thinking about how Trump’s stiffing workers and contractors seemed similar to his handling of the government shutdown.

After reading this, it almost seems to me that with the government shutdown Trump is “selling out his goodwill” in a political sense the same way he’s sold out the goodwill of his own businesses.

Seeing both of these things juxtaposed is another very stark reminder that he seems to have no empathy for anyone at all. This article seems to have called out the same thing long ago.

In practice this [selling out goodwill] rarely happens, for two reasons.
First, most business people, despite what some people think, have integrity, a heart, and a conscience.
[…]
Fortunately, you don’t see that too often. That’s because most business people, like most other Americans, are fundamentally decent people. They believe in, and practice, the Golden Rule.

📺 “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” When Two (Messes) Become One | Netflix

Watched "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" When Two (Messes) Become One from Netflix
Directed by Jade Sandberg Wallis. With Marie Kondo.

Quote of the day:

I feel like you’re holding onto that that turkey gravy to be spiteful.

📑 The Vulnerability of Learning | Cathie LeBlanc

Replied to The Vulnerability of Learning by Cathie LeBlancCathie LeBlanc (Desert of My Real Life)

When I received Chris’s comment, my first response was that I should delete my post or at least the incorrect part of it. It’s embarrassing to have your incorrect understandings available for public view. But I decided to leave the post as is but put in a disclaimer so that others would not be misled by my misunderstandings.
This experience reminded me that learning makes us vulnerable. Admitting that you don’t know something is hard and being corrected is even harder. Chris was incredibly gentle in his correction. It makes me think about how I respond to my students’ work. Am I as gentle with their work as Chris was to mine? Could I be more gentle? How often have I graded my students’ work and only focused on what they did wrong? Or forgotten that feeling of vulnerability when you don’t know something, when you put your work out for others to judge? This experience has also reminded me that it’s important that we as teachers regularly put ourselves into situations in which we authentically grapple with not knowing something. We should regularly share our less than fully formed understandings with others for feedback. It helps us remember that even confident learners can struggle with being vulnerable. And we need to keep in mind that many of our students are not confident learners.  

I’m reminded here of the broad idea that many bloggers write about sooner or later of their website being a “thought space” or place to contemplate out in the open. More often than not, even if they don’t have an audience to interact with, their writings become a way of thinking out loud, clarifying things for themselves, self-evolving, or putting themselves out there for potential public reactions (good, bad, or indifferent).

While writing things out loud to no audience can be helpful and useful on an individual level, it’s often even more helpful to have some sort of productive and constructive feedback. While a handful of likes or positive seeming responses can be useful, I always prefer the ones that make me think more broadly, deeply, or force me to consider other pieces I hadn’t envisioned before. To me this is the real value of these open and often very public thought spaces.

For those interested in the general idea, I’ve been [bookmarking/tagging things around the idea of thought spaces I’ve read on my own website](https://boffosocko.com/tag/thought-spaces/). Hopefully this collection helps others better understand the spectrum of these ideas for themselves.

With respect to the vulnerability piece, I’m reminded of an episode of The Human Current I listened to a few weeks back. There was an excellent section that touched on building up trust with students or even a class when it comes to providing feedback and criticism. Having a bank of trust makes it easier to give feedback as well as to receive it. Here’s a link to the audio portion and a copy of the relevant text.

👓 The Vulnerability of Learning | Desert of My Real Life

Read The Vulnerability of Learning by Cathie LeBlancCathie LeBlanc (Desert of My Real Life)
Listening to the students talk about feeling unsure and vulnerable when they first encountered open educational practices made me think about my own learning. As a mid-career academic who has changed jobs and even disciplines, I am a confident learner. I have received lots of praise and other kinds of positive reinforcement for my ability to learn new things. If you have read previous posts on my blog, you might know that I am really interested in developments in the IndieWeb movement and am trying to write about some of my experiences with using IndieWeb tools to build my own web site. I’ve been building my own sites for years and so I have a lot of confidence in my ability there as well. Working on the IndieWeb stuff has been challenging because there’s a lot of new language and new concepts as well as some aspects of web development that I have not engaged with before. I often feel vulnerable when I write my posts about the IndieWeb because my understanding of how everything works is emerging. In other words, I don’t get it all yet but I’m still writing publicly about my work.

📑 The Vulnerability of Learning | Cathie LeBlanc

Replied to The Vulnerability of Learning by Cathie LeBlancCathie LeBlanc (Desert of My Real Life)

Chris was incredibly gentle in his correction. It makes me think about how I respond to my students’ work. Am I as gentle with their work as Chris was to mine?  

What a relief to hear this! The hardest part about writing my response was in possibly coming off too hard or painfully pedantic and not wanting to turn you off in your explorations.

📺 “Shtisel” Mauricio | Netflix

Watched "Shtisel" Mauricio from Netflix
Directed by Alon Zingman. With Doval'e Glickman, Michael Aloni, Sasson Gabai, Neta Riskin. The man Libbi is seeing suddenly reappears. Bube Malka discovers her friend Rebetzen Erblich has a terminal disease. Gitti can't come home and decides to move in with her father with all her children. Ruchami and Hanina come closer.

Listening to the coverage of Trump’s offer to stop the government shutdown, I can’t help but recall the frequent reports that even in his personal business he unilaterally decided not to pay workers and forced them to sue him to attempt to recover the money. He’s literally now doing the same thing with the government and federal workers.

Apparently tigers do not change their stripes.

👓 City names with articles | English Language & Usage Stack Exchange

Read City names with articles (English Language & Usage Stack Exchange)
Typically we don't use articles with city names, e.g. "Seattle" and not "the Seattle." I know at least one exception though which is The Hague. Are there any other city names which we use with the

👓 The “The” | Gothamist

Read The "The" by Doug Gordon (Gothamist)

Why does "Bronx" have to be prefaced with "The?" Why not "A Bronx" or, most reasonably, just plain old "Bronx?"

Thanks, Blaney

The Vatican. The Hague. The Netherlands. The O.C. The Bronx. Unless you are a cartoon character, you can probably name on one hand the number of locations worldwide that are prefaced with the definite article "the." How the Bronx found itself in such esteemed company as the Holy See and the only county big enough for Peter Gallagher's eyebrows is an interesting bit of New York City trivia.

According to The Encyclopedia of New York City, the borough's name can be traced back to Jonas Bronck, a Swedish sea captain from the Netherlands, who settled in the area in 1639 and "eventually built a farmstead at what became 132nd Street and Lincoln Avenue." (Interestingly enough, if the home was still standing today it would only rent for about 25 shillings per month, due to Colonial rent-control laws.)

Bronck's name - Bronck, Bronck's, Bronx...note the pattern - would be given to the river that flows through the middle of the borough. Like the Mississippi, the Thames, and the Nile, most rivers have the function word "the" linked to their names. While no source gives an official date on when the "the" truly took hold, a visit to The Straight Dope tells us when people started referring to the general area surrounding the river's east and west in a more official capacity:

In 1874 about 20 square miles of mainland Westchester county was annexed to New York City. This region was known thereafter as the Annexed District of the Bronx, in apparent reference to the Bronx River, then the district's eastern border. In 1898 the Annexed District became part of the Borough of the Bronx - presumably still referring to the river. After a while, however, people forgot about the river and began casually referring to the entire borough as "the Bronx."

Some other cocktail chatter about the Bronx: not only is it the the only new York City borough connected to the mainland United States but it is also the only one to have a river run right through it. Despite its gritty reputation, about 24% of its land area is parkland, more than any other borough. It's also one of our favorite worlds ending in "x," along with "Jimi Hendrix," "Redd Foxx," and "Xbox."

👓 Why do we use definite articles for some place names, like The Hague? | Slate

Read Why do we use definite articles for some place names, like The Hague? (Slate Magazine)
Former Bosnian leader and accused war criminal Radovan Karadzic did not appear for the start of his trial on Monday in the Dutch city of The Hague....

📑 There are only three places that have a ‘the’ in the front of their name: the Vatican, The Hague, and the Bronx.

Annotated Just Kids from the Bronx by Arlene Alda (justkidsfromthebronx.com)
“There are only three places that have a ‘the’ in the front of their name: the Vatican, The Hague, and the Bronx.”  
—Mary Higgins Clark

🎞 The Illusionist, 2006 – ★★★½

Watched The Illusionist (2006) from Freestyle Releasing
Directed by Neil Burger. With Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell. In turn-of-the-century Vienna, a magician uses his abilities to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing.

Interesting in its own right but not as solid as Nolan’s film The Prestige which came out almost a month an a half later. While this film doesn’t indicate the method of the primary illusion, which makes this story a bit more mystical, it’s fairly well put together. The summary at the end of the movie is quite similar to that of The Prestige, but not as narratively strong–in particular because it shows us too many things which we hadn’t actually seen on screen and which could only be presupposed by the narrator.

Sadly, I think its box office suffered dramatically because it was initially released in no man’s land in late August and by a small indie distributor rather than a major.

I watched the first half of this two nights ago starting after midnight. I’d taped this ages ago on DVR via DirecTV.

👓 Syntax under pressure | Language Log

Read Syntax under pressure by Geoffrey K. Pullum (Language Log)

According to the Doonesbury site's feature "Say What?" today, Lauren Caitlin Upton, the reigning Miss South Carolina, was recently asked on TV why so many Americans can't find their own country on a map, and her impromptu reply, dutifully transcribed by various sources (though not yet checked aganst the original recording by Language Log staff), was:

I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps, and I believe that our education like such as South Africa and the Iraq everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should... our education over here in the U.S should help the U.S or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future.

Those who enjoy laughing at stereotypically pretty young women (yes, Miss Upton does appear to be blonde) for stereotypically lacking intelligence will get a few giggles out of this one. And they will probably not reflect on whether they themselves have ever sounded similarly stupid when speaking spontaneously under pressure and under lights, in response to an unexpected question under circumstances that made them feel they are expected to talk.

👓 Language Log is strong | Language Log

Read Language Log: Language Log is strong by Geoffrey K. Pullum (itre.cis.upenn.edu)
A small point, while I think of it, at the risk of seeming a tiny bit pedantic, concerning how to make reference to Language Log. You may have noticed, from other websites or our occasional direct quotations from them, that there are many people who write things like "I really enjoy the Language Log". To take a random example, this page from the website of the radio program Here and Now says The "Language Log" is an online hub where linguists trade thoughts on all aspects of language. And another site said (and we really are flattered and grateful): the website of record for die-hard language buffs is the Language Log, acknowledging in the following sentence: The Language Log, I admit, is not for the faint of heart (see it here). Many thanks for the praise; but for the non-faint of heart, it's "Language Log", not "the Language Log". If I may use the terminological distinction drawn in The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language in pp. 517ff, recently mentioned here), Language Log is a strong proper name, not a weak one.