Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, July 05, 2021

There’s been a bit of a meme going around about how Generation Y is overloaded with a sense of self-importance and entitlement. There’s even some academic backbone to it, from San Diego State’s analysis of national Narcissistic Personality Inventory results over the past two decades.

Who’s to blame for this revolting development? None other than the late, great Mr. Rogers, who’s now being scapegoated as “representative of a culture of excessive doting”.

[Louisiana State professor Don] Chance teaches many Asian-born students, and says they accept whatever grade they’re given; they see B’s and C’s as an indication that they must work harder, and that their elders assessed them accurately. They didn’t grow up with Mr. Rogers or anyone else telling them they were born special.

By contrast, American students often view lower grades as a reason to “hit you up for an A because they came to class and feel they worked hard,” says Prof. Chance. He wishes more parents would offer kids this perspective: “The world owes you nothing. You have to work and compete. If you want to be special, you’ll have to prove it.”

So the Rogers Doctrine interprets the traditional “A for effort” as an end rather than a means.

I grew up on Fred Rogers’ daily boobtube visits myself, along with most of Generation X. Maybe a key omission from Gen Y’s viewing experience: Repudiation. I clearly remember hanging on Mr. Rogers’ every word when I was four years old — and then, when hitting five, mocking his goody-two-shoes mannerisms and delivery. It was the same for the rest of my kindergarten class. This probably kept most of us from overdosing on self-affirmation.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/05/2021 09:17:02 PM
Category: Society
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Don’t be surprised if your favorite Chinese restaurant soon adds a new soup to its menu:

[Dong Zhiming], a professor with the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said when the villagers [in China's Henan province] found out the bones were from dinosaurs they donated 440 pounds to him and his colleagues for research.

“They had believed that the ‘dragon bones’ were from the dragons flying in the sky,” he said.

The calcium-rich bones were sometimes boiled with other ingredients and fed to children as a treatment for dizziness and leg cramps. Other times they were ground up and made into a paste that was applied directly to fractures and other injuries, he said.

I’m thinking this soup would go well as a side dish. Main course? A big, juicy brontosaurus burger, of course.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/05/2021 07:48:38 PM
Category: Science
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In 1808, Portugal’s King Dom Joao VI fled Lisbon to avoid being captured by Napoleon’s invading army. He subsequently established his imperial residence in Rio de Janeiro for the next dozen years, which set in motion the eventual independence of Brazil.

So, if any budding Brooklynite secessionists are looking for a historical-parallel catalyst for splitting from the other boroughs: Starting this coming Monday, Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his office will relocate to downtown Brooklyn for a couple of weeks, while City Hall in Manhattan gets renovated.

Will having the municipal seat of power in Kings County lead to the re-establishment of the City of Brooklyn? Following the Portuguese-Brazilian example, Bloomberg could designate borough president Marty Markowitz as his regent-in-absentia, thus laying the groundwork for future breakaway. Knowing Markowitz and his well-established Brooklyn boosterism, he’d go for it in a heartbeat.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/05/2021 07:11:54 PM
Category: History, New Yorkin', Politics
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