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Rules Of Life

A new Starbucks location in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is providing a unique employment opportunity to people who are deaf.

Starbucks Malaysia partnered with the Society of Interpreters for the Deaf, which advocates for equal rights for the deaf community, to open the store on Wednesday. This Starbucks location offers jobs to people who are deaf, and also makes ordering easier for deaf customers.

The store hired ten deaf baristas, but it caters to customers of all hearing abilities. Deaf customers can use sign language to order drinks of their choice and those who don’t know sign language can use a menu card to write their order.


We lived down a long gravel driveway, and you’re driving through these woods and then you cross a bridge over a creek. And then you keep going up this hill, and on either side of you it just starts filling in with junk cars, newer cars, boats, motorcycles, a shop. It’s all around you. And then you get to the top of the hill and that’s where, um… we grew up in a little trailer, but it was really nice.

My mom was really good at making our home — no matter what our situation was — always felt like a home, always felt really nice. And I played with our animals. We had a lot of different kinds of animals. I grew up on a farm in a sense, but it was always a junkyard. So it was a really interesting way to grow up, because I would be playing on all of these stacked-up cars, which is super-dangerous, but then I’d also go run around the woods with my dog, and go play in the creek. … The way I think of it is, you’re surrounded by the junkyard. Think of it like a hurricane, and you’re in the eye of it. The little patch of grass that has the animals and the little trailer and then the rest was, to me, was like a labyrinth. It was an amusement park.


Jack White has joined Nashville’s newly-formed Council on Gender Equity. Speaking alongside the city’s mayor on Wednesday, White said, “government, business, and the arts should all work toward the same goal of discouraging sexism, mistreatment, and unfair wages of people who do not wish to label their own personal gender or sexual preference.”


Online outrage this week is directed at the response “All Lives Matter” to the statement “Black Lives Matter” because many white people have expressed confusion about why it’s controversial to broaden the #BlackLivesMatter movement to include people of all races. After all, we’re all human, right? We should all live together in peace and harmony, yeah?

While that thought is strictly true, “All Lives Matter” doesn’t really solve the problem. And more than a few people – Hilary Clinton and Ian Astbury of The Cult, have apologized for using that statement recently after the social media world blew up.

The best explanation we’ve seen so far comes from Reddit. In an “Explain Like I’m 5” thread, user GeekAesthete explained clearly, why changing #BlackLivesMatter to #AllLivesMatter only makes the problem worse.

GeekAesthete explains:

Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!

The problem is that the statement “I should get my fair share” had an implicit “too” at the end: “I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else.” But your dad’s response treated your statement as though you meant “only I should get my fair share”, which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that “everyone should get their fair share,” while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out.

That’s the situation of the “black lives matter” movement. Culture, laws, the arts, religion, and everyone else repeatedly suggest that all lives should matter. Clearly, that message already abounds in our society.

The problem is that, in practice, the world doesn’t work that way. You see the film Nightcrawler? You know the part where Renee Russo tells Jake Gyllenhal that she doesn’t want footage of a black or latino person dying, she wants news stories about affluent white people being killed? That’s not made up out of whole cloth — there is a news bias toward stories that the majority of the audience (who are white) can identify with. So when a young black man gets killed (prior to the recent police shootings), it’s generally not considered “news”, while a middle-aged white woman being killed is treated as news. And to a large degree, that is accurate — young black men are killed in significantly disproportionate numbers, which is why we don’t treat it as anything new. But the result is that, societally, we don’t pay as much attention to certain people’s deaths as we do to others. So, currently, we don’t treat all lives as though they matter equally.

Just like asking dad for your fair share, the phrase “black lives matter” also has an implicit “too” at the end: it’s saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying “all lives matter” is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It’s a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means “only black lives matter,” when that is obviously not the case. And so saying “all lives matter” as a direct response to “black lives matter” is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem.

Nobel Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel says the body may not be eternal, but the soul is. Watch as he shares what he believes happens when he dies. Elie also reveals how he felt his father’s presence as he fought for his life after emergency open heart surgery.

Lou Reed talks about ‘NYC Man’ (his retrospective album), Andy Warhol, while Laurie Anderson talk about their amazing relationship.

None of us can be Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson; every couple is happy, or unhappy, in their own way. But what, in the grand tradition of mining celebrity couple’s lives for advice, can we learn from them? I guess the overall message—as Anderson herself suggested in her Rock & Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech for Reed (above, in shaky audience video)—is this: keep it simple. Kansas State English Professor Philip Nel points out Anderson’s “wise… thoughtful” words on the subject of living well, delivered in her speech at the 8:55 mark:

I’m reminded also of the three rules we came up with, rules to live by. And I’m just going to tell you what they are because they come in really handy. Because things happen so fast, it’s always good to have a few, like, watchwords to fall back on.

And the first one is: One. Don’t be afraid of anyone. Now, can you imagine living your life afraid of no one? Two. Get a really good bullshit detector. And three. Three is be really, really tender. And with those three things, you don’t need anything else.


Crowds on Demand, he [founder Adam Swart] says, serves several clients a week, sometimes a day — most in L.A., San Francisco, and New York but an increasing number in smaller cities like Nashville, Charlotte, and Minneapolis. When people inquire about a potential event, Adam guides them through the possibilities and the approximate costs: $600 for fake paparazzi at a birthday dinner; $3,000 for a flash mob dancing, chanting, and handing out fliers as a PR stunt; $10,000 for a weeklong political demonstration; $25,000 to $50,000 for a prolonged campaign of protests. According to Adam, protests have become the company’s growth sector, and just as with advertising, repeat impressions are key. “When the targets of our actions see that we’re going to be back, day after day, they get really scared,” he says. “We’re in it for the long haul, and the problem’s not going to go away on its own.”

A crowd means something matters, that it has value. Bands know they get more buzz from selling out a smaller venue than from having a cavernous space half-full, even if the bigger venue means more people are able to attend. The crowd out on the street who couldn’t get in is an advertisement of the band’s rising fortunes. You know how it goes. You’re on a road trip. You find two Japanese restaurants side by side. One has a dozen customers, and the other is desolate. Which place has better food? No need to check Yelp — just follow the crowd. Accurate or not, its presence tells a story of its own.