When getting even leads to disaster

We know that people can act irrationally out of anger, reacting completely out of proportion to some real or imagined slight and doing dangerous and threatening things as a result. The most obvious examples are of road rage, but we also have cases of people harming and even killing others in domestic or neighborhood disputes. But in most of those cases, people are acting out of anger.
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Why don’t they call it the ‘ball and chain throw’?

The Olympic games are currently underway and I am ignoring it for many of the reasons Marcus Ranum writes about. In addition, I hate the fact that the TV presenters will endless hype some marquee event by saying it is “coming up shortly” when in fact they will string out the anticipation for an hour or more, using that time to inundate you with commercials.
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How gender-designated bathrooms came to be

Thanks to the huge fuss generated by the issue of which public bathrooms transgender people can use, I have learned a lot more about the issue of bathrooms than I would have ever imagined. While the idea of public bathrooms separated by gender has, like any practice whose origins are lost in the mists of time, come to be seen as the natural order of things not requiring any explanation, this article by Terry S. Kogan, Professor of Law at the University of Utah, says that it was the result of a deliberate sexist ‘separate spheres’ ideology that saw women’s role as to be in the home to take care of children and do household chores.
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What is the middle class?

Politicians love to talk about the middle class, especially during election season which in the US is pretty much all the time. This group is seen as being the most important in terms of voting strength. But the definition of middle class is a little vague, since it can be defined in terms of income, aspiration, wealth, or levels of consumption. This graphic looks at how the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank also classifies them in terms of demographic factors like age, education, and race, with those doing better than the middle class defined as ‘thrivers’ and those doing worse as ‘stragglers’.
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The Spelling Bee gets even worse

I simply do not understand the attraction of the Scripps Spelling Bee competition. It now results in young people spending an extraordinary amount of time memorizing the spelling of words so esoteric that one is never likely to use or hear them except in highly technical contexts. In its early years the winning words were blackguard, conflagration, concede, litigation, breach, saxophone, license, and primarily. In recent years they were appoggiatura, Ursprache, serrefine, guerdon, Laodicean, stromuhr, cymotrichous, guetapens, knaidel, stichomythia, and feuilleton. (See here and here for my earlier posts and in particular read the comments to those posts by readers who added interesting information and insights.)
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