This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

It's National Nap Day

Posted by: James Lileks under Architecture, Gripes Updated: March 11, 2013 - 11:58 AM

It’s been around since 1999. Fact: young people hate to nap. I’ll sleep when I’m dead!No, that’s not sleep, as it entails the irreversible cessation of brain activity. The older you get, the more you appreciate naps. Here are reasons the Nap Day’s founders believe you should temporarily lose consciousness:

Napping improves mood - makes you feel better

Napping improves performance - makes you more productive

Napping improves performance - makes you more productive

Napping improves performance - makes you more productive

Napping is no cost - no expensive clothes or equipment needed

Napping is no sweat - no shower needed

Napping is self prescribed - no doctor’s orders needed

Napping is non-fattening - you cannot eat while napping

Napping is a non-invasive procedure - no one does anything to you

Napping has no dangerous side effects - unless you are driving

The couple that invented the observance, William and Camille Anthony, are “presidents of the Napping Company,” according to the Boston University piece from which I am quoting wholesale. They wrote “The Art of Napping,” and I hope that’s intended as a joke, a satire on the hundreds of books and seminars that offer to teach you “The Art of Cheese” or “The Art of Pencil Sharpening” or “The Art of Figuring Out the@*#($@ Front Panel on the Office Microwave” or anything else that is not an art.

Anyway, naps are dandy, and offices that provide a place for people to get 10 minutes of REM so they wake refreshed, clear-headed, and ready to look busy for half an hour before heading home for the day - well, that’s good employee management.

White noise helps. More than pink or brown noise, but that might be a matter of taste.

And why might you be sleepy today? This:

 

 

 

  

Related: Reasons why Daylight Savings is EVIL. It’s a knee-slapper. “A Conspiracy by the Coffee Companies to sell more coffee!” Oh stop. It’s too early in the week to set the bar so high.

If we keep the time the way it is now, fine. As long as a summer night still stretches past nine for a while. Can you imagine the sun going down at 7 PM towards the end of summer? No.

 

 

EDUCATIONAL PANIC UPDATE Eventually they will ban nougat because the letters can be rearranged to spell “a gun.” Today: cupcakes banned.

 

Fountain’s wife made a batch of 30 chocolate cupcakes for their son Hunter’s classmates at Schall Elementary School in the town of Caro. The 9-year-old helped decorate the treats with plastic figurines representing World War Two soldiers.

The following morning Fountain said his wife delivered the cupcakes to the front office. The secretary complimented her on the decorations and then took the cakes to Hunter’s class.

“About 15 minutes later the school called my wife and told her the couldn’t serve the cupcakes because the soldiers had guns,” Fountain told Fox News. “My wife told them to remove the soldiers and serve the cupcakes anyway — and I believe she may have used more colorful language.”

How did the school respond? The principal emerged from the back office and engaged in a lengthy back-and-forth with the press and parents. Just kidding; they issued a statement.

“In the climate of recent events in schools we walk a delicate balance in teaching non-violence in our buildings and trying to ensure a safe, peaceful atmosphere. On one hand, there are those who advocate arming teachers, having armed security guards and creating a fortress of defense in our schools. On the other hand, there are those who feel that guns create fear in schools and we need to put solid security measures in place  plus practice routines to be prepared in case an emergency should ever occur. Living in a democratic society entails respect for opposing opinions.”

Remember, we’re talking about plastic figurines on a cupcake. If a bill in Maryland goes through - which it won’t - the principal would have to undergo training: the bill, which some are calling “The Toaster Pastry Gun Freedom Act,” would prohibit “a principal from suspending or expelling a student who makes a hand shape or a gesture resembling a gun.”

Good luck with that.

 

ARCHITECTURE Chinese tycoon wants to buy the most expensive building in New York. Can you name it?

Chinese property tycoon Zhang Xin is making a play for the historic General Motors building in New York, just as she’s coming under scrutiny at home and makes at least one brazen call for China to embrace democracy.

Zhang and her family are reportedly in discussions to buy a 40% stake in the marble-faced 705-foot (215 meters) trophy building, home to FAO Schwartz and a flagship Apple Store. The tycoon, CEO of the largest commercial property developer in Beijing and Shanghai, joins a long line of Chinese investors queuing up for US real estate—a trend reminiscent of the Japanese investors in the late 1980s and 1990s who bought iconic American commercial properties like Rockefeller Center and the Pebble Beach golf resort.

The price under discussion, according to the Wall Street Journal, would value the GM building at $3.4 billion—by far the most expensive in the United States. 

It’s no big deal when foreigners buy iconic buildings. Sloshes some money around, that’s all. It’s not as if they can pick it up and take it home. Eventually their domestic market tanks, they’re exposed as over-leveraged, they sell the building. Rinse and repeat. As for the GM building: Ugh. I hate that thing. As an example of corporate modernism, it’s dull and graceless. If no one complains, it’s because people have accepted the way it ruins the corner. Here’s the old view:

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the view since ’68, when the GM Building went up.

 

 

wikipedia

wikipedia

 

 

It’s the type of structure that’s improved when Donald Trump owns it. The short-fingered vulgarian, as he was known in the 80s, filled in the subterranean plaza in front of the structure. These things were popular once - because Rockefeller Center had a successful skating ring, everyone thought their structure should have a recessed plaza, preferably with hard marble rectangular benches, and perhaps a fountain that did not gush water up with noisy joy, but tricked it down a wall, or a big pipe. C’mon down here in this dank space, and experience New York Crime at its most exciting!

 

ART Says the first comment about this project:

”I'm usually pretty hip to artistic interpretations and approaches... But this... this makes no sense whats so ever. Not even close.” He’s correct. It does not. Another comment notes that the artist’s philosophy is, in fact, “a pantload.”

Which it is. The art may actually put you to sleep. If you’re having trouble napping, give it a shot.

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