Ode to Ptown

It’s always a strange sensation to recognize how seemingly intimate places have the capacity to inspire so many people, throughout history, when the inspiration it has fostered in you feels like such a personal experience. Provincetown, Massachusetts, that colorful and rambunctious village, has become an ingrained aspect of my identity
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ASSA 2015

Last weekend, I sat in at the annual meeting of the Allied Social Sciences Association. Having many meetings organized by the American Economic Association, my intention remained to be the continued exposure to the professional field of economics.

Now, that sounds rather dry, I realize, but I insist that this post has relevancy to any and all who may read it.

Briefly, the purpose of this annual meeting is for professional and academic researchers to present their work (projects they have been working on for years or have recently started), and also for attendees to network on a hyper level. Getting a glimpse at what topics are consuming the resources and attention of these esteemed and influential individuals, institutions, and universities is an incredibly illuminating glimpse of what issues are concerning the greater population. Continue reading

Playing Film Critic Again

A film critic is not something I’ve ever aspired to be.
However, I have played the part before, and when you stumble upon such gems as the two movies which my eyeballs have recently digested, it’s practically criminal to not share your experience and to not urge others to view them for their own interpretation.
Last night, I was visually spoiled by The Great Beauty, and today, I was witness to the workings of Citizenfour.
Rather than in the order of social significance, I’ll address them in chronological order, by which I viewed them.

The Great Beauty, in essence, is a sumptuous film. Continue reading

Sugar: Nutrient and Drug

With Halloween being just a day away, now seems a fitting time as ever to talk about disguises and poison.

With that particularly vague statement, I am addressing “sugar”, by which you can assume I am referring to any number of widely used, added sweeteners: cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, etc.
Sugar is ambrosia, the sweet nectar of the Greek gods.
It’s instant energy without the hassle of thorough digestion.
It very well may be one of the key participants in human evolution and advancement, along with beer and wheat (similar products I know, but I’m referring to their applications).
In short, sugar has become a very valuable ingredient in our modern diets. Continue reading

Economics: A Story of My Niaveté

My original understanding of economics went something like this: “well it’s like a more practical philosophy”. I don’t mean “practical” as more valid, but naturally more applied rather than perceptive. Seeing as how our lives revolve around money and the exchange of it for goods, experiences, services, social needs etc., economics seemed to be all about the fine details of how this money is shifted around and how people, companies, organizations, governments, etc. decide where it goes. Continue reading

Personal account from a Millennial

There are a few social issues that have been circulating around for the past few years, that are gaining a lot of traction recently.

Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg
Knowing Your Value, Mika Brzezinski
The Unbelievers (2013)
Religulous (2008)

I find all this very strange, because these hardly seem like “issues” to me, as in “an important topic or problem for debate or discussion”. While there are riveting conversations on panel discussions, bestsellers based on these topics, “exposés” on the news and in incredibly well made documentaries, and in common conversation with my elders… They just seem to already be figured out in my brain and in the brains of the bulk of my friends. Continue reading

Agricultural Industry Equation, and I Suggest We Reinvigorate the Victory Garden Campaign

My studies at JWU, while composed of many wine tastings, plenty of time in front of a stove, and too many “pretend you own a restaurant” projects, were independently supplemented by research inspired by my own intense and possessing curiosity.  I found myself sincerely disappointed that we rarely took a glance at the agricultural industry. Our scope, as food industry professionals,  began at the inventory list of a supplier and ended with what we place on the plate of the customer. True, there are plenty of intricacies in between and there is so much to learn in that cross section of the process, but it’s still a limited view. Continue reading

Something short and sweet to honor the bard.

A very merry, happy birthday to William Shakespeare. I am hardly a literary critic, I took just 2 writing courses at university – forget about formal English studies… so I cannot present to you a longwinded essay full of quotations and analyzations meant to demonstrate Shakespeare’s significance (and thank goodness, right?!).

This is my precise point. I do not have to do such a thing. It’s understood by all. Anyone who has read a Shakespeare play, even so much as a sonnet or two, has felt the weight of his words.

I am thankful for Shakespeare’s existence because of the beautiful depictions of humanity he provided to society. Without discouraging any potential audience member by making his product restrictive to just a few privileged people, to a single class, he has become one of the most significant historic figures that ever lived.

I think this might be the greatest irony regarding most of his works, they were so common. Meant for an audience of ordinary people, at the time with a basic grammar school education, if even that much!, and yet today… we can’t even get high school students to actively engage with Shakespeare – this coming from an alum of an excellent public school in the excellent Massachusetts public school system! Thankfully, culture of most any form has always thrilled me, so by my own volition I took a Shakespeare elective course my senior year.

Now I have to say something that might be off putting, but this is how I see Shakespeare, this is why I felt compelled to write about him today, this is why I think he was so revolutionary and still holds incredible significance in this age: Shakespeare, 400-something years ago, has written it all. People, you can have your “classics”: your Russian masterpieces, your English romantics, your French novelists… but we must recognize that the bulk of their words are the reiteration of what Shakespeare has already written. So if you have read his plays, that is all that you need, you just might be a complete human being (I have yet to complete this task, making no claims here).

A bit of hilarity:

My favorite:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then, the whining school-boy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like a snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then, a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with a good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws, and modern instances,
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.