Copy, paste, taste.

The New York Times discovers a trend:

At DePaul University, the tip-off to one student’s copying was the purple shade of several paragraphs he had lifted from the Web; when confronted by a writing tutor his professor had sent him to, he was not defensive — he just wanted to know how to change purple text to black.

And at the University of Maryland, a student reprimanded for copying from Wikipedia in a paper on the Great Depression said he thought its entries — unsigned and collectively written — did not need to be credited since they counted, essentially, as common knowledge.

Last year sometime, a local college teacher offered some pieces by his class, who were preparing multimedia journalism projects. Since multi is what GrossePointeToday.com is aiming for, I said send those puppies in.

The first one to arrive had one of those jarring prose shifts midway through that always sets off the alarm. Suddenly, the writer began capitalizing Important Concepts and her sentences took on a distinctly different rhythm. As some of you know, we made a splash a while back with this very thing, and I snipped a sentence from within and asked Professor Google what he thought. Lifted, intact, from Wikipedia. Contrary to what you might think, I hated being the spoiler, but I let the teacher know, and the usual kerfuffle ensued. The details are unremarkable, except for this: The teacher said a full written apology was part of her sentence. It never arrived. I’m sure she didn’t understand the reason.

This doesn’t surprise me; the line between citation and theft has always been smudgy, and copy-and-paste didn’t start with cntrl-C/cntrl-V. It confused me as a student, and it confuses me still, sometimes. The term “common knowledge” means it belongs to everyone, after all, so I was always wrestling with some citation or another — did I have to footnote dates? Simple facts? I think the only reason it comes easier now is because I’m accustomed to reporting, with all its attribution and colons. Police gave this account of the incident: But I’m very glad I don’t have to write papers anymore, and I’m sure my payback for pointing out a certain Bush administration official’s plagiarism will come when Kate does this, unwittingly, down the road.

My friends already down that road say the next thing is high-school projects, in which teachers try to head this stuff off at the pass with some ridiculous procedures — in-class research, hand-written drafts, etc. It’s a real aggravation that makes research papers, never anyone’s favorite thing, even more painful.

Anyway, that’s a good story. I recommend it.

There were lots of good stories this weekend. The Wall Street Journal is rolling out a project on internet privacy from the business angle, i.e., what your browser is telling marketers about you. It’s no accident you keep getting served ads that eerily track with your interests. I’ll say this for that 3A Tiffany’s ad in most national publications — it doesn’t care that I’m not in the market for expensive jewelry. I get to look at the pretty rings and all they know is, I subscribe to a national newspaper. Which says a lot right there.

Related: Watch how you tweet, Facebook and YouTube. But you knew that.

Tomorrow is Election Day in Michigan — the primaries for governor, etc. I notice the tea-party candidates hereabouts are full of contempt for the bank bailouts, but are oddly silent about the other big one, which involved a pretty important industry around here. I noticed tea-party types in Fort Wayne praising GM for keeping the plant there open, not mentioning what the alternative pushed by their confederates would have been. Paul Ingrassia at the WSJ takes a look a year later:

…the bailout was about as popular as a flat tire. Many Americans nursed longstanding grudges for cars like the 1978 Dodge Omni, in which a wiring defect caused the horn to blow whenever the steering wheel was turned. (No kidding; check Consumer Reports.) Others understandably feared that General Motors would become Government Motors.

But what alternative, really, did Mr. Obama have? Had GM and Chrysler collapsed and been liquidated, investors would have picked up some of the pieces. That would have taken years. Meanwhile, the parts makers that supply GM and Chrysler would have collapsed too. Those same parts makers also supply Ford, Honda, Toyota and others, whose U.S. factories would have faced havoc.

The impact on the broad U.S. economy—including the car dealers in all 50 states, advertising agencies, accounting firms, etc.—would have been somewhere between difficult and disastrous. Nobody really knows. The Detroit bailout was like changing a diaper: a dirty job that had to be done because the consequences were worse.

Finally, speaking of plagiarism, a recipe, at Deborah’s request, copied (by hand) from Alice Waters’ “Chez Panisse Vegetables.” I have my problems with Waters as a food-policy expert but certainly not as a chef, and this bean gratin might have been my favorite thing from Saturday’s dinner. Healthy, light, delicious, made with fresh beans, available in markets year-round but especially now:

Fresh shell bean gratin

2 to 3 pounds fresh shell beans (cannellini, cranberry, pinto, flageolet, etc.)
salt
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 or 2 sage leaves
optional: 1 small bunch greens (broccoli raab, chard, mustard, turnip, etc.)
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs

Shell the beans. Yield will vary according to variety, but you want to end up with about 3 cups shelled beans. Cook them with just enough water to cover by an inch. (Fresh shell beans absorb very little water.) When they have come to a boil, add salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil, and lower the heat to simmer. Cook until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain the beans and save their liquid.

While the beans are cooking, dice the onion and cook it in 2 tablespoons olive oil with the garlic cloves, peeled and cut into slivers; the sage leaves, chopped; and some salt. Cook over low heat until soft and translucent. If you wish, cook a small bunch of greens with the onion; add a little of the bean water along with them, if you do. When the onion is cooked, add the tomatoes, roughly chopped, raise the heat, and cook for a minute or two more.

Combine the beans in a gratin dish with the onions, tomatoes and greens. Add enough bean water to almost cover. Taste, correct seasoning, and pour the rest of the olive oil over the gratin. (You can prepare the gratin in advance to this point, even the day before, and refrigerate it.) Finish by topping with the toasted bread crumbs, and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Check occasionally and moisten with more bean water if it seems to be drying out.

Alice says you can use a variety of beans, which sounds really good, but you have to cook each separately, as the cooking times will vary.

And now Manic Monday commences. Must have food for sustenance! I’m thinking eggs scrambled with spinach, shallots and goat cheese and a big-ass fruit salad on the side. I love summer, I do I do I do I do…

Posted at 9:29 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

31 responses to “Copy, paste, taste.”

  1. Jenflex said on August 2, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Mmm! I’ve been living on pasta margherite (or is it caprese?): Olive oil, fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, salt, pepper, a few mozzarella cubes, and pasta.

    Decadent indeed, is summer in the Midwest.

  2. deborah said on August 2, 2010 at 10:04 am

    nancy thanks a million for the bean gratin recipe. This comment is being sent from my shitty work phone during a boring meeting in Indianapolis.

  3. John said on August 2, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Dog Days are here, but today is overcast and cool. Quite a respite from the July we just went through. Spent 25 minutes on the exercise bike this morning at cardiac rehab and felt like a couple of thousand dollars (not to the million mark yet). The RN reiterated the 10 pound restriction for me, which I gleefully ignored when I saw the little grandkids last week. Betsy noticed that I had several (small) cinder blocks in my trunk which I am using on a backyard water abatement project which had been postponed due to my ailment. I swore to her each block weighs about 7 pounds which I seriously doubt but I am going slowly. Just posting here to let you all know I am in Lurking But Living mode. You all have a nice week!

  4. brian stouder said on August 2, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I noticed tea-party types in Fort Wayne prais­ing GM for keep­ing the plant there open, not men­tion­ing what the alter­na­tive pushed by their con­fed­er­ates would have been.

    Oh – that would be the weak-tea crowd; but we have plenty of the witches-brew types, too, not least of which are on the local radio.

    Prospero got me all worked up about this, and then I remembered that I was upset a day ago, when I read this letter to the editor:

    http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20100731/EDIT09/307319986/1149/EDIT09

    A short copy/paste (if you will):

    Awhile back, a letter appeared in this space bemoaning the idea that there are some people in this country who seem to think that our president is not moving fast enough to “clean up the mess made by the Republicans.” I would like to respond to that letter by asking, “Are there really still people in this country who believe in Obama?” I find that incredible and somewhat frightening. The idea that there are people out there (you know who you are) who still insist on blaming Republicans in general and the previous administration, specifically, for all the ills of our country, past and present, indicates a partisan, narrow-mindedness that, quite frankly, scares the heck out of me.

    and so on, and so forth, etc.

    edit: John – good to hear that you’re engaged in lively lurking! Watch out for those blocks and stones (I’d only cheat with grandkid duty)

  5. LAMary said on August 2, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Leftover from the last posting: When I went to Tony and Tina’s wedding I smoked a fake joint in the alley with a cast member.

  6. coozledad said on August 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    That gratin would probably work equally well with cowpeas (blackeye or crowder). I’ll have to try it sometime. I made a sub-Saharan African version of falafel that’s just blackeyed peas soaked overnight, drained, and whirled in a food processor with black pepper, garlic and salt, then pan fried in patties or deep fried like hushpuppies. I didn’t even remove the skins from the beans, and it still had a nice consistency.

    It looks like Snooki is never going to learn how to respect herself as long as I’m in her life. So I guess it’s goodbye, you little fire-plug. And ease up on the Cuervo.

    LA Mary: We could have used some of your mule training skills here yesterday. They were being willful and obstinate. Even more than usual.

  7. Dexter said on August 2, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I never took a course on what one could freely use from the internet, so I was surprised when I got my first computer, I copied a picture from Google Images and sent it to a friend, who got all huffy and asked whether I had received permission from the copyright holder…what the hell?…and after all these years I still don’t know the clear-cut rules, but I never copy and send emails with any images that have the warning “image may be subject to copyright …”.
    Back to that first image, it was owned by the Library of Congress and I emailed them and asked permission to use the photo for an avatar…of course I never got a response. Many images indicate a free-domain standing, but many don’t indicate anything.
    It must be a huge issue, because last week Google Images changed their format entirely. Now when you click on an image, it takes you to a site, and there is no longer an easy way just to copy and paste…however, Yahoo Images still allows that.
    There is site called WSI (White Sox Interactive). While I was copying part of a comment someone else wrote into my own post on the same site, all of a sudden my speakers roared and a devil face with red flames bellowed out “BAND WIDTH THEFT IS A CRIME !!!”
    I seriously don’t know, is that the way theft was handled in the early days of pc s? These people didn’t even want you to copy stuff even just to comment on it on their own site.
    No, I don’t know shit, so what? I got to this show very late. I never got onto the internet until 1998.

  8. Dexter said on August 2, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0sXyfFf_Us&feature=related

    Ciao, adieu, adios, au revoir…I am old enough to remember the dancing dots on his show…Mitch Miller, R.I.P.~age 99 years.

    (I know…at least 90% of you folks were saying “I thought he died years ago.”)

  9. Rana said on August 2, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Once one of our colleagues got a cut-and-paste plagiarism paper with the links still underlined and highlighted in blue in it.

    The thing with common knowledge is there’s a difference between common knowledge and interpretation. There’s also a distinction between knowledge and common knowledge. So for basic, man-on-the-street facts where there’s little to no interpretation involved – the sun sets in the west, the American Revolution happened in 1776, Columbus sailed in 1492 – no citation is needed. Factual information that’s less well known and requires going to a specific source for the details does require citation, as do facts that are interpretive and up for some degree of debate (the causes of the Civil War, say). Basically, if an average student can give you correct and undisputed information off the top of his or her head without doing any research, it’s common knowledge. Otherwise, it needs citation. Interpretation of said commonly known facts also requires citation – I explain this to students as giving credit where credit is due.

    The problem, though, I think, is not so much that students don’t know what plagiarism entails. It’s pretty basic: it’s taking credit for ideas and information that came from somewhere other than your own head. The problem is that a majority of students today do not have all that much experience coming up with and defending their own interpretations. Writing to them is not about expressing their ideas or making their own points; it’s about regurgitating (and maybe explaining) other people’s points.

    And many of them are not even good at that – they are woefully ill-equipped to distinguish between a summary of the contents of an article and a summary of the argument of that same article. They expect that their job as writers is simply to transcribe information, not to digest and organize it, let alone put their on spin on it. This also means that they can’t perceive bias – either their own or that of others – except when it’s obvious and then it is Always Bad. They haven’t been trained to pay attention to interpretation and points of view – either others’ or their own – and so it’s not surprising that cut-and-pasting globs of information at random seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do, nor is it surprising that they don’t understand how easy such pastiches are to spot. It’s all just a bunch of raw data to them, ripe for the uncredited picking, since the work of explaining and analyzing and organizing the material is invisible to them.

  10. Jolene said on August 2, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    In my early years of university teaching, the Internet didn’t yet play much of a role in the plagiarism my students committed, but the absence of Wikipedia didn’t dampen their enthusiasm for submitting work created by others. Every now and then, I’d have to deal w/ a student who couldn’t believe that I had detected their fraud. The giveaway was that they had submitted final papers that were hugely better than anything they’d done all semester, but it wouldn’t have been kosher to say, when asked how I’d identified their papers as fakes, that I knew they couldn’t possibly have written anything that good. Just not the sort of thing that goes over well.

  11. Rana said on August 2, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Regarding photo copyright (since I’m clearly in lecture mode this morning) the simplest thing to do is to wander over to flickr or such and look for images that are under Creative Commons licenses. That’s what I’ve done whenever I need to use an image that doesn’t belong to me in a public forum.

    (I have to say, Dexter, your friend is being unduly huffy about the private sharing of an image in personal email – it’s like getting upset over someone copying a newspaper article and mailing it to their grandkids – it’s allowable under fair use, especially if you give the originator (if known) credit and don’t claim it’s your own work.)

    Regarding the “bandwidth theft is a crime” issue – was there any chance that you were inadvertently hotlinking? I ran afoul of that a few times early in my internet career, both as picture-borrower and as picture owner. Basically (and I apologize if you already know this – see above about lecture mode) unless you’ve downloaded the borrowed content to your own hard drive, then uploaded it to your own blog or website, odds are pretty good that the image is still being hosted on the original owner’s site. This means that every time someone looks at it on yoursite, your website sends a request to their server to load up the image. It’s not unlike having one’s neighbor pilfering unsecured wi-fi access; if you have a limited account, you’ll end up paying for their use as well as your own.

    But there are certainly more subtle ways of handling that, and blocking people from copying text – which can’t be hotlinked in the way that images can – is ridiculous, especially since all you have to do to get around that is type it in yourself.

  12. Julie Robinson said on August 2, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    We never missed Sing Along with Mitch in our house, and we even had some of his records. How I loved that bouncing ball!

    We were just having this conversation yesterday, about recipes. We were eating some ambrosial chicken tortilla soup, made with fresh sweet corn, and DH asked if you could copyright recipes. Well, I know you can copyright cookbooks, but the individual recipes? I’ve got a dozen church cookbooks and I don’t think they were too careful about the recipes submitted. Anyone know?

    And, as the parent of a college kid, I will tell you that I think the plagiarism battle has been lost. To most of this generation, all information, documents, recordings and videos are viewed as common property. It’s part of the digital age, for better and for worse.

  13. nancy said on August 2, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    What plagiarists never understand is that a writing style is as distinctive as a fingerprint. When the Goeglein Incident happened, I kicked myself for not recognizing it sooner, because he borrowed so freely from so many sources, it should have been obvious. It was like I saw his apple-cheeked mug and lost my ability to focus.

    I read many of these comments when I’m out and about during the day, standing in line, etc. Sometimes I have my reading glasses on and sometimes I don’t, but I swear, I know our regular commenters by prose style alone. I saw Rana’s first comment above, but missed the identifiers at the top of the e-mail, and said, “OK, this is Rana.” And it was. The only ones I’d get confused would be Julie and Dorothy; they comment similarly, and have very similar ways with a keyboard.

    Oh, and now my secret shame can be revealed: I have “The Yellow Rose of Texas” by Mitch and gang on my iPod. I LOVE IT. Ninety-nine years old? I’d have thought he was 112.

  14. LAMary said on August 2, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Cooz, first thing to remember is: They are mules. Embrace the mulishness.

  15. Sue said on August 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    LAMary and Cooz, I thought the fact that it is high summer in North Carolina had something to do with it, not just mule-ishness.
    And I got the following from Balloon Juice. Read the headline, the sub-headline and the caption next to the picture and your day will be complete.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2010/0730/Monkeys-hate-flying-squirrels-report-monkey-annoyance-experts

  16. Dorothy said on August 2, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I thought good ol’ Mitch was already dead so I was sort of surprised to hear he just died! My father was a HUGE fan and we, too, had some of the records. The t.v. show was watched all the time at our house, but I’m not sure you’d call any of my siblings and I “fans”. We all thought it was pretty corny but did not say that in front of our dad, of course. I much preferred the Jackie Gleason Show!

    Speaking of my dad, I can barely believe it’ll be five years on Wednesday that he died. I’ve been hanging around with you hellions a very long time because I remember mentioning it and getting such nice messages from y’all.

    Julie we must have been separated at birth – your Mitch Miller experiences AND Nancy’s statement about how similar our comments are speaks volumes!!!

  17. Julie Robinson said on August 2, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I took it as a compliment, Dorothy. I hope that on Wednesday you will have only happy memories of your dad.

  18. Dorothy said on August 2, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I did too, Julie. And on Wednesday we have plans to take a vacation day and go to the Ohio State Fair, my very first time ever. I can’t wait!!

  19. brian stouder said on August 2, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I am told that you must see the cow made of butter

  20. Julie Robinson said on August 2, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    That brings back memories of the Jones County, Iowa fair, where they always had a butter cow. Since my grandparents were dairy farmers, we visited every day. I also had to peel mountains of apples for the Lions Club concessions booth but was rewarded by unlimited quarters for the bumper cars. The day I reached the tall-enough-to-ride-by-yourself line was a huge thrill. Oh, I am a small town girl.

  21. coozledad said on August 2, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Rana: I got to the point where I used the term paper as an instrument of retribution for some instructors. It was partially out of malice, and partially because I loved the way the pages were set in the historical journals, where you have a sentence of the author’s argument, and the rest of the page begins a clusterfuck of footnotes that take on their own life and cease to bear any relation to the discussion on that particular page. I remember reading what were in essence three page essays that grew into hundred page mazes of references to other articles that spoke profoundly of a clique of desperately lonely men sneaking sandwiches and bottles of whiskey into the library, where they were found after someone complained of a curious odor, or a naked guy in the stacks.
    If the Vivarin or black beauties and cigarettes were working, I would aim for a word count padded with huge block quotes translated word by word, badly, from the original German article printed in Griechische Geschicte, or any other professional historical journal that has to be seen to be believed.
    What I was aiming for was something like Borges’ “Book of Sand”; something that would compel the professor to put a good mark on it and wash a couple antipsychotics down with scotch. It worked with some of the lazy, unkempt bastards.
    But I had a Reformation Studies professor who told me, in heavily accented English,”Quit using those fucking block quotes. YOU read that shit and tell me what it says”.

  22. Rana said on August 2, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Hah. Good on that professor. (Usually what I tell my students is that the analysis must take up at least as much space as the block quote, so dumping in a huge chunk of quoted text actually makes more work for the writer, than using a short one does.)

    One of the reasons history, as a field, prefers Chicago style endnotes or footnotes is exactly because they enable those long, multiple-source digressions and meta-commentary – you simply can’t do that with parenthetical MLA-type citation (Coozledad 2010, 21). Sometimes they’re the only outlet for the snarky comments you want to make but which would be unprofessional in the main text, too.

    Of course, I’m the sort of person who thought the long footnote commentaries in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell were one of the better parts of the book, so take my observations with the chunk o’ salt they deserve.

  23. ROgirl said on August 2, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    I’m taking an HTML class this semester and we’ve gotten into some material about copyright on the internet. Interesting topic.

    Among the things I learned on the subject:
    1) Copyright protection begins the moment you create an original work. You don’t have to publish or register it.
    2) The copyright owner retains exclusive rights (“bundle of rights”) that control how the work is used.
    3)You have to register your work before you can file a suit for damages.
    4)You can add “copyright” or the copyright symbol to your work without registering it (my photography instructor told us to do that with any photos we put on the internet).
    5)Make sure you know the terms of use for any work you download (search for them, obtain permission if necessary). They often allow use for personal, educational or non-commercial purposes, but that’s open to interpretation, and fair use depends on the specific situation.
    6) There is a lot of public domain and open access media content that can be used with few restrictions.

    Do some research before using content from the internet to avoid copyright infringement.

  24. Dexter said on August 2, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Rana, thanks for the information; it’s good to get the lecture on Monday and not on Friday, kind of like how some people research their VIN to find out on which day their new car was made, and to never, ever buy a vehicle made the day before a major holiday, when relief workers were slapping cars together as the regulars were already in the Buicks headed “Up North”.
    Oh, and my very huffy friend? He refused to look at YouTube videos for years because he says it’s just a rip-off of the artist’s work. About twenty years ago he inherited some dough and started up a jazz label, which only lost money, lots of money, all his money, actually. He’s a very bitter old soul these days.

    Is it hot in here or is it just me? I rode my bike with the basket to the local produce tent for some new potatoes, more sweet corn, peaches, and another Indiana cantaloupe, it’s only a mile each way, and I really overheated. August.

  25. Dexter said on August 2, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    John, glad to read you are progressing with cardio rehab . We all know Barbara Walters had a heart procedure recently to replace a faulty valve.
    She was supposed to wait until September to return to work, but there she was on The View last week, and I was thinking, that’s a lot of stress, you know, interviewing the President. I just don’t buy that she thrives on pressure or loves to work. She returned to work, 80 years old, still in recovery from that major heart operation, and interviews Obama. Is she to be admired or is she a horrible role model for heart patients? I am just full of angst today.

  26. moe99 said on August 2, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    I’m waiting in the Cincy airport, returning from my 40th high school reunion in Defiance. Since I’m on my BB this will be a bit shorter than I would normally post. The sweet corn was absolutely fabulous! Loved seeing everybody (kisses to you Bill–he lurks here). One of the best stories was about my classmate, Rick, who is on his 4th marriage to a 26 year old w a tatoo. Rick says all 26 year olds have them. She’s a year older than my daughter. He made this revelation late Sat nite otherwise I would have given him more shit than I did. I’m still flummoxed.

  27. Dorothy said on August 2, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Rick is exaggerating, moe. My daughter and my son’s girlfriend, both age 27, do not have tatoos!

  28. Joe Kobiela said on August 2, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    I got a trip Sunday night down to Agusta G.A. When I landed the first thing I could think of was ” cinderella story, kid out of Indiana former Jump pilot, comes out a no where,” I dont know seemed funny at 2:30am
    Pilot Joe

  29. brian stouder said on August 3, 2010 at 9:35 am

    SO this morning I was driving to the C-Store to get a free, icy cold Diet Coke (every seventh one is free, baby!), and I had the radio tuned to the local AM all-talk station. Charlie Butcher is an old Fort Wayne person from way back (I recall when he was a rock & roll guy on local FM radio, 30+ years ago), and runs a much more reasonable (more reasonable than their mid-day barn-load of hard-right lip flappers, anyway) morning talk show.

    But instead of Charlie, this morning we got the deep baritone of an even older-times Fort Wayne radio guy, Steve Shine, who also happens to be the Chairman of the Allen County Republican Party. (Isn’t that special?!). Mildly irritating – but whatever; they still update me on the weather forecast (rain today; in fact right now) and on local headlines and traffic delays; but here’s the thing. The traffic guy says that there’s a major delay at the “intersection of Hanna and Lafayette”. “Hmmmmm”, I thought; “Those streets are parallel”. And they repeated that admonition about the backup at an ‘intersection’ that doesn’t exist three more times, before I got to work, and Steve Shine crooned on about whatever else, soothingly oblivious.

    And it occurred to me that this almost perfectly encapsulated the current relationship between the Republican Party and reality. Guys who (presumably) know better, like Allen County Republican Party Chairman Steve Shine, blithely purring sweet little nothings, while being supported by flatly faulty and meaningless blather, which they should (but don’t) correct.

  30. Julie Robinson said on August 3, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Mine are 23 & 29 and both have said they do not want tattoos. Daughter has multiple ear piercings but nowhere else, son no piercings at all. Their friends are another story. Like the goofy beards and hair, I’m getting used to it.

  31. alex said on August 3, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Brian, that sort of surrealistic disconnect always seems to happen when Republicans are talking. Hanna and Lafayette intersect if you insist on it and don’t back down no matter the evidence to the contrary. Too funny.