Saturday, January 03, 2009

Ways to make the (first) world a better place

-Recipes that bother with calorie counts should also include the calories burned preparing the dish. Sure, there's a stick of butter in these (purely theoretical) muffins, but smashing it up into bits must do something, right? Also worth including: calories spent hand-washing all relevant materials and cleaning all implicated surfaces. And, the as-yet-unstarted No Dishwasher Cookbook gets one new idea.

-There should be just one currency, at least in the US and EU. I'm sure this would have all kinds of economic (or is it financial?) implications my humanities-and-vacation-addled brain can't get around, but it would at least mean buying discounted CK, DKNY, and other acronymic underwear at Century 21 would not mean getting coughed on and/or trampled by the whole of Western Europe. I've found a kind I like, but am afraid to go back because Hans and Lars and Nicolas are all in the lingerie section accompanying their ladyfriends, who are just as excited as NYC women about cheap socks and bras, but who are only here for one week, and must buy them all at once.

-This one is NYU-specific: The library must find a way to allow you to leave with books you've taken out, without having to show each and every one to the student or guard whose job it is to make sure there's a stamp in each. Other schools seem to have figured this out. Why not NYU? It's all well and good if you've got this one book you took out this one time, and you can go daintily show it to the guard; retrieve it; place it in your ironic hipster mini-purse and go about your day. But if you're a grad student with a backpack full of 'em, you have to take each book out and, because the library's just that well-designed, return them to your bag one by one while standing in the way of the exit, because there's really nowhere else to do this. And all the while, as you're filling up the bag once more (less efficiently than you did in the stacks, because you're rushing because you're being trampled, this time by fellow students rather than European tourists), it occurs to you that you've renewed all your books online five times anyway, so the stamp the guard is allegedly 'checking' provides no relevant information. You could just be walking out with any book from the library, provided it had, at one point or another, been stamped. Can't something just beep if you've taken a book you weren't supposed to? Is there something I'm missing?

4 comments:

Paul Gowder said...

Stanford is just as bad. And all the librarians know me, so you think they'd just wave me through, but nooooo.

Nick said...

oh my gosh, I'm in complete, utter agreement to your point about the library. it's the biggest pain! we at least need a table to have somewhere to put the books back. also, the guards were really rude when they said "this book isn't checked out" and I said "yes it is" and they said "no it isn't" and we went back and forth for FIVE MINUTES before they were like, "did you renew it online"? and I was like, of course I did, and they said, "well, we knew that, but we're not allowed to let you get away without saying that you renewed it online." ARRRGH!

also, all my books have suggestive titles (hey, I'm in gender studies!), and the night guard always looks at the titles and then looks scared, and judges me for it.

[end rant]

Dana said...

Phooey to recipes with calorie counts! I refuse to read that book "French Women Don't Get Fat" (to me on par with "He's Just Not That Into You" or "The Secret"), but there has to be something to a bit of fat keeping you feeling full.

And cooking and cleaning are totally cardio.

My school has detectors in each library. You feel like a high school student with a box cutter.

Phoebe said...

Paul and Nick,

So what can we do about it? As for getting looks from guards re: titles, I'm never sure. Sometimes I imagine I'm getting a 'ooh, fancy' look when I take out books in French, and a 'no surprises there' one when I take out books in English about Jews. But I'm guessing no one really cares. Though gender-studies titles could be another matter.

Dana,

I'm with you on the silliness of putting calorie counts on recipes. Which is why my plan for adding calories burned preparing foods would only affect those that already enter into such nonsense.