It’s hard to argue that the most important things going on in the world this week have nothing to do with baby sloths and robotic cheetahs, but if we can have your ear for just a second… no? Come on.
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1. What to Tap | Your Sugar Daddy Is In
Get out yer spiles and buckets, son —- the sugar shack done opened early this year. A mild winter and early spring means that maple syrup season is already underway in Vermont, the country’s largest producer, and other sap-rich states. Insiders know the best stuff actually comes from New Hampshire. (If cornered, we will pull out the results from a 2008 blind tasting by the illustrious Yankee Magazine.) Fortunately, the two states are basically pretty close, so you can hit both in one weekend -— March 24-25, when VT and NH have their maple festivals. Pro tip: Travel the extra miles to Bisson’s Sugar House in NH’s Great North Woods and collect your reward in maple butter.
2. What to Watch | US Open Snowboarding Championships Turns 30
Actually, there’s all kinds of cool stuff going on in New England right now. This week is the 30th Anniversary of the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships at Stratton Mountain in Vermont. The weekend is a major party -— it’s the last stop on the Burton Global Open Series and TTR World Snowboard Tour—but if you can’t make it up there, check out the first part of VICE’s “Powder and Rails” show about the Open. It’s a good recap of the event at 30 and of the sport in general, including interviews with legends like Danny Kass and Terje Haakonsen.
3. What to Read | How to Rig an Election
In light of our own Super Tuesday and what you might call some electoral irregularities in Russia, we suggest you take a few minutes to get briefed on the ins and outs of rigging an election, which may come in handy if you’re running for the local school board or even jockeying for a competitive promotion at work. The short of it: start early, control the major media outlets, emerge from shallow water half-naked with ancient artifacts (see: Russia), gerrymander (see: America), make sure the observers are paid-for, and so on. Don’t physically assault voters on election day. That’s so obvious. The rest is in this week’s Economist.
4. What to Weigh In On | Should we go to College?
Raise your hand if you have college debt. Okay, now keep them up if you can remember more than a few passing moments of what happened the first two years and $90K of college. That looks about right. One solution is a mandatory “shitshow” year in Cancun or, uh, Milwaukee. Another is to re-evaluate our college education system and think hard about why we have a 40% drop-out rate, the highest of any industrialized country. George Mason, economist and ½ of the very good econ blog, Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrok, sketches out an argument for more vocational training and apprenticeships a la Germany’s approach in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (File under “Last-ditch effort to revive dinner conversation with in-laws.”)
5. What Not To Weigh In On | Mitt Romney Channeling Davy Crockett
Somebody should have told him not to do this. (via Esquire).