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Your guide to great food in Utah County

Everyone loves to eat good food, and everyone loves to find a great new restaurant to try over the weekend. Now, www.WhatsCookinUtah.com has made that easy. Yes, food reviews are nothing new, but the unique thing about this site is that you’ll find a lot of places you may have never tried here in Utah Valley, and great suggestions on what to get when you’re there. The writers, Matt and Cam, have a combined 30+ years of eating in this valley and will show you all their secret spots and great menu choices. Rest assured, these writers are not skinny. Who would trust a food critic with no meat on their bones? So visit us often as we are always posting new reviews for the best restaurants in the valley, and while you’re there, give us your opinion!

Actually not bad Mormon-related apparel

FHE Crew has some Mormon culture related T-shirts that are actually pretty cool - I mean, stuff I wouldn't be embarrassed to be spotted in (like a BYU shirt - no offense). My favorite is the blue shirt with the plane dropping BoMs. They also allow users to submit their own art and Mormon T-Shirt ideas and will produce the good ones. Check it out: mormon t-shirts.

American welfare

One of my jobs right now has me doing what (sans a smart-sounding title and a few differences) amounts to social work. I get clients who, funded by Medicaid, have a diagnosed mental illness and a host of other related problems.

It broadens my views on poverty and the welfare system.

Take Adeena*, one of my clients right now. Adeena is 30 years old, with two daughters. She dropped out of school after barely completing the eighth grade. Her mental disorder (according to the MD) is that she's bipolar. One of her six medications seems to control that just fine. Adeena lives in a rented home, with government subsidies paying all but $344 of her rent (and the gov't pays all basic utilities). The rent is split between her, her sister, and her parents, that all live in the same house (total of seven people-- her sister has a son). Each month, between the four adults, they receive a little over $700 in food stamps, and each month during the last week they get a "food donation" from a church that provides approximately $200 in groceries. That's just my guess-- the groceries filled the trunk of my Camry as well as half the back seat. Adeena's 28 year-old sister collects a few hundred dollars a month in social security. She is disabled, and constantly visiting the hospital. Her frequent use of meth, pot, crack, alcohol, and smoking does little to help her health (she is obese and recently diabetic). Adeena does housekeeping at a hotel and, at $6.50 an hour, brings home around $700 a month.

Are we making the world too safe for fun?

The Wall Street Journal reported a story about a town in Virginia that got rid of the diving board at the community pool because they could no longer afford to pay the liability insurance.

But why? Has there been an epidemic of diving accidents? I asked that question of our own pool manager. He assures me that the number of serious high board injuries at Chesterbrook pool since it was first erected more than 20 years ago is exactly zero. Under a rational insurance model, our premiums should be going down, not up -- after all, we've proved that we're not a gang of drunk divers.

...But the diving-board dilemma is not just a legal matter; it's a cultural one. We Americans have become so risk averse when it comes to our children that we now see unacceptable dangers from even the most routine activities. We have created peanut-butter-free school zones, "soft" baseballs, army figures without guns, parks without see-saws and full body armor for bike riding.

Groupthink in Provo

I’m currently taking Org B 320, Organizational Effectiveness. While the format of this class has made it the bane of my existence this semester, I have been intrigued by some of the concepts discussed.

One such concept is what the textbook refers to as “Groupthink.” Basically, it describes a tendency exhibited by members of a highly cohesive group, by which they do not challenge the group consensus and allow the supposedly unanimous views of the group to dictate their thought and behavior. Irving Janis, the man who originated this idea, identified eight symptoms of Groupthink:

I love Provo. I hate Provo.

from the I'm-new-and-I-rant dept.
For all of my 25 years, Provo/Utah County has been my home. To say that I am attached to the place is to put it mildly. There are so many things I love about the place, yet so many things that drive me nuts and make me want to move far, far away. I love the mountains, the river, the lake, and for the most part, the people.

But now comes the hate.

Provo is a cultural and political wasteland, despite being the home of a major national university. Where is the political activism? Where is the concern for the welfare of the world around you? I think Provo students get an A+ in Self-Absorbed Solipsism. It’s safer to admit you are a recovering alcoholic and violent criminal than to openly criticize George W. Bush. Free-thinking is tolerated but not accepted.

Provo Rave BUSTED!

On Saturday there was a huge Rave in Spanish Fork Canyon. The organizers went through the trouble of getting a health permit, but missed getting one for a "gathering of more that 250 people." So, the cops busted the party.

"Utah County Major Crimes was contacted to assist with undercover surveillance. Both local and state SWAT teams were called in to control the crowds ( Utah County Metro SWAT, Utah Department of Corrections out of Salt Lake and Gunnison, Department of Public Safety and their helicopter and Provo SWAT) approximately 90 law enforcement personnel combined.

At 9 pm the Rave party began and by 10 pm Major Crimes observed numerous illegal activities. Which included illegal use of drugs, distribution of drugs, and underage consumption of alcohol."
(Quoted from Utah County Online Story.)

Another news story: Salt Lake Tribune Story ...

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