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grin and bare it

A blog by Matthew Dicks

More than Words: 1990 and 2023

By mattyd | March 23, 2023

In September of 1990, the band Extreme released their balled “More Than Words” off their album Extreme II: Pornograffitti. Unlike anything the group had ever done before, the song features just two of the band…

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Brandon returns in plastic

By mattyd | March 22, 2023

One of the prizes that I gave to my students last week was a small, plastic boy with red hair. Long ago, my children played with this boy, but being in middle school now, these…

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By mattyd | March 21, 2023

It’s easy to think that in our polarized environment, people from opposing viewpoints can’t possibly reach across the aisle, change their minds, and find common ground. But that’s not always the case. Happily so. Here’s…

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“Burn it to the ground.”

By mattyd | March 20, 2023

Opposition is hard, but it’s not always impossible. See Nebraska State Senator Machaela Cavanaugh, who stands opposed to anti-transgender legislation, including a bill that would outlaw gender-affirming therapies for those 18 and younger, as well…

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Diaries of Note

By mattyd | March 19, 2023

Here’s my latest obsession, which should also be yours: Diaries of Note From the About page of the website: Every day, beginning on January 1, 2023, a new (old) diary entry will be published on…

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Beginnings matter a lot

By mattyd | March 18, 2023

During the 1980s, the average chart-topping song had 21 seconds of introductory instrumentals before the vocals kicked in. As streaming services took the place of physical music, the music industry realized that a big, catchy…

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The constant evolution of Elysha Dicks

By mattyd | March 17, 2023

My wife, Elysha,  is currently learning to become a teacher of English language learners. She’s working through an intensive, year-long program that has essentially stolen away vast swaths of her weekends all year long. It…

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10 rules of productive online communication – gen Z edition

By mattyd | March 16, 2023

The substack Many One Percents offers ten rules of productive online communication for people in the Gen Z population.  I found the list a little silly at times. Incredibly annoying at others. 1. Never end…

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At last, an explanation

By mattyd | March 15, 2023

Why do teenage boys wear shorts in the winter? Why does a 50-degree day in October feel so different than a 50-degree day in March? At last, some actual answers, based in science. An excellent…

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By mattyd | March 14, 2023

Here’s a stupid and ridiculous thought: Last night’s Oscar winners featured a large number of Asian actors and actresses, including: Actor in a Supporting Role Ke Huy Quan Actress in a Leading Role Michelle Yeoh…

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