Keep Reading

My wonderful wife and I want to offer best wishes to our friend, neighbor and regular reader of Disaffected Musings, M. Bless you and be well.

I also want to wish a Happy Milestone Birthday to my childhood friend, RC. For one or two years during elementary school he ate more dinners at our house than at his own.


I think reading, real reading and not skimming Fack Fucebook posts or tweets, is a very important activity. Here are some facts from this piece:


  • “Extensive reading was linked to superior performance on measures of general knowledge, vocabulary, spelling, verbal fluency, and reading comprehension.” – Cunningham and Stanovich, 1998
  • “In one of the most extensive studies of reading yet conducted, Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding traced reading growth to reading and reading volume. They found that the amount of time students spent reading was the best predictor of reading achievement.” – Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding (1988)
  • “It is clear that reading early in life are critical factors in student success,” – Anthony W. Marx, president of the New York Public Library, New York Times (2015)
  • “Students not reading well in third grade are 4 times more likely to drop out.” – Students First, Statistics About Education in America
  • “Differences in volume of pleasure reading between good and poor readers is massive.” – Cunningham and Stanovich, 1998
  • “Differences in reading volume make an independent contribution to growth in reading and language skills.” –  Mol & Bus, 2011
  • “Research consistently shows strong correlation to reading & academic success at all ages” – National Center for Educational Statistics
  • “Variation in time spent reading can further widen the gap in achievement between good and poor readers. Avoiding this dynamic is one reason why early intervention for reading problems is so important.” – Biemiller, 1999


I think much of this country’s ills are due to poor parenting and one of the manifestations of the state of parenting is a generation seemingly unable to read. Parents, granted feeling overwhelmed at times, use electronic devices as de facto babysitters. The path of least resistance is tempting, but it is often not the best path.


From Bertrand Russell via The Muscleheaded Blog:

“The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”

From Edward R. Murrow via the same source:

“The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer.”


From USA Today, of all places, comes a picture gallery of concept cars that didn’t make it to production. From Wikipedia a picture of one of those concept cars and what was the first concept car, the Buick Y-Job of 1938:


See the source image


That’s Harley Earl at the wheel, by this time a General Motors Vice-President, the first “stylist” to be a VP at a large corporation. The Y-Job, built on a Buick Super chassis, had all manner of advancements that seemed very futuristic for 1938. These included power-operated hidden headlights, electrically operated windows and an electrically powered convertible top.

Earl used the Y-Job as his personal car until 1951. I think the car still looks stylish today more than 80 years after it was built. How much do you suppose it would cost to have a replica built on a modern chassis with a modern drivetrain, suspension, etc.? How much do you think the original, still residing at the GM Design Center, is worth?









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4 thoughts on “Keep Reading

  1. I was encouraged to read starting at a young age by both my parents, neither of whom attended college. It served me well throughout my life as I went into the engineering field. I still read quite a bit, although a lot is now done on this box. The fact that I can magnify the text on this helps, saves me from grabbing my “cheaters” to read the increasingly small print in books and magazines.

    As for the “Y” job, to recreate it would likely be somewhere in the neighbor hood of $500,000 to $750,000. A LOT of metalwork would be required and craftsmanship isn’t cheap. A top quality paint job alone can set you back in the neighborhood of $50,000. Just the materials for a quality paint job are expensive. My last paint job that I did myself, 3 years ago, I had in excess of $3500 in material, for a 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger. I probably had around 400 man hours in the job, between metal work, prep, prime and paint, then wet sanding and polishing. And then you have to reassemble the painted parts to the body shell..

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      1. I’m no expert in fiberglass but I would think it also would be expensive. You would have to build a form, or a mold, for each body part. Then finish sand and paint, then assemble all the parts. If you were going to make several, you could obviously amortize the cost of the molds, but for a one off? Probably not cost effective. .

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