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Drinkable Languages Offered At LA Time-Travel Mart 62

Posted by Zonk
from the time-freezy-hyper-slush-is-a-category-five-explosive dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Via the sci-fi blog io9 comes a fantastic project that not only has a great premise but backs a great cause. The San Francisco writing center called 826 Valencia works to teach kids passion for the written word. The program really works, and has expanded to other cities across the country in an effort to get more young people writing. To fund these outreach programs, the organization has opened some ... unique businesses in their new locales. The LA chapter, for example, features a Time Travel mart. The imaginative place features dozens of products like Robot Milk, Viking Oderant, and Olde Fashioned English Gunpowder. Other centers around the country offer similar themed experiences, like the NYC Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. or Seattle's Greenwood Space Travel Supply Corporation."
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Drinkable Languages Offered At LA Time-Travel Mart

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  • Am I the only one... (Score:5, Informative)

    by sltd (1182933) on Monday March 03, 2008 @03:37AM (#22621276)
    ... who was confused by "drinkable languages" in the headline? Do I need to, like, RTFA?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I wasn't confused by the head line but what is the article going on about?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Seumas (6865)
        Hell if I know. All I know is that it's a lot of wasted effort to "get kids to read".

        You know how you get kids to read? You start reading to them when they're very young. Then they'll want to start reading on their own. And if your home is full of books and the adults in it are always reading, the kids will naturally tend to have a passion for it as well.

        Otherwise... I don't know... send them to a vocational school so they can clean pools or something.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by AndGodSed (968378)
      No you weren't. Here I thought I didn't need to go study Hebrew anymore... SUCKS!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cp.tar (871488)

      ... who was confused by "drinkable languages" in the headline? Do I need to, like, RTFA?

      Nope.

      IAALinguist, and that was the main reason I even opened this TFThread. And I'm still WTFing.

    • by Eudial (590661) on Monday March 03, 2008 @06:16AM (#22621784)

      ... who was confused by "drinkable languages" in the headline? Do I need to, like, RTFA?


      The summary didn't clear things up either. It was like... I could see words, words I knew and understood, but they didn't form coherent sentences.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Glyphstream (1101409)
        The individual sentences are coherent enough. It's just when you put them all together that the English language goes to hell. Part A: They started a program to get kids to read. Part B: People opened weird stores selling Robot Turds and Ye Olde Fashioned Internal Combustion Engines. What Part A has to do with Part B, I don't know. I get the feeling RTFAing won't make the answer much clearer either.
    • I drink your language. I DRINK IT UP!
    • There is no coincidene that the best beer making country in the world is Belgium. Afterall, their language is Belch right? ...Ducks
  • by mwigmani (558450) on Monday March 03, 2008 @03:39AM (#22621286)

    All those links and the summary doesn't mention Dave Eggers [wikipedia.org], the author, and founder of 826 Valencia, as well as McSweeneys [mcsweeneys.net].

    Also, that group once did a Pirate supply store [oregonlive.com].

    They were subsequently sued by the RIAA.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      All those links and the summary doesn't mention Dave Eggers [wikipedia.org], the author, and founder of 826 Valencia, as well as McSweeneys [mcsweeneys.net].

      Also, that group once did a Pirate supply store [oregonlive.com].

      They were subsequently sued by the RIAA.

      I can understand why harassing a major record label is a serious crime and where the perpetrators deserve to be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars and spend decades in prison, but what is the reason that the RIAA decided to file a lawsuit here? Did the RIAA take out a trademark on the word 'pirate'? Or does the promotion of reading somehow offend music retailers?

      • by RuBLed (995686)
        New from Time-Travel Mart:

        Time-travel whoosh!...

        (this type of whoosh goes back in time and whooshes over GP and parent)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Belgand (14099)
      They did not "once" do a pirate store. The pirate store is still around located at 826 Valencia St. in San Francisco. I was in there just the other day. As such, the pirate concept is the original.

      As well, while they do actually sell some items the majority of the "store" is simply to open drawers filled with appropriate bits (such as the artificial beards with a big mess of hair-like substance inside), read the amusing signs, and promote writing.

      The fish tank is excellent.

      It's also located next to the abso
      • by Otter (3800)
        As well, while they do actually sell some items the majority of the "store" is simply to open drawers filled with appropriate bits (such as the artificial beards with a big mess of hair-like substance inside), read the amusing signs, and promote writing.

        My understanding is that the location is zoned for business, and that their education program at that site wouldn't be legal if they didn't also operate the "store".

  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Monday March 03, 2008 @03:44AM (#22621300)
    They're even fun for adults to visit. We went to the Brooklyn Superhero supply store and had a blast with the invisibility powder and Hero or Villain? quiz.
  • by rolfc (842110) on Monday March 03, 2008 @04:01AM (#22621340) Homepage
    After a couple of beers, I speak any language.
    • by n3tcat (664243) on Monday March 03, 2008 @04:59AM (#22621536) Homepage
      This is actually not too far off from my experience. I went to the military language school in California, and all the people in the various languages would struggle the whole 6 months to a year or whatever the requirement for that language was. Put a few drinks in them though and they would lose all that fear, and their minds would "clear" up allowing the language barrier to fall. Towards the end of the course, people would be able to speak fluently and without hesitation sometimes!
      • by dbcad7 (771464)
        Interesting.. I had a similar experience with German.. I had done the Pimsleur thing up to about half of German III, and then traveled to Germany and spoke English most of the time.. until I went to a Pub and had a few.. then I was having a great time practicing ! .. But after I sobered I was pretty much back to limited use of German.. It's not my knowledge or pronunciation that holds me back either.. maybe it's just a little more friendly and relaxed atmosphere of a pub combined with relaxed inhibitions af
  • Wow, that's neat. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Khaed (544779) on Monday March 03, 2008 @04:10AM (#22621380)
    I would have loved a place like that as a kid. The anti-robot fluid made me laugh.

    Whoever made all those -- those people are creative geniuses and deserve applause.
    • And i'm not sure why this made slashdot, but I go in the store once a month just because all the creative work is amazing. The one in San Fran is a pirate themed store filled with stories about a pathetic pirate that wants to be feared.

      I also love the informational signs about "Have you got scurvy?" Thought about putting that beside the breast cancer awareness one in my shower, but didn't think my housemates would approve.

      And the encourage mopping people...ahhh hahaha.

      http://www.826valencia.org/store/iam [826valencia.org]
  • Ahh (Score:2, Funny)

    by evwah (954864)
    Ahh but do they have Torgo's Executive Powder?
  • ... or at least that's what I said the last time I posted this ... in the future.
  • by wizardforce (1005805) on Monday March 03, 2008 @04:40AM (#22621480) Journal

    Drinkable Languages Offered At LA Time-Travel Mart
    did anyone else see that part and immediately think Java?
    anyway, this is actually a pretty good idea- the current educational system tends to destroy any interest in writing/math/the sciences so perhaps this will spark some interest where there was none before.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      I'm just glad to finally have a place here in the 21st to buy Mom's Old-fashioned Robot Oil. There's a little love (and Ethylene glycol) in every can.
  • wow (Score:2, Funny)

    by RHSC (1019802)
    the title of this summary has actually achieved 'word-salad' status.
    drinkable languages at the time travel mart, eh? whatever you've been smoking, it must have been pretty damn good
  • That's all really cool stuff, I love articles like this on Slashdot since it really appeals to the nerdy little kid in me. Now all that out of the way, I have to admit that all the worry about kids not reading and writing these days may be a little unfounded. I really think that the opposite may be true with things such as blogs, youtube, and other venues that kids can use to express themselves to large audiences. Younger people with creative minds are really taking advantage of all this technology just
    • by misstake (928211)
      The mission of 826 is less about forcing kids to write. Certainly most young people do have some outlets for creativity in this age of information, and we're just another one. The concept behind 826 is that writing well can serve you in life at all stages-- no matter whom you intend to impress.
      For some, incorrect use of "its" versus "it's", poor comma placement, and broken sentences are a mark of lacking education. While I disagree strongly, these things can cripple your message. Errors are distracting an
      • Heh, you can tell I wrote that at 0200. My spelling and grammar leave much to be desired, I didn't proof it either. That is an excellent mission and I wasn't trying to downplay what they do. There are just some alarmists out there that always harp about this current generation being the end of civilzation or full of idiots.

        I always encourage kids to read and never stop, the more you read the better you'll grasp the core concepts of spelling and grammar as well as prose and technique.
  • 826 Seattle (Score:3, Interesting)

    by misstake (928211) <vanessanicoleNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday March 03, 2008 @04:56AM (#22621532)
    I volunteer at the Seattle incarnation of 826. Stop by the Space Travel Supply! We stock both Certainty and Uncertainty, conveniently stored in jars (though the latter is heavier-- it does weigh on you), anti-gravity tools, 0.9% purity Argon, rocket fuel, and more. The packaging is terribly clever.
    There will be a Plutonian protest and rally on the 15th where students will make arguments for the reinstatement of its planethood. If you're in our gravitational field, visit! The kids' creativity will impress.
    Though 826 is a writing center primarily, we see everything at drop-in tutoring. Everything. Another tutor and I deal primarily with mathematics... we do our best with everything else.
    Send your children over, Seattle. We'll make sure they do their homework (beyond the magnitude limit).
    • by Skagit (910458)
      I saw picture of the jars of Certainty and Uncertainty. Is it safe to store them that close?

    • by WED Fan (911325)

      I volunteer at the Seattle incarnation of 826. Stop by the Space Travel Supply! We stock both Certainty and Uncertainty, conveniently stored in jars (though the latter is heavier-- it does weigh on you), anti-gravity tools, 0.9% purity Argon, rocket fuel, and more. The packaging is terribly clever. There will be a Plutonian protest and rally on the 15th where students will make arguments for the reinstatement of its planethood. If you're in our gravitational field, visit! The kids' creativity will impress.

  • This [typepad.com] simply cannot be allowed!
    • This simply cannot be allowed!

      Why not? In the future when the populations are back and they are farm raised much like black angus, they are not an endangered species. If they were harvested in times of low population, I could see the issue, but not when they are plentiful again.

      McDees has no problem finding farm raised beef. Time travelers have no problems finding whale oil in season. It's too sooty to use in vehicles, so about all it is sold for is time travel for vikings so demand is low. Carrying fla
  • Call me when the start selling REAL Robot Milk a.k.a. Olde Fortran Malt Liquor
  • You are going to break the hearts of the poor nerds and dweebs who think that Time Travel and Superheroes actually exist!

  • I believe the original location was zoned for retail, so they needed to have some sort of retail business in there, even though it was really a tutoring center.
  • >Olde Fashioned English Gunpowder

    Well, Fawke that!
  • Okay, I appreciate the creativity, and at least it's not another box store, but WTF, how does crazy shit like this stay in business? You have to wonder if they're secretly dealing pot or something. Besides, this is not going to motivate some stupid kid to become Hemingway. That Hemingway kid doesn't need you to prod him to become Hemingway.
  • In SF, they have the Pirate Store. [826valencia.org]

    As "enrichment experiences" for kids go, these don't seem so weird after seeing "Summer Camp Day" at Hillsdale Mall. About fifty local camps each had a booth. Only a few "camps" actually offered camping, hiking, or wilderness stuff. There were the expected horse camps, gymnastic camps, and such. A few sports camps (golf, tennis). And then there were the others. Computer camp. Sewing camp. Archeology camp. Kung Fu camp. Paintball camp. Lego camp. Two Lego camps,

  • I don't want robot milk. I want milk-plus. Milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom. That sharpens you up for a bit of the old ultra-violence...
  • I can't understand why this is being run down by so many people. This is the sort of thing that could be applied to any form of education, be it literature/literacy/art/sciences/computing etc.

    I live in the UK and my wife teaches secondary level art; anything that can encourage pupils to enjoy exploration and help them cope with the government-mandated, institutionalised, school-ratings-based testing procedures and think outside the curriculum would be a godsend. It's inspiration that's the key - my wife doe
  • If you haven't read this then you haven't seen the real creative talent of these people: I personally can recommend the bottle of Uncertainty. It comes in real handy from time to time... http://putative.typepad.com/putative/2007/01/fedex_refuses_s.html [typepad.com]

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