Archive for November, 2009

Helicopter Parents

Friday, November 20th, 2009

An interesting article on the Time Magazine web site on the slowly developing revolution against so-called “helicopter parents”. I thought it would be an interesting read for the parenting set on here.

It’s not uncommon to see students here at Canisius being led around by their parents, like fares in a taxicab. Mom and Dad handle the course scheduling, request different professors, ask about library resources. The student stands mute. Two years ago, I was shocked to see a grad student in his 30s trotting along silently after his mother, stopping only when she came into the Help Desk to demand that we set up his laptop for the campus network.

I started walking to school by myself in the second grade, because my brother graduated to junior high and we were in different buildings. Since I started school early, that means I was six years old. I hope I’ve got the fortitude to treat Dean with that much freedom.

Way to go Buffalo

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

The Buffalo News is not known for it’s great editing.  Here is an example.  Two stories written within hours that are almost identical.  They were probably cut and pasted from the same Bills press release.  Here is the first and here is the second.  The title to this post is also ironically funny in a sarcastic kind of way.  This move is a bit of a head scratcher to me, but I’m not an octogenarian billionaire.


Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Another day, another weird neologism. From the article:

Tweckle (twek’ul) vt. to abuse a speaker only to Twitter followers in the audience while he/she is speaking.

Apparently, the “back channel” provided by Twitter is being used by conference attendees for massive heckling of conference presenters. The particular case in the article is from a conference on web technologies, where the keynote speaker gave a dated talk that was well beneath the technical acumen of the audience. Rather than saying anything publicly, they decided instead to excoriate him on Twitter. Because that’s how passive-aggressive computer nerds deal with problems.

As someone who occasionally presents at IT conferences, I don’t mind saying that this trend makes me uncomfortable. The idea of being anonymously critiqued by some random nitpicking nerd in the audience bothers me. I don’t mind being wrong, but I don’t like the idea of being dogpiled on without the chance to defend myself.

I have presentation proposals in at two different conferences this spring. I am actually considering buying an iPod Touch or bringing a decent smartphone so that I can watch this stuff while I’m presenting. Which will divide my attention, probably making the talk worse. And the geek sharks will close in.


Thursday, November 19th, 2009

The Pontiac Silverdome, onetime home of the Detroit Lions and Detroit Pistons, cost $55 million to build before I was born. Yesterday, it sold at public auction for $583k.

A complete, domed football stadium, with a couple hundred acres of parking, for less money than a midsized house in most California cities. Wow. This is not the thriving real estate market I would expect in the Detroit area. *cough*

Science vs. “Science”

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Good comic.

Incidentally, there seems to be a lot less of The Who playing at maximum volume around the labs here than there is on CSI. Just something I’ve noticed.

Got a Light, Fatty?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

According to the United Health Foundation (no doubt a bastian of liberal idealogues and nanny-staters), South Carolina is the 5th unhealthiest state in the U.S.A.  That’s right, we got beat out by such chain-smoking, fried-chicken-eating contestants as Lousianna and Oklahoma and Alabama. And the leader, the ultimate and perrenial unhealthiest place to live, was mighty Mississippi.

South Carolina ranked near the bottom in obesity and smoking, which helped garner us that low ranking. It was nice of the article to point out that the ethnic diversity of many Southern states (as compared to the healthiest state on the list, Vermont, which is 96% lilly-white) is a contributing factor, as are cultural trends. But then, of course, they go on to laud the health-care systems in New England, the medicare, and all the lovely social programs in place in most of those states. So, I guess you can live a good long life while watching the govenment spend all that money they took from you.

Pass the bar-b-que.

Jauron Gets Fired

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Headline pretty much says it all.

I don’t think this will do any good, especially in the middle of the season. The problems with this organization — not the team, the organization as a whole — go well beyond anything that a coach can hope to fix. But it will keep the fans under control for a little while. Strictly a PR move so that season ticket sales stay up.

Everyone ready for 3-13?

McQuaid News

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Two items:

First of all, the Bull Roast has been officially scheduled for next Wednesday. Click here for the details and to register online. Who else is in? Pitt, did you ever hear back from J? And has D completely fallen off the face of the earth?

Second, they’re still rocking the bumblebees at McQ. Awesome.


Dammit, Rodney.

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

A Cool Quarter Million

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Bud Adams has been fined $250k by the league for flipping the double bird at the game Sunday. Gee, that doesn’t seem like overkill at all, does it?