Archive for Dyssynergy

Strongly agree


The last straw

Thought that campaign against plastic soda straws was strange and quixotic? Think again:

[T]his effort does seem to be occupying environmentalists and satisfying millennial needs for social media virtue signalling, all people who have many MUCH worse ideas for “improving” the world. In other words, every day spent by these folks pushing for and preening over this lame plastic straw effort is one less day they can spend pushing for things that would be much more destructive. It’s like getting the termites around your yard to focus on easting the dead log in the back rather than eating the rafters in your house.

Not to mention way cheaper than actually treating the premises for termites.

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Much more than a hunch

The Zillow page for 11222 Dilling Street, North Hollywood, California 91602:

The beloved television home of The Brady Bunch has come to market after almost 50 years. This iconic residence is reportedly the 2nd most photographed home in the United States after the White House. Featuring perfectly preserved 1970’s decor, it boasts one of the largest lots in the neighborhood — over 12,500 sq ft. Enormous, lush backyard gardens & lawn, completely private & serene. Located on a quiet residential block, property also borders the Los Angeles River, which is a unique street-to-river orientation. Living space quote may not include Garage conversion/expansion of downstairs Family Rm added after original construction. 2 Master Suites, one up/one down plus generous entertaining spaces that flow uniformly from one to the next and to the outdoors. Gated motorcourt plus large separate garage provide parking convenience.Whether inspired by the TV family or the real life surrounding neighborhood, this residence is a perfect postcard of American 70’s style and its special culture.

Assuming, of course, that’s what you want.

While that’s an actual bedroom from the house, interior shots for the TV series were done, not on Dilling Street, but in the studio.

What I want to know, of course, is how the “enormous, lush backyard gardens & lawn” fit onto a 12,500-square foot lot. The palatial estate at Surlywood sits on a bit over 11,000 square feet, and the lot only seems enormous when you’re the one maintaining it.

Oh, the price? $1,885,000. Caution: a lot of sales in this area resulted in teardowns and subsequent McMansion construction.


Aggieland eats

Grocery shopping just isn’t what it used to be:

“We sell more sushi in some of our stores than bananas.”

H-E-B President Scott McClelland was making a point Wednesday during his visit to Bryan when he said prepacked, ready-to-eat meals are a booming business, and the future of his 400+ stores will focus more on customer expectations, especially for millennials.

“Stores in the past that failed didn’t keep up with what customers wanted,” said McClelland. “How we sell groceries to millennials is a big part of our strategy. There are more of them than any other age group in Texas.”

That helps explain some of the new features that customers will have when the new H-E-B store on Wellborn Road in College Station opens on September 12th. Bryan-College Station’s 5th H-E-B store will feature an “Easy Pay” kiosk that will allow customers with 5 items or less to zip through a line that accepts credit cards only.

Customers will also be able to use a mobile app that will let customers scan items in the store, and pay with the app. The app will give shoppers the opportunity to by-pass check-out lines altogether.

Considering that H-E-B even outsells Walmart in the Texas grocery market — and nowhere else, the chain having no stores outside the Lone Star State — just about anything they do should probably should be considered newsworthy. And this admission was kind of startling:

“Walmart and Kroger are also doing curbside service. We do this and we also do home delivery. Customers in Bryan-College Station are big fans of the curbside service, but it hurts us financially,” he said. “So why do we still do it? Because that’s what our customers expect, and if we’re not offering it, then they’ll go to Amazon.”

The second-biggest grocery chain out of Texas is Whole Foods Market, which is owned by, um, Amazon.

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You can’t report that

Why? Because we say you can’t:

A federal judge on Saturday ordered the Los Angeles Times to remove information from an article that described a plea agreement between prosecutors and a Glendale police detective accused of working with the Mexican Mafia, a move the newspaper decried as highly unusual and unconstitutional.

The agreement was supposed to have been filed under seal, but it was mistakenly made available on PACER, a public online database for federal court documents.

In response to the order from U.S. District Judge John F. Walter, The Times revised the article to eliminate information about the sealed document. The newspaper intends to contest the order.

“We believe that once material is in the public record, it is proper and appropriate to publish it if it is newsworthy,” said Norman Pearlstine, executive editor of the Los Angeles Times.

It will be interesting how this plays out under The Times’ new (non-tronc) ownership; the sale to scientist Patrick Soon-Shiong closed just last month.

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This couple is doomed

This does not strike me as one of the things you laugh about twenty years later:

The Pepperhead report on this particular bit of Hot Stuff:

This is the super hot pepper that started it all. All the way from Assam, India it is the first hot pepper to break the 1 million Scoville mark. Now a pepper has to reach 1 million SHU to even get on the top 10 hottest list. Some still think the Ghost Pepper is still the world’s hottest, but it is far from it. It held the World’s Hottest Pepper title for 4 years from 2007-2011 when the Trinidad Scorpion ‘Butch T’ surpassed it in heat.

For comparison purposes (Scoville heat units):

Jalapeño:  3,500 to 8,000

Ghost Pepper:  1,041,427

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Welcome to 1955

Please have exact change:

US Customs and Border Protection has disputed a claim that one of its employees asked a woman to prove that she was the mother of her daughter.

Texas mum Sylvia Acosta and her 15-year-old daughter, Sybonae Castillo, were both asked why they didn’t share the same last name.

Dr Acosta posted the following to Facebook:

I just experienced a Handmaidens Tale moment at the DFW airport by Customs and Border Protection. I was traveling back from Rome and stopped by US customs. I was asked if Sybonae was my daughter and I said yes. Then they asked why if she was my daughter I didn’t have the same last name. I told them I had already established my career and earned my doctorate with my last name Acosta so I had decided not to change it. That is why we had different names. Then the customs office said, well maybe you should have taken your husbands last names so you could prove you were her mom. I told him I had a lot of proof she was my daughter without having had his last name. He then took me to another room where they proceeded to interrogate me and my daughter to prove I was her parent. I had to reexplain why we didn’t share last names and again one said well maybe you should consider changing your name to reflect that you are her mother. I then proceeded to tell them that they were perpetuating an institutionalized misogynistic system which required that a woman take her husbands name and after that and a whole lot more about what I thought about what they had said to me that they let us go. I am furious.

CBP, citing a human-trafficking law from 2008, said they were simply following procedures.

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On waving red flags

News Item: A suspect who allegedly assaulted a San Antonio, Texas teen for wearing one of President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again hats was arrested and charged with felony theft Thursday night.

Sgt. Mom lives near the site of the incident, and she notes:

Ah, the MAGA hat, which apparently serves as a rage-trigger for leftists everywhere. The very curious thing is that I have never seen a person wearing one in real life, real time, in my town. Not around where I live, work, do business. I brought this up with the Daughter Unit — and she couldn’t ever remember seeing any person wearing a MAGA hat either. Not any time in the last two years; the kid with a MAGA hat in the Whataburger may have been the only person in the neighborhood choosing to wear one — although I very much doubt he was the only Trump fan. In the last two and a half years, we’ve noted pro-Trump bumper stickers on only a handful of cars, too. There were no Trump yard signs in the election run-up, either — and it’s not hard to figure out why. No one really wants to provoke a confrontation with a self-important, loose-cannon loudmouth like Kino Jimenez. No one really wants to have their drink thrown in their face at a restaurant, or make an unscheduled trip to the emergency room, or have their car keyed — or worse. As my daughter says: we’ve been schooled in the fine art of not attracting bad attention to ourselves.

She drew the following comment:

But then, since the 2016 election, I’ve seen very few pro-Democrat or anti-Trump bumper stickers, with the exception of a few young progressives who proudly plaster their tiny “enviro-friendly” cars with a multitude of stickers for various “causes.”

Seems to me just about everybody is lying low for fear of confrontation.

This dovetails with my own experience, twelve hours up I-35; I conclude that if someone is seen behaving like an asshole, it’s a pretty safe bet that he damned well wanted to be seen behaving like an asshole, for the most obvious of reasons.

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The long legs of the law

Broummana, east of Beirut, Lebanon, does a passable impression of a tourist trap:

Sitting on top of a pine-forested hill, the town has views over Beirut, the Mediterranean coast, and the surrounding mountainous area. It attracts Lebanese visitors for day and weekend trips. Broummana also attracts thousands of Arab tourists from the Persian Gulf every summer, eager to escape from the hot and arid climate of the Persian Gulf. The population of Broummana rises to about 60,000 during the summer months, from a low of about 15,000 in winter.

Mayor Pierre Achkar, perhaps aware that mere climate might not be enough to maintain the flow of visitors, often looks for gimmicks. This year, he’s hired an auxiliary police force composed of women in shortish shorts:

You may be sure the men on the force aren’t being asked to dress similarly.

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The original Loudness Wars

Lots of recordings today are what they call “brickwalled”: the difference between the loudest and softest parts of the music is made as small as possible via compression, so that any given recording will be amazingly loud, at the expense of breathing room.

You can read about it here. I just want to point out that this sort of twiddling is Nothing New. From 1964:

My own copy of the record is slightly less processed, but only slightly.


Hey, a check mark!

Caller ID is now worse than useless. Will this help?

Developers have proposed a call-certifying protocol (known as STIR) and guidelines for implementing it (known as SHAKEN). The names behind these acronyms are long and confusing.

With it, an originating phone carrier could check that a caller has the right to use a number and create a digital fingerprint for the call. The carrier on the receiving end could verify that nothing was messed with in transit.

“They’re actually not saying that the call comes from the phone number. What they’re saying is this user is entitled to use this phone number,” says Jim McEachern, a principal technologist with the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, a technical working group that helped develop guidelines for this call-certification protocol.

If a bad guy tries to spoof the caller ID, the call would go through, but it wouldn’t be verified. Eventually, users would see a check mark or other indicator for verified calls.

Yeah, right. Call me when “Out Of Area” is outlawed.

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Proudly unpedigreed

Yeah, that’s me:

We’re what my mother used to called Mutts — individuals of mixed heritage. Most people understand that’s not a slur. In every species, Mutts — those whose genetics are not purely bred — are hardy, intelligent, and not prone to hereditary diseases. They do not suffer from congenital deformations at the rate of the pure-breeds. They usually have good dispositions, resistance to disease, and long lives.

My own family tree has roots in the British Isles, in Mexico, and in the Levant. And for all I know, there may be branches in every little corner of the world. It’s not that I don’t care, exactly; it’s that I don’t think it matters in the grand scheme of things.


In defense of Photoshop

Think in terms of “self-defense”:

Never thought of it that way, but then I’ve never been a supermodel.

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History comes at you fast

He puts the “pro” in “procrastination”:

Crap, that's due tomorrow? - Thomas Jefferson July 3, 1776

Yeah, I know how that goes.

(From The Chive via Miss Cellania.)

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Robbery fail

Earlier this week, Canadian television network CTV released video of an ill-fated attempt by a youthful gang to rob a convenience store in Spruce Grove, Alberta, a few miles west of Edmonton. The original video contained no audio track, but several wise guys have seen fit to dub in some sounds, be they animal noises. fake dialogue, or, perhaps most apt, “Yakety Sax.” CTV has apparently been busy removing these things from YouTube as fast as possible.

Too bad. They really enhanced the story.

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A school no more

The grade school in south Texas I attended in the early 1960s was torn down and replaced by a strip mall in the 1980s, and for some reason this bothered me in the 2000s. Nor am I alone in this kind of reaction:

Broad Ripple High School, alma mater of angry beard-o David Letterman, former Second Lady Marilyn Quayle, and current baller Paul George, is no more.

The remains are being squabbled over. Charter schools are interested in the property and would seem to have the law on their side, but developers are anxious to anchor the opposite end of The Strip by planting another ginormous “multi-use” office/retail/apartment space there. (What’s Broad Ripple quality of life going to be worth in rent premiums when it takes you thirty minutes to negotiate the handful of blocks to College or Keystone Avenues on your daily commute?)

Everybody swoons over “multi-use” urban stuff. Do you know anyone who actually lives there?

At least they replaced the ruins of my old high school with something comparably high-minded: college buildings.

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Destined to end badly

Although it’s clear who dropped the ball:

An Arizona woman has said she was left “in tears and humiliated” after a staff member at US pharmacy chain Walgreens refused to give her prescription medication to end her pregnancy — even though her doctor had said she would ultimately have a miscarriage.

Nicole Mone had discovered at a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday that her baby was not developing normally.

Knowing her two-month pregnancy would not run to term, she was given a choice to end it through a surgical procedure or prescription medication, and chose the latter.

When she went to a Walgreens in the city of Peoria to get her prescription, she says a pharmacist refused to serve her on moral grounds — a stance which is within the company’s rules.

She told the BBC the staff member was “very short, not compassionate at all.”

This is not a reference to the guy’s height.

“I stood at the mercy of this pharmacist explaining my situation in front of my 7-year-old and five customers standing behind, only to be denied because of his ethical beliefs,” she wrote on Facebook and Instagram.

“I get it, we all have our beliefs. But what he failed to understand is, this isn’t the situation I had hoped for — this isn’t something I wanted. This is something I have zero control over. He has no idea what it’s like to want nothing more than to carry a child to full term and be unable to do so.”

And apparently this wasn’t handled according to Walgreens policy, which the company describes as follows:

Which, it appears, is not what happened:

Ms Mone said that did not reflect her experience, however, as the pharmacist “could have just passed me on to the lady that was standing next to him” — which she says did not happen.

Instead, the prescription was transferred to another Walgreens store. Ms Mone picked it up there after seeking her doctor’s help to ensure the second pharmacy would give it to her.

My idea of “in a timely manner” does not include having to go several miles to another store.

Ms Mone, after talking to Walgreens corporate, has filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy.

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Choose your own stereotype

Says this abstract: “Inbred males should have lower reproductive success than outbred males among other things because of inbreeding depression in attractiveness to females and a reduced lifespan.”

How about a kiss for your cousin Dupree? Not gonna happen, she says, but how can you test for this?

We used an inventive experimental set-up that enabled us to assess male behaviour in relation to an apparent mating opportunity while excluding potential confounding effects of female preference. Age-, weight-, and size-matched inbred and outbred male canaries (Serinus canaria) were presented with a female that only one male at a time could access visually via a ‘peephole’ and thus when both males were equally interested in seizing the apparent mating opportunity this would result in contest. We find that inbred males spent more than twice as much time ‘peeping’ at the female than outbred males, suggesting that inbreeding indeed causes different behavioural responses to an apparent mating opportunity. Our study is among the first to highlight that inbreeding affects male mating behaviour, and therewith potentially male-male competition, which should be taken into account in order to understand the full range of inbreeding effects on fitness.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199182.

(Via Neuroskeptic.)

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No air up there

McG contemplates the not-quite-nascent US Space Force:

When I point out what history tells us about the formation of new military branches in the U.S., I’m given all kinds of arguments for why the Navy is a better choice on which to base the Space Force than the Air Force is, and why the Air Force should be stuffed back into the Army because it’s incompetent and just plain icky.

None of which changes the fact that these things happen according to the Iron Laws of Bureaucratic Thermo(non)dynamics. Merit is irrelevant. Rationality is irrelevant. Bailiwicks exist and Will. Be. Defended. The Air Force will not stand by and watch squids or ground-pounders take charge of above-the-ground operations.


If you doubt me, consider that the U.S. Air Force has never had a unit called “brigade.” Yet, for 71 years, its lowest general rank has been the Brigadier General. This is because of bureaucratic inertia, the single most powerful force in every organizational chart having three or more levels.

A hundred years from now, the officer commanding an American starbase will be a Brigadier General.

Just you watch.

When I was in the Army, some time after the French and Indian War, most of the brigades I encountered were commanded by Colonels. Go figure.

And come to think of it, the Navy equivalent of the BG is Rear Admiral (lower half). Write your own joke.

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Seal of disapproval

Only you, LeeAnn, only you:

The hostess introduced the Tupperware lady, who would later pimp out the hostess in her own gig. “You know,” said the hostess, “Mary here has been in Tupperware for over 10 years!”

I really did try not to laugh out loud. I faux-coughed, faux-sneezed, and finally snorted so hard I thought I’d ripped a tonsil. Then I started giggling and couldn’t stop. The hostess looked at me and asked if there was something I wanted to say.

“Ten years!” I gasped. “How the hell did she breathe?”

Wasn’t this an episode of Eerie, Indiana?

After the little presentation about the wonderful world of Tupperware, but before I could get my hands on the refreshments, the hostess took me aside and said Mary would be more comfortable if I left, before I could “mock her even further.”

I dunno. I think they’d already reached Peak Mockery.

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Liberté, égalité, sécurité

The Eiffel Tower is getting a new look:

Of course, the “new look” derives from an old concern:

Temporary barriers were placed around the tower in June 2016, and are now being replaced with more permanent measures.

Set to be completed in mid-July, the fences cost nearly €35 million ($40.1m; £30.1m).

More than 240 people have died in terror attacks in France since 2015.

Bernard Gaudillère, president of the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), which runs the iconic monument, said the new walls were “rock-solid for absolute security.”

M. Gaudillère has to say that, I suppose. I do hope he’s right.

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Learn from us, very much

Look at us, but do not touch. Come to think of it, don’t even look at us:

Viktoria Popova in a swimsuit

This is Viktoria Popova, twenty-six, former history teacher at school number 7, Omsk, sacked for behavior unbecoming a Russian teacher:

Omsk city hall said that she had caused “irreversible damage to the reputation of the teacher.

“By spreading frivolous images on the internet in order to promote a commercial project she also hurt the image of the school.”

She had broken a code of conduct at Omsk school number 7 which “supports morals and ethics.”

News agency NGS Omsk has now offered her a job, which, they say, pays better than teaching in Russian schools.

(Via BBC News.)

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On being full of citrus

Bureaucrats gotta bureaucrat:

A trio of brothers set up a lemonade stand over Memorial Day in Denver, CO, as a way of raising money to donate to the charity. They operated near the Denver Arts Festival, selling cups of lemonade for about a seventh of the cost of the official Arts Festival vendors. Someone called the police and they had to shut the boys down because they did not have the needed permits. No one knows exactly who squealed, but my suggestion is for police to see who at the Festival looked the most like someone who’d been sucking on lemonade’s base ingredient — because anyone who would call the cops on a kids lemonade stand which is raising money for charity has earned the label sourpuss.

Compassion International to the rescue:

Anyway, the stand got shut down and the boys’ mom started a Kickstarter campaign to raise some money to be sent to one of CI’s sponsored children. Then the company itself heard of the matter and invited the boys to set up a stand in their parking lot. Which, the Denver Chamber of Commerce would like you to ignore, is in Colorado Springs.

Between their sales in the parking lot and the Kickstarter fundraiser, the boys collected more than $8,000 for the charity and their sponsored child.

I recommend you add this incident to your personal list of Things To Do In Denver When You’re A Douchebag.

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Texting all the way

So the idea here was to use Instacart for things that can’t be had from the Walmart machine, and pay a smidgen extra for actual delivery. Their app keeps you updated on the state of your order, and if you’ve so specified, sends a text for each stage.

These texts, as it happens, don’t all come from the same place. Instead of the three-to-six digit text-only number you usually see, they give out the actual number calling. Three were involved in yesterday’s transaction:

    Order received: 415 481-4584

    “Daniel is shopping” and “Thank you for shopping”: 415 853-1796

    Intermediate stages: 215 458-2552

So the home office in San Francisco (probably) handles the order function, while an office in Philadelphia (maybe) covers the tracking function.

Meanwhile, the competition is heating up: if I read correctly, I can now have them bring stuff to my door.


It’s like near-beer

I had no idea this stuff even existed:

Coweta County is, or so I had thought, a dry county when it comes to package liquor sales. You can buy cocktails in a dining establishment, but not the high-octane ingredients in a store — and certainly not in a supermarket. One city in the county allows package stores, but the three stores in that city are the only legal package stores in the entire county, and it’s a long drive from these home acres of ours. This is why I make a much shorter drive into neighboring southern Fulton County to buy my cheap Scotch.

And yet here, miles away from that one city, I was looking at small and large bottles of whiskey and gin. I was mystified. And tempted. I may prefer Scotch to bourbon, but I can deal with it. I’m not running low on Scotch, though, so I settled for looking. And that’s when I saw this on one of the shelf tags:

42 Proof

Oh, ho. Apparently 21% alcohol by volume falls below the threshold at which a distilled spirit is prohibited from sale except in designated package stores.

The Georgia Department of Revenue explains, sort of:

Distilled Spirit is any alcoholic beverage obtained by distillation or containing more than 21% alcohol by volume, including but not limited to all fortified wines.

So this is the moral equivalent of 3.2 beer, which, according to Oklahoma statutes, is “non-intoxicating.”

It is to laugh.

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We got your sandbox right here

Just give us a few minutes to get it ready for the Summer Sand Session:

I dunno. It seems like a lot of work to me.

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Think desert

I know from water-consumption mandates: here in the OKC, the sprinklers come off every other day, from whenever until eternity. (If your street address is an odd number, then you cannot water on even-numbered days.) I’d expect California rules to be a tad tighter. This, however, far exceeds any tad known to man:

Assembly Bill 1668 is where it gets personal. This establishes limits on indoor water usage for every person in California and the amount allowed will decrease even further over the next 12 years.

The bill, until January 1, 2025, would establish 55 gallons per capita daily as the standard for indoor residential water use, beginning January 1, 2025, would establish the greater of 52.5 gallons per capita daily or a standard recommended by the department and the board as the standard for indoor residential water use, and beginning January 1, 2030, would establish the greater of 50 gallons per capita daily or a standard recommended by the department and the board as the standard for indoor residential water use. The bill would impose civil liability for a violation of an order or regulation issued pursuant to these provisions, as specified.

If you’re wondering how the government would know how much water your family is using, the utility providers will be obligated to rat you out or face massive fines. And they’re encouraged to spy in all sorts of creative ways. They “shall use satellite imagery, site visits, or other best available technology to develop an accurate estimate of landscaped areas.”

I am typically (as in “only once was it more than this”) billed for 3000 gallons a month, about a hundred gallons a day, definitely below the neighborhood average and way more than what California considers actionable:

1) If the violation occurs in a critically dry year immediately preceded by two or more consecutive below normal, dry, or critically dry years or during a period for which the Governor has issued a proclamation of a state of emergency under the California Emergency Services Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code) based on drought conditions, ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each day in which the violation occurs.

(2) For all violations other than those described in paragraph (1), one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day in which the violation occurs.

Needless to say, this will not apply to, say, a municipal official on the Palos Verdes peninsula, who will not be expected to give up his pool.

(Via Inez Stepman.)

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Working for tips

Per this study, there’s a definite dearth of boys giving up their foreskins:

Nowadays, there are many educational software products that have incorporated motivational factors for assisting parents and teachers in persuading, convincing and motivating children to change their existing perception or behaviour. Different combinations of persuasive approaches work with different children, as verbal persuasive alone is not sufficient in changing children’s behaviour. The lack of existing applications to assist parents in persuading boys to undertake the circumcision procedure has motivated this study. A survey was conducted in order to determine the factors that might influence children to undergo circumcision. Rasch Measurement Model is used for validating and analysing the collected data. Results from this analysis are used for designing a knowledge management framework, which in turn will be used as a base for developing a multimedia prototype called BraveBoy. The strength of this framework is in its combination of different knowledge sources on circumcision procedures for boys, blended with various persuasive techniques to form an effective strategy.

May I suggest that bravery is highly unlikely to be useful as a motivational force; I’m not particularly fearful, but twice under the knife strikes me as probably more than necessary. Still, the authors of this study, Raudzatul Fathiyah Mohd Said, Norzilah Musa, Norzehan Sakamat, and Noorazida Mohd Idris — hmmmm, not a Smith or a Jones in the bunch — deserve to be taken seriously, even as I give thanks to the Almighty that they didn’t recommend a procedure for girls.

(Via Brian D. Earp.)

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The man on the sidelines

While the National Football League worries itself over seemingly trivial matters, and whether those seemingly trivial matters are impacting the bottom line, there’s apparently no time to worry about the selection-bias factors that affect the choosing of coaches:

Chances are good that a brilliant coordinator will flame out as a head coach, simply because the skillsets are so different. Head coaches have to “coach up” — their day-to-day jobs involve handling the owner, general manager, the media, and his subordinate coaches. Their relationship to the day-to-day, X’s and O’s of the game that’s played on Sunday is usually pretty tenuous. Coordinators, on the other hand, “coach down.” They do the nuts-n-bolts stuff, handle the players and their issues, devise the specific schemes and match-ups. There’s almost no overlap between those two areas of responsibility.

(The less said of college head coaches who jump to the pros, the better. College kids aren’t pros, the boosters aren’t the owner, and you don’t get the ridiculous recruiting advantage bigtime college programs do. Examples are numerous, but my favorite is Steve Spurrier — in his brief tenure with the Redskins, he really did seem to believe his “huck it downfield and let his five-star receivers blow past the opponent’s two-star DBs” would work in the pros. But everyone in the pros is a former five-star recruit).

Either way, though, there’s simply no relationship between the two skillsets, and thus no way to judge. A brilliant X’s and O’s guy, who gets the most out of limited athletes, might be great at schmoozing the owner and handling PR … but then again, he might not. The point is, there’s no way to tell if or how his X’s and O’s work will translate over to schmoozing and PR, and — given the demands of the business — there’s no way to give him a trial run. Yet coordinators always get promoted to head coach, because … well, how else are ya gonna do it?

This seems like an extension of the Peter Principle: the competent coordinator is promoted to incompetent head coach. But it’s a particularly harsh example, in that no one else is likely to be considered for the head-coach position; there’s no crossover with similar jobs outside football because there are no similar jobs outside football. There’s that whole other game called “football” in metric-speaking countries, but the only similarity is within the name itself.


A deep thought indeed

“If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let ’em go, because man, they’re gone.”

So said Jack Handey in one of his SNL interstitials.

The same, it appears, is true of your iPhone:

Don’t do this.

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