I Didn’t Learn It on a Blog, but in a Book

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on December 12, 2008 @ 5:51 pm

Earth’s rotation is slowing, lengthening the day by 2.3 milliseconds “per day per century,” due to “tidal friction.”

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

Filed under:Miscellaneous,Politics — posted by Anwyn on August 13, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

Apparently, a person in my general metropolitan area is Monica Lewinsky.

I don’t even have anything to say. She’s gotta live somewhere.

Yeah, But If We Did This, We Couldn’t BS Our Way Through Life Nearly As Much

Filed under:Miscellaneous,Need a Good Editor?,Priorities — posted by Anwyn @ 8:33 am

A plan for widespread certification rather than four-year degrees. It makes a lot of sense. I had a conversation not too long ago with an architect who went to a technical school rather than a university, and he talked about how the young college grads in his office struggle to keep their heads above water because their university courses hadn’t taught them about the building codes and laws they need to know to be licensed in their state.

No technical barriers stand in the way of evolving toward a system where certification tests would replace the BA. Hundreds of certification tests already exist, for everything from building code inspectors to advanced medical specialties. The problem is a shortage of tests that are nationally accepted, like the CPA exam.

It makes a lot of sense for editors. Though I doubt individual employers would stop testing individual candidates on their skills as they do now, at least they would know going in what skills those candidates are supposed to have, if they’re certified as having passed tests on the various style manuals, and could stop wasting their time testing everybody with a degree who thought editing looked easy enough for them to do.

Oh wait, except that’s how I got into editing myself. Well, no, not really–I focused on editing as what I really wanted to do, as opposed to what I studied in college, and I passed with flying colors the test my hiring manager gave me. But still, would my employer have looked twice at me under a certification system that I had not entered yet? A widespread system of certification would make it more difficult to change careers in that way, would make it much harder to apply for a new batch of jobs and see what shook out, but then editing is somewhat unique among professions in that it doesn’t necessarily require a specific degree or certification (like passing the bar, for example) but it does test you at the door. Perhaps it is one of very few professions that you can currently switch to relatively easily, as I did, and maybe for people wanting to switch to other professions, a certification system would actually make it easier, in potentially not having to go back to college before being able to switch.

At any rate, the point is well made about cutting through a lot of BS in the four-year system … and in life, as well, including BS like this:

Here’s the reality: Everyone in every occupation starts as an apprentice. Those who are good enough become journeymen. The best become master craftsmen. This is as true of business executives and history professors as of chefs and welders.

I wish that were true, but think back to college, think of that professor whose class you knew was bogus or lightweight. What’s he or she doing there? The dual-pronged BS of the college system: It confers degrees on people who might actually be ready for not much and promotes teachers who lead to the same result. A certification system would certainly require colleges to be more competitive outside the zone. That would be a good thing.

Via Hot Air headlines.

Why Is the City-County Council in Charge of This, Exactly?

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on June 2, 2008 @ 11:04 am

A proposal to raise Indianapolis cab fares from $2/mile to $3.25/mile.

Careful with Those Digital Photo Frames

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on March 6, 2008 @ 8:30 pm

Like so many items manufactured in China these days, they might be poison–this time for your PC.

H/t Chris.

What Are You *Wearing?*

Filed under:Miscellaneous,Television,The Fug — posted by Anwyn on February 1, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

Also, where are your arms?

You, on the other hand, look cute with your sleek, snappy dress and little apply cheeks, however unkind it may be to remind me how much I miss Veronica Mars in the middle of a strike.

The Princess Bride

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on December 28, 2007 @ 10:21 am

Any chance Robin Wright Penn and Sean Penn are divorcing because she looks at his pal Chavez and sees a thuggish dictator?

There’s such a thing as “Fool me once, shame on you …” Maybe she’s been fooled enough.

I Guess That’s One Way to Have Cake and Eat It Too

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on December 10, 2007 @ 8:48 am

Couple, 75, remarries after 20 years of marriage, four children, and 37 years of divorce, during which they were both remarried.

Each was able to put a finger on what had been missed most for all these years.

“His fun-loving way of doing everything and teasing all the time,” Mary said.

Virgil nodded. “And she puts up with it.”

Any bets on how long it is before she remembers how his teasing used to drive her freakin’ nuts?

While I Was Out

Filed under:Miscellaneous,Not Cool,Sports — posted by Anwyn on October 9, 2007 @ 9:44 am

I’m back from Boston, where my gracious hostess Petitedov and I saw tons of history and several varieties of Mike’s Pastry. A few things that happened while I was gone:

Funkypundit prognosticated incorrectly lied, Phils and Cubs died. Holy cow-hum.

Marion lied, gold medals died. I remember those Olympics. I believed her then. The article blandly says that two out of the other three relay team members have served doping bans since then–doesn’t say it’s for sure they doped at those Olympics. Doesn’t matter. Medals should all go to the second-place team. I used to be naive about this stuff. Now it’s starting to taint the concept of everybody at the top for me.

Latinos lied, DMV spied, Oregonian cried got its panties in a wad over the fact that most of the people taken up for fraudulent documents were Latino. Here’s a conundrum: Oregon law allows illegals to obtain driver’s licenses or state IDs as long as they have authentic documentation, such as a consulate card or a (frequently Mexican) birth certficate. Yet people are still using fraudulent documents, leading me to wonder if people actually want their real names on a license if they’re illegal.

Already, suspects who might otherwise have gone unchecked have been caught: they confess to buying Social Security cards in Montana, Los Angeles and Hillsboro; and they admit traveling from places such as Nevada and California, where illegal immigrants are prohibited from getting state identification.

No word in the article on whether they take their Oregon ID back to Nevada or California and live there awhile with a totally legitimate document supplied to them by the friendly state of Oregon. And the license clerks are the losers here–learn to properly identify a crappy Mexican birth certificate (“But the pink color, chipped ink and misplaced signature of the birth certificate still did not pass the test.”) or report somebody whose documents are actually genuine, even if it means they’re a genuine illegal. Until Oregon law begins to address their illegal status and not just their fraudulent documents, the DMV’s effort is valiant but only a half measure.

Via Ace, via Snapped Shot.

There I Go Being All Guy-y Again

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on September 17, 2007 @ 4:36 pm


Well, not totally guy-y, as among the “avid readers” in the poll, the women read nine books and the guys topped out at five. But:

Women read more than men in all categories except for history and biography. …

“We see it every time in our store,” says Carla Cohen, owner of the Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C. “Women head straight for the fiction section and men head for nonfiction.”

I don’t remember the last new novel I read other than finishing up the Potter series. I pull out my Jane Austens very regularly, but for new books it’s all history and biography for me these days. Put that in the stereopype and smoke it.

H/t the Headlines of the King of the Betas. Wonder if he heads straight for the Gerald Ford biographies or picks up the Stephen King.

Eye Opener

Filed under:Heh,Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on July 20, 2007 @ 6:20 pm

Did you know the ins and outs of how big-firm attorneys charged?

I didn’t either.

[Reform toward flat-fee or contingency representation is] good for the client, certainly: no more $200 phone calls that last only 5 minutes (but which get billed in 15- and 30-minute increments). No more charges for an attorney to attend a firm-wide half-hour meeting wherein numerous cases are discussed in one-sentence summaries, with each of those clients being billed for the attorney’s full half-hour.

It’s good for the legal system, too. Nothing brings on superflous, unnecessary motion practice like a corporate attorney’s representation of a client with deep pockets.

Yowza. I guess I’m fortunate that so far my dealings with attorneys (as opposed to friends who are attorneys) have been limited to two specified services for two flat fees.

Bonus Venom: Heh.


Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn @ 3:57 pm

If you were a hairstylist in a SuperCuts-ish type of place, and you regularly cut the hair of locally based, nationally blogging columnist James Lileks, would you go on being just as surly to him as you were the first time you cut his hair?

And if you never knew who he was, might not you have some friends who would point out how you’re regularly being called out as sullen and “a miserable little scowling pill” on the web, so that you could improve your behavior somewhat?

A: Oh, right. You have no kind friends who might warn you of this depressing fact, because you’re surly. Never mind.

Cut the Line

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on July 19, 2007 @ 7:38 am

Want the new Harry Potter book without standing in line or ordering online?

Just get married the night of the release. Apparently stores are happy to snub the people they worked so hard to bring in several hours before midnight to put you first in line, as long as you’re coming from your wedding reception.

I defended adult readers of Harry Potter (I am one, after all) in Sarah’s list of stuff that annoys her. But this kind of thing is taking the crazy too far. Grow up, people.

Boston Globe article found through Allah’s House of Fish in a Barrel. Yeah: I’m in Indiana and read a web site run by people in New York and D.C. to find a Boston Globe article detailing an event in the town where I actually live.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace