Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Top Ten New Copyright Crimes

Also included are a few pieces of an [INSIDE] interview with Jamie "ad skips are theft" Kellner, chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting. Plus there is a pretty great quote from Robert Heinlein that gives me a little hope for the future:
There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or a corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years , the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest.

posted by Alison 6/26/2002 11:20:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

In your presence even my shadow acquires the sensation of touch. Your eyes show as many deep and full shades of blue as a healing bruise upon an injured forelimb. If I were to combine your blood, toes, and hair, it might not be you, but it would be enough for my basic desires.

Sometimes it's hard to tell surrealist compliments from insults.

posted by Alison 6/26/2002 01:28:00 PM : (0) comments : splink


Tuesday, June 25, 2002

57% of bachelors degrees awarded this year went to women. No big surprise, right? Women are more likely to graduate from high school and they are more likely to do it with a high GPA. According to the Washington Post:

An annual survey of U.S. college freshmen conducted for the Cooperative Institutional Research Program, a national study of higher education overseen by the University of California at Los Angeles, has found consistently that men are more likely than women to spend large amounts of time watching television, partying and exercising during their senior year of high school. Women, meanwhile, report spending more time than men studying or doing homework, talking with teachers outside of class and doing volunteer work.
The article presents several possible explanations for the above disparities, but I think it left out a serious one: for girls (or anyone, really) the alternative to a job with a college degree pretty much sucks. If you want to make above minimum wage in a job with potential for future advancement, then there aren't many options without further schooling. While real estate and dental hygiene might not mean that you must have a 4 year degree, they do require training and passing an exam. You could work a messy and/or dangerous job for higher pay. But wouldn't anyone study harder in school rather than work in a slaughterhouse 30 years if they knew they had the option. Most of us have seen our fathers come home with too many smashed fingernails or puncture wounds to find industrial labor appealing. So most of us think ahead and realize that we don't want to be waitresses or work in the refinery. We want the higher salaries that come with education and a job that we enjoy. There are probably lots of people, both male and female who wake up to the fact that they haven't prepared themselves for the rest of their lives when they are just about to graduate from high school. But unfortunately, according to the latest statistics, I think it is far more likely that that person has a y-chromosome.

Professor Reynolds over at instapundit has a different explination:
SEX DISCRIMINATION IN COLLEGE: 57 percent of degrees are going to women. There's a lot of hand-wringing about why, but they miss the obvious: over the past 20 years there has been a concerted effort to make colleges male-unfriendly environments, with attacks on fraternities, with anti-male attitudes in many classes, with intrusive sexual-harassment rules that start with the assumption that men are evil predators, and so forth. Now men don't find college as congenial a place. It's a hostile environment, quite literally.
If that is the case professor, then why does Harvard still have 7 men for every 6 women? And why does UC Berkley, a perceived bastion of anti-male fervor, beat the national average with a 44.6% male undergraduate student body? When you factor in graduate students, Berkley has a 49% male student body. I seriously doubt it is the sexual harassment policy or the rape crisis counseling that is keeping men off campus. What 18 year old makes sure to read all of a campus’s policies before choosing a school? By the way, as mentioned in the WP article, male enrollment in college is continuing to grow, just not as fast as female enrollment. So I don't think that means that more males are staying away, it just means that they aren't coming fast enough.

If you are one of those boys who are scared off by the "anti-male" atmosphere at today's universities, then I have some tips for you:
  1. Volunteer to be the attacker and wear the padded suit for the women's self defense classes. You'll meet many new friends and since they've already had a chance to kick you in the crotch, you won't need to search for an ice breaker.
  2. Don't take women's studies courses unless you like agreeing with everything everyone says, or being blamed for things that have nothing to do with you. If you would like to repeat this experience, please take modern colonialism.
  3. Remember that the skewed male/female ratio will be working in your favor. There will be many more smart, yet desperate girls throwing themselves at you. If you can't find them, see point #1.

posted by Alison 6/25/2002 05:49:00 PM : (0) comments : splink


Monday, June 24, 2002

For the third morning in a row I woke up on the floor of my office. Today I woke up with twice the muscle cramps as usual. I went to a swing dance on Sunday night with Clark and after a short lesson we danced until 11 o'clock at night. They were filming a commercial that evening, so there tons of people who could do some really amazing stunts. Clark and I had never even danced together before, so we stayed in a corner and tried not to fall on the camera man. I'm not a very good dancer, but I have a lot of fun. Just don't let me lead because someone will end up in the hospital.

I noticed that a lot of the boys at the dance were the same type of boys I remember in high school band. They probably weren't the most popular boys in school but when they swing all of the pretty girls want to dance with them. Swing dances are also great places for people who like suspenders. Outside of a barber shop quartet, swing dancing is one of the few places where you can wear your suspenders and girls will still talk to you.

posted by Alison 6/24/2002 05:34:00 PM : (0) comments : splink


Friday, June 21, 2002

Considering the tasks of the robots at Magna this year, running away might not be the best survival strategy. Pulling a Johnny 5 is a bit hard on the batteries.

posted by Alison 6/21/2002 11:27:00 PM : (0) comments : splink


Monday, June 17, 2002

Related to the post below concerning the "Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act" bill, I keeping having these happy fantasies of me going to a GW Dems meeting and yelling at Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye (he's a GW) for his support of S. 2048. He usually comes to campus about once a year, so I might actually get to do this if I don't get dragged off by security.

posted by Alison 6/17/2002 02:32:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Reading about this sort of legislation makes me kind of sad about the priorities of some of our congress members. I think there is a serious problem in that the people who were elected to represent us have less than complete knowledge about the technologies they are trying to regulate.

posted by Alison 6/17/2002 02:14:00 PM : (0) comments : splink


Thursday, June 13, 2002

I've been playing the games at Orisinal for a few months and they still haven't grown stale. Whle the game concepts are nothing new, they are so beautiful that I can't believe one person did them for free. My personal favorites are Bubble Bees, Pocket full of Stars, and Chicken Wings. Thank you, Ferry Halim, for getting over your bandwidth issues.

posted by Alison 6/13/2002 06:24:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

California is thinking about ending weighted grades for high school students. Besides giving students less incentive to take difficult classes, it also takes away rewards for doing sometimes as much as twice the work. To me it's like paying two people the same salary when one puts in hours and hours of overtime a week. Also, for anyone who feeds you the line that "weighted grades that give some high school seniors a competitive edge when applying to college," please ask them to prove it. I've worked in a university admissions office before and they're aware that not all high schools are the same. Most applicants are judged by their transcript in light of their high school's profile, which also includes average GPA as well as how many AP classes a school has to offer. So if the applicant's high school no AP classes then no one is going to reject her for not challenging herself. (via Readjacobs)

posted by Alison 6/13/2002 02:37:00 PM : (0) comments : splink


Friday, June 07, 2002

I'I’m back in the United States now. I'm living in the great state of Kansas and working on a research grant that I received from the University of Kansas. I work for Professor Grzymala-Busse and I'm trying to find a better equation for diagnosing melanoma through Artificial Intelligence. The tests I'm running take a long time, so I've been catching up with my good pal, the internet, and learning to knit during my down time. I need the internet in order to do my work, but it's sort of having the same affect as TV; I waste a lot of time. When I mean to take a few spare moments and work on my blog or translate articles that I clipped out of the asahi shimbun I end up doing things like watching the entire Daily Show Archive or reading Metafilter. I find myself numbing my brain reading endless articles and playing with internet toys so I'm too worn out in the evenings to do anything constructive.

But on the bright side Lawrence isn't a bad town for summer living. It's got a lot of neat little stores on Massachusetts Street and nothing is more than a 10 minute drive away from campus. Also, now that I'm above the legal drinking limit having per capita 1 liquor store to every 3 people doesn't seem quite so limiting. Although to be quite honest, I haven't had any alcohol since the last time I went to Karaoke in Nagoya. I've discovered that I'm a much better singer if I at least think I'm drunk. I was still drunk enough to sing in the Yagoto subway station as I waited for the last train home. I think that was the first time I ever sang in public unaccompanied in anything above a mumble.

posted by Alison 6/07/2002 04:01:00 PM : (0) comments : splink



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