Dave's Journal, June 2010
from the new Yorker . . . .
The safest of all degrees to be acquiring this year is in accounting: forty-six per cent of graduates in that discipline have already been offered jobs. Business majors are similarly placed . . . Engineers of all stripes . . . dominate a ranking, issued by Payscale.com, of the disciplines that produce the best-earning graduates. Particular congratulations are due to aerospace engineers, who top the list, with a starting salary of just under sixty thousand dollars - a figure that, if it is not exactly stratospheric, is twenty-five thousand dollars higher than the average starting salary of a graduate in that other science of the heavens, theology.
My comment: Also noted . . . more than 80% of the job openings in the next decade will not require a college degree. This means that, for the great majority of people, paying for a full 4-year college degree is a horrible investment in the future . . . take the money and buy a house instead!
from the heavens . . . .
Gemini = May22 - June21
Cancer = June22 - July23
Summer Solstice: In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice begins on Jun 21 2010 at 7:28 AM EDT. This is the longest day of the year.
A College Education . . . ?
okay, it's raining and i am back on this topic for the moment . . . "should i get a college education?" . . . . that's a different question than "is a full 4-year college degree a good financial investment for me ? "
more on US colleges (from the CSM) . . . .
Close to 70% of all engineering PhDs granted in the US (in 2006) went to foreign-born students, as did more than half the doctoral degrees in the physical sciences, . . . .
a baby fish is born . . . . in my pond !
i bought this cup (one of the best i have) in Pigeon Forge, TN around '95 - '96? on vacation visiting Bob and Ramona. i use it two or 3 times a week . . . it really is a work of art. i had to post an image of something "handmade" on a photo forum, and this is the shot i took this morning . . . gorgeous coffee cup and perfect in your hand !
Nuking the Gulf Oil Spill
Due to greed, laziness and the lack of intelligent oversight on everyone's part (business and government), the worst peace-time, man-made environmental disaster in history is now the ongoing gushing (they call it a "leak") of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Some committee of PhD's wants to detonate a nuclear explosion down at the gushing hole and melt the sea floor (the rocks) so they plug up the broken pipe and gushing oil.
Well . . . . what more needs to said . . . .
Old Italian proverb . . . . "It is wiser to use your brains to avoid a problem than it is to use your muscles to get out of a problem".
The Alfred Award
Photographing the Police is Illegal in Massachusetts
This is the most outrageous, offensive law that I know of . . . .
In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.
Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland are among the 12 states in which all parties must consent for a recording to be legal unless, as with TV news crews, it is obvious to all that recording is underway. Since the police do not consent, the camera-wielder can be arrested. Most all-party-consent states also include an exception for recording in public places where "no expectation of privacy exists" (Illinois does not) but in practice this exception is not being recognized.
In Chicago, a guy was arrested on a misdemeanor charge that was dropped, but now faces 4 - 15 years in prison on the felony charge that he recorded his arrest on his cell phone ! !
God Save America !
Walmart . . . at it again
The NYTimes has an article about Walmart offering it's employess a 15% discount if they take on-line college courses from a college that Walmart has a contract with. A degree in retailing will cost the employee $24,000 after the discount. . . . Walmart pays it's full time employees $11.75 / hour ! . . . that's $24,440 / year (gross income for a full time employee). . . . I am wondering how many people who are trying to live on $24,440 / year (after taxes, that's probably $20,000) are going to find the cash to drop $24,000 on a college degree so their salary may go up to $13.51 / hour.
In contrast to Walmart's 15% discount to take on-line courses from their one specified school . . . every one of my Wentworth students (all 12 years of them) were reimbursed 100% of their tuition (by their businesses) for every course they completed from any college, semester by semester . . . GE (my alma mater) did the same and even allowed us time off during working hours if that was the only available course. . . . those are what I consider serious education programs. The more I read it, the Walmart idea is an insulting sham.
One commentor on the article pretty much says what I think of Walmart . . .
. . . The Wal-Mart business model is based on providing substandard wages and benefits to its employees, engaging in blatant union busting and repression, and the importation of cheap and toxic products. It has single-handedly lowered the quality of living in communities throughout the US.
Wal-Mart could better serve its employees by offering them living wages and decent benefits instead of investing $50 million in a program that most of its employees will never be able to take advantage of.
PS . . . in praise of Walmart, let me say that I did use their men's room once in an "emergency" and it was very clean.
that reminds me of a topic that i do with my middle school kids . . . i have them make up a family budget for a year (they have no clue of course, but it's a good wake-up topic for them) . . . then i show them a budget for a typical family (lower middle economic class in their town), and show them how much income they will need to have a semi-decent lifestyle . . . .
in conclusion . . . . we should end this dumbing-ourselves-down, lower expectation, we-are-just-sheep trend we've been on for 20-30 years now . . . we expect and accept cheap products, bad service, low wages, bad working environments, lower educational achievements, stupid politicians, shamefully mindless "news" media, less-than-mindless TV programming . . . . we should demand more for (and from) ourselves and dump the politicians, people and businesses that are making the world worse than it used to be.
yeh . . . we should do this and we should do that . . . . people will shop at these big chains because the short term benefit is low prices and clean toilets . . . . and people will cut their education short because they can get a good job at Walmart, like their parents have . . . . . that's what i meant by "dumbing-ourselves-down".
from the New Yorker . . . .
from the back yard . . . poor little robin (?) egg
Vampires, the fake and the real . . .
these people are not vampires . . . they are teenie-bopper vampire wanna-be's
who neck-nibble in the back of dad's pickup.
Momentos ( a 5-minute film)
Thanks to Mike, this is the best 5 minutes you will have today: . . . Momentos.
how bad is the Gulf of Mexico oil spill?
Mike raised this topic at breakfast, so i did some research just now:
footnote #1: total world crude oil production is about 74,000,000 barrels / day = 1,131,047,400,000 USgallons/year. . . . the oil leaked so far from the BP oil spill is utterly utterly microscopic compared to the total world oil production . . . (about 1 / 24,000 ) . . . but again, the envirnomental / social issue is "how much spinoff damage will this do to life and economics?" . . . yet again, the damage done may also be insignificant compared to the damage done by the 1,131,047,400,000 USgallons/year that don't get spilled but still spit fumes into the atmosphere.
footnote #2: the water pressure at that depth is 2200psi (151× the pressure up here in the atmosphere), the oil is flowing out under a pressure of 9000psi (612× the pressure up here in the atmosphere). Stopping something coming out at 9000psi is not any easy task, esp when it is a mile under water! As a referrence, the water pressure out of your garden house is slightly less than 60psi.
As quick as you can . . .
name the 3 best looking dudes in Texas . . . .
correct answer = Jacob, Ryan and Jack (in order of descending height ! )
Roses this morning . . .
pinewood derby, fort wayne, indiana, 1978
this classic has been completely restored . . .
turned off "Slumdog Millionaire" after a while (too depressing) . . . did the same with "Tokyo Sonata" (which looked like it was heading for a very tragic end).
enjoyed "Coco before Chanel" (with Audrey Tautou), about Coco's early years . . . very neat film.
8 days in 'Frisco
i'm sketching out our october vacation in san fransisco . . . 8 days there will cost more (per person) than 14 days in dublin, venice, florence and rome . . . but i am going anyway . . . life's too short and getting too shorter.
google chrome web browser
am test driving it today . . . not bad at all . . . faster than firefox and the interface is somehow nicer (?) or maybe i just need a change of scenery (?)
Departures . . . a lovely, excellent "small" movie, with an unsusual basic storyline . . . the directing is superb, the acting is elegant, the budget is zero . . . i will watch it again sometime . . . loved it.
the scenes where he is "preparing the dead for burial" (which is done in front of the family, at what we call "the wake") are utterly beautiful and emotional - much more loving than our experiences over here (they are in Japan).
Tal Wilkenfeld . . . .i stumbled into a Jeff Beck jam session on TV and i was completely blown away by the bass player . . . . i haven't seen anyone play bass like that since Ray Brown . . . she looks like she's 12, she's actually 21 or 22, Australian, dropped out of high school, flew to NYC and is becoming famous!
after that . . . watch the master . . . Ray Brown bass solo
today's artful creations . . .
built on photos from the back yard . . .
him does this in early morning.
"i sleeping peaceful, can you see?."
sits my chest and licks my face,
Happy Birthday, Mike ! !
"The Hand that Broke off the Statue of St. Francis, Again"
(the glue didn't work, i guess)
(senior year, high school aero shop photo for the yearbook)
Bread and Tulips
a sweet little Italian film (subtitled) about a runaway wife and mom who finds her love in Venezia . . . ignore the lame plot descriptions, watch the movie.
Chris,at her birthday party yesterday . . (mouseover)
a great design
there are probably less than a dozen product designs in my life that have been perfect, and this is one of them . . . a measuring "cup" that is easy to read while you are pouring stuff into it. . . . i hope this designer makes mega$$$$.
i can't think of how i would make this design more functional (except possibly backlight it for use in total darkness ? . . that's a joke.).
June.20.2010 . . . today is a sunday porch day (and that's pretty much where it was spent) . . . wish my parents were sitting here with me at the moment, as it is the kind of day we used to have on their porches (kids playing ball in the street below or trains going by like a storm, and all) . . . i'm going to try again to grill chicken but as they say "
No returns accepted
$10,200 for a lens and you want me to pay $49 postage . . . "enter $10,300 or more" . . . this is a joke, right?
happily, i have 39mi&20s to weigh my options.
(postscript . . . it sold for $11,400 ! )
the back yard this morning . . .
Summer is here
i got the roof rack set up and spent 2 days fidgeting with my new home-made, fast-on/off kayak hold-down system, and made 2 trips to the local pond and . . . jeez . . . it worked ! . . .
a photo from our morning walk the other day . . .
Rolling Stone Offer Rejected
Rolling Stone magazine offered $10,000 for the original of this photo, and $50,000 if Nick would sign it . . .
(. . . the chick mumbled something about Paris tomorrow.)
new friends? . . . had dinner at Margarita's, in Nashua, with D's friend and her husband . . . great place to eat, and they are nice people.
from the new yorker....
a petunia by the fish pond . . .
speed . . . Mike's server tweaks have made my web pages load so fast, my nose bleeds . . .
call a cab please . . . i want to go home now.
page written by Dave Leo