Fun with axis labels

January 31st, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Thanks to the well-designed bar graph below, I know that my LinkedIn profile was viewed between 0.9 and 1.2 times within three separate time intervals of unknown length during the last 78ish-plus days.

Invaluable information, for sure.


January 29th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

Those of us with too much time and too little at stake sometimes catch ourselves sneering at our friends and loved ones (no, no, not you!—my other friends) for being mindless sheep, complacent and provincial, too hepped up on voyeurism and cheap noms to care how they’re being misled and manipulated by the structures of power in our society. At the same time, I’m sure there’s someone in Cairo right now who’d trade the right to free speech for an Idol marathon, DQ Blizzard, a Snuggie, and some goddamn peace and quiet this very instant, if only someone would offer. And you know, I wouldn’t blame them.

Quote outta context: Noble rebellion

January 28th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

“Why can’t we do something to show disapproval for what’s happened over the past 44 years — especially in my lifetime, 25 years of robbing us and lies?”

Yes! You tell that establishment!

“[T]hey wanted me to sign a peace bond and other stuff. I refused…”

DAMN STRAIGHT. You don’t roll over for anyone, hear?

“My parents are proud people, Scottish people. And they just always told me, no matter what I do, I should always stick up for myself and back what you’re doing and don’t stand down.”

Ay! They would be prou-uud!

“To ban me for a lifetime. . . for all the money and effort and tears I’ve put into them…”

What could possibly justify such a punishment? Well maybe…

A frustrated Toronto Maple Leafs fan won’t be doing time or have to pay a fine for throwing waffles on the ice at a game. […] Joe Robb, a stonemason from Oakville, Ontario, was charged with mischief to property after making his soft, thawed breakfast-food protest at a 6-3 loss Dec. 20 at Air Canada Centre against the Atlanta Thrashers.

Breakfast—er, justice served?

The charges were dropped Thursday in return for five hours of community service.

Still seems harsh.

Robb was not the first to toss waffles onto the ice.



January 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

So is Reagan to blame for turning the office of President into Chief Fundraiser, or was that Kennedy? Teddy Roosevelt? Maybe it goes way back to Old Hickory. Anyway, this mental_floss photo archive of Rappin’ Ronnie is a historical treasure if ever I’ve seen one.

Though it’s hard to compete with the utter strangeness of a Travolta-Princess Di tango, I think my favorite is of the ’87 Miami Hurricanes, who evidently brought every white player on the roster to the photo op along with the five black ones who decided the AD’s bribe was worth the flak they’d get later on from the homeboys for posing with rich whitey. If you’ve ever seen the 30 for 30 documentary The U, I assume you also have the image of Ronald Reagan capping off a pick-six by flashing a “suck it” gesture toward the ‘Noles student section running through your head.

Man, being president is great.

The moment you’ll all be waiting (briefly) for

January 26th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

In case you missed my previous endorsement, the excellent Yale e360 short documentary The Warriors of Qiugang has been nominated for Best Film in a Category Announced While All the Famous Starlets Are Still Powdering Their Noses at next month’s Oscars.

So yeah… maybe now that you know it’s an Oscar nominee, you’ll actually heed my recommendation.

Personally, I think it’s the best film nominated in any category, and not just because it’s the only one I’ve seen and one of the few that’s short enough for my attention span. I know it at least deserves Best Picture more than Inception, which—though excellent, I’m sure—sounds completely obnoxious to me.

If I cheer you on, will you save me a spot on the lifeboat?

January 26th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Assuming you don’t care who *lol* “wins the future,” this is fantastic to hear:

We estimate that between 2005 and 2010, nearly half a billion people escaped extreme hardship, as the total number of the world’s poor fell to 878 million people. Never before in history have so many people been lifted out of poverty in such a short period.

Read the whole excerpt, or—if you’re more ambitious than I—read the entirety of each linked article. But the point is clear: While the United EuroStates of the Western Union take to looting the instant our credit cards stop working at the petrol-gas filling station, billions of people the world over will keep on keepin’ on, as though they don’t really care how us Americans are holding up. Shocking, I know!

At least I hope I got that right. If nothing else, it’ll be a comforting thought when a desperate single mother of five has my forearm in her teeth, wrestling away the last can of kidney beans from the Walgreens shelves.

My favorite part…

January 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

…was when the president said, “America has fallen to 9th in the proportion of young people with a college degree.” I just don’t get why no one else clapped.

Team Play

January 25th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

“The whole town’s talkin’ about…”

An hour later, Stone said, Roberts came to the showroom floor and again demanded he take off the tie. When he didn’t, he was fired, Stone said.

A younger version of me might’ve tagged a stunt like this as reason to shop at Celozzi-Ettleson or, better yet, buy Japanese. But a) Celozzi-Ettleson’s been gone for ten years (seriously, where have you been?) and b) I’ve developed a strong faith in this style of management self-destructing without my meager efforts to nudge it along.

Instead, I’d like to use the opportunity to lobby on behalf of the wrongfully terminated John Stone. Believe me, Mr. Stone, if I owned a Chevy dealership, you’d have an interview this afternoon—nay, this instant. Surely there’s an organization out there that can appreciate your fearless, outside-the-box approach more than the Webb boys ever could.

Onward young maverick—you have my support!


January 25th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Del Valle, who had only 7 percent backing and raised the least cash among the major contenders, issued a statement chastising “those who thought that Rahm Emanuel’s election was a foregone conclusion.”

“Now, the voters are going to really have an opportunity to choose the next mayor of the city of Chicago,” he said.

I love the notion that eliminating the candidate who had more than twice as much popular support as any other candidate somehow made the election more democratic. I’m not saying he’s wrong; I just find the logic… interesting.

Bear down and Pack up

January 21st, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

If—as a life-long Chicagolandian and NFL fan—the jubilation of Chicago sports fans has become so irritating to me that I want the Packers to win on Sunday just so that I don’t have to tolerate it for two more weeks, does that make me disloyal, a miserable crank, or both? (It’s ok; I already know the answer.)

Officially, though, it’s just that I wanna see my Wisconsin pals happy. Yeah.