Archive for March 3rd, 2011
A lot was made recently about Nokia and Microsoft’s new marriage of convenience, with Nokia apparently tossing in the towel on its antiquated operating systems in favor of Windows 7. The reception to this news has been tepid, with many noting that two players who have so far failed at the smartphone game had no choice but to hook up. This is probably best epitomized by Google’s Vic Gundotra’s tweet that “Two turkeys do not make an eagle.” In sports, this partnership reminds me of Gary Payton and Karl Malone leaving familiar roots and joining the Los Angeles Lakers as a last-ditch effort to win an NBA championship. That failed, and this may too (continue reading…)
Ohio’s Senate just passed legislation that would eliminate collective bargaining for public university faculty because they are now to be seen as management.
The legislation declares all public college faculty members who either “participate in decisions with respect to courses, curriculum, personnel, or other matters of academic or institutional policy” or, “individually or through a faculty senate or like organization, participate in the governance of the institution, are involved in personnel decisions, selection or review of administrators, planning and use of physical resources, budget preparation, and determination of educational policies related to admissions, curriculum, subject matter, and methods of instruction and research.”
So, under this bill, which has yet to pass the state House of Representatives, I am now management in my university. Given that, I am tomorrow going to raise my and my fellow professors’ salaries. I’m going to repay the forced furloughs days from last year (continue reading…)
As we watch the Jasmine Revolution continue to unfold in the Middle East, it’s worth reflecting on the role of food security as a trigger of unrest. At the time of the first protests in Tunisia and Egypt, bread prices had risen 30 percent in the past year due to global shortages in the supply of wheat.
What’s striking is how this is reported as some sort of novelty or unexpected phenomena. Upon close examination of history, food security issues tend to accompany protests and revolutions (continue reading…)
Survivor opened this week watching Matt, aka Dr. Jesus, arriving on Zombie Island, a newly-made member of The Squawking Dead, like all Christians, seeking Redemption and Resurrection, whereas what he needs is what all zombies seek: brains.
First episode zombie Francheeseburger, woken from a deep coma, was surprised it wasn’t Phillip, aka Agent Dry Mouth, who was waking her. Franquestforbrains forgot that Survivor can turn on a dime, and predicting who will go next is a fool’s game. (And it also apparently didn’t cross her mind that Russell’s tribe, Viva Zapata, might be the ones evicting someone.) Dr (continue reading…)
For far too long, the West Coast — primarily Silicon Valley — has held a monopoly on headline-grabbing tech entrepreneurship. The singular reign of the Valley, however, may soon be eroding, thanks to the efforts of a vibrant, young, and visionary coalition of technologists and investors in and around the nation’s capital.
The pace at which Washington, D.C. is evolving into a capital for reasons other than politics is astounding. My own Google Calendar is constantly being populated with new tech happy hours, networking events, developer conferences and incubator pitch sessions (continue reading…)
The GOP is vainly searching for a qualified Presidential Candidate!
With the elections less than two years away Republicans are still sifting through a tired list of potential candidates with very little luck!
The list of potential Presidential candidates reflects the uncertainty and unrest in the new Republican Party.
It seems like every few weeks a new prospect rises within the party and another on the list loses their lustre.
The list, since Obama’s defeat of McCain in 2008, has been in flux with no less than 18 potential stars. Some have already gone supernova, permanently fading from the list. Others are soon to follow.
The current list, which includes recirculated hopefuls like Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Sarah Palin, and Presidential wannabe’s like Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, and Michele Bachmann, is a study in both inanity and insanity.
Which Republican Presidential Candidate can challenge President Obama?
As described in an article in July 2009, “Is That All You’ve Got?” some rising stars eliminated themselves before the ink was dry on their endorsements. That was the case with Bobby Jindal, Mark Sanford, and John Ensign, the latter two involved in widely publicized sex scandals.
The same is true of recently canonized Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker, who derailed his chances with a self-convicting punk phone call (continue reading…)
In the last couple of weeks, the tech industry has seen a growing trend, actually more of a “surge,” of Android-based devices take center stage. The increasing popularity of Google-OS based gadgets has analysts betting on the here-and-now Apple killer that is Android. But just when you thought the Android tidal wave was set to wash over the technology horizon, here comes Steve Jobs with the iPad 2.
The iPad 2, recently demonstrated by a thinner-yet-more-enthusiastic Jobs at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center, highlighted the lively new features of the next-gen device. Riding the the coattail success of the first Apple tablet, the iPad 2 brings more ammo to the digital fight (continue reading…)
China may be the epicenter of the global environmental crisis. Along the Yangtze, Yellow and Pearl rivers, fragile ecosystems meet the world’s largest population and most rapacious economy. In an epic journey, Jonathan Watts, the Guardian’s Asia environment correspondent, has visited the places where the world’s factory is bursting at the environmental seams. In a new book, he reports what he has seen.
On his journey, Watts passes through the logging towns of China’s far North and the cancer villages of industrial Henan (continue reading…)
Adm John Harvey urged the punishment for Capt Owen Honors and three others, and called for 34 other officers to be cautioned.
Videos featuring Capt Honors included anti-gay slurs, women in the shower together and simulated masturbation.
Capt Honors was relieved of command of the aircraft carrier over the matter.
In a news conference on Thursday, Adm Harvey, the commander of the US fleet forces command, said the videos apparently produced in 2006 and 2007 showed poor judgement and undermined the credibility of the USS Enterprise leadership (continue reading…)
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Ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson missing in Iran 'is alive'
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said there were indications he was being held somewhere in south-west Asia.
She added that the US had asked the Iranian government to make a humanitarian effort to return him safely to his family.
Iran has repeatedly denied knowing what happened to him.
“As the government of Iran has previously offered its assistance in this matter, we respectfully request the Iranian government to undertake humanitarian efforts to safely return and reunite Bob with his family,” Mrs Clinton said (continue reading…)
NRDC’s Michael Jasny has been closely monitoring the unprecedented deaths of baby dolphins in the Gulf. In his post below, he provides an overview of three critical questions that we must answer to get to the bottom of this tragic and mysterious die-off. Dolphins are some of the earth’s most intelligent creatures. We owe it to future generations to answer these questions as soon as possible (continue reading…)
A US university president has said he is “disturbed” that a psychology professor allowed a demonstration of a motorised sex toy in a lecture hall.
Morton Schapiro of Northwestern University called the decision to allow a naked woman to demonstrate use of the device last month “poor judgement”.
About 100 students observed the proceedings following a lecture session for a class on human sexuality.
Attendance was voluntary and students had been warned what to expect.
On 21 February, psychology professor Michael Bailey held a lecture on sexual arousal, with a focus on certain aspects of female physiology, according to a he released on Wednesday (continue reading…)
Since the publication of my Huffington Post article on the merits of self-publishing in December 2010, I’ve received mostly positive — and appreciative — comments. But some friends and others in the traditional publishing world still dismiss self-publishing as a pesky second-class stepchild that they believe will always remain in that status — and many wish it would just go away. They are unimpressed by recent developments that have ratcheted up the status of self-publishing: reviews of self-published books in Publishers Weekly and elsewhere, marketing and distribution services, listings in traditional distributors’ catalogues, prospects for listings in foreign publishers’ catalogues, and much more. Instead they focus on a single objection — that self-publishing is a gateless portal that gives new meaning to the Cole Porter tune “Anything Goes.”
Yes, there’s lots of junk among self-published titles (continue reading…)
Sony Music built the palace where last week’s Grammy darlings and indisputable music industry queens Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin live. Both honored for a lifetime of artistry, the world was reminded of the solo female artists lasting magical power. But for Sony, the list doesn’t end there. A closer look will show that label bloodline filled with more industry queens, princesses, and duchesses than any other, and a proven half-century of lady-centric executive leadership in Clive, Tommy, Donnie and Barry (continue reading…)
No doubt you’ve been put on the spot, cornered in conversation or didn’t quite feel you could say what you wanted to say. Maybe this happened with your spouse, friend, doctor, colleague, son or daughter. There just didn’t seem to be a good way to tell him or her what you were thinking. Then, to make matters worse, you wasted hours– maybe even days–dwelling on the event and rolling it over and over in your mind (continue reading…)
A 12-year-old boy remains in custody in the US state of Colorado after his parents were found shot dead and two of his siblings critically wounded.
The boy called police to the family's home in Burlington on Tuesday evening, investigators said.
Officers found the bodies of Charles Long, 50, and Marilyn Long, 51 and two wounded children aged five and nine.
Papers on the case have not been made public, but it has been referred to prosecutors for possible charges.
There were no other suspects and there was no reason to believe there was a continuing risk to the community of about 3,700 near the Kansas border, Steve Johnson of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation was quoted by the Associated press as saying (continue reading…)
The esteemed executive director of the Council for a Livable World, John Isaacs, has penned a piece noting the similarities between the Republican production of a fiscal year 2011 (FY11) continuing resolution (CR) and the William Golding novel The Lord of the Flies. In the novel, a group of British school boys are stranded without adult supervision and their attempts to govern themselves deteriorate into anarchy and tragedy. The comparison to the production of the FY11 CR seems appropriate.
The orderly production of the FY11 CR by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) resulted in a not unreasonable level of cuts ($38 billion) to the FY11 budget for non-security discretionary spending (continue reading…)
I can’t think of the last American film I saw that actually made me squirm in my seat with tension and suspense, the way I did with Kim Jee-woon’s I Saw the Devil.
I mean, I don’t go see torture-porn like the Saw or Hostel films, or the movies that pass for horror coming out of Hollywood. Certainly nothing – at least since Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds – has had me wriggling on the line like a fish the way I Saw the Devil did.
Make no mistake. This is a brutally, even viciously violent film (continue reading…)
I’m watching African American Lives on PBS, a documentary featuring the ancestry of prominent African Americans. The show features famous entertainers like Chris Rock and Tina Turner and prominent business and community leaders. Usually, when people look up their ancestors it’s a happy occasion to learn where you came from and who you’re related too. This is not so if you were born black in America (continue reading…)
The Republican Party has let us know who they believe is at blame for America’s collapsed economy – a crash which has devastated the nation and caused massive unemployment.
Not the financial industry that dealt in high-risk, mortgage-backed derivatives which collapsed the housing market.
Not Wall Street executives manipulating toxic assets, not big bankers manipulating bad loans, not corporate CEOs manipulating markets.
No, no. Teachers. The real high-finance scourges of the American economy (continue reading…)
One day after relocating his family to Boston, Mass., Rabbi Harold Kushner was informed by a local pediatrician that his three-year-old son Aaron would never grow taller than three feet and would suffer the symptoms of progeria “rapid aging.” This news threw his entire belief about God out the window.
He would go on to wonder how a God that he had been so loyal to could do such a terrible thing to him. Rabbi Kushner went on to make it his life’s work to explore “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.”
This is an extreme example, but we all suffer blows in life that seem unfair. After being put in a time-out as a kid, I used to complain to my mom that “It’s just not fair.” She turned to me and said, “Elisha, life’s just not fair.” At the time I thought she was mocking me, but the fact is she was just giving me one of the elementary lessons of life.
It seems to be the case that nature doesn’t discriminate between good and bad, the faithful and the faithless, the criminals and the saints. Otherwise, why do bad things happen to good people?
Why does an entire village get wiped out in a hurricane? Were all those people bad? Why does a mother lose her son? Why do innocent people die or get injured as they collide with a drunk driver?
When bad things happen to good people, sometimes we find religion, or bargain with God, or maybe just fall into a deep depression at the behest of the saying, “life isn’t fair, it’s never been fair to me and it never will be.”
This doesn’t mean God doesn’t exist, it just means that we don’t know why bad things happen to good people (continue reading…)
Congress is debating the merits of the Affordable Care Act, and the usual suspects are leading the charge against it. They’ve already scored one victory. A few weeks ago, the news broke that the Obama administration was prepared to move ahead with the “end-of-life planning” provision of the Affordable Care Act, both of which have been the target of so much misinformation. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that end-of-life planning would not be authorized after all (continue reading…)
I’ve always said that lovingkindness and compassion are inevitably woven throughout meditation practice even if the words are never used or implied, no matter what technique or method we are using. Everyone’s mind wanders, without doubt, and we always have to start over. Everyone resists or dislikes the thought of or is too tired to meditate at times, and we have to be able to begin again. Everyone loses touch with their aspiration, and we need the heart to return to what we really care about (continue reading…)
Few challenges in life seem more unrelenting and formidable than time… there never seems to be enough time to do what we believe we must do, and our experience of time often defeats more than delights. Our core beliefs about time bind and bond us; make us tired and often resentful. A plethora of time management books, apps and seminars promise us proven tools to track and plan how we spend our time, but offer little real solace or insight into what or how our precious moments are taken away from us (continue reading…)