Showing posts from 2015

Holidays and anti-holidays

(Originally written in 2008.)    I've noticed that our holidays have opposites or anti-holidays. It is sometimes difficult to identify an anti-holiday, as the opposition between holidays can be hidden somewhere beneath their apparent purposes. I'll save you the trouble by outlining the holiday opposite-pairs below.    The most obvious holiday - anti-holiday pair is Memorial Day and Labor Day . I know that Memorial Day is primarily set aside for honoring the great sacrifice of our fallen service men and women and that Labor Day is set aside for recognizing the pains of childbirth. (That was a joke. OK?) There's nothing in those stated purposes that makes them opposites.    However, the holidays have secondary purposes that are indeed polar opposites. Memorial Day is the day we take off from work in order to open up our swimming pools for the summer. Labor Day is the day we take off from work in order to close up our swimming pools for the winter.    Now, what about Hal

Herbst, UConn prez and invisible-animal lover

The Hartford Courant reported today that University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst earns far more than the median U.S. salary for her position. Herbst may be an obscure figure around much of the country, but she is certainly well known in Connecticut and throughout New England. She is well regarded in her state for her guidance of UConn, and apparently she is well compensated for that role. She earned $525,000 in base pay in 2014 and another $50,000 in deferred compensation, and she secured a handsome raise at the end of the year. Across the country, university presidents earn a median of $428,000, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education quoted in the Courant article. In addition to a lot of money, Herbst also receives a lot of attention from the press in Connecticut. I've noticed stories about her initiatives at UConn, her contract extension (which this past December brought her a raise of more than 20% ) , her investments, her role with the AAC... But I have

True purpose of Indiana law?

Terrible misunderstanding.  The country has been in an uproar over Indiana's new law, which says in part: "A governmental entity may not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability." It seems to many that the  law was primarily intended to permit discrimination against gay and lesbian citizens by those who read an anti-gay message into their Bibles. After some investigation, I am assured that the law's intent was merely to guarantee that Indianans could ignore the highway toll while driving to church. (BTW, it seems Indiana now needs to keep an eye out for any new religions that consider armed robbery to be a sacrament.)

New wrinkle in GMO conspiracy

New York Times : FDA says gene-altered potatoes, apples are safe GMO potatoes won't bruise, and they produce fewer cancer causing chemicals when fried. Wait a minute. French fries that are LESS likely to cause cancer? Has there been a breakdown in the secret evil alliance between the Big Agriculture-GMO conspiracy and the Big Pharmaceutical conspiracy? Or is FDA cleverly manipulating us to eat more French fries?  (Hmm. I wonder if it is possible for us to eat MORE French fries?)