Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Year Of Challenges: 1

Bored with your daily existence? I'm going to be presenting you with 365 things to do to make your day a little more fun, exciting, or... challenging. Here's number one:

1. Before the day ends, insert into a conversation a quote from a Van Halen song.

Quote of the Day, 57.


-- Mr Bunches.

I have a game on my phone that shows pictures of fruit and names them. (Hey, it's no less boring than Angry Birds) Mr Bunches loves to play it, but has some trouble pronouncing pineapple.

Friday, February 11, 2011

too much passion and a little talent (Friday's Sunday's Poem/Hot Actress 74)

True Love
by Barry Gifford

Your sickness made me

a little sick, it’s

true—I still

feel it

Mayakovsky got down

on his knees

and declared

his love

to his last


a few hours after

he’d met her

Remember me

at the hotel

in Paris,

on my knees

in the lift?

We’re all the same

men of too much passion

and a little talent—

some a little more

than others

We fool ourselves

into thinking

we’re strong

then complain

the rest of our lives

crippled by

the consequences


About the poem: This first appeared in The New Yorker, back in February 2009. I'm posting a love poem, of course, because Valentine's Day is Monday, and is there any reason that Valentine's Day is always on February 14 instead of floating around to always be on a weekend? Monday's are the worst possible day to have a holiday (or a day off) in the first place, and putting Valentine's Day on a Monday means that not only do you have to be romantic on Monday, which is virtually impossible, but, let's face it, you also have to celebrate the weekend before.

Like Sweetie and I. Don't tell her, but she's getting the first of her Valentine's presents today (flowers) and then we'll go out to dinner tomorrow night to try to get as much romance in as the two-hour break between when Oldest can come babysit and when we've got to go pick up The Boy from his job will give us, but neither of those are actually Valentine's Day, which means that on Monday, I'm going to give her her actual Valentine's present, which already feels a little anticlimactic, like celebrating Christmas in January.

About the Hot Actress: Making her third appearance on the blog, and second as a Hot Actress, is Jenna Fischer, who's still Pam even though I suspect she's got something else going on because she's on the cover of one of Sweetie's magazines this week, which usually means that she's got an album or movie coming out. Or, probably, a book. Everybody who's anybody gets a book published these days. And people who aren't anybody, too, but nobody hears about those.

Anyway, Jenna Fischer is the Hot Actress because last night, Mr F was watching a video of stunt airplanes on the computer, and he accidentally knocked the magazine with Jenna Fischer on it onto the floor, and as I picked it up Sweetie said "She should be the Hot Actress," after which I (stupidly) made a joke about how 36 is old, forgetting that Sweetie had had a rough day and would take it badly that I thought 36 was old, even jokingly, so I'm posting her here as a makeup present to Sweetie. And also a little for Valentine's Day, which really should be changed to just "the second Saturday in February" so we don't have this problem anymore.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Yale Law School rejected me, and that's never hurt me. (Except my feelings.) (Stuff, and Junk.)

If you're thinking about going to an expensive school, or urging your kid to go to an expensive school, stop and think/consider more, because it may not be worth it.

I've always told my kids that the school you go to -- and the grades you get -- are important only for your first job, and after that it's skills that matter. I didn't just say that because 2 years of my education came from UW-Waukesha, but because I knew it to be true from my own experience -- and now there's research to back me up:

How far will a degree from an elite college get you? A new working paper ... tries to answer that question by examining labor-market outcomes for Israeli students at Hebrew University (a leading university) and the College of Management Academic Studies (a “professional undergraduate college”). The authors found that a degree from an elite college will help you get a foot in the door, but skill quickly triumphs. “Our results support a model in which employers have good information about the quality of HU graduates and pay them according to their ability, but in which the market has relatively little information about COMAS graduates,” the authors conclude. “Hence, high-skill COMAS graduates are initially treated as if they were the average COMAS graduate, who is weaker than a HU graduate, consequently earning less than HU graduates. However, over time the market differentiates among them so that after several years of experience, COMAS and HU graduates with similar entry scores have similar earnings. Our results are therefore consistent with the view that employers use education information to screen workers but that the market acquires information fairly rapidly.”

(Source.) I didn't go read the paper to figure out how quickly it adds up, but consider this:

Going to UW-Stevens Point costs about $12,000 per year. Going to Harvard costs (for tuition and room and board) about $49,000 per year. A Harvard grad will therefore spend at least $148,000 more to get a 4-year degree than a UW-Stevens Point grad. So unless that Harvard grad, over the course of a career, earns $148,000 more than the Stevens Point grad, that money was wasted. And the study suggests that "after several years" the "Prestige U" advantage goes away -- so that Harvard grad better earn a lot more right off the bat.

Question of the Day, 75.

Why do we bother sealing up croutons?

Aren't they just, when you get right down to it, stale bread?

Okay, maybe they're not, but can they go bad? Get more solid? Am I wasting my time re-sealing that little bag?

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