Friday, May 27, 2011

Backdoor Recruitment?

As we go into memorial weekend my mind wanders to the naturally to the subject of the military to which an odd thought began to form in my mind.

I wonder what the relationship between changes in tuition to colleges and enrollment rates in the military is?

Could I as a government entity meet a back door goal of increasing recruitment in the military but cutting funding to education and forcing them to increase tuition costs?

Since one of the primary reasons given for service is money for college this option becomes increasingly attractive as tuition goes up.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Word on Bullying

A Word on Bullying

Yeah it suck to get picked on, but I have to think we are going about this all the wrong way.

1.) We probably have bigger and better problems we should focus our attention on.
2.) Bullying is not going to go away in the bigger world.
3.) You need to teach kids to be assertive maybe even aggressive think karate instead of telling them it is ok to tell…what are you going to do in real life? The man at the mall called you fat? Someone took your parking spot? You want to cry to mall security?
I was 90 pounds soaking wet. I took my lumps growing up. I learned how to cope with it. I developed survival skills and a sense of self reliance…something I am afraid we are forgetting to teach.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Father of Twins: Classic Overachiever

Bumper Sticker seen at the golf course pasted on a car which I can only describe as driven by the biggest tool I have ever seen in my life.

I know it is a little bumper sticker on some pricks range rover and a little tongue and cheek but I can’t help but think that it summarizes a lot of what is wrong with us in general.

Human beings have an incredible ability to take credit for things that they have nothing to do with or that are completely random acts of luck. Is this person heroic because of what they did? Since when does not pulling out make you an over achiever?

   əˈtʃiv məntShow Spelled[uh-cheev-muh nt]
something accomplished, especially by superior ability, special effort, great courage, etc.; a great or heroic deed: his remarkable achievements in art.

Monday, May 23, 2011

History Stuck on Repeat

With the curve of space it is said that if you could see far enough you would be looking at the back of your own head. This made me think about radio waves and time travel. Since in theory radio wave go on forever they eventually will come back to the place of their origin just like me looking at the back of my head. So everything that has been broadcast will replay exactly in the same order it did the first time billions of years in the future.

Which means we will reenact this entire thing called humanity somewhere in the future. If I could find a way to travel ahead of the radio waves already emitting in the galaxy I could stand on other planets and relive the entire modern history. If I traveled further I could relive it again. In a sense history is repeating itself infinitely across the universe.

Isn’t that cool 15 minutes on air will be relived over and over again for ever.

Hopefully for your sake it Is not you calling into war of the roses….

Friday, May 20, 2011

The End of the World

I love stuff like this. I love the fact that this idiot is actually making people feel nervous. I think it is amazing how everybody can see how crazy he is but still pick up the same magic book he is reading and think nothing is wrong with it.

The nature of prediction. There is a saying that even a broken clock is right twice a day. If enough predictions are made eventually one of them will come true not because you predicted it but because events happen. If enough people make predictions eventually one will come true, what we forget is all of the incorrect ones that lead to that moment or that that person getting credited for that prediction has never been right before.

Another example….this goes to manipulating people into believing you know something they don’t … in my crystal ball I am going to predict the following things for the next 12 months.

1.)There will be a number of tornados that will have a vast impact across the heartland one of them will be unusually strong.

2.)There will be an earthquake that will have far reaching impacts felt well after the tremors has subsided. It will break the crust of the earth and unleash waves of terror on all who are in its path.

3.)There will be a horrible plan crash that will look like someone dropped a plane out of the sky killing everyone on board.

4.)A great fire will scorch the earth and blacken the sky for miles. (Think wild fires that happen every year)

5.)A massive hurricane will flatten all man made structures in a geographical pattern that only I can interpret. (Now I am starting to make the transition into using something to make you think I am the only one who can do more)

6.)There is going to be great turmoil in cradle of civilization. The blood of many will spilled upon the ground. (This prediction has been coming true every year for the last 10,000 years)

7.)So on and so on

Is this the apocalypse? Am I a messiah? The next Nostradamus? Should you be afraid? No these are just events that happen every year. I am phasing these things in a way to frighten you. I am phasing them vague enough where I am going to be right. Statistically they are all going to happen. The beauty of human beings is they begin to attach their own meaning to these events and it will just grow and grow….

Should I start a church?

Oh well… I will still have to go to work on Monday..

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Future of Books

Maybe books are dead? Even E-Books...

The purpose of a book is to convey information and record information. I wonder if the cost of producing mass media on the scale of u-tube and twitter if we will ever move from a society where the printed word is completely obsolete. Imaging if table technology became so cheap the instructions in everything you buy was a video.

There is a lot of information conveyed in a video that is missing in any given reading of like material. They say that 90% of communication is visual and seeing a video definitely helps with that portion of it, although I think we would lose a large chunk of our cognitive process. One of the great things that reading allows a user to do is to visualize things with their mind. They build special relations to the word in their own vision.

I wonder if the printed word disappeared if we would devolve somewhat? I think one of the things that readers are saying when they say that a movie is not as good as a book is they are saying that the world they created in their minds with the authors words was better than the actual interpretation by the director. What if we no longer got to interrupt the world but had it already done for us all the time?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sun Country Airlines Sucks

I wonder if Sun Country is an euphemism for the land of hell? I recently had the opportunity to catch our local airline from Minneapolis to Phoenix for a quick weekend of a little R & R and the weekend itself was great. Although I was turned into a lobster in the first 10 minutes like usual I forgot how nice it is to actually see the sun. Weekend was great until the trip home.

1.)Only two ticket agents working and both of them were obviously stressed. Not liking to sit in the back of the plane I asked if there were seats open closer to the front and told no…. however there were lots of seats open on the plane as we took off especially the first row right behind first class which is nice for the longer legged people.

2.)As I arrived at my assigned seat (which cast 8 dollars to do online) the cushion was missing, which was shortly returned wrapped in a black garbage bag – apparently a person on the previous flight vomited all over the seat and wrapping the seat in a garbage bag and replacing it was Sun Country’s version of the optimal solution.

3.)No problem right lots of open seats on the plane – wrong the front row is suddenly filled by Sun country employees – how about one of them sits in the puke and lets the customers sit in the non-puke - ? Seems reasonable right? – Nope
a.How about some free drinks at least? - Nope
b.Voucher? - Nope
c.Apologies for treating you like an asshole and making you sit in a smelly pile of puke for three hours? - Nope

I guess Sun Country had better things to do

This brings me to a bigger beef you can not complain to an airline about shity customer service. They will call you an unruly passenger and get homeland security involved in investigating your life if you simply state you think you should be able to ride in plane not on a plastic garbage bag filled with puke. Why should I no longer be able to call a stewardess an assshole if they are being an asshole ...should commenting on the level of customer service really be classified as a matter of national security?

If this post is being viewed it is because Sun Country failed to satisfactory respond to my request after 15 days.

Sun Country - Fuck You

Monday, May 09, 2011

Dressing for the Theater

Recently had the chance to go see Arsenic and Lace at the Guthrie and was reminded of one of the great things about this city is its amazing cultural performing art centers.

That said I would like to comment on "Dressing for a Play"

I heard several comments on this topic and find it kind of interesting. Apparently you have to dress for the theater. Which means suit tie and or dress. I think people might have this a little confused. I think you should dress for a play the same way the culture of the day expects you to dress for a night out. I mean if we want to get all technical on this topic when ever we dress for plays we should be putting on out formal togas since that is how the people who invented the concept of our modern theater dressed.

But at some point someone said you know I think togas are a little dated maybe we should wear bloomers or what ever came next.

I think we should be at that point in our own culture where we can say you know jeans and a button down are ok..and stop with all the pretentiousness.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Listen to Your Body?

In the age of the biggest loser I think this is very interesting advice. Listen to your body.

When listening to my body I hear it crying out for a cheese cake, for a bag or pretzels and BBQ chips, for a bottle of wine washed down with a few vodka red bulls. It doesn’t say just have a few chips, it says how come you only got one bag? My body isn’t crying out to hit the gym it wants to nap on the couch and watch Seinfeld episodes.

I don’t want to listen to my body I want take his dumbass outside and beat the shit out of him for being stupid.

Better advice for large people…everything you have done before do the opposite.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Innovating Our Way Out

One of the assumptions that I have always held is that America is a land of opportunity and that with hard work and innovation we will be able to overcome any obstacle and maintain a sense of global dominance as long as we invest in research and development at a greater scale than anyone else. I mean we have a 100 year head start right? In a sobering change of view I no longer see that as the case.

1.)A head start for innovation is becoming more and more meaningless as people can catch up at a much more rapid pace.

2.)If I take some technical companies like say 3M or Medtronic or name a few other whose budget might be 50% RD and still can’t come up with very many new products each year let alone products that are considered innovations. Then the tiny percentage of our GDP that we allocate to RD is probably nowhere close where it should be.

3.)We have so much legislation and red tape and political and procedural bureaucracy that even if someone invented a product it would take a life time to realize it. Say for example today I invented an magic engine that could make its own energy, that no longer required gas, that could power a hover craft that could travel from Minneapolis to London in 5 seconds. This invention would be amazing. It would reduce carbon emissions since we no longer need oil, it would save time, the environment, it would reduce prices since this engine could also make electricity without coal all of a sudden you could power the entire world for pennies a day. Until you realize that the government says your patent can not do any of these things since it is matter of national security. Then after 20 years the oil, car manufacture, coal lobby bog your approval bill down in appropriations committees, you cannot get approval from them to fly the things until they have been studied for environmental impacts for 20 years, pass zoning ordinances, get approval from the TSA etc and all of a sudden you realize that while we are pegging the hopes of our prosperous future on innovation there is a million people for every one innovator that have a vested interest in keeping things just the way they are and unfortunately that place we are is on the declining decent of a aging empire.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Hubris (hjuːbrɪs/), means extreme haughtiness, pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.

It is easy to get a full head. To feel like everything you have is earned and destined to be.

I also am becoming increasingly aware of how fatal that mind set really is.

I would like to use the word luck here not as a superstitious force that can somehow be conjured or manipulated but in the sense that sometimes you are randomly at the right place at the right time and favorable events manifest themselves in a way that is advantages to you or the opposite.

I have always been a huge believer in hard work, the harder you work the more successful you will be on average and nothing is changed here but even in this mindset there is an element of chance that has to be acknowledged.

I could work 80 hours a week for 60 years on a cure for cancer and not find it or have someone else find it a week before I could, making them successful and me not. That is not to say you should not work hard and be diligent but just that in the real world there are many variables outside of your control at work in the outcome.

I think it is healthy to recognize these variables. It is humbling. It is helpful
In this sense this is my combating of hubris. It is my reminder to myself of this random chance, which luck has played a role in where I am. That the random chance that has brought me to this point should be celebrated as well as the effort.
When I recognize this fact I am more grateful. I empathize more with others who might not have had the lucky breaks. It also makes me aware that the lucky breaks will go the other way at times and I should plan for contingencies.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Interesting Perspective on Time

Interesting Perspective on Time

This is an exert from an interview with Joshua Foer the Author of Moon walking With Einstein (I just ordered it and it is in my queue to be read in July so I will let you know how it is)

This exchange stuck with me and thought I would pass it on.

Q: What is the connection between memory and our sense of time?

A: As we get older, life seems to fly by faster and faster. That's because we structure our experience of time around memories. We remember events in relation to other events. But as we get older, and our experiences become less unique, our memories can blend together. If yesterday's lunch is indistinguishable from the one you ate the day before, it'll end up being forgotten. That's why it's so hard to remember meals. In the same way, if you're not doing things that are unique and different and memorable, this year can come to resemble the last, and end up being just as forgettable as yesterday's lunch. That's why it's so important to pack your life with interesting experiences that make your life memorable, and provide a texture to the passage of time.

So time begins to fly the older we get because we are not doing enough new things. The routine actually makes our lives fly by quicker. It one of the reasons I try to incorporate new experiences, places, etc into my daily grind. Maybe I need to do more.

If you want your life to slow down do something new.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Civil Union

The republicans in my great state of Minnesota ran a relentless campaign this past election on primary notion of reigning in Government spending that apparently had gone awry.

Their first act of legislation?

Fix the budget?
Put a vote to the people to constitutionally ban gay marriage.

With all the problems we have going on in our fair state this non-issue is where you start?
It makes me sick.

Let everybody get a civil union. Take love out of it, take god out of it.

Every man and woman should be allowed to form a union with another person for the purposes of handling medical issues if they become ill, managing their estates if they die, looking after their child if something happens to them.

Even if I am not gay I should have the right to appoint who ever I want man or woman to this role period.

To do otherwise is a violation of the constitution and the separation of church and state. If you confer these rights to people for a religious reason and refuse to confer these rights to people outside of that religion you are in violation of the 14th Amendment and its Equal Protection Clause.

Apparently when you were grand standing on the floor and reciting the constitution out loud you failed to understand the meaning.