27 January 2008

Kennedys all around

Obviously the only thing that can drive me to bløg is having work to do but not feeling like doing it. I'm pretty psyched about the Democratic primaries, and very please that my man Obama won the SC contest so handily. Hopefully he can translate that into momentum on Super Tuesday, instead of pulling another NH fizzle.

One thing which might help him is the support of various members of the Kennedy family, including Caroline and Ted. These are especially meaningful, as many people are drawing parallels between Obama and JFK, and these family connections can only help cement that connection in people's minds. (Luckily the people for whom this is a bad thing don't get to vote in the Dem. primary.)

21 January 2008

Strange incentives

OK, I agree that Tosci's is delicious and everything, but seriously, what the fuck is up with this? A business doesn't pay its taxes, so the Dept. of Revenue shuts them down. And then they ask customers to donate money to re-open? If I choose not to pay my taxes and then get busted should I send an email to my friends asking for money to pay them off? How does this make sense? Why is a for-profit business suddenly a charity just because they employ hip Central Square types to serve their ice cream?

14 January 2008


An excellent article on trying to understand morality by Steven Pinker. I usually think he's a bit of a blowhard, but he does make some very intriguing (and typically provocative) points.

05 January 2008

In the interest of those around you, please read this blog.

There's a tendency in the UK to make public signs polite to the point of silliness, and it's been grinding my gears lately. Illustration by way of two examples:

  • On a bus: "For your safety and comfort, please do not use mobile phones in these seats, as it may distract the driver."

  • In a supermarket: "Motorcyclists, please remove your crash helmet as you enter the store, so that we may serve you better."

Now, in both these cases, the actual message is reasonable, but what annoys me is how they throw in an extra clause to make it sound like it's for your own good, camouflaging the true nature of the request. It may make me marginally safer to not annoy the driver with my inane mobile phone conversation, but it sure as hell has nothing to do with my comfort. And I truly have no idea how I'm going to be "better served" by Tesco if I don't wear my helmet around the store.

03 January 2008

Quick hitsz

I've been pretty remiss in the blogotrain lately, but I've got 15 minutes to kill before lunch and don't fancy diving into a new thing before getting some food in my stomach, so here goes:

  • Moved into my new pad in the fens yesterday, and man is my room small. I don't mind too much, but still, it is interesting to have to get used to having literally nothing but a bed in my room. There's a wardrobe too, but I haven't decided whether to keep it inside or follow the practice of the previous tenant and keep it in the hall just outside the door. Good thing I still have my pad in Ox.

  • Getting pretty psyched to be back at work after the prolonged holiday break. Time for some productivity, I think.

  • These new Grado headphones I got for Christmas are the bees knees for high quality listening at work. Unfortunately they're open-design, so they'll annoy the hell out of other people in the room unless I turn them way down. Luckily right now we're still in the post-holiday doldrums, so I have the office to myself. They also keep my ears warm, since the office is freezing.

  • Happy New Year!