05 June 2009

Spring Snowstorm

A bit snowed under in paperwork for a few days here... at the moment, I'm just sticking my head out of the drifts for a moment to catch some air. Some humid, pollen-and-cropdust-filled Midwest farmbelt air, but it'll have to do.

  • Some PIs do shoot first.
  • In a startling bit of unintentional irony, GoDaddy is calling on the US to maintain oversight authority over ICANN so as to "push the organization to become more transparent and accountable to registrars and Internet users" (direct quotation from article, not from GoDaddy's counsel). Tell that to any copyright holder who is trying to find the infringer who registered his (it's almost always "his") domain using DomainsByProxy, though.
  • Consumers, start your engines: GM proposes selling its Saturn division to Roger Penske. Maybe Danica Patrick will switch teams and advertise GoDaddy while laying on the hood of a new subcompact...
  • Here's a side note that combines education with the publishing industry and theocracy: The Governator has proposed using free-on-the-net electronic textbooks in California schools, but some are claiming that the total cost won't be any less. That, however, ignores the real benefit: No more dominance by Texas.

    American primary and secondary education textbooks are virtually determined by the Texas School Board. That's because Texas buys all of the approved textbooks for the state. That board has been coopted for decades by theocrats, and it's only getting worse, with creationists (among others) pushing to keep books that display any hostility to theocracy whatsoever off the "approved" list. And since the flawed accounting in textbook publishing tells publishers that they either get on the approved list in Texas or they don't make a profit on the textbook... well, you can guess what one of the causes of watered-down textbooks is, right? The Governator's proposal, however, would open another conduit of textbooks for California students that is outside of that approval system. That's no guarantee of quality, but it at least removes one potential roadblock.

  • Britain's Prime Minister is busy shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic his cabinet again. And why can he do that with such alacrity? No confirmation hearings necessary!
  • The principle problem with economics is that it knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing. When even the not-quite-wingnutty-but-still-doctrinairily-far-right Claremont Instutute acknowledges that, perhaps it's time for everyone to do so.
  • It's only a matter of time, now, Hollywood (and American TV producers trying to bust SAG/AFTRA): A French court says that reality show contestants are employees — and, therefore, may unionize. I'm having difficulty imagining a strike ballot on Survivor: Gilligan's Island this fall, though. For starters, who would supervise the election? And haven't they ever heard of a "secret ballot"?
  • And there's been a serious security breach: The location of Stephen Colbert's trip to the Middle East has been disclosed. How come Cheney gets an undisclosed location and Stephen doesn't?
  • Maybe Norm Coleman wants to be a spokeman for Viagra, but is a really bad speller:

    If you experience an election lasting more than four hours — or even four months — seek medical attention immediately. Ask your physician if you are healthy enough for legal activity.

    (Snurched from the LAT via Professor Hasen)

And now, your moment of creation-science zen:

Non Sequitur, 05 June 2009