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Campus Chatter – November 8, 2011

November 8, 2011

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Campus Chatter – November 8, 2011

Today in history, greetings, and social banter here. (More)

Oxford University’s Bodleian Library opened to the public today (1602). Also, Mary Lyon founded the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, now Mount Holyoke College (1837), the New Orleans General Strike began (1892), Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the X-ray (1895), President Franklin Roosevelt unveiled the Civil Works Administration (1933), the United Kingdom abolished capital punishment (1965), and Massachusetts’ Edward Brooke became the first black elected to the U.S. Senate since the Reconstruction Era (1968). And Greek archeologist Manolis Andronikos discovered the tomb of Philip II of Macedon at Vergina (1977).

Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  • NCrissieB

    Today on Campus

    Morning FeatureCompared to What? (Meta Monday)
    Things We Did This WeekShare your stories of offline political activism.
    Furthermore! – The Squirrel with Memo to Men: “Get It”
    Midday Matinee – addisnana with The Stars
    Campus QuestionWill new Cain allegations help more Americans “get it” about sexual harrassment?
    Evening Focus – Lake Toba with Conversation with Regions Bank
    Our EarthRoadmap for Solar Energy Development

    Today on Campus

    Morning FeatureNate Silver’s 2012 Outlook (Nutshell)
    Furthermore! – The Squirrel with The “Silent” Generation
    Noontime News at noon
    Campus Question at 6pm ET
    Evening Focus at 7pm ET – Lake Toba with Stories of American Heartache (Quick Take)
    Our Earth at 8pm ET – Climate Change “Escape Routes”

  • winterbanyan

    Good morning, everyone. Somewhere in the last 48 hours, I guess I took a trip into the new time zone. That wasn’t hard, was it? ;)

    For my part, adapting to my news meds is proving to be a pain. I ought to write a piece on how something most people don’t notice can screw up a writer. Except with the way that’s going, it would be a definite yawner.

    I hope everyone is doing well.

    • glendaw271

      Good morning, winter. I’m sorry that you still aren’t feeling your best.

      Sometimes I think that doctors forget about how changing your body chemistry can take a while to get used to, if you do get used to it. Have you called your doctor to make sure that the meds are working as the doctor thinks they should? Or even a call to a pharmacist could provide some information if what you are going through is normal.

      After what I’ve gone through with drug complications, I wouldn’t take it for granted that you are experiencing a normal reaction. You might be, but please check with someone before your system gets too messed up.

      • winterbanyan

        I have actually argued with doctors about taking meds because they might affect my writing. In general I avoid anything that isn’t absolutely essential. However, that’s the only side effect I’m experiencing, and like I said it’s one most people wouldn’t notice.

        As a rule, these effects pass. And I definitely need this med for gout, it’s about a safe and side-effect free as any drug could be, and it’s been around forever. I don’t want to try a different med, as the newer ones don’t have forty-plus years of clinical reports on side effects behind them. Another of my rules is to avoid drugs of recent creation. They don’t have nearly enough data behind them to judge their safety. (Look how many get pulled off the market after only a year or three!)

        If my creative wheels don’t start running a little better, I’ll ask, but cognitive problems are definitely not on the list of side effects. Nor am I really having cognitive problems. I can think well enough. The spark is just missing…and probably only temporarily.

        Thanks so much for your concern, glenda. I truly appreciate it.

    • NCrissieB

      I’m sorry the new meds is affecting your work, winterbanyan. I hope it settles for you soon.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  • LI Mike

    Morning, welcome to fall back part of fall back spring ahead, Winter.

    I just read the pieces about men and “getting it.” One of the enduring mysteries to me is why guys act like that. Guys, a very, very small % of us are lotharios, the rest of us fall somewhere between schleppy and cool. In the workplace, act like you’re schleppy.

    • winterbanyan

      Hah! I love your description, Mike. “Act like a schlep.” :lol: :lol: :lol:

      I actually have found, in the workplace, that most men do get it and are very careful. Sometimes excessively so.

      I think part of what is grabbing women here is that the discussion has once again returned to “Women are just a big PITA in the workplace and need to get over it.”

      We’re not going to get over it. When my daughter endured verbal sexual harassment, my heartburn was probably as bad as hers. Gee whiz, there are some things that just shouldn’t be talked about at work, even among men. It’s so unprofessional and inappropriate.

      • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

        I think what bothers me, particularly in Cain’s case, is that it’s not something that happened back in the 60′s or 70′s, when attitudes were different. I’m not saying it was acceptable, but the attitudes were definitely different. This is in the 90′s, and I definitely recall going through several training sessions back in the 80′s about sexual harassment in the workplace, and supervisor’s responsibilities to put a stop to it.

        • winterbanyan

          Agreed, Norbrook. This was definitely a “settled” issue back in the early 80s. One of the things I noticed then was a certain “gentlemanliness” in the approach to the issue. “A gentleman doesn’t talk about certain things around ladies.”

          I don’t know if gentlemanliness has gone by the wayside, but what Cain did, whether in the 70s or the 90s, goes well beyond causing discomfort to being outright sexual battery. You don’t put your hands on another person. Period.

          • Gardener

            Herman Cain is done…… Romney a shoo-in. Bad news for us. You read it here……! ;-)

            • winterbanyan

              Oh, they’ll come up with a more ideologically pure nut for sure. Romney’s waffling and position-shifting is going to cost him when it comes to a one-on-one race.

              That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it. ;)

        • Gardener

          Mid-1990′s….. Conductor Class for large Class 1 railroad….. We cut to the instructor:

          Fellas, here’s how it is: You can run a red signal and get back to work. You can derail a train, and get back to work. You can wreck a train, and someday, get back to work. BUT, you get rung up on sexual harrasment charges, you are DONE! Finished, you’ll be fired for good, and nobody but nobody will be able to get you your job back. Leave those hotel maids alone!

          • winterbanyan

            That’s a great story, Gardener. Love it. :)

    • NCrissieB

      I had to double-check the definitions for schleppy, Mike. I agree with “frumpy” as a good guideline for workplace behavior. I’m not sure how well the rest fit. So I’ll take it you meant “frumpy.” :smile:

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  • LI Mike

    I’ve been working on the local campaign since February when our local Dem chair asked me to coordinate letter writing for the campaign. We got in about 70 letters to the local press. And Thursday before last — the last time the local press accepted letters criticizing the opposition — we had 9 letters printed in the Southampton Press.

    We had 3 things break our way that we tried to exploit in various ways, I think we got it done…now it’s up to the voters.

    Come on Southampton voters, you know you want to turn the majority over to us.

    • winterbanyan

      Definitely rooting for you and all of Southampton. :)

    • MKSinSA

      What’s on your election day menu in Southampton? I think a lot of eyes are on Ohio’s Issue 2 but there’s a lot of other important votes out there. We’ve got one amendment to give spouses of disabled veterans homestead exemptions.

      • Gardener

        We have Homestead Exemptions available in IL. “Veterans Homestead Exemption” on the property tax forms, but everyone I’ve talked to claims it is related to lawsuits, not property taxes, and wouldn’t do us much good….

        • MKSinSA

          I think Texas is unique in its application of the Homestead. We actually see a portion of our home’s value removed from taxation when you have an exemption. It does also make it relatively judgement-proof (as we learned in the disturbing Ken Lay case) which is probably why people here plow so much of their net worth into their homes!

          • winterbanyan

            Here in FL we have the Homestead exemption: $50K overall, but only 25K for purposes of school taxes. It is removed from the market valuation of the house.

            Not that it does much for taxes. ;) I’ve noticed that we’ve grown a whole whopping new number of taxing districts since the housing bubble burst. Taxes haven’t gone down, despite lower market valuations. They’ve actually climbed.

            My Dad, who lived near Austin, received a nice deal when he turned 65. Property taxes never again increased for him… until he died. The estate had to pay the full amount.

            • MKSinSA

              I’m going to have to look into that senior Homestead ’cause it would be great if that got tagged on top of the veteran exemption when that time comes :smile: But I won’t be greedy about it as long as things don’t digress.

              I’m jealous of anyone who lives closer to Austin than I do. I’m an hour south and it’s more like living in a different country rather than some county down the road a piece.

              • winterbanyan

                Austin used to be such a cool city, with a small-town feel to it. Last time I was there I barely recognized it. It’s overrun every surrounding small town until you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins.

                Are you really sure you want to be closer? ;)

          • Gardener

            I see, and thank you….. I trust my attorney absolutely, she indicates that it isn’t worth pursuing……

            ‘Course, this is the very same woman who, upon seeing me at a funeralhome visitation in a suit, white shirt, and tie, cocked her head first to one side, then the other, then back again, “Tim?” Yes, it’s me. “You sure clean-up well.”

            • MKSinSA

              I would trust her too. I can only speak for Texas and, well, uh, we’re, um, responsible for Goodhair Perry :oops:

              • Gardener

                Let’s don’t forget the other piece of work, Junior Stumbletongue! ;-)

      • LI Mike

        We have an initiative that require a supermajority vote to override planning board orzoning requirements. This is directed at Planned Dvelopment Districts which have been abused in Southampton. PDD’s are basically overlay zoning requiring a public benefit to accomplish, but the actual public benefits have been few and far between while the developer makes out quite nicely.

    • NCrissieB

      Will you or any other local Democrats be doing election-day GOTV work, Mike? If this is expected to be a low-turnout election – is it? – “Oh, Mrs. Green hasn’t voted yet so I’d better call her” can make the difference.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  • addisnana

    Good Morning. I am sending good thoughts to Democrats and ballot initiatives in the elections all across the country. My night time cold medicine has almost worn off but I don’t feel wide awake. More later, maybe.

    • winterbanyan

      Sending some caffeine your way in whatever form you prefer it. Diet Coke? Coffee? Tea?

      I hate that hangover effect. And here’s hoping the cold gives up soon.

      Hugggs!

    • NCrissieB

      “Night time cold medicine.” Four words that leave most of us thinking “Uggh.” And then there’s Lewis Black….

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • Gardener

      Seattle’s Best Grade 5 ready here……. Send by e-mail? ;-)

      • addisnana

        Thanks everyone. I can doze off sitting up with ease but sleeping approaching horizontal doesn’t work so well. I will probably indulge in at least one nap today.

  • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

    Good morning. It’s currently 41, which counts as astonishingly warm for this time of year in the morning. :smile: It looks like it’s going to be fairly nice weather for an Election Day, so one “excuse” people use to not vote just went out the window. ;-)

    I spent yesterday evening hooking up my new 1 TB external hard drive, and getting everything backed up onto it. You know, I remember not too long ago when I thought a 40 GB hard drive was way more storage than I would need. :lol: If you’d told me a decade ago that I’d have almost 2 TB of hard drives hooked up, and that I’d be debating whether I should have gone with 3 TB, I’d have thought you were nuts. :roll:

    • winterbanyan

      Funny you should mention this, Norbrook. Way back when, I was working for an engineering company that contracted with DoD. Lots of nice, geeky engineers. I needed a computer of my own because I was going to college nights to study Computer Science, and we were in the transitional phase between logging in to the campus system, which rarely worked, and programming for the PC.

      So one of my engineer friends went out and got me a broken computer for a song and repaired the broken capicitor on the motherboard. Voila, a working PC with one floppy drive.

      Well, of course, I soon needed a hard drive. I was talking about installing 20 Meg, and one of the engineers told me, “No way you’ll ever need more than 10.” He was so very wrong, and in less than a year. ;)

      • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

        The funny thing is that I still have some of the equipment to do those things. :cool: Back then, it was worth the effort to do a capacitor repair. These days, I can buy a new motherboard for less than the cost of trying to find and fix a bad capacitor. I remember back in the early 90′s having a major argument with my boss over upgrading the RAM on our desktop to 16 MB, and adding a 240MB hard drive to it. He was of the opinion that the 4MB/100MB we had should have been adequate. :roll:

        • winterbanyan

          Back during the time I was referring to, we were definitely taught to be parsimonious with our code, since we faced the Von Neumann limit of 640K. Then the limit vanished, and I was astonished how fast the size of programs grew. Given them space, and they’ll take every megabyte of it. ;)

          • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

            I’ve got a variation of Parkinson’s Law: Code will expand to fill available memory; files will expand to fill available disk space; and web sites will expand to fill available bandwidth. ;-)

    • NCrissieB

      I remember when no one knew what gigabytes or terabytes were, and we all thought 64 kilobytes was all the memory a computer could ever need. That was back when email consisted of carving messages on rocks and throwing them into each others’ caves. You didn’t need sound effect to say “You have mail!” You needed a bandage…. ;-)

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      • winterbanyan

        I remember back in the early 70s the Post Office was talking about installing electronic mail terminals. You could walk in, and for the price of a letter send a virtually instant mail to someone.

        I remembering wondering why anyone would want to do that. What was wrong with sending a traditional letter? Apparently most people felt the same at the time because the PO never went ahead with its plans.

        Look at us now! I do every bit of my business by e-mail…even submitting manuscrips. Like, um, wow?

        • DBunn

          I remember back in the early 60s or late 50s, some visionary Pentagon mucky-muck predicting that the day could eventually come when every country in the world had a computer of its own :!:

  • Gardener

    Good morning!

    Uh-oh! Red-sky morning here, 60 degrees, wind from the south…… Hmmm…… The WX crowd was promising storms for today, this sailor is taking warning!

    Pulled some turnips yesterday, not a lot, mebbe half a wheelbarrow load. Need to get them washed off this morning…… Was so mild yesterday PM that our daughter and I took a scooter ride. Went down Spook Road to Spook Bridge, honestly I thought there was more rock on that road, guess the dirt bike needs a bit of a wash too…..

    Hope all is well this fine day. Local blood drive tomorrow, Red Cross has called here twice, they need my blood type, will try to be early.

    Best, Mr. A Negative ;-)

    • winterbanyan

      Just leave everything out in the rain, Gardener. ;) Let Mother Nature do the wash job.

      • Gardener

        Actually, the turnips are out on the edge of the driveway awaiting some rain! Ha! You’re a mind-reader!

        Hope the meds deal straightens out for you soon…… You don’t deserve the hassle. :smile:

        Regards, A-

    • NCrissieB

      I agree with winterbanyan, Gardener: if it’s going to rain, you can save yourself some energy by leaving the turnips and the dirt bike outside. That would leave more time to do important stuff … like play around online. ;-)

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      • Gardener

        Yeah, like that woman I met online……. ;-)

        She mailed me some lettuce seed, it really took off! She said it’s heirloom too, so mebbe can keep it around long-term. I call it the Internet Lettuce!

    • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

      One of the side things of being A negative (I am too) I found out in the military, working in tropical disease research. It turns out that labs culture malaria in A- red blood cells – no reason really, just that it’s what the first ones did – and if the malaria lab next door runs short, they become vampires. :lol: For a while there, you could have mistaken me for a junkie, since I had so many needle sticks. :roll:

  • Gardener

    Actually, I am also in the process of inventing a device for handling large amounts of leaves with the tractor. I’m thinking that and old, junk, hay rake can be converted….. Have to visit The Farm later, see what’s out in the pasture. Many treasures lurk there, in the weeds…… ;-)

    • winterbanyan

      Do you mulch your leaves? Add them to your compost? Enquiring minds and all that…

      • Gardener

        I rake where I have to, move the rest with a backpack blower, then push/pull with tractor to a big pile in the woods. All winter long I put the woodstove ashes atop the leaves, after I’m sure they’re cool, of course….. Every few years I’ll excavate the leaf pile, and incorporate it into the compost. Amazing really, how they will deteriorate into a very small pile with time and moisture.

        There are these mulcher wagon dealys you can buy, tow behind the riding mower…. They appear cumbersome and at about $2000 a copy, I don’t think I’d enjoy the process knowing there was 2 grand following me around…. ;-)

        • winterbanyan

          I don’t think I’d enjoy the process knowing there was 2 grand following me around….

          I read that loud and clear. ;)

        • trs

          My father used to rake all the leaves onto a large tarp, put a bungee cord through the grommets, hook it on the back of the riding mower, and drag them to where they needed to go. Worked out pretty well for him.

          I agree, Gardener – I wouldn’t want to pull 2 grand around.

  • trs

    Morning, folks! Waking up with coffee and cinnamon rolls, getting ready to go vote. Kidlet has the day off school, and is chasing around an energetic 3 year-old for a friend.

    Signed up for an advanced web page design course yesterday. It’s an online course that starts tomorrow. These same folks offer a webmaster and web design certification courses, which I may be taking down the road. This was the least expensive option, at $105. But I’ll be learning HTML5, CSS3, and other stuff us geeks appreciate. By the end of the course, I may have put together a web site for myself. I’ve done web sites for others before, using Dreamweaver, but none for myself except for my college theatre department web page.

    More coffee, then vote!

    • winterbanyan

      My one attempt at Dreamweaver caused me to quit entirely. I admire you, trs. I’m struggling with the notion of learning WordPress. I have two sons who say they will learn it for me, but they have busy lives as do I.

      I keep telling them, “Do you know how much you could make designing and maintaining a WordPress site? You guys could put yourself through grad school with just a few clients a month. Google it…”

      That cost, of course, is why I’m thinking about trying to master it, and why I am pushing sons to learn by finishing my site for me. Hah!

      • trs

        I designed the site for a theatre I worked at, and for a friend who is a photographer. The “Dummies” book on Dreamweaver is really an asset to have around. It helps that a friend of mine is the webmaster at the college I used to work at, so I can ask him questions when I need to. Also helps that I’m a geek in many ways.

  • glendaw271

    Well, I was the first (and only) voter at my precinct this morning. It will probably be slow there, as the only race is for a city council at-large position. When talking to the poll workers, they said that this could be a day when they get more voters if they are largely uninformed, as voters may well believe that they are going to be able to vote in the state Senate race between Liz Mathis and Cindy Golding. We are just a couple of precincts away from being in that senate district, so there are yard signs close by as well as all of the ads on tv and radio.

    • winterbanyan

      Thanks for voting, Glenda. Every race counts. And local races have a bigger impact on daily life than the ones everyone turns out for.

  • Jim W

    Big local race here. Barker(D) vs. Baker(R). Barker is incumbent State Senator. Democrats need to hold Virginia Senate to protect us from Republican foolishness.

    • trs

      I hear you there, Jim! The thought of the Republicans winning the state Senate has me scared. Unfortunately, I think this area will end up sending the Republican incumbent back – although I have tried to convince people otherwise. Time for me to go cast my vote…

  • Gardener

    Major Herman Cain treatment over at GOS this morning. Also The Grieving Romm is worth the read!

    Hi-ho. hi-ho!