Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Link deluge

Man, I have so many tabs open that I can barely scroll through them. Am sleeping poorly and thus have all kinds of time-management issues, so I guess my nuanced analyses and specialized posts are going to have to wait, and I'll just heap a bunch of interesting/disturbing/entertaining things here...
  • Bad News

    1. Corporate America Still Hates Moms -- penalties for actually taking the leave that you have a legal right to (and a lot of hostility around the whole topic). Not surprising to feminists, but recurrently amazing to those who think that Everything's Already Fixed.

    2. Our water and sewers systems are crumbling and in need of serious work; this could mean we have major disasters ahead, or it could be a good opportunity to use stimulus dollars to put people to work on longterm improvements for all of us.

    3. Scary thought: a Happy Meal on a shelf shows no signs of decay after a year. I think a real hamburger would reek after a week or so, judging from my accidental trashcan experiences -- are McDonald's products that full of preservatives, or just made entirely of chemicals??

    4. Airport full-body scanners: what could possibly go wrong? Typical adolescent behavior, maybe?? Rules that presume best behavior from all participants are no protections at all...

    5. Pentagon abruptly ends tuition aid for military spouses. Because times are good!! sigh.

    6. Fed continues to ignore one of its two mandates, aggressively so...
      This is an institution that has two mandates -- price stability and maximum employment -- but admitting that you care about the latter is so controversial as to be dangerous to your chances of working at the institution. It's as if firefighters, charged with both rescuing people and putting out fires, emphasized during their job interviews how committed they were to the latter goal but promised not to rescue anyone unless the conditions were superb and it wouldn't bother anyone. Weird, wild stuff.
    7. Obama to Open Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling for First Time. I hope that this is a trial balloon designed to accomplish some political ends (and trusting on regulatory and activist nets to catch a lot of the proposals) rather than a representation of the Administration's real views, but it's hard not to find the headline disheartening.

  • Good News

    1. Amanda at Pandagon has an interesting bit on how social technology is letting us keep in touch with people that matter to us in a way that the modern workplace has made increasingly difficult.
      A lot of attention is paid to the struggles people have with making friends in our isolating society, and I think that focus is important, but it’s also important to ask if the other part of the equation is that people aren’t keeping the relationships they do have healthy. A culture that expects people to use down time at work to update Facebook and text message their partners and friends is one where people are probably going to have that many real relationships to keep them buoyed. I’ll add that touching base with loved ones during the day can make a person feel less lonely overall; merely having someone at home isn’t enough if you feel like a lot of their life is mysterious to you.
      A nice counter to the constant narrative that we're all cut off from one another by our addictive little devices...

    2. Popular Science lists some high-tech medical innovations that may offer cures to a variety of pesky conditions, from genetic deficits to vegetative states. Amazing stuff!

    3. Too much to hope? Sounds like a few Republicans are disgusted by their failed obstructionism over healthcare and might want to be part of the legislative process again. Only time will tell!

    4. From the department of Elections Do Matter: Sen. Frankin assures justice for a rape victim being revictimized by military contractors. For the win!

  • Fun/interesting bits

    1. Jon Stewart channels/skewers Glen Beck. Truly inspired.

    2. Philadelphia shows population growth for the first time in 60 years. Not to dismiss the serious ongoing problems with poverty, inequality, and so forth, but perhaps people are starting to believe!

    3. Secret Society for Creative Philanthropy, a charity encouraging small acts of sneaky selflessness -- fun and intriguing ideas and experiences.

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