Monday, June 17, 2002

Where in the world is Dan?
I'm in the United Kingdom--accompanied by the J1Thing empire. That's why I haven't posted in a few days and probably won't post again for a at least another week. Tally ho!

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Heading for Bolivian.
An hour after absorbing the worst beating of his career, Mike Tyson was sitting in his Memphis locker room, holding his baby daughter, his face swollen and chafed after eight brutal rounds with heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis. When ESPN's Jeremy Schaap asked him what the future held, Tyson smiled.

"I don't know, man," he said. "I guess I'm gonna fade into Bolivian."


-- from ESPN columnist Bill Simmons's piece on Tyson's weekend debacle.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Ouch, that hurts.
Call me an ignoramus (many have), but I never understood exactly why it was dangerous to share a bath tub with a plugged-in toaster. Now, thanks to today's Science Times Q & A column, I know the answer.

Monday, June 10, 2002

Three-peat.
To make up for time lost during a brutal few days last week, I offer tidbits today on three of my favorite topics -- WiFi, obesity, and labor market oddities:

--- Today’s NY Timeshas a classic "two guys in a garage challenging a big industry” story. The piece is about two Cupertino, California engineers (operating just six blocks from the fabled Jobs-Wozniak carport), who are beginning to frigthen cable and phone companies with their innovative new method for offering cheap wireless broadband Internet access. “Anyone looking for the next big thing in Silicon Valley,” writes Times scribe John Markoff, “should stop here at Layne Holt's garage.”

--- In a Sunday Washington Post op-ed, two public health types compare junk food ads aimed at kids to tobacco ads. “The average child sees 10,000 food advertisements per year, 95 percent of them for fast food, soft drinks, candy and sugared cereals -- all high-profit and nutrition-poor products. . . . By contrast, the entire federal budget for nutrition education is equal to one-fifth of the advertising costs for Altoids mints.”

--- Sunday’s Post also has an item about University of Washington research showing that after men have children, they work harder and earn more. No surprise there. But researchers were stunned to learn that “this ‘baby premium’ is twice as large if the baby is a boy than if it's a girl"

Thursday, June 06, 2002

You snooze, you win.
Science News reports on new research showing that taking an afternoon nap "may enhance a person's capacity to learn certain tasks."

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

The No-Better-Than-You-Or-Me Gatsby
I meant to post this item yesterday, but it remains fresh today. Sunday’s New York Times fronted the remarkable story of Jeanne Heifetz, who revealed that New York State’s mandatory Regents test had altered the words of some of the world’s most renown authors. Here’s the nut graf: “In a feat of literary sleuth work, Ms. Heifetz, the mother of a high school senior and a weaver from Brooklyn, inspected 10 high school English exams from the past three years and discovered that the vast majority of the passages drawn from the works of Isaac Bashevis Singer, Anton Chekhov and William Maxwell, among others had been sanitized of virtually any reference to race, religion, ethnicity, sex, nudity, alcohol, even the mildest profanity and just about anything that might offend someone for some reason. Students had to write essays and answer questions based on these doctored versions versions that were clearly marked as the work of the widely known authors.” For exposing this folly, the dogged Brooklyn weaver is J1Thing’s Person of the Week.

Monday, June 03, 2002

Gone in a puff of chalk dust
CNN says that in schools across America, blackboards are out and whiteboards—that staple of start-up companies—are in. One industrial designer “gives chalkboards five years at most -- making for a brighter, whiter future, but without the simple joy of clapping dusty erasers on the side of the school building.”