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Showing posts from September, 2012

Bits and Bites

Dear Members and Constituents, Have computer interaction models ever interfered with your real life? You know what I’m talking about: trying to extrapolate behavior which is useful when interacting with your laptop or iPhone to less appropriate tasks. I hate to admit it, but it’s happened to me (here are a couple of examples). This morning as I was driving into work, the air was crisp and the stars seemed particularly bright. I recognized Orion but could not quite put my finger on the name for the seven sisters star cluster (Pleiades), so I instinctively pointed my finger at the constellation (briefly expecting roll-over text to pop-up and give me the answer). On occasion, when typing-out that urgent e-mail, hunger strikes. At times like this, I’ve caught myself reaching for the mouse and moving the pointer in the direction of my lunch box. The pointer, of course, decides the edge of the screen is as far as it will go, no matter how much further my hand and mouse move in a futile a

Support For the Donut Club Comes From...

Dear Members and Constituents, With Jack FM’s recent format metamorphosis into ESPN radio, I find myself listening to NPR more frequently. Unintentionally humorous articles like the one about “el Loco”, a drug lord whose arrest will be a big blow to the cocaine trade (blow, cocaine… get it?). Or, the Swedish transplant experiment where a mother donates her uterus to her daughter (will the next child be her son or her grandson?). And after these fluff pieces, the dreaded words: “support for NPR comes from…”. An opening for my more cynical side to wonder how much of the news I hear are truly newsworthy and how objective they truly are. I think we can all agree neither Fox News nor the Huffington Post provide us a “fair and balanced” view of the world, but what of other media outlets? Surely public radio is immune, right? Could institutional support buy you a story—or worse, a slant on a story? Surely, all media outlets are going to cover an Ambassador’s murder or the Eurozone’s ongoing

You say Doughnut, I say Donut

Dear Members and Constituents, Here’s a little exercise to lighten-up the morning. Close your office door and say the following words out-loud:    App  |  Ant  |  Ape As you went down the list did you notice how your facial muscles progressed into a smile in order to pronounce the different variants of the “A” sound? To non-native English speakers like myself, it’s variants like these that make the language rather difficult to master. Why is it that “boo” and “book” have different vocalic sounds even though the only difference between them is a consonant at the end? Of course the “OO” in the middle of both words reminds me of (you guessed it) donuts. This morning Thomas Eng (whose last name has a different vocalic sound than the word "English" despite having the same spelling) makes his final tour of duty as donut boy, delighting us with four dozen LaMar’s donuts (minus two he has already consumed). No matter what language you speak at home, come grab yours and speak the

Choose Your Donut Wisely

Dear Members and Constituents, With both conventions over-and-done, we now know how awful all the candidates really are (assuming, that is, you had the intestinal fortitude to put-up with all the nonsense). I must say I’m not particularly psyched about having to choose between an ineffective godless squanderer and an insensitive chauvinist waffler –respectively, as portrayed by the opposing party. Yes, I know for whom I’ll be voting and no, I won’t disclose which candidate I believe to be the lesser of two evils. I will say, however, I prefer LaMar’s Donuts’ version of a politics. They’ve struck-up a much sweeter tone by letting you choose between Dough-Bama and Mitt Yum-ney donuts. The only dirty part of their campaign are your sticky fingers when all is said and done. This morning, Karl Schaller (donut boy) delights us with four dozen delicious donuts from the aforementioned purveyor –although neither of the candidate donuts are represented. Still, you can come down and vot