Help a Brother Out!

This semester, I’m taking a class on research in social media.  A classmate and I have created a research project investigating whether you can maintain satisfying relationships with people over social networks (i.e. blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc)

If you can spare 15 minutes, please click the link below and respond to our survey.  It is totally anonymous, and we need to get 100 respondents within the next few days.  Please respond if you can.

Click Here to Take the Survey


Is an opinion “patriotic”?

I kind of got into it with a complete stranger on Facebook.  I guess I just need to get rid of all my Utah facebook friends, so I don’t get sucked into political discussions online – but this one is a little more generic, so I’ll throw it out here for the 3 of you who actually read my blog…

To give you background, in Utah, an old lady is running a negative ad against Jim Matheson (the democrat incumbent) and for the challenger republican (Morgan Philpot).  One of my Facebook friends works actively for his campaign, so it was no surprise when she posted the ad.  The ad itself isn’t disturbing or anything; it’s your run-of-the-mill negative ad, casting Matheson as a Pelosi cronie.  No big deal.  Let me emphasize, this isn’t about one candidate over another, I could care less who wins the election.

Here’s my issue… the title/subtitle of the ad: “Personal Patriotism” and “Random Acts of Patriotism”

Here is the exchange I had…

Now, here’s my question… Am I way off base here?

Does having a personal political opinion and buying up scobs of air time to express it count as a real “act of patriotism”?  Especially when you’re only using your first name which isn’t the same first name you actually go by in real life?

I didn’t even learn a stinking thing from her ad, not about Morgan Philpot anyways. What a waste.  Negative campaigning is the norm in politics today, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still tasteless.  If these guys don’t have enough virtues to get elected on their own merits, then I don’t want them in office anyways.

20 Week Ultrasound

We had our 20 week ultrasound yesterday, which gave us a glimpse of whether we’d be having a girl or boy…

It’s a BOY!!

A2 was so thrilled. She didn’t make her boy hopes much of a secret, and well… I didn’t much care either way – as long as he was growing healthily and normally – which he was. No concerns from the Doctor or sonographer.

There was some slight drama, because our appointment got reschedule, but for some reason the ultrasound didn’t get rescheduled as well – so we weren’t on the sonographer’s schedule. She was able to sneak us in, probably knowing that I would have flown off the handle at half of the office for making us wait another day or two to know.

So… one more big mental step is done. Every little step like this makes it feel more and more real.

Pinch me.

Acceptable Discrimination

I noticed something at our first OBGYN visit.  This particular OBGYN’s office was called “Associated Women’s Healthcare”.  After going, though, it should be called “Healthcare Administered by Associated Women.”

We arrived and all of the front desk people were women.  We went back and both nurses we saw were women.  The phlebotomist was a woman.  The sonographer was a woman.  The billing and insurance person was a woman.  Last but not least, the doctor was a woman.  There wasn’t a single man in the entire office, except the fathers-to-be.

There were women of all sizes, shapes, ethnicity, and background, but there was not a single man to be found.

I hesitate to believe that there just wasn’t a single qualified male doctor, nurse, phlebotomist, sonographer, or administrative assistant out there…

So why is it OK for this office to clearly discriminate against men in their hiring practices?

One of my favorite programs is NPR’s Planet Money.  They have a twice weekly podcast as well as a blog they keep up.  They regularly do stories for one of my other favorite programs, This American Life.  They have this incredible way of making economics relevant and interesting to people who aren’t economists.  It’s an incredible feat.

Here’s the deal though… just check out the names:

  • Adam Davidson, Correspondent
  • David Kestenbaum, Correspondent
  • Chana Joffe-Walt. Correspondent
  • Jacob Goldstein, Correspondent
  • Alex Blumberg, Contributing Editor

This is a list of some of the most Jewish names I’ve ever encountered. Now, certainly they have scores of staffers and interns who don’t have Jewish heritage, but it appears you have to have a very pronounced Jewish heritage to be an on-air personality for this show.

Look, I don’t have anything against women or Jews. I’m just saying, can you really so blatantly get away with stacking the cards with one class of individual without incurring the wrath of the government? Or do those anti-discrimination laws only apply to workplaces that are white, upper-middle-class, and male-dominated?

Just wondering…

Government Spending

When my father in law was here last, we had a good conversation about government spending.  A few days after, as I drove home from school, I threw on one of the recent NPR Planet Money Podcasts which told me that they were now going to devote a lot of time and attention in future podcasts to the topic of government spending, and would be looking to listeners to come up with ways to cut the federal budget.

Continue reading Government Spending

Italy Day 10 & 11: Cinque Terre to Genoa, Genoa to Home

We got up on Day 10, checked out of our hotel at La Spezia, and trotted back up to the train station to take the train to Genoa.

When we booked our hotels, we tried to find one in Genoa that would be ulta-close to the airport, since our flight was to leave at 7am on Day 11.  We just wanted to relax on our last day, and have an easy access to the airport for the next morning. What we didn’t really count on was that Genoa wasn’t that great of a place to visit.

Continue reading Italy Day 10 & 11: Cinque Terre to Genoa, Genoa to Home