Monthly Archives: August 2016

Marco Polo and the Llama

Why is there a llama in the ‘Marco Polo’ Geico commercial? from NoStupidQuestions

Noticed a llama in a commercial and was confused because Marco Polo did not go to South America. Googled “Marco Polo llama” and found a Reddit discussion on the topic. Lots of people saying the same as I was thinking.

Eventually, I realized that while llamas were not anywhere on Marco Polo’s journey, the premise is that he is in the USA in an above ground pool in modern times. He’s not in the Thirteenth Century but the Twenty-First. So, a llama is odd but reasonable.

The surprisingly good thing about running into that post was, “Surprise Is Still the Most Powerful Marketing Tool.”

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From Marco Polo and the Llama published August 31, 2016 at 06:03PM.

Review: White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son

White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son
White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son by Tim Wise
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Back in college, I was part of an anti-racism group. We worked with a local group and took their People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. Tim mentioned them near the end of the book, which made me think part of why I liked this book so much is his perspective and approach to white privilege is very similar to how I have been taught to think of it.

I think given the current climate on race relations in this country, this is important for people to read and understand.

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The post Review: White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son appeared first on Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4.

From Review: White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son published August 29, 2016 at 09:10PM.

Bag Man

Apparently Kickstarter has decided I fit the profile of someone who wants the perfect bag.

One reason why I love winter is I can justify wearing a coat. My favorite coat has a gallon in pocket space. I can carry ALL THE CRAP. Phone, novel, notebook, pens, change, receipts, camera, chargers, headphones, batteries, highlighter, Sharpie, etc. The coat becomes my purse.

I even have an October 2009 Facebook post:

Excited I get to wear my purse… I mean… coat this morning.

Tons of backpacks or bags occupy my life. A couple work laptop ones. A couple personal laptop ones. One for pool stuff like a towel, snacks, and sunscreen. Three gym bags so I can make sure I have clothes for when I go. An “engineer’s bag” that was the first attempt at a purse. A messenger bag a friend gave me for Christmas which looks better.

I keep a packed suitcase with a week’s worth of clothes packed so I would not have to pack in an emergency. Not quite at a survivalist’s Go Bag level.

Do I need a new bag? In general, I have plenty of bags. They serve their purposes. And I get yet another bag at every conference I attend which gives me an oversupply. Probably I should give away some of them. Maybe a needy school kid can use a BbWorld bag? All the conference bags are pretty lame. The Kickstarter ones look pretty awesome.

The post Bag Man appeared first on Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4.

From Bag Man published August 24, 2016 at 06:29PM.

Review: Robot Visions

Robot Visions
Robot Visions by Isaac Asimov

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the Asimov’s essays about robots, computers, and cyborgs. They are well done.

The short stories at the front of the book are the same stories published in other books. There are a few new ones. So, if you do not mind re-reading them or have not read other books, then you are good. Otherwise, you should just read the first and second short stories “Robot Visions” and “Too Bad!” then skip to the last one “Christmas Without Rodney” and continue through the essays. Essentially, 347 pages of this book are unnecessary.

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From Review: Robot Visions published August 14, 2016 at 02:09PM.

Bullshit Curation

Saw something that looked clickbait-y and for once glad I clicked on it because I learned a new term I want to scream from the mountaintops: bullshit curation. Clickbait sounds almost respectable. One of my favorite recent terms I learned from Jon Stewart was “Bullshit Mountain.” It refers to the Orwellian spin of stories from political groups to make the terrible sound good for us or the good for us sound terrible. There stuff is an avalanche coming for us.

Bullshit Curation is more the spin of stories to get us to click on them and drive up advertising revenue.

Of course, since “ideology trumps facts” in an election year, all this bullshit curation is probably netting large profits.

This post is forewarning my friends about a term I’ll probably bring up often in random conversations.

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From Bullshit Curation published August 10, 2016 at 06:20PM.


There is a Twitter thing running around where people post their first seven jobs. I do not think mine would fit in a tweet, so I put it here. This title should show up there as a hashtag and be my contribution.

If you count by employers, then I have had 1-3.

  1. University System of Georgia
    1. Valdosta State University
      1. Odum Library
      2. Information Technology
    2. Board  of Regents

Valdosta State is part of the USG. One perspective is I have only had one overall employer. VSU is just a bigger unit than say the library. One could say I have had three employer entities.

If you count by position codes, then I think the list is (not counting repeats in the same position):

  1. Student worker: Reference book shelver
  2. Casual laborer: Reference book shelver, Inter-Library Loan, Government Documents
  3. Student worker: Government Documents
  4. Casual laborer: Reference desk manager
  5. Student worker: Peer Reference desk
  6. Casual laborer: Webmaster Cooperative Education intern
  7. Casual laborer: Assistant Webmaster (CSSII)

Wow, those are all the crazy positions I held before become permanent staff. The next job in the list is the first permanent staff position. In total all seven were just over 5 years.


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From #FirstSevenJobs published August 08, 2016 at 10:56PM.