in which i disagree in principle, but am not at all upset in this particular case

Rupert Murdoch is in talks with Microsoft to remove his news content from Google. See here. I really dislike this move (where Microsoft pays Murdoch, or others, to only use their search engine). Then again, as a Google user I can’t say I mind Murdoch’s “news” no longer being part of my search results. I can live with the quality (tabloids) like The New York Post or The Sun in Britain. The Wall Street Journal is another story.

Irv Piliavin

Irv Piliavin passed away November 19 at age 81 of cancer. Irv was an emeritus professor of social work and sociology at the University of Wisconsin. Because I knew him best as the husband of my beloved colleague Jane Piliavin, I am linking to celebrations of his career by two of his former students, Brad Wright and Chris Uggen as well as the official statement by the School of Social Work, which also gives memorial contribution information. Irv was a great guy and a creative and rigorous social scientist. He will be missed by everyone who knew him.

of fads, fashions, and hamsters

The “got to have” toy this holiday season is the Zhu Zhu Hamster.   I started hearing about them from a friend’s kids last week.  They move around randomly all over the floor, make little clicking chatty noises, and -best of all – don’t require cleanup.   They’re also cheap at $8, IF you can find them at a toy store.  On the internet, typical price skyrocketing is pushing them up to $50 or $60 each.

I remember the Cabbage Patch Kid craze well (as well as the dolls that then sat against the wall, un-played with, for several years).   I remember Tickle Me Elmo a few years ago. I remember the Beanie Babies.  I remember tulips from my Econ101 class.

Now, I’m looking forward to watching Hamster-mania play out on Black Friday.  It’s kind of fun to just sit back and watch the madness of this scenario playing out over and over and over again.

so far, so good…

Unexpectedly, my wife and I lucked into receiving H1N1 vaccines yesterday. I say “lucked into” because it was pretty much exactly that- we were receiving treatment for an unrelated issue, got to talking with the professionals and discovered that they had both doses and the inclination to use them. The purpose of this post is not to brag- particularly given that there’s no point bragging about dumb luck- but rather to make an observation:

So far, as a result of the H1N1 vaccine, we have NOT had strokes, heart attacks, neurological distress, developed autism, died, or been forced to only walk backwards. So far, side effects for us DO include: soreness at the injection site and, in my case, a mild headache and some muscle aches. And frankly even that may not be due to the vaccine since I was doing some major yard work yesterday evening and may just be stiff from that.

So, just to counter-balance the Jenny McCarthy’s of the world, allow me to state as plainly as possible: we have been vaccinated against H1N1 and we are perfectly fine.

That is all.