Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bad at math

I have a friend who is a cement mason by trade. Like many construction jobs, in order to be a good cement mason you need to be competent at math. Since I am somewhat math challenged, my friend refers to my mathematical errors as "history major math." As I write this it occurs to me that this may be my friend's polite way of calling me "college boy," but I don't think so.  In any event, my point is that I am not good at math so take the analysis that follows with a grain of salt.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wisconsin leads the nation in what?

I suspect the Venn diagram for people who listen to This American Life and people who read this blog is either a circle or a figure eight.  In case it is the latter, I wanted to point out that last week's episode on policing is very well done.  You can listen to it here

Of particular interest to me, and perhaps interesting to others given Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's apparent interest in becoming President of the USA, was the shows mention that Wisconsin has the highest rate of incarceration of African-Americans per capita of any state in the Country.  At first, I could not believe this was true.  However, this paper put out by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Workforce and Training Institute, cites U.S. Census Bureau statistics that support the claim.  

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The pen is mightier than the sword. But which is more expensive?

My office evidently shares an elevator bank with a company that sells pens for prices ranging from ten bucks to $75,000. I have yet to visit the place. My taste-or perhaps, my lack of taste-runs to the Bic BU2 Grip. I could be mistaken, but I think the BU2 runs about 50 cents per pen if you buy a dozen. As a result, I am never too concerned about leaving my pen somewhere because I know I have other pens back at the office.

But what if one acquired a very valuable pen? Would one display it or use it?  For those who would use such a pen, This Omaha World Herald story offers a cautionary tale. Omaha attorney John Kerwin left a $500 pen at the Douglas County Courthouse and wants it back.