Charles Oliver - Econ/Media-Boy
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Charles C. Watson - Science/Tech-Boy
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Ron Campbell - sushi-bait.
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Even a blogger needs to eat. This blog is primarily Charles' hobby. But if he is intent on continuing to woo the Hooter's waitresses in Chatanooga he needs something that pays.... wings don't come free you know. Here's a link to his day job where he works the education beat and, assuming he can't annoy enough people that way, is sometimes allowed to write opinion pieces.

Need perspective? Watson offers readers all they could possibly eat. For a unique view on current events, namely how they look from orbit, here's Chuck's Real-Time(ish) Satellite Imagery of Areas of Interest. Whenever it strikes his fancy, and there's good telemetry, Chuck will process and post near real-time images of locations in the news. Eminently engrossing.

Wanna get into the head of a Japanese salaryman? Why, for Chis'sakes?! Well, assumin' you do, feel welcome to check out the on-line journal of Campbell's English class. Everyday, a group of disaffected salarymen are required to spill out their inner-most thoughts about life, the universe and everything in broken English. Amazingly prosaic.

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Shoutin' across the Pacific
Chiizu taberu koufuku shiteiru saru ga kangei-saremasen.
Sunday, October 26, 2003
Things You Can't Say On TV. I was just watching VH1's "I Love the 80s Stike Back." On this particular episode they were talking about the TV series "L.A. Law."

Someone mentioned the "retarded guy" on the show, and VH1 bleeped the word retarded.

posted by Charles at 11:26 PM

Big Relief. Man, when you make statements that even the Libartarian Party calls "bizarre," you are really out there. Carlton Harvey, the LP candidate for mayor of Charlotte, NC, recently said that a spell may have been placed on the city years ago when some Egyptian artifacts came to the city.

Mecklenburg County Libertarian Party Chairman Christopher Cole felt compelled to repudiate the claim, and the LP released a statement that Harvey's remarks were not "a viable contribution to political discourse."

posted by Charles at 11:12 PM

Thursday, October 23, 2003
Second Choice? Jack Ryan may well be the next senator from Illinois, but if he's healthy, straight and sane, I'm sure he'd rather still be married to Jeri.

posted by Charles at 11:14 PM

What To Tell Them? Tell them that everyone here in Georgia was also shocked to learn just how much bag boys make in California groceries. Tell them that I lived in California for 14 years, and while I definitely wasn't shocked, even I was mildly surprised at how high the pay is.

Tell them they aren't afraid of losing their jobs because they feel (and I hope they are mistaken) that they can drive off replacement workers with violence.

Of course, they could still lose their jobs if Wal-Mart actually undercut those high-price groceries and drove their employers out of business. But fortunately for them, some cities are trying to ban Wal-Mart super centers.

But also tell them not to feel too sorry for the heirs of Sam Walton because for every city that bans a super center, there's another using the power of eminent domain to drive out homeowners and small business owners from their land to give it to Wally World to build a supercenter.

posted by Charles at 11:10 PM

Some People Can't Take A Hint. Maybe liberals aren't the only one trying to stop Mel Gibson's new film.

posted by Charles at 10:58 PM

A question from the class. Charles, the class and I were watching ABC News this morning and they did their "standard Wal-Mart is a life-sucking anti-union hellhole" piece after starting with the news about the immigration sting. Now, I fully expect ABC to jump on this, and they got over four minutes of Wal-Mart bashing in at the front of the news (this in a 18 and a half minute program). But we were all stunned as ABC, showing the perfidy of the Sam Walton Empire, offered the following comparison:

"The average Wal-Mart clerk makes $8.50 an hour. The standard pay for a Unionized(tm) California grocery clerk is $17.50."

I didn't even have time to turn around before my students had whipped out calculators and were calculating their incomes in dollars per hour. No use in trying to explain that California has become a dystopic European-like Socialist wasteland. They couldn't accept that unskilled labor could A) be unionized at that level and B) would ever think about going on strike and risk their jobs.

Any ideas what I should tell them?

posted by Ron at 10:18 PM

Sunday, October 19, 2003
Not Likely. A team of plastic surgeons assembled by Slate concluded 4-2 that Arnold Schwarzenegger has had no plastic surgery. They do believe he has had his teeth whitened.

Even more incredibly, they argue that his wife Skeletor, pardon me, Maria, hasn't been touched by a knife.

Next, we'll find out that Cindy Crawford is completely natural these days.

posted by Charles at 9:58 PM

I'm Dean Martin. No, really.

posted by Charles at 7:26 PM

Saturday, October 18, 2003
*&^%$@#! My paycheck was a bit lighter this week, and when I looked at my stub, I found that the deductions for federal income tax, state income tax, Social Security and Medicare all went up. WTF is going on?

posted by Charles at 1:32 PM

Thursday, October 16, 2003
Holy Warrior. Lisa Myers on NBC previewed this story last night. She told several of Gen. Boykin's colleagues what he said.

She said she had to clean up their reponses for TV, but it was usually something along the lines of "Oh, crap! He said that? In uniform? Oh, crap."

posted by Charles at 9:58 AM

Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Form or Function? Once again, some veyr bright people have gotten their panties in a wad over a very minor issue. Namely, those form letters some soldiers signed that were sent to U.S. newspapers from Iran.

Nick Gillespie's post on Hit & run is typical. The anti-war crowd (which I'd really like to join, but can't bring myself to), seems to think these letters are the smoking gun that shows the entire argument for the war was a deliberate lie and the Bush administration knew it to be such.

Folks, it was one commander asking a few soldiers to sign letters and sending them to newspapers. (Lots of different groups do this all the time.)

To me, there are three relevant questions that none of the anti-war crowd seem to want to talk about.

Were the letters accurate? Nick grudgingly admits they seem to be. I've seen no evidence they are not.

Were the soldiers coerced into signing them? Most of the soliders said they signed them willingly. As far as I can tell, only one anonymous soldier said it was an order.

Did the soldiers agree with the contents of the letters? Some of the soldiers said they barely read the letters before signing them, but again, most said the letters pretty accurately described their feelings.

So why are smart people reacting like this is a major embarassment to the Bush administration or to the pro-war crowd?

posted by Charles at 3:49 PM

Sunday, October 12, 2003
Vocational Education. Local schools are really beefing up vocational education, or as it's known today, career and technical education.

posted by Charles at 12:46 PM

Prater's Mill. I had to work yesterday, but it wasn't so bad at all. I spent most of the morning at the country fair held at Prater's Mill. It was the first time I'd been to the fair, but I may volunteer for that Saturday next year, if I'm still in Dalton. Any assignment that lets me eat homemade ice cream and barbecued pork is a good one.

posted by Charles at 12:44 PM

Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Gov. Arnold. Stars of the movie Predator are now two for three in their gubernatorial runs.

posted by Charles at 11:10 PM

Friday, October 03, 2003
Was It A Fart Joke? Apparently, the joke isn't as clear as I thought. As Eugene Volokh pointed out, the Yiddish slur is pronounced with a "v" sound. (At least, that's how I've always heard it pronounced.) And I'm pretty sure Reiner knows how the word is pronounced.

But Reiner allegedly pronounced Arnold's last name "Schfartze-negger."

If that's indeed how he pronounced it, I think Reiner was more likely making a fart joke than a racial joke.

Maybe I just see fart jokes everywhere. Any Yiddish experts out there?

posted by Charles at 12:08 PM

Blogger Flatulence. Once again, the blogosphere may not get the joke. Carl Reiner supposedly called Arnold Schfartz-negger on the Chris Matthews show. Bloggers are debating whether this was a use of the Yiddish version of the n-word. If Reiner's remarks have been accurately reported, (I didn't see the show) it seems more likely to be a fart joke.

posted by Charles at 10:42 AM

Wednesday, October 01, 2003
Vindication? I know some people (namely Ron) thought I was off my rocker when I noted that most, but not all, of the the people who have died of SARS were ethnic Chinese. I wondered if east Asians, especially Chinese, were more susceptible to the disease. Well, they may be.

Yeah, yeah. I know. It's just one study. We need more research. I agree, but it's certainly interesting, isn't it?

posted by Charles at 2:44 PM

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