Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just a Walk on the Beach? (by my brother)

My brother, who is presently suffering with ALS, just sent this. Please visit my d'Feet ALS walk web page and help us.
Just a Walk on the Beach?

I want you to think back, imagine in your mind, totally block all other thoughts out, just focus on what you are reading. Close your eyes to all your surroundings for just a few minutes.

Imagine, your walking along the beach and you see kids starting to bury the feet of a young persons with sand, packing it down, adding water to make it good and heavy so the feet can’t move. Can you see him? Standing with no movement in his feet? Can you? He can handle it right?

You continue down the sandy beach as the ocean waves continue to splash. You come upon another group of kids that have buried this young persons feet, calves, just above his knees. You watch as he concentrates on his balance a bit more. Can you see him? Have you ever lost your balance? Do you remember that feeling? Do you? Should you help yet?

You go down further and you come to another group burying a young persons feet, legs, waist and hands. Not only can he not move his feet and legs but now his hands won’t move right. All statuesque, unable to move can you see him? Can you? Ready yet?

As you’re reaching the end of the beach you see yet another group. Packing sand from his feet to his throat. As you look on you can see that he can’t walk, move his arms, struggling to breath from the weight of the sand. He can’t talk from the pressure on throat. You can now see the fear in his eyes of when will the tide come in. Can you see him? Can you? Have you asked how can help or just stand by and watch?

As you walk around the front of him looking in his fear filled eyes you realize that you recognize this young man. It’s your son! Are you ready to help yet? What will you do now? Are you too late?


Strike out ALS.

Ken Timmons
Again, please visit my d'Feet ALS walk web page and help us.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My 2009 d'Feet ALS Walk Page

My brother Ken has ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Every year, our family participates in the ALS association's Columbus chapter's Walk to Defeat ALS, and this year is no different.

Please help us defeat ALS by visiting my 2009 d'Feet ALS walk page.

Thanks so much.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Please unsubscribe me..."

A mailing list at the university was recently created and added a large number of faculty, staff, and others to it automatically. An announcement went out to all of these subscribers (who didn't know the list was going to be created) giving information on the list (and why they were added) and details about subscribing/unsubscribing/etc. Of course, many of them did not want to be subscribed. Rather than following the clear instructions on how to unsubscribe, they started sending e-mails to the list.

(Some actually sent e-mails to the list ASKING TO BE SUBSCRIBED!!)

Here's a snapshot (from Google Mail, rendered with an ASCII art theme) of the hilarity that ensued... (where names have been obscured to protect the guilty... I mean... innocent)
Notice how some of those messages are threads that are 10 messages deep. Also notice that this isn't a pruned inbox. This is a snapshot of an inbox that has been destroyed by this mailing list.

Invisible Handjob

Evidently "Invisible Hand" is right up there with "Survival of the Fittest" as a phrase the "author" maybe only muttered once or twice and probably meant it as a joke and probably regretted it greatly after saying it.

Freakonomics blog: The Invisible Hand Hoax
Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” theory of efficient markets is one of the first lessons taught to young economics students. James Tobin, a Nobel prize-winning economist, once described the theory as "... one of the great ideas of history and one of the most influential." But in this new paper, Gavin Kennedy argues that Smith actually had no invisible-hand theory, pointing out that the phrase appears only three times in Smith’s writings. One scholar believes that Smith’s use of the phrase was a “mildly ironic joke.” (HT: Brad DeLong)
Referenced paper: "Adam Smith and the Invisible Hand: From Metaphor to Myth" by Gavin Kennedy (Econ Journal Watch, Volume 6, Number 2, May 2009, pp 239–263)