The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits may have hit a 26-year high, but there are still lots of jobs open, because no matter how grim the economic forecast, at least some workers will change jobs voluntarily or retire. "Companies may not be making expansionary or discretionary hires," says Marc Cenedella, founder of TheLadders.com a subscription service that lists only jobs that pay $100,000 and up. "But even in a downturn, there's still 20% to 25% natural turnover per year." In the six-figure category, he estimates that will mean 3.2 million hires a year instead of 4 million in a normal market.
Interesting statistics to put the current layoffs in perspective.
If you've ever played "Final Fantasy VII", this 40-minute video made at Babson College is worth watching. It's primarily a satire based on the game, but also has several other pop culture themes, from South Park to "Wizard of Space and Time" and 70s pop music, to "Star Wars," "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," and "Napoleon Dynamite," with some (college liberal) political humor thrown in to boot.
This was a great year. I'd venture a guess that 80% of the time I had a smile plastered across my face. Everyone involved with running the convention did an amazing job. Everyone there was having a wonderful time. Everything I can think of to say about how things went this year does not do it justice.
Conventions such as these are uniquely beautiful events. A group of people comes together to share in some esoteric common purpose or goal. Time passes. At its end, the group ceases to exist and becomes a historical curiosity. In the case of a strong group, it develops a sort of ideology that lives on in the absence of the group's cohesion, allowing it to effortlessly rise from the dead in its next phase. It takes on a life of its own. A living thing that breathes art in and culture out.
In general, I highly enjoy people watching. I'm one of those folks that likes to be extremely attune to my surroundings. At a convention like DragonCon, I find this trait to reap great rewards. In every direction, there is some type of madness to take in. People in amazing costumes are everywhere. Cute girls are everywhere. Everyone is friendly. Conversations lite up like gas fires and everyone fire walks. Its impossible to be bored, the only risk is fatigue. There is no way to leave without feeling slightly sad.
Elonka Dunin, a game designer at Simutronics, invited fans to demo the company's latest MMORPG, Hero's Journey, in her hotel room . . .
Elonka is clearly our most famous MemeStreams user. Not only is her page among the most often hit here, but she is always popping up in the news. In addition to getting a demo of Hero's Journey, which I found to be extremely impressive, I attended her Kryptos talk. (again) I found it inspiring. (again) Next time she gives it I'll attend (again), and I'll keep doing it until she breaks the damn 4th part of the code. Hear that Elonka?! Quit playing those video games and hack the CIA's cafeteria courtyard! I'm going to keep "encouraging" you... :)
A list of several countries, with a paragraph summary by each one, listing their stance on gay marriage. It looks a bit out of date, and may only be current as of late 2002. It definitely doesn't cover some recent developments in France (a gay marriage occurred earlier this year, and then was annulled by a court about a month later). I'm still meme-ing it as a reference though.
March 2004: ] (AP) Three years after Amsterdam's mayor officiated at ] the Netherlands' first gay wedding, the gay marriage rate ] is falling, the first divorces are being registered and ] the issue has disappeared from the political agenda.
Torture at Abu Ghraib | Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker
1:15 pm EDT, May 4, 2004
American soldiers brutalized Iraqis. How far up does the responsibility go?
This seems to be a very thorough account of the data thus far about the horror at Abu Ghraib.
On the downside, the incidents there were not isolated ones. On the upside, the issues were identified months ago and steps seem to have been taken to try and address them.
I'm still fuzzy on timelines though. Were the pictures we saw from the incidents that occurred last year, that have since been stopped? Or were these new activities? From the report, it looks like the main problems were from October - December 2003. Officers were suspended months ago, and the trials are already underway on some -- it just wasn't public knowledge.
] Recently, much attention has been lavished on the ] pornography industry--as a business--and many have ] claimed it is large and profitable, especially on the ] Internet. Many of the claims are cut from whole cloth, ] but are accepted without question by the legitimate ] press.
I was having a discussion with someone today about the size of the porn market v. mainstream. We disagreed strongly on respective market sizes and went looking for numbers to back up our claims. This article has a lot of good data on the subject.