Whatever you think of Democrats, President Obama, or first lady Michelle Obama, who could oppose an initiative to fight obesity among American children? Regardless of political preference, why would you denounce a plan that tries to make the 1/3 of American children that is overweight more healthy. Who would be against an attempt to reduce diabetes among children and young adults? You would have to be either insane or plain evil. Well, guess who does just that, Sarah Palin! Sarah Palin has made some derogatory remarks about Michelle Obama and her “Let’s Move” initiative, which encourages better diets and sufficient excercise among American kids. According to Huffpost:
But Palin has maintained that Obama’s effort to combat child obesity — which was recently aided by the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act — is one that seeks to take away “God-given rights to make our own decisions.” Some have since slammed that comment as Palin’s demanding that Americans cling to their “God-Given right to be fat.”
She even went as far as delivering cookies to a Pennsylvania School last month! She wanted to show her disapproval of Obama’s plan by giving the school kids cookies. She justified this action with a completely inappropriate appeal to god-given American rights and too much government interference. Does the initiative ban children from eating cookies at home or at school? No, it doesn’t. It simply stimulates excercise and a balanced diet among children, that’s all. And this sunday in her reality show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” she said while searching for “s’mores” ingredients on a family camping trip:
Where are the s’mores ingredients? This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert.”
S’mores is a disgusting dessert with cookies, melted marshallows and chocolate by the way, which seems to come straight from This Is Why Your Fat:
Over at Das Kraftfuttermischwerk they’ve been having an Advent Calendar – a great German tradition – of dj mixes, created by dj’s and bloggers alike, created almost exclusively for their blog. Anything goes, from ambient, dub, reggae, house and techno to drum ‘n bass. Briliant initiative.
Now this contribution by blogger king Nerdcore is absolutely fantastic, as it consists entirely of ’90s techno and rave! Look at the playlist below, and enjoy. And long live our neighbouring blogosphere.
1. Fingers Inc – My House Acapella (Jack Had a Groove)
2. Green Velvet – Fake & Phoney
3. Ken Ishii – Extra (Luke Slater Remix)
4. Pascal FEOS – Ausklang
5. Humate & Rabbit in the Moon – East (The Opium Den Mix)
6. Lazonby – Sacred Cycles
7. Paul Johnson – Feel my M.F. Bass
8. DJ Hell – Jack my Body
9. Astrospider – Ritmista
10. CJ Bolland – Horsepower
11. The Hypnotist – This House is mine
12. Emmanuel Top – Acid Phase
13. Emmanuel Top – Turkish Bazar
14. Aux88 – Electro Techno
15. Dopplereffekt – Pornoactress
16. DJ Funk – Pump It
17. Chaka Khan – I feel for you
18. Paul Hardcastle – 19
19. Shannon – Let the Music play
20. Mole People – Break Night
21. G-Man – Quo Vadis
22. Winx – How’s the Music
23. Emmanuel Top – Lobotomie
24. The Siren – The Siren
25. Underground Resistance – The Sea Wolf
26. Adam Beyer & Lenk – Drum Code No.1 (Planetary Assault Systems Remix)
27. Public Energy – Three O’ Three
28. Sulphurex – Point Break
29. DJ Hell – Sprung aus den Wolken
30. Ilsa Gold – Süchtig
31. Ilsa Gold – Silke
Twee fraaie columns over wat wel dé canard van de afgelopen paar weken is: de rechtse morele verontwaardiging over Job Cohens vergelijking tussen joden en moslims. De PvdA-leider roept iets onwelgevalligs, en meteen valt heel conservatief Nederland briesend en buitelend over elkaar heen. Als er maar niet aan ons recht om moslims te stigmatiseren getornd wordt!
De joden, vooral jongeren, waren voor de oorlog verantwoordelijk voor het stelselmatig verjagen van homo’s en lesbo’s uit hun wijken. Ze terroriseerden hele buurten en vielen niet-joodse vrouwen lastig. Op hun steppen, de voorlopers van scooters, maakten ze Mokum onveilig en vielen winkels aan. Sommigen van hen werden af en toe gearresteerd omdat ze terroristische aanslagen beraamden of een dramaturg de keel hadden doorgesneden. Joden vormden toen ook de grootse criminele groep die in gevangenissen oververtegenwoordigd was. Ik wil natuurlijk best naar de schoolbankjes terug om bijlessen geschiedenis te krijgen. Maar dan wel samen met Job Cohen.
Dit bewijst zo goed als het gelijk van Cohen. Alle moslims worden op een hoop gegooid, en gezien als één entiteit waar al het kwaad vanaf komt. Maar wat hebben straatterreur en criminaliteit met de islam te maken? Niets natuurlijk, de gastjes die zich hieraan te buiten gaan komen nooit in de moskee. Zijn “moslims” de grootste criminele groep? Nee, dat zijn niet-westerse allochtonen. Maar voor Ephimenco zijn het “moslims”. Net als dat het “moslims”, en niet geradicaliseerde, fundamentalistische moslims zijn, die aanslagen beramen.
Het verjagen van homo’s en lesbo’s, overigens, en de bedreigingen van joden in Amsterdam zouden inderdaad topprioriteit van de overheid moeten zijn, en komen ten dele zeker voort uit een islamitische overtuiging.
Maar dan nog los je dat probleem niet door op een hele geloofsgemeenschap een stigmatiserend, generaliserend discours los te laten, zoals tegenwoordig bon ton is van CDA tot PVV – zie Ephimenco. Dát is namelijk waar de vergelijking van Cohen vandaan komt. Evenals met joden voor de Tweede Wereldoorlog – dus in de jaren dertig – worden moslims door een luidruchtig en invloedrijk deel van Nederlandse politici en opiniemakers als een kwaadwillende, monolithische entiteit neergezet. Wilders – met z’n Koranverscheuring, moskeeënstop, en voornemen tientallen miljoenen moslims uit Europa te deporteren – is alleen maar de meest extreme. Het is een prima vergelijking om over te hebben, net als die tussen de PVV en het fascisme in de jaren dertig een prima vergelijking om over te discussiëren is. Waarom niet?
“The Wikileaks app gives instant access to the world’s most documented leakage of top secret memos and other confidential government documents.”
Basically the paid app was selling WikiLeaks content (available for free) for $1.99. Its entry into the app store on December 17th was actually surprising, as Apple is usually quite strict and somewhat vague about its app approval standards. WikiLeaks and founder Julian Assange are quite controversial, to put it lightly but I’m not sure if the app directly violated anything in Apple’s TOS.
In the past couple of weeks corporate biggies Amazon, PayPal, Mastercard, Visa and Bank of America have all tried to disassociate themselves in one way or another from WikiLeaks. If this isn’t some kind of glitch, Apple has plenty company.
I’ve contacted both Apple and and the developer for more information and will update this post when they respond.
WikiLeaks App, an unofficial iPhone and iPad that, according to its description, “gives instant access to the world’s most documented leakage of top secret memos and other confidential government documents,” was removed by Apple from the App Store. As TechCrunch reports, the app’s developer, Igor Barinov, was told by Apple’s iTunes Store Team that the WikiLeaks app’s status was changed to “Removed from sale.” The app had appeared in Apple’s App Store just several days before, on December 17th.
For every purchase of the $1.99 app, the developer promised to donate “1 dollar of the purchase price towards organizations that work to promote the future of online democracy.”
The app also promised to “continue to feed content regardless of server disruptions,” a reference to the downtime the official WikiLeaks website suffered after Amazon announced that it would no longer host WikiLeaks.
Only three reviews of the app, two of them giving it just a one-star rating, had been posted prior to its removal. “Waste of money,” said one. Another commented, “Do not buy!” adding, “This app is just a wrapper for the mobile web site. There is no access to the actual released documents.”
Ho ho ho, merry christmas PhDs and postdocs! The Economist has a christmas present for ya, an article in which the prospects of PhDs get smashed completely. According to the Economist you are nowadays better off taking a job as a cashier at the local grocery store after you graduate than to complete a doctoral degree. During the writing process you’re doing “slave labour” and after the 3-5 years of research you’re tossed aside by the academic community. And that is if you finish the degree at all, because 40-50% becomes desillusioned and quits. Also, if you do land a job as a postdoc researcher or assistant professor, you are going to be underpaid and treated as dirt.
“One thing many PhD students have in common is dissatisfaction. Some describe their work as “slave labour”. Seven-day weeks, ten-hour days, low pay and uncertain prospects are widespread. You know you are a graduate student, goes one quip, when your office is better decorated than your home and you have a favourite flavour of instant noodle. “It isn’t graduate school itself that is discouraging,” says one student, who confesses to rather enjoying the hunt for free pizza. “What’s discouraging is realising the end point has been yanked out of reach.”
Whining PhD students are nothing new, but there seem to be genuine problems with the system that produces research doctorates (the practical “professional doctorates” in fields such as law, business and medicine have a more obvious value). There is an oversupply of PhDs. Although a doctorate is designed as training for a job in academia, the number of PhD positions is unrelated to the number of job openings. Meanwhile, business leaders complain about shortages of high-level skills, suggesting PhDs are not teaching the right things. The fiercest critics compare research doctorates to Ponzi or pyramid schemes.
Proponents of the PhD argue that it is worthwhile even if it does not lead to permanent academic employment. Not every student embarks on a PhD wanting a university career and many move successfully into private-sector jobs in, for instance, industrial research. That is true; but drop-out rates suggest that many students become dispirited. In America only 57% of doctoral students will have a PhD ten years after their first date of enrolment. In the humanities, where most students pay for their own PhDs, the figure is 49%. Worse still, whereas in other subject areas students tend to jump ship in the early years, in the humanities they cling like limpets before eventually falling off. And these students started out as the academic cream of the nation. Research at one American university found that those who finish are no cleverer than those who do not. Poor supervision, bad job prospects or lack of money cause them to run out of steam.
You are even worse off if you do a PhD in The Netherlands or Germany, because you have a big chance of becoming a shoe shiner or newspaper vendor:
Even graduates who find work outside universities may not fare all that well. PhD courses are so specialised that university careers offices struggle to assist graduates looking for jobs, and supervisors tend to have little interest in students who are leaving academia. One OECD study shows that five years after receiving their degrees, more than 60% of PhDs in Slovakia and more than 45% in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany and Spain were still on temporary contracts. Many were postdocs. About one-third of Austria’s PhD graduates take jobs unrelated to their degrees. In Germany 13% of all PhD graduates end up in lowly occupations. In the Netherlands the proportion is 21%.
It ends on a very positive note:
Many of those who embark on a PhD are the smartest in their class and will have been the best at everything they have done. They will have amassed awards and prizes. As this year’s new crop of graduate students bounce into their research, few will be willing to accept that the system they are entering could be designed for the benefit of others, that even hard work and brilliance may well not be enough to succeed, and that they would be better off doing something else. They might use their research skills to look harder at the lot of the disposable academic. Someone should write a thesis about that.
It must be said that the author of the article has completed a PhD degree herself, ”she slogged through a largely pointless PhD in theoretical ecology”, and she’s extremely sour about it. In the comments section of the article a debate has stirred up. Many commenters say the article is way to negative and has no eye for the benefits of doing a PhD:
It seems to me our correspondent had a sour experience during his/her PhD.
I happen to have a PhD; and a great career in industry. My experience could not be more different to the correspondent’s: I have always felt privileged, and the PhD was the beginning of my beautiful journey. I have worked in areas which are exciting and beautiful. A good combination when added to a nice salary. It’s true that some people get higher salaries, but very few of them love what they do as I do. This is the beauty of a PhD: you love what you do.
Very few people in life are as lucky as PhD students. The luxury to work on something they like, expanding the boundaries of knowledge and learning a set of skills which will make a difference in their careers. My advice for to-be-PhD students is to be aware of that, and enjoy the experience. If they do not, then quit.
I got my Ph.D. a few months ago in a scientific field. I didn’t want to stay in research, but I figured with my credentials, I could easily land a job. I applied for around 40 jobs, and I received exactly one offer.
Unless a person is prepared to spend one’s life in academia, I’m afraid a Ph.D. is largely a waste of time. It does make you feel good about yourself, but that doesn’t pay the bills or put food on the table.
Architectural mapping remains the shit, especially in combination with electronic music. This technique is gonna be big the next few years.
Here’s a performance by AntiVJ at the Mapping Festival 2010, in a church. They call it a “live audiovisual performance mixing classical organ and electronic music with video projection”. And it’s pretty cool.