Hump Day News Chum: It’s the Little Things

A few articles that caught my eye during the lunchtime reading, for your enjoyment:

  • From the “Fix It Again, Tony” Department: The BBC is reporting that Fiat has taken over Zastava’s Serbian factory. Now, what makes this interesting is the confluence of a few facts: the article notes that “Zastava is best known as the maker of the Yugo car”, that the cars made in the factory “will be for export to Europe and the US”, and that Fiat now owns Chrysler, manufacturer of some of the least-reliable US cars. You put the pieces together: it is a match made in car repair heaven.
  • From the “Don’t Slay That Potato” Department: Many people have switched to veganism or vegetarianism because they feel they shouldn’t inflict pain on animals. What they forget is that plants are alive as well. As this NY Times article points out, plants have feelings as well and have defense mechanisms to preserve themselves. As the article says, “Just because we humans can’t hear them doesn’t mean plants don’t howl.”
  • From the “Unintended Commentary” Department: The LVRJ has an article about a man who has apologized for defacing the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. Now, what’s interesting in the article is this: “He said he wanted to demonstrate against a U.S. Senate health care bill, and he thinks he began hallucinating from medications he took that morning.” So, if we actually had better health care, might he not have hallucinated? This gives me an opportunity for a slight soapbox commentary: those on either side who are disappointed that the current Senate and House bills aren’t their idea of perfection and still contain lots of pork — if you wait for perfection, we won’t ever get a bill. The initial actions on revolutionary major issues are rarely perfect, and if we wait for perfection, the needed change will never happen. The best we can hope for is incremental progress, not perfection, and a hope that we can fine tune the resulting product based on lessons learned as time goes on. This has been true since the founding days of this nation, which couldn’t get a perfect Constitution on the first attempt (remember: the bill of rights were the first 10 amendments, and the original constitution permitted slavery and denied women the vote).
  • From the “Kitchen Sink” Department: The NY Times has a nice article on the stripping of foreclosed homes, and the problems it creates. Hint: Don’t purchase plumbing fixtures on Craigslist, especially if they come from a “Pull Your Parts” salvage 🙂
  • From the “We Need Experts” Department: There’s a good article in the Washington Post about the difficulties in obtaining computer security experts. If you are working in computer science, and looking for a field that needs good people, consider computer security and information assurance.

Lastly, a wonderful quote to close with, from today’s column by Mr. Roadshow:

What does Santa know about driving? He never carpools, doesn’t use his blinkers, parks his sled illegally and travels way too fast.