exactly why we need unions

September 15, 2006

the boston globe is reporting that the transportation authority is going to save a little money this year… by taking it out of the pocket of non-union employees.

one way of saving money?

Ending a policy that gave employees one floating holiday a year, a savings of $16,000.

i mean, talk about cheap.

considering that his predecessor made $223,000 a year, it seems he could chip in a little bit of savings in order that these workers could at least keep his holiday.

and yes, this is the transit authority overseeing the $15 billion dollar Big Dig project.

that, yes, is still plagued with problems.


roundup two

September 5, 2006

some interesting things going on this bright tuesday morning.

autism incidence increases dramatically with father age.

from the article:

Those whose fathers were between ages 30 and 39 at birth were 64 percent more likely to be autistic than those whose fathers were 29 or younger.

Those whose fathers were 40 to 49 were 5.65 times as likely to be autistic.

those are huge numbers, and huge increases. another interesting finding was:

Typically, about six times as many boys as girls develop the disorder. When the fathers are over 40, however, the ratio is 1 to 1.

the worst parts of science is cute. i particularly enjoy the section on “the last experiment”:

About a quarter of all scientists at anytime are performing the famous “last experiment”. This elixir supposedly will solve all the researcher’s problems. … Often the desired result is needed to prove the “model” (see # 8) and so a negative result is greeted with a “just try it one more time, but this time why don’t you try …” Conversely if the experiment works, magically a NEW last experiments appears. Like a black hole, weeks and months disappear with nothing to show for it.

“i just need to try one last thing” is something you’ll often hear around the lab.

an article at CNN talks about how parents now need to talk to their pre-teen girls about the decision of whether or not to get the new HPV preventative vaccine and, oh gosh, how much should they tell their kids about sex and STDs and vaginas? and how this is sooooo worrying, esp for parents of girls!

HPV is a weighty topic that more parents are addressing with their daughters, since the Food and Drug Administration recently approved the vaccine for girls as young as age 9. Some parents, particularly those with preteen girls, are wondering just how much information to share.

Do they simply say it’s a vaccine against cancer and leave it at that? Or should they also explain that HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that, among other symptoms, causes genital warts?

and the next section is entitled “growing up faster.” but then the article says:

Government surveys also have found that about 7 percent of children have had sexual intercourse before age 13, while about a quarter have done so by age 15.

so, the kids aren’t growing up faster–either way sex is present for many.

just talk to your kids about sex, people! it is NO BIG DEAL. i was probably six or seven when my mom brought out the “blue books” as i refer to them (a series she had about teaching children about their bodies and sex and i don’t remember what they were called but their covers were bright blue), to talk about penises and vaginas and how sex is when you put a penis in a vagina and if anyone tries to do that or touch my vagina without my permission i should run away and tell someone.

see, no big deal. but now your kid is informed and thus HAS POWER. but noone wants kids to have power for some reason. they want to keep it all for themselves.

and lastly, cuteness.

we celebrated the first anniversary of chaucer coming to live with us this labor day. in honor of that, dlamming kindly created this photo site to look at handsome pictures of my baby love.