On Harvard: Too Rich to Be a Nonprofit?

Well, it's this dude's money, so whether he wants to divvy it up among starving orphans or rent an incinerator and go all KLF on it, that's his business. Similarly, I am sure that Harvard will invest this fresh capital in a variety of useful ventures beneficial to both its students and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a whole. All I know is that $350 million would fund the entire operating budget of my local community college for the next 6 years. That's 15,000 students per year x 6 years = 90,000 students. Heck, for $350 million, he could build an whole new community college and name the entire fucking thing after his dad. But what do I know. I am but a lowly talking mongoose who gets a little thrill that his own alma mater has enough faith in his earning potential to ask him for actual monetary donations on a semi-yearly basis. It's a nice gesture on their part which someday I hope to reciprocate in my own small way.

Posted on September 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm 0

On How Joan Rivers Did Money

@Wendy T : There are some island-dwelling Argentinians who would like to have a word with you about analogies. Alternate take : There's a "Crass / crassness" joke in here somewhere.

Posted on September 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm 0

On How Joan Rivers Did Money

I took my mother to see Joan Rivers live for her birthday. The moment she walked out on stage, her first joke was so filthy I can't even repeat it here. It was an excellent birthday gift.

Posted on September 9, 2014 at 11:19 am 0

On In an Age of Tablets, Are Calculators Still Relevant?

@TheDoctorsCompanion : Oh yeah, you bet. Our professor set up his test questions in such a way that the calculator really couldn't help except to tell you if you'd come to the wrong answer. Considering that you had to show all your work, having the calculator was at best a marginal benefit on tests. Outside of tests, though, it was a huge benefit. You could plug in an function as-is, get it down to its most basic form or add new parameters or conditions, and see, right there on the screen, how the graph changed. For me, being able to play with functions without having to grind out the graphs by hand really made all the difference. Oh, and being able to set up tablesets of values and apply functions to them -- awesome.

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 3:08 pm 0

On In an Age of Tablets, Are Calculators Still Relevant?

@Gef the Talking Mongoose : Also, if we’re really taking a hard look at “in the age of tablets, is a dedicated calculator still useful,” allow me to introduce you to the HP 12C programmable financial calculator. This bad boy has a whopping 10 character display and 20 spaces in memory, sports a gold-and-brown color scheme that says “first released in 1981 and in continuous production ever since,” and takes upwards of 30 seconds to perform financial calculations that an iPad could do before you even finished typing. It currently retails for $69.99 MSRP. There is one on the desk of every single financial analyst I know.

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm 1

On In an Age of Tablets, Are Calculators Still Relevant?

TI-84 Plus? That's for, like, Calc I students. Up here in DiffEq land, we roll with nothing less than the TI-89, word.

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm 1

On It's a Weird Day. Let's Rank States!

@Josh Michtom@facebook : In place of "lower Fairfield County," I would also have accepted "West Hartford."

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 7:16 pm 0

On It's a Weird Day. Let's Rank States!

@Non-anonymous : As someone who grew up in Connecticut, this made me emit a little bark-laugh.

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 2:53 pm 1

On 40-Hour Workweek My Aunt Fanny

The other day, I was standing in line for coffee behind a construction worker, and among the stickers on his hardhat was one that said UNIONS : THE FOLKS THAT BROUGHT YOU THE WEEKEND which I thought was both amusing and pithy.

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 2:43 pm 1

On Going Above and Beyond Doesn't Help You

@Lily Rowan : I personally enjoy the "you did a great job this year, and really went above and beyond, but our bonus pool got cut and we can't give you a bonus, and if we rated you as 'exceeds expectations,' we'd have to give you a bonus, so we have to rate you as 'meets expectations'." This is followed closely by my personal favorite, "Gosh, everyone in the department really pulled together this year and did an awesome job, but with this new stack ranking system, we have to rate at least x% of people as 'underperforming', and you're it this year. Sorry, we'll make it up to you next year!"

Posted on August 28, 2014 at 2:17 pm 1