Monday, 2 September 2013

By on September 2nd, 2013 in personal

08:09 – Happy Labor Day. For once, Barbara and I have actually kind of been taking it easy over the holiday weekend.

8 Comments and discussion on "Monday, 2 September 2013"

  1. Lynn McGuire says:

    Happy Laboring day to you also! I have labored this morning and managed to screw up helping a customer as my lovely wife just pointed out to me.

    And in the news of the day, “The STEM Crisis Is a Myth”

    “Forget the dire predictions of a looming shortfall of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians”.

    “Many children born today are likely to live to be 100 and to have not just one distinct career but two or three by the time they retire at 80. Rather than spending our scarce resources on ending a mythical STEM shortage, we should figure out how to make all children literate in the sciences, technology, and the arts to give them the best foundation to pursue a career and then transition to new ones. And instead of continuing our current global obsession with STEM shortages, industry and government should focus on creating more STEM jobs that are enduring and satisfying as well.”

  2. brad says:

    Well, the sentiment is in the right place, but some of the data in the article is really badly interpreted. For example, they say that there are far more people with STEM degrees than are actually working in the field. That’s true enough, but then, how many of them are qualified to work in the fields.

    Just to name an example: There is a student at our school, studying computer science. Technically speaking, this student already has a computer science degree from elsewhere. Nonetheless, said person just failed out of our program, after repeating the first year, for still not being able to write even a simple program.

    Even among our graduates there are quite a few who really would be better working on the periphery – say in quality assurance – rather than in directly technical jobs. There are too many colleges out there giving degrees to students like the one we just failed; they cannot hold down a technical job, but their degree still counts in the statistics.

    Add to that the career changes that Lynn mentions – another huge factor. The STEM shortage is very real, but it is (and always has been) a shortage of really good STEM people.

  3. Lynn McGuire says:

    Prodigal CEO: Stephen Elop returns to Microsoft with Nokia as the prize:

    “When Stephen Elop became the CEO of Nokia in September 2010, there were many who suspected that his primary mission was not to save the struggling handset maker from irrelevancy, but rather to prep it for an acquisition by his previous employer, Microsoft.”

    Gotta think about this for a while. MS is changing the game and small vendors (like mine) will get crushed as the behemoth jumps to a new path.

  4. jim` says:


    Here’s a dumb question for you. Is there an easily available household chemical which can corrode aluminium to pitch black?

    I bake pies and like my metal pie pans. But the bottom crust invariably is not crispy enough, so I figure a black bottom would absorb more radiant heat from the oven’s bottom electric element.

    I suppose I could buy some black engine paint, but soaking the pan in potash or something would be easier and cheaper.

  5. jim` says:

    Thanks OFD.
    As a combination, “pricking” + “blind baking” doesn’t sit too well with me. Reminds me of Helen Keller let loose in a bakery.

    And Martha needs to get her shit together. I’ve used glass marbles instead of beans for decades. They retain more heat than any damn bean can do.

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Most aluminum compounds are white or pale colored. The only black one I can think of off the top of my head is aluminum antimonide, which is both toxic and flammable. I suppose you could anodize your aluminum pans and then dye them black, but it seems easier and cheaper to buy black pans. Steel pans could be Parkerized. Standard (zinc) Parkerizing gives the gray color frequently seen on military firearms, but manganese-based Parkerizing can approach black.

  7. jim` says:

    Thanks Bob. I’ll just buy some engine paint for my aluminium pie tins. I’m curious if it will make any difference at all.

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