CLASS : A GUIDE THROUGH THE AMERICAN STATUS SYSTEM

When I first read Paul Fussell’s Class in college, I really enjoyed it, enough so that I kept the book, one of the few that I kept from college.  I just reread it and I really did not like it.  I couldn’t decide if it was terrible to start with or if it was supposed to be funny or if it was just terribly outdated.  Unless you are into making fun of people by assigning them to a stereotypical class (in which case you might think this book is funny), I recommend you skip this one.

As far as I can tell there are no studies or scientific basis for
Fussell’s conclusions. There’s not even a list of sources in the back
of the book, so we can only assume that he knows all about the different
classes from his … personal experience, observations, telephone calls?  Who knows?

Social Entrepreneurs

Some of you may remember my blog about David Bornstein’s book on social entrepreneurs.  It’s an excellent book that focuses on entrepreneurs that start businesses that create social change and make the world a better place while still running a successful business.  For example, they’ve brought electricity to rural Brazil and provided services to homeless children in India.

If you didn’t have time to read the book, you can now listen to a 30
minute talk by David Bornstein himself.  It’s free and you can listen
to it on your computer or on your handheld or MP3 player.    It’s
available from ITConversations.

Parachutes for Small Planes

Parachutes for small planes.  What a novell idea.  Obvious once you’ve thought about it but not intuitive.  These are parachutes installed behind the back seat of small planes – up to 4,000 pound aircraft – that can be deployed when the pilot loses control of the plane.

Link: Yahoo! News – Parachute System Can Save Small Planes.

Flickr, pictures!

Take a look on the right, you will see five pictures at random from my album on FlickrAnne pointed me at the tool and it’s great!

Most common search?

This weblog gets about 35-50 visitors a day and most of those are because something in my weblog was pulled up as a result of a search.  Believe it or not, at least one hit a day is from someone looking for information on double-dutch jump roping!  They go to this blog entry that I wrote in August, Double Dutch Jump Roping

For those that are now intrigued, here’s the best history I found on the web for double dutch jump roping,  National Double Dutch League.  If you are interested in finding a team near you, the USA Jump Rope organization can help.

Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Blink

I listed (on my iPod) to Malcolm Gladwell talk about one of the chapters in his new book, Blink.  He talked about how people make choices and it was every bit as interesting as his first book, The Tipping Point.  For example, one of the facts he shared, and backed up with good, easy to understand examples, was that people will choose the simpler option if they have to explain their choice, even if it’s not the one they really wanted.  He told a story about college kids that got to pick out a free poster.  Those that had to explain why they like the poster picked simple pictures of kittens.  Those that didn’t picked abstract art.  Two months later those that had picked the art were still happy with their free poster.  Those that picked the kittens were not!  His rationale was that they didn’t have the language to describe why they liked the abstract art so they picked the easier option. 

You can download the talk for free at ITConversations.

A Bonus Plan That Makes Sense!

Here’s a business plan that makes sense, upper management – including the CEO! – do not get their bonus until all lower levels have met their targets and collected their bonus.  What a way to instill into managers responsibility for their teams’ targets.

Here’s the article: Bottom Up.

New Audio Site: IT Conversations

IT Conversations has recent talks from conferences in audio formats.  You can listen to them on your computer or download them to your MP3 player, Otis or IPod.  It also has RSS feeds for different topics, so you can sign up to get a list of all new audio about blogs, or open source or IT or IT and legal issues …

… all for free!

Keep Track of Your Books

I found a cool new site, http://bibliophil.org.  It allows you to keep track of all of your books, your ratings and when you read it.  You can share the data with others, you can sort on different criteria and best of all you can export to Excel.  (Best of all if you are an information and Excel junkie like me.)

Unfortunately you can’t import from Excel yet, so you will have to manually enter your library and ratings.  However, this site is a huge improvement over Amazon.  It uses Amazon’s database but it allows you to keep a searchable, sortable, exportable database of your own ratings.  Something Amazon doesn’t allow you to do easily.

You will find the list of books I’ve read and rated, and in the future my reviews, at
                      http://bibliophil.org/library/UserLibrary.asp?userid=3489
.