Kids with HIV

The New York Times Magazine has an outstanding article on American kids with HIV.  Most of them are teenagers now and confronting all the issues that teenagers usually struggle with.  Because the first babies with HIV didn’t live long, this is the first generation to make it to adolescence with HIV.  And, at least in the US, they will most likely be the last, since we can now prevent HIV mothers from transmitting the virus to their children.

The stories of these children and their families are amazing.  Imagine growing up, taking medicine several times a day, and never being told why.  Imagine having a disease that you aren’t supposed to talk to anybody about because if you did people won’t want to hold your hand or invite you to a party or sit next to you in school.  But other than getting sick a lot, you are a kid like everybody else.  You might grow up fast.

I highly recommend taking the time to read the article.  It’s worth it.

Their Unexpected Adolescence – New York Times.

Social Deterrents to Crime

The city of Chicago is trying to curb prostitution by posting the pictures of men arrested for soliciting prostitutes.

Chicago Police Department – CLEARpath – www.chicagopolice.org.

How well it works is going to depend on what type of man usually visits a prostitute.  I would think factors that would make a difference are:

  • Do they have wives and children?
  • Do their friends think visiting a prostitute is ok, cool, terrible, brave, fun, …
  • Do they tell their family and friends that they visit prostitutes?  Don’t assume they don’t!
  • Would it affect their employment at all?
  • Do their friends, family, and employers have easy internet access?
  • Do they have easy internet access?

They are Moving My Town!

The ice is melting in Alaska and some towns are in danger of being swallowed by the sea.  In this article, they talk about relocating Kivalina, a little town that we lived in for a year, Vanishing Alaska.

When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers looked at relocating Kivalina, a nearby village of 380 people, the price tag was $100 million to $400 million — roughly $1 million for each resident.

(If that’s really the price, I’m thinking they should just build a new town for a fraction of a $1 million/person and give people a chunk of the money to help them relocate.) The New York Times Travel section had a good article about global warming is affecting Alaska’s tourism, The Race to Alaska Before It Melts. Good in the short run as people worry they’ll miss the great sights of Alaska – the glaciers are melting.

What do people really do in retirement?

According to Paul Brown’s  What’s Offline column in the New York Times, people go through three stages in retirement:

  1. The traditional things people plan for in retirement – travel, new hobbies, gifts to family.
  2. After that, they settle back into the life that made them comfortable before they retired.
  3. In the final phase they tend to have increased health problems.

So he contends that you should do financial planning with those three phases in mind.

Pay Cooresponds to Skill and Working Conditions

So one of the factors that figures into how much you get paid for a job is how many people can do the job.  If there are only two people in the world that can do your job, you are going to get paid a lot more than if there are two billion people in the world that can do your job.  Education, talent, skills, and experience all play into how unique your skills are.  For example, the more education you have, the smaller the pool of people that have the same amount and kind of education.

Another factor that plays into how much you get paid is how desirable your job is.  Supposedly, an indoor job is more desirable than an outdoor job, but as a recent interview of a cowboy in the New York Times showed, that’s not always true for everybody.

Traditionally, my job, managing a team of software engineers, has been seen as very desirable in terms of working conditions.  I sit in an air conditioned office surrounded by educated, congenial people.  However, I’m starting to think that maybe the 200+ emails/day, numerous meetings, phone calls and interruptions might not be the most desirable of working conditions.  While I’d like to think I’m being compensated primarily for my skills and talents, maybe I’m being compensated for the stressful working conditions.  (And my ability to cope with them! 🙂

6/23/05 Correction: The article about the cowboy was in the WSJ, not the NYT!

No Drinks for Dogs!



Alcohol is toxic for dogs.  Your vet might not ask how many drinks a week your dog has, but maybe that’s because they know if they are having any, they wouldn’t be there. 

I couldn’t find anything on the web about alcohol and dogs so I am posting my experience so others can learn from it.  Note that I used to have a friend that fed his dog beer and the dog didn’t have any noticeable side effects.  But one drop of gin was way too much gin for my dog.  Here it is …

We were having a drink on the porch with friends and my boyfriend finished his gin and tonic and put the glass on the floor.  One of the dogs knocked it over and both dogs ate the ice cubes.  We didn’t think anything of it since the drink was empty.  An hour later my dog Teddy couldn’t walk straight, a half hour after that her legs wouldn’t support her at all, she was having trouble breathing and she started vomiting all over the floor and herself.  (And made no move to clean herself up or move out of it.)  She was also terrified and just wanted to lie as close to me as possible.  Wait till you watch your dog try to flop across the floor to get next to you – it’s terrifying.  Two hours after the gin flavored ice cube she was fine.  (I then felt like I might need a gin and tonic myself!)  Before we remembered the glass and the ice cubes, the emergency clinic vets were thinking back problems and neurological disorders.  When we finally remembered the knocked over glass, they immediately said that was it.  So, NO ALCOHOL FOR DOGS.  Not even a drop!

Geeks talk about “Nerds Make Better Lovers”

There is an article in the Daily News about how Nerds make better lovers.  While the article itself is some what interesting (there’s a website where you can find geeks who are looking for mates), the more interesting page was the conversation that nerds themselves had.  Check out the conversation on Slashdot | Nerds Make Better Lovers.  They accurately point out that Tiger Woods isn’t exactly your typical geek, the article doesn’t mention female geeks and share their own experiences and sense of humor.