Statistically meaningless.

The misapplication of statistics is a pet peeve for me. People throw stats around in ways that are totally meaningless. What that bugs me the most is when otherwise-reputable news sources calculate the odds of something non-random to demonstrate that it’s extremely unlikely. For example, the odds of any one person in the United States […]

Fast food notion.

In early 2001, I read Fast Food Nation, an exposé on the fast food industry by Eric Schlosser. The author describes the history of the fast food industry, how American culture has shaped and been shaped by the concept of eating on the go, and, most interestingly, describes the process of how livestock and grain […]

And I don’t take shit.

I just went to the Kinko’s a block from my apartment to photocopy three sheets of paper. (Cost: $0.25.) I inquired at the counter, and I was told that they accepted credit cards or a Kinko’s cash card. Fingering the change in my pocket, I said that I’d be paying cash. “We don’t take cash.” […]

Subway follies.

New York subway rider tires of preachers, fights back with showtunes. Preacher Lady: “I got freedom of speech! And God tells me that the gay devils are controlling New York.”� Me: “If you do not cease and desist fouling the air with homophobia, I must sing…show tunes.” Preacher Lady: “The Lawd says you are going […]

College voting.

My mother had an essay on today’s Day to Day, which they titled “Teaching Good Voting Habits. It’s a nuts-and-bolts piece about how parents can make sure that their kids in college vote absentee. You say your kid has gone off to college? You’re feeling down, like nobody needs you anymore? Well, here’s something you […]

Change in venues.

My mother has ended her gig as a monthly columnist for Charlottesville’s Daily Progress (owned by Media General, the Clear Channel of daily journalism) and is now a monthly columnist for The Hook. Her first contribution is on the topic of the ever-widening fissure between Democrats and Republicans, and the role played in that by […]