The Newly Jobless, including One who took Drastic Action

With the Beatles‘ recent popularity with generations who weren’t even around the first time around, you’d think that love is all you need. However, we live in times where even that sentiment, as lovely as it is, is not enough to counter the malaise of this recession. One of the feature stories in this month’s Atlantic Monthly, “How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America,” paints a grim future for the American job market in the next few years. The New York Times, not to be beat, is doing a series about “The New Poor” (coming off an era with the new rich) with a similar article: ” Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs.” The Atlantic Monthly makes predictions about the cultural changes to come while the NY Times takes a closer look at the systems in place to deal with unemployment and how they’re ill-prepared for this crisis. With the grimness pointed out by both sources, why not laugh at the futility of paying off credit cards on Cracked.Com.

Continue reading “The Newly Jobless, including One who took Drastic Action”

Legal Waist Limit

Japan has recently adopted a law that declares legal limits on waistlines. 33.6 inches (85.3 cm) is the limit for men. If you’re considering emigrating to Japan with the intention of becoming a citizen, this is something to consider.

If you exceed the limit, you are described by the lovely term “metabo,” which is simply metabolic syndrome truncated. In Japanese, foreign loan words have a euphemistic effect, unlike an actual Japanese word such as debu*.

*chubby, fat.

There’s an article in the NY Times this morning about diminishing gay enclaves. Some of them have become quite famous over the years – Castro District, West Hollywood, Dupont Circle, and locally Hillcrest. Gentrification and the internet are some of the factors that have contributed to their decline in recent years. Are gay enclaves or “gay ghettos” still relevant and/or necessary?

Morning is Broken

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Morning is Broken 1, originally uploaded by shindohd.

This photo was taken sometime after 7am this morning. There will be some brilliant sunrises for a while, thanks to the fires. Today, things “return to normal” with schools reopening. I’m sure I’ll learn things are far from normal today and tomorrow with students.

Morning is Broken 4

Links

To Help
The Episcopal Relief Fund is one of several organizations responding to the fires this week. They have responded to the tsunamis of 2004 and 2005 and Hurricane Katrina, and donating to them is a way to help. There are people who have lost their homes and even as things return to normal for most people in Southern California, it isn’t that way for them.

What A Week!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this week’s hardly been a holiday. While my neighborhood has been spared from the fires, it was not risk free. Most San Diego neighborhoods are built on top of hills, and the hillsides (suburban and rural) are lined with chaparral, which is simply plenty of vegetation to catch fire. The fires were largely limited to rural areas, but densely populated areas close to them, such as Rancho Bernardo and Poway, were vulnerable and took heavy damage. There will be more stories in the news in the weeks to come as these people struggle to resume their lives and rebuild their homes. What is very unfortunate is that some of these people were still recovering from the Cedar Fires disaster, which happened four years ago.

Thanks to those who kept us in your thoughts. I would especially like to thank Brian and Danny for their responses in some of my fire related posts. There was also a Flickr user who sent me some thoughtful messages. I’m glad to know that fellow San Diego bloggers Ted and Rob are ok.

I’ve gotten word that one of the teachers out in the East County school lost her home in the fire. I’m sure we’ll hear about more friends, colleaguues, and acquaintances in this situation in weeks to come.

As for family in San Diego, I’m glad everyone’s fine. My immediate family (mother and brother) are all in central San Diego, away from the fires. My brother’s children (my niecce and nephew) live with their mother in East County, but their area is unaffected. I visited my uncle John (my paternal grandmother’s brother) and my aunt in Mira Mesa yesterday. It had been a while since I’ve seem them, but I worried about them this week, since their area had more smoke than here. I promised not to be a stranger.

As far as I know, the community colleges resume on Monday. I’ll be catching up on grading papers and doing prep work for classes. I’ve lost more or less a week’s worth of lessons, so I’ll have to exercise some flexibility with plans and deadlines.

Updates

Photopshop: Some People Have Too Much Time On Their Hands

Apparently, some Photoshop users found the time to skewer dumpy man on the streets and publicity whore Greg Parker. Adam Frucci of the Gizmodo blog solicited these images from users early this week and here are the frightening results.

My favorite result is where someone used a clip from the Star Trek: TNG episode “Conspiracy” and have Picard and Riker phaser him until his head explodes.

I wonder what Parker’s going to do with his iPhone once he’s purchased it. Sell it on e-Bay, perhaps, complete with Parker DNA (eeeeww!). He’s soliciting donations on his hardly updated blog about the experience. Dude, if you want blog readers to pony up some cash, you got to give some content. Talk about how stinky you’ve become and how you probably would pee your pants (or worse) rather than give up your place in line. At least the friend of yours who set up the blog should have the decency to get you to dictate updates.

Update:
New York Times reports on the sale of iPhones in 5th Ave Apple Store, Manhattan. Everyone’s favorite Photoshop target is pictured with two iPhones. The donations must have come through. Stay tuned on eBay…

Update 6/30/07:
Read Fredo’s account of the iPhone sale in DC.