Sunday, June 8, 2014

Saturday.  Should be warm and clear at least till late in the afternoon.  Some rain should come overnight.  But our meteorologists are using two dueling models: one showing almost no rain and one showing much more tonight through tomorrow and on Tuesday through Wednesday.We'll see which, if either, is right.  We have a busy morning on the schedule--two farm markets and grocery shopping for what ever we can't find at the markets.  Summer and fall are the seasons when we split our shopping errands into two trips to coincide with the days the farm markets are open.  During the winter those errands are consolidated to once every week, or depending on the weather, every two or three weeks.

Sunday.  Wet and cool to start out.  Should stay cool but dry out over the morning.  We didn't get anything at the farm markets.  I didn't see any plants I wanted to add to the garden and the only produce stand that had veggies we would have liked was jammed.  That is the bad thing about the northern market--it is bigger with a lot more sellers but they attract a lot more sellers.  We really didn't want to spend the time going through the lines when we had two more stops to make.  The southern market (the one set up in our town) is smaller with fewer sellers but at this time of the season they have less in the way of veggies for sale.  All of the plants they had that intrigued me were, unfortunately, peppers and tomatoes.  I already have all of those plants we need and can eat or process for winter storage.  We won't go north again this year.  It isn't worth our gas or time.

George Washington provides details on one very big reason why infrastructure projects are so expensive: the financing.  Although the notion wasn't all that surprising the numbers are breath-taking.  I had seen similar calculation on the effect of interest on mortgages on other time-payment plans.  By the time the note has been paid off the item costs double or more what the original sticker price.

Why should we expect our "system" of higher education to be any different from any other part of our profit driven society/economy?  I remember a fellow grad student who was looking for adjunct teaching positions near her family while she finished writing her dissertation describing what she expected if to experience as "genteel poverty."  Well, there is nothing genteel about poverty.  I hope she made it out and into the academic career she was preparing for.

I am always fascinated by technology stories that question just whether and by how much technology improves what we do.  Many, many years ago I saw the beginnings of laptop computers being used by students to take notes in lectures.  I had a laptop but I never was tempted to open the contraption in class and take notes on it.  I often wondered how well those students did and how effective their note-taking was.  My classes were all in the humanities so the idea of specialized notations were not a problem.  I agree with the conclusion toward the end of the piece:  we need to think about the technology and critically evaluate its place in our lives.  Lower tech might be as (or more) effective and much less expensive.  This assessment is worth a couple of laughs.  Have you been zombified yet??

I have been reading about the heatwave in India for some time now.  I guess the situation is getting serious.

No comments: