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January 30, 2014

Utah school's nutrition manager decides to take lunches away from poor kids who owe money

Apparently getting parents to cough up that five bucks they owe is more important to a "nutrition manager" than actually feeding children. Deadbeat elementary school kids launch first phase of Kristallnacht 2.0 by trying to steal lunch from hedge fund managers - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money
Up to 40 kids at Uintah Elementary in Salt Lake City picked up their lunches Tuesday, then watched as the meals were taken and thrown away because of outstanding balances on their accounts — a move that shocked and angered parents. “It was pretty traumatic and humiliating,” said Erica Lukes, whose 11-year-old daughter had her cafeteria lunch taken from her as she stood in line Tuesday at Uintah Elementary School, 1571 E. 1300 South . . . Jason Olsen, a Salt Lake City District spokesman, said the district’s child-nutrition department became aware that Uintah had a large number of students who owed money for lunches. As a result, the child-nutrition manager visited the school and decided to withhold lunches to deal with the issue, he said. But cafeteria workers weren’t able to see which children owed money until they had already received lunches, Olsen explained. The workers then took those lunches from the students and threw them away, he said, because once food is served to one student it can’t be served to another. Children whose lunches were taken were given milk and fruit instead.

Bed Bugs, Statistics, Press-Release Reporting, and You

(Reposted from my Snip, Burn, Solder Blog) I continue to...

January 28, 2014

Take a Sec to Nominate Dave-o's Fiction for Stuff!

(Yet another lil repost from the Snip, Burn, Solder Blog)...

January 27, 2014

Dave Eggers writes novel about social media, has no idea what social media is

I confess I could hate-read reviews of Eggers THE CIRCLE all fucking day. His smarmy smug approach to literature and cloying over-written preciousness have irritated me since day one and seeing other people take him to task gives me such a glorious feeling of schadenfreude that it perversely makes me wish Eggers released *more* books just so I could read people bagging on what a lazy author he is. Notable Books 2013: Dinosaur Porn vs. Dave Eggers’s ‘The Circle’ — Editor's Picks — Medium
Eggers tries to convince his readers that our obsession with social media will make us less human. His heroine is overwhelmed with scores and stats and multiple screens, messages and pings and zings, her own voice saying in her ear, “Mae. Mae.” The problem with this critique of social media is that Eggers doesn’t understand it’s actually social. Eggers imagines a world without subtweets or hate favs, a world where everything can be taken at face value. The act of communicating with other human beings is reduced to the act of hitting buttons and getting numbers back. Eggers constantly describes the quantity of messages that Mae receives, the rankings she is given, the number of emails she has answered, but almost never what they actually contain. Mae can climb the internal social ranking of 10,000 employees in a single night, because all it takes is sheer effort. We don’t know what persona she projects, because Eggers doesn’t tell us. He doesn’t bother to determine whether she wins followers by saying things that are interesting or stupid or crazy or catty or redundant, because in the fucked-up, inauthentic world of social media, your social influence is simply a function of the number of clicks you make. It’s unclear why anyone would want to do this, so Eggers has to make his characters’ obsession with social media something that is imposed from above. Mae’s supervisors at The Circle reproach her when she doesn’t share every aspect of her life. They demand that she post more and me. This is where we see the dangers of having a crank—even a precocious crank—project his opinions onto a nubile 24-year-old protagonist. Only a few categories of people experience social media as something that is imposed from above. Among them are established authors and journalists, whose publishers may start prodding them to promote their work on a new platform. Most people who joins social media do it willingly, because it’s the only platform they have. The idea that your company might pick out your Twitter handle for you, without any consultation, as Mae’s does, is about as plausible as the idea that Google’s cafeteria might thoughtfully pre-chew your food. The whole thing is massively confused, starved of a basic understanding of how people communicate through any medium: Facebook, LinkedIn, the telegraph, air.