May 7, 2017

Tidbits and Trivia (v2)

A quick look at some un-fact-checked facts, quotes and trivia:

  • Protests are good for business. According to this article on, sales of sign-making materials spiked 30% in the week before Trump's bigly inauguration and the even more bigly Women's March the next day, with an estimated $6M invested. Kinda thinking I should check to see if I have stock in any of this stuff.
  • According to this, from NPR, the Trump administration is looking for a tasteful wall between the US and Mexico. The wall "shall be physically imposing in height" with 18' possibly being acceptable but 30' more in the altitude they're looking for. It can be see-through (no giggling, please) or solid concrete, and must prevent climbing and tunneling.Our side must be "aesthetically be consistent with the general surrounding environment." That ought to be interesting.
  • Kyle Reyes, a marketing executive or something, is now famous for putting together a "Snowflake Test" for prospective employees.  Reyes has shared the test for free "with all America" and wants people who read his piece to "help share (this) test with other patriotic Americans" like the kind who are "sick and tired of the sniveling,whining, entitled brats who believe that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter."  Reyes must think that passes for patriotic... 
  • Are you good with gender-neutral terms? It seems there's a Writing Style Guide for students at Northern Arizona University advising them to use non-sexist words; the guide was issued at the beginning of the semester so everyone knew what was expected. Cailin Jeffers, a student, decided to test the waters by using a word she knew she was not supposed to - mankind - and her professor knocked down the grade. And, as often happens in cases like this, Professor Ann Scott and the NAU English department  "received threatening calls and emails" - dozens of the former, hundreds of the latter, including one telling her to "get off the face of the earth" and to "go put a gun to your head." The calls and emails must have been from a different kind of snowflake, I guess.
  • And finally, according to this article, the DEA has seized over $4B in cash since 2007 from folks who are suspected of being involved with drugs; 81% of the cash was taken from people who were never charged civilly or criminally. And that's just the cash - it doesn't include other possessions or real estate. The Department of Justice has an Asset Forfeiture Fund, which has grown to $28B in the last 10 years. Who says crime doesn't pay?

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