January 2014

January 2014

Chosen. But that could change. They are famous for success, American sub-cultures of certain Indians and Japanese and Persians and Jews. Why?  All of their members believe they belong to the best. But each believes he or she could easily suffer the worst. None readily give in to whatever impulse presents itself. So says a new study by two Yale Law professors, Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld.

“Um, Your Honor, um, can I please…what do you call it…um, object?” Watching unemployment statistics in the legal profession rise, the American Bar Association is pushing real-life training for law students, as much as 15 hours credit actually doing something legal. Medical and dental schools, of course, are way ahead.

The problem with percentages. You remember the giant numbers associated with the brilliantly conceived (but awkwardly named) MOOCs or “Massive Open Online Courses.” When Professor Sebastian Thrun of Stanford opened his artificial-intelligence course to the Internet, enrollment went from about 120 students in Palo Alto to 160,000 everywhere.  But now a cry goes up.  Egad, only 4 percent completed the course!  But isn’t that 6,400 students? Still looks pretty massive from here.

Or about $25 more than Sears used to charge. The digital revolution aside, this past Christmas Kevin Kelly moved his Cool Tools catalogue onto the printing press, put a $24.50 price tag on it, and the monster sold out—472 pages and 4.5 pounds of infinite possibilities.

Taking the white gloves off. Problem coughs during musical performances are certainly not new, but conductors are now taking remedies into their own hands. Some maestros put down their batons and call the offenders out from the podium. Others throw lozenges in their general direction.

“So what are you going to do when you get out, Sarge?” Princeton may have its deer hunters (the brutes!) but down here in the South we prefer a high-tech solution. The wild hogs of Columbus, Georgia, are eating up $80 million worth of gardens, crops and property per year. Marksman Rod Pinkston, ex-Army, ex-Olympics shooting coach, is tracking the beasts at night with night-vision cameras, driving them into special pens and using phone signals to drop the gates. ‘Four-legged insurgents,’ he calls them. He and his comrades at Jager Pro have 154 years of military experience among them.

Bodice schmodice! I’m sticking with and, or, neither, nor, and but. And, oh, yeah, hence. Computer scientists say they have found the secret to selling novels. Books that use frequent conjunctions and verbs describing thought processes are more popular than those that do not.  Novelty, writing style, and reader engagement also seem to figure in.

In the cargo hold: memories. When it left the father, it went to Washington and Lee University with a daughter and then to Rhodes College with another daughter. Then it was sold to a young man heading to Georgia College, who says it now has 160,000 miles on it. Moderate mileage, it would seem: only about 8,888 miles a year for those 18 years. That’s probably precise, because Casey the newest owner is a medical auditor (his mother is quietly proud).  Apparently the only thing worn out on the 4-Runner is a leather seat. But, hey, how much extra can a fleece weigh?

Quote to Note: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford (1863-1947)

Thanks for reading, Joe.Ledlie@theledliegroup.com

Our new year was marked by the arrival of Philip Hauserman’s first child, Emma Ann, born on January 15th. Congratulations to Philip and to Ashley (who passed her nurse practitioner boards 51 hours before) and to Emma, for her good taste and sound judgment.

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