Archive for November, 2007

Not too shabby. In its first ranking of the nation’s high schools, U.S. News & World Report places Walt Whitman at number 40. Thomas Jefferson High School, across the river in Virginia, takes top honors. Like Thomas Jefferson, many of the top schools appear to be selective magnet schools so extra kudos to the community high schools on the list, especially those that may not be as advantaged as a school like Whitman (Hidalgo High School, for example).

On a related subject, are schools squashing student’s creativity? See this excellent take by Sir Ken Robinson.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

from http://www.ted.com posted with vodpod


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Pop goes the plastic

M gave dailydad some grief on Thanksgiving for purchasing wine that employed ersatz plastic stoppers in place of traditional corks. Plastic “corks”, M’s thinking went, signify inexpensive & inferior wine. Dailydad is a beer man and can easily debate the relative merits of twist-off versus pry-off bottle caps (or, egads, the vast inferiority of cans), but am at a loss when it comes to wine. Dailydad does tend to go towards the, shall-we-say, “value” priced bottles of wine and believes that a drinkable bottle of wine should cost about the same as a six-back of a good microbrew. Dailydad was defenseless against M’s accusations of being overly cheap in the wine department, but has since done a bit of research and can confidently state the plastic stoppers are every bit as good as cork stoppers and twist-off caps may be even better (see this or this, for example).

The real lesson here — drink beer. Six packs of decent microbrew can be had for under $10 (although you can go overboard) .. and the openers are much more utilitarian. Contrast my beloved church key (on sale today for 95 cents) with this contraption.

The wine, by the way, was Yellowtail Shiraz. Relatively cheap inexpensive, yes, but not bad nonetheless. Take this guy’s advice.

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Christmas is upon us. J, the poor college student, and K, the even poorer high school student, can ill-afford to purchase pricey presents for dear old dailydad — or anyone else, for that matter.  The Bargainist lists ten ways to save money this Christmas.  Dailydad particularly likes #4 (make your own gifts) … and, one of my more treasured gifts from Christmas past is is falling apart (hint hint).  After many years of daily use, half of the bead things have fallen off and the others are scuffed and wearing down. If you can’t make all of your gifts, you can also pledge to only buy hand-made gifts here.



Suggestion #9 is also good.  J and K have given dailydad home-made coupons in the past and he has always managed to loose them.  Coupon ideas for this Christmas?  How about an afternoon at the National Gallery of Art (an Edward Hopper exhibit runs through January 21) or perhaps the Smithsonian American Art Museum / National Portrait Gallery, which share space in the nicely renovated Patent Office building.  A day at Gettysburg would also make a nice gift.  Make sure the coupon specifies that you will actually accompany dailydad on said excursion, that it will be relatively “whine free” and less than 10 percent of the total time will be spent in gift shops and/or restaurants.  No tricky redemption rules, either.

10 Ways to Save Money This Christmas

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Take a power nap to increase productivity and become more creative.

Sleep experts say that 2 or 3 p.m. is the ideal nap hour — late enough to fit into your natural siesta zone but early enough that it will not interfere with your night sleep.

.. but what if you don’t wake up until 2 or 3 p.m.? Perhaps a power nap at 2 in the morning.

Top 10 Ways to Power Nap Smarter and Better at Ririan Project

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The presidential elections are less than a year away and J and K will be voting for the first time (K barely makes it).  Here is a five minute survey that attempts to map your political orientation along economic and social dimensions.  It may not be scientifically valid, but might help you consider some of the distinctions among the various parties and candidates.

Take the test here -> The Political Compass

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Although we could have used a gallon of milk, dailydad and M did not buy anything on Black Friday. Can J and K say the same?

It doesn’t look like these shoppers in Boise were about to honor Buy Nothing Day. Madness.

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Free ticket on JetBlue

Start practicing your half court basketball shots… Wait, JetBlue doesn’t fly to Australia.

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