Super-recognizers

Are you a super-recognizer of faces? Take the short test to find out. 

Predictably, I’m not. And that’s putting it very mildly. I couldn’t shake the feeling that everybody was #4 and voted accordingly. 

Regulating the Cajun Navy

By now everybody has heard of Cajun Navy, the army of volunteers in Baton Rouge who are rescuing people in the flood zone. While some of us admire these good folks, others immediately decided to slap nanny state regulations on them to ensure that they don’t dare help others without undergoing certification, paying fees, and complying with state requirements. 

Who is trying to do such an atrocity? A Republican state Representative, of course. The party of small government strikes again. 

Historical Resentments 

Overall, I don’t get historical resentments over events that happened before the living memory. Being upset over World War II makes sense. But going nuts over the Napoleonic Wars? Well, that’s. . . clearly nuts. And getting overwrought over the battle of Thermopylae makes one certifiable. 

That the Russians tried outlawing the Ukrainian language in the 19th century was wrong. But if they had left immediately after that and minded their business since then, running after them and yelling, “But how could you do that to us?” in 2016 would be deranged. Because it’s not “them” or “us” by any stretch of imagination. 

Also, the Russians are clearly to blame that the Donetsk Airport is a smouldering ruin. But they are in no way to blame for the insane Ukrainian corruption. And the Soviet Union is not to blame. Everybody who takes and gives bribes is. 

Happy Independence!

What I find annoying is how actively many Latin Americans are clinging to their grudge against Spain. Gosh, Spaniards left 200 years ago. Since then, they haven’t tried invading, they haven’t set up referendums on the Yucatan Peninsula, they haven’t sent Basque terrorists into Mendoza, they haven’t hired Paul Manafort to get Aznar elected president of Peru, they haven’t invested millions into trashing Latin American culture, they haven’t imprisoned and tortured any Chilean or Ecuadoran filmmakers or journalists, they haven’t accused Nicaraguans of crucifying Spanish toddlers or raping epileptic Spanish retirees. 

They are a model former colonizer. I know a country that would kill for a colonizer like that. 

Happy Ukraine Independence Day!

HR Logic

Our university got a license to sell alcohol on campus. At the same time, the HR department adopted a resolution that obligates all university employees to undergo random drug testing for “substances.” The presence of “substances” in an employee’s bloodstream is cause for “permanent separation” (i.e. firing.)

Mind you, the directive doesn’t say “illegal, controlled, or narcotic substances.” It says “substances.” Do alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, prescription painkillers, medical marijuana, or over-the-counter meds count as “substances”? Nobody knows. Clearly, this is just a tool that can be used to get rid of people using the ridiculous excuse of “substances.” 

This is why when people say that tenure protects professors from being fired, I don’t even laugh. I simply spit in the direction of these dumbasses and go away.