Jeez, it’s like it’s all a giant scam or something

Michael Moore has turned his documentary gaze towards alternative energy, and–surprise, surprise!–found that it’s not the Save the Planet Panacea everyone says it is.

“It turned out the wakeup call was about our own side,” [Moore’s film director] Gibbs said in a phone interview. “It was kind of crushing to discover that the things I believed in weren’t real, first of all, and then to discover not only are the solar panels and wind turbines not going to save us … but (also) that there is this whole dark side of the corporate money … It dawned on me that these technologies were just another profit center.”

Alternative energy critics have been saying the stuff for years.  Mikey, you’re late to the party.

Paper or Plastic?

The Governor of Tennessee is fixin’ to stop the ban-plastic-shopping-bags nonsense in his state.  I’ve see this no-plastic crapola in several visits to Colorado, and it’s just a greenie smokescreen that allows grocery chains to charge an extra dime (per bag!) to squeeze the poor and sandbag out-of-towners.  No penguins, polar bears, or fuzzy bunnies are saved.

I visited a local Sprouts yesterday, where they showed how reasonable folks steer their customers away from plastic.  They offer the alternative of sturdy brown paper bags with attached handles, which make them much more useful at home.  And, when they do go into the trash, the ant and termites with decompose them completely.  Win-win-win.

Hot Girl Privilege

Thales at The Declination tells it like it is:

When a hot girl says something stupid, people pay attention to her anyway.

This has the effect of separating the hot chick from reality even more. She might think her stupid poems are beautiful art, because thirsty men will say anything to an attractive woman.

StopOppressingMe

Hot Girl Privilege would be a lot more tolerable if it wasn’t so frequently associated with RBF.

Tip from Sara Hoyt at the Instapundit. (She gets a good quote in the article.)

Non-tenure track salaries

I was preparing a data analysis assignment for one of my classes, and decided I needed an example for my students.  Similar to what I’m asking of my students, I wanted to use public employee salary data from the the Texas Tribune Government Salaries Explorer.  After a few moments’ thought* , I hit upon the topic of salaries for non-tenured faculty at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where I teach statistics.

I downloaded the UTSA data–an Excel CSV file–and selected out employees whose job titles contained the words “ADJUNCT”, “LECTURER”, or “TUTOR”, and copied those to a separate worksheet page.  From there on, every bit of my example was done using R, all composed and arranged nicely with RStudio.  The full analysis is here, but look at this interesting graph:

UTSANTTsalaries

  • How the heck do two part-timers in the College of Education and Human Development’s Department of  Educational Leadership and Policy Studies make over $100K annually?  That’s one sweet gig!
  • Working in the Women’s Studies Institute is a vow of poverty.  Should have gone to trade school.
  • The Writing Core Program is almost as bad.  Learn to write advertising copy and move to the College of Business Marketing Department.
  • Part-time NTT economists seem to make more than full-timers.  That doesn’t seem to make make economists credible.

*Thanks for the nudge from a new follower, Adjunct Professors—-Overworked & Underpaid!

Pandas

I just learned about the Chinese craze for pandas from Albinotronix, a new blogfollower, whose blog, The Curious Guy, is even more wide-ranging than mine.  I was particularly struck by his pithy summary of panda evolutionary foolishness:

Take a moment to think about this magnificent species

  • For no reason they decided to turn herbivores
  • For no reason they decided to stop reproducing

panda-bamboo
So this makes pandas the vegan hipsters of the Animal Kingdom. I shall henceforth refer to such persons as “Pandas.”