Humor


– The Star Trek Zone –

Have you ever been watching the news about a social ill or sitting at work puzzled over a productivity issue and said, “I thought we already had a handle on that.” If you were wrong, as it turns out I have been as well, you may be living in what I call ‘The Star Trek Zone (STZ).’ Many might say, come on now, you don’t really believe transporters and replicators exist. The answer to which is obviously no, but I do have a certain expectation with regard to our technological level that may be overinflated by too many hours of Star Trek and Babylon 5.

What is this magnificent zone where all of societies problems have already been solved? I was reading a post about the worst IT worker in the world and wondering why it was that some members of the IT/IS staff share so much contempt for non-tech employees. Sure there are always those who forget their password, can’t see the network printer or think the mouse is used like a remote control, but then there are those special circumstances where they want the impossible from the current system, hence living in the STZ.

– Full Automation AI –

My personal expectation is the belief in a fully automated factory. “Why are hands touching this product at all?” I’ll give you an example, my wife used to work for a pharmaceutical wholesaler. What a surprising number of people do not know is that the backbone of shipping and receiving of drugs is handled not by the manufacturer, but two to three large wholesalers. Anyone who gets a great deal of spam for discount Viagra and Lipitor or who has paid any attention to the practice of importing drugs from Canada, is familiar with the governments warnings on counterfeit drugs. Some states such as Florida have gone so far as to introduce paper pedigree systems to ensure drug purity. Another problem stems from some shipments, particularly narcotics, “falling off the back of the truck.” My initial thought, where is the automated factory with materials going in one end, products being loaded via robot onto truck and delivered factory sealed to the end user.

– How William Shatner Changed the World –

It turns out there may actually be something to this effect as Discovery recently had a special on How William Shatner Changed the World. Now it is highly unlikely that those who are non-technical watched much Star Trek, yet the fact remains that many continue to expect more from technology than is currently possible or probable. At the very least maybe this will provide a humorous idea the next time someone wants the impossible from IT.

Now that football season is over, I wonder how much productivity increase there will be with the decline in fantasy leagues and Monday morning quarterbacking.  Regardless, here is one football player we can take with us year long.

Dealing with change management, I’ve lost count how many times I wanted to add an office linebacker to my team.

Earlier this week State Farm Insurance stated it would no longer write new homeowner’s policies in the state of Mississippi given the losses they suffered during Hurricane Katrina and the lawsuits it settled. Now the state Attorney General, Jim Hood, who believes insurers are responsible for hurricane damages regardless of the cause or policy statement, is seeking legislation aimed at blocking this move by the insurance giant.

He said the plan is modeled after actions by Florida and would require any company that writes automobile insurance in Mississippi to also write homeowners policies. Hood said Friday that he had asked Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Insurance Commissioner George Dale to issue emergency orders requiring insurance companies to continue writing home policies until the state legislature can act. He said he had not had any response from either Barbour or Dale.

So now apparently the government can dictate what service offerings a company must participate in, when will they start telling us what career we must pursue? Just hold out your hand, the chip won’t hurt a bit. Besides, you gotta do what you gotta do!

chip.JPGgotta-do.JPG

Again, I don’t like to deviate much from my typical topics here at The Higher Bar but some things are hard to ignore. In the near future I will be contributing to another blog where I will cover such social issues on the media, policy and religion just to name a few. This particular post has to do with the popular media and their drastic need for improvement.

Who: CNN Headline News

When: 02/16/2007 -9:56am

What: Following the story covering a South Korean woman who sang 59 straight hours (Monday through Valentines Day) of kareoke for her dying husband, they transition to a story of a 4-ton rampaging elephant in Sri Lanka.

Segue: “They weren’t songs of love, but screams of fear as a a four-ton elephant went wild.”

I don’t normally write about entertainment issues outside the realm of research or societal interest, but all the trouble the “devices” caused Boston last week, I couldn’t resist. So without further ado The Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie Trailer.

Warning: Could be considered an Al-Qaeda training video in Boston

Related Articles:

Cartoon Network Chief Resigns

I refrained from writing any articles analyzing the numerous Superbowl commercials this year. With all the buzz around the big game and the commercials anyway I figured it would just be useless clutter. I did however want to draw attention a NY Times article that attempts to follow along the same lines as my regular Commercial Culture posts. They explore the idea that the level of violence in this years commercials, “cartoonish” as it may be, could reflect the toll the Iraq War is having on the American psyche.

No commercial that appeared last night during Super Bowl XLI directly addressed Iraq, unlike a patriotic spot for Budweiser beer that ran during the game two years ago. But the ongoing war seemed to linger just below the surface of many of this year’s commercials.

More than a dozen spots celebrated violence in an exaggerated, cartoonlike vein that was intended to be humorous, but often came across as cruel or callous.

For instance, in a commercial for Bud Light beer, sold by Anheuser-Busch, one man beat the other at a game of rock, paper, scissors by throwing a rock at his opponent’s head.

In another Bud Light spot, face-slapping replaced fist-bumping as the cool way for people to show affection for one another. In a FedEx commercial, set on the moon, an astronaut was wiped out by a meteor. In a spot for Snickers candy, sold by Mars, two co-workers sought to prove their masculinity by tearing off patches of chest hair.

While I agree that it is likely that the images of war we see daily manifest themselves in ways we cannot immediately explain in our everyday lives; I think men ripping the hair from their chest after having accidentally kissed may be linked to other psychological issues rather than the current state of our foreign policy.

My personal favorite from last night and it appears was a big winner: Blockbuster’s Total Access Mouse

Related Posts:

Superbowl’s Appeal to the Younger Viewer?

The not so hidden costs of the Superbowl

Thanks to lifehacker.com, I came across the following site, convinceme.net.

I don’t know if this will always qualify as intelligent, well-informed debate, but provides a central venue and as always a wide range of opinions.

My personal favorite:

terrorist.JPG

I’m sure the city of Boston will weigh in. My vote is for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

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