I think I have a better idea….

So Clark County School District — the 5th largest school district in the nation — has a “successful” pilot of a program to keep track of students on school busses. Parents can theoretically find out whether their kids got on the bus, and where the bus is. Roughly 700 of the 110,000 students who daily ride the bus got special ID cards and were tracked for 4 whole weeks. Clearly something short of a representative sample. However, “because of financial problems, the district has shelved any large-scale program.”

Good for administrators for realizing that there were concerns about losing passes, and concerns about the costs of the system.

However, here’s the thing. There’s already a great technology in the hands of many middle school students and virtually all high school students that parents can use to keep track of their kids. Better yet, there is absolutely zero cost to the school district for this technology; most parents willingly — nay, eagerly — pay for implementation and all necessary equipment. I personally tested it for 4 years within the Clark County School District Transportation Department, and I feel certain that other parents here and elsewhere have similar experiences. In one case, I was even alerted to a wreck involving the school bus. This of course not only delayed pickup, but changed the pickup location. Use of this amazing technology saved the school district the time and expense of individual notifications to parents in most cases.

It’s called a cell phone.

Stop trying to reinvent the wheel, and stop pretending that a child’s RFID tag is necessarily in the same location as the child.

In closing: good call; inconvenient truth for anti-porn crusaders; Heinlein; I guess none of the researchers ever played the “telephone game”, or they could have saved a lot of research; so some busybody docs and pharmacists think they know more about women’s reproductive health than gynecologists; support a political cartoonist; hackers, crackers, and black swans; Expert Ezra; what could possibly go wrong; income inequality; the Buffett Rule; sure, there’s no such thing as inflation; and Cat Heaven Island. Enjoy an early Caturday.

To the Lady in Workout Clothes ahead of me at the Grocery Store

Hey dear, let me tell you why you’re never going to lose that 10 to 20 pounds around your hips and waist and why your hubby is never going to lose the gut unless you change your ways.

I’m not going to put all the blame on the expensive whole wheat crap that you think is good for you, even though you should probably only eat half that at most, and even though there is a case to be made for that being your biggest problem. Many experts think that’s good stuff, but you still should put some of it back on the shelf.

I’m not going to be too hard on you for the gallon of frozen yogurt. Again, you think you’re doing the right diet thing, even though it’s still got far too much sugar in it to be truly healthy. Maybe you only eat a tablespoon a day? Maybe I wasn’t close enough to see that it was one of those fat-free or sugar-free chemistry sets masquerading as real food?

I’m not going to put all the blame on the plentiful sports drinks in your cart, even though there is simply no way you are working out hard enough for them to be beneficial to you. Have you ever looked at the nutrition panel? It’s probably replenishing every calorie you “worked” off, and many of those drinks contain corn syrup. If you seriously worked out hard enough for these to be a good idea, you would never dream of wearing your disgusting sweaty workout clothes to a grocery store — even fresh out of the wash!

I am going to rag on you just a little bit for the 3 boxes of different kinds of crackers. For pity sake, if you want to eat something that goes crunch, try an apple or a carrot! You might get some vitamins out of the deal.

I am going to rag on you just a little bit for the fact that the only protein I saw in your cart was a pound of ground beef. Come on, that’s going to last a week? If you don’t eat some protein, your body is just going to steal it from your muscles. In case you didn’t know, muscle is what keeps you from looking like a complete blob.

But the one thing that I think is your biggest problem was the stack of 6 frozen pizzas. That proves that you only give the faintest lip service to eating healthy: pizza is neither low carb nor low fat. Ever. Just, please, tell me that’s not a one week supply. Lie to me if you must. You want a pizza? Learn to make that stuff from scratch. I can guarantee you’ll eat less of it because it’s harder than stuffing that frozen crap in a hot oven, it will be better tasting because you’ll use better ingredients, and healthier. Why healthier? You’ll actually burn some calories kneeding the dough, shaping it, and putting quality stuff on top!

Want to make that gut vanish? Try eating real, minimally processed food. Sure, you’ll have to spend more than 3 minutes preparing it, but you and your husband will both be better off.

I’d like to say at least your dog eats well, but you didn’t buy any dog food.

In Closing: would you like to play a game?; playing it safe; poverty tax; ever wonder what the numbers mean?; duh; travel tips; “let’s just take these laptops with no anti-virus to a hacker’s conference! What could possibly go wrong???”; parks; make “the PillOTC, prevent abortions; we don’t need “administrators” with no common sense having any authority over children, ever, for any reason.

Happy Thanksgiving


In Closing: That would be bad; Googlegator; Japan Crush; Rolling Jubilee gets more press; the last cooler than average month was during the Reagan Administration (maybe hell froze over when he compromised with Democrats or raised taxes?); Lost Decade, American Style; Forbes and USA Today disagree on the buyer, but agree that somebody will make your freaking Twinkies (and screw workers in the process); of course, you could just make your own freaking Twinkies; maybe if the so-called adults made it clear that we must treat others with respect, this wouldn’t be a problem; vintage pictures of Japan; Susie’s right; so is Robert.

Outpost: Shorties Sun

Hints of Sanity: Newt says something’s got to change.

Yesterday this was the funniest thing on the Internet: Review of Guy Fieri’s restaurant.

UN Believable: UN says “increasing funding for family planning by a further $4.1 billion could save $11.3 billion annually in health bills for mothers and newborns in poor countries.”

Pro-Life My @$$: Woman suffers for days in excruciating pain and eventually dies because her miscarrying fetus still had a heartbeat, despite the actually born mother’s pleas to terminate the doomed pregnancy. I have some very harsh words for the so-called pro-life people — mostly men who will never get pregnant —  who think there is never a reason to abort. Those words are probably not safe for work.

Interesting consequence: Hurricane Sandy caused a rise in used car prices.

I bet there’s a simpler reason: Romney believes that he lost because of Obama’s “gifts” to minorities? What? Seriously? Couldn’t have anything to do with unemployment and real wages, could it? At least Ryan was smart enough to dogwhistle the issue by blaming “urban voters” rather than by flat out saying “brown and black people.”

Poverty might be worse than we think:  Depending how you measure it, poverty might be over 16%. And worse yet, over 3% of Americans are in poverty simply because of medical bills.

Less popular than Vietnam: 82% think we are losing the War on Drugs. Only 23% think we should keep shouldering on.

Can’t tell what’s going on without a chart: The Petraeus mess is so weird that you couldn’t make it into an episode of a TV crime drama. Nobody would believe it. I can barely wrap my head around it without laughing. Shouldn’t a General know better than to stick his **** in crazy? And what is with the socialite that she thinks a few emails are worth calling in a favor from an FBI agent? For those of you who are having trouble keeping up USA Today has you covered with a chart. I love the image for “Shirtless Guy.” You know some intern had to sort through dozens of stock photos. At least Holly Petraeus will still have a job at the end of this mess.

ShortWoman.com Supports the International T-Pain Autotune Treaty

Be it resolved that henceforth, only T-Pain will be allowed to use autotune in recorded music. Other uses shall be considered a crime against humanity.

It is further resolved that quotations of Rapper’s Delight may only be made with the express consent and permission of the United Nations Security Council.*

Please, join me in support of this desperately needed performing arts issue. If I had a little more HTML talent, I’d put together a little ad for the sidebar.

In Closing: Mongols; he’s got a point; Rolling Jubilee; delayed; I guess it’s hard to win elections when you piss off 50% of the population; but they’re already part of the United States!; we’re all suspicious; belly buttons; new health plan?; politics and religion; filibuster all you like, but you gotta talk!; and oops! Somebody was very sure he’d win.

* Yeah, I’m talking to you too, Pitbull.

Silly Snake!

Submitted for your approval:

Though it became a well-known pop culture joke after Samuel L. Jackson’s 2006 fictional movie, snakes can sometimes be found on a plane.

That’s exactly what happened on Tuesday when a cabin crew was checking an airplane that landed in Glasgow, Scotland, according to The Scotsman newspaperin Edinburgh. The flight had come in from Cancun, Mexico when staff found a 18-inch long, juvenile snake under a row of seats in the passenger cabin, the newspaper reported.

A Scottish animal welfare charity was called in to recover the snake, The Scotsman reported.

Ok, not exactly a new story. I delayed commenting due to travel. Anyone want to guess where I was?

My first thought was: “Silly snake! Why would you leave Cancun to go to Scotland?

My second thought was that I could completely understand how the little fellow got on board. His home was mere yards from the tarmac.

Cancun — the “nest of the snakes” — was carved out of the jungle. The airport itself is testament to that, and it is even more obvious if you travel South towards Playa Del Carmen. Outside the Hotel Zone, there are clear and constant efforts to keep the jungle from reclaiming territory. Even within the Hotel Zone, sun and salty air mean an ongoing battle against modern human-built structures. A bright coat of paint appears to be shorthand for “recently maintained.” You’ll see at least one person with a paint brush on a regular basis at any resort.

In Closing: about time!; I’ll skip the Winter Garden Loaf, thanks; what’s wrong with Lime Squeeze?; hmm; escaping poverty; security theatre; Nevada Supreme Court quietly wades into serious issues with national implications; and truth in numbers.