The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Blatant International Aggression

Bad timing in the world of international thought experiments.  If I were going to advocate for a large, well-armed, well-funded company country taking over a smaller, more primitive, and less-prepared neighbor, I wouldn't have done it right this month.  Nevertheless, author Diane Francis is apparently unapologetic for the opinions expressed in her book, Merger of the Century. She proposes nothing less than a US takeover of Canada.

Okay, she calls it a "merger", but we all know how that works out. Just ask the Philippines. Or Panama.  If we don't get enough respect from the Russian Federation over the Crimea thing, it's not hard to imagine Washington cooking up a distraction. We start by painting Rob Ford in darker and darker tones, internationally. Then we claim that "extremists" in Prince Edward Island are threatening our vital sources of shellfish.  There are some Iroquois First Nations people blockading roads right now (really), and we can say they're being brutally oppressed by a ruthless majority (they are, more or less, but that's beside the point).  We cozy up to the Quebec separatists, and then publish a CIA report that says this winter's weather was really manufactured in OttawaWe seize one of their warships and tow it to Pearl Harbor.  The forts at Michilimackinac, Mackinac Island, and Detroit are re-militarized. Littoral Combat Ships appear on the St. Lawrence. Armored vehicles are re-equipped to be poutine-resistant. Oh, it'll be just awful.

Anyway, it probably won't happen.  Probably.  But if I were Stephen Harper, I'd be looking for support from ... hmmm. Somebody. England, maybe?  Nah, they're too busy trying to scare the Scots into voting against devolution. Oh, I know: France! Canada can buy the two Mistral-class ships the French won't be selling to Russia. That'll scare us off.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Let's go McConnelling

If you don't know about McConnelling, just Google it.  I haven't got the energy to explain.

Hot Career Advice

A survey of hiring managers appears to indicate which words you should leave out of your resume.  Their list, while predictable, is nevertheless mildly amusing:
  • best of breed
  • go-getter
  • think outside the box
  • synergy
  • go-to person
  • thought leadership
  • value add
The study didn't appear to stratify results by the domain of employers or the job types in question; I imagine that jobs that require an ability to babble mindlessly and spew buzz phrases -- areas such as marketing and sales --  and companies that exploit serve Government markets would, in fact, relish this sort of vocabulary.

The things the managers liked to hear were, again unsurprisingly, verbs. Words like "achieved" and  "created" were more attractive. However, in keeping with our relentless focus on the negative things in life, we were more interested in expanding on their list of naughty words. Here are some resume terms that would be unlikely to get you an interview with Wood-Charles.

  • nolo contendere
  • Sears
  • monkey
  • Ted Nugent
  • DSM V
  • Mayor of Toronto
  • Spetsnaz
  • dancing with the stars
  • sexting
  • high school yearbook
  • Detroit