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A Thursday news break

I’ve always like the idea of Take our Daughters and Sons to Work. But, while I worked nearly my whole life in libraries, I never worked in a place that was really into the idea. So, I don’t really know: Does it work? Do kids like spending the day at work with Mom or Dad? Are there businesses or offices that plan for it?

This link explains why the last place I worked (a public library under the governance of the local school board) was totally against Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day:

Schools urge parents not to take kids to work

Many U.S. school districts are urging parents to keep their kids in class and not take them to work Thursday for an annual event they say disrupts learning at an increasingly critical time of year.

From Arizona to Illinois to Texas, educators are alerting parents that between high-stakes standardized testing in some areas and the H1N1 virus that kept thousands of children home earlier in the school year, the timing of “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” doesn’t make sense.

Administrators have been complaining about the event’s date for well over a decade. Some have said they’ve contacted the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Foundation to ask that it be held on a school holiday or during the summer, but the organization won’t budge.

A spokesman for the foundation, George McKecuen, said it’s important that the event — launched in 1993 for girls and expanded to include boys in 2004 — be held during the school year so children can go back and tell their classmates what they learned. He suggested schools might schedule a holiday or teacher work day on that day or: “Maybe they can do their tests some other day.”

“It’s always there on the calendar, the fourth Thursday in April,” McKecuen said.

What do you parents think? Should the day be moved so it doesn’t collide with school plans? Or should the schools take the date of the event into account when they schedule their standardized tests?

Is this issue something? Or nothing?


Sometimes it seems that Anti-Virus software causes more trouble than anything else:

McAfee antivirus program goes berserk, freezes PCs

Computers in companies, hospitals and schools around the world got stuck repeatedly rebooting themselves Wednesday after an antivirus program identified a normal Windows file as a virus.

McAfee Inc. confirmed that a software update it posted at 9 a.m. Eastern time caused its antivirus program for corporate customers to misidentify a harmless file. It has posted a replacement update for download.

McAfee said it did not appear that consumer versions of its software caused similar problems. It is investigating how the error happened “and will take measures” to prevent it from recurring, the company said in a statement.


Greek debt crisis gets worse as EU revises figures

Civil servants staged a 24-hour strike Thursday against austerity measures and expected job cuts by Greece’s crisis-plagued government, and the EU’s statistics agency said the country’s budget was even worse than previously thought.

. . .

Eurostat, meanwhile raised Greece’s budget deficit in 2009 to 13.6 percent of gross domestic product from its earlier prediction of 12.9 percent, while the ratio of government debt to GDP stood at 115.1 percent, the second highest in the European Union after Italy.

In comments that are sure to rattle markets, the statistics agency also expressed “a reservation on the quality of the data reported by Greece.” It also said Greek’s 2009 figures could be revised further, to the tune of 0.3 to 0.5 percentage points of GDP for the deficit and 5 to 7 percentage points of GDP for the debt.


I rely on my cell phone and would love to get something fancier with an active Internet connection (I had the Internet turned off on our phones) but, I just can’t seem to justify the $30/month Verizon charges for their data connection. — I just don’t know :: is it worth it?

Verizon adds few contract customers in 1Q

Verizon Communications Inc., the largest wireless carrier in the country, is finding there’s an end to the number of people who’ll sign two-year contracts for cell phone service.

Verizon said Thursday that it signed up a net of just 423,000 customers under contract in the first three months of the year. That was the lowest number in years, and below analyst expectations.

. . .

Wireless service revenues still grew 5.9 percent from a year ago, to $13.8 billion, helped by the fact that more people are signing up for data plans. But AT&T managed to grow revenues by 10 percent, again with help from the iPhone, which comes with hefty service fees.


South Park creators warned over Muhammad depiction

Islamists have warned the creators of TV show South Park they could face violent retribution for depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit.

A posting on the website of the US-based group, Revolution Muslim, told Matt Stone and Trey Parker they would “probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh”.

The Dutch film-maker was shot and stabbed to death in 2004 by an Islamist angered by his film about Muslim women.

A subsequent episode of the cartoon bleeped out references to Muhammad.


This is the news that caught my eye this morning — what’s the news on your screen today?

55 Responses

  1. Hi Katiebird! I got a bunch of e-mails from my university yesterday and this morning about the McAfee mess-up. Apparently it froze computers all over campus. Fortunately Comcast recently switched from McAfee to Norton for their free virus software, but I heard it only affected computers with XP operating systems.

  2. What, if any, redeeming qualities does Islam have?

    • No pedophile priests?

    • Well, for one thing, Muslims seem to like it. The issue isn’t which religion you choose or not choose. The issue is fundamentalism. Every religion has a fundamentalist wing. Christians too. Avoid them like the plague. Other than that, it’s your conscience and no one else is entitled to it.
      We’re Muslim friendly here, MrMike. We just don’t care for Al Qaeda or Pat Robertson types.

      • “Muslims seem to like it”: When the punishment for apostasy is death, you’d better seem to like it.

      • Is Revolution Muslim that group that’s always on CNN that consists of two Jewish guys who “converted” to Islam and now say insane and inflammatory things like “Muhammad directs us to kill nonbelievers”? The MSM all seem to take them at face value as “home grown hate group” but I kinda think there’s a possibility they’re putting us on. Just a guess.

      • What does it mean, we’re Muslim friendly. For perspective, are we Jewish friendly or Christian friendly or Buddist friendly.

      • I absolutely understand pushing back against intolerance of Muslims given our current politics. That’s different from advocating for Islam because of our current politics. It’s not always clear.

    • Historically, Islamic states have treated Jewish and Christian people with relative tolerance and respect since they are “people of the Book”; certainly with more tolerance than Christian states have. They have also historically been more open to science and learning.

      As RD says, it’s the fundies who are the problem in any religion.

      That said, all of the above religions are vehicles for the oppression of women.

      • Dunno. These qualified assertions about which religious societies are better or more tolerant or have contributed more to history, except for the extremists, are risky, no?

    • What does that question have to do with anything?

      • Didn’t anyone ever tell you that you shouldn’t answer a question with a question?

        The secret to a great threadjack is to post a comment or question that is only tangentially related to the original post but causes the discussion to veer completely off topic.

      • I thought it was a reaction to the South Park story. Was there a point to the story. Should we condemn or support South Park.

  3. FWIW, I had my first and only virus stopage of my computer back in Jan. Had to hire some “Magic Mice” to come untangle the mess. I’m on Comcas t(no other hi speed where I live) and WAS on their McAfee. Updated regularly, yada yada.

    The most excellent repair tech informed me that since the 1st of the year the nastiest new viruses were at their 1st step disabling programs such as McAfee & Norton. (Shortly after my problem with McAfee, Comcast announced it was switching to Norton….coincidence, or were other virus attacks successful on their McAfee using customer base?)

    He said he could install a far superior firewall/antivirus. I thought here comes the big sell. Nope. He installed the free new Windows Security software, saying it was superior to anything for sale on the market available to private users….his company even uses it.

    Since installing it, I have had no problem. We shall see. I hope it works, but I am strangely annoyed ‘cuz I have cultivated a satisfying hated of the Windows/MS empire over the years. When this Dell dies, I will go Apple.

    • Oo, Oo! Go listen to the recent Richard Clarke interview on Fresh Air. He’s definitely not a MS windows fan. In fact, he seems really negative about Microsoft. You get the feeling that he thinks Microsoft has severely compromised our Internet security in pursuit of profits. He doesn’t come out and endorse apple but he makes a strong case for not licensing your is to every hardware maker out there.
      Excellent podcast. Five sponges.

  4. The kiddies are out in force today. My building is crawling with them. I think it’s great. We set up stations for them to do simple experiments like extracting DNA and designing drugs with LEGO blocks. In the afternoon, there’s a dance party and ice cream social in the cafeteria. Parents party it up with their kids and everyone has a good time. The funny thing is that the lab site is so much more fun than the corporate site up the road that we’ve had to restrict the number of kids that can attend by lottery.
    As for educators’ complaints, screw them. The holiday is known well in advance and states can easily schedule standardized tests well in advance. The NJASKs don’t start until next week. This week, kids will spend their class time in preparation for the test. I’ve always objected to this. The school year is supposed to be for learning content and curriculum standards. If you have to rely on the week before to cram, you haven’t done your job as a teacher. Brook is an exceptional test taker. She’s going to warp the curve again this year too. So for her, she might as well be at work with me. Probably a lot of parents at my site are thinking the same thing. Learning should be full of wonder and delight. That’s what today is all about.
    Everyone should do it.

    • I used to work in large companies where this day was planned for and the kids were treated to all day recess of games and treats and movies. I never brought my kids…they already knew what they wanted to be and those jobs weren’t available where I worked.

      It’s a day where employees can knock out less than half of what’s expected, and kids get to play all day without feeling guilty about playing hookie. It’s really just a big “show off” your kids day ’cause you’d never invite most of these people to your home.

      This is also administrative professionals week where the bosses who are miserable to work for can make up for all their rude behavior, absence of gratitude, and total disregard for the value of the work done by administration with flowers and a lunch they can probably charge back to the company.

      Whatever happened to people feeling the rewards of having done a good job and accomplished a challenging task without the need for constant celebrations and company parties?

      • Well, aren’t you cheerful. I think the kids at this site get a lot out of it. They really seem to be paying attention and they ask good questions. And now they know more about the drug discovery process than most Democrats so they will know just how hard it is to discover new drugs and how hard their parents work.
        No one’s playing hooky today. Most parents are working. We have volunteers who do presentations and experiments in shifts. As for the party afterwards, it only lasts a couple of hours. It’s a nice day. And people work better when there isn’t too much stress. A moderate amount of stress is optimal for getting work done. But treating people like human beings with families makes for a much more contented employee with better focus, dedication and loyalty. You should try it.
        As for these kids, they’re already supersmart. Many have gigh achieving Asian parents. They’re not missing anything at school.

        • I think it’s a wonderful thing for kids, and schools should just set aside a day for it. Why not?

          • I have very fond memories of my dad taking me to his office when I was a little girl. It was wonderful for me to see where he worked.

    • What a great program for kids at your work place RD. And you are right to tell educators who complain to do impossible gymnastics. Kids seeing adults do real work is just too, too important. With all the state and national testing that happens in the spring now, it might make sense to move the date away from April and May but as a lifelong educator I have always been a huge supporter of this day. Actually, I think most educators are and many schools go out of their way to encourage participation. I think we should have more, not less, of such days.

  5. I’m one of those old hard line libbers who greatly took offense when “take your daughter to work day” was changed to include the boys. The whole point of it was female empowerment. Anyway, I always brought my daughter up until a few years ago when the school district decided it was an “unexcused” absence. My daughter then made the decision to not come in.

    My co-worker brought her daughter in today (she is 12) and she has spent the entire morning on her laptop, watching videos…what’s the point of that???

  6. The place hubby works at lost their budget for “bring your kid to work” since last year (or was it the yaer before). My older kid was able to go once.

    • Why do they need a budget for it?

      • They used to have someone tour the the kids as a group around the facility and them give them a snack and a few giveaways (tshirt, geegaws). Honestly, they could have covered it from petty cash. But they didn’t want the kids disrupting anything by actually following their parent around.
        My guess is that they hated doing it and just jumped on an excuse to stop. Sad.

  7. Amen to the conversation on Islam above. BTW, I need writers for my blog. If anyone is interested, here you go:

    http://mysticgirl.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/i-need-writers/

    (Sorry RD, don’t mean to promote myself here, but no one’s going to take readership from TC. We’re the best liberal blog on the interwebs)

  8. OT: You can never be too dead to campaign
    Late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos makes cameo in busy campaign season
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/21/AR2010042102710.html

  9. I’m BACK!! I got called off unexpectedly — luckily I got this posted first!

    Hi Everyone, thanks for all the good comments and links!

  10. On the South Park censorship: it wasn’t just the sound that was bleeped – but the actual image of Muhamed was covered with a square that said CENSORED
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/south-park-censored-for-showing-a-muhamed-cartoon/

  11. OT: From McClatchy , yesterday, in article titled “Goldman’s White House connections raise eyebrows”:

    “While Goldman Sachs’ lawyers negotiated with the Securities and Exchange Commission over potentially explosive civil fraud charges, Goldman’s chief executive visited the White House at least 4 times.

    White House logs show that Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein traveled to Washington for at least two events with President Barak Obama, whose 2008 presidential campaign received $994,795 in donations from Goldman’s political action committee, its employees and their relatives.

    HE ALSO MET TWICE WITH OBAMA’S TOP ECONOMIC ADVISER, LARRY SUMMERS”

    There’s more at McClatchy.

    Ruh roh.

  12. I always thought we should have a Take our Sons Home and Teach Them How to Do Laundry and Cook and Scrub the Toilet Day.

  13. Totally OT, but I think there was a lightning strike very close to my house, and now a lot of electrical stuff won’t turn on, but the power is on. Does that mean the things that won’t turn on are now fried?

  14. This is cute. A 100 year old women gets her first computer, and it’s an iPad:

  15. I remember well when the Take Your DAUGHTERS to Work Week Program started. It was designed to show girls that they can have the same opportunities boys have and to show them what opportunities there were out in the world. Then the boys complained because well geeze, we want it too! And so it became Take Your Sons and Dughters To Work Week (the word “sons” appearing first of course!) –and girls once more got shown that there is really nothing that they can have, not even a day to show them opportunities, unless the boys will let them have it. Except for maybe menstrual cramps and things like that.
    It’s take your daughters to work week. I remember well when the program started. It was designed to show girls that they can have the same opportunities boys have and to show them what opportunities there were out in the world. Then the boys complained because well geeze, we want it too! And so it became Take your sons and daughters to work week (the word “sons” appearing first of course!) and girls once more got shown that ther eis really nothing for them that the boys won’t let them have in life.

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