The California Public Interest Research Group is giving attention to an issue near and dear to every college student's heart, the skyrocketing and unethical prices of school textbooks. Among said unethical tactics: Releasing new textbooks with nearly the same info to force students to buy new textbooks, and selling completely unwanted CD-ROM supplements that neither students nor faculty use.
I love these guys. It's nice to have someone calling companies like McGraw-Hill on this issue. I added up the retail cost of all the books I was supposed to buy this year, and it was over $500. (Fortunately, Half.com and a BJU trading site came to my rescue and I paid somewhat less, in one case buying a previous edition to save $65). What kills me is that the books really aren't that good anyways, as if the authors KNOW that the students have to read it anyways, no matter how good the writing is.
In one book, Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (by Dennis L. Wilcox, Phillip H. Ault, Warren K. Agee, and Glen T. Cameron; published by Allyn & Bacon/Longman Publishers) (Credit to where credit's due, of course), the authors seemed to write in an excessively verbose manner in order to inflate the word count (and thus charge higher prices). For example, the first chapter, entitled "What Is Public Relations" spends nearly twenty pages on what should have been summarized in a page. One paragraph begins, "Public relations is a process--that is, a series of actions, changes, or functions that bring about a result."
Now, come on. I don't care how bad the public education system is doing, you really shouldn't have to define the word "process" to a college level audience. Although I tried, I simply could not finish the chapter. It's that bad.
I'm glad I only paid $15 for it. Otherwise, I'd be really ticked off.
It's been back for a day or two; unfortunately, I really mismanaged my time over the break. So, I'm really busy. Will blog later.
A judge dropped the Slave Reparations Case because the "plaintiffs' claims 'are beyond the constitutional authority of this court.'" I'm impressed. Unfortunately, he left the door open for an "amended complaint," which means the battle isn't over yet.
Despite going to Bob Jones, I'm not a racist, and neither are the vast majority of those on the staff and in the student body. But it takes a special kind of idiot to truly believe that anyone is deserving of my money because of something their great-great-grandfather may have suffered at my great-great-grandfather's hands (which I doubt was the case; despite what you may have heard, slaves were not cheap, and I doubt either side of my family could have afforded slaves even if they had wanted them). (Sorry about the uberlong sentence) If my great-grandfather, or even my father, had shot and killed your father, I would not be held liable for that! In America, you pay for your own crimes. The people who committed the crime of slavery here are all dead.
The only reason to seek "reparations" is basically that you're either too dumb or too lazy to go earn your money, so you have to steal it from others. I seriously doubt that anyone except the most self-deluded true believers think that this issue is really about justice.
My first HaloScan comments have arrived. Haloscan does not e-mail me with them, so I almost missed them.
Erica: Picture Posting is pretty easy, actually. Here are easy instructions. I find that w3schools is an absolute life saver with HTML stuff.
Tim(m): 1986? I was two. :-) New Hampshire Primaries... I haven't really been paying attention, to be honest. Dean kind of shot himself in the foot with the famous Dean Yell, so I'd guess either Edwards or Kerry. But to me, it doesn't really matter; they all stand for the same things anyways.
A rare, historic event occurred today: Bob Jones University actually closed classes because of inclement weather. This almost never happens (most of their students live in the dorms). I am most exceeding pleased. Even more, I'm pleased that classes were cancelled for tomorrow morning too, so no 5:30 wake up time!
Yikes, it's *cold* outside. There's also layer of ice on the roads, and the forecasters are predicting another half inch of freezing rain, just to keep things interesting. I know, it's not a *lot* of ice, but it's enough. More than 200 accidents have been reported on the roads over night. I'm staying home.
The only unfortunate thing is that I don't have some of my school books here, since they're at my locker at school. Oh well... :-)
As I'm sure you noticed, my comments have been down for a while. BlogSpeak, my former commenting system died, and everything was moved to HaloScan. I just hadn't gotten to updating with the new codes. Now I have, and I can get all the wondrous comments that you all have been dying to give me. Enjoy!
I've posted before about how much I hate Doonesbury for its blatant and irritating preachy liberalism. Another comic I get irritated with is Non Sequitur, but it has the complication of usually being funny. For example, last Saturday's comic is pretty good.
On the other hand, it has the potential to be irritatingly and stupidly liberal, to the point of not being funny in the slightest, as it was Friday
I don't mind jokes about conservatism/libertarianism in the slightest. In fact, IIRC, Non Sequitur has had some pretty good ones (I'd show one, but uComics only lets you go back two weeks if you don't pay). But this was just stupid.
The post below was posted more than 10 hours before InstaPundit.Com picked up on it. I win!
Well, not really. But I really like John Stossel. I'm surprised that ABC keeps him on, because he seems so un-liberal. He's what I'd call a common-sensist. I'm watching an ABC special called "Lies, Myths, and Just Plain Stupidity." He's called the republicans on their pork spending, environmentalists on DDT, and liberals on gun control. Wonderful stuff. I'm going to have to buy his book.
School started yesterday. (Or, technically, two days ago). I'm really not ready for school to be starting again, but nobody asked me.
What I like is that one of my friends from PCC that I mentioned earlier is now coming to BJU! I get to play chauffeur this semester, since she doesn't have an extra car lying around the house. It turns out that being a town student at BJU is cheaper than being a dorm student at PCC, especially with the LIFE scholarship (lottery-funded $5K a year for a 3.0 or better average). She's a lot of fun; a lot more interesting than talk radio at least!
Books are expensive, just so you know. I figured that if I bought all my books new, it would cost me something like $500. So, of course, I sought out cheaper options, like Half.Com and the "University Yard Sale" website (which is basically an exclusive BJU bulletin board for selling stuff, usually textbooks). Oh, it also helps to buy expedited shipping on Half.com if you want your book before classes start. (stupid me; I should have ordered a long time ago...) Fortunately, I have a nice teacher, so I got to photocopy the stuff I'll need before my book gets here.
I think I'm going to like my classes. I don't think I have any teachers that will be just unbearable to listen to. One has a really southern-ish accent, and another one sounds a little like Coach Z, but no one is really boring to listen to. (At least, not yet.)
Mijailo Mijailovic claims that Jesus told him to murder the foreign minister of Sweden, Anna Lindh. Idiot.
I mean that in the sense of "profound mental retardation" (Dictionary.com), as he does have mental problems. Further, he says:
That's not a cry for help. A cry for help sounds like this. What Mi-jail-ovic did is called murder. Too bad that Sweden has no capital punishment laws.
I'm excited. We finally installed DSL and a wireless network at our house! Now I can actually sit with my family when they're watching TV and I want to do something online. And the faster speed of DSL doesn't hurt at all. I like.
If you've ever had any doubts about the RIAA, read this: RIAA troops rob street vendors selling bootleg CD's. (Via SlashDot)
Isn't discrimination like this illegal?
Lake Superior State University has released their annual list of Words Banished From the Queen's English. Among my favorites were "Companion Animals" and "bling-bling." Personally, I never, ever understood why people would use that last word, except to mock it.
Apparently the term was coined by rapper (Or should that be "rappists"? I wouldn't call them "musicians") BG and has made it into the Oxford English Dictionary. Just given its origins (just do a google search for the lyrics), I don't think I'd ever want to use the term, not to mention how ridiculous it sounds.
I've heard it used exactly once in real life, after I described how technical writers make $50/hour to a high school kid visiting BJU. He told me that if I was a technical writer, I'd be "blingin.'" No, it was a white guy who said it. That's the problem with rappers trying to make up their own language:
I know you all are just dying to know how I did grade-wise last semester. I did well, thanks. All A's, save for a B+ in American Literature and a B+ in Expository Writing. Dropped my average to a 3.87 from a 4.0. Oh well. Still doing pretty good.