I just failed civics

In a recent Facebook conversation I bemoaned the fact that most United States residents cannot name even one of their State’s senators, and less than a third can name two.1 That got me thinking about whether my own knowledge of our political landscape is any good. So I gave myself a simple test: to write a list of all fifty states, and identify the junior and senior senators from as many states as I could.

I blame Microsoft

All right, it’s only sort of Microsoft’s fault. But right now you really ought to be reading a great article about how the Portage County, Indiana Sheriff’s Office is a disgrace to the law enforcement profession, and how the District Attorney for that same county ought to be fired without delay. The article was researched and footnoted. I had timelines and even a link to confirm that 3 April 2015 was a state holiday in Indiana.1

For fifty bucks I could probably make this go away

Note: an unfinished version of this note was presented to Cynthia (whose surname I’m still not sure of) at about 9:15 AM on April 7th 2015, along with money orders in the full regular amount of rent for my apartment for April ($1,250.00). I did not give her the additionally-demanded fifty dollars, and I received no receipts for the money orders, as had been given last month.

A kilobyte of comments

I’m not sure which fact is more hilarious (or sad): that I have a three-line function with twenty-eight lines of comments, or that the function exists at all.

At some point I was instructed not to use public variables and to create getters and setters for everything. Encapsulation is a good thing, but for values that just need to be accessed it makes just as much sense to make the variable public and not waste a function call to return the variable.

Crowdfunding can be beautiful

I’ve seen some interesting kickstarter-style campaigns; it’s always nice to see what kinds of goodies someone will come up with to enroll people in their projects. These kinds of pre-funding drives are an opportunity to get people excited about a project and put on display one’s passion. A dry investment prospectus might get the big backing, but one really has to have a compelling and accessible idea in order to get a lot of people to throw in $10 or $20.

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