Monday, February 28, 2005

Today's word

solon - a wise legislator

Insert tongue in cheek.

P.S.: Another Web site I like is The Online Etymology Dictionary. Check out its entry for "solon".

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Restricting speech from within

Frank Furedi in "The new Chief Inquisitor on campus" laments the current state of academic freedom, which amounts to not much freedom. And he draws a bead on where the threat is coming from.
Paradoxically, direct attacks on academic freedom often come from within the university. There is a mood of intolerance towards those who hold unconventional, unpopular opinions, especially in the area of politics. Some academics do not simply challenge views that they dislike; they often seek to ban them and to prevent individuals who advocate them from working or speaking on their campus.
I agree. I saw some of the same when I was in a graduate English program at an American university in the mid 1990s. Threats to academic freedom often come from the inside, not from an outside force. I believe the outside pressure being put on Ward Churchill in Colorado is actually a departure from the norm. Most often, those (students or faculty) who do not toe the academic line in the university feel pressure from the inside to conform or to move on.

In higher education, you don't need to worry about the government suppressing your opinions and curtailing your speech. Your fellow professors and grad students will do that nicely.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Gently reminding

A big part of customer service is politeness. Can you think of a more gentle way of telling someone that they forgot to pay their bill and that they need to send a check right away?

The tone of the letter is not confrontational. The letter itself gets to the point quickly. And the body begins and ends with gratitude. A superb piece of business writing. No wonder Valero has a good reputation.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

"Customers are finding 911 void with Internet telephone service"

This article from the Houston Chronicle should give one pause before abandoning a land line.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Always impressive

My neighbor flies one of these. Lately he has been ferrying stuff to Iraq.

C5 Posted by Hello

I would salute him if I could.

Stimulating your gray matter

One of my favorites sites on the Web is Arts & Letter Daily, a list of links to articles so widely flavored that it just might make you a little smarter--if you can read the whole thing.

Some other places I like:

Just about any news site.

And I like good photos. Funny ones, too.

Setting it out

This is the first entry on my blog, Painted Ocean. I haven't settled on any one particular topic to be covered, but I am certain the substance of the blog will flesh out over time.

I pledge to post to Painted Ocean as often as I can, but this is only a hobby. Please bear with me. I know how fast and immediate the blogosphere can be, and I intend to keep up with it as a reader.

As a poster, though ... who knows? We will see.