Michigan at the cusp of its third century

"As we embark on Michigan's third century, I believe our future success will be defined in part by our ability to contribute to the solution of society's most daunting problems, bringing to bear the full intellectual might of our academic breadth and depth."  
"More than any other university, we have the potential to be so much more than the sum of our many excellent parts. It's this potential to have a positive impact on the society we serve that represents our greatest value as a university. It drives our work. It reflects our values as a 200-year-old public university. And I hope it inspires our elected leaders, donors, partners and all members of the public to support our faculty and students."
~Mark Schlissel 
Source: Looking back and forward, Schlissel stresses U-M's impact on society 10/3/17


Safety: in professional sports, campus life, reading, etc.

There has been a lot of talk around professional sports lately. Google it. However, my little heart just melts for the MLB. Detroit Tigers, to be specific.

Today I saw a tweet that talked about extending the safety netting at Comerica Park in the infield. No doubt, my season ticket partner and I regularly spoke about the extended netting. It is necessary. We saw some rough stuff. After five seasons, I have seen many unfortunate deflections, wild liners, and the terrible, collective groan of a crowd that just watched someone take a hardball to the face. You know it's bad when the entire section motions for the medics, twirling their pointer fingers to indicate, "Hurry up, help!" It's troubling.

The reputation of what it is like on a college campus is interesting, as well. For years, I have gone through fire drills, inclement weather drills, but lately my safety concerns are those of an armed assailant. I mean, really, if someone knows what they are doing, I don't have a chance. However, if I am ready to act quickly and decisively, I feel confident that I could survive some crazy sh*t.

Finally, I have heard about this book for some time and from many eclectic people. I've added it to my reading list, and am prioritizing it much higher: Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker. I've lived in Detroit. I've worked with the public. I have the gift of fear and I would definitely like to understand it better.

Be ready. That way, you don't have to waste time getting ready.


"What's the point of being a world class university if you're not going to help change the world?" 
~ Jim Burnstein


Turning "meh" coffee into tasty business with CINNAMON

The other day I found a bag of coffee beans shoved in the back of the cupboard. I knew they were old and we weren't fans of the flavor, but I am not one to waste coffee. So I put in a few dashes of cinnamon to let it seep in the french press. You can add a few dashes in the old school filter coffeemakers, too.

And there you have it, tastier coffee. Enjoy!


"Philanthropy is the market for love."

Writing something down and saving it for later has long been an obsession of mine. Perhaps I can learn EVERYTHING one day. I'm a bit of a data hoarder. But writing something down has always been very, very valuable to me. After a mostly successful transition to the new fiscal year, I've had a chance to sort through old notes and found this gem from Dan Pallotta about charities and their overheads. It is a must to watch for fundraisers and donors alike! The subject of this post is the quote that had me from the jump:

"Philanthropy is the market for love."

Be still, my heart. 💗

Watch the whole talk. It's splendid.


Happy Belated, George Orwell!

I can't believe I missed George Orwell's birthday! Luckily, The Writer's Almanac reminded me. He was born on June 25, 1903 in Motihari, India and wrote two of my favorite novels: Animal Farm and 1984. Those novels, I feel, are uncomfortably relevant today in the United States. The Writer's Almanac selected a quote that gave me chills...
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
Ya heard?


Etymology: Analytics

For a long time, whenever I typed the word "analytics" I would see a red squiggle indicating a spelling error. I figured the word must have been new, but it's been around since the late 1500s.

But not the definition that I was thinking of analytics as:
n. The collation and analysis of data or statistics, esp. by computer, typically for financial or commercial purposes; the data that results from this; (also) software used for this purpose.
This definition is very recent compared to the one used in philosophy:
  • 1966 - Econ. & Polit. Weekly 15 Oct. 377/1   A correct conclusion from the analytics of comparative statics.
  • 1980 - Amer. Banker (Nexis) 25 July   Understanding the analytics, setting servicing standards, and selling the system to branch operating folks.
  • 2001 - Financial Times 27 Jan. 9/7 (advt.)    All the features active traders need, including news, charts, analytics and direct trading capabilities.
  • 2009 - A. Kaushik Web Analytics 2·0 xiii. 394   In the last few years I have implemented at least 25 analytics tools on my blog.


Etymology: Thong

There are just some words that make me titter. Titter, for example, is hilarious. The other day I saw a coworker wearing a sandal known as a thong. Thong is DEFINITELY a word that makes me titter. The main reason? This book. It was very popular during my intern days and it still makes me laugh today.

So I looked up the word "thong" in the old Oxford English Dictionary, one of my absolute favorite databases. There are meanings, sure. I included the first one. But I love learning about a word's different forms and its etymology. Here's what we have for "thong" from the OED:

Pronunciation: Brit. /θɒŋ/, U.S. /θɔŋ/, /θɑŋ/Forms: α. OE ðwong, ðuong, ðwangc, þwæng, ðuuencg, OE–ME þwang; ME thuang, ME (Sc. and north.–18) thwang (ME thwange, twange, 15 thwangue), ME–16 Sc. thwayng. β. ME þwong, þuong(e, ME thwong(e (dial. twonge). γ. ME þong, ME– thong, (ME þonge, thongh, 15–16 thonge, 15 thongue). δ. ME thownge, thowyng; dial.17–18 thung, thunk, thonk.(Show Less)Etymology: Old English þwang , þwǫng strong masculine (also feminine); also, Old Northumbrian plural ðuuencgu , N. Anglian þwænga , agreeing with Old Norse þvengr ( < þvaŋgiz ); all from ablaut stem *þwing- , *þwang- , *þwung- , to restrain < Indo-European root *twenk : compare German zwingen : see twing n., twinge v.1, and compare the dialect form whang n.1

Definition: a.) A narrow strip of hide or leather, for use as a lace, cord, band, strap, or the like.

I also thought this sample sentence was funny:
1981 - H. Engel Ransom Game (1982) xxx. 197 She..handed me a pair of Japanese thongs. I slipped them on and felt the skin between my first two toes protest.