Archive for January, 2004

Hire Expectations!

Friday, January 30th, 2004

This is definitely my favorite article in today’s Globe: Hiring of HR professionals is soaring.

Employers optimistic about 2004 are snapping up recruiters, hiring managers, and other staffing specialists. Two Boston-area networking groups for unemployed HR executives report dwindling ranks as their members land jobs.

“If you’re going to hire, you need hirers,” said Nicholas Perna, a Connecticut economic consultant. “We don’t have to sit around and wait for the government’s next payroll survey to come out for me to add up the pieces that hiring is rising.”

Dr. Mel. Resigns

Friday, January 30th, 2004

Dr. Melpignano is no longer with the Holliston school system.

A Holliston High School teacher charged with giving “harmful” material to a student has quit.

Foreign language teacher Richard J. Melpignano resigned Monday “for purposes of retirement,” Superintendent Nancy Young said yesterday. Melpignano, who had worked at the school since March 1975, had been on paid administrative leave since Dec. 11, she said.

Why not? Here’s another one of the polar bear

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

Polar Bear Swimming at the San Diego Zoo

Another Panda Picture from San Diego

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

Panda in the San Diego Zoo

The History of Amazon

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

Here’s a long, interesting article from the Seattle P-I about the history of, and how it is now fully profitable.

This is my favorite line-item in the timeline:

[1999] July: opens its electronics and toy stores.

Dreamed I was an eskimo

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

I’ve always really liked bears. Here’s a picture I took last week of a polar bear surfacing at the San Diego Zoo:

Polar Bear at San Diego Zoo

Moose + Kitten

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004

Ok, sometimes Tracy gets some really interesting pictures, like this one of a moose and a kitten.

Back Home

Monday, January 26th, 2004

We got home late last night from San Diego, where we had some quality time at the San Diego Zoo.

Baby panda at San Diego Zoo

Did Dr. Mel. do this 20 years ago?

Thursday, January 22nd, 2004

A woman came forward claiming that Dr. Melpignano did exactly the same thing to her twenty years ago, and that she still has the letter of apology.

The letter [from 1984] offers Melpignano’s “sincerest apologies for having overstepped (his) professional boundaries.”

“Through my unthinking and callous attitude, I have acted in a manner unbecoming and unethical for an educator,” the letter reads.

Employment at will – myth or reality?

Wednesday, January 21st, 2004

It’s sometimes very smart to read what HR professionals read, especially if you’re wondering in what cases they can fire you. We have a new article about the myriad loopholes in “employment at will”.

Hello from San Diego

Tuesday, January 20th, 2004

Sadly, not “sunny” San Diego; it is about 65 degrees, certainly better than 20.

Back home in a coupla days….

Inequality and Power Laws

Wednesday, January 14th, 2004

Clay Shirky on Many2Many writes a lengthy column on the inequalities inherent in any large system.

[W]anting large networks without inequality is like wanting mortar without sand. Inequality is not some removable side-effect of networks; inequality is what holds networks together, inequality is core to how networks work.

Students defend Dr. Mel.

Wednesday, January 14th, 2004

MetroWest Daily News follows up on yesterday’s story, describing his dedication to teaching.

Always available to speak with students for extra help, Melpignano was known for regularly being at school as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 4 p.m., Edwards said.

Two other female members of the Class of ’03, who asked that their names not be used, said they were somewhat surprised that Melpignano was charged with distributing obscene matter to a minor.

Melpignano was involved in how his students were doing “overall,” both girls said. They said he would e-mail female members of his classes to ask how they were doing in school, but never mentioned romantic feelings.

Holliston teacher Dr. Mel. in trouble

Tuesday, January 13th, 2004

My sophomore-year French teacher is in the news, not in a good way. Dr. Melpignano is in some serious trouble.

[Melpignano] has been charged with distributing obscene material to a minor after confessing his affection and saying he wanted to make love to her, police say.

I don’t have time this morning, but I have a couple of good Dr. Mel stories. Sadly, none of them involve poetry he wrote to me.

David Weinberger on Hitler rhetoric

Tuesday, January 13th, 2004

David Weinberger writes a thoughtful response to all the Hitler-comparisons running through the media these days.

[C]omparing Bush to Hitler is worse than stupid. But we forget the lesson that we should have learned if we don’t publicly notice that some steps our country has taken could lead our great nation into evil:

* Demonizing enemies
* Questioning the patriotism of dissenters
* Monitoring the political expressions of citizens
* Establishing a special class of offenders who are removed from the protections of the judicial system
* Lowering the intensity of the threat required to justify preemptive action
* Disregarding world opinion
* Playing on fear in order to sway public opinion
* Lying in order to get us to invade another country

[…] [W]e should take such steps with open debate and genuine trepidation. Shutting off the conversation does not help us preserve our genuine American values.

Freedom to Marry Coalition of Massachusetts

Monday, January 12th, 2004

Branden sends along a link to, a site which enables you to easily send a note to your elected representatives urging them to vote no on the Defense of Marriage Act, and support the right for gays to marry.

If you think our government has better things to worry about, please consider telling them so.

Abuzz alumni in the Globe

Monday, January 12th, 2004

Andres is mentioned in Scott Kirsner’s article in today’s Globe.

Andres Rodriguez, cofounder of Abuzz Technologies (sold to The New York Times in 1999) and Memora (a now-defunct start-up that sold digital media servers to consumers), has a new company — this one dedicated to helping maintain large archives of static information over the decades.

The idea, he says, is to keep an archive online using an array of standard Web servers, rather than committing the archive to a particular storage medium like tape or CDs, which eventually become obsolete. Originally called Reference Information Systems, the Waltham company is changing its name to Archivas. Funding came from North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Ventures.

The Big Help is Here!

Sunday, January 11th, 2004

Here’s my shill for the morning: Go to the store and pick up today’s Boston Globe. Inside, along with the Patriots coverage, is over 60 pages of The Big Help.

This is our biggest section of the year. Go get it.

Yet more evil spamming

Saturday, January 10th, 2004

This is obviously a virus. If you get any email from [email protected] telling you to install a patch, don’t. God only knows what this thing will do to your computer.

screenshot of virus-bearing email

Best. Subhead. Ever.

Saturday, January 10th, 2004

Lamo Suspected of Several Computer Break-ins