Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Don’t look down, Wile E. Coyote!

The Harvard Business Review’s Daily Stat of July 21, 2011, titled “Many Waitstaffers Say Tips Don't Reward Service”:

30% of waiters and waitresses said in a survey that they believe the level of service they provide has no bearing on the tips they receive, a finding that suggests restaurants should query job candidates about their beliefs on this subject, according to a team of researchers led by Michael Lynn of Cornell.

The suggestion that “restaurants should query job candidates about their beliefs on this subject” suggests, to me, that restaurants should select candidates who believe that better service will result in higher tips. Presumably, such waiters and waitress will deliver better service in their quest for higher tips.

But better service doesn’t result in higher tips. At least not much. A recent episode of NPR’s Planet Money covered tipping with the same researcher, Michael Lynn, who said that there’s a “pretty weak relationship” between service and tipping:

Studies have found for example that the amount of sunshine outside have as big an impact as the tips customers leave as the customer's ratings of service quality.

So the HBR is recommending that employers avoid hiring candidates who have a rational understanding of their industry’s (irrational) economics. Pick the guy or gal who goes with “common sense” instead.

The unfortunate thing is, it’s probably good advice.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I oppose sensorship in all its forms.

The Los Angeles Times, reporting on “Carmageddon:”


Click to embiggen.

Update: The LA Times monitors Twitter and corrected the story in response to this post. Also on Twitter, @EditorMark wins the Internet:

Might be an actual job title in China.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Have you herd of immunity?

A new survey, reported at the Science-Based Medicine blog, reveals concerns that parents have about vaccination:

11% – vaccines are given to prevent diseases children are not likely to get

Similarly, I’ve been wasting time and money by regularly filling my car with gasoline, even though it has never run empty once! Clearly, the threat of empty fuel tanks is a conspiracy promulgated by soulless minions of orthodoxy.

Related: Candice Burns Hoffmann, a press officer for the [CDC], said in a release that the United States was experiencing “the highest number of measles cases since 1996,” in large part because of unvaccinated travelers recently returned from overseas.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Anyone who’s been through a CMMI appraisal will know the feeling

Kate St. John reports that a Peregrine Falcon fledgling collided with a window at CMU’s Software Engineering Institute:

He can fly.  He can see well enough to navigate.  He can perch.  He just needs some quiet time to recover.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Duck confit salad with dried fruit & gorgonzola

This is currently my favorite salad. I haven’t given quantities, because it’s a frickin’ salad. Use your eyes, and taste for balance and seasoning.