Archive for October, 2014

No, Grandpa, that’s not how you beam up. Let’s go over this one more time.

Future tech - motorcycleI’m proud of my mother. At 93 years of age, she decided to tackle a computer for the very first time. Her bruises are healing. She even has an email account. It’s been a struggle, but after only a week of practice, she’s already figured out how to turn on her computer. Until 3 months ago, she had never heard of email or Google or Facebook. She’d never surfed the web, never watched a YouTube video of a cat riding a roomba.

Today she sent me her very first email. She wrote, Dear Tim, I ma laerning ti sned emali but ti deos not thenw othew byrw kt wodh pcx; s93@m &m$k m1t8 btn%+. Love, mom”.  What a beautiful message.

I appreciate that learning new technology comes more slowly to the elderly than, say, to an eight-year-old techno-dweeb raised with a cell phone surgically affixed to his thumbs. And it made me wonder: What sorts of new technology will be hard for me to comprehend when I’m my mother’s age?

I can only imagine the conversation with my future eight-year-old grandson as he patiently tries to explain to me how to use the everyday tech tools of his generation…

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Grandson: Hey, Grandpa. I see you’re still having problems figuring out how to use some pretty basic devices. Didn’t you have jetpacks and 3-D printable holograms when you were growing up?

Me: Surprisingly, no, Nathan. Things were less complicated in the 1960s when I was your age. Back then, we had not yet invented iPads or cell phones. Heck, as I recall, we were all pretty stoked about the recent invention of the Etch A Sketch. Hard to imagine, but people used to read these contraptions called books. So, yes, I could use a little help with these modern day gadgets.

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  • Love this story Tim and the jargon is fabulous. Less than 40 years from now hum... and it…
    Janice Strong
  • Published On Oct. 28, 2014 by TEJ
  • Announcing a new and improved name for the Washington Redskins

    Redskin helmet - No IndianLately, all the media attention about the NFL has centered on the issue of domestic abuse. But long before that issue grabbed the headlines, another controversy had been building for months, even years: The often emotional debate over the name of the NFL team located in our nation’s capital: The Washington Redskins.

    A tiny fringe group of a few million annoyingly sensitive Americans, including 35 Native American tribes and more than 50 organizations that represent various groups of Native Americans, seem to think the term “redskin” is an offensive stereotype that stirs images of primitive, angry, bloodthirsty savages screaming menacingly and wishing to annihilate their enemy – in other words, acting like a typical Washington Redskins fan. And they are demanding that billionaire team owner Daniel Marc Snyder change the team name to something less offensive – say, the Washington Camel Jockeys.

    The list of suggested alternative names grows by the day. Some names that have been proposed include:

    The Washington Gryffindors, the Washington Slytherins, the Washington Hufflepuffs,… well, pretty much anything you can think of from Harry Potter. Also, the Washington Redhawks (which personally I would find highly offensive if I were a Blackhawks fan), the Washington Skins (not sure how our nation’s nudists would feel about this one) or the Washington Pigskins (which I would find highly objectionable, personally, if I were a pot-bellied pig).

    None of these names has generated much support, so naturally I came up with several much better ones. Tell me what you think: The Washington Lobbyists, or how about the Washington Cabinets? Or maybe the Washington Gridlocks? I thought about the Washington Senators – but then I realized I was too late. The Senators had already been bought.

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    • Very reminiscent of one of the first articles we wrote for the law school newspaper in which we attempted to…
      james ellis
  • Published On Oct. 14, 2014 by TEJ
  • I have solved our nation’s debt problem – no need to thank me (Part 2 of 2)

    debt problem - mount rushmoreYou may not have heard (if you’ve been in a coma since 1994), but our national debt is spiraling out of control. If you could imagine a fire hose spraying a stream of $100 bills instead of jets of water, that’s essentially the way our federal government pisses through money on an average day. If you’re having trouble staying awake at night, here is a number that might help: $233 billion. That’s not the latest national debt figure. Oh, no. That’s just the interest on it we pile up each year.

    Won’t somebody come up with a plan to stop all the fiscal hemorrhaging? Anybody? Nobody? Okay, I guess it’s up to me to bail out America…. Again.

    Last week, I shared Part I of my solution to our national debt problem. In this week’s thrilling conclusion, I solve it even more. So let’s get started, shall we?

    Cape Canaveral – Kennedy Space Center: $11.5 billion. If you’re still a kid at heart, this one’s for you. Located on the pristine golden beaches of Central Florida’s Atlantic coast and just a two-hour drive from Disney World. Always wanted to be an astronaut? Now you can own a whole crew of them. Guess who gets to press the “Blast off” button at Mission Control? You do! Comes with a free ride on the next Space Shuttle Endeavour flight. (Fine print: Next scheduled Endeavour flight: 1st of Never.)

    State of Alaska: $780 billion. Call the Last Frontier your home with this incredible once-in-a-lifetime bargain. See Russia from your house. Be the first among your friends to own your own state. Comes with tons of room to spread out all your stuff, not to mention access to our nation’s largest oil and natural gas pipeline. Stunning views of mountains, grizzly bears, bald eagles and hot ex-governors. Juneau what else? For just $20 billion more, we’ll even rename the state capitol after you. Flexible payment terms. Ask about our layaway plan.

    debt problem - interstate highwaysUS Interstate 80: $87.6 billion.  If you thought you could “get your kicks on Route 66”, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Own a part of the world’s greatest highway network. The nation’s second longest interstate, I-80, runs from scenic California through the Nevada Dessert (where you can do 130 mph and the state troopers won’t hassle you) through the golden corn fields of Nebraska, before your journey ends at glamorous New York City. Read More…


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  • Published On Oct. 08, 2014 by TEJ
  • I have solved our nation’s debt problem – no need to thank me (Part 1 of 2)

    debt problem - statue of libertyHere’s a number that might scare you: $17,746,662,973. That’s almost 18 trillion dollars, give or take a few hundred billion. That’s the current estimate of our national debt according to the OMB (Office of Management and Budget).

    Here’s a slightly smaller but equally frightening number: $1 million.  That’s the amount our nation’s debt is expanding – per minute. The clock is ticking. Economic experts estimate that our national debt will increase by another $10 trillion in the next decade. And I thought I was bad about managing my money. I look like Ebenezer Scrooge compared to Uncle Sam.

    Depressed? Don’t be. Because I have a brilliant solution to our nation’s debt crisis. And it doesn’t involve painful tax hikes, closing down your favorite park or eliminating daily delivery of your mail.

    As many of you know, I (often imagine that I) am a highly sought-after, award-winning, Harvard-educated economist. I won’t drone on about my many notable achievements in the fields of econometrics or applied macro-economic asset price modeling theory (because I have no idea what those words mean).  Suffice to say, I took both Econ-201 and Econ-202 Pass-Fail in my second year of college.

    I have successfully balanced my personal checkbook 8 of the past 12 months. And I have completely paid off our family’s credit card debt on all but 5 of our 17 credit cards. I saved $4,000 by the time I was 18 years old by doing summer jobs, and I didn’t blow it all until late spring of my freshman year of college (hey, I needed a new stereo system). So when I say I have a solution for the nation’s debt crisis, I think my credentials speak for themselves.

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    • I can't wait for Part Two. While Part I had some good ideas about selling stuff, the total even without…
      Rey Carr
  • Published On Oct. 01, 2014 by TEJ