Tina K. Russell

January 28, 2009

This might take you a moment

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 12:18 pm

A Day of Layoffs, Across Industries and Continents – NYTimes.com
And Texas Instruments said after the market closed on Monday that it would cut 3,400 jobs or 12 percent of its work force through 1,800 layoffs and 1,600 buyouts or retirements.

Surely it should be 58,008 jobs cut, right? After all, to reduce costs, sometimes you need to turn the company upside-down.

December 11, 2008

Animal Cussing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 6:40 am

Remember, the N word is okay, so as long as it ends in an “a,” the “a” has a grave accent, the “N” has a tilde, and it’s being said by an electronic sheep.

Discussion questions:

  1. Do androids dream of foulmouthed electric sheep?
  2. Those accent marks would roughly describe how the word is pronounced by Colonel Stinkmeaner of The Boondocks, wouldn’t they?

November 1, 2008

Of echidnas and columnists

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 11:30 am

I was doodling in class the other day when I realized this odd similarity:

On the left is New York Times columnist Bob Herbert. On the right is Angel Island standard-bearer and Master Emerald guardian Knuckles The Echidna. I now know where that brow comes from… Bob Herbert is secretly an echidna.

This made me consider further a critical election-year issue: what if the Sonic characters were New York Times columnists? Sonic would be the quick-on-his-feet, wise-cracking Frank Rich. Tails would be the prescient, detail-oriented Paul Krugman. Amy would be the bubbly Gail Collins, while Rouge would be the alluring and vacuous Maureen Dowd.

I’m still trying to match Kristof, Friedman, and Brooks. For Kristof, I can’t think of a Sonic character quite so coolheaded, even if his realistic idealism runs deep in the Green Hill Zone. For Friedman, I need someone with good ideas but has all the articulation and substance of a broken record. (Perhaps Omega: “Observation: world is flat. Recommend course of action: innovate out of crisis. Allocate six more months before additional decision-making.”) For Brooks, I need someone who is intelligent but paints the world around him in overly broad strokes, is convinced that his opinions are that of the vaunted “average man,” and often loses himself in the layers of his arbitrary abstractions. (Perhaps Shadow: “I must avenge Maria! The real issue is one of revenge versus the concept of restitution in evolving 20th century mores! This election will come down to whether the average voter prefers Chaos Control over Chaos Blast!”)

I do not, of course, need to tell you about William Kristol. What other bald man wants to export his vision of a perfect world through military might abroad? If he begins growing a moustache or hoarding small, cute forest animals, you may want to alert Frank Rich. Tell him to bring Krugman along.

August 7, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Tina Russell @ 2:04 pm

Vital Signs – Disparities – Surgical Tools Not Fit for Smaller Hands – NYTimes.com
Now that more doors are opening for women who want to be surgeons, it may be time to look at the equipment they are given at the operating table.

A new study finds that some devices commonly used in what was once a male bastion are too big to be comfortable for women.

The study, which appears in Surgical Endoscopy, notes that women’s hands tend to be smaller then men’s, but that men with smaller hands may also find the equipment challenging.

What’s the big deal?

July 5, 2008

Latte’s Inferno

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Tina Russell @ 1:31 am

Bwahahahahahaa! Starbucks is ailing.

Lax Real Estate Decisions Hurt Starbucks – NYTimes.com
This week, in an announcement that surprised even analysts who have grown accustomed to bad news from Starbucks, the company said it would shutter 600 “underperforming stores,” and significantly scale back plans to open new outlets.

All I know about Starbucks is that you pay extra for coffee because of the “experience,” the experience of being visually bombarded with pitches for movies, DVDs, bottled water, stuffed animals, and various other non-beverage products littered about the store in fancy displays (all a part of Starbucks’s determined effort to dilute its brand as much as possible), the experience of the drink always being the same no matter where you go, the experience of store employees who do not identify with the brand in the slightest, the experience of opaque and bizarre names for drink sizes that I always rebel against by asking for “the biggest one” (that, and I just can’t remember them), the experience of no free Wi-Fi, which every coffee shop worth half a bean has these days. Starbucks is a collective blight upon humanity, punishment for our vanity, our attempts to look trendy. We deserve it, I suppose, but so do they.

In some cases, brokers say, Starbucks misjudged the risks of putting stores close to each other, leading to the decline in same-store sales that the company started reporting for the first time in its history this year.

Wow, they’ve finally learned what we knew all along: that a Starbucks across the street from a Starbucks is a really dumb idea. Oh, and look at this:

Many analysts also want to see Starbucks slow the growth of its licensed stores, which appear in bookstores and supermarkets and which can siphon traffic from more profitable company-owned locations.

For example, David Palmer, an analyst who covers the company for UBS Equity Research, said that near his home in Westbury, N.Y., there is a company-owned Starbucks within a hundred yards of a Starbucks inside a Barnes & Noble, which in turn is within a few hundred yards of a Starbucks inside a Stop & Shop supermarket.

There are actually several such examples in Eugene. I’m not sure if we have the triple threat quite like that, but there are several areas where you can emerge from a grocery store with a Starbucks in it to find a stand-alone Starbucks right next door.

I always wondered, you know, if they’re going to have conjoined Starbuckses, maybe they ought to brand one of them differently, like “Starbucks: Women’s Edition,” or “Starbucks for Travelers” or something. (I’d like a “Science Fiction Starbucks,” myself.) Sure, it’s just more vanity, but they might as well; otherwise, it merely sends the message that either one is “Starbucks for People who are Really, Really Lazy” or “Starbucks Just Had to Take Both Lots for Themselves, Didn’t They?”

Oh, and here’s something from back at the beginning of the article:

Starbucks wants to get back to its roots to help turn around its ailing fortunes. It brought back the pioneering chief executive Howard Schultz to run the coffee chain day to day, and it has introduced a new blend, Pike Place Roast, that harks back to the location of its first Seattle store.

Yeah, a new kind of coffee! Back to basics! That’ll turn everything around.

Remember, Starbucks is really just a quaint, mom-and-pop operation. Anyone who says otherwise is probably okay just drinking hot cocoa.

June 10, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Tina Russell @ 12:04 pm

Facebook App Gets Friendly With Wii Codes : Next Generation – Interactive Entertainment Today, Video Game and Industry News – Home of Edge Online
I guess only time will tell if this app is a super success along the lines of Jetman, Scrabulous, or Top Friends, or if instead it wallows in the land of useless one time uses, like a quiz to determine what superhero you are most like, or what your stripper name would be. Or maybe your superhero stripper name

My superhero stripper name would be “Lady Luscious.” I would have a bright red, one-piece bathing suit (with a short, ruffly skirt at the end) and thigh-high bitch boots. I think I’d have a tiny, decorate biker jacket, too, slightly ripped. My weapon, a red, ribbonlike whip, would force evil into submission.

I think I’d also do my hair up into a ponytail.

(Incidentally, Samantha Mason writes these blog posts for Next Generation, and she’s awesome.)

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