The Water Cooler

Science, Technology, Business, and Politics

Friday, May 23, 2003 || Tipping and Restaurant Service Quality Weakly Linked A meta-analysis (PDF) in Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly of 14 other studies reveals that "the tipping-service relationship can only be described as weak" and " is doubtful that servers would see the effects of spending extra effort to deliver good service...". In addition to this, the study finds that restaurant managers won't be able to accurately evaluate server performance or customer satisfaction by adding up tips: "...[tips] are not a good way to motivate servers, measure server performance or identify dissatisfied customers."

Paul Allen's Vulcan laying off 100 - 2003-05-21 - Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle)

New Seattle biotech incubator launched with $15 million - 2003-05-22 - Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle)

The Young Hipublicans Otherwise known as kids who don't get laid on campus.

East Bay Express | | News : Feature Rich, Black, Flunking,Cal Professor John Ogbu thinks he knows why rich black kids are failing in school. Nobody wants to hear it.,By Susan Goldsmith The Alternative East Bay, Oakland connection for events, event listings, music reviews, CD reviews, and all of the latest alternative news from the East Bay, Oakland area.

Problems like this come in a combination of personal failure and localized bias... it's intellectually dishonest to deny one without the other. Personally speaking, I prefer to think that when something goes wrong, it's my fault versus the system. If it's my fault, it's something that can be changed - if it's the system's, then there's not much luck to succeed next time.

Venture Capital: These students are all business After nervously adjusting their yellow ties, the two young businessmen launched into their presentation in front of a panel of seven judges. Describing the high levels of debt among young adults and the fascination with wealth, Sumner and Sims explained why they believe the world needs a new financial magazine that caters to those between the ages of 15 and 25. - Blood of Innocents Now free to speak, the doctors at two Baghdad hospitals, including Ibn Al-Baladi, tell a very different story. Along with parents of dead children, they said in interviews this week that Hussein turned the children's deaths into propaganda, notably by forcing hospitals to save babies' corpses to have them publicly paraded.

At graduation last year, Madeline Albright spoke - outside, we had a hundred or so protesters that yelled in with megaphones, stating that she was to blame for the deaths of thousands of children in Iraq. It never computed that Saddam had all these palaces, and he was in charge of his spending, and yet it wasn't his fault. It was particularly unbelievable because Saddam had so much to gain in PR for the deaths of his own citizens.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Plumb Design Visual Thesaurus. This is a beautiful website. Amazing.

When fashion follows film... How the Matrix has affected high fashion


Scotland on Sunday - Week in Review - Comment - Branding from the dead zone From sickly pink cars to yoghurt shampoo, bad marketing makes for commercial disaster - and very funny reading, discovers Chris Deerin - It's back to basics for McDonald's More about the McD turnaround attempt... I guess those salads are pretty unhealthy, but it matches with the rest of the food

Heir Jordan - Will Nike's $90 million gamble pay off? By Seth Stevenson

BBC NEWS | UK | How does Dyson make water go uphill? Awesome.

Computing's Lost Allure An article in the New York Times, describes how the number of students majoring in computer science in university has dropped off with the rest of the hi-tech economy. The bright side: the students who are enrolling are doing so because they love computers.

Handy guide to the terrorism alert levels. Quick overview:

  • Green (Low): All evil had been destroyed. The world is now a peaceful utopia.

  • Blue (Guarded): There's still the occasional pickpocket, so show a little caution.

  • Yellow (Elevated): Terror lurks in the shadows; be wary.

  • Orange (High): The terrorists are out there and they are coming for YOU!

  • Red (Severe): The world is exploding around you. The only law is your own gun.

More specific advise is provided if you follow the link.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Reuben wins American Idol! [Link]

Who's Afraid of George Soros? Huge hedge funds could once threaten major currencies. Not anymore. By Daniel Gross

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 Technology | Even worse than unemployment: The job interview The process is an exercise in humiliation, and the prize for success is a nightmare -- employment by your torturers.

New Scientist. Haha, people and chimps are both Homo.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Why psychology has got it wrong
Psychoanalysis was one of the "backbone" sciences of the 20th century, yet depression and behavioural problems are rife today. In the first of two articles, our correspondent explains why psychology has failed.

Of the three sciences mentioned in this article, physics, genetics, and psychology, which ones are actual sciences with testable hypotheses and which one is just made up crap? Have anything to do with their success in the real world?

Tomorrowland The bold, emphatically forward-looking architecture that transformed museums has spread to schools, churches and bedrooms. It's often dazzling, but can you live in it?

TIME Magazine: Hey, Where's My Raise? Shrinking paychecks are the new reality for many Americans. How global markets and a weak economy are affecting how we work—and how much we make

Dating a Blogger, Reading All About It

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Shaping Cultural Tastes at Big Retail Chains

Beautycheck - Home Very interesting website on facial beauty, using morphing software to create virtual faces that can be used in experiments