This blog endorses products!

So, apparently there's been a new ruling from the FTC that bloggers who take money for product endorsements need to reveal their conflicts of interests.  According to Slate's Jack Shafer, it's pretty crazy.  However, since I'm not receiving any free products, I'm presumably free to endorse all I want without fear of repercussion.   That said…

I love my soft contact lenses: Air Optix by Ciba.  They do a great job letting oxygen and keeping your corneas moist.  apparently most lenses only do one of the two. 

 I love Zicam cold treatment nasal gel.  Totally works on minimizing the severity of a cold.  I have no doubt.  Yet the FDA banned it because people were using it improperly.  It's supposed to go in the tip of your nose.  Snort it and you can lose your sense of smell.  Permanently.  I get that's a problem, but can't they just have a big red-letter warning rather than banning it completely. I've so far failed to find a foreign source.  I dread my next cold.

I love Sierra Mist Free and Diet Dr. Pepper.  Both uncommonly good tasting diet sodas.

I love anything written by Malcolm Gladwell.

Okay, let the FTC investigation commence.

Animal cruelty and free speech

New blog policy (as demonstrated in yesterday's link to the first-person DADT piece): don't let interesting articles I mean to blog about just disappear– at least post a link and brief explanation.  That said, Dahlia Lithwick, who writes about the Supreme Court better than anybody, had a great piece last week on the Supreme Court oral arguments on the case as to whether videos of animal cruelty are protected by the first amendment.  I don't entirely agree, but it is a fun and interesting read. 

#3 Best Job

Money magazine has ranked "college professor" the #3 best job, behind only  Systems Engineer and Physician's Assistant.  No argument from me.  Here's their "why it's great" summary:


Why it's great: For starters, major scheduling freedom.
"Besides teaching and office hours, I get to decide where, when, and
how I get my work done," says Daniel Beckman, a biology professor at
Missouri State University. And that doesn't even take into account
ample time off for holidays and a reduced workload in the summer.

for tenure-track positions at four-year institutions is intense, but
you'll find lots of available positions at community colleges and
professional programs, where you can enter the professoriate as an
adjunct faculty member or non-tenure track instructor without a
doctorate degree. That's particularly true during economic downturns,
when laid-off workers often head back to school for additional training.

I'd say they are right for "tenure-track" positions at four-year universities, but I doubt that the others, especially adjunct jobs measure up.  Adjuncts and NTT faculty are largely abused in academia– that might be the 100th best job.  Don't know that much about community college teaching gigs, but I think they probably have to work just as hard for a lot less money.  I think my job is about perfect– quality 4-year research university, but without the high stress of being at a truly top Political Science department.

The whole list of jobs is fairly intersting and definitely open for debate.

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