Sunday, May 29, 2011

When Internships Get Ridiculous

As a recent intern, I was intrigued by this article about how many interns (or potential interns) are out there.
The article's author, fellow aspiring writing intern Jacob Sugarman, says that at least half of the internships in America are in violation of the labor laws.  I really wish we could get someone on this sort of work, like a website and list of violators, because I would personally love to not support intern-exploiting companies.
What is most disheartening is how many internships most of my friends have to take to get work.  I have a friend who graduated with a 3.8 from Michigan State in a good program and two internships already under her belt.  And what has she done in the two plus years since graduating?  She's had another two internships, a part time job that refused to promote her to full time (or even pay her time and a half when she worked overtime), and seasonal work.  She's worked in three different states, and all on a temporary basis.  At one point, she was working in two different states at the same time, spending four days a week in one state at one job, driving an hour and a half to another job she'd spend the other three days of the week at.  The saddest part of this story?  She has a bachelor's of science. 
The "internship problem" is part of a larger problem with workers and the workforce.  All sorts of data is out about how good the economy is or how much it's improving.  And yet the employment rate doesn't change nearly as much.  Businesses know that employees and potential employees are desperate.  They'll willing to work for less than their worth, or without benefits, or for longer hours, with less vacation time, etc.  They're cowed, because the system is inherently set up against them.  And they're getting away with it.
Maybe the next time the government offers a bailout, they'll think about who benefits and who doesn't when a handout is giving to businesses instead of citizens.   

Friday, May 27, 2011

Oregonian Regency Retreat

My friend Jennifer told me today that she never expected to watch "the long version" of Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 version) without being dragged into by me.  And then, in need of a Regency fix, she watched it for the first time without me. 
So for her, can I suggest this Regency Retreat?  I love a good nerdy convention, and this appears to be a first of its kind.  I've seen Regency-inspired teas and balls, but as far as I know, this retreat is wholly new. 
Guess Jennifer's going to go to Oregon this December.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bacteria Write Poetry Now Too

One of the many topics I've been writing about recently is the intersection of art and science. Mostly, I've been doing this through poetry, which has metaphors using and images of scientific processes and concepts. I've been working on poetry and science from the poetry side, and here is a lovely poet-scientist working on poetry and science from the science side, by writing verse into the genes of E. coli. E. coli is one of the easiest organisms for scientists to place vectors (unique DNA codes) into, which is why it is frequently used in research.
The best detail of this story? The E. coli can respond back in their own code to the poem. That's poetic.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rejected Book Covers

I love a well-made book cover. There's an entire group of people, myself among them, who admire the artistic work that goes into one. The New York Times recently posted a gallery of rejected book covers, many of which I love, like the simplicity and DIY feel of Liz Moore's Heft and the bright silliness of David Sedaris's Repeat After Me.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lord Byron and Michael Jackson

I've mentioned my love of Kate Beaton before, and I just wanted to post a link to one of her recent doodles, of Lord Byron romancing some poor, hapless Regency woman. Is it just me, or does Lord Byron look oddly similar to Michael Jackson?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Come Away With Me"

This is my friend Caralyn, who is doing a cover of "Come Away With Me" by Norah Jones. It's a lovely little cover. I can't wait to hear her do more covers. Hopefully, she'll choose another Norah Jones song, like "Back to Manhattan."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cuddly Animals

Despite mostly political and artistic content on this blog, I have been known to appreciate things that are "apolitical" and "low-brow."  My friend Christine recently pointed me to this adorable collection of cute animals.  It's the sort of thing I need on a day where I'm feeling low. 
My favorite right now is this very sad looking kitten.  I really want to cuddle it.