The blender mystery, Jabby’s fight, post Iowa, swing ’til you puke in a nuke plant, and the art of rejection.
1) THE BLENDER MYSTERY
You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and thrown into a blender. Your mass is reduced so that your density is the same as usual. The blades start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?
The Timberwolves’ Kevin Love noted on Twitter yesterday that working for Google as a fallback to his NBA career probably isn’t such a good idea, because that question is one of the questions Google asks of potential employees, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article.
What is Google looking for here, according to the paper? Any answer that starts with “it depends.”
This, we’re told, is the new way of hiring — questions that help strain the ever-growing pool of job seekers.
When I was much younger and embarking on a career, I once heard that IBM tried something like this, although I don’t know if it was true. But the story went that an IBM executive would take you to lunch or dinner and if you put salt on your food without first tasting it, you didn’t get the job.
Here’s another Google question:
A man pushed his car to a hotel and lost his fortune. What happened?
Go ahead! Take a stab at that one.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked in a job interview?
2) JABBY’S FIGHT
Jack Jablonski, the high school hockey player who was hit from behind in a game this week and is paralyzed, undergoes surgery this morning. His parents provide this update on his Caring Bridge site.
Here’s a belated update on Jack’s status: an MRI confirmed the severity of his injury. A procedure was done this afternoon to prevent clotting in a vessel. It went very well and was followed by a CT scan to show the alignment of his vertebrae, which was very good.
Jack will undergo surgery early Wednesday morning to fuse the damaged vertebrae. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
Because of the surgery, we’re asking visitors to wait until further notice to stop by the hospital. “Jabby” needs some time to recover so we’ll be sure to let you know when he’s ready to see your wonderful faces again.
It’s an awful story, of course, but the reaction from the world is something to behold. Seventy-eight thousand people have already visited the Caring Bridge site, and more than 3,000 have left messages on the guestbook. They include people from all over the world, including NHL players, a testament that the tragedies suffered by a good kid can still get people to stop and care. It’s also a display of the value of social media in helping us cope and process…
3) POST IOWA
Never has so much been spent on so few that means so little. Mitt Romney won Iowa by 8 caucus votes (“winning ugly, but still winning,” says Nate Silver), a story that makes great headlines but is also, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi writes, meaningless.
Instead, the only number that counts in the March to the Final Two is how much money is spent on behalf a candidate because that — not the votes of small towns –is what determines who will be the next president.
The 1% donors are remarkably tolerant. They’ll give to just about anyone who polls well, provided they fall within certain parameters. What they won’t do is give to anyone who is even a remote threat to make significant structural changes, i.e. a Dennis Kucinich, an Elizabeth Warren, or a Ron Paul (hell will freeze over before Wall Street gives heavily to a candidate in favor of abolishing their piggy bank, the Fed). So basically what that means is that voters are free to choose anyone they want, provided it isn’t Dennis Kucinich, or Ron Paul, or some other such unacceptable personage.
And what ends up happening there is that the candidate with the big stack of donor money always somehow manages to survive the inevitable scandals and tawdry revelations, while the one who’s depending on checks from grandma and $25 internet donations from college students always winds up mysteriously wiped out.
Meanwhile, NBC News is reporting that Michele Bachmann has canceled her trip to South Carolina and will hold a news conference this morning. That’s usually a sign that a candidate has decided to drop out. No matter, Politico writes, she’s a shoe-in for re-election to her Minnesota congressional seat. At the same time, though, CBS News says staying in the race won’t cost her much.
4) SWING ‘TIL YOU PUKE
What to do with old nuclear power plants’ cooling towers? Germany has turned one into an amusement park, Wired Magazine says. “The park already features more than 40 outdoor attractions, including a swing ride in the cooling tower, and it welcomes roughly 600,000 visitors each year,” the mag says.
5) THE ART OF REJECTION
If men are going to continue to make public spectacles out of their proposals to women, they’re going to have to get acquainted with occasional public embarrassment.
Bonus I: Is there anything better than a kid smiling?
Bonus II: Around the world in five minutes:
An Intelligence Squared debate airing on Midday today focuses on whether benefits paid to current retirees are saddling young people with too much future debt. Today’s Question: Do entitlement programs unfairly favor the old over the young?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: On the day following the Iowa caucus, we’ll examine the results and look at the campaign strategy for what will happen in New Hampshire and beyond.
Second hour: The year in science.
Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: University of Minnesota political science professor Kathryn Pearson on the 2012 presidential campaign.
Second hour: Intelligence Squared debate “Do grandma’s benefits imperil junior’s future?”
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: The Political Junkie discusses the New Hampshire primary.
Second hour: An Iraqi who interpreted for U.S. troops faces death threats at home,