Review of “Snakes in Suits”


A few days ago I unexpectedly came across a book that I believe may be one of the most important books I’ve read—Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work, by Paul Babiak and Robert D. Hale (2006).

This is not your standard self-help book that panders to readers needing yet another pop-psychology fix. It is a serious but readable treatise on how the psycho-dynamics of predatory behavior manifests in the workplace, the damage that results when this happens, and how co-workers and superiors can and must respond with greater wisdom. Read more of this post

iPhone App: Gas Cubby


An iphone application that I now use frequently is Gas Cubby 2.1. This app is convenient for tracking fuel consumption and maintenance for any number of vehicles. Records can be synced for computer backup. Entries can be sorted by date or cost amount, in ascending or descending order.

MPG can be recorded using US, UK, Canada, or Imperial standards. Fuel usage can also be measured in liters, by miles or kilometers.

Vehicle set-up is simple. A separate file is created for each vehicle, including VIN, plate number, insurance policy, year, make and model, tire size and pressure. Oil changes, windshield wiper replacements, and battery installations, for example, are recorded by their dates on the vehicle information “page.”

Entries are recorded in two main categories: fuel and service (or maintenance). For each entry there are fields to complete as desired. Fuel consumption for each re-fill is calculated automatically and cumulatively. Entries for service or maintenance permit recording of date, odometer reading, cost, a checklist of service items (which can be customized), location where service was done, tags, payment type, and any notes that might be useful for future reference. Once the data is entered, a clean page is created showing all the data in a neat and well-organized format.

The application also permits easy searches for specific items or categories of items. Gas Cubby supports service reminders, with the option of showing badges for these.

This is an all-purpose record-keeping app for the automobile owner or operator. After reviewing several applications, and experimenting with stand-alone fuel usage apps, this is the app I’ve settled on and recommend to others.

A complete user manual is available online. For full details, go here.

See also Trip Cubby, app for recording mileage.

Did Rahm or Rush Use the R-word?


The word “retarded” is not the commonplace it once was. Today we rightly refer to people with mental disabilities in other ways. One severe problem with “retarded” as a noun (i.e., the collective noun “the retarded”) is that it is easily used too generally as a label for those with mental disabilities—as if having a disability is their essential attribute, the feature that defines them as human beings. Read more of this post

Faith, Film & Philosophy—New Format


Large Print Format

Our publisher has recently announced that our book Faith, Film and Philosophy: Big Ideas on the Big Screen is now available through “Read How You Want”—a company that customizes select books for readers with reading difficulties. This is good news for readers who will benefit from the special formatting provided by this company. Read more of this post

Amazon Search Link


To search Amazon for any product, including the books, films, and various tools discussed in these pages, click on the Amazon icon:

amazon_icon

Media Responsibility & a Democratic Republic


About a year ago I had the opportunity to speak with one of our nation’s Senators. I suggested that a responsibly engaged electorate must be a well-informed electorate. My question to him was about how any of us who aren’t part of the “inner ring” can be assured of being well-informed. He agreed that this is a real difficulty.

There’s nothing new about this worry. In 1969, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew gave a speech on “The Importance of Television.” He noted the “profound influence” of television news “over public opinion.”

Television’s influence is disproportionately great because: Read more of this post

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