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Thursday, August 7, 2014

OSU topped by University of Oregon in 'party school' ranking

I've mentioned before the idea that Oregon State University Students tend to be from rural, religious and conservative backgrounds and they will often stereotype the nearby and more liberal University of Oregon students as being hippie marijuana smokers who go to a "party school" in my gay history: Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis, Oregon State University gay activism 1969-2004," p. 1 printed to PDF from in 2010 permanently stored by the OSU Scholars Archives @ OSU.

I finally have some good evidence to cite that confirms the U of O's party school reputation, which was reported in the Eugene, Oregon newspaper article by Jeff Wright, "UO in top 20 -- for parties. The Princeton Review publication also ranks Oregon at No. 7 in the "Reefer Madness" category," The Register-Guard, posted Aug. 5, 2014, which was reprinted in the Oregon State University student newspaper as "University of Oregon among top 20 party schools," Barometer, Aug. 6, 2014, p. 2. Below are some selected quotes from the article:

IThe UO was 19th on the list of top 20 party schools -- the only Pac-12 school to make the list, but far behind Syracuse.

Stanford, meanwhile, claimed its own bragging rights: The Pac-12 rival ranked No. 1 in the country for being lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-friendly. . .

For better and for worse, Oregon State University did not rank in the top 20 in any category.

Rounding out the top five party schools were: the University of Iowa (last year's winner), the University of California-Santa Barbara, West Virginia University and the University of Illinois at Urbana--Champaign.

Repeating at the top of the "stone-cold sober" schools was Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.


(Quoted from Jeff Wright, "West: UO in top 20 -- for parties. The Princeton Review publication also ranks Oregon at No. 7 in the "Reefer Madness" category," The Register-Guard, posted Aug. 5, 2014)

OSU students do party, based on the complaints made to local City of Corvallis Police officials concerning noise, etc. However, in my opinion the partying done by OSU Students is colored by the prevalence of so-called "square" science, engineering and agricultural students who have a different style of partying that seems square to the "normies" on campus. For example, science and engineering students have been known to calculate the amount of alcohol required to achieve certain safe blood concentration levels of intoxication to prevent many of the problems these career-minded students may have with their future employers' background checks. Also, of course, the Agricultural students are often from conservative rural backgrounds where everyone is polite and looks the other way when you whoop it up, as long as you meet certain country ethical standards of decorum, which would not get you a party school reputation. The sociology of college partying would make for a good Ph.D. thesis.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

First gay wedding 1971 shown on WCCO TV 1973 aroused disgusted viewer reactions

VIDEO: Brandon Wolf, "First Gay Wedding in Minnesota - Jack Baker & Mike McConnell, 1971," posted Aug 6, 2013 (1:25) Jack Baker and Mike McConnell first applied for a marriage license in Minneapolis on May 18, 1970. They were married by the Rev. Roger Lynn on September 3, 1971. This video of the wedding was made by Leonard D. Bart, now deceased, a contractor for WCCO TV channel 4 of Minneapolis, Minnesota, which at the time was a CBS television network affiliate. This copy of the tape was provided by Baker and McConnell to Tim Campbell, retired publisher of the GLC Voice Newspaper, which was published in Minneapolis from 1979 -1992.

VIDEO contains footage of the marriage of Jack Baker and Mike McConnell, on September 3, 1971 at (4:23) - A news special by Minneapolis, Minnesota WCCO-TV news anchor Dave Moore "On Sunday." from Brandon Wolf, video of Ken Kurtenbach, Gotebo High School, "University of Minnesota Student Video Project - Part 1," posted Aug 7, 2013 (14:09). The TV news anchor Dave Moore started working as a TV news anchor in the 1950's when most TV stations were only a few years old. Dave Moore lived in the neighborhood I grew up in and had a son, Charlie Moore, who was the same age as me and attended the same grade school through high school classes with me, and so I got to know Dave Moore as both a TV star and as the father of a large Catholic family that was very traditional, but also very liberal on the civil rights issues of the era. This video project was produced by students at the University of Minnesota and first aired on WCCO TV Minneapolis, Minnesota September 30, 1973. It was updated July, 1974. The TV news anchor Dave Moore starts his report by stating "homosexuals" are an oppressed minority in America. A gay activist later responds in the update by saying he is offended by Moore's use of the term "homosexual" and says he wants to be called gay, adding that some women want to be called lesbians.

VIDEO: Brandon Wolf, "University of Minnesota Student Video Project - Part 2," posted Aug 7, 2013 (11:37) WCCO TV news anchor Dave Moore notes that the large Minneapolis company Honeywell had told WCCO "a few years ago it would not hire a homosexual, but this time they said yes" and Moore added that only two Minneapolis employers still said outright they would not hire any homosexual, Northwestern Bell and the U.S. Selective Service military draft. However, other employers told WCCO that being a homosexual would be a factor or they had a fuzzy answer. At (7:32) Dave Moore goes over the feedback he received from viewers since this show aired the previous week. He he notes there were 200 phone calls running 10 to 1 against doing the show and many of the callers said they were sickened, shocked and disgusted by the show.

See previous post Magnus Hirschfeld, Jack Baker, University of Minnesota and Oregon State University gay connection (1/21/12), which includes the cover of a newsletter story by Jean-Nickolaus Tretter, "Tretter Collection Makes Purchase of Magnus Hirschfeld Li Family Estate," Tretter Letter, Jan. 2007, p. 1,3. Also see the following links and previous posts:

Is advertiser supported or pay-per-view business model better for gay civil rights?

VIDEO: many free over-the-air broadcast TV stations are running the ad warning viewers that pay cable and satellite TV comapnies are trying to take away free TV, but the ad doesn't explain about the complex issues surrounding retransmission fees still under negotiation and the planned FCC auction of over-the-air spectrum, which will be freed up when old analog TV transmissions are finally shut off soon. The campaign is sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters, an industry grouping of the people who broadcast free to air TV. Posted at "keep my tv - KEYT," watched Aug. 2, 2014.

As somebody old enough to remember when over-the-air broadcast television first became broadly available in the 1950's, I clearly recall how early TV stations struggled to find a business model to make money because TV technology of that era was unable to charge each viewer individually for watching programs like a movie theatre could sell admission tickets. As a result, free over-the-air TV stations were forced to become entirely advertiser supported until other revenue streams became available, including the retransmission fees paid by cable TV providers, when cable TV technology became common and Congress passes a law requiring it.

In contrast, it was easy charge each household individually for early cable TV technology because it was physically attached to each house, but it did not permit charging customers individually for each program watched, except for a few premium channels that could be optionally enabled by adding or removing a physical electronic filter. As a result, cable TV adopted a business model of selling groups of TV channels with a few premium channels that viewers could opt to subscribe to on a monthly basis. Although the technology for pay-per-view is now quite common, cable TV channel packages are still what is being commonly sold.

The internet dot com publishing businesses and the emerging internet cloud services have been facing a similar struggle to find a successful business model to make money in an environment where internet audiences are used to accessing everything for free, except for having to put up with a few sidebar or banner ads, or worse forced video ads.

The only thing that has inhibited businesses from charging interest customers for content, instead of being advertiser supported, is the hassle factor of it that drives many customers elsewhere. Of course, as billing problems are eliminated, this could change in the future.

Likewise, both television and cable TV providers are being forced to compete in this new world of the internet cloud and their reaction has been two-old: first, they are trying to embrace it by transforming themselves in to content-providers and two, they have been lobbying Congress for laws to "protect intellectual property" and either support or undermine retransmission fees for cable TV providers, which could alter the future of who pays for cloud based content.

I hope to live long enough to see where the dust settles on this dual between large content providers and the small-fry authors and creative talent who actually create content people want to consume.

Having watched these battles over the last century, I can anticipate several possible outcomes, all of which could work and be stable, but none that I see as the obvious direction.

Instead of guessing at the outcome, I found it more interesting to think about what policies Congress should be adopting to help encourage things to go in a way that would prevent a few businesses from locking up all content to make more money at the expense of democracy?

For example, the original designers of the internet architected it intentionally in a way that would be both democratic and robust enough to withstand nuclear war -- after all this research was funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) originally for defense communications applications.

The freedom of speech issue I see in all of this is, historically, neither the advertiser supported model of content providers, nor the pay-per-view business model enable to free speech required for minority groups to stay connected.

For example, in the early days of television, show would literally include in their show title the sponsor's name, including tobacco companies before Congress outlawed their advertisements on TV, The freedom of speech issues here are clear because no TV show would dare talk about the cancer causing agents in cigarettes, for fear of losing a sponsor, and Congress is limiting free speech, although for the noble purpose of saving lives, in a manner that could be abused in the future.

These changing business models for content providers are not new. For example, in the 1960's a number of mass circulation magazines, such as "Life" magazine, essentially gave away print subscriptions for pennies an issue with the expectation that increased advertiser revenue would pay to print and mail it and provide them a bigger profit than if they charges subscribers the full cost of production. Needless to say, they failed and went out of business for this and other reasons that are still be discussed in business school books today.

My bottom line fear is that over time, America's businesses are set up reduce competition to a point where there are only a few big players, which has the positive effect of creating economies of scale that can benefit both consumers and investors, but it can also have the negative effect of being abused to lock out new ideas and oppress minority groups.

I believe that to preserve America's successes, legislators must be wary of balancing the demands of those who want the "free marketplace" to be "every man for himself" with the demands of those who want a fully "regulated marketplace" or "totalitarian nanny government" that stifles innovation and the freedom of speech of individuals.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Local politics - jail should be built with record low bond interest rates

Tom's FBI fingerprints in collage - Old Dell PC (top) replaced by HP workstation

PHOTO: (click on photo to enlarge) my scrapbook collage seen in the background of this photo includes a copy of my fingerprints that were taken by the FBI in order to obtain the U.S. Navy's top secret security clearance. (See middle right of collage and previous post Still alive after 'upgrade' to Windows 7 HP Workstation and Dream Color Monitor (1/26/14))

Tours of the existing Corvallis, Oregon Benton County jail are being offered as part of a local political campaign to get voter approval for a new jail. (See newspaper article by Bennett Hall, "Tours offer inside look at jail," posted Jul. 28, 2014, which says, "The Benton County Jail was built in 1976, replacing a facility that dated from 1929. It had room for 27 inmates and was intended as a stopgap measure, designed to last only until the state built a system of regional jails.")

Reading the above newspaper article brought back old memories that I shared in a letter to the editor supporting the new jail:

In 1977, Oregon State University administrators directed me to the then new Benton County jail for fingerprinting by the FBI so that I could obtain the U.S. Navy's top secret security clearance required to be employed as a graduate research assistant on my thesis advisor's project concerning digital sonar signal processing.

Amusingly, to enter the jail I had to ring a doorbell on its blank concrete sidewall and was greeted by a surprised jailer asking me why I wanted in!

The jail looked shoddily built, even when it was new.

Delaying construction of a new jail will likely cost taxpayers more money because historically low interest rates are expected to rise on government bonds issued to build it.

Coincidentally, many Corvallis retirees might buy these new-issue bonds to receive double tax-free income that is fairly safe from default.

Thomas Kraemer, Corvallis

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: After all these years, it finally might be time to build a new jail," Gazette-Times, July 30, 2014, p. A9)

Critics of the new jail like to point out that jail officials have been very secretive concerning how many beds are actually needed. For example, see the letter by C. Hollis Jackson, "Letter: No one has yet offered any real justification for a new jail," posted July 24, 2014.

A more liberal and humanitarian perspective was given to support the jail in a letter by Max Mania, "Letter: Tour was an eye-opener about the need for a new county jail," posted Jul. 23, 2014.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Gender bending OSU student recruits women into science and engineering

VIDEO: gender bending Oregon State University pre-Computer Science Student Savannah Kay Loberger started a summer camp called "Girls Get It" designed to recruit more women students into science and engineering at OSU is featured in a TV news report by Valerie Hurst, "Tired of being only girl on robotics team, Hillsboro girl does something about it," posted Jul. 8, 2014, viewed on KATU TV news broadcast July 8, 2014 4:48PM.

Fifty years ago, you could probably have counted the number of female students in engineering at Oregon State University with the fingers on one hand, and everyone assumed it was because of rampant sexism in society that expected women to be "barefoot and pregnant" in the kitchen taking care of raising the family.

Over the last 50 years, the women's liberation movement has been successful in bringing parity to most occupations, but not in the science and engineering professions, which are still dominated by men. The percentage of female engineers has risen, but not as much or as quickly as other academic fields. The one exception has been the fairly new discipline of Computer Science where relatively more women have succeeded than in the older engineering disciplines, such as Mechanical Engineering.

The reasons for this gender disparity are not clear because there has been much effort spent by college administrators, professional societies and corporations, such as Hewlett-Packard's college recruiting program that was redesigned decades ago to proactively help females or minority students obtain their college degree and start a successful career.

A foundational postulate of the women's equality movement has always been that all men and women are created equal and neither should be constrained in their choice of profession due to the traditional gender roles defined by society. For example, any man should feel free to become a hairdresser just as any women should feel free to become an auto mechanic.

The assumption has always been that workplace discrimination against women (and even men in a few professions) is only a social construction that can be changed -- and this is a theory that has been bolstered over the last few decades by the rising equality between men and women in many professions that were traditionally segregated by gender.

As a result, it has been politically incorrect for anybody to merely suggest that biological differences between humans might make one person more or less successful in certain occupations.

However, I believe that the gender axis (masculinity to femininity) is an independent variable from the axis of biological sex (male to intersex to female) and it is also independent from the axis of sexual orientation (asexual to homosexual to bisexual to heterosexual).

I am not ashamed to discuss the idea that biology may encourage some people to be attracted to certain professions depending on how butch or fem they are instead of it being related to their biological sex of male or female.

I have evolved to this opinion after decades of watching the gender dynamics of gay people, most of who will insist that they are fully male or female, except for wanting to love somebody of the same-sex. I have also noticed that the gay men, who get the angriest when somebody suggests they are an effeminate queen, are usually the most effeminate acting men and they have been teased about it all their lives about it. Given this sensitivity, I have always been careful not to further traumatize them by letting them know how everybody views them as a nervous nelly swishy hairdresser type.

My point is that gay men prove the idea that biological sex is an independent variable from gender behavior or expression, and the relative success of masculine-acting gay men versus effeminate acting gay men in professions traditionally associated with wither men or women might provide some useful insights for researchers.

My caveat is that what I am talking about are not binary (e.g. yes or no, on or off) variables and they are continuous variables, which makes every human a unique combination of masculine-feminine and gay-straight, but most people like to simplistically pigeonhole everybody into a binary description of being either gay or straight, and either male or female. However, good scientists know that studying continuous statistical variations between groups of humans can yield useful insights and a better understanding of human nature.

For example, it is well accepted that human intelligence can be statistically measured in many different ways to sort people into those who will probably succeed in college and those that might flunk out. However, it is also well known that self-educated individuals, who were cast as being stupid, have gone on to be considered geniuses later in life. Therefore, it would be a mistake to use such statistics to limit anybody, just as it would be to use statistics on masculine-acting individuals, whether male or female, and prevent them from becoming an engineer or auto mechanic.

Instead, I hope that advances in gender identity science will be used to make discoveries that can help everyone, but I realize and accept that this area of research is so controversial that it will take some brave and creative researchers to do make any breakthrough discovery.

Kim Kraemer shown working on a car engine in a newspaper business page story by Mike McCraken, 'Woman mechanic fits in well,' Gazette-Times, Mar. 13, 1980, p. 13

PHOTO: (click photo to enlarge) from 34 years ago, a newspaper article by Mike McCraken, "Woman mechanic fits in well," Gazette-Times, Mar. 12, 1980, p. 13. (See previous post Kim Kraemer auto mechanic 1980 (11/7/09). In the 1970's Kim started as a Mechanical Engineering major at Oregon State University, despite the fact that everyone around her tried to discourage her from trying to enter a "male profession."

UPDATE 7/18/14 -- after I wrote the extemporaneous blog post above on the continuous variable axis of sexual orientation and gender identity, a Portland, Oregon gay newspaper published two, more polished essays on the topic for trans women:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Former OSU professor discusses gay marriage in 1953 and 1963

Cover headline of ONE June 1963

PHOTO: the former Oregon State University Professor W. Dorr Legg moved on after World War II to edit and publish a pioneering research journal, to help establish what he called "homophile," or we call today gay rights, titled ONE magazine, which in 1963 featured the cover headline "Let's push homophile marriage" that included discussion of gay marriage. See Jim Burroway, "The Daily Agenda for Friday, June 20," posted Jun. 20, 2014 who gives a good summary of the ONE discussion on gay marriages and a summary of current legal victories. (See previous post Gay marriage discussion in 1953 vs. 1963 and today (12/13/16))

ONE Magazine Aug. 1953 'Homosexual marriage?' cover headline PHOTO: the former Oregon State University Professor W. Dorr Legg moved on after World War II to edit and publish a pioneering research journal, to help establish what he called "homophile," or we call today gay rights, titled ONE magazine, which was ahead of its time when it mentioned the idea of "homosexual marriage" in 1953 long before "same-sex marriage" or "gay marriage" became a cause of some gay liberationists in the 1960s. See Jim Burroway, "The Daily Agenda for Friday, June 20," posted Jun. 20, 2014 who gives a good summary of the ONE discussion on gay marriages and a summary of current legal victories. (See previous post Gay marriage discussion in 1953 vs. 1963 and today (12/13/16))

See my previous posts and the following links:

Wheelchair accessible Speed Queen Washer Dryer replaces old Maytag stacker

Speed Queen AFN51washerADE41Fdryer installed July 3, 2014

PHOTO: my new wheelchair accessible Speed Queen Stainless Steel Washer Model AFN51F and Speed Queen Stainless Steel Dryer electric version Model ADE41F are both front load machines, with control knobs in the front, so that you do not need to reach over to a back control panel. Fortunately, I am still able to walk and talk, despite what neurologists think I should be having trouble doing based on my fMRI tests, and I don't yet need a wheelchair accessible machine, but since I was replacing my 26 years-old Maytag, I thought it would be wise to plan ahead for likely future need. (See Speed Queen Home Laundry Products accessed May, 2014 and the Speed Queen advertising brochures for the Speed Queen Stainless Steel Washer and Dryer AR08-100 - The Imperial Series Brochure AFN51F, ADE41F/ADG41F (PDF).

Maytag stacker washer dryer built 1988

PHOTO: My old Maytag stacker washer and dryer purchased in 1988, which only required a few minor repairs over the last 26 years -- hopefully my new Speed Queen washer and dryer will provide me with a similar quality experience in terms of reliability and dependability. I originally purchased this Maytag stacker washer and dryer when my employer moved me to the San Francisco Silicon Valley and I had to live in a small condominium, which only had limited space for a laundry room. Although I moved several times since then to full-sized houses, my old Maytag kept working and working so well that I didn't see any reason to replace it even though I had a full-sized laundry room.

User's manuals, installation guides and parts list for the Speed Queen Washer Model AFN51F and Dryer Model ADE41F electric version are listed below: