Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

31 Dec 2014, 12:16 p.m.

Five Things Make a Post

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2014 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Feminist joke

This morning, Leonard worked on making some cinnamon rolls. "It's really hard to find yeast," he said after venturing to our neighborhood shops. My instant reply: "Maybe you could use early money instead."

"Just drop some coins in some warm water?"

"Yeah, but they have to be from about 1800."

Lesser-Known Uniformed Services

Karnataka descendant Dr. Vivek Murthy got sworn in on his family's Bhagavad Gita to become the current United States Surgeon General. Go Kannadigas!

So, when I was younger, the most interesting thing about the Surgeon General was that the title pluralizes to "Surgeons General." Right now I think the most interesting thing is that the US Surgeon General oversees the "6,700 members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps" (which includes, like, dentists, veterinarians, and some engineers). There are five (official) branches of the US Armed Forces, but the federal government also has two additional uniformed services, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (history) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps.

And one place that these public health professionals learn is the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Where for about half USU's medical students, the first time they encounter military life is on campus (including wearing uniforms to class every day). On the other hand you have adults who have never lived in civilian housing before (as I interpret based on this "student housing" advice).

What a fascinating day-to-day atmosphere that must make. And speaking of atmosphere, yes, there is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps.

During the years before the First World War, all [Coast and Geodetic Survey] work was conducted by civilians even though shipboard personnel wore uniforms that were virtually indistinguishable from Naval uniforms. With the entry of the United States into the war in 1917, the commissioned service of the C&GS was formed in order to eliminate the anomalous condition that arose during the Civil War, which placed civilian assistants accompanying armed forces in jeopardy of being considered spies if captured by the enemy.
Fun fact: the NOAA is -- like the Census Bureau and the US Patent and Trademark Office part of the US Department of Commerce. Another fun fact: the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps rules for personal appearance and personal gear includes the word "Scrunchies".

Big Endeavor Changes

Someone I know as an open source community manager is leaving her job to go get a Ph.D. She'll be researching collaboration, innovation, and organizational learning in the Linux kernel community -- neat!

Someone I knew as a sociologist concentrating on organizational theory now works as an attorney for the US Department of Justice fighting organized crime and gangs. Wow!

Feminist poem

Don't be shy
Take a look
And apply
The Ada Initiative is growing! Announcing our search for a new Executive Director

Blast From The Past

On New Year's Day a dozen years ago I shared a solution to an exercise from Gödel, Escher, Bach.