link friday: Syria, stack ranking at Microsoft, boo Texas National Guard

9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask – a good primer.

Your Labor Day Syria Reader, Part 2: William Polk – ignoring the “Labor Day” bit, this is a good long article making a case against attacking Syria. I honestly don’t know where I stand on this anymore – at first I was for attacking, then I was against, now I’m “maybe if I shut my eyes the civil war will stop?”

– An inside anecdotal look at Microsoft’s stack ranking and how terrible it is. It surprises me a lot that a high-tech company would do something like this – it seems like a way to fight “grade inflation” at the high cost of totally perverting every employee’s incentives.

Defying Pentagon, Texas National Guard Refuses To Process Benefits For Gay Couples – so they won’t let you apply for benefits at a state facility, but after you apply at a federal one they have to provide you services anywhere. Congratulations, Texas National Guard, for making it very clear you don’t like gay people!

– Hmm, I was going to link this dialect quiz, but it’s offline at the moment. Anyway, here’s my dialect map:

I was surprised how well it pegged me, although apparently people in Kansas City also talk like people in Houston…

My Son Wears Dresses; Get Over It – hooray! This article made me forget about that gender studies book where everyone was terrible when someone didn’t conform exactly to gender roles.

– From the Onion: Renowned Hoo-Ha Doctor Wins Nobel Prize For Medical Advancements Down There – classic!

When Harvard Met Sally: N-gram Analysis of the New York Times Weddings Section – a cool look at how wedding announcements have changed over time.

Minimum wage over the last 40 years, inflation-adjusted – after the fast food workers protests, I looked up an inflation-adjusted chart. Of course it’s hosted at raisetheminimumwage.com, and the text indicates that it starts when the minimum wage was at its inflation-adjusted high; here’s a chart that goes back further.

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