Saturday, April 29

Mifflin Street 2006

Every year at the end of the year, there's a huge block party on Mifflin Street. People started heading over to Mifflin Street, which is about 3-4 blocks from my dorm in the early afternoon. The police had a heavy presence, stopping people from walking down the street with boxes of beer.

My roommate and I didn't feel like studying so we went to State Street for lunch and to check out the new art museum. Letters in Bottles has some good pictures of the recently opened museum. I think it's pretty well done. The glass stairs are a little scary.

As you can see below, Mifflin Street is an amalgamation of a bunch of house parties. It's about two blocks long and spills over into the neighboring blocks. There were many people all over the place and even more rubbish strewn about. All day long today it's been drizzling so we just walked from one end to the other and back. Although there is much inebriation, I did not take part. Even now, I can hear the music, people, and sirens from the party.

I took a lot of pictures, and here are the best. The first two are from my lair (dorm room) high above Dayton Street. The third is from the Art Museum. Who knew that you can't take pictures of the art? And the rest are from Mifflin.














Tuesday, April 25

College Republicans-hot off the press

I just got back from the CR meeting. Since it's the last meeting of the year we had elections.

Ashok Kumar won the Enemy of Freedom award
CR of the Semester goes to David Lapidus

Officer Positions:

Erica Christenson-Chair
LaVonne Derksen-1st Vice Chair
Craig Nipple-2nd Vice Chair
Your's Truly-Secretary
Paula Callahan-Treasurer

I though that my speech was pretty good, except when having to trim it down to the abridged version because the meeting was passing the 90 minute mark, I accidentally left out, what I thought, was the best paragraph:

Brothers and sisters! Be not afraid of the liberals, for although we commute daily up and down the steps of the celebrated ivory tower, and from time to time we face Bill and co-op, empowered with the power of hemp, we still have each other. It’s like that saying: the only thing we have to fear is death. Death and taxes.

and then I ended with

In conclusion, vote Fay for emperor.
Paid for by Friend of Mike Fay, Mike Fay chair.

From what I did say, everyone probably thinks I'm nuts now.

Get 'um while they last

Be sure to check out this week's Mendota Beacon. It's the last for this semester. In the Op/Ed's we've got Bob and Mike W. reflecting back on the paper and the first year at college, respectively, while Jenna is looking forward to the fall elections. Also, newcomer Katherine writes about oil. I like the title to her article, "In United States, oil consumes you!". I thought of it myself, it's like those Russian reversals, another one I though of would be 'In Soviet Russia, IPod shuffles you!". Sorry for that tangent.


In other news, this is the last edition for this year. I wish the founders and the other graduating seniors Good Luck with their futures.

Thursday, April 20

Where?


I took this picture today. Where is this corridor?

Wednesday, April 19

My look into the Future

Seeing China's President Hu Jintao sizing up visiting the U.S. makes me wonder about the future as China gains economic clout. To me, it looks like the 2040's are going to be a really crappy decade.

First, social security is scheduled to exhaust its ‘trust’ fund at the end of the 40’s. That’s a happy thought because in 2050, I’ll be 64 so I’ll have paid social security my entire working life for nothing. Congress, give us private accounts please! Not even that, don’t take anything and I’ll save for myself, and if I forget to, I won’t complain about it (I’ll make my future kids pay for me). Unfortunately for the U.S. we’ve aborted one fourth of our kids, +40 million since the early 1970’s. But that’s a different rant.

On the international front, China’s economy is projected to surpass ours in the early 40’s.

Among other things from this article:

-Since 1978, China has averaged 9.4% annual GDP growth

-China has $750 billion in foreign exchange reserves and is the second-biggest oil importer

-China has about $1 trillion in personal savings and a savings rate of close to 50%; U.S. has about $158 billion in personal savings and a savings rate of about 2% (The Wall Street Journal, Nov 19, 2005)

-Last year it turned out 442,000 new engineers a year; with 48,000 graduates with master's degrees and 8,000 PhDs annually; compared to only 60,000 new engineers a year in the US.

The last one is a little scary. Perhaps it's just because I'm an engineering student.

The article I cited above, is by a retired brigadier general who worked in intelligence in the Philippines. He describes a worst-case scenario of a war between us and China, where even without a powerful force, China wipes out our aircraft carriers, the projection of our power.

I'm not a hawk; a war with China would be magnitutes worse than WWII for the world, but that's the potential next big war I see happening. A look at history--War of 1812 (cheating Europe's taxes on shipping), Spanish-American (started over U.S. sugar plantations in Cuba), Hawaii, Japan (at beginning of WWII)--shows that wherever the economy goes, soon the military follows and our economies will be bumping up against each other from opposite sides of the ocean. Hopefully, India should emerge as a counterweight conviently on an ocean we don't touch.

As China grows in the future, we will fade like Britain after WWII when its empire broke apart. Although, it will be interesting to watch China in this new century. They have decided to liberalize their economy with the politics to follow, whereas Russia has done the opposite, liberalizing their politics, with their economy coming later. I can only hope that as the average person in China gains some wealth, education, and property he’ll demand his rights and a decent government, causing reforms and China to finally dump their communism. “Democracies don’t go to war against each other” as the President said.

Letters in Bottles is also watching China

Tuesday, April 18

Ah heck!

Other people are doing it (Right off the Shore and L.I.B.) so I though why not?


You scored as Republican. <'Imunimaginative's Deviantart Page'>

Republican


100%

Anarchism


83%

Fascism


33%

Socialist


25%

Communism


17%

Democrat


17%

Green


8%

Nazi


0%

What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In?
created with QuizFarm.com


Well, no surprises there. I was thinking about it the other day that if the Republicans and the anarchist whackos could hook up, together we could cut the size of the government. The only problem that I seem to see is that the anarchists want to make some kind of communistic wonderland coughbillcough.

Check out the new Beacon today!



Be sure to check out the new Mendota Beacon today! We’ve got articles about the results from ASM’s election*, Tommy Thompson, the Paul Barrows case, and more. In the Op/Ed section, we’ve got Jenna about universal health care, Mike W writing on open-mindedness, Bob takes a look immigration from a historical perspective, and I write about annexing Mexico. This was also my first issue that I edit the Op/Ed section so I’d like to thank everyone who wrote this week.

*subject to change

Let's go a'Googlin'

Have you ever wondered what the "I'm feeling lucky" button does on Google? Do an experiment, it'll only take a minute, I promise. Go to Google. Type in the word 'failure'. I won't ruin the surprise. Do it now!

I'm no search engine expert. I do know that "I'm feeling lucky" takes you directly to the first website from the results. If you're even more interested, look at the list that comes up from that search. I, personally, can't disagree with the second result.

Looking at this website would have you believe that really the only factors that Google ranks by are mainly keywords in the title or domain name and then links to other websites. Doing a search within the page reveals that 'failure' isn't on that website a single time.

Saturday, April 15

Trudging Along

Well, it seems I've been neglecting my blog lately. I've been working through a tough take home midterm the past couple of days. In the mean time, I saw this and it's pretty funny:



It seems they've left out 'steamroll', which is how he terminated John Edwards.

Tuesday, April 11

New Beacon Rocks!


There's a new Mendota Beacon out today! We leave no stone unturned, whether it be the ASM election lump of coal, slippery illegal immigration into which local schools have gotten involved, or the little piece of gold about Ripon & the GOP.

In the Op/Ed section, soon to fall under my tyrannical reign next week (finally), we've got Jenna with Immigration and Respect for the Laws and Bob with Paper Ballots and ASM throwing stones, just kidding. Finally, under my rock, I've written about how Madison should host the Olympics. Be sure to check it all out!

P.S. There's a College Republican meeting this evening at 7 in Grainger Hall.

Friday, April 7

What's wrong with this picture?

What's wrong with this picture?


I didn't make it up, it came from here.

4/18 What's wrong with the picture? Notice the shadows. They're about 90 degrees off from where they should be. When I first looked at this picture, it looked a little fishy. It seems they drew in the sun, which is rather strange.

Thursday, April 6

Fun with Fotoshop

Well, it's so hot at ASM that things are about to spontaneously combust, which is very bad because evidentally, Memorial Union has outdated fire alarms and sprinklers. It got even more messed up when they cancelled the elections, again, after the computer system broke again. And they're thinking about throwing out the results from the referendums.

It should get interesting soon. By their constitution, they're required to have completed their elections by next Wednesday at sunset, about 5.5 days.

Along with some fine coverage of recent developments over at Letters in Bottles, Brad put up a logo for the new Student Government. Having recetly aquired Photoshop, I put one together myself: (I reused the 'cap' idea from Brad, it's pretty funny)


Requested: Input

During the “Vote No Panel” at the College Republican’s meeting last week, one on the speakers, a marine, made the comment that, I can’t remember exactly so I’ll paraphrase, ‘God put men on earth to protect women and children’. There was a comment on another blog that called that comment sexist or something. I’m not quite sure what to think about it and I’m curious to see what you readers think so feel free to leave a comment.

Wednesday, April 5

Good Grief!

Locally, here on campus,
WUFIP lost and Living Wage won-good, bad, respectivley

Ashuk Kumar beat Dave Lapidus for county board-not good

In in the state,
What a surprise! 24 of 32 communities approve the war referendum-very bad
On the bright side, most of the votes were somewhere in the 40%-60% range, except for Madison and another city. Madison voted 24,344 yes and 11,252 no which is 68% and 31%.

link to all vote results

Tuesday, April 4

New Beacon Out Today!


The second issue of the Mendota Beacon as a weekly is out today! A timely theme to many of the articles is voting, whether it be the ASM debacle and subsequent revolution, the war referendum, or the race for the governor's office. Don't forget the Presidency, Iran, or the Brewers.

In the opinion/editorial section, leading off is the Ed Board's "Mandate for Change", followed by Mike Woofter hitting hard with his "15% Turnout: a Shameful Record", next Elijah Sheets hits one up the gap with "Punching a Hole in Balanced Media", and finally, heavy-hitter Robert Thelen doesn't disappoint with "Farewll & Good Riddance, ASM".

I was a little saddened to find that my article didn't make it, although that's understandable when there are relevant opinions to current events. Besides I'm consoled by the fact that next week's issue will contain my debut as Op/Ed editor, as I'll be taking gradually taking on the role of the editor starting with doing the layout.

Vote No to Cut and Run

Today's the day here in Madison for the referendum to decide whether we should withdrawal immediately or not. If you're not located near here, you probably think I'm hallucinating or something, but it's true, there's a referendum here about that today. It's pretty looney, Madison doesn't decide foreign policy. I'll be voting no, hopefully. As the marine, I can't remember his name, said at the "vote no panel", "If it passes, it'll break the soldiers' hearts."

Update: 1:15 PM
I just voted. Excluding the war referendum, it was just local offices, judges and school board. I asked the ballot lady, I was #44 and the place that she had came from had about 230 voters. Much lower turnout than I figured for the place next to three dorms with about 3,000 people in them.

Monday, April 3

It's a College Life

This week is one of those crazy midterm weeks. This evening, I have an Economics 101 midterm, and Wednesday I have a Statistics 224, Statistics for Engineers, midterm. If you would like to see what the example test the econ professor gave us looks like, click here for the questions and here to see the answers (I tried to hide names to protect the innocent). I guess they're really not that bad.

Statistics will be more difficult. The material can be hard, but I like the professor because she's kind of crazy, in a good way. For example, one of the example problems we had today was:

There's a poll for an election. 351 people were surveyed and 185 said they'd vote for Nader.Within a 95% confidence level, what's the probability he'll win?

The answer is 19 times out of 20, he'll get between 47.5% and 57.9% of the vote.

She then went into an 'oration', which she's prone to doing. This one was about how all the people in her neighborhood are dummies because they vote blindly for democrats. I guess she can't take Madison either. Then it was about how dems and the GOP are really all the same. Then she told us about an experiment she did with the voting machines. She voted for a third party candidate, and in the local results, that person didn't get any votes.

Don't get the wrong impression, I like her and her lectures.

Voting Update

Evidently, voting on the referendums is back online. You can click here to vote (NO) twice.

Steve S in the Student Government Blog makes an excellent point debunking the post ASM's chair made.

So let's take a look at what Eric Varney has to say:
As I sit here writing from the fifth floor of the Memorial Union--overlooking beautiful Langdon Street and a facade of the State Historical Society--I ponder what facet of ASM I should share with the public.

I guess he didn't realize that he shouldn't have to ponder what facet of ASM to share. The correct answer is: we'll share every facet with all of you, all the time.

Saturday, April 1

Springtime for Madtown & some Architecture

It's finally springtime in Madison so I took my camera with me as I walked from my dorm Ogg to Memorial Union. Here are some pictures, enjoy!

the lovely dorms


Looking up the pedestrian mall


Find the Capitol in this picture of University Avenue.


One of my favorite buildings on campus because it looks English:


The last two pictures are of something I've noticed. The State Historical Society and Memorial Library, which sit opposite each other on Library Mall, look like the same building but in two different styles. The Historical Society was built at the turn of the century while the library was built in the 50's.

Correction in the Bill of Rights

I saw this on a blog I happened across and though it was pretty funny:

“We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other anal retentive bed-wetters.

We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights.”

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone–not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, click the mouse and LEAVE a particular Blog if you don't like it, etc.

ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing . Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.

ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we’re just not interested in public health care.

ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don’t be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don’t be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won’t have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

ARTICLE VIII: You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.

ARTICLE IX: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

ARTICLE X: This is an English speaking country. We don’t care where you are from, English IS our language. Learn it or go back to wherever you came from! (lastly….) NOW..

ARTICLE XI: You do not have the right to change our country’s history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, and if you are uncomfortable with it, TOUGH!!!!