Wednesday, November 29

Isn't it ironic?

Don't you think? The big picture on today's Badger Herald:

I actually didn't have to Photoshop this one, though I did anyway (just kidding. I saw how well the last one went over, but really, I did that quickly. (And, no duh it's all in the same type, I drew it myself.)) I actually mean to blog more, but it's just that I just got done with a Dynamics midterm and now have to write a geography paper, do tons of homework, and it's a publishing weekend). The ironic thing, I think, is that the Sierra Club gave a ton of identical paper postcards to the chancellor telling him to stop burning coal in our power plant, as if seeing the same message a thousand times makes it any less crazy. Indeed, chopping down trees helps mitigate global warming. If it were me (and don't think that we at the Mendota Beacon don't get piles of hate mail; we don't) it takes all of about 5 seconds to throw the pile away. For any activist group: a far more annoying and invasive scheme to pound your inconsequential message into the Chancellor's head (he's an engineer, by the way) would be to send lots of emails, mixing up the subject line, too. However, I don't condone doing that.

Monday, November 20

A weekend protest?

Here's a picture of the protest they had here in Madison over the weekend on the front of the Badger Herald. It's not really clear what they were protesting.

Sunday, November 19

Registration: Spring 2007

Earlier today, I registered for next semester's classes. It was so exciting: classes filling up and opening every time the timetable is refreshed, wrong class numbers (that you don't find out until the thing pops up for '18th Century Portuguese Literature independent study'), explosions, battles, and sword fights.

As you can imagine, registration isn't really that exciting, but playing the sound track to 'Gladiator' can make anything dramatic.

Finding classes for next semester really isn't that hard.

  1. Read the curriculum.
  2. Look at the timetable.
  3. Decipher.
  4. Repeat until you've got 12-18 credits.

Within a minute of my registration time I had the numbers I got from the timetable (53715, ±¾i, B6, XIV, I-94) plugged into the system. I then found out that two of my sections were full and two other classes conflicted. I used creative repositioning, the timetable, and the schedulizer to finally get all the classes I wanted. It was no small feat. As it turns out, I snuck into a class that was full by registering for its cross-listed counterpart. Ha ha suckers!

Here's what I'm taking:

  • Statistics 275: 99 Exciting Ways to Die
  • Classics 312: Conversational Pig Latin II
  • Art Hist 195: Periodicals in Ancient Egyptian Pop Culture
  • Naval Science 380: Swashbuckling I
  • Naval Science 345: Laughing while Jumping off Objects
  • Mech Engineering 224: Applied Slide Rule Lab
  • Botany 278: The Environmental Impact of Migratory Coconuts

In hindsight, I suppose the joke's on me, since on Thursday, I've got class from 7:45 am to 10 pm. Luckily, it's not straight lectures. Instead it's 2 lectures and 3 labs in two buildings, Engineering Hall and Chamberlain. But, my MWF is looking nice. I have 1,2,2 classes, respectively.

Thursday, November 16

Special Editorial

Many times the op/ed's in the student newspapers are unintentionally rather funny. I normally page through Badger Herald online because their articles allow comments. (The Daily Cardinal ought to get comments, too. That'd probably help their readership. ) The comments are usually a good reality check for whoever penned their craziness.

Today in the BH, there's a rather funny op/ed piece about how voting is bad. It was written by UW-Madison's favorite self described "Community Activist, Anti-Authoritarian Social Revolutionary and Anarchist philosopher." It saddens me to find out he's graduated. You may remember him from his frequent commenting on Letters in Bottles.

Even funnier than the actual article are the comments.

  • "who describes themselves as a "Social Revolutionary"? I'm sure Che didn't have that printed on business cards."
  • "Finally a moment when Democrats and Republicans can unite... and call this guy a moron."
  • "He's not a socialist, he's an anarchist... but still, he's a moron."
  • "How does a Community Activist, Anti-Authoritarian Social Revolutionary and Anarchist philosopher make a living these days? If the answer is free-market capitalism, I will figuratively crap myself."

Tuesday, November 14

Crazy college students!

Today, I picked up one of each daily student newspaper. I got a little chuckle out of their editorial board pieces about the challenge to the recent student referendum to remodel the student unions and raise student fees by about $100 per semester for 30 years.

First, from the slightly left from center, Badger Herald:

... we adamantly oppose the dramatic increase in student-segregated fees mandated by the initiative. We do not support the initiative itself on the grounds that it would put too heavy a burden on students ... the low voter turnout in the paper-ballot elections further fueled our distaste for the measure...

They took the stance that the only thing we have left to do is to beg the chancellor to not allow it to happen.

And now the, out past the left foul pole, Daily Cardinal:

... the UW-Madison Student Judiciary handed down what hopefully spells the end of challenges to the Student Union Initiative victory. The unanimous decision to throw out the case indicates that the Student Judiciary sees the situation as clearly as this editorial board ... [it] fell within constitutional limits. Even the language of the referendum made this clear: It asked students to “support the... plan proposal and the segregated fee increase to help fund it

As for the referendum, I really like how, according to the student president of the union said two weeks ago

So what are the next steps? There is a formal design committee that consists of nine students, two UW staff, two faculty and two alumni. In addition, there will be many subcommittees and open forums to gather input, ideas and feedback from anyone who wishes to be involved.

I don't know much, but it seems like it's a much better idea to decide what to build first and then figure out how much money to procure instead of getting more than $200 million and trying to decide what to toss in. There's that saying about the grocery store and being hungry, well, if you've got $200 million in your pocket, you'd better make a list and stick to it. Especially because it's student run, most of campus turns over every 4 years.

Imagine asking a little kid to redecorate his room and see how long he can settle on one thing. Also, you probably won't spend more than $200 for at most a little paint. Now imagine 40,000 college students, 2 buildings, and 1,000,000 times as much money. What if what they had planned only cost $50 million?

Just thinking about it, two years ago my high school got a $40 million referendum to double the size of the school and they got the works. $200 million for two unions seems like a little much. Ug, that and the whole propaganda campaign they waged! I'll post about that later. Besides only 7% of the students even voted! Total!

40,000 students x $96 x 2 semesters x 30 years = $230 million

For some more laughs, the DC ed. board also wrote about our very own senator potentially running for President in 2008 in "Rational Russ".

While popular here in the Badger state, Feingold would have been a long shot to get the Democratic nomination. He lacks the name recognitions and minority status of two of his likely opponents, namely U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill. ... Unfortunately, the rest of the country will never learn what Wisconsinites already know—Russ Feingold rocks!

I'm not one for clich├ęs, but, like, gag me with a spoon.

Friday, November 10

Let It Snow!

Today after being dark all day, and low 60's yesterday, it has started to snow. As I type, I can hear the first snow plow of the season rumble by on Park Street.

Looking west, Camp Randall is on the horizon, (click for a larger picture for both)

Looking north up Park Street

Wednesday, November 8

On the recent elections



Oh well, the sun still rose and cafeteria food is still gross.

The Republicans need to get back to basics: small government, low taxes, and high standards.

The news is just breaking that the dems have the Senate, too. On the bright side, it's pretty much right down the middle so neither party will be able to go overboard in either direction.

Here in Wisconsin, Doyle and Baldwin were reelected. There was a victory, J.B. won the A.G. race by the skin of his teeth. Also, the marriage amendment passed, overwhelmingly.

All around, the past few days haven't been to good for Republicans. Lucky for us, now there won't be a shortage of democratic fiascoes to write about in the newspaper. As Dennis York wrote, "Democrats will show us how a bad war is supposed to be run (see LBJ)."

Let's see how things are going in two years.

Wednesday, November 1