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Morning Whip, 3/30/05

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The Whip Tennessee punched their ticket to the women's Final Four. My Snookums is (once again) delighted.

Johnny Cochran dies of a brain tumor. I can't help but think of a certain rhyming phrase using "head" and "dead" **. (I know it's really tasteless, but so was the OJ verdict.)

The Supreme Court yesterday heard arguments regarding peer-to-peer file sharing technology. This is another issue I'm not sure about -- both sides have decent arguments. The content producers have a reasonable expectation to profit from their work, but I have big problems with outlawing technology as a replacement for enforcing the law. For instance, there are lots of things in my garage (or my kitchen for that matter) that I could use for illegal purposes. Should crow bars be illegal? This is one of those "slippery slope" situations, I think.

Timing is everything. Vatican says Pope given feeding tube.

** If it's in your head, you might be dead. Sorry.

Report from the Regionals

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Just got back home from the women's basketball regional final, where Michigan State beat Stanford. No John Elway sighting tonight. Michigan State came out from half time on fire and got a 10 point lead before Stanford came back to make a game of it. The Spartans pulled away again towards the end for a 76-69 victory.

Among the highlights for this Jackrabbit was the entry on page 41 of the 2005 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship official program, in the article All Across America: News and Notes from the 2004-05 Season by Blake Whitney:

January 5, 2005 -- South Dakota State 86, Alabama 83
The former Division II power Jackrabbits, who won't be come full-fledged Division I members until 2008-09, picked up their second victory against a Southeastern Conference team with a three-point win in Tuscaloosa. The Jackrabbits beat Kentucky, 57-55, and routed Big 12 member Oklahoma State, 89-61, earlier in the season. South Dakota State, which also pushed then-No. 20 Purdue to the limit before losing by seven points, looks to have a bright future in Division I.

You might think my priorities are out of whack, but I do bleed yellow and blue, after all.

Now Snookums and I are settling in to watch the rest of the Rutgers-Tennessee game (Rocky Top!).

Morning Whip, 3/29/05

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The Whip Colleges do go out of business.
Si Tanka University in South Dakota is going under.
The school's financial crisis this academic year stems from the Bureau of Indian Affairs August declaration that Si Tanka no longer was eligible for about $1.4 million in federal funding for tribal colleges because the university's Indian student enrollment fell below 50 percent after it purchased the Huron school.
Over the past 30 years, colleges in South Dakota (Yankton College, USD-Springfield) have closed their doors. It doesn't happen often but traditional campus-based colleges do occasionally go belly-up.

Thomas Sowell always has something interesting to say:
It is fascinating to hear teachers say that having to "teach to the test" reduces their ability to engage in good teaching. What they call "good teaching" is the very reason our students do so badly in international comparisons and why colleges have to have large numbers of remedial courses to teach students what they didn't learn in school.

Did you sleep well? Tell the truth . . .

College Basketball update:
UWM coach Bruce Pearl jumps to Tennessee.
Baylor and LSU advance to the Women's Final Four.

Morning Whip, 3/28/05

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The Whip Haven't heard of Sungard? That's OK, most people haven't. They provide computer services, primarily to financial companies. They're going private, in what is reported to be the second largest deal of its kind. The company had planned to spin off their disaster recovery business but that transaction is apparently on the rocks.

Somehow, a bag with a gun inside got through the security checkpoint at the Cincinatti airport.
The passenger and the bag were never found. . . . Confident the concourses were free of weapons, TSA officials reopened the concourses at 9:05 a.m. All passengers had to be rescreened before entering . . .

Finally this morning, Snookums and I saw a couple of pretty good women's basketball games last night. Vanderbilt lost to Michigan State, and Stanford beat Connecticut. We found ourselves in the Stanford section, about six rows behind John Elway whose daughter plays (or, more accurately, sits on the bench) for Stanford.
Attendance was disappointing, as Mechelle Voepel of the K.C. Star notes.

Morning Whip, 3/27/05

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The Whip Happy Easter, everyone.

We're working our way towards the Final Four on both the Men's and Women's side. Illinois and Louisville punched their tickets for St. Louis on the men's side, and LSU, Duke, Baylor, and North Carolina advance to the Regional Championships on the women's side.
The Women's Kansas City Regional kicks off tonight, where we'll see Michigan State-Vanderbilt and Connecticut-Stanford. Snookums and I will be there.

Closer to the Palatial Abode, congratulations to Washburn University for winning the Division II women's basketball national championship.

OOPS! Secret data returned to thief.

Jeremy Rifkin is worried about "chimeric experimentation," with an op-ed that begins with the line
"What happens when you cross a human and a mouse?"
Can someone tell me why we take this guy seriously? If you want to understand the moral implications, you're better off reading Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents or watch The Secret of NIMH than listening to Rifkin, who's been freaked about bioengineering for quite a while. Someone needs to explain to Jeremy how genetics works . . .

College Basketball Today

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Congratulations to Virginia Union, winners of the NCAA Division II championship!

Yesterday with the big boys, Michigan State beat Duke, Kentucky over Utah, Wisconsin beat NC State, and North Carolina over Villanova. Big Ten flexing its muscle over the ACC.

LSU dismantled Liberty 90-48 on the Women's side. In progress, Duke and Georgia. Later tonight, Minnesota-Baylor and Arizona State-North Carolina. Tomorrow: Texas Tech-Tennessee, Rutgers-Ohio State, Vanderbilt-Michigan State, and Connecticut-Stanford.

The New Medary.com

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As you can see, we're out with the old and in with the new at Medary.com. I'll continue to tweak and play for some time, but I'm pretty happy with the overall layout.

I'm not sure I like the sans-serif font type for the main entries (I tend to think serif fonts like Times Roman are easier to read) but we'll see what kind of response I get.

Anyway, comment on this article to let me know what you think.

Goodbye, Greymatter

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This weekend, Medary.com will say goodbye to the Greymatter content/blogging system and introduce a brand new look to the site.

I've got the new Geeklog software configured to the point where I can start converting our site content, then finish up with some of the other stuff (like figuring out how to display the Google advertising bar and the Amazon donation button). It's a bit awkward as I'm doing some fiddling and fudging between the two sites on the same server, and can't have them both available on the web at the same time without doing things I don't want to do.

The current bulletin board will go away, and it looks like the links page will be transformed as well. Both are actually OK, as the bulletin board wasn't going anywhere, and I was never particularly happy with the links page. The new software actually has some combined blog/bulletin board function, so I think that will overall be an improvement. Downside is those of you who registered on the bulletin board will need to re-register on the site once the migration is complete.

So, coming to a Web near you, Medary.com v2.0.

Morning Whip, 3/24/05

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The Whip Why socialized medicine is a really, really bad idea, from Toronto's Globe & Mail: He said a diagnosis of sleep apnea requires a sleep study and, in some parts of the country, the wait list stretches up to four years for the test.

Boulevard Beer Burgeons. Expansion plans of one of the country's best beer companies.

The Federal Election Commission has issued a proposed rulemaking on Internet Communications. They're requesting comments, folks. First glance doesn't appear as bad as the Blogosphere originally thought. They still need work though.

Specifically, the Commission proposes to retain a general exclusion of Internet communications from the definition of "public communication," except for those advertisements where another person or entity has been paid to carry the advertisement on its website, because these communications would constitute "general public political advertising." . . . Because only Internet communications that constitute "general public political advertising," as defined by the regulation, would be included in the proposed definition of "public communication" in section 100.26, the Commission anticipates that the proposed definition would have an extremely limited impact, if any, on the use of the Internet by individuals as a means of communicating their political views, obtaining information regarding candidates and elections, and participating in political campaigns.

All comments must be in writing, must be addressed to Mr. Brad C. Deutsch, Assistant General Counsel, and must be submitted in either electronic, facsimile, or hard copy form. Commneters are strongly encouraged to submit comments electronically to ensure timely receipt and consideration. Electronic comments must be sent to either internet@fec.gov or submitted through the Federal eRegulations Portal at www.regulations.gov. Any commenters who submit electronic comments and wish to testify at the hearing on this rulemaking must also send a copy of their comments to internettestify@fec.gov.

Morning Whip, 3/23/05

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The Whip My Snookums is happy. Tennessee Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt is now the winningest basketball coach in Division I history, passing Dean Smith with 880 career wins by beating Purdue in the NCAA playoffs, sending Tennessee to the Women's Sweet 16. UT responds by naming the floor at Thompson-Boling Arena The Summitt. Strike up the Band! Rocky Top!

Congress Shall Make No Law. Why is this so hard to understand? Today's Wall Street Journal editorial on "campaign finance reform" and its caustic effects on freedom of speech: McCain-Feingold has failed spectacularly in its stated goal of reining in fat-cat donors. Yet its uncompromising language has helped to gag practically every other politically active entity--from advocacy groups to labor unions. Now the FEC is being asked to censor another segment of society, the millions of individuals who engage in political activity online.

News from Science (Science Daily, to be exact):
Boston University Team Finds Link Between High Cholesterol And Better Cognitive Performance. (Bacon and eggs with butter, please, I know what I'm doing.)
Research Says Your Happiness Makes Your Partner Happy But Only If You Are Married. (Yes, dear . . . )
Light May Arise From Relativity Violations. (I see . . . )
Wolves Alleviate Impact Of Climate Change On Food Supply, Finds New Study (Yellowstone Wolves Combat Global Warning - chuckle).

Tragedy and Farce: Schiavo and Jackson.