My parents went to Yale Law School today for a lecture by Elie Wiesel. I know this because my dad was sufficiently tickled about being there that he called me to tell me about it (and to tell me they’d picked up a copy of the Yale Daily News and thus saw the editorial in support of the Daily Trojan that 18 college newspapers, including Yale’s, published today).
Anyway, my parents probably didn’t know it, but Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit — the guy who made their son famous, sorta — was also at Yale Law School today, at right around the same time they were. Glenn was in town for a panel discussion on blogs, law and the Internet hosted by the Yale Law Federalist Society. The Wiesel lecture was at 4:30, the Reynolds panel at 6:10, so my parents probably could have attended both if they’d known about Glenn’s event — but it’s probably just as well they didn’t, because I’m pretty sure lightning would strike my ’60s flower-child mom if she ever darkened the door at a Federalist Society event. :)
I may get a chance to meet Glenn (er, Professor Reynolds) at UT Law School later this month when I’m in Knoxville for a judicial clerkship interview. Here’s hoping. He’s sort of like my blog-idol. ;) In fact, among all the crazy things that happened during my 15 minutes of post-Katrina fame last fall, doing a joint radio interivew with Glenn on Hugh Hewitt’s show made me more starstruck than anything else did. I know, I know, I’m a giant dork. Then again, so is Glenn (just look at his picture!), which I think is part of the reason I like him so much. Heh. We nerdy-looking blogger/lawyer types have to stick together!
The NFL has suspended New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Hollis Thomas for the rest of the season because of a positive steroids test. Good! you say. Well except for the fact that the positive test is due to his prescription asthma medication. Classy NFL, real classy. Way to encourage all those asthmatic kids out there who fight through the disease so they can participate in sports. Sorry Thomas, if you want to play for the NFL, you have to do it without being able to breathe.
Who will be Max Mayfield’s successor at the National Hurricane Center? We’ll find out tomorrow. (Hat tip: WXNation.) The rumored front-runner is Bill Proenza, whose last name sounds like a prescription drug. (Ask your doctor if Proenza is right for you.) Margie Kieper has more:
Not only was Max Mayfield’s retirement unexpected, but things have not gone that smoothly in the search for a new director. There is speculation that the current appointment may be a short-term one. Proenza has around 40 years of service — more than the retiring Mayfield, who has 34. In the mid-sixties, Proenza worked at the NHC and with hurricane reconnaissance. And the response of someone in the field who was recently interviewed, when asked if he was a candidate for the position, was that he didn’t apply “this time,” and that he was “keeping his options open.” …
Max has so completely excelled at the position of director, in both the public and internal aspects of the job, that it is hard to imagine anyone else filling those shoes. Subsequent speculation about who could, and who would also be willing to do so, has included many candidates, some far afield, even though there is a tradition of promoting from within at NHC. And it has been kept a tight secret outside the community, as this morning’s Miami Herald was still speculating about who would be the new director. After the initial announcement [of Mayfield’s retirement] on August 25th, it became clear there was no obvious first choice, and NOAA bought time by extending the job opening for an additional month after the original closing date for applications, and suggesting that Ed Rappaport would be the heir apparent (he declined for personal reasons and the extensive amount of travel required). …
[E]veryone is sorry to see Max leave. With the potential for more active seasons looming, the idea of a change at the helm of the NHC, from such capable hands, was not welcomed. But things change. After tomorrow, the spotlight will be on the new director, who will have almost six months to become a trusted presence on the national scene before next year’s Atlantic hurricane season.
On a related note… what with all the football madness, Daily Trojan kerfuffles and other stuff going on last week, I failed to make note of the official end of the 2006 hurricane season last Thursday. In fact, the last two hurricane-related posts on my blog were by Jay Johnson and Briandot. I haven’t blogged about hurricanes since October 1!
There’s a reason for that, of course. It was, as it turns out, a rather anticlimactic year in the tropical Atlantic, especially after all the hair-on-fire warnings of a hyperactive season with hurricanes hitting the East Coast. There were, in the end, nine tropical storms, five hurricanes, and two major hurricanes — making for a slightly below-average season, in stark contrast to all the forecasts of a significantly above-average season. (Hat tip: Andrew Leyden.) Then again, we shouldn’t be too stunned that the forecasts were wrong; after all, it’s not like they correctly predicted 28 storms in 2005 right, either! Long-range forecasts are notoriously shaky, and the media really paid way too much attention to them this year.
Anyway, my politically minded readers will doubtless ask, what does this tell us about global warming? Answer: Precisely nothing. Just as those people who said that the 2005 season clearly proves that OMG OMG EVERY SINGLE SEASON WILL BE LIKE THIS FROM NOW ON BECAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING, AAAAHHH!!! were idiots, likewise those who now claim that the relatively inactive 2006 season disproves global warming are also idiots. Climate change is measured over decades and centuries, not individual years (let alone individual storms). The larger point is that, whether because of global warming or not, it’s clear that we are in a generally active hurricane cycle right now — but even active cycles have inactive years, and this was one of those, thanks in part to El Niño. Thank goodness. Coastal residents should count their blessings and then make sure they’re prepared for next year, because it won’t always be like 2006. The peace and quiet this year is no reason to become complacent.
It’s not “peace and quiet” everywhere, by the way. In the Philippines, the death toll from Typhoon Durian is well over a thousand, making it the worst tropical cyclone of 2006 anywhere in the world.
If you can’t light a match on an airplane to cover up the smell of your flatulence without thereby forcing the plane to make an emergency landing, the terrorists have already won.
This is cool. (Hat tip: Mark West.)
USC isn’t having a great week athletically (on Saturday our football team was stunned by UCLA, on Sunday our men’s water polo team fell to Cal in the national championship game, and on Monday our men’s basketball team failed to take advantage of numerous late scoring opportunities and lost to Kansas), but at least we can still engage in schadenfreude at Texas’s expense (link goes to Boi From Troy). Heh.
In quite possibly the stupidest thing that has ever happened, ever, New York City has banned artificial trans fats from its restaurants, taking the logic of municipal smoking bans and applying it to fatty foods. Which would make sense, if there was such a thing as “second-hand obesity.” As it is, I have a hard time even thinking of a plausible justification for this, let alone agreeing with it. It’s one thing to require labeling and full disclosure, but to ban something outright because it’s unhealthy for the individual consumer? The libertarian inside me is screaming.
UPDATE: Some decent arguments in favor of this measure are made in comments (along with some less decent ones). The best arguments are the ones relating to health-care costs. There are also some very good rebuttals. Overall, a healthy debate. Anyway, perhaps “no plausible justification” was an overstatement, but this sort of thing still definitely rubs me the wrong way.
A dozen-and-a-half college newspapers across the country, including the Daily Trojan itself (in its online edition) — though not, alas, the Observer — published a “collaboratively written editorial” today that blasts the USC administration for its actions in the Zach Fox controversy. The L.A. Times published it, too. Money quote:
Our society relies on its newspapers to check powerful individuals and institutions. An administration-controlled student paper poses the same threat to an academic community that a state-controlled press would to a nation; oversight limits the pressÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ ability to act as a watchdog and prevent misuse of authority. The USC administrationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s interference with the student press creates a chilling effect, forcing student journalists to weigh the risk of losing their jobs against the duty of writing a story about or questioning the administration. Such considerations hamper a paperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ability to do its job. If USC intends to imbue any journalistic values in its students, it must allow its students to be journalists without fear of administrative reproach.
The editorial reveals that Fox’s hand-picked successor, Jeremy Beecher, was approved by the Media Board yesterday. This despite the fact that, from what I understand, Beecher intended to go into the Media Board meeting and straightforwardly demand full editorial autonomy immediately, including disbanding of the Media Board process itself. I don’t know how that turned out, but I do know that Jeremy Beecher is officially the editor-in-chief. Sounds like progress.
P.S. The Daily Californian signed on to the collaborative editorial, but also published its own editorial, proposing a more radical solution: “when Michael L. Jackson, USC vice president for student affairs, announced last week that the board had refused to even hear the application of incumbent editor in chief Zach Fox, the choice of the TrojanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s employees, there should have been only one acceptable responseÃ¢â‚¬â€a staff walkout.”
Heh. Typical Berkeleyites. :)
The Daily Cal concludes: “while this editorial should not be interpreted as a call for the Daily Trojan to declare their independence, now is the time for bold action. Student publications across the country, from the Daily Californian to the Harvard Crimson, have united in support of the Trojan staff. But it is ultimately up to them to salvage their paper. And if history is any lesson, timid appeasement is hardly the way to go about it.”
My cell phone says I missed a call from Mike. He didn’t leave a message, but I’m guessing he was calling to complain that my bet-mandated “UCLA is superior to USC” post is scrolling down the homepage too fast. I’m not doing that deliberately — there’s just been a lot of stuff that I’ve wanted to blog about this evening/morning — so I’m not breaking the rules. Still, lest anyone think I’m violating the spirit of the bet, here’s the damn link again. Harumph.
Anyway, it’s not like the post isn’t getting plenty of readers. The UCLA message boards have caught on, so I’ve been getting a ton of hits to that particular post from places like BruinZone and BruinReportOnline. I’m also linked from a UCLA Facebook group. Bah. I hate UCLA.
The finals of the 2006 edition of Athlon’s cheerleader contest are underway. (Another hat tip: Scott Fort.) And I think it’s time to retire those “inbreeding” jokes, because once again it’s the West Virginia gal who has my vote.
That said, not to take anything away from the lovely Lindsey, but back in Round 3 — which was absolutely loaded with, uh, talent, yet somehow produced only one finalist — Valorie from Oregon was totally robbed!! East Coast Bias, I say!! :) I’m heartbroken: not only is she gorgeous, but she’s a Political Science & Journalism major. She coulda been a contender! I blame Pac-10 refs.
Then again, I wouldn’t be quacking so much about Valorie’s defeat if she’d lost to Gina from Minnesota or Heather from South Florida. But Caris from North Texas?! I mean, she’s okay, but c’mon! This voting makes about as much sense as the
Katherine Harris Poll.
Anyway, you can choose your cheerleader here.
P.S. This post brings to mind again the need for something along the lines of a “hot babes” category on the blog. I’ll have to work on that.
P.P.S. I love you, Becky. :)
With everything else that’s been going on, I hadn’t gotten around to posting about this, but Reggie Bush had a breakout game for the Saints on Sunday, scoring four — count ‘em, four! — touchdowns en route to a 34-10 victory. (Hat tip: Scott Fort.)
In other USC-related news, the Trojans lost to #12 Kansas in men’s hoops tonight. Oh, well.
Casey has cool pictures of lake-effect snow developing over Lake Erie.