Fun fact: When I was 13, Skid Row was, like, my totally favorite band. So forgive me if I haven't quite got words for the truly bizarre thing that is Skid Row's Sebastian Bach singing a power ballad about the Ducks:
It's a tiny bit curious that the only truly Eugene-specific reference in the entire song is to "Steelhead on Pearl." Conspiracy theories, anyone?
(We'll just ignore, for now, the fact that the song? It ain't Bach's finest moment...)
I have no words.
Well, I do. One is to follow Demonsheep on Twitter.
(Sit through the entire thing. Really. It is so, so splendidly bizarre, from the East Coast accented voiceover to the ... well, you'll have to see it for yourself.)
EDIT: Here's a Bay Area editorial headlined, "Fiorina's demon sheep ad destroys real debate." Ya think?
Lost in the guffaws is the video's fundamental meanness. It is unfair and misleading. We're disappointed to see Fiorina sink to this level. What's the point of running as a political outsider if you're going to get down in the mud with the hacks?
I so did not think the "fundamental meanness" got lost. You?
Sick of the election? It's almost over! But here's a break from it (with math!):
Image courtesy Wiki Commons
Some Official People at the UO sent out an email yesterday. Before you read it, know that I just gave my Reporting 1 students a midterm asking them to define the fog index.
Don't know the fog index?
Here's the way to calculate it, according to Tim Harrower's Inside Reporting (aka Our Beloved Reporting 1 Textbook):
â€¢ Count the number of words in your sample.
â€¢ Count the number of sentences.
â€¢ Count the number of big words (3 or more syllables).
â€¢ Calculate the average sentence length.
â€¢ Calculate the percentage of big words.
â€¢ Add the average sentence length to the percentage of big words.
â€¢ Multiply the result by .4.
Now, according to Harrower and most other sources, a readable fog index runs between 4 and 8. Harrower gives a great example of a Winston Churchill speech, very stirring, with a fog index of 4. (I think mine is pretty high. But not this high.)
With that in mind, here's the email that went to a Very Official List:
Subject: Facilities and Administrative Cost Rate â€“ FY2009 Space Data
As you know, the recent Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost negotiation resulted in a significantly reduced rate, impacting all research centers and institutes and others receiving ICC returns. Since F&A recoveries on sponsored projects are largely dependent on data from the university's space inventory, we are anxious to evaluate this fiscal year's space data with a goal of using fiscal year 2010 as the next base year for re-negotiating the rate.
The 2008-9 inventory of spaces allocated to your unit(s) will soon be sent to space management staff. They will be asked to update the inventory with current utilization and associated information and return it to Campus Planning and Real Estate no later than December 12, 2008.
Business Affairs and Campus Planning and Real Estate have scheduled two informational meetings tentatively scheduled for the week of November 11 to explain to departmental and research space managers how the space data impacts the F&A rate and to answer any questions related to accurate utilization coding. Each unit's space manager will be notified directly of the meeting times and locations.
Please forward this information to your responsibility units and ask them to encourage their space management staff and other appropriate staff to attend one of these meetings.
"Scheduled two informational meetings tentatively scheduled."
"Space management staff."
Anyhoo, let's calculate the fog index on this little puppy.
â€¢ Number of words=205
â€¢ Number of sentences=7
â€¢ Number of big words=42
â€¢ Average sentence length=205/7=29.3
â€¢ Percentage of big words=42/205*100=20.4
â€¢ Add 29.3+20.4=49.7
â€¢ Multiply 49.7*.4=19.9.
So the email hovers around 20. OK, that's ... doable. I mean, I read the New Yorker for fun, and I'm pretty sure the fog index in that mag is higher than 20.
Still. One sentence ...
Business Affairs and Campus Planning and Real Estate have scheduled two informational meetings tentatively scheduled for the week of November 11 to explain to departmental and research space managers how the space data impacts the F&A rate and to answer any questions related to accurate utilization coding.
... has a fog index of 28 (47 words, 11 "big"). Yowch!
But regardless of the fog index â€” to which I'm starting to think we should add a calculation for official jargon â€” what the hell are they talking about?
Seriously. Listen to yourselves, people! Pretty much assuming this email was not read aloud by the senders.
Maaaaybe a good idea from here on out?
OTOH, people who think up "utilization coding" and "space management staff" without laughing at themselves ... well, that read aloud thing may not help them.
So ... I stare at this collage almost everyday when I walk by it. It's on the back of a stop sign at 12th & Washington. While I am thoroughly entertained, I am also really really curious. There's GOTTA be some sorta meaning to this ... maybe ... right?
Credit Jeff Belmonte under Creative Commons licensing at Wiki Commons
I know I've posted a lot today. But I cannot, cannot, resist posting about how perfect straight marriage is.
This NYT piece might be the most amazing of many unbelievable articles I've read in recent days.
The article, by Danny Hakim and Trymaine Lee, begins ...
ALBANY â€” In an extraordinary news conference on his first full day on the job, Gov. David A. Paterson acknowledged on Tuesday that he had had several extramarital relationships, including one with a state employee, but said he had done nothing illegal and had been faithful to his wife in recent years.
But it goes on. OH, does it go on. (The bolding is mine.)
Mr. Paterson said no state funds had been used as he carried out his affairs. He said he may have used his campaign credit card for some expenses that he did not detail, but said, if so, he would have reimbursed his campaign for the spending.
Neither the governor nor his staff would specify when he stopped having the affairs, beyond saying several years ago.
â€œSeveral years ago, and there were a number of women,â€ Mr. Paterson said during the news conference.
There are really, really important other things to post about. Like Barack Obama's extraordinary speech (I'm sure Chuck, Molly or I will post that soon). Like Linda Burnham's extraordinary calling out of white feminists. But ... but ...
Mr. Paterson said he had had affairs at a time when he â€œwas jealous over Michelleâ€ but later said he â€œdidnâ€™t take the actions because I was jealous; I was just trying to explain how I was feeling.â€
â€œIâ€™m not trying to blame anyone,â€ he added. â€œIâ€™m not trying to say I was upset, so you canâ€™t blame me. I was just pointing out that this happens to people.â€
I think he means, "This happens to married straight people, except in Massachusetts and a few countries*, where it can happen to teh married gays as well."
*South Africa, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Canada