"Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense."
- Mark Twain

"Anyone who combines politics and baseball is an idiot, because everyone knows that ping-pong is the greatest sport. Oh, and I'm really a Communist who hates NASCAR and listens to Joan Baez in the dark.
-- Glenn Reynolds

About the author
Andre Vladimir Sebastian is a figment of your imagination. Honestly, you really could have done better than him, now couldn't you? Next time, put a little effort into it.

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Rejoice. Steve Guttenburg is back.

  posted by AVS @ 11.10.03


Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez should be fined, suspended, and made to pay the Social Security taxes for the entire membership of the AARP for grabbing 72-year-old Yankees coach Don Zimmer by the head and throwing him to the ground. I've never seen a less defensible act by a baseball player.

  posted by AVS @ 11.10.03

SHOWCASE: I vote for Madfish Willie.

  posted by AVS @ 11.10.03

Woman Drives Car Onto Runway Toward Air Force One
A woman drove her car onto the runway and headed toward Air Force One at Manchester Airport today as President Bush was at a speaking event here, his first in New Hampshire this year. Security officers -- it's not yet clear whether they were Secret Service or airport security -- rammed her car to stop her, then leapt out and arrested her on the spot. It's not yet known why she drove onto the runway, but I know that airport well, and I can tell you that it is a newcomer's nightmare. The combination of abundant construction and few directional signs makes it very easy to get lost. A friend of mine jogs there daily and is constantly stopped by lost drivers asking directions. It is very possible she just got lost and veered onto the runway by accident. However, some witnesses said she was driving very fast, so maybe she was trying to ram Air Force One, as the Secret Service apparently suspected. I'll update as more news becomes available.

UPDATE: She was going about 75 mph and claimed to be "radioactive",

She was stopped by two airport employees.

Police unlikely to press charges.

  posted by AVS @ 9.10.03


SHOWCASE: The vote goes to Another Rice Grad.

  posted by AVS @ 5.10.03


Red Sox v. Oakland in game 3 last night was one to remember for a long, long time. What a GAME!

  posted by AVS @ 5.10.03

Resort University
The New York Times has a belated but great story on the amenities "arms race" among American colleges and universities.

In the abstract, Kathy Anzivino believes there must be some pinnacle of amenities that universities simply cannot surpass, some outer limit so far beyond the hot tubs, waterfalls and pool slides she offers at the University of Houston that even the most pampered students will never demand it and the most recruitment-crazed colleges will never consent to put it on their grounds.

She just has a hard time picturing what that might be.

"There's got to be one, but what it is, I don't know," said Ms. Anzivino, director of campus recreation at the university, which opened a $53 million wellness center this year.

Beyond its immense rotunda stands a five-story climbing wall that looks as if it was transported straight from Arches National Park, while boulders and palm trees frame the leisure pools outside.

"Everyone says it looks like a resort," she said.

Whether evident in student unions, recreational centers or residence halls (please, do not call them dorms) the competition for students is yielding amenities once unimaginable on college campuses, spurring a national debate over the difference between educational necessity and excess.

Critics call them multimillion-dollar luxuries that are driving up university debts and inflating the cost of education. Colleges defend them as compulsory attractions in the scramble for top students and faculty, ignored at their own institutional peril. And somewhere in the middle sit those who have only one analogy for the building boom taking place.

"An arms race," said Clare Cotton, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts. "It's exactly the psychology of an arms race. From the outside it seems totally crazy, but from the inside it feels necessary and compelling."

Washington State University has a jacuzzi that holds 53 people.

The University of Pennsylvania has room-sized golf simulators.

Ohio State University is building "a 657,000-square-foot complex featuring kayaks and canoes, indoor batting cages and ropes courses, massages and a climbing wall big enough for 50 students to scale simultaneously."

The University of Mississippi is building a full-sized water park.

And amidst all of this, university administrators have the audacity to call for increased federal student aid and increased state tuition subsidies because, they whine, college costs are rising too rapidly for students from moderate-and-low-income families to afford them.

  posted by AVS @ 5.10.03

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