March 31, 2005

New report on exit poll discrepancy

So, until today, I have been unwilling to go along with the so-called "tin-foil hat" crowd who believes that the 2004 election was stolen. Well, today I'm putting on my tin-foil hat. Everyone must read this report:

Analysis of 2004 Presidential Election Exit Poll Discrepancies

Its core finding is shocking:

...National poll results projected a Kerry victory by 3.0%, whereas the official count had Bush winning by 2.5%. Several methods have been used to estimate the probability that the national exit poll results would be as different as they were from the national popular vote by random chance. These estimates range from 1 in 959,000 to 1 in 1,240. No matter how one calculates it, the discrepancy cannot be attributed to chance.

It is a response to this document, put out by the Edison/Mitofsky group, which blamed the discrepancies on "reluctant Bush responders." It's theoretically plausible-- hell, I'd be ashamed to tell anyone that I voted for George W. Bush. Thank God I didn't. Or did I? How do I know? Was my vote counted? Who knows?

Posted by smit2174 at 7:52 PM

March 30, 2005

Wow. What a worthless day.

Today sucked. I got absolutely nothing accomplished, outside of going to class. I couldn't focus on anything. Mostly because I was extremely tired and sick. I even failed at napping!

The general suckiness of today may have had something to do with the fact that it was grey and rainy outside all day. That's weird, though-- normally I enjoy rainy days.

Oh-- one good thing-- I got a 99 on my Film midterm. That made me happy. Especially because I'm sure a lot of people bombed it. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Wait, that didn't make sense. Yep. It's just that kind of day.

Ah well. Tomorrow will be better. And if not, maybe the next day. For sure the next day will, 'cos it's Friday, and it's "Opening Night" of the College Democrats convention which UDFL is hosting here at the U. A lot of cool speakers are (or might be) coming-- Patty Wetterling, Matt Entenza, Dean Johnson, Amy Klobuchar, possibly even Mark Dayton. (If he comes it will be on Saturday.) Who knows-- maybe my hero Dan Miller will be there! *sigh*

And, if we can pull this off, it will be sure to be the highlight... ELEPHANT PINATAS!!! I think the kid who was in charge of getting them screwed it up (yes, even some Democrats are completely incompetent), so we probably won't have them, but if we did that would be sweet. It would give me great satisfaction to beat the hell out of that hated symbol of Republican indecency, corruption, meanness, and all-around un-American-ness. And then, once it was on the ground, I would stomp on it. Ha. Well, it's fun to imagine, anyway.

Posted by smit2174 at 11:00 PM

March 28, 2005

MN Daily article on MSA elections

I thought this article was pretty interesting. It's about how blogs and facebook groups are having an input on the debates leading up to the election for MSA President.

As the 2005 Minnesota Student Association presidential campaign heats up, technology is playing a greater role than ever before, candidates said.

MSA leaders and candidates said they keep updated on campaign news through several Web logs, known as blogs. Meanwhile, supporters of each campaign communicate through thefacebook.com, an online social network. Campaign Web sites also feature candidates’ biographies and stances.

MSA Forum member Aaron Solem, who writes one of the two blogs MSA candidates frequently visit, said technology has already affected this election cycle.

“We’re seeing candidates scrutinized much more often,” he said. “We’re seeing a freer, more open debate of ideas.”

Now, I think MSA sounds pretty boring, so I decided not to run even though I was encouraged to, and in fact nearly guaranteed to win. (Because of the all-powerful UDFL endorsement, not because of any divine charisma or great political prowess. In fact, I think I would be a pretty crappy student government member.) But I applaud those who sacrifice their time and mental capabilities to (hopefully) solve some of the problems the U is facing.

Posted by smit2174 at 11:37 AM

reach into the mail bag...

I got this email from Donny today:

subject: "jeanny" by falco

listen to it, learn it, because we're so doing it this
summer. hard. real
hard.

should be a synth, a piano, drums, and a hell of a vocalist
+ many backups.
brett, prep yourself.

dp


Jeanny, komm, come on
Steh auf - bitte, du wirst ganz naъ
Schon spДt, komm - wir mЭssen weg hier,
raus aus dem Wald, verstehst du nicht?
Wo ist dein Schuh, du hast ihn verloren,
als ich dir den Weg zeigen muъte
Wer hat verloren? Du dich?
Ich mich? Oder, oder wir uns?

*chorus*
Jeanny, quit livin' on dreams
Jeanny, life is not what it seems
Such a lonely little girl in a cold, cold world
There's someone who needs you
Jeanny, quit livin' on dreams
Jeanny, life is not what it seems
You're lost in the night, don't wanna struggle and fight
There's someone, who needs you, babe

Es ist kalt, wir mЭssen weg hier, komm
Dein Lippenstift ist verwischt
Du hast ihn gekauft und ich habe es gesehen (inflection)
Zuviel rot auf deinen Lippen und du hast gesagt:
"Mach mich nicht an"
Aber du warst durchschaut, Augen sagen mehr als Worte
Du brauchst mich doch, hmh?
Alle wissen, daъ wir zusammen sind ab heute,
jetzt hЖr ich sie! ****Sie kommen
Sie kommen, dich zu holen
Sie werden dich nicht finden
Niemand wird dich finden, du bist bei mir

(chorus)

Newsflash: In den letzten Monaten
ist die Zahl der vermiъten Personen
dramatisch angestiegen. Die jЭngste
VerЖffentlichung der lokalen
PolizeibehЖrde berichtet von einem
weiteren tragischen Fall. Es handelt
sich um ein neunzehnjДhriges
MДdchen, das zuletzt vor vierzehn
Tagen gesehen wurde. Die Polizei
schlieъt die MЖglichkeit nicht aus, daъ
es sich hier um ein Verbrechen handelt.

chorus x2 or x3 with falco screaming and such

Prepare yourself for more Brad Halen madness. Crap. I hope I don't have to play bass again...
COMING SUMMER 2005.

*Please submit your suggestions for other songs we can play.*

Posted by smit2174 at 10:55 AM

March 27, 2005

"Squats..." hahaha! [in which I complete today's trifecta of worthless posts]

Meteor Blades of The Next Hurrah says:

[...]George W. Bush still squats in the White House.
[emphasis mine.] The post itself was about gay marriage and is highly recommended. I'm more concerned with the language, though. "Squats." Hahaha. That is awesome.

Let us deconstruct.

via Answers.com

squat (skwŏt)

v., squat·ted, squat·ting, squats.

v.intr.

1. To sit in a crouching position with knees bent and the buttocks on or near the heels.
2. To crouch down, as an animal does.
3. To settle on unoccupied land without legal claim.
4. To occupy a given piece of public land in order to acquire title to it.

v.tr.

1. To put (oneself) into a crouching posture.
2. To occupy as a squatter.

What are the possible meanings of the verb "squat," and how can we apply them to our President?

a) George W. Bush is an illegal "squatter" in the White House. (Think about the stolen 2000 election and the possibly stolen 2004 election.)
b) George W. Bush is an animal. (Think "Chimpy.")
c) George W. Bush is taking a dump in the White House. (OK, this is not in the dictionary, but when examining language we must occasionally delve into the dark realm of "slang." Think about the way in which this administration has taken a metaphorical crap on: the lower and middle classes, the Constitution, the democratic process, etc.)

others?

Anyway, it's fun to think about. I thought it was a good word choice. Thumbs up, guys.

Posted by smit2174 at 11:01 PM

Happy Easter!

Mmm... black jelly beans...

Wow, today was the first Easter I didn't go to church in... well, the first one I can remember! I kinda miss church. Ah well. But I did celebrate by eating some asparagus egg bake. Sooooo good. And I got to see all the rellies. That was cool. And I watched some basketball.

Here's hoping yours was good, as well!

Posted by smit2174 at 10:42 PM

I'm baaaaack, for the third or fourth time

Yep. I know I haven't blogged in a while. GET OVER IT.

For Melissa, as well as others, but mostly for Melissa, here is some relevant poetry in the form of rap. Names have been changed to protect the innocent massage my ego. ;)

Dear [Pat], you still ain't called or wrote, I hope you have a chance. I ain't mad-- I just think it's f***ed up you don't answer fans.
--Eminem, "Stan"

Well, jeez, sorry. I try. Please don't get drunk and drive off a bridge with your pregnant girlfriend locked in the trunk just because I don't blog enough.


More entries to follow shortly. Gotta go get my laundry first.

Posted by smit2174 at 10:20 PM

March 6, 2005

Oldies

The convoluted history that has led to this entry:

Autumn, 1991: I board the school bus for the first time, off to the first day of kindergarten at Stonebridge Elementary School. The bus driver is a nice lady named Sue. She will be my primary mode of transportation to and from school for the next seven years. Each year on the last day of school before Christmas break, she will give me a candy cane. Each year on Valentine's Day, I will return the favor with a trendy paper valentine.

Each school day for the next seven years, I will board Sue's bus. Each school day for the next seven years, Sue will be listening to KOOL 108, the Twin Cities' premiere oldies station. By the time I reach the third grade, I know pretty much every song by heart.

Autumn turns to winter, winter turns to spring, and spring means the end of the school year and a summer away from Sue. But still the golden hits of the past haunt my dreams. I will be whistling them all summer, until the next autumn, when the cycle will begin again...

Thursday, March 3, 2005: Flash forward to the present. I am walking back from class on the Washington Avenue Bridge, chatting with a friend. We meander along, in no particular hurry, and our conversaton ambles with us. The conversation eventually turns to the subject of music. I hang my head and confess to her my shameful secret: I am a former oldies addict.

The words are out before I even know it. I'm so ashamed. I look up expecting to see a glare of reproachment and betrayal. Instead, I see the most beautiful smile.

Saturday, March 5, 2005: It is my roommate's birthday. Partly because of this, but mainly because I will do anything to avoid doing my homework, I decide to do him a favor. I decide to clean my side of the room and clean the bathroom. I fire up Rhapsody and choose a selection of golden oldies. The minutes fly by. Time flies when you're having fun. Good times, great oldies.

So, without further ado, here are a baker's dozen (that's 13 for all you non-bakers out there) of the greatest oldies ever. These are songs that will never die. They are part of all of us, as much a part of American history as Betsy Ross' Old Glory. This is not an all-inclusive nor an exhaustive list. It is not in any particular order. These are just some great songs.

The Mamas and the Papas, "California Dreamin'"

The Righteous Brothers, "Unchained Melody"

The Everly Brothers, "Cathy's Clown"

The Beach Boys, "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "I Get Around"

The Crystals, "He's a Rebel"

Jimmy Ruffin, "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?"

Percy Sledge, "When a Man Loves a Woman"

Elvis Presley, "Can't Help Falling in Love" and "Suspicious Minds"

The Left Banke, "Walk Away, Renee"

The Four Tops, "Baby I Need Your Loving"

And, of course, the Muhammad Ali of oldies, the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time):

Sam Cooke, "A Change is Gonna Come"
Possibly the greatest song ever written.

"There's been times that I thought I couldn't last for long,/But now I think I'm able to carry on/It's been a long, a long time comin', but I know/A change gon' come. Oh, yes it will."

--Sam Cooke

Posted by smit2174 at 1:05 PM