March 30, 2005

Strategic Positioning

Today the University of Minnesota announced strategic recommendations to further a goal of becoming one of the top three public research universities in the world. Among the recommendations: a proposal to transform General College (my academic unit) into a department in a revamped College of Education and Human Development. The last five weeks of the spring semester should be very interesting....

Posted by wrjacobs at 5:56 PM

March 28, 2005

alarm in the attic

On Sunday morning a chirping noise in the attic woke me up at 4:00. My first thought was that a bird had somehow gotten in, but after I was able to focus I realized that it was the sound made by a dying battery in a smoke alarm. The next thought, though, prevented me from getting up to yank the shits out: what if a poltergeist or something was up there playing tricks? Don't laugh; I've seen enough horror movies to know that one should not go rummaging around in basements or attics in the middle of the night. Plus, on the day before I had posted a rating of two stars (out of five) on netflix about The Ring Two; what if Samara found out and was planning something? So, I took the safe route and waited till the middle of the afternoon to fix the problem. The price I paid (an hour to get back to sleep as I slowly tuned out the chirping) was a small one to pay....

Posted by wrjacobs at 2:43 PM

March 25, 2005

cancelled TV shows

This year brings a first in my TV watching career: not one, but TWO of my shows have been cancelled mid-season. First, while not yet officially axed, life as we know it hasn't aired since January, and one of the stars has signed on to a new show. Yesterday I learned that another show -- Fox's Point Pleasant -- has also faded to black...and there's absolutely no doubt that it will come back, because Fox erased all traces of it from its website, whereas an official version of life still lives on ABC's site (best info about Point is on TV Tome). Damn! The news from TVland isn't all bad, though: new episodes of Lost start next week....

Posted by wrjacobs at 9:45 AM

March 23, 2005

March Madness

OK, we're done with the first weekend of March Madness, and 7 of my 8 Final Four teams are still alive (on the men's side my boyz at Ga. Tech didn't make the cut). In general I enjoy watching the women more than the men, mainly because the women's game emphasizes more of a team approach, while the men are more often one-on-one high-flyin' show-boats. The Men's tourney, though, cranks out more underdog drama: only 7 of the top 16 seeds made it to the Sweet Sixteen vs. 13 on the women's side (including all of the 1 and 2 seeds and 3 of 4 3s). There'll be more upsets in the next two weeks, no doubt. In the end, Rutgers (women) and North Carolina (men) will be on top of the mountain....

Posted by wrjacobs at 2:17 PM

March 16, 2005

Spring Break

This week is Spring Break at "The U." As usual, I am not really doing anything out of the ordinary for this week. We were thinking about taking a trip to California, but that was postponed due to V's knee surgery recovery. You know, I have never taken a trip for Spring Break, not even while an undergrad at Ga. Tech. Next year we've got to get outta town....

Posted by wrjacobs at 10:05 AM

March 10, 2005

more podcasting

Last week I posted an entry about podcasting. This week I learned that the Sci Fi Channel show Battlestar Galactica has started a podcast. Zap2it and the Sci Fi Wire have articles about it, and the BSG page has a podcasting link. In the future I may check it out, but for now I like to watch TV the traditional way....

Posted by wrjacobs at 9:54 AM

March 8, 2005

real estate on the web

One year ago today I closed on my current house. When searching for stuff in January and February of 2004 I used Edina Realty's search engine. They've recently added a "Radius Search," which allows the user to very narrowly target properties around a desired location. Cool, but they will really be the shits if they can figure out a way to help folks use tools like this to fight redlining.

Posted by wrjacobs at 1:43 PM

March 3, 2005

Lost's numbers

A central story in last night's episode of the ABC TV show Lost was about Hurley's belief that his winning lottery numbers are cursed. Despite being worth $156 million, his beloved grandfather dropped dead at his news conference, and when he took his Moms to a new house she broke her ankle getting out of the new Hummer, and Hurley was mistaken to be a drug dealer by the LA Po-Po and arrested. I'd bet that thousands of people who saw the episode will ignore these (and other) tragedies and use the numbers this weekend...I may even join them! I wonder if lotteries like Powerball keep stats about the combinations used? If so, I'd be shocked if there are no media stories next week about a surge in the use of 4 8 15 16 23 42.

Posted by wrjacobs at 10:11 AM

March 1, 2005

podcasting

This month's WIRED magazine has an article about "podcasting," the process of recording self-made radio shows as digital audio files and then posting them online to be downloaded by others. Sounds like an interesting idea.

Posted by wrjacobs at 10:06 PM