Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Must Be Too Much Real News This Week

How can you tell? CNN.com's dug up a twenty-year-old missing white female story.

Honestly, can we just have more real news? I understand that a certain amount of fluff news is good, but this just serves to highlight modern media fetishes that we're all well aware of now.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yeah, This Was a Not-Fun Surprise

CTA U-Pass mistake hits DePaul students

Thousands of DePaul University students were met with a surprise this morning: Their CTA U-Passes were no good.

Mistakenly, about 5,000 of the student transit cards were deactivated, officials said.

Earlier this week, a list of students who hold the passes was sent out to DePaul officials for the information to be updated. The card company responsible for maintaining the passes was inquiring about students who were no longer enrolled at the school, said Noelle Gaffney, spokeswoman for the CTA.

But instead of updating the list, someone at the CTA interpreted the information to be "hot listed" and deactivated all the cards associated with the names on the list, Gaffney said.

...The CTA notified customer assistance workers at all the stations near the DePaul campuses and told them to allow students to board by just showing their pass, Gaffney said.

...the Chi-Town Daily News is also on the story, confirming that my U-Pass won't be turned back on 'til the weekend, at the earliest.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

GOP State Rep Pisses Off Every Single Academic In Illinois

Out of sheer political grandstanding, State Sen. Larry Bomke (R-Springfield) has introduced a bill with the sole purpose of forcing UIC to fire Bill Ayers.

State Sen. Larry Bomke...wants Ayers removed from his university post under a proposal that says anyone who has committed an act of violence against the governments of the United States or Illinois cannot work at a public university.
Here's a hint: professors and other academics are really touchy about politicians saying what can and cannot go on in academic settings. It has to do with the whole free flow of ideas thing and all. Thankfully, the Dems control the state legislature, so this will go nowhere. Considering that this guy represents the Springfield area, itself home to UIS and to SIU's Medical School, I'm amazed that he thinks that the political calculus for this stunt will end up on his side.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Problem With Hooters

I've never been impressed with Hooters restaurants. Beyond the "meh" quality of most of the food, the major failing of this chain is that women with respectable quantities of the anatomical feature for which the restaurant is named are usually able to leverage their visage into a better job elsewhere.

Trying Too Hard

A recent CNN.com story regurgitating GOP hand-wringing over the large size of stimulus package manages to torpedo the one redeeming feature of the piece, the headline "Numb and number: Is trillion the new billion?" by explaining the pun in the text:

" 'Number' itself can be parsed 'number' or 'numb-er.' And maybe in this case, the latter is a better pronunciation," [Temple University Professor John Allen] Paulos said.
The piece does get a bit better in the end by saying that the large numbers are necessary to deal with the large pile of shit that is the U.S. economy, but then flounders with a concluding sentence that makes no grammatical sense. In all, CNN would have been better off not running the story at all.