March 19, 2013

Finally, a Washington Post paywall

The Washington Post announced this week that it will charge money for online access to its content. The newspaper reported that until now it has shied away from an online paywall "for fear of driving away readers."

As a consumer, I'm disappointed that this mentality — the fear that charging money will scare away customers — isn't pervasive everywhere.

Imagine if car dealers were afraid to charge money for their product for fear that fewer people would come into their dealerships.

January 09, 2013

George Bush's final snub

Oh, did you hear?

We're done snubbing George W. Bush.

Today's issue of Politico has reported that the final snub has taken place. 

That's it everyone. No more snubs.

December 18, 2012

Let's hope they don't get the NYT in Pakistan

While making the case for John Kerry's diplomacy chops, the New York Times printed this anecdote from an anonymous member of Obama's national security team:

Pakistani officials tried to get Mr. Kerry to write what they called a “blood oath” that the United States would never take action to seize Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Mr. Kerry found a diplomatic way out, saying the United States had no “designs” on Pakistan’s weapons. “It meant nothing,” a member of Mr. Obama’s national security team said later. “And it solved the crisis. Quite artfully.”
It meant nothing. Don't worry, world, our nation's top diplomates don't mean what they say.

December 05, 2012

Wine pubs

The D.C. City Council passed a bill yesterday to authorize wine pubs.

What is a wine pub?

What what does it feature that would necessitate D.C. having to explicitly pass a law legalizing it?

November 19, 2012

Spectrophotometers and electron microscope

Regarding the University of Maryland's impending move to the Big 10, Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post writes:

According to one individual privy to internal discussions within the Maryland athletic department, the school is also considering the move because of academics. Big Ten members, along with the University of Chicago, a former member of the conference, comprise the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a consortium in which members collaborate on academic endeavors. Opportunities for expanding research in the agricultural, biotechnological and engineering fields, the individual said, presented an enticing allure for Maryland.
Why the anonymous informant? Wouldn't the school prefer that people perceive this decision to be about academics and not money?

I enjoyed my dad's sarcastic reaction to this part of the story: "I can only imagine athletic directors considering sharing of spectrophotometers and electron microscopes."

November 17, 2012

University of Washington thinks it controls the Internet

This week, the University of Washington announced new publishing rules for the journalists the school credentials to cover its games. The policy puts a cap on how often journalists can provide "periodic update of scores, statistics or other brief descriptions" on a real-time basis:

  • No more than 20 in-game updates for basketball
  • No more than 45 in-game updates for football
They are limited the number of times journalists tweet and blog the score of their games?!

This is amazing. 

Is the school aware of the rest of the Internet?

Eye surgery gone wrong?

Michael Wilbon had laser eye surgery seven years ago. But now he's back to wearing glasses. Uh-oh.

October 16, 2012

Debate memories

Rather than pay for its football team at a cost of $4.5 million per year, Hofstra University eliminated the team in 2009. The school spent that same amount of money to host tonight's presidential debate, reports Vivian Yee of the New York Times.

Learning that fact reminded me that when I attended the 2008 debate at Hofstra, I filmed a scene of angry people outside the debate hall. More memories from my trip to all four debates that year:

The Pope of College Football

In its obituary for Beano Cook, the New York Times opens thus: "Beano Cook, whose authoritative growl and curmudgeonly but witty observations as an analyst for ESPN and other networks earned him the nickname the Pope of College Football, was found dead on Thursday morning.

He was called The Pope of College Football because of his growl and witty observations?

I'm clearly confused about what a pope does.

October 10, 2012

An old man turned 98/He won the lottery and died the next day

In giving Jerry Sandusky a 30-to-60-year jail term, Judge John M. Cleland said: “I’m not going to sentence you to centuries. It makes no sense for a 68-year-old man. This sentence will put you in prison for the rest of your life.”

If it turns out to be a 30-year sentence, that means we expect that he won't live past 98.

If he had been 97 years old at this trial, would his sentence have been one year?

And what would be so bad about giving him centuries only to find out that he died less than 30 years later?