Friday, December 29, 2006

Getting bigger

Go Liechtenstein! The tiny little country is now slightly less tiny.

Speaking of getting bigger, the 30-team NHL is considering reorganizing from six 5-team divisions (3 per conference, like this) to four divisions: one with 7 teams and one with 8 teams per conference. The plan would be for the top two teams from each division to be guaranteed playoff spots, along with four wildcard spots per division. This is inequitable in terms of playoff-spot allocation, though less so than it would seem; division rivals play each other frequently, so it would be extremely improbable for the eight playoff spots to be allocated 7-1 between two divisions.

But the reorganization would be appropriate if the league ever expands to 32 teams. Leaving aside considerations of the financial viability of a 32-team league, which two cities would you like to see get an NHL franchise? Seattle? Winnipeg? Las Vegas? Houston? Omaha? Quebec? Cleveland? Halifax? Clemson? :-) Let your imagination run wild....

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Women in science and engineering

There's an interesting article in the NY Times about women in engineering and science. As a women in engineering, I must say that I sadly know first hand some of the issues they bring up (especially with regard to staying in academia).

The one that particularly annoys me because it's so stupid is the whole double standard in dress code. I want to wear jeans too. gosh darn it! and I hate wearing heels all day... (although I think I can get away without them because I'm tall.) But now that I'm going to be Prof. Finou (I signed my offer letter last week. Yay!), I will need to "suit up!" now all the time and not just for teaching class... Sigh... I'll miss my jeans...

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Time magazine named me Person of the Year. It's about time. Critics overwhelmingly agree that I was far more qualified to earn the coveted honour than Dubya in 2004. I was disappointed again in 2005; if they had room amongst their three slots for half of the Stephen and Melinda Gates Foundation, how could they have overlooked me? But I finally got the praise I deserve, so suck on that, Donald Rumsfeld. :-)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Democrats may lose control of the Senate?

It appears that the senior Senator from South Dakota, Tim Johnson, had a stroke and is undergoing brain surgery. If he is unable to complete his term, the Republican governor would appoint a replacement and the Republicans would again control the Senate.

Does anyone know if this would be a record for the briefest time one party has controlled the Senate? I would suspect so...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Gotta love Anderson

Tip of the Hat to Stephen Colbert, who keeps us up to date with news from Anderson, SC. It seems that Anderson is the place to be if you want to drive a float while intoxicated. Anderson also has valuable lessons to teach us about lighting cigarettes with a pistol.

What's your favourite South Carolina town?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Has anyone seen this comic?


The disclaimer pretty much says it all

"Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)."

BDean would enjoy the strip titled Matrix Transform