Quick Roundup 450

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Where there's a Will, ...

Any time I see a reference to list like this, I take a quick look to see whether a particular prank pulled at my alma mater made the list. I was not disappointed.

In 1988, a group of students at Rice decided that the 2,000 pound statue of William Marsh Rice would probably prefer to face the library instead of having his back to it. So, obviously, they moved it. After a couple of botched attempts, the pranksters got serious. They got plans of the statue from the library to figure out the exact weight, then built some A-frames with one-ton hoists on either side. After practicing with a Toyota a couple of times, they got the hang of things and headed to campus to give Mr. Rice a better view. They were caught moving the A-Frames across campus by some cops, but managed to convince them that they were part of a senior project. They successfully moved the statue, but one of them, Patrick Dyson, was caught and made to pay the cost of moving William back to his rightful position, which for some reason was going to cost up to five times as much as it cost to get him in the new spot. Students rallied behind Dyson, designing t-shirts that said "Where there's a Willy, there's a way," and raised more than enough money to turn Rice back around.
Somehow, I'd never heard that one of the pranksters had been caught.

Uncluttering Two-Fer

Last Friday, I hurriedly dashed off a post about being better organized with my time and pointed to a post over at Unclutterer. I highly recommend stopping by there some time and taking a look around. I found another pair of posts there while I revisited in order to think about the time issue: "Reader question: What should I store in a fireproof box?" and "Reader question: Fireproof storage, part two."

I already use a fireproof box and off-site storage of electronic files, but I still learned something useful from each of these posts when I compared notes.

The Buzz Aldrin Punch Hoax

Ran across this when I became curious about Bart Sibrel:
Sibrel has a sore, bruised jaw?

How hard is that to fake? He probably went home and hit himself in the face with a monkey wrench.

There were witnesses? It was reported on all the news services?

It doesn't say what the lighting conditions were, but it's possible that it could play tricks to make it look as though Buzz's fist was propelled into Bart's face. Or maybe Bart attacked Buzz's helpless knuckles with his chin.

Or maybe nothing happened at all.
It's an oldie, but a goodie! Read the whole thing. (HT: Mike Zorn, who does all the debunking of Sibrel you really need in a few short, economical paragraphs.)

Obama's Pick for Surgeon General

Many, especially on the left, are nattering about the fact Barack Obama, a smoker, has chosen someone who is overweight as Surgeon General. But Regina Benjamin's size is nowhere near as big an issue as what her past career says about Obama's priorities.

Stella Zawistowski nails Obama to the wall:
... Let's leave aside for the moment what the Surgeon General actually does, most of which does not fall under the proper function of government as a protector of individual rights, and consider what Mr. Obama's choice says about his vision. ...

This is whom the President views as the ideal doctor.
Not a brilliant neurosurgeon who makes a groundbreaking discovery; not the owner of a successful practice who makes money by providing services his patients need. Rather, Obama has chosen as his model of the best that medicine can be -- an altruist, a doctor who is willing to provide care regardless of how well she is paid for it, willing to work in a devastated area of the country without extra remuneration, all out of brother-love.
It's this at best -- or the power that a President and a Congress, both apparently in the habit of enacting into law unread legislation -- hope to achieve.

-- CAV

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