Thursday, June 28, 2007


A study at the University of Missouri has come to the startling conclusion that college students who do not have class on Friday mornings drink more on Thursday nights than those who have early morning class.

In other news, gravity has been found to exist.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I choo choo choose you

I got really excited when I read this Wired article about a Japanese technology that lets you move a robotic train with your brain. I immediately thought of a close future of cyborgs with fully operable and dextrous brain-controlled limbs. I pictured me sitting in a lounge chair remotely driving my hovercar to the store where my 'droid picks up some groceries.

Unfortunately that's all misleading, as you really don't control it with your brain. You just think about stuff that activates certain areas of your brain, and the electric signal from your brain corresponds to a response from the train's circuitry.

The way I pictured it, you think about the train, and you think about the train going forward, and then it goes forward. Instead, you just sit there and do math. Lame.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Other Qualified Adults

In November 2004, Michigan voters passed the ban on gay marriage, after being told it was only to affect marriage and not same-sex partner benefits. Two major organizations that supported the amendment, the American Family Association of Michigan and Citizens for the Protection of Marriage, stated the amendment would affect "marriage only."

That was false. Recall that this February, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the ban on gay marriage prohibits government agencies and public schools from providing health care and other benefits to employees' same-sex partners.

Though Mary Sue Coleman was strangely quiet on the issue, I received e-mails from her and the head librarian here reassuring us that the U would be doing its best to see that partner benefits would continue uninterrupted after the ban takes effect at the end of 2007.

She came through on her promises. Today, the University of Michigan announced its workaround, offering benefits to "Other Qualified Adults." Essentially, the employee and the Other Qualified Adult live together but are not married, can not marry, have a joint account, and power of attorney.

It looks like this designated beneficiaries plan has its nexus from the GEO, the graduate students union, based on this story. This is a cleverly subversive solution that will hopefully have long-term positive impacts for Michigan's economy.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Rides 4 and 5

James and I rode along Muskegon Lake for a few miles over Memorial Day weekend. We repeated the ride with his dad the next day, going most of the way around the lake. 30 miles between the two rides.

Today I went 13 miles along that Huron River path with Jen. This painted turtle was pawing at a hole, perhaps to lay eggs in it, or whatever it is that turtles do.
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Monday, June 04, 2007

U-M's finest

From posters up on campus protesting the art museum construction:

I don't think it's the art "class's" that you should be worried about, buddy.
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Saturday, June 02, 2007


This was waiting for me right when I got home from work.
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