January 8th, 2010

squirrel winter-sux

Snopocalypse 2010 update

When it rains, it pours... er....

The plows passed through this morning, but because they don't appear to know how to deal with snow in Kansas, they didn't actually remove any snow... or even push it onto the verges on the sides of the road. On the hill leading up to campus today, we have a single lane. What makes it even better? A year or so ago, neighborhood nannies decided to have the city to install little barriers in the middle of all the intersections. You guessed it: There's almost no way to get around them right now.

But here's the kicker: It appears that a water main broke near campus. On the plus side, the massive river of water running down the hill is melting the snow-drifts caused by the crappy plowing. On the down side, tomorrow's high will remain around zero, and tonight we should reach -12°F before windchill factors. Add teen-aged Kansas drivers and hilarity ensues.

I had a real blast trying to get up the hill (on an alternate route) in my Saab - a car designed for winters. In fact, at some point I simply gave up and turned around, which was fun on a one-lane-wide road buried in snow. I learned how to drive in Minnesota, and you couldn't pick a better car for this stuff, and yet. Imagine 18-year-olds in rear-drive SUVs. Good times.

At least it's Friday, so we have a couple of days before the work week resumes. Perhaps by Monday, when students and teachers will be on campus, the hill will be ice-free. It'll require heroic measures, but it could happen!

Big Brother is Watching You

more on the Google Books Grab

"The National Writers Union, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have written to their author peers in Congress, seeking their support in encouraging the Department of Justice to continue its opposition to the Google Books Settlement. The Los Angeles Times reports that Google declined to address the letter’s concerns, and the Authors Guild did not respond to a request for comment."

This letter succinctly and clearly lays out the issues at hand in Google's attempt to pirate all the world's books. Let's hope that Congress listens.