Category Archives: contest

a little trash talk

Good takes on Evil this evening at 9:00, on ESPN for those of you not living in the Triangle region (WRAL for those of us who do). We went four years without losing at Cameron before being humiliated last year in a 32-point drubbing. This year we visit on a major roll, having won 10 of the last 11 games and the last several by large margins. The Daily Tar Heel managed to write a narrative that has Good triumphing, 81-79, which strikes me as an unlikely result. Still, recent events have many of us asking “Larry Who?”, and with Kendall Marshall’s stellar play we should be competitive.

Good’s prowess is not just on the Hardwood. The ASR that arrived today contains two articles by Carolina faculty and two by Carolina alumni, out of a total 7 items. To quote our esteemed chancellor:

”At our university [UNC], we would be at the top of a ranking that measures Rhodes Scholarships won, women’s soccer championships, and the scholarly productivity of the Sociology Department and the School of Public Health. Needless to say, we haven’t found a ranking that is limited to these measures.”

– Holden Thorp and Buck Goldstein.  Engines of Innovation., UNC press, 2010.

Enjoy the evening, everyone.

i had an idea today

As long as we’re having name tag ribbons, I think we should also make a sash. The sash should be given as a great honor, worn by a different person each day. We can decide who gets it through a series of competitions. One of the competitions should be at the scatterplot party, and the sash will be given as a door prize based on some criteria. I suggest the criteria be, “that person who clearly least wants the sash.” But that’s negotiable. There’s no way org theory will have a sash. Take that, org theory!

best of 2007?

The NYTimes comes out with the 10 best books of 2007. Why don’t we come up with the best sociological insights of 2007? I ask because a friend recently wrote to me, “I have to present five minutes on an interesting or compelling discovery in Sociology from 2007… [any ideas?]” So, readers, any ideas?

smaller stakes than solving the problem of longitude, but presumably simpler also

Update:  Problem solved.  After some consultation from an outside adjudicator,  Mike wins the prize for his copy-and-paste-perfect solution although Peter’s solution from a few minutes earlier might work if I fiddled with it.  Mike: send me your address, and then start waiting by your mailbox for the prize.

In addition to public accolade here, I will personally send a real (i.e., tangible, nonvirtual) and quirky prize worth at least $10 to whoever can successfully solve the problem of making Scatterplot’s sidebar wider. Be sure to read clues in the comments to my earlier post before proposing a solution. The CSS for Scatterplot can be viewed here (HT: mbader). Anyone is eligible; please alert anyone you think has sufficient geek-chops for this challenge.

(Aside: should that be whoever or whomever above? Where’s Eszter when you need her?)

Two simple rules: Continue reading


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