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Saturday, January 5 2013

On One-Point Safetys

I was looking for an explanation of exactly how a one-point safety is possible in football, and didn't find one. Therefore, I went to the font of all things football, the NFL rule book. (May be harder to read than the baseball rule book, not recommended reading).

Much like Brad Nessler in 2004 during the previous one-point safety (between Texas and Texas A&M), I thought a point-after try could only end in one or two points for the offense, and any possession by the defense would result in a dead ball. This is indeed the rule in the NFL. In the NFL, a one-point safety can be awarded only when the defense "muffs" the ball on its way out of the back of the end zone, and so it has not happened in the modern era.

The NCAA rule is slightly different because the defense can possess the ball without the ball becoming dead. In the NCAA, a point-after try is only a dead ball when "it becomes clear the try has failed." In the Fiesta Bowl, the try was blocked, but there was still some possibility that Oregon could have recovered the ball in the end zone for a two-point conversion, or indeed that K-State could have returned the missed kick for a one-point safety by reaching the other end zone. The officials did not declare it dead until the K-State player was tackled in the end zone.

By the way: go look at the Fiesta Bowl replay. The kick was blocked and recovered in the field of play by K-State. The one-point safety is avoided by simply taking a knee.

Wednesday, December 12 2012

Jazz Today

I happened to open my Kindle Store today and browse to the "Jazz" section, thinking I might buy some new material. According to Amazon, their top selling albums: 1) Glad Rag Doll - Diana Krall 2) Time Out - Dave Brubeck (RIP) 3) Greatest Hits - Dave Brubeck (RIP) 4) Duets - Tony Bennett 5) Micheal Buble - Michael Buble 6) Christmas Classics - Bing Crosby (RIP) 7) Christmas Song - Nat King Cole (RIP) 8) Call Me Irresponsible - Michael Buble 9) Kind of Blue - Miles Davis (RIP) 10) The Essential Dave Brubeck - Dave Brubeck (RIP)

Notice how only one of this top 10 albums were released this year, the Diana Krall. And critics have largely panned the release from Diana Krall. The Amazon store shows it with 3.1 out of 5 stars, and many say it isn't exactly jazz.

It may be a little bit unfair to take a look this week, with Dave Brubeck's recent passing spiking three of his titles into the top ten. But I suspect it is a bigger sign of no one getting out and discovering new jazz recordings, of which there are many. Its frustrating to people who want to see this genre thrive to see such poor uptake of new product.

Sunday, August 19 2012

A "Revolution" catch-22

Watching the promos for NBC's new drama "Revolution" (whose premise is a sudden failure the electric grid failed, along with all other fuel sources) tonight on NBC, a question arose:

How would the market deal with the sudden shortage of horses, given a lack of instant communication?

The easy answer, I guess, is that there is no longer a single market, but thousands of markets, and buyers might be unlucky or lucky about the price they pay in the first few days or weeks.

Saturday, February 4 2012

Amplifications Regarding Charlie White

I'm not an attorney, but I wanted to get to the actual laws regarding the Charlie White case because I found the press coverage confusing. I do that by starting with the the story as reported in the web edition of the Evansville Courier & Press

From the newspaper, paragraph 3.

But the governor said he was holding off on naming a permanent replacement because a judge could reduce the charge to a misdemeanor, allowing White to regain the office.

This is a correct summary of the statement the Governor released. But it ignores Indiana Code 3.8.1.5(d) , which states:

The subsequent reduction of a felony to a Class A misdemeanor under IC 35-50-2-7 or IC 35-38-1-1.5 after the public announcement of a felony... does not affect the operation of subsection (c).

This section of the law describes candidacy and not a condition for an officeholder who is convicted of a felony. There is a separate statute (IC 3.5.1.38) for felonies committed while in office which appears to allow for Mr. White's return.

However, because at least one of Mr. White's felonies was committed before taking office, one can certainly argue that he could have been a convicted felon prior to taking office if the criminal justice system had worked more quickly. This would become a question for the courts, but only if the Hamilton County Superior Court were to downgrade the felony convictions to misdemeanors.

The second legal issue presented in the article relates to the assertion of Democratic state chair Dan Parker that Democrat Vop Osili should take office. I understand that this is what was ruled by Marion County judge Louis Rosenberg on multiple occasions, most recently on December 21, 2011. This is accounted for in IC 3.12.11.25(a)

Except as provided in subsection (b), whenever the commission makes a final determination under section 18 of this chapter that the candidate who is subject to a contest proceeding is not eligible to serve in the office to which the candidate is nominated or elected, the candidate who received the second highest number of votes for the office is entitled to a certificate of nomination or certificate of election even though a certificate may have been issued to another candidate upon the tabulation of the votes.

However, I reference IC 3.8.8.8(b) and (c) which seems to contradict 3.12.11.25:

(b) If, after the election, it is determined as provided by law that the individual was not qualified to be elected to the office, it shall be considered that: (1) an eligible candidate of the same political party, if any, as the ineligible candidate had been elected; and (2) a vacancy in the office occurred after the election. (c) The vacancy in the office shall be filled as otherwise provided by law.

If this is the applicable section, then the Governor would appoint Mr. White's permanent replacement. The ambiguity is somewhat removed by the section title of 3.8.8.8: "Effect of candidate who withdraws receiving most votes in election; filling vacancy" (emphasis added).

Because there is at least the potential for ambiguity, I believe this case will end up with a decision by the Indiana Supreme Court, and I suspect it would lean towards the Governor appointing White's replacement.

Sunday, November 13 2011

Internships: Required -- And Costly

The following is a survey conducted on the web by the University of Evansville campus magazine, the Crescent: Internship Importance

Almost 75% of respondents say that you must have an internship experience to be employable. I don't like that idea, but I understand a competitive job market in many industries can force students to become student-interns, or (worse) student-unpaid-interns

It seems to be a commonly accepted fact outside of Evansville. There are a number of universities where 60% or more of graduates held internships at one point. The linked USA Today article covers the main ground that is relevant here, but there's one more thing I don't understand:

Why do colleges charge full tuition prices for internship hours? It costs the school approximately nothing to administer an internship. Not a minute of faculty time is spent on internships (unless the internship is within an academic department). The clerks who do the processing are paid at a much lower rate than faculty, and probably only spend a few minutes on each student-intern.

What service does the university provide that's worth somewhere between $300 and $2500 (depending on your school's tuition prices and guidelines)?

Sunday, June 5 2011

The Politics of Rapture

From Public Policy Polling:

Last week, PPP released numbers showing the political dimensions of the Rapture. GOP primary voters are slightly more likely than the overall public to say the Rapture will occur in their lifetimes (18% versus 11%) and that they personally will be taken up to Heaven if it does (72% versus 66%). Those who think they will not or who are not sure if they will be Raptured favor Romney at 23%, with most of the rest in the low double digits, and the results for those who do think they will be Raptured closely mirror the toplines.

Can I sit in on the meeting where they decide to ask voters who their favored candidate is if the Rapture occurs sometime between 2013 and 2017? And is it a direct relationship that a majority of those polled think Sarah Palin would be Raptured, and would therefore not want her to be President during the Rapture?

More Rapture Polls, Please!

Source

Monday, May 2 2011

Final Week: Day 2

Second in a series

There are six days until I graduate college and cease formal education. Four years at UE, and there's a lot I want to say. And above all, a lot of people who have been important along the way. The focus is very sharply on people whom I would have been unlikely to meet away from UE.

Brandon Gaudin

For the second day in a row, I salute a person who has left Evansville to work in a larger city. Brandon Gaudin was the manager at WUEV 91.5 for a shade less than two years.

Gaudin is the kind of professional I wish every professional would imitate, always organized and on time.

The reason he gets a note here is because he was the guy who gave me my first shot broadcasting a live sporting event: softball vs. Southern Illinois. It was in this manner that I began to appreciate diamond sports. I mean really appreciate them.

But it was someone else who I really wanted to imitate: one Dan Egierski. The dude has been a part of Evansville sports since the 80s, broadcasting almost every variety of sport in Evansville. Egierski has a very unique style, one I felt was worth immitating. Did I get there? I don't think so, but the experience was priceless.

Gaudin now works for Butler University, and was able to broadcast the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Championship game on 1070 the Fan in Indianapolis. Egierski works at ESPN 106.7.

Just barely got today's entry in under the daily time limit ... will try to do better tomorrow!

Sunday, May 1 2011

Final Week: Day 1

First in a series

There are seven days until I graduate college and cease formal education. Four years at UE, and there's a lot I want to say. And above all, a lot of people who have been important along the way. The focus is very sharply on people whom I would have been unlikely to meet away from UE.

Brian Erickson, Part 1

Two years ago, 104 weeks ago, a hundred or more people, mostly in their 20s, gathered for a the fourth Sunday of Easter at the campus chapel. And the sermon began very similar to the above. Two years ago it was the chaplain, Brian Erickson who was preaching for the last time. His sermon settled in with reminiscing about the men of faith who had influenced him. He said that he wasn't one to remember much detail from the sermons they preached. He remembered the big ideas, studied the Gospels, and eventually ended up with the title "Reverend."

I'm not too interested in all of that, though. The reason Erickson was popular among students didn't have a lot to do with the fact that he knew the Gospels. It was because he was (and probably remains) witty and personable. He was also a musician who liked to provide music during the services. At some point his morning, this song popped into my head, and I eventually realized the bizarre syncrhonicity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5Gb...

It was slid in at the end of the "farewell" service two years ago.

Erickson and his wife, Mollie, have since moved to Alabaster, Alabama. Their church, Alabaster First United Methodist, has been providing assistance to displaced Alabamans. I hadn't realized until a few minutes ago how close they were to Birmingham.

Sunday, March 27 2011

Post to SlideShare

I gave a presentation yesterday at a small academic conference. It seems appropriate to post the slides for the consumption of others who were not at the conference. There's nothing ground-breaking here, and indeed there was more research involved than original work. None of that means that it is not appropriate to share! http://www.slideshare.net/AJellyDon...

Wednesday, December 22 2010

Heaps and Trees

xkcd #835 (from xkcd of course)

The only missing item is a non-binary tree.

Thursday, December 2 2010

Random Resistance

The following is taken from Example 7.17, pg 259 of "Mathematical Statistics with Applications" by John E. Freund, 7th edition.

Suppose the resistance in a simple circuit varies randomly in response to environmental conditions. To determine the effect of this variation on the current flowing through the circuit an experiment was performed in which the resistance (R) was varied at random on the interval 0 < R <= A and the ensuing voltage (E) was measured. Find the distribution of the random variable I, the current flowing through the circuit.

All I can say, is that I hope never to run into such a circuit!

Sunday, November 7 2010

phpArch Article

In the last week, I had an article published in the October edition of phpArch magazine.

The title of the article is "Greasing Development with GitHub" is the title, and it takes a look at how phpBB's development has changed with the migration to Git. I think its a pretty interesting topic, especially in the open-source context.

Thanks to Keith Casey for the suggestion and recommendation, and to everyone who agreed to be "interviewed", especially Igor Wiedler.

Thursday, October 7 2010

This is Twitter's Purpose:

Spreading good books that everyone needs to know about.

http://amzn.to/bSinSM

I had suspicion that those were really just colorful bathrobes.

Tuesday, September 21 2010

Twitter XSS

The first in what is likely to be a series.

I woke up this morning to reports that Twitter had been hacked. The weird thing was that Twitter was still running, as usual. The #1 trending topic was "Twitter Hacked."

It didn't strike them to take down the vulnerable services?

Wednesday, September 15 2010

Time Management

I put my weekly schedule down on a grid yesterday.

Its looking like the most brutal semester I've yet had, purely from a "lack of scheduled free time" perspective.

Monday from 9am to 7pm, I have one free hour (lunch).
Friday from 9am to 11pm, I have one free hour (lunch).
Wednesday is nice. From 9am to 6pm, I have two free hours.

If this doesn't make me an expert time manager, I don't know what will.

Sunday, September 5 2010

Only so much writing to go around

The blog has been quiet recently. This isn't so much because of a lack of time (writing a blog post usually only takes a few minutes), but because I've not been wanting to write a huge amount of text recently. Also, there's been less reading to inspire a topic for a post.

I've not forgotten (yet) :)

Tuesday, August 3 2010

Its Textbook Time (again)

Campus Bookstore: $449.50
Chegg.com (and Amazon): $254.59

A savings of:

43%

When you factor in the fact that the above is not apples-to-apples because Chegg does not stock two of the books I need, the savings is actually:

62.5%

One of the nice things about Chegg is how I know up-front what my net cost will be for books for the semester. It is the price I pay in August. If I deal with the campus bookstore, I learn nothing. I only know from previous experience that the best I can hope for is 40% of what I paid, and nothing if the publisher decided it was time for a new edition. Information makes markets work better.

Sunday, July 25 2010

The Plight of The Gas Station Owner

BP's gulf oil problems have shed popular media light on how owning a gas station as a franchisee works.

Someone decides they want to start a gas station. They send requests to major gas brands (Marathon, BP, Shell, etc.) asking if they would accept their station as an affiliate.

The fun begins when stations open, close and change names. I bought gas yesterday at a rural station that had four different names in the recent past. It had been a BP (or perhaps even an Amoco before the buyout!), a Marathon, and an Energy Plus 24 (now CountryMark). Yesterday, though, it was operating without a gasoline brand.

I'm curious what people around town refer to it as. I would bet that most of them still think of it as one of its former brand names, probably the one which it held the longest. People tend to have resistance to changing brands. For example, a station nearby me dropped Shell's brand three years ago, and people still refer to it as Shell. Even people who weren't in the neighborhood when it was a Shell.

This is bad. Shell has a reputation for being high-priced (at least here). BP has a reputation for spilling a few million gallons of oil. Chevron and Phillips 66 have pulled out of Indiana. So a lot of station owners have switched to un-branded or self-branded gasoline or Marathon. According to GasBuddy.com, my city has 90 stations total, and 21 of them bear the Marathon M. The next largest brand is Shell with 7 of the 90. The un-branded and self-branded grouping (which I arbitrarily define as brands with less than 10 stations nationwide and includes grocery brands) has 17.

A simple listing of the major brands locally (italics were included in the "un- or self-branded" list, bold indicates "corporate" ownership):

  • Marathon - 21
  • Shell - 7
  • Buy Low - 6
  • No Brand - 6
  • Thornton's - 6
  • Casey's - 4
  • Huck's - 4
  • Kangaroo - 4
  • MotoMart - 4
  • CountryMark - 3
  • Busler - 3
  • Chuckles - 3

That totals out to 74 of the 90 stations. For the other 16, feel free to look in the master station list at GasBuddy.com.

Thursday, July 15 2010

Resuming the Art of the Blog

I like to write. Quite a bit, actually. I've not really maintained a blog though since the CMSformE project I worked on puttered out. Well, I'm back, with a blog powered by DotClear. This could be interesting, as I've never used the software before and I don't have a vast idea of what it can do.