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Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC refuses to run Paris Hilton story

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Fed up with the horrendous media circus surrounding Paris Hilton, Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC refused yesterday morning to let the story be the program’s lead, going so far as to attempt to light it on fire. Failing that, she rips it into pieces and then shreds the remaining document in her shredder machine. Thank God someone finally snapped.

Celebrity Treatment and Some Chaos at Senior Dinner on the Quad

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

There is no better venue than Memorial Court and the Inner Quad for a fancy dinner, and the Alumni Association rolled out the red carpet and pulled out all the stops last Thursday for the event. Wine flowed freely, and the food was extraordinary. I don’t even want to guess how much that dinner cost the Association. But, of course, they know it’s a necessary investment in our school spirit, ensuring that the alumni donations flow just as freely. I’m all for it.
The only hitch to the event — otherwise executed perfectly down to the last detail — was the disastrous decision to not pre-assign seating at the dinner tables. So students gamed it and tried to be the first in line to grab a table and sit with their friends. Instead of listening to President Hennessy’s speech and Dean Julie’s brilliant appeal to school spirit (which I did catch the end of when I moved closer to the speakers), students rushed to be first in line for the tables. As you can see in the video below, everyone was so concerned about getting the perfect table that no one even cared to quiet down enough so that at least Hennessy and Dean Julie could be heard over the crowd. It was a real shame that they were so baldly disrespected… but then, again, there wasn’t a whole lot that could be done for groups that wanted to sit together. They had to game it. Next time, how about coordinating seating arrangements ahead of time? And, seniors, how about showing these important figureheads a little respect?

Continue reading for more pictures of the event.


Gioia: “Loss of recognition for artists, thinkers and scientists has impoverished our culture”

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

From the Stanford Report:

Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, delivered the 2007 Commencement address June 17 in Stanford Stadium. He said the dominance of celebrities and entertainment has had significant cultural fallout, most notably “how few possible role models we offer the young.”
See a related speech by Sir Ken Robinson on creativity and the arts in public education around the world (TEDTalks).

I LOVE STANFORD!!! Fantastic speech by Dana Gioia!!

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

Hello! I’m in between ceremonies and just wanted to stop by and say how impressed I was with the ceremony, with Wacky Walk, and with Dana Gioia’s call to the renewal of arts and intellectualism in our culture.
Congratulations everyone!!
A brief video of wacky walk:

The Stanford Report also has a fun Wacky Walk video.

Keeping an Open Mind About Dana Gioia

Friday, June 15th, 2007

DanaGioiaByLynnGoldsmith.jpgHe may have been called “the John Ashcroft of poetry” by Black Sparrow Press founder John Martin, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti did say he was an ‘excellent choice’ for the “National Endowment for the Arts of Complacency.”
But he’s not all bad. In fact, he sounds like a very interesting person, aside from his politics, so if you still haven’t Googled him, I encourage you to do so. Check out this SF Chronicle article that was published on him when he was appointed by Bush to head the NEA (appropriately entitled, “Who is Dana Gioia?”). It made me feel a lot better about the choice for Commencement Speaker. There’s also his semi-famous essay, “Can Poetry Matter?” published in the Atlantic Monthly, and some of his poetry. I thought this one was nice:
Rough Country
Give me a landscape made of obstacles,
of steep hills and jutting glacial rock,
where the low-running streams are quick to flood
the grassy fields and bottomlands.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A place
no engineers can master–where the roads
must twist like tendrils up the mountainside
on narrow cliffs where boulders block the way.
Where tall black trunks of lightning-scalded pine
push through the tangled woods to make a roost
for hawks and swarming crows.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . And sharp inclines
where twisting through the thorn-thick underbrush,
scratched and exhausted, one turns suddenly
to find an unexpected waterfall,
not half a mile from the nearest road,
a spot so hard to reach that no one comes–
a hiding place, a shrine for dragonflies
and nesting jays, a sign that there is still
one piece of property that won’t be owned.

Stanford Wins 13th Straight Directors’ Cup for Best Athletic Program in the Nation

Thursday, June 14th, 2007


Cleveland, Ohio – Stanford has continued its record win streak in the U.S. Sports Academy Directors’ Cup competition by securing its 13th consecutive award at the Division I level. The honor is presented annually by NACDA and the United States Sports Academy to the program that wins the nation’s only all-sports competition in intercollegiate athletics in the country.
National championships in women’s cross country and men’s golf led Stanford to the honor. Stanford also had runner-up finishes in men’s swimming and diving, women’s volleyball and women’s water polo. A total of 15 Stanford teams contributed Top 10 national finishes, while Stanford scored in 18 of 20 sports allowed in the standings.
Stanford has scored 1345.50 points through June 12 with the final point totals for all schools scheduled and final standings to be released June 28 following the conclusion of the 2007 NCAA Division I College Baseball World Series. The Cardinal currently has a commanding 296.50 point lead over second place UCLA (1049.00).

Go Stanford!

I just saw Steve Jobs

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

…behind Tresidder, just outside the Treehouse. On a picnic table. Wearing his trademark black mock-turtleneck and jeans. The first thing I thought when I saw him: “Wow, he’s got to be burning up in that outfit.” What is it, 89 degrees outside? (That is, indeed, what my Dashboard widget says.)
Actually, my first thought when I saw him was, “Oh my God!! It’s the iWitch!!”

My second thought was, “Damn, I wish he was my commencement speaker. Wouldn’t that just have been the perfect counterpoint to Bill Gates’ incredible commencement speech at Harvard?” It’s better than that Dana Giulio person or whoever is speaking this year.” Ah, well. I did get a chance to watch Jobs’ commencement speech at the ceremony here in 2005… so I guess I can claim him as my own.

Political Update: Newsweek and the YouTube Debates

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

I haven’t been out in the world for a few weeks due to finals and papers and such. But I just now saw that last week, Newsweek declared the Bush Administration officially dead:
Read Fareed Zakaria’s fantastic piece on how we can restore America’s place in the world. Really, if you haven’t read it, go click on the link and read it. It’ll make you sad, but also hopefully it will make you feel like we can do better.
…and then tune in to the next Democratic debate to help determine who will get to clean up Bush’s mess. This one’s unique because it is co-sponsored by YouTube and CNN, meaning that all of the questions asked will come from YouTube user video submissions. The New York Times has the latest on why this could be huge. I would say it might be entertaining, but I can’t picture CNN letting anything truly unpredictable happen. We shall see.

ASSU Airport Shuttle Schedule

Friday, June 8th, 2007

Well, it’s too bad they don’t have a Monday (June 18th) shuttle for us graduating seniors, but at least for everyone else, if the times work for you, the tickets are CHEAP!
Shuttles are running every hour to SFO:
Wednesday, June 13th, from 12PM to 6PM
Thursday, June 14th, from 5AM to 6PM, and
Friday, June 15th, from 5AM to 12PM
…and every two hours to San Jose:
Wednesday, June 13th from 12PM to 6PM
Thursday, June 14th from 5AM to 5PM, and
Friday, June 15th from 5AM to 11AM
The shuttles will stop at Marguerite stops from West campus housing to East campus housing. The full schedule and $5 tickets can be found at Have a safe trip home!

Behind the New ASSU Presidents (Stanford Spotlight)

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

The Stanford Spotlight has posted a cute video of the new ASSU Executives on their YouTube channel:

Al Gore Third in the Polls (Crazy)

Monday, June 4th, 2007

The Washington Post has the fix on the debates last night. I agree with them that Clinton is emerging from these debates as the most impressive among the field. She’s also the clear leader in the latest polls on the Democratic side, with 42% compared to Obama’s 27% and Edwards’ 11%.
But get this, folks: When you add non-candidate Gore into the mix, he places third with 17%, and takes a 7-point chunk out of Hillary. Obama falls to 23% and Edwards to a paltry 8%. Furthermore, Al Gore wins on intensity. Sixty percent of his supporters do so “strongly,” compared to 53% for Hillary and a continually-softening 43% for Obama. Crazy.
Here he is on the Daily show, in case you missed it (from two Thursdays ago):

Part 2 here.

Senior Dinner in the Skybox: mmmm…. purdy

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

The Stanford senior class of 2007 came together for yet another posh event specifically designed to make us associate positive feelings with writing checks to the Stanford Fund (suggested donation: $20.07). I’m okay with being exploited… especially if it involves amazing views of a world-class stadium and the Stanford campus from posh sky boxes… and wine. But they totally underestimated the number of seniors that would show up, and so they were out of food after an hour — for a two-hour event. Many seniors are now associating bad feelings with writing checks to the Stanford Fund.
But oh well. I promise to donate a bijillion dollars once I’m a bajillionaire either way.
Check out some fun photos (click the pic to go to our Flickr account):

Breathtaking Performance by Will Cheng @ Senior Recital

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

I hadn’t seen Will Cheng play the piano since we lived together in East Flo freshman year. He was fantastic then and since, he’s won just about every award Stanford gives to musically-inclined individuals. Yesterday evening, in “Musical Imaginations,” Will’s performance was simply breathtaking — one of the best I’ve seen. I had never heard any of the pieces he performed, but he was instantly engaging and passionate… and incredibly meditative. At times, the music incorporated elements of jazz, which I wasn’t always sure were in the written music. Perhaps a little improvisation? Possibly.

Full program:
English Suite No. 4 in F (1720 or prior) – Bach
Evocation (1906) – Isaac Albeniz
Piano Sonata in D, Op. 10 No. 3 (1798) – Beethoven
Piano Sonata in B minor, Op. 58 No. 3 (1844) – Chopin
I particularly loved the Chopin piece, so I found the movements on imeem for anyone who wants to hear them: Movements 1, 2, 3, 4.

Historic Joint Interview with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs at AllThingsDigital Conference

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

It’s taken me two days to watch all of the interview segments, but in the end: Wow. You would think there might be some hostility between the two men, legends of Microsoft and Apple, respectively. Humorously enough, the only thing that Bill Gates seemed peeved about in all their thirty-year history together, was the new “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” ad campaign. In reference to ‘PC guy,’ Gates quipped, “His mother loves him.”
See CNet for a good, brief summary of the interaction. The All Things Digital website, of course, also has the full set of video segments.
Here’s a recap video:

John Doerr on Global Warming: “I don’t think we’re going to make it.”

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

TED Talks today released an amazing and passionate talk by famed Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr today. In it, he discusses his efforts and those of his company to understand where we are and where we need to be in order to solve the climate crisis. Prognosis: Terrible. At the end of the presentation, he’s so choked up, he can’t speak.
This is a fantastic video, and a powerful call to action. Share it with friends!

“Policy is paramount.” California has capped emissions. “But it’s not enough.”