Despite the fact that somewhere around six people showed up for the scheduled meeting around the beginning of March about the newspaper, it.. still wasn't a success. Or maybe it was, all depending on your own wacky deffinition of exactly what success is.
The meeting started in the late evening, and was officially called to an end about an hour and a half later, although several people stayed behind to futher gripe and complain about how SpinDizzy just wasn't 'fun' anymore. Probably because they'd rather gripe and whine about it than do anything.
Overall, the discussion about the newspaper itself was actually very limited, the topic ranging from 'you can't force people to be interested' to 'why the hell are we all so apathetic, anyway?' Of course, eventually the concensus that a newspaper was something that would be good came up, and that was pretty much that.
Some special attention deserves to be placed on a few comments of the evening, though - Austin remarked that since everybody is simply waiting for someone else to be interesting, nothing is ever going to happen. Skyler echoed that comment later on, pretty much summing up the whole meeting - we need to stop being boring. If you want to do something, then simply do it.
My whole take on this is pretty much the general concensus: Do something if you want to. If you don't want to, don't whine about how boring things are. So this is more or less in accordance with what some other folks at the meeting were saying.
If you feel like reading through a transcript of a meeting that looks like every other meeting about the 'future of SpinDizzy', please click here. Even though I said I wouldn't post it, I think I changed my mind - some folks came up with some decent enough ideas for things to do, and I'm sure that they would love feedback. Plus it shows what a waste the meeting was - the exact same meeting that's happened seven or eight times now.
Somewhere between their second and third cups of coffee last Tuesday morning, most media reporters realized they really screwed up last week in that big primary election involving New York, California, Ohio (and a bunch of other little states).
See, they called it 'Super Tuesday', and they really couldn't do that, because Super Tuesday really was -this- week, involving an assortment of states from below the Mason-Dixon line. Back in 1988, about ten states from Texas to Florida, disappointed with how much say they had in landslide victories for candidates, wanted to post their landslide tallies FIRST. So, the states all put it to a vote, and lo, 'Super Tuesday' was born. In 1988, the excitement in these states was the race between Jesse Jackson and one other guy named Al Gore. 1992 tended to be much less interesting, in a race where Bill Clinton was already well on his way to the Democratic nomination, and George Bush used the primaries to beat off his lesser funded opponents.
Now, in '96, many experts called the Southern primaries 'Stupor Tuesday', since they were used (ahem) primarily to prove that Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, respectively, were really honest and for truly the front-runners, and that no other primary candidate mattered. Really.
Well...1996 looked downright fascinating compared to THIS year's Super Tuesday. Which brings us back to that big media blunder. Every paper from the New York Times to the San Francisco Chronicle called the New York/California/Ohio election day Super Tuesday, and magically, by this week, had to scramble for a new name for it. After all, the southern states had it first. Titanic Tuesday seems to be the winner in the naming game. To refresh your memory, Titanic Tuesday (or whatever you care to call it) more or less cemented George W. Bush and Al Gore's nominations seven days into March. Bill Bradley and John McCain had dropped out of the race by the ninth. And then there was the REAL Super Tuesday.
Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and a couple other states had chances to cast their primary ballots. Now, the choices were tough, so stay with me here.
On the Republican side, the South had the choice of George W. Bush and Alan Keyes. Keyes has solidly kept two or three percent support throughout his entire campaign run. And on the Democratic side, you had a choice of Al Gore and...well, you chose Al Gore. It doesn't seem terribly surprising, really, that politicos were looking for voter turnout around 10% in states like Louisiana.
Super Tuesday has officially flopped. It did let Florida and Texas voters mathematically propel both front-runners into their nominations, but that's about it.
Of course, the real lesson to be learned here is that in a free-for-all primary system like the one we have, the only way a state's voters will have any say at all is for the state to be first. The political experts call it 'front loading', but it really is about getting your primary in before the front running candidate wins enough delegates to be mathematically approved. The system as it is now favors heavily funded candidates and party backed candidates. Which leads us to why, in particular, George W. Bush won fairly easily on the Republican side.
First, he had a $100,000,000 campaign finance 'war chest'. In a race like Titanic Tuesday, he had the money that a Bill Bradley or John McCain doesn't. That can be used to saturate TV and radio waves with a message even if a heavily financed candidate doesn't have time to visit a state in person.
Second, Bush was solidly backed by the Republican party. Many states do not allow direct voter participation in primaries, but pick their delegates in a caucus. If a party has decided on one particular candidate, popular opinion to the contrary will do nothing in such states. Also, when an overwhelming majority of party officials endorse candidate A, a vote for candidate B almost by definition is a 'revolt against the establishment', or an 'insurgency campaign'. Perhaps you remember these terms applied to John McCain?
Finally, the primary system itself (all the complex rules smashed together) heavily favor a front-runner. In many states, if two candidates get 51% and 49% of the votes, all delegates go to the person who got 51%. California, with a huge number of delegates, is one of them. Many states only allow registered party members to vote - in these cases, a party candidate is wise to appeal to only these people. One major complaint John McCain had against George W. Bush was his speech at Bob Jones University and right wing speeches in states such as South Carolina and Virginia. This was because McCain was portraying himself as a centrist and attempting to box Bush as a 'far right' candidate. In principle, this strategy makes sense in appealing to the center, but because of primary rules, this actually made George W. Bush stronger.
In Presidential elections, the typical trend is that candidates lean far to the left and right to satisfy the voters in their party, then scramble for the center in the days after the primaries are over to appeal to the middle voters. As George W. Bush proved, this strategy works. Centrist voters either aren't registered with political parties or can't deliver 51% of a party vote for their candidate to win in a primary, and this is why John McCain had an incredibly difficult time winning individual states and delegates for the Republican party. This is why a vast lot of people want or wanted him to run as a third party candidate. Then, the Thing To Do would be to portray Gore as an ultra liberal, and Bush as an ultra-conservative, to win over the voters in the center. Since he has said he has no plans to do so, it's a safe assumption that the race now is between Bush and Gore.
Traditionally, the presidential election runs from Labor Day to Election Day in November. This year, it's going to start somewhere around St. Patrick's Day. There are still 8 months left in the Bush and Gore campaigns.
Get a big tub of popcorn, this is going to be a long show.
Editor's Note: Georgie W. wasn't above slamming McCain in some pretty stupid ways. Click here to get the low-down and a chuckle from Tom Tomorrow, the world's greatest political cartoonist.
The Rose Garden was the scene of a sudden change in a number of SpinDizzy's residents Friday. Although it's cause was not know, a number of folks here found themselves 'De-Evolving' into prehistoric forms. Some became early versions of their normal species, while others became something which was far removed from what they are today.
Austin, normally a mild mannered Coati, appeared as a Sharovipteryx, Still somewhat Coati-like, the addition of purple feathers and wing like membranes made him seem quite different.
Topaz, no longer a Fox, came into the Rose Garden as a Thrinaxodon. A low slung creature with fur and large teeth. He seemed to adapt well to the change, in fact he seemed to enjoy it. Whether Topaz was a distance relative of his Fox form, or something different wasn't entirely clear.
Royce was affected by becoming a Phlaocyon, seemingly staying close (by several hundred million years) to his normal Raccoon form. He did not, however, wish anyone a happy Phlaocyon Day!
Max's form became that of a Titanophoneus potens, Morticon became a Prehistoric Wallaby which, true to form, was evil. Peppermint got air as a flying Eudimorphodon, and I became a Proto-Centaur. An Ape man's torso on the body of an Neohipparion.
At the stroke of midnight (according to time zone) the effects of the De-Evolution began to wear off, and by the next day, most everyone had returned to normal. Several answers to the mystery of why a number of folks were not seen were offered including; shame at what they had become, Inability for their De-Evolved minds to remember who they were and how to get around, or perhaps they were pools of slime which had yet to evolve into a mobile species.
In all, everyone had fun, and quite a bit of good-natured role play and kidding around was enjoyed by all who participated. Perhaps whatever caused the 'De-Evolution' will strike again, and those who could not be there will get the chance to show what they were like millions of years ago.
Editor's Note: Devo-Day was so popular that not only did it last for another whole day, but a couple of folks even chose to stay de-evolved. Mark Mothersbaugh would be proud. Something tells me we'll have one again next year.
(Tanuki:) Talent sought to construct a program that would be linked to zombies to make them develop and function as trained monsters would, and a program to properly dispense them to willing players.
Also need consultant that has mastered the Pokemon games and any other monster games as well, to explain concepts such as the maximums of statistics and their effects, and the powers and abilities of all the moves.
Any suggestions and help from potential new players, or even a head-count of potential players, is welcome. Mail or conventional e-mail for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite the fact that many agile brains have been busy for a few hours on this problem, nobody on the newspaper staff has yet to come up with a decent name. If you can come up with a great name for the newspaper, please send some mail to the editor. The winner of the contest will get some kind of prize, of course, and the rest of you will likely get your entries (no matter how silly) printed in the next newspaper.
The rules of the game: Answers must be sent to the editor by midnight of Saturday, March 25 in order to be elligible. The person with the most correct answer will win a prize of some variety. The rest of you can wallow in shame as we print your answers and explain why they're wrong.
The puzzle is:
You are required to take two pills a day in order to stay alive - Pill A and Pill B. Both pills are exactly identical in every way perceptible, except that if you take more than one of each pill a day you die a horrible, agonizing death. While getting the pills from the bottle, you accidentally end up with three pills - and you're not sure which bottle the extra pill came from, but you still need to take one of each. So - how do you get your exact amount of medication, without dying and without throwing away any pills?