Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Email forward

So about two weeks ago, my principal forwarded this email to all the teachers at our school. Feel free to skim it if you'd like...

Subject: Fw: FW: WARNING !!!

Please read this 'very carefully'..then send it out to all
the people online that you know.

Something like this is nothing to be taken casually this is something you DO want to pay attention to. If a person with the screen-name of ROOSTER goes by his name JOE WINWARD contacts you, do not reply. DO NOT talk to this person; do not answer any of his instant messages or e-mail . He has the ability to track your home address. Whoever this person may be, he is a suspect for murder in the death of (3) women (so far) contacted through the Internet. He is a suspect in a shooting and is known
for raping and beating young women. He is located in the IDAHO area. Please send this to all the women on your buddy list and ask them to pass this on, as well. This screen-name was seen on Yahoo and AOL so far. This is not a joke!
Please send this to men too...just in case! Send to everyone you know! Ladies,
this s serious!
Thank You.
Cassia County Sheriff and
Phone: (208)878-2251

Let me ask you, my friends...what's your first reaction to this?
Yep. A hoax. Plain as day. To prove that it was a hoax, I went to a popular hoax website and typed in "Rooster".
I sent an email back to the principal (after editing it to make sure that it didn't imply that he was stupid to not realize it was a hoax).
I've gotten numerous other emails like this from other people in the district. It's amazing how gullible some people are.
In any case, I want to thank you, my friends, for being smart enough to recognize a hoax...and for not mass-forwarding things like this.
To his credit, the principal immediately forwarded my email to everyone else, and then came sheepishly up to my room to (kind of) apologize.
What are some of the things that tipped you off to it being a hoax? Was it the fact that they couldn't even spell "investigation" correctly? Or was it something else?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


My sister has been telling me for a long time that I need to read Inkheart. It was originally written in German (although you wouldn't know it from reading the English translation) and for a while I tried to find a German copy. I gave up on that and read it in English. Maybe on my next trip to Europe I can get it in the original language...
Fantastic book. Technically a children's book. It's much better than Fablehaven. The best juvenile fantasy I've read in a long time...it might even be better than Harry Potter.
Highly recommended. I'll be reading the sequel, Inkspell, on the way up to Moscow on Thursday. I'm getting out of two days of teaching by chaperoning nineteen physics students to an engineering fair, and I should have plenty of time to read.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Deciding between Cincinnati and Lewis and Clark

So I've heard back from six schools so far. Two have me on waitlists (which means there's a small chance I maybe might get in) and four have accepted me.
UNLV and Villanova (in Pennsylvania) are the lesser of the four.
So the two I have to choose between (at least at this point in time) are Cincinnati and Lewis and Clark (in Portland).
Here's the comparison:
Lewis and Clark is in a very beautiful green state with good weather...except for the rain. It's much closer to our families.
Ohio has less rain, but it is very humid in the summer and it's not nearly as green. It's quite far from our families, but a cousin's husband will be attending the exact same university (surprise!). He's getting his master's in music. Another cousin (close to me) will live two hours away in Indianapolis, and of course Brent and co. live two hours away in Kentucky.
Both universities are located in large cities that have the potential to be a bit dangerous. Cincinnati has seen riots in recent years. Portland is known for its large number of strip clubs. Lewis and Clark is away from the center of Portland, but the University of Cincinnati is in the heart of the city.
Tuition Cost
Cincinnati wins this one hands down. Even with a scholarship from Lewis and Clark, it'll be about $24,000 a year. Cincinnati will be $18,000 as long as April can find a full-time job in Ohio before I start school, so we can get in-state tuition for the first year. There's a bit of demand for Medical Technologists, so I don't think she'll have much of a problem there. So we're talking a difference of $18,000 for the three years.
Cost of Living
Cincinnati wins out here too. Much more affordable than Portland. We might even consider buying a house in Cincinnati...
School Ranking
Cincinnati ranks #52, Lewis and Clark #73. Cincinnati graduates make considerably more than Lewis and Clark graduates, but I'm not sure how much of this is due to the fact that many lawyers from Lewis and Clark practice environmental law, which doesn't tend to pay as much as other types of law.
Lewis and Clark is ranked the best school in the nation for environmental law. However, many lawyers advise that law students go to the best law school they can, without paying attention to what a law school specializes in. More importantly, I'm not certain that I want to practice environmental law. Cincinnati offers a grand total of four environmental law courses.
So, you see our dilemma. Lots of factors to consider (and if you can think of more, please let me know). Deposits are due May 2nd, but I'm considering paying deposits to both places to postpone making a decision.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Law School Updates

So, last night we got a call from Lewis and Clark in Portland. They've accepted me. They're a good school (although they're not as highly ranked as University of Utah or Cincinnati). Tuition is comparable to Cincinnati (they're a private school, but they're offering me a bit of a scholarship), and the location (Oregon) is one of our top picks. Plus they're one of the best (if not the best) school for environmental law.
So there is a good chance I'll be heading that way (and we won't be too far from the Woods).
I have to make a $300 non-refundable deposit by May 2nd, but we won't decide 100% until June...we'll wait to see what other offers come our way, and see if the U of U takes me off the waitlist.
In a way, I'd rather go to Portland. It's a lot more expensive than Utah, and it's further from our families, but I think Oregon would be a great place to live and raise a family.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wolves in Idaho

Very funny first paragraph in a news article in Idaho Falls today:
"It's only been a week since their delisting and already wolves are running amuck and causing all sorts of problems, especially in Ashton."
That's right. As soon as wolves were taken off the endangered list, they decided "oh, we're no longer protected by the law, and if we bug people or livestock they can shoot us on sight, so let's run rampant and terrorize farmers in eastern Idaho." Wolves have been in eastern Idaho for a while. There's no reason for them to change their behavior because they've been delisted. Stupid Idaho Falls reporters.

So it's fact that Idaho Falls reporters are dumb. The rest of this post is partly my opinion, and partly fact.

If wolves were dangerous, this might be more of an issue. But wolves are the least dangerous big predator (I know of one fatality in the last fifty years, and there have been many more fatalities from bears, mountain lions, rattlesnakes, domestic dogs, etc.) Wolves tend to be very wary of humans (much more so than bears). They tend to avoid humans at all costs. If a wolf even annoys you, or your livestock, or your pets, you have full legal authority to go out and kill it.
For some reason people have an irrational fear of wolves. Bears? No problem. A strange dog? We'll pet it. A wolf? Like Little Red Riding Hood? Like Mr. Huff and Puff? (Have you seen "Enchanted" by the way? That's right. Little Red Riding Hood was the bad guy.) A wolf? Run and hide or he'll eat you up!
On a brighter note, a loud, obnoxious scary dog that threatened my wife on our honeymoon was apparently killed by a wolf. The only sad thing is that the wolf can now be shot on sight.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Las Vegas

New acceptance email. The email made it sound like I'd already been informed of being accepted...so I emailed back to ask about it. Turns out they emailed me the info on Tuesday (and, this being Idaho Falls, mail usually takes a week to get here). UNLV isn't as highly ranked, but it's cheaper, closer to our families, and offering me a scholarship...
We'll see. If it was just my decision, I'd pick Cincinnati over UNLV, but...
In any case, we still have several schools to hear back from, and hopefully a few others will accept me.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Law School Update

My first acceptance letter today! Well, my first acceptance letter for 2008...(well, okay, it's an email...the letter will be here soon).
It's in Cincinnati...a good school.
Since I'm still waiting for a number of other schools to get back to me, my decision is a ways off. But...it's official! I am going to law school!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Google Reader

I just started using this google feature, and it's awesome.
There are a lot of websites out there that I check regularly...and some of them only get updated every week or so. Instead of checking back every now and then (or continually) all I do is put the all these website on google reader, and when I go to google reader it tells me what websites have been updated, and lets me read the content right there.
The only negative aspect is that if I want to leave a comment, I have to leave google reader and go to the actual website to do so.
In any case, a really cool feature.
Thanks, Aaron J., for telling me about it.
The rest of you should check it out (and if you don't have a google/gmail account yet, consider switching over).

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Another Law School Update

Another waitlist...from Wake Forest in North Carolina. A private school, highly ranked (42, which is higher than BYU).