Go Tigers!

Trinity Tigers, that is!

Check out this excerpt from an e-mail I got from the alumni office (here's the relevant video):

"I am pleased to share with you a special video presentation highlighting one of Trinity’s proudest moments this semester. Named the number one sports moment of the year by TIME magazine, Trinity University's football team scored a game-winning touchdown on the final play to capture a 28-24 victory over Millsaps College on October 27, 2007. (Barry Bonds’ breaking Hank Aaron’s home run record was number two on this list.)"

Read that last line again. Chew on that, juicer! Go Tigers!

  

LaTeX thesis post

Using Joel as a guinea pig, this seems to work relatively well. My thesis zipfile includes the main file, thesis.tex, which serves to define the basic document parameters, call the frontmatter file, then input each chapter (chapterX.tex), then call the bibliography file.

With these files, you first need to produce an ".aux" file by compiling thesis.tex in latex mode. If you are doing this on the command line, you'd just type
> latex thesis.tex

Then, you compile the bibliography file, thesis.bib, to produce "thesis.bbl":

> bibtex thesis

Then, compile the main thesis file twice to get all the cross-references right:

> latex thesis.tex
> latex thesis.tex

If you are not familiar with large latex files, during each compiling status there will be many errors/problems/subidealities. Usually this is signified by having the error reported and then a ?, and you hit return to tell the compiler to acknowledge the error and move on. (If you try to do this with my files you'll have to hit return several hundred times because of random "errors" and because all the image files are missing; if you want an easier time you can delete all but one paragraph of each chapter.)
I think that's the core of the stuff, I think I have formatted the files so that minimal changes are required. Frontmatter.tex sets up the formatting for the front page, you just need to change the date and names, and then calls abstract.tex, which you can change separately. Same for acknowledgements.tex, and obviously the number of chapters and appendices will vary. Joel has recommended Jabref and says it makes the references/biliography file pretty straightforward, but I didn't use that so you'll have to get instructions from him.

  

30 Rock

So, I was just sitting here watching Tivo and decided to watch this week's episode of 30 Rock. I really have to commend the show because they got away with something in their most recent episode that never would have worked if the corporate censors knew what was up.

If you don't watch the show, Tina Fey plays Liz Lemon. Liz is the manager of a Saturday Night Live type show. In the most recent episode, Liz's parents (including father Richard) come to visit her for Christmas. They're friendly, outgoing people joking about how the family is all together for a Lemon party. At dinner, the dad pays for the food and says "It's not a Lemon party without ol' Dick!"

Now, that only means something to you if you also know what "goatse", "tub girl", or perhaps "2 girls 1 cup" mean. "Lemon party" goes right along in the theme. I'm not going to actually tell you what it is, but it definitely wouldn't have made it into the show if the censors had known.

You go Tina Fey.

  

Mitchell report pre-thoughts

With the results of Sen. George Mitchell's investigation into steroids-in-baseball set to be made public in a little less than an hour (2 pm Eastern), what better to do than speculate without factual basis?  (On that subject, check out this great column from ESPN's ombudsman, Leanne Schreiber.)

First of all, I have to confess that I'm pretty curious, in a train-wreck/Lindsay Lohan/Brittany Spears/Rich Ankiel sort of way.  Who is guilty?  Who is the biggest surprise?  Who, in hindsight, makes sense?

And that's where I start to get irritated, because if that was the end of the story, if the Mitchell report consisted of a set of tablets from Heaven, with a full and complete list of every player who absolutely used steroids (and if you weren't named on the list, you were completely innocent), then great.

However, I'm afraid that this is going to more like a Michael Moore film: mostly correct on the big stuff, and on the right track, but the opposition will focus on process errors and "producer bias" such that the credibility of the entire message is seriously damaged.  For example, it's bad to say, but there really needs to be a decent-caliber Red Sox player on the list or else everyone will accuse Mitchell of favortism (he's in the ownership group of the Sox).  More seriously, some interviewees are saying that they felt pressured to  "guess" about a player's steroid use - who knows if that's a legit concern or if they're just covering their butt after squealing on a teammate/client.

In the end, I blame Bud Selig.  Maybe that's too easy to do, and he's a popular whipping boy, but the fact is that had MLB actually wanted to find out what happened, they would have supported the Mitchell investigation and given Mitchell the support he needed to actually get people to testify.  Instead they help him at arm's length.  The result is perhaps what MLB brass wanted; confusion and uncertainty instead of clear demonstration of guilt.  This is, of course, not good for baseball, but that hasn't stopped them in the past, so why start now?