Not great pics, but at least I saw him before the man with the net and bucket started standing on a ladder and prodding away at him. Zzzz... )
sigma7: Sims (dammit)
( May. 20th, 2009 10:39 am)
Power hasn't gone out for over two months. Guess we were due. Posting via iPod difficult if workable. Grrr. Edit: and we're back, just long enough to drain the tiny EPS on the server, so let's see what we lost this time.
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Just stopped by the Taco Bell in the Union and the very-overworked guy -- the only guy there -- said that the entire staff'd been fired today and he was treading water until his manager found someone to help him.

So I really can't complain about my day. Not sure who I feel worse for, the people who got canned or the last man standing. (At least none of us are this guy.)
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K-State's Ron Prince resigns. Huh. Curious timing. Still, am not seeing it anywhere else on the blogosphere or the cookie cutter media yet....
Two Kansas State University anthropologists are the authors of the first-ever cultural history of the Wabanaki, indigenous peoples traditionally inhabiting what is now protected as part of Acadia National Park on the coast of Maine. The work is now available on the Web site of one of the nation's major national parks, Acadia National Park in Maine.

"Asticou's Island Domain: Wabanaki Peoples at Mount Desert Island 1500-2000" represents a three-year project that was researched and written by K-State's Harald Prins, a university distinguished professor of anthropology, and Bunny McBride, an adjunct anthropology lecturer. The work was commissioned by the Ethnography Program of the National Park Service in cooperation with Acadia National Park, the Abbe Museum for Stone Age Antiquities and Maine's four Wabanaki Indian nations.


Prins is one of K-State's most significant personalities and academic forces. I have not met Bunny McBride, but damned if that's not one of the best names in modern academia.

Also, Acadia is...glorious, just fantastic. Trust me.
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sigma7: Sims (wehateyou)
( Aug. 25th, 2008 05:24 pm)
Attention bicyclists of the world:

You may either decide to be a pedestrian or a motor vehicle. On campus, you choose to zip across sidewalks with rampant disregard for pedestrians or automobiles at crosswalks. Or maybe you decide that you deserve a full lane of space on a campus road -- until you come to a four-way stop and you decide to eke by the stopped vehicles and the curb. Kansas law says you're a motor vehicle, but if the consensus would rather, I will entertain the notion of a bicycle being simply an enhanced pedestrian, especially given traffic patterns on campus.

But here's the thing. Pick one and stick with it. I've almost killed three people today because they decided to switch from one to the other, to dart into and out of traffic, intermittently obey walk-don't-walk signs. Maybe you deserve to die, but I don't deserve to have to live with that.

Pedestrians: hang up and cross at crosswalks. Do not step in front of me while you're talking to Jake about that awesome beer bong he made out of a pumpkin. You may have the right of way on campus, and yes, the onus may fall upon me to read your stupid fucking mind as to at which moment you're going to decide to zip across the street. The right of way is a wonderful thing, but so is an intact skeletal system. I teach one class, it's physics 101, and it involves independent study in asphalt. Prerequisites are abyssal stupidity and reveling in obliviousness. It's pass/fail, and it meets in your skull once a semester.
Ever since College Publisher bought New Digital Group (previously Digital Partners) in 2005, campus newspapers that choose not to design and host their own sites have had essentially one company to turn to that would provide those services for free in return for an online ad sharing agreement. After an acquisition the next year by mtvU, the college channel produced by MTV Networks, that service, now dubbed the College Media Network, is part of the media conglomerate Viacom. The company’s latest bid for college readers reflects not only its disappointment in the growth of online ad revenue at campus newspapers but a reliance on corporate tactics that student editors and paid general managers never expected.

The initial reaction this past week was one of shock and betrayal when representatives of mtvU first introduced a network of Web sites called Campus Daily Guides, customized for individual colleges and clearly targeted to the same online audience as college newspaper Web sites. Like other online guides to local happenings — from Google Maps to Citysearch — the sites offer a calendar of events around campus, a directory of bars and restaurants that users can update and similar services. Two components clearly aimed at students include a “Rate My Professors” module for the college, integrated with the popular Web site, as well as links to the latest news ... direct from the college newspaper itself.


(monotone) Wow. What a shocking turn of events. Who could ever have foreseen such a thing.
This answers the questions of "How do you feel?" and "How was your week?" and "Which is your favorite of all the storm pictures?" all at the same time.


Stick vs. tire
Car on K-State campus, morning of June 12, 2008. Photo by K-State Web Technologies.


Yeah, it's kinda like that.
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sigma7: Sims (it sucked)
( Jun. 13th, 2008 09:47 am)
Sorry for fixating on the nasty atmospheric phenomena for the last 36 hours, y'all. It's still quite alienating to see campus with half the trees on the north side either uprooted or creatively rearranged. And there's yellow insulation everywhere, for miles, on sidewalks, attached to cars, drooping from power lines.

Links of note: did I forget to mention that Ward Hall houses K-State's nuclear reactor? And yes, it got nailed. Everything's safe, though. (Or so they tell us.) More galleries of Manhattan, Chapman, but if you're like me (and everyone at work) you're approaching tornado burnout.

Also I should turn in my amateur meteorologist badge, because the tornado that hit Chapman's being classified as an EF3, and Manhattan's was actually an EF4. It was a damn skinny EF4, though. (Though a cow-orker says it'd shrunk by the time it got to campus; I believe that. Though most of the buildings on campus are hearty enough to stand up to upper-level tornados, they still have their weak spots -- nuclear reactors, arenas, the late Soil Erosion Lab.)

Okay, less spinny-cloudy-things from here on out. More ephemera. Promise.
sigma7: Sims (Spartaaaaaaa)
( Jun. 12th, 2008 04:20 pm)
Photo galleries of damage in Chapman and Soldier. Information on damage in Manhattan:

...Miller Ranch area: We can now see that our preliminary statement of 30 homes being leveled to the foundation wasn't correct. We estimate there were 15 homes that were "leveled." Numerous homes in the fairly new residential area received major/serious damage.

Amherst residential area: About 30 homes received major/serious damage, while several others received some sort of damage.

Amherst business area: The following businesses received catastrophic damage: Little Apple Honda/Toyota dealership, Waters True Value Hardware store, Amherst Self Storage and Southwestern Bell....


Dude, I used to live in Amherst Self Storage. (Also, clan all accounted for, all are well. It was a bad night, but today's going to be a good day.)
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...Dr. Jon Wefald's guesstimating the final damage figure to be in the $20 million ballpark. (Wait. Firefox has "guesstimating" in its dictionary? Cool.) Many people walking across campus -- half of them picking up trash (and there's a lot of it) and the other half taking pictures of uprooted trees and general damage (and there's a lot of that, too). VIPs are en route, too.

If anybody wants to blame one person for the storm, try this guy. Transplanted from Greensburg, he moves to Manhattan -- College Heights, to be exact. Sorry, dude.

The tornado that hit Chapman was huge -- some are saying perhaps half a mile wide. What hit Manhattan was tiny in comparison. Wefald said something along the lines of "If it had been an F3 or F4, there may not be a Kansas State."

Edit: Watch the tornado approach the skycam atop a K-State dorm. I'd been watching that camera rather intently earlier in the night. I guess it's in a better place now. Like Missouri. Danke to [livejournal.com profile] rewil.

E2: Via [livejournal.com profile] dvandom, pics of Cardwell Hall. The Manhattan Mercury's website is even sadder than usual today (actually, I kinda like the minimalism) and they've got moar pics.

E3: Aerial footage from Manhattan, Chapman. The more news that comes out of Chapman, the worse it sounds. They're now saying 75-85% of the town is severely damaged.
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Classes canceled, campus still locked down. Ideally it would've been nice to know that before driving to campus. There's saturated squares of yellow insulation everywhere in town now. I'm guessing it's remnants of Waters True Value on Amherst.

Update from the AP: Riley County Police Lt. Kurt Moldrup said Thursday that several Manhattan businesses are damaged or destroyed and 30 homes are leveled. He credits warning sirens before the storms hit Wednesday night for a minimum of minor injuries.... The university said the Wind Erosion Laboratory is destroyed, and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house is heavily damaged. All residents are safe.

It's that last sentence which is the fantastic part of all of this. The sirens went off what seemed like a half hour before the tornado hit. Unfortunately, one person died in Chapman -- which got hammered -- and another person died in Jackson County.

The Manhattan tornado just skipped over most of town. If it'd stayed on the ground, the town would've been cut in half. So lucky, so damned lucky this time. Chapman lost 60 houses -- dude, I didn't know there were 60 houses in Chapman -- with about that many damaged. It's in dire shape. It hasn't been Greensburg-style flattened, but it's in horrible shape right now.

Doing fine here. Still got power. Birds okay, if confused. Me...overwhelmed. Still quite surreal. Repressing urge to go sight-seeing. Must man the blog.

Edit: And [livejournal.com profile] erica_roo's okay, so that's a deep sigh of relief.
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sigma7: Sims (donotwant panda)
( Jun. 12th, 2008 12:39 am)
My city is bleeding tonight.

Nine times out of ten when the sirens wail I call up the local TV stations to get a good view of the Doppler radar, see where exactly the cell's forming, where it's really going. And I can usually tell when it's going to swing north or south or just dissipate. (I used to want to be a meteorologist; I bet you didn't know that.)

Tonight it was clear when it was still half an hour away that we were in trouble. But the sirens gave everyone plenty of time -- we knew it was coming.

The tornado ran from southwest to northeast parts of town. There's a whole bunch of houses without roofs, gutted, heavily damaged or just disintegrated. The new hardware store on the west side of town was leveled. It touched down just on this side of campus, blew out windows in the engineering building, Fiedler and Durland Halls. Radio's saying that there have been whole trees uprooted, now scattered in the street along with a handful of stop signs. A soil study lab got removed and replanted in the middle of a parking lot. Cardwell, Burt and Ward Halls (not "Burt Ward Hall," sadly) have all been damaged and the vice-provost issued a press release say to stay the hell away from campus; it's been sealed off.

The south side of town has gone dark, along with much of this area. Not here. If I'd just gone to sleep at 9 pm, like I intended, I never would've noticed a thing. I feel a little guilty.

We're not going to know until the morning how dire the entire situation is, but the reports coming in are painting a much grimmer figure as they unfurl.

Manhattan had a collective feeling of security -- we hadn't had a tornado here in town in my recollection, though some have come close. We're in one of the more topographically energetic parts of the Flint Hills, not landscape you'd expect in Kansas, and that got a lot of credit for not having a tornado here. That also got leveled tonight.

Some injuries reported. Everything's still sketchy at this point. Still have a few people to track down, but everything's fine on this end. Completely freaked out and going into tachycardia, but intact. Tonight, that's more than enough.

Moar: The Sigma Alpha Epsilon house -- just about across the street from Durland/Fiedler -- has been unroofed.

Here's a rough-n-dirty map of the three confirmed touchdown points.

Shelters up at Portoff Hall at Cico Park. Another shelter at Putnam Hall on campus. Weber Hall suffered serious damage. Moore Hall also damaged. Chapman got hit pretty hard, but not much news from there yet. Okay, [livejournal.com profile] patchsassy says the high school lost its roof. Pictures from Chapman, Manhattan.

I'm going to go lay down now. (Oh, Pat Bosco says orientation/enrollment will go on as scheduled tomorrow...er, this morning. Mutter.)
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The highlight of last night: Biscuit leaping on [livejournal.com profile] erica_roo's knees and singing and chirping to her during a Lost commercial. Too cute.

Ah, the annual exercise of self-promotion and resume-padding that is the student government elections. I was just thrilled to see someone put the fun back into it by running two tickets for the pres/VP ticket -- one as ninjas, another pirates. And the pirate king turned out to be Tyrone, former lead techie for the Collegian (but has nothing to do with their abysmal web presence, so don't blame him for that). The ninjas eventually got disqualified for not submitting an expense report, but the pirates not only stayed in the race, they made it to the runoff. At which point the almighty Greek vote will band together and vote them off the island, but I'm sure Tyrone doesn't care right now -- I'm sure beating Bryan Cox (another former techie with whom "icy" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship) was win enough. Yarr, matey.

Speaking of the Collegian (oh, look, it's online, and it's not even 10 am yet!), today's headlines include "Kansas minimum wage to remain at $2.65" (from the welcome-to-the-21st-century department) and "Blu-ray beats HD in format battle" (from the welcome-to-two-weeks-ago department). Ah, here's a good one: "Worker upholds tale of theater ghost" -- a one-source mini-feature on the haunted theater on campus (but is it just me or does this story read like the coherence was edited into it?). I, for the record, never ran into Nick myself, despite occasionally falling asleep in the Masque while directing a play in there. Everyone else in my cast and crew did, I think. Of course, given the state of my mind at the time, I could've been beset by the assembled hordes of Mordor and not noticed.

Let's see if the "Old Collegian Archives" link works yet. Mmmmnope. Maybe next year.
So this is what the apocalypse looks like from the inside. I hear screaming, cheering, an occasional explosion. I fear for Aggieville. [livejournal.com profile] patchsassy, I fear for your safety, your sanity and your liver.
Hey, [livejournal.com profile] rewil, [livejournal.com profile] missmiah, [livejournal.com profile] kadyg: Who says student journalists aren't students of history?

By summer 2006, the Collegian officially signs on and launches its Web site with the popular newspaper journalism program, College Publisher. During that summer, the Collegian launched its first-ever online video content.

...

I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and just say that they misstated...whatever they were trying to say here. I'd go to the old Collegian archives, but SURPRISE they aren't working.

It's nice to know that blithering incompetents can still thrive in Kedzie, though.
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