Author Archives: Matt

S&C Menu for Nov 10-13th

Nov. 10th – Monday
Dinner – Green Salad, Carrot Ginger vin., Soy Honey Chicken/ Tofu, fresh Horseradish and Scallion Mashed Potato, Broccoli Stir Fry, with Banana Custard for Dessert

Nov. 11th – Tuesday

Lunch – Southwestern Frittata w/or w/out Bacon, Herb Roasted Potato, Chipotle Drizzle, with Fresh Fruit for dessert.

Dinner – Green salad, Toasted Parm Dressing, Penne w/ Wild Mushroom cream sauce, Chicken or Tofu, with Lemon Poppy Cake for dessert.

Nov. 12th – Wednesday

Lunch –Corn and Salmon or Corn and Shitake Chowder, Crispy Flat Bread, with Snickerdoodle Cookies for dessert.

Dinner – Green salad, Creamy Cilantro Dressing, Ancho Mole stacked Enchilades, Chicken or Tofu, with Berry Crisp for dessert.

Nov. 13th – Thursday
Lunch – Broccoli Rigatoni salad w/ Roasted Garlic oil and Parm Dressing, Shrimp or Tofu, with Strawberrys and Cream w/ Sweet Balsamic Reduction for dessert.

Dinner – Green Salad, Spiced Yogurt Dressing, Mafe (West African stew) Chicken or Tofu, Basmati Rice (Vegan), with Carrot Cake for dessert.

Remember the S&C is open for lunch from 12-12:30 Tuesday-Thursday and dinner from 5-7 Monday-Thursday.

Senate results

An update on the status of the Senate elections:
Democrats: 54 55
Independent (currently caucus with Democrats): 2
Republicans: 40
Still up in the air: 4 3

EDIT: NBC and the Portland Oregonian newspaper have called the Oregon Senate race for Merkley, the Democrat. [12:30pm 11/6/08]
EDIT2: And the Republican has conceded. Oregon now has 2 Democratic Senators. [2:15pm 11/6/08]

  • Recount in Minnesota
  • Runoff election in Georgia very likely
  • Still counting votes in Alaska and Oregon

My predictions about the outcome of the races:

  • Oregon: Probably Democratic
  • Alaska: Probably Republican, despite Ted Stevens’ seven felony convictions last week
  • Minnesota: Absolutely too close to call
  • Georgia: Toss-up if it goes to a runoff, which looks likely.

My predictions about when we’ll know the results of the outstanding races:

  • Oregon: later today or tomorrow
  • Alaska: sometime next week
  • Georgia: December 2, when they have the runoff, or shortly thereafter
  • Minnesota: Mid-December, because it’ll take at least that long for them to hand-count 2.8 million ballots

Also adding to the mix is the possibility that Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who currently caucuses with the Democrats, might switch caucuses, either through his own choice, or because the Democrats might kick him out of their caucus for supporting John McCain.

So, in order to get to 60 votes, the Democrats have to win all four of the outstanding races, and keep Joe Lieberman. As the magic 8-ball would say: Outlook not so good.

96% of precincts reporting:
Republican Saxby Chambliss: 49.9%
Democrat Jim Martin 46.7%

Under Georgia law, if neither candidate wins a majority, the two highest vote-getters must face each other in a runoff held on Dec. 2. This seat was never likely to be won outright by Jim Martin, but Democrats hoped that they could send it to a runoff, which it looks like they have accomplished. We won’t know officially until next week when the results are certified.

85% of precincts reporting
Republican Gordon Smith: 47.21%
Democrat Jeff Merkley: 46.87%

This race could still potentially go either way, as they’re still counting votes. However, it seems pretty safely Democratic, since one of the largest sections of ballots left to count is in heavily Democratic Multnomah County, where Portland is located. Merkley is currently leading Multnomah with 67% of the vote, and 60% of the votes counted.

Oregon takes a long time to count their votes since they practice mail-in voting, where all ballots must be processed in one central location. Yesterday they were predicting that they would finish counting today.

99.3% of precincts reporting
Republican Ted Stevens: 48.06% 106351 votes
Democrat Mark Begich: 46.54% 102998 votes

In addition to 3 precincts, there are 46,156 Absentee votes, 9507 Early votes, and 5725 disputed votes left to be counted. Begich would have to come out 5 percentage points ahead in this group in order to take the lead, which seems unlikely.

Should Stevens be re-elected, and either resign or be expelled from the Senate, Alaska law requires a special election to be held within 90 days, limiting the duration of any Sarah Palin appointee. Apparently, there is some question as to whether this law violates the US Constitution, however.

Minnesota: (my home state)

With 100% of precincts reporting, as of 9:26am on 11/6/2008
Democrat Al Franken: 41.98% 1,211,167 votes
Republican Norm Coleman: 41.99% 1,211,644 votes
Independence Party Dean Barcley: 15.16% 437,382 votes

This is a difference of 477! votes out of over 2.8 million cast. To give you an idea of how close that is, there were 2,341 write-in votes, which is over 5 times the number of votes separating Coleman and Franken.

According to Minnesota law, the state must pay for a recount if the margin of victory is less that 0.5%, which is exactly what is happening now. Minnesota uses exclusively paper ballots, which voters mark with a pen, so we won’t have any of the Florida hanging-chad business. The vast majority of voters use precinct-based, optical scan voting machines, which have the advantage of immediately spitting incorrectly marked ballots back to the voter, which greatly reduces inadvertent voter error. Optical scan machines also have a very low error rate, but it’s certainly greater than 0.01%. Minnesota law also provides some pretty clear guidelines for how to handle disputed ballots in a recount. With an optical-scan ballot, you have to fill in an oval, or complete an arrow, for your vote to be machine-counted. However, if you make any other clear indication of intent on the ballot, your vote will be counted during a recount. This includes a check mark, an x, circling the candidate’s name, whatever. The only thing you can’t do is put your initials on the
ballot, or some other mark that’s intended to identify it. Lawyers from either party can challenge a ballot, and if it is disputed, it will be sent to St. Paul to be reviewed by the state canvassing board, which consists of the (Democratic) Secretary of State, and four non-partisan judges, appointed by non-partisan judges. Every ballot must be examined by hand, which is likely to take a very long time. The last time Minnesota had a recount in a major statewide race was the 1962 Governor’s race, where the race flipped twice, and the margin was even closer than this one. That recount dragged on until March. This one is unlikely to last quite that long.

Al Franken is a former SNL writer, liberal talk-show host, and comedian. Norm Coleman is the Democrat turned Republican former mayor of St. Paul, MN, and was elected to the Senate in 2002, following a late-October plane crash that killed the Democratic incumbent, Paul Wellstone. Former vice president Walter Mondale was drafted at the last minute to take Wellstone’s spot on the ballot, but narrowly lost to Coleman. The Governor at the time was Jesse Ventura, of the Independence party, who had initially promised to appoint the winner of the election to fill out the remaining 2 months of Wellstone’s term, thus giving the new Minnesota senator a seniority advantage over the rest of the freshman senators, but ended up appointing Dean Barcley, of his own Independence Party, to serve for 2 months.

Updated Points Spreadsheet

I’ve updated the points spreadsheet for this fall.

For those of you who are new to this, the points spreadsheet is a way to tell if you’re spending too many or too few points to end the semester with a zero balance. You can also use it to ration out your remaining points from now to the rest of the semester.

New this year is that everything you can do with points, you can also do with meals!

The way it works to track your “ideal” usage since the beginning of the semester: Enter the number of points and meals that correspond to your meal plan in the two boxed cells. Leave the “enter the current date” field alone.

To track your “real” usage based on what you have right now, enter your current point and meal balances in the two boxed cells, and today’s date in the cell next to “enter the current date.”

Note that for those of you using the “ideal” option, you may want to deduct your starting point value for certain large, initial purchases, like the Fruit and Veggie co-op, or a meal contract at the S&C, or something.

Also, the spreadsheet assumes that you use the same number of meals each day of the week, but rounds all the totals to whole numbers.

Post comments with bugs, problems, questions or whatever.

Commencement Security Update

This just in, from the Wesleyan homepage:

Because of the appearance of Senator Obama at this year’s Commencement the event will be ticketed and there will be limited seating. Graduates will receive a limited number of tickets for their families, and will receive first preference on seating.

Because of the high amount of traffic that is anticipated, there will be no guarantee of any parking availability for this event.

We ask the general public to respect the ceremony, our graduates and their families during this event.

Glass bottles, fireworks, and selected other items will not be allowed at the ceremony. Anyone in possession of such items will be subject to removal and possible arrest.


For anyone wondering about the helicopter with the big star on it that just landed on Washington Street, it had nothing to do with Obama. It was a medivac helicopter responding to a bad accident at Vine and Wash.

Free Food

This Wednesday at 8:30 pm there will be a showing of the movie Outbreak (complete with snacks!) in the Hewitt Lounge sponsored by SPLAT and Science Hall. Also, there will be a forum in Woodhead Lounge on Thursday 12-1 pm on pandemic influenza, Wesleyan’s pandemic response plan, and new resources the university is developing to help students prepare.

The Essentials:
What: Outbreak Screening
When: Wednesday, April 30 at 8:30PM
Where: Hewitt Lounge

Good Red Road


by Robert Lewis Vaughan
directed by Jessica Posner ’09

A small All-American town. A high school football hazing. The destruction of two families, and several lives. And the rebuilding. The Good Red Road follows seven young people as old wounds are ripped open and deeply buried secrets are forced to the surface. They travel “The Good Red Road,” a Native American term for the search for balance, and for self. In the end one is left to wonder if a crusade to heal is helpful or deadly in this searing, brand-new play.

Here are the dates/times in the ’92 Theatre:

Thursday April 24th 8:00 p.m.
Friday April 25th 8:00 p.m.
Saturday April 26th 2:00 & 8:00 p.m.

*Tickets are free at the University Box Office the day of the performance

Starbursts and Milky Ways!

Join the Astronomy Department and Science Hall for a special open observing night Thursday, April 17th from 8-9PM in the Van Vleck Observatory. Have you ever wanted to see the sky up close and personal? Well here is your chance to see both Saturn and the Moon through the telescopes! Don’t worry if it is cloudy, we’ll have the planetarium out too! (The weather looks good, so there should be clear skies for viewing)
Everyone is welcome! Bring your friends and prefrosh!

Where: Van Vleck Observatory (top of the hill)
When: Thursday, April 17th (tomorrow)

Edit: fixed font–Xiaoxi

Children’s Concert/Carnival

Come to the chapel tomorrow (Saturday) at 2pm to hear a concert by the Wesleyan Orchestra and the Wesleyan Concert Choir. You will hear selections from Star Wars, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and Stavinsky’s Firebird, among others.

It’s a children’s concert, so there will be lots of little cuties in attendance. Dressing in costume is encouraged, but by no means mandatory.

Tickets are free at the door.

Where:Memorial Chapel
When:Saturday, March 1st, 2pm