Tuesday, May 26, 1998 - The Michigan Daily - 5
"I hate walking around campus now, coughing up a lung
because of the dirt and dust that's flying through the air."
- Ingineering sophomore Karen Sneider; frustrated by
all the construction in Ann Arbor over the summer:
ETE S OTH ED *R
To THE DAILY:
I happened to read the article
on myself (1 larris ignites Blue
golfers, 518/98) and found it to
be extremely inaccurate and dis-
*rbing. As I am sure you know
acts and their accuracy make a
story, not the overdramatization
of what you dream up.
The whole angle of the
story was way off and misrepre-
sented myself and the golf pro-
gram at the tniversity. I am not
a "rebel without a cause" and
"rules are my thing." Winning
three tournaments this year
*ined myself respect from
players and coaches alike.
However, what gained the most
respect was the incident at the
Kepler Intercollegiate. I was
extremely apologetic to my
teammates, coaches and family
for what happened and was
commended by most for my
actions. This is far from the pic-
ture you painted in your article.
First, it was not the "final
le." Second, I was not in con-
tention to win the tournament.
Most of all I did not go on
some "rampage which led to
my disqualification." It hap-
pened on the second hole of the
day, I was 6 or 7 shots off the
lead with no chance of catching
up, and I turned myself in.
After kicking the putter, it bent
Wy slightly, and had I not said
a word I could have finished
the round, counted my score,
and no one would have known
but myself. However,, as an
honest person who respects the
integrity of the game, I told my
opponents and informed them
o.f the possible consequences
sines I was unsure of the rule. I
finished the round minus the
putter and shot 76 hoping to
still help out my team.
After looking in a rules
book, I found the penalty was
disqualification and remorseful-
ly accepted the consequences of
niy actions. However, the article
portrayed me as a fool runing
around a golf course destroying
everything in my path. It makes
tor a good fictiotal stiry and
maybe a box office hit like
"Ilappy Giimore,' however,
writing it in a newspaper about
someone trying to do the right
thing becomes a malicious
attack on my reputation.
Journalism like this has no place
in the Daily and should be
reserved as tabloid trash.
To THE DAILY:
After reading your coverage
of the University's year 2000
bug response (ITD extends plan
for the millennium, 5/18/98), I
could not help but laugh at the
absurdity of the situation. The
computer glitch, according to
the way that lID depicts it, is a
failing of programmers to antici-
pate the needs of the future. The
Y2k bug is not the fault of the
programmers but of the bureau-
cracy, and on their shoulders the
blame for a massive potential
computer failure rests.
The programs written that
have these problems are over 20
years old and lived on far
beyond the expectations of the
original designers. Why is a uni-
versity that claims to be on the
cutting edge still using equip-
ment and software that is over
20 years old when the same
institution upgrades the equip-
ment in the campus computing
sites once every two years?
For a painfully simple rea-
son: It is easier to wait until
problems are staring you in the
face rather than change a sys-
tem that already works. The
machines that will fail are out-
dated mainframes that should
have been retrofit years ago.
Fur the aver/ige student, the
Y2k bug means funds wasted
on a problem that should never
have come up, it means pro-
grammers' time wasted retro-
fitting old code rather then a
newer more powerful system.
It means delays in getting
things processed, errors in han-
dling requests, inefficiency and
many more years of error
keeping alive an old system.
Late night infomercials do battle for naive viewers
enizens of late night television like myself same high school. Mega Math was a sort of
are certainly familiar with the ridiculous Mega Fonze, impressing all the chicks with his
infomercials that run around the time that Jay math prowess. Being the big mail on campus,
Leno's show signs off. Of all the half-hour he often beat up the not-yet Mega Reading and
commercials running today, two in particular took his lunch money. Mega Reading was left
stand out to me: Mega Reading and Mega to eat stale chicken nuggets and read sci-fi
Math. books at a table all by himself in the cafeteria.
Both promise their potential cus- Reading the books, the young teenager
tomers ludicrous results in the format soon found that he could read them at
of a one-on-one talk show. Strangely, nearly twice the rate of a normal sts-
the same "host" appears in each com- dent, and he continued to get foster
mercial (perhaps a sort of Vince suntil he became Mega Reading.
McMahon, controlling the operation ' Sadly, rather than use his powers for
even though you believe he's nothing good, Mega Reading decided to market
more than a talking head). This host them. As soon as his old nemesis Mega
interviews the purveyor of each Math got wind of this, he challenged
method, who gives a demonstration of him in capitalistic warffare. I am disip-
the amazing things you can do if you pointed that these two men could not
send in some money right now. Mega DAVID take their cues from other superheroes.
Reading takes a science textbook and WALLACE You would never catch Batman on
reads it on the air in about 45 seconds, 9 E IN QVC trying to sell batarangs for
flipping through pages like the robot TJO ti v 519.95.
in "Short Circuit" (yeah, remember The other critical mistake Iade by
that?). Mega Reading is that lie did not trademark any
Flip the channel over to Mega Math, and hes name composed of the word 'mega" and an aca-
adding up four-digit numbers faster than the demic subject. I :n sure Mega Chemistry, Mega
chronically slow-fingered host can with a calcu- home Economics and Mega Astrophysics are
lator. Like Mega Re/ding, Mega Math says that already on the way. Who knows what tragedy
all you have to do is buy his book to learn the awaits the ill-informed Mega Chemistry student?
method Mega Math and Mega Reading exemplify the
With names like Mega Math and Mega impatience inherent in our society. Americans love
Reading, and given their amazing displays of absurd gimmicks that advertise immediate results.
skill, these guys have got to be superheroes. After Even though such claims are not realistic, people
watchling these commercials a few times, I ami buy into the slim chance that they work. While
pretty sure that Mega Reading appears agitated. believing in sweeping solutions to problems is the
Clearly, he was here first and Mega Math has first step in solving them, overlooking the required
been trying to usurp his late night power. effort only puts solutions further out of reach.
The origins of these two superheroes are Infomerciais are the snake oil of the 1990s, and
shrouded in mystery, but I feel I have unlocked they show us how far we haven't come.
the secrets of the men behind the books. Years - Davidt Wllace can be reached into the earl
ago, Mega Math and Mega leading went to the morning hours at davidmniw fumich.edu.
If only I could relive the summers of my childhood
A s one of the numerous unemployed college After I've tattooed him with a couple good
students scrounging around lovely Ann bruises, and he's gotten in the mandatory arm
Arbor this summer, it recently dawned on me bites, we head out to our backyard pool. Five
how great it was to be a child. More specifically, minutes of pretend-you're-an-Olympic-swinner
I've come to realize that childhood during the is enough though, so I opt to grab a raft from the
summer months might be some of the best times deck. Tony, lacking my stamina, runs inside to
of our lives. I admit, I'm one of the most irre- the comfort of the air-conditioned family room,
sponsible 20-somethings around. But whie .I proceed to lay out for a couple
even if you're some industrious young hours, letting my fingers and toes hang
intern, you have to agree with me here. in the soothing water.
Come on now. Just sink into your Then, he ventures back outside to ask
couch and think back ... back to when me if I want to take a trip up to the cor-
your days were carefree and lazy. Back ner 7-11. Dragging myself out of the
to when your mom poure'd your Cookie pool, I dry off and go with him to the
Crisps for you. Back to when your summertime consumer mecca. Beef
"job" entailed brushing your teeth s jerky. String cheese. Fifty-cent "Big
every morning and picking up Ruff's Bite" hot dogs (potentially lethal, but
poop in the afternoon. Back ... back ... they taste good). And, of course, the
back ... CHRIS holy grail of summer drinks -- the
I can see myself waking up. Bright LANGRILL Slurpee. We head home with these
and early as always. It's around 11:15 I iF"'DI goodies, the refreshing nature of our
a.m., and I'm walking down the hall to WIN'' banana- and pepsi-flavored slurpees
start another productive day, rubbing relaxing us to the point that we don't
my eyes and adjusting my jumbled Detroit argue or hit each other the whole way home.
Pistons pajamas. I get into the family room and By the time we get back, it's almost five and
my younger brother, Tony, has beaten me to the time for dinner. That means Dad is home. We're
punch - he has the good couch and the con- in for a lecture. So Tony and I sit there at the din-
troller. I'd try to wrestle it from him, but I'm still ner table, listening to Dad semi-yell at us about
too groggy. So I sit down in a nearby chair and getting off our lazy butts this summer. After din-
settle in for the last 45 minutes of "The Price Is ner, it's back to the couch where we watch the
Right". In the background, Mom's pouring us Tigers' game and crack open a few beers. By 10
some cereal. p.m., we're both wasted and ...
Around 1 or so, after we've both showered and Wait a minute. I'm sorry. That's a memory
found some not-too-crumpled clothes to throw from this past week when I was home, not from
on, Tony and I, like two unfrozen cavemen, sum- my childhood. I guess being home brought back
ble out of the garage and into the blinding sum- that feeling of my lazy, carefree childhood. But
mer light. IHands over his eyes, he grunts some- now I'm back in Ann Arbor, pouring my own
thing along the lines of "we play catch, ugh?" I cereal and looking for a job. Too bad picking up
nod back in the affirmative and, before you know the dog's crap isn't an option anymore.
it, we're swearing and hurling baseballs at each -If you would like Chris Langril topick up'our
other's head. You know, bonding. dog's crap, he can be rueached asircimjuich.edu.
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