Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Alma Mater Is A Banana Republic

This is a recent op-ed I wrote for the Eagle. They declined to publish it, because they're worried about more political interference from the Student Senate, but I figured I'd post it here because it's important to push back against the hypocritical fascist bastards trying to shut down free speech on campus.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution reads, in part, that "the freedom of the press shall not be abridged." The unifying principle of patriotism in America is not race, nor allegiance to a monarch, but allegiance to the Constitution; this is judged so important to the body politic that the military (including ROTC officers) are made to swear to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States." Thomas Jefferson, who knew a thing or two about the Constitution, famously said "I would rather newspapers without government than a government without newspapers."

Chadron State College's experience with both has proven the sage of Monticello correct once again, as the People In Charge try anew to forget that the Constitution was forged to bind them.

There was a letter to the editor last week regarding the propriety of a comic that joked about using Eaglecards to take drugs. The people whose job it is to promote Chadron State to prospective students got upset at this article, because apparently a tongue-in-cheek joke that upsets the authorities is going to destroy our enrollment figures. As we all know, the students thinking about coming here are going to see a joke about drugs, clutch their pearls and drop into a fainting couch.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Google, get your shit together.

Just spent like ten minutes trying to make Google sign me in with the account I actually use instead of the random account Viaero gave me for my phone. Should not have been this hard.

I'm at a show at the Broker, it's all right but I'm rocking beyond nowhere near enough reality right now. I'm trying to think of some way to be productive since I'm far too sober ATM, but this was the closest thing that came to mind.

I've played a lot of chess tonight, trying out Hikaru Nakamura's hyperdefensive strategy as white and the Sicilian Defense as black. I'm getting good at the former, but I get the impression that the Sicilian is hard to play well. My ranking for live chess has improved though... I'm about 1000-1100, only about 100 points below my non-live ranking.

What else... I've been sick since Labor Day. Wouldn't be out tonight except that my friends and I made plans. This is also why I haven't done a comic in three weeks. Well, that and the thesis.

That's coming along swimmingly, though. I made my first map for the thesis this week; just a map of central Asia before Genghis Khan started breaking shit. My advisor says it's pretty good. I've seen the fairly simplistic maps that predominate the field of Mongol studies; putting out something that's got more information while being prettier and easier to read shouldn't be hard. The background in art and geography is helping me a lot. I'll try to provide a pic for the net here soon.

Speaking of random stuff helping out, it turns out Draya spent her childhood riding a Mongolian horse, which is important because they are different from other warhorses. Not as strong or fast, but they can endure twice as much. Mongol strategy often involved pretending to run away and tiring the enemy cavalry out, and then attacking. Mongol horses aren't very common on this continent, so knowing someone who grew up handling one (and dating her, no less) is incredibly lucky.

Apparently one of Draya's relatives is a translator over in Mongolia, to boot. Which gives me heart about this degree, especially if I go on for the Ph.D. Even if I don't teach, I can almost certainly travel abroad and earn a living translating stuff. My Russian skills will help with that too, as they're next door. If I can somehow learn Chinese, I'd be set.

Anyway, enough rambling for now. Now that I, well, have an app for this, I may post more often.