A Month’s Worth of Observations

Being off for an entire month and not having a weekly outlet for my daily observations has really left me with a void in my life, so I’m glad to be back reporting to you, my loyal readers. Since I’m sure that many of you don’t follow the news as closely as I do on break, I thought I’d give everyone a Cliff’s Notes version of everything you missed while away at The Minaret.

In national news, President Bush gave his address to the nation regarding our new plan for Iraq: more troops. Now I know I’m not the only person here that is beginning to think he is incapable of coming up with truly NEW plans. Perhaps the only thing more entertaining than watching President Bush speak is watching Condoleeza Rice defend Bush’s decision before Congress. If she can’t properly defend his stupidity, maybe she should work harder at getting him some better ideas. I don’t know about you, but all I ever see when they put Dr. Rice in front of a panel is her performance in front of the 9/11 commission. If you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest you look it up on YouTube.

Speaking of Congress, the 110th United States Congress convened just two weeks ago. Now that in itself is nothing monumental, but it does mark the return of total Democratic power to the Senate after over a decade. What is the first thing they did to celebrate, you ask? They took a day off!! Yes, on Jan. 8, the beginning of their first week back in session, the U.S. congressmen took a day off in observance of the Fiesta Bowl. This is truly something that could only happen in the United States government. No other world superpower would think about taking a day off for a college championship football game.

For those Apple junkies out there, you probably heard about the introduction of the first Apple cell phone, the appropriately named iPhone. Just like every other new Apple product, it’s going to change the way you look at the (insert product here) market! Why can’t Steve Jobs introduce a new product without saying it’s going to drastically alter our lifestyles? The only Apple product I own is a three-year-old PowerMac G4 that is currently serving primary duty as my school computer. My life has not changed significantly since I’ve begun using it. It doesn’t make food at the caf taste better, nor is my life any less complicated. Maybe you have to use multiple Apple products to experience the changes we’re told to expect. Long story short, a $500 cell phone can’t possibly be better at connecting me to my friends who are summoning me to dinner than the $80 one I currently own.

A little closer to home, Residence Hall 5000 has been officially named Stadium Center. Now for those of you that have been here longer than a year, you will remember that David A. Straz Jr. Hall was formerly named Stadium Place. Many of us still refer to it as Stadium amongst ourselves because it has been engraved into our brain as such. It is the opinion of this writer, as well as others on campus, that this may be an attempt to make us call Straz Hall by its official name and thus recognize Mr. Straz’s generous donation to the school. It has been brought to my attention by some of the faculty here that the sole requirement to change the name of a residence hall is a fairly sizable donation to the school. Thus, I have devised a plan: I say we start a petition on the Colbert Nation website to raise the adequate funding to have Stadium Center changed to Stephen Colbert Center. If we get enough recognition, they may even do it for free, just to get the occasional mention of UT from Stephen Colbert himself on air.

Finally, a reminder to all you party animals out there: Gasparilla begins this Saturday, and I expect to see you all out there. See ya at the parade, bro!

John Phifer can be contacted at jphifer@ut.edu.

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