Monday, August 20, 2007

Two Truths and Lie: Haunted by Mormons.

Remember this feature? Where I offer three titbits from the news? One of which (in some small, small way) has to do with lying? Here we go...

  • Those two giants of social science research, the Associated Press and MTV, released the results of a major study today on "young people and happiness." By young people, they mean 13-24 yr olds.

    Here's something interesting and no entirely surprising:
    Young people who are non-Hispanic whites are happier than blacks and Hispanics by a wide margin: 72 percent of whites say they are happy with life in general, compared with just 56 percent of blacks and 51 percent of Hispanics.
    Well, as long as the white kids are happy...

    Even better news:
    In looking to the future, 70 percent say they want to be rich - and nearly half think it's at least somewhat likely they will be someday.
    I remember thinking that when I was a teen. I wish some cynical blogger had burst my optimism back then.

    Fosco finds the following result most telling:
    And contrary to popular views of technology as a source of stress, many young people would be more stressed out without technology, with nearly half saying they never turn off their cell phones - even when they're trying to chill out.
    As someone who almost never turns his cell phone ON, Fosco now understands why he hates young people so much.

  • You may remember the horrible suicide last summer of UCSC's Chancellor Denice Denton. There were several unpleasant aspects to this story, including some possible relationship issues between Denton and her partner Gretchen Kalonji (as well as the possibility that idiot student protesters may have contributed to Denton's depression).

    The story got sadder this weekend, with the Kalonji is suing Denton's estate because she received nothing in the will nor from Denton's life insurance policy.

    Now Fosco has no idea what to make of this case. Clearly there is a cautionary lesson here: if you're in a long-term relationship, you should change your will to include your partner.

    But this is what is bothering Fosco:
    UC officials declined Friday to comment on what Denton's benefits were and how they were dispersed, but according to [a Denton family attorney], Denton didn't leave the insurance money to anyone and the policy has been split between Mabee and Denton's estranged father in accordance with UC protocol.
    Again, it is clear that Denice Denton probably should have named a beneficiary of her life insurance policy. However, why wouldn't the UC system pay that life insurance to Denton's life partner of nine years? If Denton and Kalonji were legally married (you know--that thing that straight people can do?), wouldn't Denton's life insurance money go to Kalonji without trouble?

    Gay people just keep getting hosed.

  • The 2008 US News College Rankings are out! Princeton continues its dominance; Fosco's alma mater Harvard is still pretty good.

    But what of UC Santa Cruz? Apparently, UCSC is about where it usually sits (#79), but now it is TIED for #79 with... MORMONS. That's right, Bringem Young University is tied with ultraliberal UCSC.

    You know how Fosco feels about Mormons, so you can appreciate the irony here. I've been thinking of ways to resolve this problem: can UCSC challenge BYU to a tiebreaker?

    Suggested tiebreakers that UCSC would win:
    • bong painting contest
    • Diet Coke chugging
    • blow-job-a-thon
    • evolutionary biology quiz
    • surfing
    • voting for change

    That's my school! Go Slugs!


todd said...

You got 76th in Washington Monthly's alternative rankings.

The Mormons got 68th.

m said...

We tied with a school that has GENEALOGY and HOME AND FAMILY LIFE as majors?

I'm ripping up my degree as we speak.