Check Yourself

AP/Yahoo News

Tonight’s presidential debate is going to debut a new feature:  many media outlets will provide live “fact-checking” during the proceedings.  This means that for the first time in debate history, whether or not a statement is statistically correct will be revealed during the event… as opposed to the days and weeks afterwards.

While this means that percentages and estimates will be difficult to fabricate on the spot (as many conversational statistics are) it also means that both teams will begin preparation for the debates by making sure that their assertions are justifiable and verifiable, not merely anecdotal or opinion.

Their words are likely to be more carefully crafted and their statements less dramatic.

While radio and television brought an immediacy to the fact checking of previous debates, the lack of ability to immediately interact with fact-checkers meant that a person identifying a discrepancy between an assertion and a verifiable statistic also needed access to a national publishing outlet to make the discrepancy known.

With the advent of digital publishing, and interactive media, the day of immediate accountability appears to have arrived.  There is a strong possibility that this could be the most “guarded” debate in history.

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A Christian Party School

In yet another desperate attempt to find relevance in a world where women can earn a living doing something other than taking their clothes off, Playboy Magazine has chosen to tell us which college campuses lead the nation in… wait for it… “Partying”.

Playboy’s list of top 10 “party schools” was released to “legitimate sports media outlets” this week and there were some surprising omissions; some historically hard-partying stalwarts didn’t make the cut as it pertained to playboy’s selectively chosen, yet tastefully displayed, criteria:

“Sex”, “Athletics”, and “Nightlife”

The hard-working statisticians and researchers behind this year’s list didn’t state how strongly the categories played into the overall decisions, but it doesn’t take a genius to understand that certain schools ranking high in “athletic achievement” and “proximity to Hollywood” wouldn’t need to rank nearly as high in the “sex” department to make the list.

Which makes me wonder how a Christian University from Ft. Worth, Texas with two streets famous for pizza, burgers, and tacos, and a respectable, yet modest, athletic department lands at number 9 on the list?

That’s right, Texas Christian University beat out all but 9 colleges in an All-American ranking of nightlife, sports, and the proclivity for pre-marital prevarication.

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Mixing A Little God In

I’m realizing that people say the stupidest things, and by people I mostly mean me but I’ll bet you say some stupid stuff too don’t you?

The other day I was wondering about some of these stupid things and I realized that we have a whole bunch of phrases that we like to use that don’t really mean anything.

Like the other day I was with two people and one of them got mad at the other one so they stood up and stormed out of the room and the other one said, “Don’t let the door hit you on the ____ on the way out!” 

Have we ever wanted the door to hit someone in the blank on the way out?

Wouldn’t this have been the perfect time for wanting the door to hit someone?

What about when you’re sitting in a room with a friend talking about someone and then they walk in?  One of the two of you is obligated to say, “Well speak of the devil!”

Did we just call this person the devil?

It’s not enough that they were probably already worried that we were talking about them, but now we also insult them?

Whenever I walk into a room and someone says this, I just introduce myself to everyone else in the room as “the devil”.

What about  the phrase “Thank God?”

Have you ever found yourself saying “thank God” and wondered if you’ve really meant it?

You know what I mean, you’ve said “thank God” on a reflex,  like “thank God” was an exclamatory phrase akin to “awesome” or “oh yeah”.

I started thinking about this the other day so I made a list of things that I’ve “thanked God for” insincerely:

Getting a front row parking space at Fred Meyer,

Finding the remote control in the couch cushions,

The Red Sox winning the World Series,

Getting the last slice of pizza,

Getting off with a warning,

Not failing something I should have failed,

Finding a pair of jeans that fit AND look good after the age of 30,

Van Halen getting back together,

The lawn mower starting on the first pull,

School being cancelled for snow,

Church being cancelled for snow,

Finding a Nintendo Wii.

Remembering the password to my online banking account.

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