Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Latest From Evergreen Academe

Washington State University is holding a nerd auction:
At a time when the most popular guy on campus is as likely to be a computer geek as a jock, a planned "nerd auction" is sure to be a big moneymaker this month at Washington State University.

Male members of the university's Linux Users Group will auction themselves off to interested buyers — presumably women — who will get homework help, computer help, or a date.

"Everybody is incredibly excited about this," says Ben Ford, a graduate student and one of the organizers. Proceeds will go to scholarships for women interested in taking computer-science classes at the university and to the six sororities sponsoring the event.

Of about 100 computer-science majors at Washington State, 19 are women, a common situation at colleges nationwide.

Women from the sponsoring sororities will prepare the nerds for the auction block with head-to-toe makeovers — a process that will be documented on video and posted on YouTube.
Meanwhile, the U of Washington is playing with ratfish:
Scientists at the University of Washington have caught an albino ratfish that is not only extremely rare but bafflingly long-lived. Found in waters off Whidbey Island, Wash., it had survived to more than two years of age even though its white color, crystalline skin, and pale green eyes should have made it easy pickings for the dogfish that troll the region.

The footlong female is the only completely albino fish ever seen by researchers at the university's 7.2-million-specimen fish collection.

"Why didn't it get eaten, long before this, by some predator?" wonders Theodore W. Pietsch, a professor of fisheries and aquatic sciences and curator of the university's fish collection.

Humans don't prey on ratfish, which are greasy and smelly. Only New Zealanders are known to eat them, in fish and chips. Washington researchers took steps to keep the albino specimen alive, but it managed to flip out of a bucket on board the scientists' vessel and die.
(Courtesy of the October 19th issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education)

No comments: