Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Squirrel Factor

Yesterday, I was at Starbucks and found I should try something new. Being faced with a frightening picture of Frappuccino Pomegranate however, I went for same-as-always. Just instead of picking the NY Times (headline about an exhibition of 9/11 dust) I took a copy of the Santa Barbara Daily Sound (headline: two killed in school shooting).

Here is what I learned from a commentary titled Harvard schmarvard by Leslie Dinaberg. Leslie, who apparently graduated at UCLA, comments on last week's Time Magazine cover story Who needs Harvard . (Which I read. But I found the conclusion that the students average IQ is not proportional to their parent's annual income, hardly remarkable.)

Anyway, Leslie writes:

"[...] There's more to a great college experience than sitting in a beautiful library. What about sitting in a library full of beautiful people? UCLA's close proximity to Hollywood and Southern California's year-round sunshine make for an exceptionally photogenic student body. Score one for UCLA.

Then there's our superior five squirrel rating. According to the

which uses the simple algorithm that the quality of an institution is directly related to the number of squirrels on its campus, the size, girth and health of UCLA's squirrel population is second only to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. [...]

Harvard ranks a lowly three on the squirrel-o-meter [...]"

Okay, I have not much to say about the conjectured duality between the number of squirrels and an university's quality, except maybe that I'd consequently recommend as part of an competitiveness initiative to teach the first semester students how to treat their squirrels nicely. Let me then rather say something about the beauty myth.

Not only shouldn't good looking be mistaken for beauty, but UCSB certainly beats UCLA in that matter. Just that you most likely won't find THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE sitting in the library. You'll find them surfing on the beach (boys), jogging up and down the beach (girls), or getting drunk in Isla Vista (mating ritual).

See also:

If you're looking for a bottomline, there is none. I'll go to the beach now an watch the beautiful people of Southern California.

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  1. Not many squirrels down the beach, unless they are re-incarnated squirrels, or possibly according to JoAnne Hewett evolved squirrels.

    Hmmm - reminds me of Enigms and the dream of the dolphin >>>
    a dolphin being a human in its dreams? a human dreaming to be a dolphin in it's dreams???
    No bottom line, just dolphins ...

    PS - for more Squirrel chatter

  2. And Bee, for when you come back from da beach jam movie

  3. .. hm, the Science Campus Riedberg of the Frankfurt University features neither beaches with surfing boys, and jogging girls, nor squirrels.

    Amazingly, there have been some squirrels around when the Physics Department was still in town, where now only Mathematics is left...

    But now, instead of squirrels, there are real hares around! Maybe that counts also ;-)

  4. The squirrels might have a student-index for their top-rank living places?

    -- Nuts

  5. Dear Quasar,

    thanks for the movie! Is one min sufficient to reconnect? Last time I tried to talk to my inner self I got the voice-mail. But I have an appointment for the day after my funeral.

    I remember there was a similar initiative some while ago from the National Sleep Foundation (yes, they really exist), but they were asking for 15 min breaks... where did the other 14 min go? Will jam eventually turn into jas?



  6. Dear Stefan,

    interestingly the squirrels in Germany are mostly red, whereas in the US they are mostly grey. What does that say about the east-west gradiant in educational quality? Best,


  7. Hi Bee, speed of light is a measure of distance travelled by light in time, in our 3D+T world.

    You do notice in the jam video you are travelling considerably faster than the speed of light, since you are travelling billions(?) or trillions(?) of light years (a measure of distance?) and back in less than a minute ...

    You are travelling in (thru)another Lisa Randall dimension

  8. Bee, Time is (observer) relative.
    Some moments or days seem to last for ever, whereas other times we look back and wonder where all the years have gone.

    Infinity by definition has no beginning and no end. Infinity as a measure of Time, time would be revolving around you - the universe ageing whilst you remain ageless (timeless) you a goddess???

    But here we are not talking about trains and stations, or planes and airports (hubs) - but time portals?

    Have you read thru:
    wikipedia Time Dilation
    and of course ST Warp drive

  9. UC/Berkeley has a diversity of squirrels so fat they can barely waddle up to you to screech for a handout. If said screeching hairy-tailed organisms come up higher than your knees they are not squirrels, they're tenured social activist faculty. It is especially bad near Boalt Hall, including the droppings (faculty, not squirrels).

  10. I can't comment about anything but the squirrels. Don't you just find them adorable? And by the way enjoy the beach. Getting there is the best way to deal with stress.

  11. Squirrels are SO cute! I watch them every morning through my window :-)

  12. In Waterloo, on the lawn around the building of Bee's new appartment, there seem to be two species of squirrels, one kind with a bushy, silverly tail, and another with a thinner, black tail - this second kind is, on the whole, much darker.

    I tried to take pictures of them yesterday morning, but without success. To my surprise, these Waterloo town squirrels are extremely shy, and they always escaped on the trees whenever I managed to got close enough to take photos.


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