Monday, December 13, 2004
Congratulations to John Krahmer (Texas Tech), who this year won Tech's Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching Award. It's the latest in a long list of teaching awards for Krahmer, who has five times been voted by students as the school's outstanding teacher, and previously won the President’s Award for Teaching Excellence at Texas Tech. He also previously netted the University Research Award for Computerized Text Analysis Research.
1204: The Talmudic scholar and philosopher Maimonides (Moshe ben Maimon) dies in Egypt. One of his sayings, which cannot be too often repeated in our business, is "Teach your tongue to say ‘I do not know’ and you will progress."
1729: The English determinist philosopher Anthony Collins, a friend of John Locke, dies in London.
1642: Abel Tasman, on a voyage for the Vereinigte Oostindische Compaignie (the Dutch East India Company, known as the VOC) spies "a large high-lying land, bearing south-east of us." He will name the place—hitherto unknown to Europeans—"Staten Landt," but within a few years it will come to be known as Nieuw Zeeland.
1734: England and Russia sign the Anglo-Russian Commercial Treaty. Since the founding of the Muscovy Company in 1555 English merchants had long been preeminent in trade into Russia; St. Petersburg at the time is a "miniature City of London."
1759: H. Royer Smith opens the first music store in America in Philadelphia.
1769: Dartmouth College is chartered. Although "one of the lesser lights in the literary horizon of our country," said Daniel Webster later, there are those who love it.
1816: Ernst Werner von Siemens, the inventor who will found the company that bears his name, is born in Lenthe, Prussia.
1903: Orville and Wilbur Wright make their first successful heavier-than-air flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The same day, Italo Marcioni of New Jersey receives a patent for the ice cream cone.
1904: Judge Charles Swayne of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida is impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives. The Senate will subsequently fail to convict him.
1920: The League of Nations creates the International Court of Justice at the Hague.
1924: Samuel Gompers, the British-born organizer of the American Federation of Labor, dies in San Antonio, Texas.
1950: The career of actor James Dean begins with his appearance in a Pepsi commercial.
1961: American singer Jimmy Dean scores country music’s first $1 million selling album, with is Big Bad John. On the other side of the Atlantic, an English group called the Beatles sign a contract with their future manager, Brian Epstein.
1973: The new World Football League grants its first franchise, to Detroit.
1981: Comedian Pigmeat Markham, who scored a hit with Here Come Da Judge, dies at age 75.
Coaches at Pennsylvania colleges are battling over their "second-class" contract status. . . . The Florida Marlins bring some pressure to bear in their contract talks with Miami. . . . The excessive compensation trial of the NYSE’s Richard Grasso is going back to state court. . . . Philadelphia Eagles star Terrell Owens is sued for breach of an endorsement contract. . . . And recent cases on notifying your insurance company and the "manifest disregard" standard for arbitrators.
Sunday, December 12, 2004
1745: The first Chief Justice of the United States, John Jay, is born in New York City.
1791: The first Bank of the United States opens for business.
1800: Washington, D.C., becomes the capital of the United States.
1805: Henry Wells, is born in Thetford, Vermont. Together with his partner William Fargo he will go on to found the American Express Co., and later the pair will start Wells, Fargo & Co.
1858: The first Canadian coins are introduced into circulation.
1870: Joseph Hayne Rainey of South Carolina, former slave, is sworn in as the first African-American member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
1901: Guglielmo Marconi receives the first transatlantic radio message—the three dots of the letter"S"—at a station in Newfoundland. The Anglo-American Telegraph Company, which holds the telegraph monopoly in Newfoundland, immediately threatens to sue him if he does not cease operations.
1906: President Roosevelt appoints Oscar Straus to be U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Labor; he is the first Jew to serve as a U.S. cabinet official.
1925: The world’s first "motel" opens, the Motel Inn in San Luis Obispo, California (left). The term is coined by owner Arthur Heinman. For $1.25 a night, guests driving between Los Angeles and San Francisco can get a two-room bungalow, complete with kitchen and garage; it even has a swimming pool.
1937: The first mobile television vans hit the streets in New York, operated by RCA and NBC.
1945: Can moral obligation be consideration for a contract? In Harrington v. Taylor—known to many law students as The Case of the Axe-Wielding Wife—the North Carolina Supreme Court says no.
1946: Proctor & Gamble introduces Tide detergent. The same day, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., donates six blocks of Manhattan real estate to the new United Nations.
1971: David Sarnoff, a penniless immigrant from Russia who worked his way up from office boy to found RCA, dies.
1979: Gold hits a record price of $462.50 an ounce, or about $1,200 in 2003 dollars.
1991: Film studio Orion Pictures files for bankruptcy.
The usual grumble on campus is that athletic coaches get, if anything, too many goodies—but that’s not usually true for non-faculty assistant coaches, particularly in Pennsylvania, where between fourteen state-owned universities and the union that represents some 360 non-faculty coaches have broken down.
The state is proposing a three percent salary increase and merit pay—the union opposes the latter. The coaches also will for the first time be required to pay a portion of their health care costs. The Associated Press quotes a union official: "The (system) is offering coaches less than what every other state union has already obtained through contract negotiations. . . . The coaches . . . are being treated as second-class citizens."
The Florida Marlins baseball team is making noises about moving to Las Vegas, as part of a plan to get a better ballpark deal out of the city of Miami.
The Marlins want a new $420 million retractable-dome stadium, and are willing to pay somewhat less than half the projected cost—taxpayers will fund the rest—but one of the sticking points is who will pay for the cost overruns that are almost inevitable on a project like this. Marlins officials apparently had a 90-minute meeting with Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman.
Miami mayor Mayor Manny Diaz said the city has been negotiating in good faith and says taht he was "[s]hocked, disturbed, disappointed, disgusted" at the Marlins’ tactic.