Fill You Up With Smarts – Weekend Links For January 30, 2010

UMass Amherst has a new branding effort. Why don’t they just improve the University instead of worrying about the brand message? How about stop cutting tenure track faculty? Considering one of your brand themes is “smart”, you might want to stop the faculty slide. Tenure faculty at UMass Amherst has dropped nearly 250 since 1988 (pdf).

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is probably going to retire this year. At 90 years old, his work is going to be hard to replace. He’s had some full throated opinions lately … on the campaign finance law that was overturned, Stevens said the current court was blazing through case law precedent. The final sentence of his dissent: “While American democracy is imperfect, […] few outside the majority of this court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.”

PGA tour starting to pay for the transgressions of Tiger Woods. – “It is a harbinger of what the PGA Tour may be without its most popular player. Three of the Tour’s 46 tournaments scheduled for 2010 don’t have a lead corporate sponsor, nor do 13 of next year’s tournaments. Television viewership of the first two events of this year’s Tour tumbled.”

Margaret Talbot of The New Yorker is blogging the same sex marriage trial in California, Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

Terrorist Carlos The Jackal is in a French prison for life, but he’s suing a film company for final cut of a documentary they are making of him.

Vermont has suffered more deaths per capita in the Iraq war than any other state. The state has a rate of 3.54 deaths per 100,000 residents, which dwarfs even those that follow right behind: Montana (2.87), Wyoming (2.57), Nebraska (2.50) and South Dakota (2.46). Why is the rate so hight? A few reasons, one of which is that their National Guard gets a lot of tough assignments.

After Three Months, Only 35 Subscriptions forNewsday‘s Web Site. After moving the newspaper Web site behind a pay wall ($5 a week), site traffic has dropped off a cliff; in December 2009 the web site had 1.5 million unique visits, a drop from 2.2 million in October.

Transcribing everyday conversations of Al Qaeda members. Other than the terrorism they like, they’re regular guys!