MrSpkr's random thoughts . . .
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Link to terrorism?
Omeed Aziz Popal runs down 14 people in San Francisco.
I wonder if he was on a one-man jihad like Mohammad Taheri-azar's drive through a portion of UNC's compus last March.
Is that racist, or common sense? Whichever it is. it is disconcerting.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Why punctuation is important
A misplaced comma costs a Canadian company millions.
A grammatical blunder may force Rogers Communications Inc. to pay an extra $2.13-million to use utility poles in the Maritimes after the placement of a comma in a contract permitted the deal's cancellation.Ouch. For some time, I have believed that schools were not placing enough emphasis on grammar and writing skills. This case is a stark reminder the importance of such skills.
. . .
Rogers thought it had a five-year deal with Aliant Inc. to string Rogers' cable lines across thousands of utility poles in the Maritimes for an annual fee of $9.60 per pole. But early last year, Rogers was informed that the contract was being cancelled and the rates were going up. Impossible, Rogers thought, since its contract was iron-clad until the spring of 2007 and could potentially be renewed for another five years.
Armed with the rules of grammar and punctuation, Aliant disagreed. The construction of a single sentence in the 14-page contract allowed the entire deal to be scrapped with only one-year's notice, the company argued.
Language buffs take note — Page 7 of the contract states: The agreement "shall continue in force for a period of five years from the date it is made, and thereafter for successive five year terms, unless and until terminated by one year prior notice in writing by either party."
Rogers' intent in 2002 was to lock into a long-term deal of at least five years. But when regulators with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) parsed the wording, they reached another conclusion.
The validity of the contract and the millions of dollars at stake all came down to one point — the second comma in the sentence.
Had it not been there, the right to cancel wouldn't have applied to the first five years of the contract and Rogers would be protected from the higher rates it now faces.
"Based on the rules of punctuation," the comma in question "allows for the termination of the [contract] at any time, without cause, upon one-year's written notice," the regulator said.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
But I thought only evil Republicans engagaed in ballot tampering
Apparently, Cynthia McKinney thinks some Democrats (like the one who is beating the pants off her in today's run-off elecetion) do it too.
Cynthia, try not to let the door hit you (or your thugs) on the way out.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Depression . . .
is a dark and ugly thing. Self-doubt, anxiety, and apathy spring from it. It is a black hole waiting to suck the unwary into it's grasp.
Sigh. In short, going through it is not a lot of fun.