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Which Presidential Candidate is the Most Eph? (Republican Edition)

Picking up our review of the presidential field with the Republicans, we’ll go alphabetically. This edition will start with Bush, Jeb,  and go through Gilmore, Jim. 

What? You thought I was going to cover them all in one post? If you’re that pithy, maybe you should join us as an author!

Jeb Bush.

Education. University of Texas.

Comment: As the son and brother of former Presidents, Bush is the ultimate legacy candidate. At least until another Adams, Roosevelt, or Harrison comes along (or Chelsea Clinton runs). He did attend Andover, which has fitted numerous Ephs for their purple over the years (President Baxter, for example). And he was a varsity tennis player – at Andover and at UT. That’s kind of Eph. But running for president, he looks like a slacker who expects to be elected by acclaim, and that’s not the Williams way.

Dr. Ben Carson.

Education. Yale, University of Michigan Medical School.

Comment: In his turn on the GOP debate stage, Carson sounded like he was running for philosopher-king, not president. He would fit right into the Political Economy curriculum at Williams. He’s a pediatric neurosurgeon, which is pretty much the career to which the plurality of pre-med Ephs seem to aspire. And he turned down an appointment to West Point in favor of Yale, a little bit like the “Choose Williams over Harvard” mantra that we at EphBlog encourage.

Chris Christie.

Education: University of Delaware, Seton Hall Law School.

Comment: We know he’s the beefiest, but is he the Ephiest? Well, New Jersey is a pretty classic Eph state, and so it’s hardly surprising that Dr. Chris Rodriguez ’99 serves as the Director of Homeland Security in Christie’s gubernatorial administration. Another Eph link: Gail Gordon, a key financier for Christie, is married to Eph legislator Bob Gordon ’72.

Ted Cruz.

Education. Princeton, Harvard Law School.

Comment: Finally, an actual Eph link! Cruz’s chief adviser on national security, Victoria Coates, is an Eph (MA ’92) who studied art history. Cruz has a few other Eph-esque qualities. He attended Princeton, a favorite “other school” to which Ephs apply. Top-ranked debater on APDA in the 1990s, just like a string of Ephs: Chris Willenken ’97, Jonathan Kravis ’99, and one-time EphBlogger Jeff Zeeman. Bonus: although Cruz looks un-athletic, he played intramural basketball at Harvard Law, where he trash-talked constitutional law with Eph Ted Ruger ’90 (now Dean of Penn Law School).

Carly Fiorina.

Education. Stanford, then an MBA from the University of Maryland. And a management degree from MIT.

Comment: Well, Stanford is the Williams of Division I. And putting a double-major in Philosophy and Medieval History to use as a Fortune 20 CEO role is a pretty Eph thing to do. Bonus Eph link: Fiorina likes to speak on the campaign trail about how Hillary Clinton adapted the title of her State Department memoir, Hard Choices, from Fiorina’s 2006 memoir, Tough Choices. Fiorina leaves out, however, that she in turn stole “Tough Choices” from a 1990s Sage Hall entry t-shirt emblazoned with the same slogan.*

Jim Gilmore.

Who? You know, the guy who ruined the presidential chances of one of the most promising Eph politicians of our generation, then Lieutenant Governor (now Rep.) Don Beyer, by upsetting him in the 1997 Virginia gubernatorial race. For that alone, his Eph score is a zero.

Rep. Don Beyer ’72.

Verdict: We’re through about 1/3 of the Republican field, and Ted Cruz and Chris Christie look to be the early leaders.

*I believe the “tough choices” to which the shirt referred were inexpensive keg beers – perhaps Genesee vs. Keystone?


Which Presidential Candidate is the Most Eph? (Democratic Edition)


There may be nearly two dozen declared presidential candidates for the two major parties, but America remains as far from electing the next James Garfield as ever.  It falls to EphBlog to consider who, in the absence of a real William College alum in the field, has the best claim to being an Eph.  Dissenting opinions welcome. Let’s begin with the Democratic candidates.

Hillary Clinton.

Education: Wellesley, then Yale Law.

Comments: Resembles a college administrator: old, corporatist, falsely  populist, disdainful of transparency. Her liberal arts background (albeit at an institution that continues to exclude an entire gender) would make her a favorite, but when it came time to take Chelsea shopping for colleges, Amherst was on the list, but not Williams.  And if — as appears to be the case — she’s on the verge of squandering an overwhelming nomination advantage for the second time, aren’t we glad she’s not an Eph?

Martin O’Malley:

Education. Catholic University, University of Maryland Law.

O’Malley was one of the inspirations for the fictional mayor Tommy Carcetti on “The Wire,” which was exceedingly popular among Ephs and became the subject of a course taught by Professor Manigault-Bryant of the Africana Studies Department.  And he has musical talent.

Lincoln Chafee.

Education. Brown University, Montana State University.

Once a liberal Republican, now a Democrat, Chafee went to graduate school to become a farrier, and then shoed horses for seven years. Kind of an Eph thing to do. As governor of the state that contains Roger Williams, could he be mistaken for an Eph? Probably not.

James Webb.

Education. USC, then the U.S. Naval Academy. Georgetown Law School.

Webb served in Vietnam as a Marine, the military service favored by EphBlog for its storied tradition of Ephs in service. And he rose to prominence on the strength of his critically-acclaimed 1978 novel about the Vietnam War, Fields of Fire. He later taught literature at the Naval Academy.  A literary Marine — that’s kind of Eph-y.

Bernie Sanders.

Education. Brooklyn College, then transferred to the University of Chicago. Not very Eph choices.

Former Senator from Vermont, a very Eph-y state — and into which the Williams campus spreads. A socialist, which has earned him early grassroots enthusiasm at Williams, like this July 29 potluck, and makes him popular in Eph-y places like Portland and Somerville.  That carries some weight, but enough to offset his urban education?

Verdict: Let’s face it, none of these folks has “I’m a secret Eph” written all over them.  Does Eph enthusiasm for Sanders and his New England career outweigh Hillary’s educational background?  Let’s call it a tie.


Moving Mitt

In the late 80’s, I worked for a furniture company in Boston and we moved John Kerry’s furniture to a large multi level brownstone.
Kerry hired a local company and was a very personal guy who left a solid tip…. having said that, can Mitt win? Maybe?

Can the republican version of Kerry win the presidency?


Guns on Campus all the Rage …

Reuters reports :

The Arizona House on Thursday approved a landmark bill allowing guns on campuses, making it only the second state in the nation to allow firearms to be carried at colleges and universities.

The Republican-led House voted 33 to 24 to allow firearms to be carried in the open or concealed in public rights of way, such as campus streets and roadways.

“We’re allowing people to defend themselves,” said Rep. David Gowan Sr., a Republican, who voted for the bill.

“The purpose of carrying a gun with you is to defend yourself against that aggressor,” he added.





Fox Fires Paul Revere …

“And so through the night went his cry of alarm

To every Middlesex village and farm, –”


Marco Polo – Closing in on the 5 million mark …

of page views!

As announced earlier, be sure to get in the pool with your best shot at the date of the 5 millionth page view!


“Precious few admitted in the toughest admissions year ever …”

Todays Daily Beast, my source of all wisdom flags 10 admission trends in an era of soaring waitlists.

Here are four:

• College Applicants Are More Interested in Southern Schools
• Applicants from Technology Havens Have the Admissions Edge
• More Applicants Are Interested in Creative Writing
• More Californians Are Applying Out of State

(from an admissions form)

” … yo, Dude! I know I’m like from San Jose, but I know I can fit in at Ole Miss in a moment. After all, always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. As the man seize.

And speaking of admissions, it may be as Eph ’11 points out, time for those all-important letters to be going (via owl, I suppose) to the Class of ’15. Does any one know if the Strigiformes Strigidae have been released? I found a welcoming letter ready to go, but no trace of feathers …

PS writer quoted is William Faulkner … seemed appropriate to Ole Miss.


Of Etymologic interest …

‘Muffin Top’ and ‘Five Minute Rule’ added to the OED


PS: The 10th largest employer and its main building ……

Canyon Ranch, one of three successful health spas bearing the name, uses the wonderful old Lenox MA estate built in 1899 for Giraud Foster designed by Carrere and Hastings.

The life and style of America’s Belle Epoch lived in Beaux Arts palaces was indeed Wharton/James/Auchincloss

Ranch, indeed!


New shoes for old: A Saturday fashion note …

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

About a year ago, when it was time for the snow shoes to come off, I reviewed the types of shoes to be found sockless in Williamstown in the ’50’s.

Now look at the sole survivors present in the pre-teens of the XXI century!
Buck up, old man!


Eph swifties

Back in the day, we used to be able to rack up quite a few miles on family car trips trying to come up with Tom Swifties.

Here are a couple with Eph references, with an open invitation to do better:

1) As a solution to academic-athletic tension: “Sirloin Tips,” Tom proposed modestly.

2) “Wanna try my f@#*-saw?” asked the sexhibitionist?   “Oh, come off it!” reciprocated Morty.


An Identity thief’s dream; A marketer’s cornucopia …

If you are one of the 85% of alumni whose Williams College directory listing contains your email address, then you have received the notice to update/confirm your data.

Now, I like the directory for the access that it provides for us old grads who do try to stay connected. And the info has been pretty much easy going: name, address, what are you doing, how’s the wife and kids stuff.

This year the data requested takes on, to me, a different tone and the opportunity to exploit far more complex interrelationships. Well, take a look at it: Kids and their schools, wife and her employment and industry … not just yes/no but quite specific data is asked for: ethnicity, religion, and more subtly, sexual preference.

Having been in the communications/marketing/advertising complex for too many years, one develops that sixth sense that says “I wanna sell you something”.

The data is sent to a ‘trusted supplier’:

Harris is in the business of

Providing Non-Profits With The Widest Array Of Solutions To Engage Members And Generate Revenue
Our products and services include commemorative publications which feature member-generated content, historical articles and contact information; research services to update email, phone and mailing address data; innovative online communities which include email marketing, online giving, event registration, an application for Facebook, and other services; mobile marketing, and multi-channel fundraising programs including capital campaigns, annual fund, planned giving and major gifts. Harris Connect serves more than 4,000 organizations worldwide including top educational institutions, member associations and non-profit organizations.

I believe that raising money for any non-profit is a demanding operation and the fund-raisers need all the help they can get. But I think there is an opportunity inherent to the type of data requested for developing data connections far outside of the expected base of contributors and for more than the Alumni Fund. And that the opportunity to use this base for other purposes and sponsors is rife.

Perhaps we are all too used to supplying personal data on the social networks. But I wonder what the college expects that it will do with the additional data. Here is the questionnaire in Read more


spring is like …

spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of nowhere) arranging
a window, into which people look (while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here) and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving new and
old things, while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there) and

without breaking anything.



Marco Polo: Into the Pool with the EphBlog Landmarks …

Yes, Dave Kane’s baby is looking at two landmarks: Reaching 2 million site visits and 5 million page views!

Now, Amazon or the NYT or Hot Babes of New Brunswick, NJ may do those stats every day, but considering the small gene pool we have to start with, not bad!

So here’s the deal: Send in your prediction of the days when these landmarks will occur. If your day is right, you will be eligible for the same fantastic prizes that have been awarded to winners of the EphBlog Oscars.

Lets start with 5 million page views

Send in your prediction of the day on which 5 million page views will occur! In the all-too-likely event of ties, the earliest entries will be considered smarter.

PRIZES … PRIZES … PRIZES GALORE (that’s French for a couple) … PRIZES

( Members of the EphBlog Family of viewers with the technical knowledge and keys to the back room are not eligible: You Know Who You Are!)


Ephs sleeping in public …

“A junior who should be writing his Religion paper” sends us to this site for campus views of those waiting for a kiss to wake them.


An Eph Amidst the Dukies

Forgive the self indulgence, but I’m spending ten days or so at Duke University on a grant from the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture. I’m conducting research on a couple of book projects and on Thursday afternoon from 3:00 to 4:00 in the Rare Book Room of Duke University’s Perkins Library I will be giving a talk, “Tired Feet, Rested Souls and Empty Pockets: Bus Boycotts and the Politics of Race in the U.S. and South Africa,” which will be sponsored by the Franklin Center and Duke Libraries. If you are going to be anywhere near the Triangle Area I hope you will swing by. I’ve also posted a couple of diary entries about my trip at dcat.


When I think of Williams…

photo by psmithinseattle

…I think of moving-in day at the frosh quad, a certain bench next to West College, Lane Faison’s gravestone, Thompson Chapel, coffee at Tunnel City…

We all hold different images for places that are important to us. What might yours be?


If the shoe fits … for a slow Sunday:

The New Yorker cover this week hit a responsive chord and so I put in my shoe bits. Can you ID the creators?


Rip off international hopefuls: Reed College fights the blight …

Reed College in Portland OR has had its entire site ripped off verbatim (if that means anything in the digital world). ‘The University of the Redwood’ is now the doppelganger, as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Officials at Reed suspect the site is part of a scheme to collect application fees from prospective students in Hong Kong and Asia. After collecting a fee, “a shrewd scammer could wait several weeks, then issue a rejection letter, and the student would never know,” said Martin Ringle, chief technology officer at Reed.

Thank you, jfw, for pointing this out to EphBlog and its’ readers.



Composting in the Halls of Congress: Redundant?

Talk about stuff rolling down hill:
“Polystyrene makes comeback in US Congress building after Republicans reverse green initiatives brought in by Democrats”.

With the Congressional approval rate hovering at ≠15% (Gallup Poll), it would seem that the process of making fertilizer might be assumed to be in full flower, regardless of party.


Please return you seat backs to their original and upright position …

… just in case you’re reading EphBlog while en route to wherever for whatever on a Monday. Christopher Niemann has really nailed it!

He will be moving to the NYT Sunday Magazine.


Ohh, OK, just one more for today: Unrest and Milan’s Fashion Week …

You never know how Fashion Week in Milan is going to give you a new perspective. Sure – hemlines, bias-cuts, spangles and glitz … you know that’s coming. But, darling, could you have guessed that Mid-East unrest is a luxury marketing opportunity? Well, girlfriend, you could have knocked me over with a bow-belted Monique Lhuillier in a thrilling shade of red! (see photo)

Just read this story from the NYT this pm.

This is a whole area of the world that missed the beat for the last 80 years — but for the future of the global economy, let’s hope it goes in the direction of China and not Iran,” said Michael Burke, chief executive of Fendi, part of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton luxury conglomerate.

This could be the best news since 1978, when China decided to go with the market economy,” said Mr. Burke, lamenting that in Egypt, a country of almost 83 million people, he does not have a single Fendi product on sale — even though its wealthy elite may have bought into luxury. “For every dictator, we could have one million customers. Traditionally, we do well when the many are integrated into society.”

I guess it’s a question of whether you see the riot as half-full or half-empty!!


Further to Oscar Madness: Remember this p-p-p-place?

Of course you do! It’s Mr Logues’ consultation room. But immediately before the use of the Georgian townhouse at 33 Portland Place, London W1 as settings for The King’s Speech, it was used for the gay romp Snookered. Also for an Amy Winehouse video..

If the walls could talk …

If you are looking for just the right place for that special party, it is for rent.



On the bill at Williams? Who’s the booker?

Note found on a paper napkin at Lindy’s

Booking the school circuit: what a way to make a living! Even harder at a place like Williams where you don’t even know who’s on first, what with all the overlaps. I mean All Campus Entertainment (ACE), is it all-campus, some-campus, off-campus? You’d think the home of the Williamstown Summer Festival would have the answer inbred in their genes!

I had this balloon folder, Bob Rollins, he could a gone to the top I said to him If you take my advice, you’ll become one of the great balloon-folding acts of all time! Really, ’cause I don’t just see you folding balloons in joints. You listen to me, you’re gonna fold balloons at universities and colleges. But not Williams, I couldn’t figure out the system.

So if anybody reads this on campus who knows somebody I got this singer. My hand to God, she’s gonna be at Carnegie Hall. But you – I’ll let you have her now at the old price, OK? Which is, which is anything you wanna give me. Anything at all.

(Ed note: This seems to bear some resemblance to Broadway Danny Rose)


“Haverford has had Cricket since 1834, why is Williams this far behind …”

writes my old roommate Rechtal Rurgidley Jr. His note arrived this morning delivered by a uniformed messenger astride a 1952 Norton Model 7 featuring a Domi ’99’ 600 cc. With a smart salute of his gloved hand to his shiny patent visor, the rider handed me this note.

Swart, he begins and how like him, There has been some discussion of the sport of cricket on this “blob” recently as a possible addition to the sporting club roster of our beloved college. The sport itself is long overdue for recognition in US collegiate circles. With a healthy mix of current students from former states of the British Empire, I feel certain we could field a first class XI. Indeed, it would seem that Haverford College has been playing since 1834.

I feel that because of my position, I should not write to the director of athletics to have him explain this outrageous disparity to a small college in a bucolic suburb of Philadelphia. Rather, I leave that to the readers of this “burg”with whom you seem to have once again chosen to affiliate.

I notice that a Professor D’Cat (French?) has written extensively on the subject of cricket recently and, in addition, is offering a course on this truly international game of skill, strategy, and precision!

The fraternity pledge paddles carried so jauntily our freshman year were, of course, based on the cricket bat.

Rechtal Turgidley Jr

Quark Island, Maine


“Mirror, mirror on the wall / Who in the land is fairest of all?”

“Nobody is more qualified to multitasking and doing all the things that you need to do as president than a woman, a mom. What I would look for is a mom, somebody who’s administered locally, state, interstate with energy issues, so maybe a mayor, a governor, an oil commissioner, maybe somebody who’s already run for something, vice president. I don’t know!”

Former Alaska Gov, Sarah Palin answered questions during a public appearance at Long Island (LIA) Association Meeting and Luncheon in Woodbury, N.Y. Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011.

More here


The Dogs of Westminster: Breeding counts! Here are 102 for a slow day …

I know Rechtal Turgidley Jrs’ dad used to look askance and say “Who are his people and where did he prep/”. But that question in the Westminster context still comes up.

Hickory (Grand Champion Foxcliffe Hickory Wind) the Scottish Deerhound was the first of its’ breed to take home the Best of Show this week.

Here is a review/slide show of 102 breeds from the NYT for any doggie devotee with a spare minute or nine (You guessed it … I am down with the flu). This video from Lens gives a behind the scenes look at Westminster. Did I see Christopher Guest in a shot?


Three new players on the roster to get our ‘comments’ higher …

When I took the job of Managing Editor, I knew I would be working for some results-oriented ownership. When ‘comments’ hits the cellar around where the Washington Senators used to end up in the old days, and bat days aren’t working because Devastin’ Dave isn’t in the lineup enough, its a tough situation. Yeah, I’ve tried all the old tricks: having Jeff work on his spitter, asking Whitney to play more to right, and cajoling Eric to cheat more at third with a runner on. But its’ not working.

So I have to go out into the unsigned free agent arena and come up with three new starters. I’m trying them out today. Let’s see what you Read more


Watson. Who is the new Jeopardy champion with no sexual organs?

Bzzzzz. Yes! Correct! The IBM Watson named after the founder Thomas J Watson is the first language-friendly, game-playing Artificial Intelligence machine to beat two acknowledged Jeopardy champs at a game requiring understanding of nuance of language, encyclopedic knowledge, and buzzer skills.

The lack of specific sexual identity plus the stirrings of the growing ‘No Cross Species Marriage” movement may slow complete commercialization. However, based on test results and essay questions, college admissions officers are taking a long hard look at these possible candidates, No financial aid and no dorm matching will be a major consideration.


EphBlog West? Any truth to the rumour …

Michal Czerwonka for The New York Times

that David Kane, Media Mogul. will be opening a west coast HQ in this abandoned mansion high in the Hollywood Hills?

The rumor started after the announcement that the Cole Porter estate in Williamstown, MA was for sale. Kane has extensive ties to this Berkshire hide-away and some thought a move from Boston was possible. However, a highly qualified source in the publishing empire has confirmed that Kane has his eyes on adding Harvey Mudd and Pomona to his string of successful blogs.

A new sign in the Hills?


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