Furthering my US News career

So currently I’m working on two projects for U.S. News:

1. A end of the summer trivia quiz. Basically, we’re putting together a bunch of puzzles and other questions about summer events. Kind of neat. I’ll probably have to build the online portion of it. Unfortunately my coding skills when it comes to that kind of web site is pretty limited, so I’ll have to get better at that soon. I will get to write a few of those questions as well. The editor has seen that people have been getting into Sudoku (which I posted on a while ago), I’m now in charge of coming up with the math questions. Sudoku, though while a numbers game, isn’t necessarily a math game. We’ll see how well I can do this; my math skills have been slowly decaying over the years. I’m confident I can recover, but I was never that good at math puzzles in general though. It maybe tough for me to find and make up good ones. We’ll see.

2. Getting a hold of celebrities to do a weekly feature on people and their college lives. Basically I call their publicist or agents, get their emails, and then email them the basic pitch of the feature. Some get back to be rather quickly and yes, but most of them don’t get back to you. And of course there are the few who get back to you and decline and sometimes do it in a mean way (a la Kathy Bates publicist). Even fewer are the people who email you back themselves (Mark Cuban for example). It’s kind of a cool assignment, but can be a bit frustrating at times. Some of the people I’ve called are incredibly helpful, but unfortunately they tend to be for the lower level celebrities.

BTW, here are some interesting facts about some of the people I had to contact:

A. Conan O’ Brien went to Harvard (unfortunately, he turned us down).

B. Danica McKellar (Winnie from the Wonder Years) apparently co-authored a math theorem with a professor and another undergrad. So she has a math theorem named after her.

So yeah, I can say I’ve been helping out the company a lot now.

Some facts from Gullible.Info

I’ve saved a couple of posts from Gullible.info in the last few days. I thought they had some interesting information.

for July 13, 2005

• If all the coupons issued by grocery store Safeway were redeemed, its net profit would drop by 11 percent.

• Sheep are the most common animal mentioned in the New Testament.

for July 12, 2005

• In 1988, the average computer hard drive had a lifespan of six years. Today, hard drives last an average of 14 months.

for July 11, 2005

•The Six-Day war is the only recorded conflict with a name accurately cataloging its length, to date.

• A student majoring in criminal justice has a 97.2 percent average job placement rate, the highest of any field. The field with the lowest placement rate is Marine Biology.

for July 9, 2005

• One in eight sets of directions from MapQuest contains a turn that is either physically impossible, or disallowed by signs at the intersection.

• Amtrak trains are, on average, 14 minutes late departing, and 38 minutes late arriving.

• If one million copies of a typical spam message are sent, approximately 750,000 will be automatically filtered and deleted, 150,000 will be ignored or deleted after reading the subject line, 99,999 will be ignored or deleted after reading the message, and one will generate a sale.