Friday, January 28, 2000

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Daily Gazette

Swarthmore College
Friday, January 28, 2000
Volume 4, Number 64


1) Positive campus reaction to voice recognition directory assistance system

2) College Bowl advances to Semi-Finals

3) World news roundup

4) Campus events


1) World sports roundup

2) The weekend’s contests


Today:  Mostly sunny. Windy and very cold. Highs in the low to mid 20s.
    Some tests of the new voice recognitions system…

Tonight: Mostly clear and very cold with diminishing winds. Lows 5 to 10 above
    Interesting results for “Machiavelli.”

Saturday: Mostly sunny and not as cold. Highs 30 to 35.
    “Santa Claus” and “Bill Clinton” also have some amusing interpretations.

Sunday:  Increasing clouds. Possible night-time snow!
    And I’m not even going to list all the curse words that end up connecting
you to professors…


1) Positive campus reaction to voice recognition directory assistance system

Students are generally delighted with the voice recognition directory
assistance phone program recently installed on campus.  Although many note
they have not experienced the great accuracy estimated by manager of
and systems Mark Dumic (reported to The Phoenix as 90 to 95 percent), most do
not consider that to truly detract from the system’s usefulness.

One of the main attractions of the system is the burden it will release from
the shoulders of Public Safety and the college operator, who often are swamped
with students needing to be connected to other students.  Ben Hanani ’00
mentioned ruefully, “I always felt bad for the operator who had to connect all
of us students before–I’m glad that Public Safety can now concentrate on more
important things, which do not include connecting me to people whose numbers
I’ve forgotten.”  Benjamin West House’s college operator was contacted for the
House’s opinion on the new system. The operator said that she was “too busy to
talk.”  Hopefully her busy situation was no longer due to students needing
phone numbers.

The voice recognition software, however, does have its flaws.  Students report
having to try several times to get connected to the correct person.  Whether
due to less-than-perfect enunciation or less-than-perfect software, people are
taking the setbacks in stride. Sierra Curtis-McLane ’02 said enthusiastically,
“I think it’s great!  I love it!  And every time it connects me to the wrong
person, I get to make a new friend!”

Some Swatties, though embracing the new wave of technology, still need to time
get used to it and have its existence sink in to everyday life.  For example,
this reporter, while writing this article, used the online directory to
look up
an interviewee’s phone number.

– c.p.t.


2) College Bowl advances to Semi-Finals

Swarthmore sent two College Bowl teams to the PennBowl last weekend, a
tournament which draws teams from all over America.  Josh Miller ’00, Peter
Austin ’02, Arcadia Falcone ’02, Ben Schak ’03, and Jonah Volk ’03, the
of Swarthmore A, placed second, with a 12-2 record.  Advancing to the
they beat teams from Johns Hopkins (210-45) and the University of Michigan
(160-145).  Yale A, however, was too much for them, beating Swarthmore A in
semi-finals and then winning the tournament.  

Swarthmore B, consisting of Dan Blim ’02, Rebecca Paul ’02, Dan Fairchild ’03,
Eliot Reed ’03, and Mark Romanowsky ’03 finished 5-9 in their section.  They
had an exciting win against Case Western, whose team may have placed third had
they not fallen to Swarthmore (110-100).

The Swarthmore College Bowl teams will travel to another tournament next
weekend at George Washington University.



3) World news roundup

In his eighth and last State of the Union address, President Clinton suggested
several tax breaks, including reducing the “marriage tax”. Commentators on the
speech believed he set a possible path for Al Gore’s campaign to follow…
Vermont residents are upset to hear that ice cream company Ben and Jerry’s is
considering unsolicited buy-out offers….  Ecuador’s President Jamil Mahuad
was overthrown last week, in what is believed to be the first coup d’etat by a
native people.  The outcome of this overthrow for the Ecuadorean Indians is
still unclear….  China banned discussion of “state secret information” on
Internet yesterday, the newest attempt by the Communist Party to the
information industry….  A mysterious faint radio signal from space was
up in Stanford several days ago, and scientists are hopeful that it comes from
the lost Mars Lander.

4) Campus events


Hollies Workshop
Bond Memorial Hall, 9:30 a.m.

Lecture by Bruce Dorsey
Trotter 203, 12:30 p.m.

Shabbat Services and Dinner
Bond Memorial Hall, 5:30 p.m.

Swarthmore Christian Fellowship Meeting
Kohlberg 115, 7:30 p.m.

Film Showing: “Three Kings”
LPAC Cinema, 7:30 and 10:00 p.m.

International Club Movie Night: “The Secret of Roan Inish” (Ireland)
Kohlberg 226, 8:00 p.m.


Film Showing: “Life is Beautiful”
LPAC Cinema, 7:30 and 10:00 p.m.

Lou Garrett ’97 Jazz Quartet
Lang Concert Hall, 8:00 p.m.


Celebration of Mass
Bond Memorial Hall, 10:30 a.m.

“Songs and Memories of Jewish Calcutta” by Rahel Muslea
Scheuer Room, 2:00 p.m.

Protestant Worship
Bond 2nd floor worship room, 4:00 p.m.



1) World sports roundup

The Tennessee Titans play the St. Louis Rams this Sunday in Super Bowl
XXXIV…. Andre Agassi beat Pete Sampras on Thursday, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (0-7), 7-6
(7-5), 6-1….  Tennis legend Don Budge died yesterday.  He was 84….
is looking forward to Mike Tyson’s match against Julius Francis on Saturday,
during which he has pledged to “kill” his opponent…

2) The weekend’s contests

No contests scheduled for Friday.

Swimming vs. Gettysburg College, 2:00 p.m.
Women’s Basketball vs. Gettysburg College, 6:00 p.m.
Men’s Basketball vs. Gettysburg College, 8:00 p.m.

There are no contests scheduled for Sunday.

Quote of the day: “They dined on mince, and slices of quince, which they ate
with a runcible spoon; and hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced
by the light of the moon.” –Edward Lear, “The Owl and the Pussycat”

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     Jeff Heckelman
     Melanie Hirsch
     Claire Phillips-Thoryn

Staff Writers
     Ilya Leskov
     Alma Ortiz
     Jeremy Schifeling
     Kai Xu

Online Editor
     Lorrin Nelson

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This concludes today’s report.

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