Thank God - it's finally starting to feel like a season other than summer. It's time to put the sundresses and shorts in the back of the closet and break out the sweaters and scarves. It's time to put on a pot of chili and sip some hot cocoa. It's time to trade in the Corona Light for a dark, wintry ale. It's time to stop going to class and stay under the covers instead. But most of all, it's time to read this week's frost-covered edition of…
Darts & Laurels
First up, we send a this-just-sends-a-chill-down-our-spines DART to former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who will be speaking at UF next week. He wanted to limit the press at the speech, and he didn't want the amount he was being paid disclosed. He also didn't want video or audio recorders allowed at the speech.
Hey, Alberto: This isn't a classified speech to the CIA. You'll be talking to a bunch of college students. We'vegotta ask, does he plan to say some things he doesn't want repeated? But we've got to give a that-warms-us-right-back-up LAUREL to Accent and UF for saying no to Gonzales' demands.
Next, we send a that-cold-blast-of-air-may-be-from-an-F-16-flying-over-your-head LAUREL to UF's Air Force ROTC program, which was ranked the No. 1 medium-sized unit in the country for the first time in the program's 65-year history. UF student-cadets lead the program and will serve the country. With this news, we know they'll do it well.
Also in UF and high-rankings news, we give a who-needs-a-Florida-winter-when-you-could-experience-one-in-England-Mexico-or-China LAUREL to the UF International Center. UF ranks 17th in the nation for international-student attendance, and it also ranks high in short-term study-abroad participation.
It's great to be a global Gator, isn't it? However, only about 5 percent of UF students who want to study abroad actually do. Really, when else will you be able to travel to almost any country in the world and call it "school"?
Once you have a job, traveling will probably be reserved for vacation. The time is now. Get to the International Center - it's in the Hub, right next to Starbucks, so you can get a steaming hot cappuccino while you're there. And you won't even have to trudge through the snow, uphill both ways like your parents did, to get there.
Speaking of great places to study abroad, how about Sweden? It's the land of H&M, umlauts, Greta Garbo and the Celsius temperature scale. What could we be forgetting? Oh, yes. Here's a Momma-Mia-that's-a-spicy-Swedish-meatball LAUREL for IKEA, the Swedish furniture design company, which has taken Florida by storm, opening two stores in two months. The Orlando location opened Thursday morning, and several UF students ventured there in search of Vreta, Isig, Bestå Tofta and Läkt.
IKEA is a college student's dream furniture because of its modern design and low prices. It's like the SuperTarget of home design, with all the imported Swedish food you could ever want. Pickled herring, anyone? We hear it's a great breakfast on a chilly winter morning.
Someone at UF doesn't need to save money by buying IKEA furniture, and for that we have a how-about-buying-a-sweater-for-every-UF-student DART to UF President Bernie Machen, who earns a startling ,726,849 a year, including benefits. That's almost five and a half times what Gov. Charlie Crist earns. Assuming Bernie worked 40 hours a week (but we know he must work more), he's earning ,350 an hour. Damn.
Meanwhile, UF is facing huge budget cuts. Maybe Bernie's salary could be put to better use? Read more from us on this issue soon - if our fingers aren't frozen.