Thursday, March 01, 2007

How A College Term Paper Destroyed Idi Amin

Last night, I got to hang out with the pretty people at a reception for Michael Musto, whom some of you might know from the Village Voice. The dude had a killer striped suit on that reminded me of something Prince might wear.* Instead of reading from his book, he read from a book of Suzanne Sommers poetry. That was hilarious.

As the event started to wind down, I had the pleasure of conversation with some interesting people. I met a gallery owner, a nice law student and Murray Waas. I missed the Drinking Liberally event at which he was scheduled to speak, but apparently the universe thought we should hang out anyway. He told me a neat story that he also gave me permission to blog:

One of his buddies in college wrote a term paper/senior thesis on how to remove a dictator from power through the use of economic sanctions. Murray Waas helped with editing the paper and the guy then went on to work for a State Senator who then became a Representative. This Representative introduced legislation to impose sanctions based on the term paper given to him by his staffer. The sanctions were a major factor cutting Idi Amin off from his western support.

This is a cool story. Of the term papers that I actually finished in college, I am willing to bet that few professors read them, much less any Representatives. Then again, with titles like "The Rise and Fall of the Assyrian Empire" and "Astrology and the Scientific Method"** who the hell would want to read them?

*Peanut butter reminds me of hanging out in the Congo, so take this with a grain of salt.
**Actual term papers written by yours truly.


Anonymous said...

Seriously, who the hell are these people you met?

Anonymous said...

You should post the term papers. The Astrology and the Scientific Method sounds hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Dude! Just had an Earthquake. This building moves! Nothing too big, but definitely noticeable.

Anonymous said...

An earthquake? Can we get some details?

And seriously, who the hell are these people?!! Don't ignore your little AG.

Anonymous said...

Lots of detail at the USGS website see link:

Anonymous said...

Okay so pasting the website didn't work too well. I've cut it down into smaller parts.

FYI - I was in San Francisco at the time and you should be able to see from the map that the shaking intensity was pretty low.

Anonymous said...

That's an awesome site, Porter. I like how you can click on your own region and get more details.

Glad you are safe!