by by Rebecca Lebowitz

illustration by by Drew Foster

Congratulations, I mean, never mind
This past week NYU and UCSD inadvertently played a joke on thousands of undergrad and graduate hopefuls. On March 31, congratulatory emails were mistakenly sent from the University of California at San Diego to all of its 46,377 applicants; two hours later a whopping 28,889 supposed members of the incoming freshman class received another email from the university telling them that it was a mistake--the university had meant to send them a thanks-but-no-thanks letter. The email also apologized for the blunder. The next day, April 1, 489 applicants to NYU's Robert F. Wagner School for Public Service shared a similar fate: they, too, received that second email. Some April Fools' joke.

With these snafus NYU and UCSD have now joined the ranks of UNC at Chapel Hill, Cornell and Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management in falsely accepting students who didn't make the cut. Like their predecessors, NYU and UCSD cited clerical errors as the culprit for the misinformation, although no one staff member was quick to take the blame. Assistant Vice Chancellor of UCSD may lament the "emotional roller-coaster" her office caused, and NYU might promise to take measures to prevent another such event from occurring in the future, but there is little that can be done to correct what a parent told the LA Times was "a colossal screw-up."
Next step? Wait with bated breath for admitted students day and hope that close to 30,000 unaccepted students don't storm the campus.

It's A Small World-View
Americans, it turns out, do have an insulated worldview. In the White House press kit detailing President Obama's tour of Europe, reporters learned that the United Kingdom is "slightly smaller than Oregon." The UK has a population about 2 million times Oregon's. Germany is "about the size of Montana," the inch-thick document read, and the Czech Republic "about the size of Virginia." Reporters would also learn that even though Europe's largest country--France--is "America's oldest ally," it's only "four-fifths the size of Texas." At least in terms of misunderstanding the world around us, America, it seems, is not alone. Dayana Mendoza, the Miss Universe from Venezuela, described Guantanamo Bay military base as "a loooot of fun!"

Bigger Than You Think
Stop comparing the size of objects to the size of Rhode Island. It hurts our feelings a little bit, and what's worse, you're getting the sizes all wrong. Luckily, Lil' Rhody has one fact checker on her side. The lady at is keeping it honest.

Some recent comparisons:
Paktia Province, Afghanistan WRONG
Nancy Pelosi's Heart WRONG
Alonso Mourning's Basketball Jersey WRONG
Dubai, United Arab Emirates RIGHT!