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Professor Settles for $95,000 After Vulgar Video

Quote of the Week:

“Pressure is a privilege.” —Billie Jean King

Fact of the Week:

February has 28 days because of an ancient Roman superstition. The first Roman calendar had only ten months, but in order to sync it with the lunar calendar Numa Pompilius, the Roman leader, added January and February. The lunar year consists of roughly 355 days, and Pompilius wanted that number, plus all twelve months, to contain an odd number of days. At the time, Romans thought even numbers were unlucky.

However, in order to have the total number of days be odd, that meant one of the months had to have an even amount of days. Pompilius had seven months of 29 days, four of 31 days, and was left to give February 28 days. (February was also chosen as the month in which Romans would honor the dead, so at least all the misery and bad luck could be consolidated into one month.)

Britannica contributed to this article.

News Update: Professor Settles for $95,000 after Vulgar Video

Barry Mehler. Via CBS News

A now-former humanities professor at Ferris State University settled for $95,000 after a legal dispute with the school. Barry Mehler, 75, sued the school after receiving a suspension. He then retired rather than face termination when a judge refused to reinstate him. Ferris State and Mehler agreed not to criticize each other, but if the retired professor does speak out within the next three years, he would have to pay the school $60,000.

Mehler made the news in January when he posted a 14-minute video “welcoming” his students. It was laced with profanity, and “touched on COVID-19, plagiarism, academic performance, Native Americans, cigarettes and the HBO series ‘Deadwood,’” according to the New York Post.

Mehler told the students, “You people are a vector of disease to me,” referencing Covid-19, and said the student’s needn’t attend in person because "everything you need to earn an A" would be on the website.

However, in a stark contrast, Mehler also said he would assign grades randomly, claiming, "There's absolutely nothing you can do—you have no control over your grade. My grading system is based on the Calvinist doctrine of predestination." He also said students shouldn’t bother complaining to the dean because he was “retiring at the end of this year and I couldn’t give a flying f— any longer.”

According to CBS News, “The professor said his free speech rights were violated when he was suspended. He previously told the AP his comments were irreverent and intended to get his students to think critically.”

CBS News and The New York Post contributed to this article.

Sports Update:

Clemson Men's Soccer. Via

The first NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer rankings of the season were released, and the reigning champions are still number one. Clemson, which captured last year’s title by defeating Washington University 2-0, is first in the preseason poll. They were the eight seed in the 2021 tournament but finished number one in the final rankings after their victory.

Washington, which tied number 13 Hofstra for the best record last season (18-2-2), is in the number three spot, with Georgetown slipping just ahead of them at number two. Georgetown lost 2-1 in last year’s semifinals to Washington.

Notre Dame and Oregon State round out the top five, with West Virginia, Pitt, Kentucky, UNH, and Saint Louis completing the top ten.

Soccer Wire contributed to this article.

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Hint: This is a math riddle.

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