Main

April 3, 2004

il n'y a pas de hors-blog

Was there an article before the blog? Or was the article in some sense already blogged? Already blogging itself in the play of blogging and hyperlinks? Trying to get to a "before" of the blog, we find ourselves continually confronted with the primordiality of the blog.

If you're not already chuckling, then don't follow me over to Adam Kotsko's page for the most Derridean blog post I've ever seen.

[via Crooked Timber]

April 16, 2004

Peepology

It's not like I don't have plenty of other things to do.

A link to the classic Peep Research site came across Boing Boing a few days back. To that, I am compelled to add Eric's Peep Challenge (via Metafilter), whereupon his friend Kerry attempts to eat 100 Peeps in a single sitting.

Is it just me, or are Peeps one of those bizarre phenomena where there are literally millions of fans, all of whom are embarrassed to admit to anyone else that they actually are fans? Peeps belong in the gummi/jello/circus peanut food group, but it seems like everyone loves them. In private, at least...

May 15, 2004

Caruso, Carradine, Hasselhoff

I feel like I've been way too serious here lately. And so: Ideal Roster of an American League Baseball Team Composed Only of Famous Davids Without Obvious Athletic Ability. There are probably precious few of my readers who follow baseball as avidly as I, but even so, McSweeney's Fantasy Baseball is worth a chuckle or three, every couple of weeks.

May 20, 2004

robot protest

Ahh, to be in Madison, Wisconsin in the springtime...

robot protest

My personal fave is the one where one of the robots is dancing on top of a cement block to Kraftwerk.

May 29, 2004

World's shortest post about the world's largest collection of the world's smallest versions of the world's largest things

Cool.

June 1, 2004

and Larry was like "no way!" and I was like "way!"

And the award for first giggle of June goes to Google to Enter Human Language Development...

Already slack-jawed at the companys pace of innovation in recent months, the financial community was rocked once again by the news of yet another new market for Google. I have no reason to believe that Googlish wont become the dominant human language form within the next 12-15 years, said Peter Weismuller, analyst at Sequoia Capital Partners, a leading Google investor. Our projections show it overtaking Spanish by 2008 and trailing only Mandarin Chinese and Hindi by 2010.

[via joho]

August 7, 2004

divinictionary

I like my name for it better, but this is a seriously cool idea. Over at McSweeney's, they're accepting pre-orders for The Future Dictionary of America, which is

an imagining of what a dictionary might look like about thirty years hence, when all or most of the world's problems are solved and our current president is a distant memory. The book is by turns funny, outraged, utopian, and dyspeptic.

The list of writers who contributed is a serious who's who, and they've been running some of the entries on their main page, alongside a contest for the rest of us wee folk. From today's offerings:

Icelandic system [iys-lan'-dik sis'- tum] n. (also teen circulation plan) a practice, supposedly based on child-rearing methods in medieval Iceland, of sending teenagers to live with other families, in order to learn adult skills and behavior from grownups they have not yet learned to manipulate and despise. A version of the Icelandic system, the foreign-student exchange, had long been employed by frustrated parents, but the practice went native and exploded in popularity with the publication, in 2023, of Britney-Penelope Leach's bestselling advice manual, A Fresh Start: Why Other Parents Can Raise Your Impossible Teenand Why You Should Let Them. Leach noted that, away from their parents, adolescents were typically friendly, polite, curious, and altruistic; it was only at home that they became resentful and histrionic "typical teenagers." She proposed placing teens with new families to give them a less-cathected but still affectionate and protective adult-child relationship focused on the gradual assumption of adulthood. The federally funded Domestic Youth Exchange now enrolls approximately 50 percent of high-school juniors and seniors and is credited with significantly lowering juvenile crime, drug use, pregnancy, depression, rudeness, and TV-watching. KATHA POLLITT

As you might gather, I'm a huge fan of the original Devil's Dictionary and its many knockoffs, and so this sounds like a great deal of fun to me. I'm not supposed to be reading anything extra-manuscriptal right now, but I'm allowed to pre-order, right?

August 8, 2004

The Summer of Inappropriate Touching

It's funny how the mind really only needs a couple of small details to turn it into a pattern.

So I'm in the RiteAid 'round the corner from my apartment, looking to caffeinate myself. I walk over to the cooler, and all of a sudden, someone grabs my ass. I spin around, and it's some skanky looking guy, hasn't shaved in a while, shirt completely unbuttoned, cheap sunglasses, gold chain--never seen him before. As is apparently becoming a habit with me, I really have nothing to say. He mumbles some sort of half-apology about how I look just like his son, and I just stare.

Finally, he starts to back away, and I spring into action. In this case, action means grabbing a coke, and speedwalking to the cashier. On the one hand, I felt like I should have had something clever to say. On the other, though, I suppose I can just be thankful that I didn't do or say anything stupid. For future reference, though, if I feel someone's hand on my ass, the only way that's appropriate is if I know who it is before I turn around. In fact, that may qualify as one of my fundamental rules of the universe, somewhere in the neighborhood of Kant's categorical imperative.

October 1, 2004

These are not the Sinuses you're looking for

mac&me.gif
Just got back tonight from having not gone to see Mr. Sinus, but if I had gone there, then surely they must have spoofed upon Mac and Me. Goodness knows, with all the legal brouhaha they've recently been working through, that they wouldn't court controversy by choosing anything that hadn't been made a long time ago.

Finally caught a glimpse of Jodi, who's just now entering the second trimester. Me: "So how's it going?" She: "Three glorious days without nausea!!" (That was almost the title of this post.) She also updated us on the Scandal du Nom, and explained how she had had to go and claim a whole bunch of sinus-related domain names in anticipation of the big change. Or rather, all those things would have been part of the conversation, I'm certain, had that been where we'd actually gone tonight.

And it would have been hilarious, I'm sure, had we gone and seen them skewer Mac and Me. High-larious. The skit in the middle would have needed a little more rehearsing, I'm guessing, but it would have been great otherwise.

October 29, 2004

my daily lesson

Today I learned, courtesy of an anonymous person's Google search, that my site is #2 on Google if you search for "ways to be mean to Collin," although this person apparently left off the quote marks. And as a result, the #1 result came from Collin Peterson's appearance before the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ways and Means.

According to Congressman Peterson,

While rural hospitals have a cost structure similar to their urban counterparts, they are paid 10-15% less for comparable services provided to Medicare beneficiaries. Not only are these facilities forced to pay higher wages in order to be competitive with other hospitals, but they also receive significantly lower reimbursement from Medicare for services provided to Medicare patients.

Just so's you know: here's how to be mean to me. Wait until I'm eligible for Medicare, and then orchestrate my injury in a rural area. You'll have a bit of a wait ahead of you, but it'll be worth it. Trust me.

November 12, 2004

i was only three years dead

I'm confident that you'll join me in not thanking Derek for passing this along. Honestly, I haven't been earwormed that good by something on the web since I tracked down the spongmonkeys' moon song. At least with the llamas, I don't scrape the heck out of my throat...

In other news, I'm adding three more blogs to the 'roll. George Rhinehart is the technological wind beneath the Writing Program wings here at SU. Paul Bender is an asst. professor at Ohio Northern, having defended his dissertation in the nick of time this past summer. And finally, Sharon Boggon is a Ph.D. student at Australian National University who "examines personal sites as a hybrid genre linked to traditions of autobiography and self portraiture," and also participates in a group blog on new media, underthesun. Give em each a visit...

November 21, 2004

Farther-reaching and faster!

Like Joi, I found this just too funny to resist; to paraphrase, some columns are unintentionally unserious.

[via Joi Ito, "Poor Librarian Immerses Self in Irony"]

January 16, 2005

Stacy's mom

So it's been another football weekend, with a little bit of SU basketball folded in. And so I'm watching today, and while I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the commercials (or rather, I try not to), I hear the Fountains of Wayne song "Stacy's Mom" come on, in an ad for Dr. Pepper.

Apparently, Stacy's mom "has got it going on" because she's got a cooler full of Dr. Pepper in the back of her minivan. Ahh. So that's why "I've waited for so long."

I can't even begin to unpack the layers of "ick" that this commercial inspires in me. Rest assured, though, that I won't be drinking Dr. Pepper anytime soon. That is all.

February 4, 2005

This is not my beautiful Onion

It's hard to believe, I know, but apparently this is a Real™ news story:

Melee Erupts at Ala. Girls Basketball Game

Let's see. How can we tell that these aren't people who spend their lives working with reporters?

"Initially, there were 30, then it started spreading like cockroaches," said another parent, J----- H---------.

Umm...okay. I've lived in Texas, so I can see, if only barely, how the first metaphor you might come up with for something spreading would be cockroaches. But then...

"People were screaming and running," Prattville cheerleader C------ C----- said. "Girls lost their cell phones. Keys got lost. It's something I will never forget."

Screaming and running, that's pretty bad I suppose. But the steps to arrive from there to "unforgettable" are girls losing their cell phones? And keys being lost? Oh. The horror. What about, oh, I don't know, the violence?!?! The fact that the parents joined in instead of trying to stop it? The fact that the police were zapping people with Tazers? Nope. Keys were lost.

February 17, 2005

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Collin vs. Blog

No surprises here. Thanks, Derek!

February 28, 2005

hardy har har

Please allow me to express my sincerest thanks to whomever it was that subscribed me to the electronic mailing list for the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Say what you will about the AAETS, but I was equally thankful that they adhere to the principles of "Responsible Email Marketing."

For the record, though, I don't believe that my stress has quite reached the level of "traumatic." And if it had, chances are that I would have failed to see the joke.

Just so's we're clear.

March 25, 2005

Interpellation

Imagine, for a moment, that there is a net meme circulating. And as part of its replicatory power, the final question of this net meme is "Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons)? And Why?" Now, you have been named as one of the three people. The person listed before you is named "because his response will be funny." The person after you? Well, she's named "because she has excellent taste." And you? What's your justification for passing it along?

"for no particular reason"

No particular reason?!?! That's not exactly screaming with inspiration. Setting aside for the moment that you have just suffered the indignity of being deemed neither funny nor possessed of good taste, how can you not feel an overwhelming sense of betrayal? After all, while you hadn't planned on campaigning and running for CCCC Chair for a few years yet, you'd already started collecting your campaign materials. And there must be a mole, a spy in your camp--how else would this person hailing you know that you'd just received an order of 10,000 bumper stickers with that very slogan on them?

I mean, it can't be coincidence, right? And now your chief of staff is scrambling around, trying to decide between one of two strategies: either you're going to simply have to run for some office entirely unrelated to your discipline, or you're going to have to find a new slogan, one that makes you a stone-cold lock for election, one so inspiring that it will set the tone for campaigns in decades to come. But rather than keeping it top secret, and running the risk once more of having it divulged before its time, perhaps you should just generate it publicly, and hope that the voting public internalizes it to such a degree that when they read your name on the ballot, they can't help but fill in the slogan. And so...

  • Collin Brooke, he's taller than average
  • Collin Brooke, his (last) name starts with B
  • Collin Brooke, he's never been to Belarus
  • Collin Brooke, what choice have you got?
  • Collin Brooke, because 2 L's are better than none
  • Collin Brooke, his pen is writier than the sword
  • Collin Brooke, aka Coconut Decaf Jesus
  • Collin Brooke, get him off your back
  • Collin Brooke, he's bigger than a breadbox
  • Collin Brooke, master of the semi-colon

Suggestions?

April 2, 2005

Tale as old as time

In the words (and diacritical marks) of Gawker, I present to you "Theory župeržtar Slavoj Žižek and his žexy new bride." There really is nothing I could add that would make the photo spread any more entertaining. Except perhaps to say that this doesn't appear to be an April 1 post. Oh, and the commenter at Every Morning... who asks for Z's email address--I always get a little chuckle out of those...


That is all.

April 18, 2005

It is poetry month, right?

(Tip: Alan)

You go to HTTP in tha House, give them a URL, and a couple of seconds later, their script "read[s] the page and shout[s] out some dope rhymes." Heh.

I must confess that "we might consider t whatever/me to offer rule of sever" actually stuck in my head for a couple of minutes.

a whole horde of
edu cgbvb archives dove
there learning about grokster please
fact that trapeze
we might consider t whatever
me to offer rule of sever
posts to
t feel an lu

exciting a html
travel a cell
trackbacks trackback
dc identifier http wrt flay
george rhinehart a
us forgetting the home runs yea
incoming students are held to
im plagiarists ward churchill etc woo

May 30, 2005

Negative Intelligence Tracking Data, May 2005



a pie graph about bad habits

June 9, 2005

A Case of Spuriosities



I told Jenny that she had to repost this, but after that, I went looking to see if I still had it on my machine. A little more than a year ago, she sent me a link to a site called "A Case of Curiosities," which offers such "fine art taxidermy" services as you'll find on the "Grotesque Beauties" page. I still can't really type this without cringing.

Anyhow, if I remember correctly, Jenny was krushing on Manu Ginobli, whose Spurs face off tonight against the Pistons for the NBA Championship, and so, entirely unsolicited, I made Jenny this little picture combining her interests in Manu and Grotesque Beauties. It still makes me laugh, this:

grotesque manu-ty

And yes, this may very well be the single creepiest thing I've ever done with Photoshop. (Here's the original.)

June 21, 2005

Our relentless storkist logic

I just liked the phrase, although TMW is always worth a read.

July 3, 2005

Every silver lining has a cloud

Perhaps the only reason for the blogosphere-at-large to be sad about Jenny's move to Pennsylvania is the fact that we will no longer be treated to the occasional missive from her "nabor," nor the poems that we turned them into.

Sigh. Those were the days...

Anyhow, in that spirit, I offer this link to Teresa Nielsen Hayden's page. Her mission? "...to come up with a poem so bad that the International Library of Poetry, to which I submitted it, neither declared it to be a semifinalist in one of their contests, nor offered to publish it in one of their pricey yet unreadable anthologies." And her solution? Taking a Miriam Abacha 419-scam letter and introducing line-breaks:

I salute you in the name of the most high God.
I was the former first lady Federal Republic of Nigeria, married to
late General Sani Abacha the late Nigerian military Head of State.
I am presently in distress and under house arrest while
my son Mohammed is undergoing trial in Oputa Panel Lagos
and Abuja, this Panel was set up by the present civilian regime.

[and so on.]

You can read the entirety of "I am Mrs. Miriam Abacha a Widow" over at her site. Be sure to read the comments as well, which include all sorts of fun variations on this theme, like "I now salute you in the name of Ghod,/I who a piteous widow must complain./My son, my joy, arrested by a squad —/And in far Lagos he shall soon be slain."

Really. It's a hoot.

April 4, 2006

Dear Dr. Collin,

"Dear Dr. Collin Gifford Brooke, PhD '97,

We are currently in the final stages of editing your biographical information to be included in The University of Texas at Arlington Alumni Directory, but we need your help!"

Umm...yeah. Here's a little story:

When I was doing my PhD in the Education State Texas, not only did I earn less than 10K annually, but we TAs had the distinct privilege of being allowed to pay for our tuition out of that princely sum, a fact that kept me from actually registering for a number of the courses that I took. But we got by, I suppose. What really got me was that there was a rule that, in our final semester of dissertation work, we were required to enroll for 9 credit hours. My final semester, I had already taken a position at Old Dominion. I didn't need the credits for the degree, but hey, it was a rule. And since I was no longer a TA, and no longer living in TX, I got to pay out-of-state tuition for those unnecessary credits. At a time when I was trying to recover from living well below the poverty line for several years, I got to shell out another 3000 bucks.

And so, my "friends" from the UTA Alumni Office, the day I lift a single finger for you, much less sign my name to a check, will be the day after I receive my refund check from you for that last, unnecessary semester's worth of credits.

And not a day sooner. That is all.

May 5, 2006

Happy Birthsday

A comic wherein I wish KB a HB

Is it just me, or is Kenny B a little snippy today? Oh well. Please join me in wishing a fine, fine day to both Derek and Donna as well...

That's all.

June 29, 2006

Who moved my Cup?

You'll forgive me for being a little jittery today, I trust. Today (or rather, yesterday) was the first in almost three weeks where I didn't watch at least a half of the World Cup. Yes, it's true. Although sometimes I just put it on and check when I hear the announcer's voices rise with excitement, I have been totally addicted to the football.

Whatever did I do without the football, you might ask? Well, I caught up on Bloglines, did a little research, and also a little fluff reading. The list of books that I should be reading continues to grow (with Michele White, Chris Anderson, and Edward Tufte each coming soon to add to the damn pile), but instead, I wanted something light. I was proudest, though, of the book that I didn't read, which I will share with you in the form of a link to Chris Sims' review of it: Chuck Norris' The Justice Riders. Chris normally reviews comics, complete with scanned-in panels. Lacking panels for Chuck's latest masterpiece, he turns, as he explains, to the crayons:

Chris Sims channels Chuck Norris

Here, let me start you off:

And no, your eyes do not decieve you: It took Chuck Norris and three other people to write this book, presumably because seeing more than a third of Chuck's original manuscript would leave any other man blind and possibly deaf.

Go read the rest, and join me in a silent salute to Chris, who read this book so that no one else would have to.

That's all. The football, it returns tomorrow, I think.

July 22, 2006

The headbutt explained

One thing I didn't really blog about in the aftermath of the World Cup was Zidane's infamous headbutt. I was stunned when it happened, and didn't really feel like I had anything to add. Even as recently as yesterday, I didn't really understand it. That was, until I watched the trailer for Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter! As you can see from the graphic below, it's pretty clear from whence Zidane learned his moves:

Holy Headbutt!

I think that we can all agree, considering how willing the Italians were to bloody up our squad, that Materazzi is most likely a vampire, and so Zidane had little choice but to get Biblical on him.

Case closed. Although I am a little sad to have to put to rest the theory that Z saved Materazzi from a sniper. That was my fave.

And I can only hope that this entry satisfies those of you who were concerned about my recent lack of frivolity, not to mention my tendency to translate said concerns into phrases like "recent lack of frivolity." Anyways. That's all.

August 13, 2006

Alfred Hitchcock, Fidel Castro, and Collin vs Blog

All 3 have a little something in common that I like to call August 13th. Well, me and the rest of those who adhere to the Gregorian calendar. Anyhow, I am pleased to note that the blog, it has a birthday today. Three long years since I began bee-loggin, and as I thought about this post yesterday, I decided that I didn't feel like trotting out the reflection so much. Not that I might not in the next week or so, but for the moment, I'm not really in the mood to craft a long introspective post.

So instead, what I did was to put together a tagcloud that does a pretty fair job, I think, of visually representing the true and aggregated character of this space as I've maintained it for three years:

tagcloudish

Looks about right. That's all. Happy birthday, blog.

September 1, 2006

Jorge Cham coming to SU

Local fans of Jorge Cham's PhD Comics should be aware that he's coming to campus next week (Wednesday at 4 in the Maxwell Auditorium). Unfortunately, I've got myself scheduled for something right smack during his talk, and it's not something that I can sneak out of in order to get a color print of the above signed, much as I might like to.

Instead, I'll just continue to settle for the b/w copy I've got right below my nametag (on my office door), and the certainty that there has never been a more accurate portrayal of the core truth of my life as an academic.

That is all. Later on this month, Art Spiegelman is speaking, and I'll try to catch/blog that...

September 2, 2006

Don't I have better things to do?

blogseal

October 21, 2006

Is that a merit badge on your blog?

Growing up, I did the whole Cub Scout thing, all the way through. I have vague recollections of merit badges, racing cars that our dads made for us we made by carving up blocks of wood, camping trips, etc. When it came time to graduate to Boy Scouts, I pretty much bailed. If I recall correctly, meetings were on Wednesdays, during Buck Rogers, and that sealed the deal for me. No Eagle Scout for this kid.

Anyhow, and despite the troubles in recent years for the BSA and CSA, those memories are fond and my attitudes towards such organizations are generally positive. At least, they were, until I learned that "Boy Scouts in the Los Angeles area will now be able to earn an activity patch for learning about the evils of downloading pirated movies and music." Among other activities,

Go to a movie and stay through all of the credits. Tell your counselor and/or troop leader who you think, in addition to the main actors and actresses, would be hurt if that film were stolen?

The news story is here, but that's an exact quote from the official curriculum for the "Respect Copyrights" merit badge. Said curriculum appears courtesy of the MPAA, of course, and includes their logo at the top of the document.

A document whose link I would be able to share with you had I diligently fulfilled the conditions for the Respect Copyrights merit badge. As it stands, I can only offer you a picture of the merit badge, disrespectfully ripped from the last page of said document.

MPAA buys the Boy Scouts

Feel free to add it to your sidebar. What better way to reward the Cub Scout who must have earned his Clip Art merit badge designing it or the industry flak who wrote the accompanying curriculum?

November 17, 2006

Sprouts

My favorite part of this is the "cover" of Tears for Fears' "Shout." Well, that and the background progress in the game.

And yes, I'm fully aware that this is only marginally better than posting an image. At least you get to limber up the arrow keys.

More soon.

November 28, 2006

Making myself laugh, one snarky comment at a time

You don't get to know the context, or the direct objects of this comment, but in conversation with Derek, I just referred to somethings (or someones) as "speed bumps on the road to interesting." And while I suppose it's bad form to laugh at one's own jokes, it came out of nowhere, and so quickly, that I cracked myself up.

Nothing wrong with that.

January 23, 2007

The worst day of the year?

It actually made me smile to see the following, an attempt by a British psychologist to quantify depression and to declare today as the worst day of the year:

The model is: [W + (D-d)] x TQ / M x NA

The equation is broken down into seven variables: (W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action.

My favorite part of the story?

“I’m sure it's right,? said Dr. Alan Cohen, spokesperson for the Royal College of General Practitioners, referring to Arnall's equation.

However, “it is postulated that there are a number of different causes of depression,? he said.

I can't tell from the little that's provided whether Cohen is having a spot of fun with us or not. I'm pretty sure he's doing that dry understatement thing in the second line. If so, he just made my day a little brighter, although I'm not sure which of the seven variables that corresponds to. (Probably not the one that implies that only celebrants of a particular religion suffer from depression.)

Check ya later.

April 1, 2007

5 cgbvb April Fools Day hoaxes I didn't have time to pull off

1. Sold domain to Abe Frohman, sausage king of Chicago

2. Live-blogging the Weather Channel

3. Dedicating site to reviews of movies featuring talking babies, talking animals, or both

4. The Official Web Presence for the Syracuse Chapter of the Pussycat Dolls Fan Club (OWPSCPDFC, pronounced opes-cup-dific)

5. Three words: other people's pets

Update: If you don't otherwise, be sure to check out the spread of new, seasonal products over at ThinkGeek. I'm particularly fond of SurgeStix...

April 9, 2007

MPAAdvertising

A couple of days back, I saw an ad for an otherwise uninteresting movie that's opening this Friday, called Pathfinder (IMDB), and I've seen it a few times since. Maybe it was my mood at the time, but the end of the commercial made me chuckle:

Rated R for strong brutal violence throughout

I'm sure that it's happened before, but I had a hard time recalling any other movie that so obviously and blatantly used its MPAA rating as part of its appeal.

April 11, 2007

Thor receives your prayer!

I was going to try and squeeze a post tonight out of the fact that I don't really have anything to blog about, but fortunately for me, McSweeney's came to the rescue, in the form of Regarding Pete Seeger's Requests for a Hammer and His Descriptions of What He Would Do if He Had One. John Moe brings the funny, and it's worth tracing back into his various Pop-Song Correspondences.

Thank goodness, because this is the time of year when it seems everything is just that much more dramatic, coming as everything does at the end of the school year. Our patience is worn thin, and the cruel tease that is spring break only ends up making it that much more difficult to get to the end.

And I'm as bad about this as anyone. A long time ago, I started the policy of requiring my writing students to wait 24 hours before coming to me with questions or complaints about grades. And honestly, I think my keel would be a lot more even this month if I could deploy some analogous strategy on my behalf. Instead, I have a tendency to binge/purge emotionally, getting all worked up one moment and crashing the next. Part of it is the occasional sleep deficit, which works its own disorder on my ability to keep things in perspective.

And there you have it. An entry almost entirely devoid of content, but with plenty of discontent. Maybe what I should do is to devote the next few entries to blogging things that improve my mood. McSweeney's is a nice place to begin that series, and I already have something in mind for tomorrow...

See you then.

April 14, 2007

Wikipedia Brown

The trouble with announcing the "good mood blogging" is that it's pretty easy to read my mood when I don't follow through on the promise. I've got an entry to follow this one, but a little bit of research to do (read: movie to finish) before I can post it. In the meantime, I thought I'd offer a link to a site that is (a) funny, (b) nostalgia provoking, and (c) the best argument "against" Wikipedia that I have ever read. (I got it from someone, but it was long enough ago that my source has slipped my mind. So if it's you, sorry about that, and a belated thanks.)

Feast your eyes, my friends, on Wikipedia Brown and the Case of the Captured Koala. Adam Cadre's riff on the old Encyclopedia Brown tales is pretty durn funny. And there was a time, some thirty-odd years ago, when I soaked up every EB tale I could get my hands on.

At no point, however, did I call myself Encyclopedia Brooke. That is all.

August 29, 2007

Cartographies of Pathos

If you didn't get a chance to see the train wreck of a Q&A offered up the other night by Miss Teen South Carolina, don't worry, that's what the YouTube is for. Morning Toast offers up the clip for you, along with a useful "tube map" of the answer:

As hard as it is to watch, it's hard not to watch, and hard not to laugh at "the Iraq, everywhere, like such as." Wow.

It's instructive to me, though, as an amazing example of exactly what's wrong with teaching to the test, if you'll forgive my lapsing into allegory here. This young woman was clearly coached on how to generate perfectly vapid and valid answers to the types of questions asked at pageants, and to her eventual (and probably long-term) dismay, she got a question that didn't fit into the "answer machine" in her head. The result is gibberish, made all the more embarrassing by the fact that she refuses to acknowledge it as such. And she may not have even realized it at the time.

You think a body's writing ability can be gauged accurately by a 30-minute, 5-paragraph response to a pageant question? Take a look at the result. Watch it twice if you have to.

I for one welcome our new pageant robot overlords.

November 16, 2007

The man is hard of steel!

As angry as I was a while ago, Return to Supermans cheered me up. True justice, it seems, involves stones.

November 17, 2007

So no firing the unmagic missiles?

LARP!Apparently, one of the criteria that the Israeli Defense Forces use to determine whether incoming recruits are worthy of high security clearance is whether or not they play Dungeons and Dragons:

"These people have a tendency to be influenced by external factors which could cloud their judgment, a military official says. "They may be detached from reality or have a weak personality - elements which lower a person's security clearance, allowing them to serve in the army, but not in sensitive positions."

I feel like I should be offended, but honestly, it probably says more about said military officials than it does about RPGers. I wonder how low a body's clearance would go if e confessed to a World of Warcraft addiction.
On the other hand, think of how much better our world would be if the militaries were restricted to particle board shields, foam swords, and imaginary spells.

That's all.

[tip: orgtheory]