Posts from September 2003.

Pogo

Apparently a new study claims that your sleeping position reveals your personality.

That may be true, but I’ve always found it easier to judge a person by how they dance.

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RIAA Files Suit Against Share Bear

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) continued its legal campaign today as it filed suit against Share Bear in federal court. The cuddly, anthromorphic teddy bear whose stated mission is to "teach people how to share" could face penalties of up to $150,000 and six months in jail. RIAA spokeswomen Lily Stadel defended the decision to procecute the adorable moppet. "We're not talking about Funshine Bear or Love-A-Lot Bear, here," she noted. "Share Bear has set up an entire B2B [bear to bear] sharing network, and not only knows how much fun it is to give some of her good things to others, but has often been heard encouraging others to 'do your share of sharing!' Clearly the RIAA cannot just stand by and allow this behavior to continue." The announcement came just days after the arrest of Pirate Smurf on similar charges. Share Bear's favorite color is lavender.

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Kahn’d

I ate at a joint called “The Mongolian Grill” the other day. The table tent featured “The History Of Mongolian Barbeque,” with the first sentence reading “Mongolian barbeque was introduced to China by Genghis Khan in the thirteenth century.”

I love that word “introduced.” Apparently China was just sitting around one day watching “Genghis Khan’s Living” and he was all, like, “Not sure what to do with that leftover mutton in the fridge? Here’s an style of cooking that’s both simple and delicious!”

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9/11

At 8:46 this morning, a voice came over the intercom system of my office building and asked that everyone observe a moment of silence in memory of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Unfortunately, the speakers on my floor are broken, and, when in use, give off a constant and very loud buzzing noise that sounds like the alarm of a cheap digit clock. Furthermore, the announcer left the intercom on throughout the “Moment Of Silence.”

So we sat in our offices and endured a full minute of this grating cacophony, unable to concentrate on anything whatsoever.

In some respects this seemed like an even more appropriate tribute.

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Dem Debate

Didn’t see the Democratic debate Tuesday night? Yeah, me neither. But for some perverse reason I read the whole freakin’ transcript. You could read it too, but I’ll save you some time and just tell you that most of the Q&A goes like this:

Q: Candidate X, what do you think about apples?

A: Well, that’s a good question. But another good question is, “What kind of audience reaction will I get to this unrelated but guaranteed laughter-and-applause-getting bumpersticker slogan?”

[Laughter]

[Applause]

But to address your question. The thing we all need to remember is that apples have cores. And the core issue facing Americans today is oranges. But when it comes to oranges, the Bush administration has completely failed to … [remainder of time spent discussing oranges, apples never again mentioned]

Also, if you saw last week’s debate or have seen the candidates on talk shows, you’ve pretty much heard everything they said during the debate. The participants were given 60 seconds to respond to questions, and, in nearly every case, they would spend the first 15 segueing from the actual question to some related issue that they already had a prepared response to, and the last 45 delivering their boilerplate rhetoric. Gephardt repeated his “miserable failure” bit a few more times; Howard Dean’s closing statement was a paragraph that I’d heard almost verbatim at his rally; when asked what their favorite songs were, most candidates just picked their campaign theme. Memo to John Edwards: Dude, nobody’s favorite song is John Cougar Mellencamp’s, “Small Town.”

(The journalist who asked the “what is your favorite song” question prefaced it by saying “this is for the Gen X crowd”. Hey, nice job there, using my entire generation as justification for your industry’s obsession with irrelevant and trivial hoohaw.)

Best exchange of the night:

Q: Frankly there’s been some concern that because of the racial makeup of Vermont, about 0.5 percent black, that you will have a difficult time connecting and really understanding the concerns of minorities, in particular African Americans.

Dean: Well, if the percent of minorities that’s in your state has anything to do with how you can connect with African American voters, then Trent Lott would be Martin Luther King.

Second best exchange of the night:

Q: [Some guy] recently said that the way that the Democratic candidates are talking about President Bush and this administration amounts to hate language. And I wonder if you would agree that this is hateful, demagogic talk about the president of the United States.

Sharpton: It doesn’t matter if it is Republican or Democrat. If they’re wrong, we can call them out, not out of hate but out of love for justice and what’s good for the American people.

Can I get an amen? Well, I probably can’t. But Sharpton sure can when he’s in full-on rhetoric mode. Sharpton had a lot of great lines, actually. He has about as much a chance of becoming president as I do of becoming a gold medalist in the luge, but they should let him participate in all the debates, even the Republican ones.

Of course, these aren’t really “debates” right now anyhow, not in the sense of there being any actual discussion of the issues. With nine people on stage, the best they can do it toss out broad questions and allow each person the opportunity to cough up some soundbites and catchphrases. And with some 70% of the populace unable to name a single democratic candidate, these debates are more American Idol than anything else: each contestation is belting out a few verses of a popular tune not to win, but just in the hope of making any impression whatsoever on the judges.

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At The Dean Rally

I attended a Howard Dean rally a few days back. Here is my report.

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Thanks Louie

Sunday evening I took a load of clean laundry out of the dryer and dumped it into the overstuffed chair we have in our living room; As is his wont, Louis The Cat immediately leapt onto the pile of warm clothes, burrowed into the shirts and socks, and promptly fell asleep. I had intended to fold the clothes shortly thereafter but was overcome with slackerliness, so Lucky Lou remained ensconced in the laundry all night long. In the morning, though, as I rushed around the house slightly late for work, I extracted Louie from the laundry, shooed him off, grabbed my gym clothes from the pile and shoved them into my duffle bag.

Several hours later I was in my gym’s locker room and naked as a jaybird, having just stripped down in preparation for a shower. The Unwritten Rules Of Locker Room Etiquette For Guys dictate that, once you are naked, you have to be All Business: no talking, no eye contact, no calling attention to yourself, etc. So I solemnly shoved my clothes into my locker and pulled the towel out of my bag.

As I did so, though, something flew across the room, ricocheted off the mirror, and skidded to a stop on the tile floor. Everyone looked to see what it was. Not knowing myself what I had just flung from my bag, I trotted over to retrieve it, and was aghast to find this laying before me.

The whole incident was rather embarrassing. Still, it was nice of Louie to pack me a lunch.

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Weight Of The Law

Overheard from the woman sitting behind me at a theater.

“If lawsuits helped you lose weight, I’d sue everyone I know.”

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Hello EDTEC 470!

One of the most fascinating this* about blogs is the ability to respond in “real-time” to events around the world, especially those that occur in what we quaintly refer to as “the blogosphere”. For example, I had no foreknowledge whatsoever that my blog was going to become part of a class reading assignment, but my referrer logs seem to indicate that many people are currently visiting because they have been assigned to do so in an college course. If defective yeti were a traditional publication — a newspaper, say — I would have to wait until the next print run to send a big “shout out” to my new readers. But the nature of blogging is such that it allows me to do so moments after I first discover that I have been linked. This sense of immediacy is certainly one of the many factors that have contributed to the phenomenal popularity of blogging in recent years.

Another thing that sets blogs apart from “old media” is their interactivity, so feel free to leave a comment.

By the by, I have no doubt that your professor is doing a crackjack job, but you can find out more about blogs over here.

(* sadly, the downside to immediacy is a woeful lack of proofreading …)

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The Kiss!

Holy smokes, did you see the Democratic debate last night? What an opening! I mean, I was pretty shocked when John Edwards and Richard Gephardt came out dressed in those white bustier wedding dresses and sang

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