Monday, September 24, 2007

Action Alive Weekly Panorama

Quick, how much are the roses being advertised for? Look again. No, again. Welcome to The Most Deceptive Sign in LA.

The Telegraph: Everyone is breaking the rules and being creative about how to use English," said Rukmini Bhaya Nair, a professor of English at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi. "It is finally being claimed by Indians as their own, instead of a relic of the Raj."

The columnist Anjali Puri said pride in Indian English also stemmed from the success of writers such as Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth and Salman Rushdie: "These writers have used English to portray Indian reality and it has given people the confidence to try out new words and play around with the language without being scared about whether they are correct."

So that's why I can't make sense of tech support. It's Salman Rushdie's fault. Boy, he's got a lot to answer for. "I am in well here and hope you are also in the same well." I wasn't when I called, but I suspect I will be soon.

How the "Pina Colada" song really ended.

The Boston Globe: This may look like a rerun, but it's actually a different reader so mortally offended by a different library book that she's checked out both copies and refuses to return them.

Both libraries have ordered replacements for the books Karkos took. Speers ordered two more copies because of an increase in requests for the book after the (Lewiston) Sun Journal published a letter from Karkos condemning the book.

Maybe the woman works for the publisher, and this is a marketing campaign?

National Review: Dan Rather alleges CBS shut him up to protect George W. Bush.

The Daily Mail: It has all the hallmarks of a 1950s B-movie - a remote location, mysterious lights in the sky, a crater that appeared from nowhere, and a disease that spread like the plague through locals. But this is no science fiction film. Officials in Peru yesterday revealed that 200 people had fallen sick after an object from space crashed into the south of the country over the weekend.

The reporter compares the incident to The Andromeda Strain, but it looks more like The Colour Out of Space to me.

Daily Cup of Tech: Yes, bad PowerPoint presentations are so ubiquitous that a stand-up comic can build a non-tech-audience-ready routine out of one.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

On the Monitor Beacon

blue steel
Originally uploaded by klevo!.
DIY Life: "When my scissors get dull," says Anna Sattler, "I layer about 7 pieces of foil and cut through them, and the scissors are sharp once again." Does this really work?

Dragon*Con Podcasting - Podcasting in the Classroom: This panel featured three educators who are creating educational podcasts, and my wife who is skeptical that the thing can have any applications for, how shall I say it, neighborhoods that are less than affluent.

Montgomery Advertiser: The one about the teenager who was so offended at the sex scenes in a library book ("Sandpiper" by Ellen Whittlinger) that she's refusing to return it, so other teens won't be exposed to it. "'This book is sick,' said Pennington [the girl's grandmother]. 'I'm 50 years old, and I've raised 11 sets of kids and been through many a library, and I've never seen a book like this in a school library before.'"

Hm. If she's 50, and her granddaughter is 15, then she was 35 when her grandchild was born. Sounds to me like somebody in this family must not be as offended by the idea of teen sex as they let on. And how the heck does one raise "11 sets of kids" anyway?

The Telegraph: If you want to know the truth about good ol' barbecue, go to Britain, that's what I always say. I might never have known that "Kentucky is known for mutton" if I hadn't read it here.

Reuters: Two decades after a nude photo scandal helped cost a Miss America her title, Americans may be adopting a more ho-hum attitude toward people who bare it all for the cameras. This because the Disney company is prepared to forgive "High School Musical" star Vanessa Hudgens her indiscretions.

Sex and nudity are also more prevalent on television, especially cable stations. Last week's opening episode of the HBO drama "Tell Me You Love Me," contained at least half-a-dozen sex acts. Oh, yeah, let's talk about that...

The New York Observer: Is the scrotum the new cleavage?

...Throughout the hour, as bodies moved and eyefuls of flesh and bikini waxes flashed, it was still the sight of that erect penis being clinically manipulated into a graphic orgasm that prompted did-I-just-see-what-I-think-I-saw gapes from less action-packed couches nationwide.

“Europeans have a totally different attitude about it,” [Darren Star, executive producer of "Sex and the City"] added. “I think the fact that we haven’t seen it in this country before is why it is so shocking when we do see it.”

I told you a couple of weeks ago that I didn't want to hear about how much more sophisticated the Europeans are, now that we know that to be an utter lie.

In conclusion, YouTube presents: The Potter Puppet Pals in "The Mysterious Ticking Noise."

Monday, September 10, 2007

DPM Weekend Monitor

Originally uploaded by Ray Radlein.
Joshua Harrison (at right) is an old friend of ARTC's. He wasn't in our DragonCon show this year, but he kept busy. Even Kari Byron doesn't look too bored.

Wired magazine: "An IM Infatuation Turned to Romance. Then the Truth Came Out." Then it came out again.

CNN: Madeleine L'Engle dead at 88.

Beloit College: To the class of 2011, MTV has never featured music videos, they never “rolled down” a car window, and the first time they ever saw Jack Nicholson was in "Batman".

The Sun: David Schwimmer says he won't appear in a Friends reunion. "It was ten years ago — and it’s time to move on.” Schwimmer's math aside (the show's final episode aired in May 2004, a tad over three years ago), I think I speak for all of us when I say, "Promise?"

The Textbook League: Physicist Richard Feynman on how and why school textbooks suck. ("Suck" is a technical term too advanced to define here.)

WSJ: Men, do you find yourself limiting contact with kids for fear that you'll be accused of being a predator?

Overheard Everywhere:
Woman reading newspaper: I can't believe how illiterate kids are these days. It says here that when they were asked who Joan of Arc was, many of them said she was Noah's wife.
Girl: Who was she, Grandma?
Woman: She was the woman who grew her hair long and rode a horse naked.