You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2010.

You can lead a horse to Blackboard (by, for instance, telling her in the syllabus that you handed out as well as by saying with words from your mouth that she needs to check Blackboard regularly) but if you somehow can’t make her LOOK, you’ll probably hear at evaluation time how UNFAIR you were.


Wow!!  The colors …and the trees … and the floating …spinning …light …waterfall …flying …!!  (Not a very useful review, oh well.)

It was so much like the world we used to imagine and play about, that I would wish with all my might to jump into.  I would think:  I’m going to open my eyes in five seconds and I’ll be there, if I take one step on the surface that’s it.  The next breath I breathe will be the atmosphere of Kappa.  That was my designation for our planet.  The rest is secret; I wouldn’t want to screw up my travel options, just in case wishes become real. 

(nabbed off this guy’s blog)  These Pandoran life forms were inspired by Christmas tree worms, Spirobranchus giganteus:


So, how much does Avatar borrow from Maori history?

..and dates/times for 2010.

“January Moon” by Tim Paul (source)

Watching How the Earth Was Made instead, and trying to play this strange Tetris game.  HtEWM is good, but I’d rather watch The Universe.  They could keep showing the same episodes over and over; that would be fine.  I guess the thing I really have against HtEWM is …it tries to sound doomy and urgent like Mega Disasters.  No sense of humor.  And they called the San Andreas Fault an “ugly scar.”  The hell?  That’s almost as bad as “shark-infested waters.”  They freaking LIVE THERE.  Come and whine about it when sharks start crawling up on the land.

The slideshow will be about opportunity cost, PPFs, diminishing marginal utility, and international trade.  And Chapter 2 of Cod.  In other words it’ll take about a hundred years.  But I’ll break it up in July 2060 with this fun video I’ve used before of a HoHos eating contest.  I’m too cheap to buy actual HoHos for four separate contests, and have no interest in HoHo vomit after a weekend of cat vomit.  Poor little puma has to cut back.  That’s what I do, I give people (and pumas) too much food, except for HoHos.

Robert Downey, Jr.’s Holmes is dangerous-crazy-cool, Jude Law’s smart Watson is his match, the pre-Moriarty bad guy is as bad as they come, and London is their giant, grimy, clanking, dripping, bustling chessboard.  The action (there’s plenty of it) plays around with time to take you into Holmes’ white-hot brain as he maps out a bare-knuckle boxing victory or staggers against the tidal wave of sensory data at a crowded restaurant.  Backed by those lowering skies and muddy streets, colors really explode — Irene Adler’s (Rachel McAdams) scarlet satin; gleaming metal gadgetry; …actual explosions.  This movie is fast, hot, edgy, and tight, with an intriguing score.  Highly recommended!

Paul Ahyi :

  • was a Togolese artist
  • designed the flag of Togo
  • passed away recently
  • created wonderful sculptures, pastels, ceramics, and etchings you can see at his site 

Is  Timothy Taylor.  I’m using his online textbook, Principles of Economics, which costs between $0.00 (online only, with ads that are actually not annoying) and $29.95 (printed copy).  (There are also options for ad-free online and printable .pdf.)  This highest price is like, one-quarter to one-fifth the cost of typical micro-macro books I’ve used in the past and it is even a very well-written book.  It’s just so logically organized and thoughtful instead of frenetic and cartoony and look-how-hip-and-groovy-I-am-to-use-Madonna-tickets-to-explain-demand-elasticity.   I’m so freaking happy with this.  Hope the kids are too.  One guy in one class said he was having trouble installing Microsoft Silverlight (which is needed to read the ebook) for Mac.  Hopefully this can be worked around; I have a couple of extra copies people can use in a pinch.  So, bottom line, a person who doesn’t already own Cod and has to buy it used from the campus bookstore and uses Taylor online with ads spends no more than $7.50 on books for my class.  Power to the people.  HELL yeah.

They go through oceans of ballistics gel on MythBusters.  If you, too, want oceans of ballistics gel, you can make your own

Ballistics (Gk. ba’llein’, “throw”) was an area I really aced when I took the ASVAB.  I had just taken a year of calculus, and my friends and I also practiced by making up scenarios involving the launching of, well, defenseless little children, okay?  It was a more resilient time.  We didn’t launch actual babies, we only launched jokes about launching babies.  People would probably be suspended these days for discussing such things in any but the most hushed and somber and righteous tones.  But we did, and I got a great score on the ASVAB, so on my results it said I should consider the field artillery.  But that’s a combat arm and I’m a female and I also value my hearing.  Still, if my country should ever need me to, I’m sure I could be trained to artillerate all kinds of things.

The Briefcase” by Rebecca Makkai.  Heard part of this on Selected Shorts (on VPR) last Sunday, liked it, didn’t know what it was, finally remembered to look it up.

Starting Wednesday, I am going to take an online Spanish class through my school.  Yay!  Last year I did Forensics for Writers and really enjoyed it.  In fact I found myself babbling happily about adipocere at the dinner table once, which maybe wasn’t so appropriate.  I seem to have these jobs and interests again and again that keep me supplied with non-mealtime discussion topics:  wastewater treatment malfunctions, putrefying fish entrails, caring for individuals with incontinence and behavioral issues.

Anyway, after Speed Spanish there are Speed Spanishes II and III, if I like.  I took a summer class in Spanish when I was … I don’t know, eleven?  The teacher was Peruvian, slim and elegant with silver bracelets on her wrists and a knee-lenth cascade of black hair.  As we progressed over the weeks she would encourage us more and more to think in Spanish.  Maybe an hour into class we would take ten in our seats — put our heads on our desks and “think in a Spanish.  Think in a Spanish,” I can still hear her murmuring.



The Ratel Motel