General Manuel Noriega loves you

Filed under: neat! @ 00:55

McSweeny’s has an amusing site in which quotations from Dubs are altered so that any reference to God is replaced by a famous name found in Trivial Pursuit.

I should point out that I found this via the most random internet related event that has ever happened to me; I found a truly bizarre confluence of web pages.

I googled “America the Book” in hopes of finding why the Open Letter to Sean Penn was not in my edition, but was in the edition I saw at Vromann’s last month. I ended up at Comedy Central’s site where I noticed that Jon Stewart et al. will be reading from their book at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre on January 13. All proceeds from this ticketed event will go to 826nyc.org, a “nonprofit writing center designed to help students ages 6-18 develop their writing skills.”

But, that begged a certain question; what is the significance of “826”. It’s not their address. I looked around on the site, but didn’t see any explanation.

Several hours later I was looking at mertner.com where Allan posted some useful advice on multiblogging with wordpress that I’m using here. Another user of the site, Morten, linked to Joel Spolsky’s Joel on Software. A pretty interesting read. Anyway, in his about page, Joel paraphrases something from Timothy McSweeney’s mcsweenys.net, the provenance of the above article. And what else do I find there but a faq about 826NYC.net.

To quote Keanu Reeves: “whoa”.

That’s the long of it. The short of it is that I still don’t know why my copy of America the Book doesn’t have the letter to Sean Penn in it nor what “826” means.


First day of a new term

Filed under: a group of folks,academe,news @ 18:53

It wasn’t much different than any other day. I didn’t go to campus because it was raining all day (and was that thunder I heard?) and just read stuff here in the SLR. To mix things up a bit, I pissed Greg off by solving his new rubik’s like invertable tetrahedron. Sukah.

More gratifyingly, I also headed over to amazon to spend a gift certificate (LotR:TT&RotK) and ended up donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund for the victims of the December 26 Tsunami. So far, Amazon has amassed over $13 million from nearly 170 thousand contributions.

A few clicks, and it could be more.


A slight discrepancy

Filed under: academe,news @ 17:02

What I said I was going to do while I was gone: read P&S, read N&C and do all the prelab problems for the lab I’m TAing.

What I actually did while I was gone: read Linguists and Aliens, the Engines of God, Lemony Snicket, America the Book, and watched Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Bad Boys, and The Incredibles.

He sure don’t clean up nice

Filed under: news @ 16:02

As mentioned before, one of the more entertaining aspects of Christmas this year was going home and seeing how well people recognized me. Mom and Dad seemed to have no trouble, but a lot of people at church had no idea who I was, even when I was sitting with my family.

The best comment was given to my mother after church: “Now, when Michael came home, were you expecting him to look like that?” Hilarious. A close second was the reaction given when I was introduced by Mom to someone at the dollar store. She looked honestly afraid and took her first opportunity to back away and leave the store.

That kind of reaction I don’t really understand. I mean, go ahead, think I’m ugly; you won’t bother me. But why did long hair and a beard incite fear into this (presumably) otherwise nice middle aged lady? Does scragly facial hair instantly turn me into a rapist or a murderer or, worse, a hippie?

Well, I passed the gramma test, anyway. She didn’t bat an eye. And none of my other relatives took much notice either, likely because I was upstaged by a cousin of mine with a tremendous beard and significantly longer hair.

I was thinking about getting rid of it all come new years, but now I think it’s here to stay for a while.

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