Monday, October 31, 2005
Wikipedia's List of Neologisms on The Simpsons
Without a doubt, Matt Groening's "The Simpsons" has left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape. Even Homer's exasperated "D'oh!" has wrangled its way into the "Oxford English Dictionary." Now, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Wikipedia's dedicated editors, there's an entire list of words and phrases coined by Springfield's most famous residents. From Bart Simpson's fictitious Scrabble entry "Kwyjibo" ("a big, dumb, balding North American ape... with no chin") to Apu's celebrated Kwik-E-Mart offering, the "Squishee," readers can revel in this ever-growing list of Simpson-ian creativity and inventiveness. Worst. Pick. Ever? That's unpossible. (in Television)
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
Writing Ability Offers Clues to Worker's Skill Levels
A recent survey suggests that workers who can write well are a rare commodity in the workplace. Workplace experts say a worker’s written communication is an important part of their workplace image, and that poor grammar can influence an employer’s impression of their overall skills.
Read more from the CourierPostOnline
- Kite Runner - set in Afghanistan, 1974-1994
- Alaska - set from the time of the "land bridge" between Asia and the Americas, to "present day" (20 years ago? I'm still 10s of thousands of years ago at the moment; the settling of the Aleutians)
- Developing Mathematical Talent - written by the guy who founded CTY
- Heart of Christianity - because the author will be speaking at our church in a couple weeks; an interesting description of religious liberalism
- World Religions in America - just what the title says; a history and breakdown of how America is a religious melting-pot as well as ethnic (or are they interrelated concepts? hmmm)
- What Neitzsche Really Said - I'm intrigued by his "heaven on earth" viewpoints
The most recent novel I have read is The 5 People You Meet in Heaven. I really liked it. It was thought-provoking, a quick read.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
You fit in with: Spiritualism
Your ideals are mostly spiritual, but in an individualistic way. While spirituality is very important in your life, organized religion itself may not be for you. It is best for you to seek these things on your own terms.
Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com
THE NEOCON WHO ISN'T
By Robert S. Boynton, American Prospect Online
Political scientist Francis Fukuyama, famous for penning The End of History, has leapt back aboard the timeline with his sharp criticism of the war in Iraq and the Bush administration's foreign policy. His political detour has confounded fellow neoconservatives and incited debates about American politics within conservative circles.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Science and Buddhism, according to the Dalai Lama, share a strong empirical basis and are surprisingly compatible [the story]
"Just because a current theory or philosophy of science fails to account for a phenomenon does not mean that science itself should be abandoned."
The author has described "a God of gaps", where the religious may fill in any gaps in scientific theory with a religious concept. He doesn't like it. I, however, see its merits. Why not label something that does not have a scientic theory as religious? Of course, there are depths to scientific theory that the layperson cannot even fathom. At this point it seems to me that much of a layperson's belief in the unknown, either scientific or religious, is all religious.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love,” said Jonathan Swift. God forbid we should hate religion – and law should forbid it too... more»
Monday, October 24, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
How about you? Click here to find your own inner hero.
Panexa. Ask Your Doctor for a Reason to Take It
By Staff, Stay Free!This parody drug ad with its excessive small print and sales-pitch drivel shoves a sharp peccadillo in the side of the big pharma bull. The panacean poison Panexa has side effects that include "really geeky laughs," "shiny, valuable feces," and "susceptibility to wedgies." -- Archie Ingersoll
By Rose Miller, Utne.com
Online mapping technologies like Google Maps, Google Earth, and MSN Virtual Earth have created new ways of visualizing the world. Software programmers are following suit, charting new terrain by customizing interactive online maps to bring users interesting and useful place-based information.
sites I've run across while seeking to learn more about talented youth programs
- wikipedia - talks about the history and culture of the Center for Talented Youth
- K-12 Gifted Youth in the Yahoo! Directory
- alternate site for the Center for Talented Youth - provides additional links on the bottom left
- gifted links at education consulting service - lists most, if not all, of the talented youth institutions
- Prufrock Press - books 'n stuff
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
STUDY SHOWS MIMICRY BY COMPUTER CAN BE AS PERSUASIVE AS A PERSON
When computer-generated artificial intelligence replicates positive human behavior and emotions, people respond similarly to how they would when reacting to a real human, according to a new study published in Psychological Science. The researchers conducted an experiment where participants listened to an argument from an artificial agent that either copied the listener's head movements or those of another participant. Those who were mimicked saw their agents as more persuasive and likeable than those who were not. Read more
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
During the information night at the school, the teacher was really discouraging the parents from accelerating their studies in a particular area (like math), because they would eventually "run out of" topics that could be tought at the school. I didn't like that answer, because if the kid is so excited by the topic that he/she needs to study more and more, he/she should not be discouraged from doing it. Especially in the area of math, where topics of study in college and grad school are not even fathomable in grade school.
So, I've bought a book (suprise!). One of the first things it says, in the section meant to "dispell myths", is that one of the myths is that the child will "run out of curriculum" before they graduate high school. This hits the nail right on the head, and really makes me hesitant to trust the opinions of this teacher whom my son is likely to have in a couple of years. Man . . .
I guess one of the big points of this learning exercise I've been going through is that any child who is not of the mainstream learning capability needs extra attention from his/her parents in order to be nurtured properly. But, I wonder, does any child really fit "the mainstream"?
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Dutch Answer to Flooding: Build Houses that Swim
Translated from the German by Gareth Davies, Spiegel Online
The Netherlands' first amphibious houses sit floating and bobbing on the Maas dyke. Moored by steel posts driven into solid ground, 37 new homes with watertight cellars can move up and down as water levels fluctuate. The company that built these ship-shape domiciles touts them as a housing solution for delta regions prone to flooding. -- Archie Ingersoll
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
A chronicle of reading.
By John Wilson
I've lost track of how many Narnia-related books have arrived in the office in recent weeks. (I stopped counting at a dozen.) Easily the standout so far is The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis (HarperSanFrancisco), by Wheaton College's Alan Jacobs. You may have seen some of Jacobs' essays and reviews in B&C, First Things, The Weekly Standard, and elsewhere (last week he had a superb piece on James Agee in the Ideas section of the Boston Globe) or heard him on the Mars Hill audio series. If so, you won't have to be persuaded to check out his new book, his finest to date, which takes the Narnia series as a point of departure for a penetrating study of Lewis' imagination.
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Sunday, October 09, 2005
This is where we went this weekend. It's 7pm the next day and I still feel hungover (we got there at 1pm yesterday and left at 11am this morning). We slept on the wooden bunks that the solders from the late 18th century slept on, minus the "tick sacks" (mattresses that happen to have loads of ticks in them - they're the original bed bugs).
Friday, October 07, 2005
Have you ever dreamed of riding an elevator into space? Well, now you are just that much closer, as recent tests of a new technology enabled a climbing robot to scale a ribbon 1000 feet into the air. The LiftPort Group that executed the test hopes to build a working space elevator by the year 2018. -- Rose Miller [the story]
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
The Gospel of Buddha -- "Compiled from ancient records by Paul Carus, 1894" says the full-text online version -- has sold over three million copies in its long life. And who knows how many times it's been downloaded. [the rest of this entry]