May 17, 2004

Then I do what with my what now?

Teedz pointed me toward this bit of news:

Childless couple told to try sex

A German couple who went to a fertility clinic after eight years of marriage have found out why they are still childless -- they weren't having sex.

The University Clinic of Lubek said they had never heard of a case like it after examining the couple who went to see them last month for fertility tests.

Doctors subjected them to a series of examinations and found they were both apparently fertile, and should have had no trouble conceiving.

A clinic spokesman said: "When we asked them how often they had had sex, they looked blank, and said: "What do you mean?".

"We are not talking retarded people here, but a couple who were brought up in a religious environment who were simply unaware, after eight years of marriage, of the physical requirements necessary to procreate."

The 30-year-old wife and her 36-year-old husband are now being given sex therapy lessons while the university clinic undertakes a study to try to find out if there are more couples with a similar lack of sex education.

Sometimes I wonder if the news agencies hire people to come up with stories like this just to see how long it takes them to spread around the blogosphere.

Posted by Jess at 04:28 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 28, 2004

What a lovely black helicopter!

From Yahoo News:

Blog-Tracking May Gain Ground Among U.S. Intelligence Officials
By Doug Tsuruoka

People in black trench coats might soon be chasing blogs.

Blogs, short for Web logs, are personal online journals. Individuals post them on Web sites to report or comment on news especially, but also on their personal lives or most any subject.

Some blogs are whimsical and deal with "soft" subjects. Others, though, are cutting edge in delivering information and opinion.

As a result, some analysts say U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials might be starting to track blogs for important bits of information. This interest is a sign of how far Web media such as blogs have come in reshaping the data-collection habits of intelligence professionals and others, even with the knowledge that the accuracy of what's reported in some blogs is questionable.


While blog postings are voluntary and available to anyone to read, some observers say blog monitoring by governments or the media raises civil liberties and privacy issues. One such critic is James Love, director of the Ralph Nader-affiliated Consumer Project on Technology.

"When you're conducting surveillance where you have no expectation of illegal activity, there has to be some threshold to justify such surveillance," Love said.

(read the rest of the article...)

On an unrelated note, Apropos of Something and its webmaster -- Rusty Shackleford of Ogden, Iowa -- would like to reaffirm their support for any and all U.S. policies...past, present, and future.

Posted by Jess at 10:45 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 19, 2004

Mmm...that's good irony!

D'oh! I submitted this post to Slashdot discussing accuracy in online reporting and linking to the New York Times' recent article -- "First With the Scoop, If Not the Truth" -- on inside-the-beltway gossip columnist Wonkette and, in the process, misattributed a quote from the article to Wonkette's editor Ana Marie Cox that should have gone to her publisher, Nick Denton, instead. Needless to say, that's more than a little embarrassing.

I've e-mailed one of Slashdot's editors and asked him to correct my stupid -- albeit deliciously ironic -- mistake. In the meantime, my apologies to both Wonkette and Mr. Denton.

EDIT: It looks like the crack Slashdot team fixed it.

Posted by Jess at 04:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dynamic Duo

In the immortal words of Chief Wiggum, "Can't you people take the law into your own hands? I mean, we can't be 'policing' the entire city."

Batman and Robin fighting crime -- in Whitley

Two mystery men dressed as Batman and Robin have been fighting crime and saving damsels in distress in a small English town.

The pair have been spotted springing into action a number of times in recent weeks on the streets of Whitley, near Reading. The Reading Evening Post asked readers for news of the duo after they dealt with a pair of streakers at a local football cup final.

And the newspaper was besieged with calls from residents who claimed to have seen the 'superheroes' in action.

Michelle Kirby was stranded when her Peugeot 206 ran out of petrol on Easter Sunday - until Batman and Robin appeared out of nowhere and pushed her car to the nearest petrol station. She said: "They just appeared. I saw them running down the road in Batman and Robin outfits -- I was laughing so much."

"It was like a scene out of Only Fools and Horses and they stayed in character the whole time. They said, 'I'm Batman, I'm Robin' and I said, 'No, you're not' and asked them if they were going to a fancy dress party but they said they were going back to Gotham City."

Ray Cox, 61, spotted the caped crusaders at about 11.30am after doing his morning shopping.

"I said to my wife, it would make it a better and safer place with these men," he said. "Batman was quite a broad chap. They would scare a few muggers off and I'd feel safer in Whitley."

Oh, sure -- these guys fight crime for a few weeks dressed as Batman and Robin and they make the papers. Meanwhile, I've been running around town dressed as Wonder Woman for the past six months, and what do I get for my trouble? Uncomfortable stares and the occasional request to "stop twirling that lasso and put on some clothes."

Posted by Jess at 07:18 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 14, 2004

Performance evaluation

I have a performance evaluation coming up at the end of this semester. If anyone asks me if I can recall any mistakes that I've made on the job over the course of the past three years, I think I'll reply, "No." Then, if they call my attention to a specific decision that could possibly be construed as a mistake and ask me if I would stand by that decision even if it ended up costing me my job next semester, I think I'll respond, "Well, I don't plan to lose my job next semester."

Seriously, though, I didn't feel like President Bush accomplished what he needed to do in last night's press conference -- that is, he didn't exactly reach out to those Americans who have doubts about the war in Iraq and reassure them that the administration is doing the right thing. There are certain ways to communicate a "stay the course" message without further alienating opponents of the war and other critics of the administration, but Bush by and large failed to hit upon them. Instead, it seemed more like he was preaching to the choir. Obviously, the President can't go on national television and start saying things like, "Yeah, we might have messed up. Our bad." That would be political suicide. Nor can he completely dilute his message to improve his standing in the polls. By that same token, however, he could have perhaps attempted to present his case in a manner more consistent with the "uniter, not a divider" message on which he campaigned in 2000. As it stands, I would find it hard to believe that last night's press conference won over anyone who wasn't already a Bush supporter.

I don't think it's fair to ask President Bush to accept responsibility for 9/11. On the other hand, with regards to questionable intelligence and/or motives vis-à-vis the war in Iraq, it seems like there should come a point at which the President adopts Truman's "the buck stops here" attitude and argues his case from there.

Posted by Jess at 10:41 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 12, 2004

Coming in 2006: The Southeast Asian Prom

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Equal but separate in Lyons
By Dan Chapman (April 10, 2004)

Hispanic, black and white students at Toombs County High School all will hold their own proms.

LYONS -- The black kids at Toombs County High School will hold their prom at the National Guard armory next weekend. And the white kids will dance, laugh, reminisce and cry in the same building on May 7.

Toombs County High School junior Yuri Flores and Hispanic classmates will hold their own prom this year at the Silverado in Lyons.

But what about the Hispanic kids? Which party will the children of the Mexican migrant workers attend?

Neither. They'll hold their own prom.

In what might be a first for Georgia, students from one high school will attend three separate proms. Toombs County's dubious distinction demonstrates the evolving arithmetic of race in America, where white plus black plus brown doesn't add up to "one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

It wasn't supposed to be this way when Yuri Flores bought a $50 ticket to the white prom in February. She returned later that day with a white girlfriend, Jennifer Hart, who also wanted to buy a ticket. Hart says the White Prom Committee girl wanted to know if her date was white, black or Hispanic. Mexican, was the answer.

"She told me that it was a white prom — not a Mexican prom, not a black prom," Hart says. "It made me feel mad. That's not right. I wanted to put my fist in her face."

Flores, too, was stunned. Hurt. Mad. And, within minutes, determined. The Hispanic/Latino Prom Committee was formed that February afternoon. The Silverado nightclub, on U.S. 1 north of Lyons, will resound May 8 with cumbia, rap, pop and reggae as Latino high school kids in Toombs County and from across east-central Georgia go to the prom.

"This is the land of freedom. It's supposed to be the land of dreams," says Anna Rosa Perez, a Toombs High junior with braces and aspirations for a career in Hollywood. "But it's not equal. We just don't want to be left out. [Our prom] will show other people if you try to achieve something, you can do good and you can do what they can do."

(read the rest of the article...)

A quote from a white student later in the article: "I don't have any problems with them. We don't really care as long as everybody gets to go to a prom. I don't think we should make a big deal out of it. Some of them probably wanted it like that."


Posted by Jess at 09:51 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

April 04, 2004

Election-year fun

Peter David, one of my favorite authors, has posted a clever parody of the Billy Flynn/Roxie Hart press-conference-turned-ventriloquist-act from Chicago on his blog, reimagining the musical number in the context of President Bush and Vice President Cheney's upcoming appearance before the 9/11 commission. Here's an excerpt (sung to the tune of "The Press Conference Rag"):

Let us turn to…

[CHENEY (as Bush)]
Nine eleven.

Saw it coming?

[CHENEY (as Bush)]
No one could have.

Richard Clarke said --

[CHENEY (as Bush)]
He’s a whiner.
He said some stuff that’s not so nice.
We put our trust in Condi Rice.

You can read the rest here.

Meanwhile, the latest issue of the Economist offers up a cover story examining better ways to attack the policies of the Bush administration (cover image via Atrios). In all fairness, though, the usually-conservative Economist also features an interior story on better ways to attack John Kerry. Personally, I'm surprised that people are having so much trouble coming up with good reasons to criticize either candidate.

Posted by Jess at 12:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 02, 2004

So that's why they call him the Nature Boy

Whoo! I'm naked under this robe, Mean Gene!Three professional wrestlers working for Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment are being sued by a group of flight attendants who allege that the grapplers sexually harassed them during a May 2002 flight. The Smoking Gun has posted the relevant court documents, and the flight attendants' account of the incident paints a rather ugly picture. Still, I can't help but chuckle when I see a list of defendants that reads as follows: "Richard Morgan Fliehr, a/k/a Ric Flair, a/k/a The Nature Boy...Scott Oliver Hall, a/k/a Razor Ramon, a/k/a The Diamond Stud, a/k/a Big Scott Hall, a/k/a Starship Coyote, a/k/a The Bad Guy...Virgil Runnels III, a/k/a Dustin Runnels, a/k/a Dustin Rhodes, a/k/a Goldust." How can you expect to receive a fair trial when you're identified as "The Bad Guy" right there in the court documents?

The documents also reveal this fascinating bit of information about the so-called "flight from hell" (emphasis is my own): "[Ric] Flair wore a jeweled cape and was naked underneath." You mean to tell me that the Nature Boy actually wears those garish sequined robes -- and nothing else -- on flights? In that context, his whole "limousine-riding, jet-flying, wheeling-dealing, kiss-stealing son of a gun" spiel takes on a whole new meaning.

Posted by Jess at 10:31 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 31, 2004

Air America is on the air, America

Air America, the upstart liberal talk radio network (not to be confused with the Mel Gibson movie of the same name), debuted today in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Bernadino, Portland, and on XM satellite radio. Streaming audio is also available via the Internet, although the site seems to be facing a bit of a bandwidth crunch at the moment.

I missed Air America's official midday launch with Al Franken's "The O'Franken Factor," but I did catch a couple of hours of Randi Rhodes' afternoon talk show. If today's episode was any indication, she's a bit too caustic for my tastes. Sure, unbridled outrage at the Bush administration might play well for the first fifteen or twenty minutes, but the show needs a bit more substance to compete with the Hannities of the world. Then again, as far as I'm concerned, just about anything is better than suffering through Sean Hannity's overwhelming smugness. "Three hours a day, five days a week -- that's all we ask!" Thanks, Sean; you're too kind.

I'll probably tune back in tonight to catch a bit of Janeane Garofalo's "The Majority Report" and check out "The O'Franken Factor" tomorrow. While I certainly support Air America's effort to introduce a liberal alternative into the conservative-dominated medium of talk radio, I can't help but think the network had taken the wrong approach in choosing hosts like Franken and Garofalo to head up its flagship shows. Don't get me wrong; I like both comedians, but therein lies the rub. At the end of the day, it's going to be far too easy for conservatives to fall back on the defense that they're "just comedians." Even if Franken and Garofalo are presenting insightful critiques of the Bush administration and well-reasoned defenses of the liberal ideology, I have the feeling that they'll ultimately be dismissed by conservatives -- fairly or unfairly -- due simply to the fact that they're entertainers and not "serious pundits." In fact, I can't help but think that Air America might have done itself a long-term favor if it had traded in some of its initial big-name recognition for hosts with a bit more credibility and a bit less assailability. That's just me, though.

Update (8:44PM): Janeane Garofalo just hypothesized that Ann Coulter is secretly Andy Kaufman testing out a female version of his Tony Clifton character. Sounds plausible to me.

Posted by Jess at 08:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Icebox Rolls: The Silent Killer

Spotted on Reuters:

Recipe for Danger

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Attention cooks -- a recipe for rolls in the current issue of Southern Living magazine could be hazardous.

The magazine, published by Time Warner Inc.'s Southern Progress Corp. subsidiary, said it is alerting readers about potential dangers from a recipe for icebox rolls in its April issue. The magazine said it has requested the removal of all copies of the April issue from newsstands.

"It has been determined that heating the water and shortening, as described in the recipe, is potentially dangerous and may pose a fire and safety hazard," the Birmingham, Alabama-based magazine said in a statement.

Southern Living said 12 of its roughly 2.4 million subscribers had contacted the company with concerns about the recipe. A corrected recipe is available on the Web site.

In a related story, Better Homes and Gardens is pulling this month's issue due to complaints over its recipe for hemlock stew.

Posted by Jess at 03:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 30, 2004

Condi Strikes Back

I've been feeling a bit guilty about my recent posts here at Apropos of Something featuring photos of Evil Condi™ in action. After all, the woman is going through some rough times right now what with the 9/11 commission and everything. That being said, here's a photo of Happy Condi™ to balance things out:

Happy (Paramilitary) Condi

Of course, I'd be remiss not to mention "I Thought I Told You To Take Your Damn Hand Off My Shoulder" Condi™ pictured below:

'I Thought I Told You To Take Your Damn Hand Off My Shoulder' Condi

Okay, I promise that I'm officially finished with the Condoleezza photos now. Really. If you just can't get enough, though, On the Fritz is hosting an Evil Condi™ Photoshop Contest -- not to mention Fark's usual shenanigans.

Posted by Jess at 01:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 29, 2004

The Return of Evil Condi™ apparently just can't get enough photographs of a dour Condoleezza Rice. Now, they've included a blurry President Bush (via Photoshop?) for added effect:


By my count, this is at least the third iteration of Evil Condi™ that has appeared on CNN's front page in the past four days -- and I was away from the Internet for most of the weekend.

Posted by Jess at 02:16 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 25, 2004

Oh Condi, well you came and you glared at bureaucrats

Check out this photo from this morning:


Thanks, CNN -- now I'm going to have nightmares about Condoleezza Rice tonight after seeing that glare o'death. Somebody please send this woman a Pick-Me-Up Bouquet™ -- stat!

Posted by Jess at 10:12 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 24, 2004

Wild, wonderful

I stumbled across this story at Caffeinated Ramblings yesterday:

W.Va. Governor Is Offended by T-Shirt

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Bob Wise sent a letter to Abercrombie & Fitch on Monday demanding that the clothing retailer stop selling a T-shirt that spoofs the state with the slogan, "It's All Relative in West Virginia."

Wise said the T-shirt depicts "an unfounded, negative stereotype" of the state.

"I write to you today to demand that you immediately remove this item from your stores and your print and online catalogues," Wise wrote. "In addition, these shirts must be destroyed at once to avoid any possibility of resale and proof be given thereof."

Abercrombie & Fitch spokesman Tom Lennox declined to say whether the New Albany, Ohio-based company would comply with the governor's request. He said the T-shirt, which features the slogan on an outline of the state, has been selling well at $22.50.

"Abercrombie and Fitch was born and raised in the USA, and we honor all 50 states in the union," Lennox said.

West Virginia is not the only state that is spoofed on an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. Another shirt's slogan is "New Hampshire. 40 million squirrels can't be wrong."

You can scope out the shirt at A&F's website. Oh, and the post title is West Virginia's state motto.

For what it's worth, this isn't the first time that I've commented on Abercrombie and Fitch here at Apropos of Something. That being said, if you'd prefer not to wade through my thoughts on this latest bit of controversy, now would be a great time to stop reading and maybe check out one of the sites on my blogroll instead. Otherwise, feel free to continue.

While Abercrombie's spokesman argues that his company honors all fifty states in the union, I find myself agreeing with Governor Wise on this matter. These shirts are inappropriate and offensive; Abercrombie and Fitch should do the right thing and pull them from the shelves -- maybe even issue an apology if they're feeling particularly socially responsible. As I commented at Caffeinated Ramblings, American society as a whole already tends to hold a number of preconceived notions about people from rural Appalachia. Having grown up in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia myself, I know from personal experience that many people -- even those from other parts of Virginia -- equate the region almost exclusively with stereotypes of ignorance and backwardness. Sure, Southerners also face certain stereotypes, but it's worth noting that not all of them are strictly negative (for instance, positive notions like Southern hospitality and the proverbial Southern belle enjoy significant cultural penetration). In contrast, not too many people out there have anything kind to say about "mountain folk." About the best you'll hear is that they're "simple people," and that's not really a compliment in most circles. What I'm trying to say here is that contemporary America is significantly more tolerant of the "redneck" than the so-called "hillbilly."

I realize that it's up to the individual from this region to do everything in his or her power to discredit these preconceived ideas and show those who hold them that not everyone -- in fact, hardly anyone -- from rural Appalachia is straight out of Deliverance. However, the fact that Abercrombie and Fitch insists on perpertrating these negative stereotypes, even if it's all in "good fun," doesn't make discrediting these notions any easier.

That being said, I definitely share the governor's concern over these t-shirts. If it's not permissible to make fun of racial minorities (although Abercrombie and Fitch has been down that road before, too), why is it okay to mock a geographic minority? The people of rural West Virginia -- and rural Appalachia in general -- have things bad enough already dealing with these baseless stereotypes in their day-to-day interactions with people from outside the region. Why make things any tougher for them just to sell a dumb t-shirt?

Of course, I realize that something as trivial as a $23 t-shirt probably isn't going to make things that much worse for West Virginians as a whole, but I can guarantee that it's not going to make things any better for West Virginians either. Admittedly, the governor raising such a stink about the shirt and requesting everything short of the execution of A&F salespeople lends itself to a "methinks he doth protest too much" reaction from comedians and bloggers alike. By that same token, however, this shirt doesn't joke about Hee Haw, NASCAR, or Dollywood. We're talking about incest here -- a taboo by anyone's standards. Why peg such a repugnant, unfounded label on any group of people just for a few ironic laughs?

I grew up in rural Appalachia -- not in the most rural of areas, but certainly not in a metropolis either. I truly love the region, and it breaks my heart to see it struggling through an utter economic collapse in recent decades as the coal-mining industry that took so much from the mountains over the past century pulls out without ever really giving anything back in return. It troubles me to know that drugs are increasingly endemic to the region, as people turn to anything to distract themselves from the soul-crushing malaise that has settled onto many of its small towns and communities. These days, it seems like hardly a month goes by that I don't hear from my parents about one of my high school classmate's suicide or accidental overdose. These are the dilemmas faced by many parts of rural Appalachia today, and feasible solutions aren't exactly popping up at every turn. From where I stand, that doesn't exactly sound like fodder for an overpriced novelty t-shirt.

Sure, there are more pressing issues facing us in the world today, but can you blame Governor Wise for wanting this shirt taken off the shelves? I know that I can't. Here's hoping that Abercrombie and Fitch will do the right thing, so I can go back to ignoring them until the next big controversy springs up.

Posted by Jess at 06:56 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 17, 2004

H.R. 3920: Laying the Smack Down on Judicial Review

For those of you who are still seething over the Supreme Court's 1803 decision in Marbury v. Madison, there's good news: H.R. 3920 (short title, "The Congressional Accountability for Judicial Activism Act of 2004") has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Here's an excerpt:


The Congress may, if two thirds of each House agree, reverse a judgment of the United States Supreme Court --

(1) if that judgment is handed down after the date of the enactment of this Act; and

(2) to the extent that judgment concerns the constitutionality of an Act of Congress.

It's perfect for the member of Congress who isn't a fan of checks, balances, or checks and balances! Of course, something like this will likely never get out of committee, but it's an interesting bit of legislation nevertheless -- especially since I'm teaching the judicial branch in class today and could always use a little extra content.

First spotted at Go Fish.

Posted by Jess at 07:44 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 16, 2004

The ethics of blogging

Corey and I were just discussing whether the mainstream popularity of the Darwin Awards has made it acceptable to poke fun at zany suicide attempts. On the one hand, when you stumble across a headline like "Man Attempts Suicide by Crucifixion" online, the jokes practically write themselves ("The Passion: more dangerous than professional wrestling and Jackass combined!"). On the other hand, it's still an attempted suicide. What's a conscientious blogger to do?

Either way, hat tip to VH1's Best Week Ever Blog for the link.

Posted by Jess at 11:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 10, 2004

Kerry/Brokaw '04?

Could we see a John Kerry/Tom Brokaw ticket in November? Well, at least some of the pundits who speculate about these things are speculating just that (although Brokaw has already released his official "I'm flattered, but no thanks" statement on the rumors). Honestly, I could see that ticket clicking with voters -- perhaps even more so than a Kerry/Edwards ticket. In fact, I can already visualize vice-presidential candidate Tom Brokaw delivering speeches about the Bush administration's fleecing of America and how it affects the greatest generation.

Just look at how vice-presidential he looks in this photo from the Kansas City Star...

Good evening, America.

...if it wasn't for the "Holiday Inn Holidome" sign, that is. Link via my new best friend, VH1's Best Week Ever Blog.

Posted by Jess at 10:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The sky is falling

Prominent political scientist Samuel P. Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations gained quite a bit of mainstream exposure following the events of 9/11 -- which isn't all that shocking considering the book's dire predictions of civilizationalwars over cultural differences replacing traditional disputes over resources and ideologies in the post-Cold War era. Personally, I wasn't all that impressed by Huntington's research when I first read it in 1996. It relied on broad cultural generalizations and a specious use of history to make its arguments then, and in my opinion, 9/11 did nothing to change that.

Nevertheless, Huntington is back at it. What's the latest threat to American culture as we know it? Well, the Islamic and Confucian civilizations should be happy to know that Huntington has let them off the hook this time around. No, he's far more worried about Hispanic immigrants these days -- and Mexican immigrants, in particular. Here's an excerpt from "The Hispanic Challenge" (published in the current issue of Foreign Policy):

Continuation of this large [Hispanic] immigration (without improved assimilation) could divide the United States into a country of two languages and two cultures. A few stable, prosperous democracies -- such as Canada and Belgium -- fit this pattern.... The transformation of the United States into a country like these would not necessarily be the end of the world; it would, however, be the end of the America we have known for more than three centuries. Americans should not let that change happen unless they are convinced that this new nation would be a better one.
Thankfully, the Washington Post's magazine columnist, of all people, has saved me the trouble of critiquing Huntington's latest Chicken Little story.

Posted by Jess at 12:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 05, 2004

I bet it takes them longer than six days

The Arab Emirate of Dubai is about to begin work on a project dubbed The World -- "a series of 223 man-made islands, strategically positioned to form the shape of a map of the world." The World will cover over 60 million square feet, with each individual island themed to reflect the country or region it represents. The purpose? Why, to create "the most exclusive private water retreat available in Dubai," of course!

Link via GROONK Dot Net.

Posted by Jess at 08:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 04, 2004

Basketball 101

The men's basketball program at the University of Georgia has been under fire in recent months after allegations of NCAA rules violations surfaced last year. Among the alleged infractions was a charge that former assistant basketball coach Jim Harrick Jr. "fraudulently awarded grades of A to three men's basketball student-athletes" enrolled in his Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball class, allowing the students to miss class and tests, as well as providing them with other "extra benefits." One of these benefits was a remarkably easy final exam, which I've posted in the extended entry (courtesy of

Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball
Final Exam

1. How many goals are on a basketball court?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4

2. How many players are allowed to play at one time on any one team in a regulation game?
a. 2
b. 3
c. 4
d. 5

3. In what league to (sic) the Georgia Bulldogs compete?
a. ACC
b. Big Ten
c. SEC
d. Pac 10

4. What is the name of the coliseum where the Georgia Bulldogs play?
a. Cameron Indoor Arena
b. Stegeman Coliseum
c. Carrier Dome
d. Pauley Pavilion

5. How many halves are in a college basketball game?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4

6. How many quarters are in a high school basketball game?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4

7. How many points does one field goal account for in a Basketball Game?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4

8. How many points does a 3-point field goal account for in a Basketball Game?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4

9. How many officials referee a college basketball game?
a. 2
b. 4
c. 6
d. 3

10. How many teams are in the NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship Tournament?
a. 48
b. 64
c. 65
d. 32

11. What is the name of the exam which all high school seniors in the State of Georgia must pass?
a. Eye Exam
b. How Do The Grits Taste Exam
c. Bug Control Exam
d. Georgia Exit Exam

12. What basic color are the uniforms the Georgia Bulldogs wear in home games?
a. White
b. Red
c. Black
d. Silver

13. What basic color are the uniforms the Georgia Bulldogs wear in away games?
a. Pink
b. Blue
c. Orange
d. Red

14. How many minutes are played in a college basketball contest?
a. 20
b. 40
c. 60
d. 90

15. How many minutes are played in a high school basketball game?
a. 15
b. 30
c. 32
d. 45

16. Diagram the 3-point line.

17. Diagram the half-court line.

18. How many fouls is a player allowed to have in one Basketball game before fouling out in that game?
a. 3
b. 5
c. 7
d. 0

19. If you go on to become a huge coaching success, to whom will you tribute (sic) the credit?
a. Mike Krzyzewski
b. Bobby Knight
c. John Wooden
d. Jim Harrick Jr.

20. In your opinion, who is the best Division I assistant coach in the country?
a. Ron Jursa (sic)
b. John Pelphrey
c. Jim Harrick Jr.
d. Steve Wojciechowski

Those last two are particularly classy, don't you think?

Posted by Jess at 10:21 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 03, 2004

M-I-C... See you later! K-E-Y... Why? 'Cause you're indecent.

Although it's a late entry into the competition, it looks like Disney might have sewn up first prize in the Most Ridiculous Response to Janet Jackson's Super Bowl Halftime Stunt Contest. From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Disney Rids Statue Linked to Janet Jackson

mickey.jpgORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The Walt Disney Co. has quietly shelved a life-size statue of Mickey Mouse inspired by singer Janet Jackson, who was roundly criticized for a risque Super Bowl halftime performance.

The 6-foot, 700-pound statue was one of 75 unveiled at Walt Disney World in Orlando last fall to celebrate the 75th birthday of Mickey Mouse. The statues were inspired by celebrities such as tennis star Andre Agassi, actress Jamie Lee Curtis and comedian Ellen DeGeneres.

The statue inspired by Jackson was clad in a tight black outfit similar to one she wore in 1990 after the release of her album, Rhythm Nation 1928. It was replaced by a spare statue designed by Luis Fernandez, an in-house Disney artist.

"Considering all the controversy it drew, we talked it over for a couple of days and decided it would be best to replace hers with a new one," Gary Foster, a Disney spokesman, told the Orlando Sentinel.

Foster didn't immediately return a phone call to The Associated Press.

Jackson's bump-and-grind performance with singer Justin Timberlake during last month's Super Bowl was capped by Timberlake ripping a piece of clothing off to reveal her breast.

Oh, and here's a future headline from the year 2008: "Timberlake Footage Cut from New Mickey Mouse Club DVD."

Posted by Jess at 11:28 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 02, 2004

Evian spelled backwards

The BBC has leaked the top secret formula for Coca-Cola's Dasani bottled water: tap water. Although it goes through a four-stage purification process in which the water passes through three separate filters before bottling, Coca-Cola admits that Dasani originates from the tap. Of course, as this 2003 study suggests, tap water may taste just as good and be just as healthy as bottled water in the first place.

I originally came across the Dasani story at VH1's Best Week Ever Blog, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite corporate blogs.

Posted by Jess at 07:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 01, 2004

The most true-to-life portrayal of a government agency since the X-Files

From Yahoo! News:

Bush Backs New Terrorism TV Series
By Jeffrey Jolson-Colburn

In what would be a highly unusual action for a president, George W. Bush is apparently giving the White House seal of approval to a television series, D.H.S.--The Series, a drama about the Department of Home Security being introduced Thursday night to prospective networks at an Industry gathering.

President Bush and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge both "endorse and contribute sound bites to the introductions of the series," according to the show's producers...

The show is billed as a realistic action series following the exploits of Special DHS Agents Andrea Bacall and Jack Callahan, portrayed by actors Alison Heruth Waterbury and Timothy Patrick Cavanaugh. The characters venture from the halls of Washington, D.C., to war-torn locales as they fight fanatical terrorism. Producers claim "the series will educate, inform, and inspire the average citizens around the world about America's front-line defense/offense against those who have declared war on the U.S. and our democratic allies." (more)

Irrespective of my personal feelings about homeland security and the Bush Adminstration, this series strikes me as somewhat inappropriate at this juncture. On the one hand, I would contend that a true-to-life network drama chronicling the fight against "fanatical terrorism" could potentially trivialize an important issue. On the other, airing government-sanctioned popular entertainment about relatively controversial contemporary political issues -- complete with soundbites from the president -- seems like a road we might not want to travel down in the United States. At this point, I'm just curious to see if any of the networks will bite on the series or if they steer clear of any potential controversy.

For what it's worth, I stumbled across the link to this story at VH1's Best Week Ever Blog.

Posted by Jess at 02:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 12, 2004

Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot

Drudge is reporting today on unconfirmed rumors that John Kerry is currently fighting off a media probe into his alleged infidelity with an intern. Meanwhile, I just heard Rush Limbaugh speculate on his radio program that the whole thing is part of a grand scheme by -- you guessed it -- the Clintons. It seems that in the make-believe world of Rush, the Clintons orchestrated the leak of these intern rumors just as Kerry's campaign was gaining momentum -- all in an attempt to discredit Kerry, help Bush win the election, and ultimately clear the way for Hillary's run in 2008.

Isn't one level of potential scandal enough, Rush? Do we really need to make this a meta-scandal by once again dragging in the Clintons?

Posted by Jess at 12:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 04, 2004

Say it ain't so, Joe

I guess somebody's Joementum sputtered out last night when he finally realized that he just didn't have the Lieber-mandate of the people.

In all seriousness, while I realized all along that it was only a matter of time, I hate to see Joe Lieberman drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination. He has always struck me as an honest, respectable man of principles, and American politics can always use a few more of those. Meanwhile, I find it more than a little surprising to see that John Kerry leads President Bush in the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. While I'm sure public opinion will normalize a bit after the frenzy of the primary season dies down, the upcoming election may be a bit more interesting than the Bush cakewalk that it originally appeared to be.

Nevertheless, I still can't shake the feeling that the Democrats just don't have a candidate in the race this time around that's nearly as viable as Al Gore was in 2000 -- and that's really saying something considering that Gore was, in my opinion, a mediocre candidate at best (even given the advantages of being a vice president during an economic boom). Right now, if I were Kerry, I think I'd focus my campaign efforts on keeping my Dukakis-esque hair as under control as possible. Speaking of which, I'd probably try to refrain from any future "Dukakis in the tank" moments if at all possible -- e.g. making a Tonight Show entrance riding a motorcycle.

Posted by Jess at 10:38 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

February 02, 2004

We are a part of a sick, depraved rhythm nation

Okay, just a few more observations about last night's Super Bowl scandal -- then I'm finished, I promise. First up, don't you feel kind of bad for the halftime streaker and Survivor's Richard Hatch? They both went the full monty on Sunday night, but Janet's relatively minor act of public nudity is still getting all the attention. How is that fair?

Meanwhile, when I read earlier today that the FCC intends to investigate the whole Janet/Justin incident, I couldn't help but imagine a couple of courtroom scenes...

"Your honor, if you take these lyrics into account -- 'better have you naked by the end of this song' -- we can establish that Mr. Timberlake expressed premeditated intent."


"The prosecution would like to call Mr. James 'Jimmy' Jam to the stand as a character witness. Mr. Jam, how would you characterize the men with whom the accused typically assoicates herself?"

"Janet has always gravitated toward what you might call 'nasty boys.'"

"Objection, your honor! That's Miss Jackson if you're nasty!"

Okay, I'm out.

Posted by Jess at 05:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Better have you naked by the end of this song

I really have nothing else of substance to add to the mountain of commentary already provided not only by the blogosphere, but also by the legitimate media, on you-know-who baring her you-know-what during the Super Bowl halftime show (no Google-baiting here; I learned my lesson after the "Jacko on his backo" and Abercrombie and Fitch incidents). There is, however, an editorial worth reading by television columnist Tom Shales up at the Washington Post's website discussing the overall "sleaziness" of the halftime show, as well as this year's batch of rather juvenile Super Bowl commercials. Meanwhile, the "advertising critics" (heh) cited by CNN/Money seem to concur.

Returning to the whole "wardrobe malfunction" during halftime, I suppose it's apropos to close with the same statement I made in the aftermath of the big Britney/Madonna kiss last year: how unpredictable in that completely predictable MTV kind of way.

Posted by Jess at 07:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 30, 2004

The Official State Blog of Georgia

With the state of Georgia all over the news today for its proposed banning of the word "evolution" from the statewide science curriculum, this seems like an opportune time to share a bit of background on the Peach State for those who haven't had a chance to visit it for themselves. For what it's worth, all of the following information was gleaned from an "official Georgia state symbols" poster that hangs in our graduate lounge at school.

For all you amateur ornithologists out there, the official State Bird of Georgia is the brown thrasher. Meanwhile, if horticulture is more your bag, the official State Flower is the Cherokee rose. The official State Crop, not surprisingly, is the peanut. Seems straightforward enough, no? Well, if the peanut is your official State Crop, you obviously need an official State Peanut Statue, right? Well, it just so happens that you can find just such a statue in lovely Ashburn, Georgia.

From there, the official state symbols take a decided turn for the bizarre. For instance, the official State Marine Mammal of Georgia is the majestic right whale, and the official State Reptile is the noble gopher tortoise. The official State Seashell? Why, it's the knobbed whelk. Curiously enough, Georgia also boasts an official State Possum -- the adorable (and presumably non-rabid) Pogo.

Moving on from the life sciences to earth science, the official State Mineral of Georgia is staurolite, a metamorphic mineral which I'm told is rather useful to geologists in determining the degree of metamorphism (whatever that means). Can't find your way to Atlanta? The official State Atlas of Georgia is, surprisingly enough, The Atlas of Georgia.

Perhaps you're a man or woman of the arts and would like to attend the offiical State Folklife Play, Swamp Gravy. Sounds appetizing, eh? Speaking of which, perhaps you're in the mood for some good barbeque. If so, you might want to check out the official State Beef Cook Off, Shoot the Bull. If that doesn't suit your tastes, perhaps the Slosheye Trail Big Pig Jig -- the official State Pork Cook Off -- would be more to your liking.

Finally, it's worth noting that while there's no official State Food of Georgia (assuming the poster I referenced is comprehensive), there is an official State Processed Food. Yep, you guessed it: grits.

In conclusion, I hope that this brief introduction to Georgia's official state symbols will bring everyone up to speed on the rich and varied traditions of the state. If nothing else, perhaps we can all hope that the Georgia state legislature will be too busy voting on new state symbols to get around to banning the teaching of evolution should such a bill eventually come before the General Assembly. After all, how could you explain the anthropomorphic marsupial that serves as the official State Possum without evolution?

Posted by Jess at 02:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 28, 2004

This just in: Wesley Clark listens to Journey

Well, if America based its electoral system on candidates' musical tastes instead of popular consent, I guess John Kerry would have still emerged as the Democratic front-runner. Nevertheless, Lieberman deserves "big ups" -- and quite possibly "mad props" -- for choosing Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review as his favorite concert.

Posted by Jess at 07:53 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 27, 2004

Breakin' 2: Papal Boogaloo

Winning this week's award for the real photo most likely to be mistaken for a Photoshopped fake is this image:


Thanks to Gothamist for the larger image. For what it's worth, the breakdancers received a papal blessing for their efforts, so they must have gotten biz-zay -- consistently and thoroughly.

Posted by Jess at 09:50 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 22, 2004

Hooting and hollering

I'm so glad that Al Sharpton is still in the race for the Democratic nomination--if for no other reason than to provide us with classic quips like the one he delivered during tonight's debate to console Howard Dean over his much-ballyhooed post-Iowa caucus outburst. "If I spent the kind of money you did and only got 18 percent, I'd still be in Iowa hooting and hollering." Zing!

Posted by Jess at 10:12 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 21, 2004

Observations on the State of the Union

Just a few things that occurred to me while watching last night's State of the Union address:

  1. President Bush has improved quite a bit as a public speaker over the course of the past few years. On the other hand, he really could have used a haircut before his speech last night.

  2. Didn't it seem odd that President Bush's comment praising community colleges received one of the longest and loudest ovations of the evening? I mean, I'm all for community colleges and everything, but that seems like an odd issue for the crowd to get riled up about.

  3. I couldn't help but chuckle when the Democrats interrupted President Bush to cheer as he noted that certain provisions of the Patriot Act would be expiring in the upcoming months.

  4. Ted Kennedy looked like he was either suffering from indigestion or really needed to go to the bathroom whenever the camera cut to him. Of course, partying too hard before the big speech will do that to you.

  5. Who's idea was it to talk about steroid abuse in professional sports during the State of the Union address? I can just imagine the speech-writing meeting now: "Let's see -- we have time to talk about six issues. How about foreign affairs, homeland security, healthcare, the sanctity of marriage, education, and...steroid abuse!" Then again, Bush has spent more of his career running a baseball franchise than he has running a country, so maybe it's understandable. Still, I just couldn't help but feel like he was going to segue into talking about his Super Bowl picks at any moment.
Meanwhile, since I'm already blogging about politics, there's been a folder full of Dennis Kucinich campaign materials -- bumper stickers and so forth --sitting around our graduate lounge at school for the past few weeks with a note above them proclaiming him "the next President of the United States." Today, I noticed that someone had marked out the "President of the United States" part and replaced it with "audio/visual club." Heh.

Posted by Jess at 02:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 19, 2004

In other news, Zombie Nixon to endorse Bush

According to, George McGovern (winner of the great states of Massachusetts and, uh, District of Columbia in the 1972 presidential election) has decided to endorse General Wesley Clark's campaign. So, is that the official campaign kiss of death, or do we have to wait until after the New Hampshire primary to finalize things?

Posted by Jess at 09:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 09, 2004

Welcome to Athens, Georgia: It's the Athens of Georgia!

From the university newspaper:

Students kill raccoon, could face charges
A University fraternity member tasted a piece of cooked--and possibly rabid--raccoon meat after the animal was killed and skinned by two of his fraternity brothers shortly before winter break. (more...)

Posted by Jess at 04:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 04, 2004

Whatever happened to her and Madonna?

Sigh...why couldn't Britney Spears have married the real Jason Alexander from Seinfeld instead of just some childhood friend who happens to share his name? That would have been so much cooler.

Posted by Jess at 08:12 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 16, 2003

Justify Her Love

Howard Dean may have Al Gore's endorsement for the 2004 presidential election, but Wesley Clark has the Material Mom in his corner. Take that, Carol Moseley Braun!

Posted by Jess at 11:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 14, 2003

We got him

Of all the mornings to sleep in, I picked the one when U.S. forces finally captured Gimli the Dwarf.

Posted by Jess at 11:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 07, 2003

Parental Advisory: Explicit Campaigning

According to the New York Post, Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry employed the f-bomb in a recent Rolling Stone interview to describe Bush's Iraq policy (link via blogbandit). Then again, it's the New York Post--a tabloid that ran with the headline "I was Paris Hilton's farm boy!" on the front page of this week's Sunday edition--so it should probably be taken with a grain of salt.

Posted by Jess at 11:24 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 27, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving!

The lead sentence from this AP article running in the Athens Banner-Herald today:

Turkey and trots are just part of the Thanksgiving celebrations in store today.
Personally, I'm hoping that the trots won't enter into my Thanksgiving Day festivities.

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!

Posted by Jess at 10:31 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 24, 2003

T-shirts 'n' smut

The "Christmas Field Guide" edition of Abercrombie and Fitch's A&F Quarterly is available now in stores, and while I haven't seen it myself, Snopes provides a rather thorough overview of its contents. No stranger to controversy, it seems that the popular clothing retailer has gone all-out for its holiday catalog, packing its 280 pages with a wide variety of nude, semi-nude, and sexually suggestive photographs. Snopes argues that the catalog could accurately be described as "soft-core porn" due to its depictions of young women and men in various states of undress. As one might expect considering Abercrombie's teenaged target demographic, the catalog has already created a bit of a stir.

Then again, maybe Abercrombie and Fitch is onto something with all the nudity. After all, if their models aren't wearing shirts, they can't be wearing shirts with offensive Asian caricatures on them.

Perhaps the oddest part of the "Christmas Field Guide," however, is the brief primer on group sex that apparently appears underneath a two-page photo spread featuring seven men and four women sitting naked in a shallow pool of water. After helpfully reminding readers that group sex "can involve an unlimited quantity of potential lovers...friendly or anonymous," the crack team of A&F Quarterly researchers delve a bit further into the history of the orgy. Here's an excerpt:

Orgies and group sex were common in the Middle Ages. Promiscuity was popular with both the peasantry and the nobility. Since divorce was forbidden by the Church, adultery was common and socially accepted.
Now, I'll admit that holding a bachelor's degree in history doesn't necessarily make one an expert on the Middle Ages, but I can say with some degree of confidence that describing adultery as "socially accepted" during the Middle Ages--whether common and/or popular--is a bit of a stretch. Then again, now that I think about it, I'm not entirely sure how relevant adultery is to a discussion of group sex in the first place. Sure, the two are connected, but I'm not sure whether they should be used interchangeably in a historical context.

Whatever happened to the good old days of the Sears Wishbook, where the most scandalous thing you'd find between the covers was a middle-aged model wearing flannel pajamas?

Posted by Jess at 12:56 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 31, 2003

Bush administration continues to dodge important questions

Believe it or not, from

Rumsfeld unsure of missing 'mojo'
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said he does not know whether or not he has lost his mojo, as a leading news magazine suggested, largely because he doesn't really know what mojo is... (more)

If nothing else, I guess it's reassuring to know that we've apparently resolved all the other pressing social, economic, and political issues facing the United States today and can now get around to dealing with matters like this.

current music: CKY, "96 Quite Bitter Beings"
current song stuck in my head: Hilary Duff, "So Yesterday"

Posted by Jess at 01:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 29, 2003

Rod Stewart goes nuts, lashes out at "peers"

That's not JPEG compression. He really looks like that.As detailed in this article, Rod Stewart recently tore into his musical rivals--including Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Sting--during an interview with the British Magazine Radio Times. Stewart claims that it's unfair that the media has criticized him for dating a woman who is 26 years younger than him, but has said little or nothing about Sir Paul recently marrying a woman half his age. He goes on in the interview to call Sting "Mr. Serious who helps the Indians" and nicknames Elton John "Sharon." Speaking of Elton, Rod notes, "My hair is nice and real and looks it, and hers [Elton's] doesn't. No, I take that back. He looks good at the moment, but he could lose a bit of timber."

What's the matter, Rod? Wasn't there enough time during the interview to make fun of Phil Collins for being bald?

Posted by Jess at 04:20 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 20, 2003

Such intolerance!

Maybe society will eventually realize that certain people are born media whores; it's just not as simple as a "choice of lifestyle." Until then, we'll have to put up with this kind of intolerance and discrimination:

Atlanta just says no to ‘The Kiss’

Oct. 20 -- Sometimes, a kiss is not just a kiss, and there was one pucker that some Atlanta area residents didn’t want to see: the infamous one between Britney Spears and Madonna.

An Atlanta radio station erected a billboard featuring the Sapphic smooch--and took it down in less than a week because people bombarded the station, 96-Rock, with complaints. Of course, the text on the billboard may have been part of the problem: "Their music stinks," read the sign, "but we'd do 'em."


Me, I feel sorry for poor Christina Aguilera. It's like nobody even remembers that she kissed Madonna, too.

Thanks to KK for alerting me to this interesting bit of local news.

Posted by Jess at 09:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 15, 2003

Root, root, root for the Cubbies

If the Cubs don't win tonight, something tells me that this overzealous fan had better hope his identity remains unreleased.

Posted by Jess at 07:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 14, 2003

An oh-so-rare post about politics

I just landed a story on Slashdot linking to the news that the Supreme Court decided earlier today to hear a case next year on the constitutionality of the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Interestingly enough, I spent the better part of a class period a few weeks back discussing this very topic with my students. Most of them seemed to staunchly oppose any changes to the pledge, arguing that people should be "less sensitive" about these types of things. Then again, many--if not most--of my students went to school here in Georgia and began every day of their primary and secondary educations with the pledge. They were also surprised to hear that "under God" was only added to the pledge by Congress in 1954 and was not part of the original text.

In other news, I just found out from my department a little while ago that I passed my comparative politics comprehensive exam with distinction (w00t). Now, I just have to survive the trial by fire known as "oral comps."

current music: OutKast, "Hey Ya"

Posted by Jess at 07:12 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 04, 2003

Don't quit your day job

How does President Bush keep himself busy when he's not out fighting terrorism? Why, writing poetry, of course! Here's the full text of a poem he recently wrote for the First Lady (as reported by

Untitled (by George W. Bush, age 57)

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Oh my, lump in the bed
How I've missed you.
Roses are redder
Bluer am I
Seeing you kissed by that charming French guy.
The dogs and the cat, they missed you too
Barney's still mad you dropped him, he ate your shoe
The distance, my dear, has been such a barrier
Next time you want an adventure, just land on a carrier.
Wow--I don't know what to say. I will say, if nothing else, that the love triangle hinted at by the poem among President Bush, the First Lady, and French President Jacques Chirac is intriguing.

Now, here's a poem that I wrote in third grade (please note that it was submitted to my teacher with a drawing of a brontosaurus sitting on a person):

One Day I Bought a Dinosaur (by Jess, age 8)

One day I bought a dinosaur
I bought him at the corner store
I bought him for a dollar and a cent
He's very, very different
From any other toy I've got
Ugh--he sure does weigh a lot!
I know it's good, but is it presidential good?

Posted by Jess at 03:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Don't quit your day job

How does President Bush keep himself busy when he's not out fighting terrorism? Why, writing poetry, of course! Here's the full text of a poem he recently wrote for the First Lady (as reported by

Untitled (by George W. Bush, age 57)

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Oh my, lump in the bed
How I've missed you.
Roses are redder
Bluer am I
Seeing you kissed by that charming French guy.
The dogs and the cat, they missed you too
Barney's still mad you dropped him, he ate your shoe
The distance, my dear, has been such a barrier
Next time you want an adventure, just land on a carrier.
Wow--I don't know what to say. I will say, if nothing else, that the love triangle hinted at by the poem among President Bush, the First Lady, and French President Jacques Chirac is intriguing.

Now, here's a poem that I wrote in third grade (please note that it was submitted to my teacher with a drawing of a brontosaurus sitting on a person):

One Day I Bought a Dinosaur (by Jess, age 8)

One day I bought a dinosaur
I bought him at the corner store
I bought him for a dollar and a cent
He's very, very different
From any other toy I've got
Ugh--he sure does weigh a lot!
I know it's good, but is it presidential good?

Posted by Jess at 03:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2003

Short Circuit 3?

Paging Dr. Robot
Doctor in robot's body tested at Johns Hopkins

I, for one, welcome our new robotic health-care-providing overlords.

Posted by Jess at 07:48 PM | Comments (14)

September 19, 2003

Springtime for Castro

Castro musical in the works?
Costner linked to rumored film project

I guess Hollywood is finally paying attention to what Joe Moviegoer actually wants to see. Maybe I spoke too soon when I said that Kevin Costner should stick to Westerns and movies about baseball. Then again, I guess there's plenty of room for baseball in a Castro musical.

On the other hand, when Ain't It Cool News--proud disseminator of misinformation that it usually is--actually questions the veracity of such a rumor, I guess it's wise to take it with a grain of salt.

Posted by Jess at 04:31 PM | Comments (3)

September 08, 2003

Is it an evil petting zoo?

An excerpt from the current lead story at

"The American forces describe this area, less than five miles (7 kilometers) from the Pakistan border, as the most evil place in Afghanistan--the scene where they've suffered the most casualties."

The pull quote that's currently up on CNN's main page is even better, describing a "real cat-and-mouse game" in "an area described as the most evil in Afghanistan."

Maybe I've just read a little too much postmodernist work on the discursive power of language, but I've been uncomfortable with the phrase "Axis of Evil" ever since I first heard President Bush utter it. But, honestly--evil geography? Casualties or not, that's a bit of a stretch.

Posted by Jess at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2003

More fearsome than a double-chinned Balrog

We've had a bit of controversy here on campus lately, and I just can't resist posting about it any longer. To make an extremely long story short, UGA has been home to a beloved hot dog vendor for the past couple of decades--a vendor known affectionately as the Hot Dog Man. Recently, the local authorities discovered that the Hot Dog Man was setting up his cart a hundred feet or so outside the area where his permit allowed him to operate. As a result, the police asked the Hot Dog Man to move his cart, he refused (rather vociferously), and the police ended up arresting the Hot Dog Man and removing him from campus. When the news got around, students went nuts, there were widespread protests around campus (including people dressed up in hot dog costumes), and the Hot Dog Man is now back in action, slingin' frankfurters despite threats of daily fines from the county government.

Now that we're all up to speed on this rather contentious situation, the Hot Dog Man's wife and business partner was quoted in the campus newspaper yesterday as saying, "This is an absolute vicious attack. It is like there is a two-headed Goliath up against us--one head is the University and the other head is Athens-Clarke County." Is it just me or does the imagery of a two-headed Goliath strike anyone else as funny? I mean, a Goliath is pretty tough, so a two-headed Goliath must be twice as menacing, right? Plus, it reminds me of Dante's depiction of Satan in The Inferno. In fact, I'm almost certain that was the Hot Dog Wife's intention when she said it.

Posted by Jess at 03:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 26, 2003

Number fifty--with a bullet!

This year's SAT scores are in, and Georgia's average total score ranks last among all states (984 combined math and verbal) for the second year running. On a more positive note, Georgia managed to edge out Washington, D.C. Look out, South Carolina; we're gunning for you in 2004!

Posted by Jess at 05:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack