lunadelcorvo: (Oh My God! gopher)
This is an amazing post about the worst written sex scenes (because apparently there is a competition for these things, among actual, serious, published writers, even) and wow. Tumblr hits the nail on the head though - we are spoiled by fanfiction - I don't think even the worst fanfic sex scene I have ever encountered was this bad! (Not even the ones I struggled writing....)

You must go and read this - I guarantee you will get a few laughs! (And go give your fave fanfic authors some love while you're at it - thank goodness we have them!)
lunadelcorvo: (Widget)
A kitty story brought to you by Widget, who is nothing at all like the kitty in the story. Really.
lunadelcorvo: (Hero Elizabeth Warren)
"There is a big difference between a disappointing friend and a deadly enemy. Of course the Democrats are disappointing---that's what makes them Democrats. If they were any more frustrating they'd be your relatives. But in this country they are all that stands between you and darkest night. You know why their symbol is the letter 'D'? Because it's a grade that means 'good enough, but just barely.' You know why the Republican symbol is 'R'? Because it's the noise a pirate makes when he robs you and feeds you to a shark."
- Bill Maher

I love Bill Maher. That is all.
lunadelcorvo: (Academic Terms)
Had some friends over last night, both of whom have long history in academia. As a group of academics nearly always do, we started sharing horror stories of the dreck and doggerel we've seen from students. In that vein, as the beginning of the semester approaches, I thought I'd share something I found rather amusing. If only one could enforce learning these things for all college (to say nothing of hight school) students, since it is often so badly needed!

Author Richard Palmer offers list of Rules of Grammar for Report Writing:
  • Remember to never split an infinitive.
  • The passive voice should never be used.
  • Punctuate run-on sentences properly they are hard to read otherwise.
  • Don't use no double negatives.
  • Use the semi-colon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't.
  • Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.
  • Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
  • No sentence fragments.
  • Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
  • Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
  • If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a lot of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
  • A writer must not shift your point of view.
  • Give slang the elbow.
  • Conversely, it is incumbent upon us to avoid archaisms.
  • Don't overuse exclamation marks!!!!
  • Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 onwards or more, to their antecedents.
  • Hyphenate between sy-llables; avoid un-necessary hyphens.
  • Write all adverbial forms correct.
  • Writing carefully: dangling participles must be avoided.
  • Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.
  • Take the bull by the hand: always pick on the correct idiom and avoid mixed metaphors.
  • Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
  • Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  • Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
  • If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole.
  • Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
  • Don't string together too many prepositional phrases unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
  • ""Avoid overuse of quotation marks.""""
  • For Christ's sake don't offend your readers' sensibilities.
  • Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague; seek viable alternatives.

(Real update soon, I promise, as there has been a lot going on!)
lunadelcorvo: (Teach the Controversy)

Having a) just finished a course on the formation of Eastern and Western Christianity and b) just been sharing geek squee with [ profile] sentimental13 over Coptics minutia, (to say nothing of end of semester insanity) this just strikes me as unbearable funny! *wipes tears*

You may return to your regularly scheduled programming.... *snorfle*
lunadelcorvo: (Hobbes Dancing)
I happened, through too many successive clicks to list (starting from a post in a medievalist blog ranting against the "useless postmodernist critique of factual knowledge"), upon a perfectly delightful thing. It is SO reassuring as I struggle with the theoretical chaff I have been wading through of late, to see that serious scholars, in a variety of disciplines, are as disenchanted with the stuff as I am.

What follows is the text of an article, written by NYU Physics Professor Alan Sokal, and accepted for publication by an academic cultural criticism publication. The article is utterly meaningless, and was intended to be meaningless. It was submitted as a hoax, to see how far one could push the incomprehensible verbiage of postmodern criticism, and still be found credible. (titles are links to full articles)

"Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity"
This is the original "parody" article, published in Social Text #46/47, pp. 217-252 (spring/summer 1996)

"A Physicist Experiments with Cultural Studies"
This is the article in which the author revealed the parody, published in Lingua Franca, May/June 1996, pp. 62-64.

My favorite quote:
What concerns me is the proliferation, not just of nonsense and sloppy thinking per se, but of a particular kind of nonsense and sloppy thinking: one that denies the existence of objective realities, or (when challenged) admits their existence but downplays their practical relevance.

Social Text's acceptance of my article exemplifies the intellectual arrogance of Theory — meaning postmodernist literary theory — carried to its logical extreme. No wonder they didn't bother to consult a physicist. If all is discourse and "text," then knowledge of the real world is superfluous; even physics becomes just another branch of Cultural Studies. If, moreover, all is rhetoric and "language games," then internal logical consistency is superfluous too: a patina of theoretical sophistication serves equally well. Incomprehensibility becomes a virtue; allusions, metaphors and puns substitute for evidence and logic. My own article is, if anything, an extremely modest example of this well-established genre.
There are volumes more about both articles and the experiment itself, but these will get you started.

Also of interest: The Postmodernism Generator This page will create, fresh for you, a completely meaningless, but very high-minded-sounding essay, employing postmodern criticism in a manner frighteningly similar to how it is done with sincere intent. Now you, too, can participate in the questionable endeavor of postmodern epistemological critique! Enjoy!
lunadelcorvo: (Preschool toys)
(credit goes to [ profile] greysong, who posted this some time ago.)
For those with No children - this is totally hysterical!
For those who already have children past this age - this is hilarious.
For those who have children at this age - this is not funny. (actually, I think it's hysterical, too. ed.)
For those who have children nearing this age - this is a warning.
For those who have not yet had children - this is a form of birth control!

1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 3 bedroom house about 4 inches deep.

2. If you spray hair spray on a nylon duster and then run over it with roller skates / blades, they can ignite.

3. A 3-year olds voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a large room.

5. You should not throw balls up when the ceiling fan is on, using the ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can then hit a ball a long way.

6. The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a ball hit by a ceiling fan.

7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh," it's already too late.

8. Brake fluid mixed with Bleach makes smoke, and lots of it.

9. A six-year old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.

10. Certain bits of Lego will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old.

11. Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12. Super glue is forever.

13. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

14. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

15. VCR's do not eject toasted sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving and are very expensive to remove.

18. You probably do not want to know what that smell really is.

19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on. Plastic toys do not like ovens.

20. The average response time for the fire dept. is about 20 minutes.

21. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22. It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

24. The mind of a 6-year old is a wonderful and amazing thing.
True story: One day the infant school teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs to her class. She came to the part of the story where the first pig was trying to accumulate the building materials for his home.

She read,"..And so the pig went up to the man with the wheelbarrow full of straw and said, "Pardon me sir, but may I have some of that straw to build my house?'" The teacher paused then asked the class,"And what do you think that man said?"

One little boy raised his hand and said, "I think he said...'Holy moly! A talking pig!'"

The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes.
25. 60% of men who read this will try mixing the bleach and brake fluid.
lunadelcorvo: (Coffee is life)
... and I'm certainly not advocating this a any sort of broad-based nutrition solution. BUT: Some days simply require a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich. *nods* That is all.

Drat! I STILL don't have a chocolate icon...
lunadelcorvo: (Remain calm! I'm a Historian)
OK, fair warning: this is going to be long, rambling, and likely really nerdish. You've been warned.

I have been in this theory class for half a semester now (egads! Half a semester - Ack! But I digress...) and I find that I have gone from enthused, to intimidated, to confused, to exasperated. I have two gripes here, and while this will make me few friends among Humanities folks, I know at least one prof who seems to agree with me. (And, no, it's not the one I am married to!)

So here goes. )

(Edited with cut, because it got even longer than I expected!)

(Edited again to add This Article, which at least brings up much of what I am saying here... So I'm not alone in my frustration! Good to know!)
lunadelcorvo: (Ingrid)
I Wish I'd Spent Valentine's Day Eating A Prix Fixe Dinner, But I Was Too Busy Getting Beheaded

By St. Valentine

Is it Valentine's Day already? My word! How the time does fly. I might have missed the day entirely had I not caught a glimpse of all the young couples walking hand in hand this evening, filling the tables of every fancy French restaurant in town. And what better way to celebrate this fine holiday than sharing a scrumptious, fixed price, three-course menu with your beloved? Lord knows that's what I'd be doing tonight if my head hadn't been severed from my body in the third century!

I'm sorry. I hope all this talk about my gruesome martyrdom doesn't put you off your moules du jour. )
lunadelcorvo: (Default)
...blame [ profile] doctoreon for this. He posted it first.)

When you see this, post your favorite poem in your journal.

Do read it all the way to the end... )
lunadelcorvo: (Medieval Facepalm)
Well, it's one way to stave off the financian meltdown! *giggles*

lunadelcorvo: (Badass is in!)
[Error: unknown template qotd]
  • I once rewired an ethernet connection through the walls of the office I worked in using a paperclip, a disassembled ball-point pen, string and some tape.
  • I have also repaired a car engine (alternator, actually) using a crowbar, a hacksaw, and a nut and bolt scavenged from an old dining room table.
  • I have wired an electric circuit using pennies when making a battery-powered Statue of Liberty out of a Barbie doll, a Christmas light and a cut and shaped plastic comb for a switch.
  • I replaced a jewelry box hinge with an old pin-back and a straight pin.
  • And repaired a plaster-and-lath overhang with paper towels, coat-hanger pieces and spackle.

  • That's all that come to mind at present, but there are countless others. This is a long, and time-honored tradition among the women in my family, in fact. We even have a word for it:

    fa-HUM-mich* verb, etymology unknown. To jerry-rig, fabricate, fix, hot-wire, or otherwise finnagle something out of unlikely bits and parts.

    (*That's a phonetic spelling, since I don't think I have ever before in my life actually written it out before!)
lunadelcorvo: (Default)
Sick of the politicos? Tired of election rhetoric? Had one too many calls, e-mails and flyers?

You need to watch THIS. It's the best therapy for election fatigue I've seen to date!

(Special thanks to my buddy Will for pointing this out!)

(The fatigue thing - wasn't intentional, just an accidental pun.....)
lunadelcorvo: (Default)

It's a delicious spoof of McCain's "Obama = Anti-Christ" ad a few weeks back....
lunadelcorvo: (Can you be that stupid?)
This number:

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

is a hexadecimal integer. This particular number is supposedly owned by a company called AACS, or so they claim. Basically, someone who knew how could use this number to decrypt Blue Ray disks. Apparently AACS came up with the encryption algorithms, and are saying that they own this number as part of their efforts to encrypt their material. Ergo, they claim to own this number. This integer, plus hundreds of others that no one knows, are supposedly copyrighted by them.

That's like saying "I own the number 124" and anyone caught using the number 124 must pay me a usage fee. Usage fees run around $100 for personal use, a thousand or more if it is used commercially. Naturally this number got posted to a bunch of websites, and the company sent cease & desist letters and has taken many of them to court. Some blogging sites (not this one) such as Dig, began pulling entries where this number was posted.

There are some people who are expressing outrage, but it seems to me to be totally silly. Come on, people. There may, I suppose, be serious ramification of this as precedent in copyright law which I am not seeing, but either way it begs for widespread poking at. In order to facilitate such poking, there is a wave to post this number to every single website, forum, blog, email, and where ever you can. The idea is that when the people who got sued go to court, they can claim that this "copyrighted" information is in public use and then get out of the lawsuit. I don't know whether that will work per se, but it also serves nicely to point put the utter ridiculousness of the whole thing.

"Neener, neener, I'm posting your integer! Pbtpbtpbtpbt! "

So, some enterprising folks took it a step further, and took to randomly generating integers for people to copyright. Get yours here. Here's my own, legally owned integer:

04 52 62 9D 53 69 BC 9E 2D 26 C8 98 58 C7 B0 50

I better not catch anyone using this. I'll sue....



Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities



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