Thursday, September 21, 2006

Liars and Tigers and Bears

I sent the story written by one of my freshman students (see Goldilocks Tastes like Stupid) to a friend, and she wrote back about another "myth" she actually made up. I'll let her tell it:

"Hopefully you never have my next door neighbor in your class. When he was about 4, I was babysitting him and we were watching a national geographic show about bears, and he wanted to know why some of the bears were white while others were brown or black, etc. I didn't really feel like explaining speciation to a 4 year old, so I just told him that if the mama bear fed the baby bear regular milk that he would be white. And if she fed the baby bear chocolate milk that he would be brown or black. He seemed content with the answer. Two weeks later his mom told me that griffin had only been drinking chocolate milk, even in his cereal. He refused white milk. So she asked him why, and he told her that he wanted to be black."

Monday, September 18, 2006

How to Sabotage your Local Voting Machine

Follow this link ( to see a video of what is wrong with Diebold voting machines (which will be widely used in the coming elections). The Princeton-based study found that a "malicious" virus can be used to steal votes--and a criminal can put his dastardly scheme into effect with only a minute's time with one of the machines. Interestingly, a criminal can corrupt one machine which can then corrupt many other machines (thus stealing a LOT of votes)--and the stolen votes will be undetected if new security measures aren't put in place.

It seems the study is begging for the voting machines' overhaul or removal, since the video is a hands-on demonstration of how to steal votes. That is, the video takes you through almost of the steps needed to actually pull the heist off; we're shown everything but the virus itself. Looks about as difficult as getting free games in the old arcade games with a quarter and piece of string...not that I ever did that.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

BirthrightL a poem


Students in seats, sitting like kings,
Write words of wail and woeful deeds,
Of dreams and ideas. Each one doubts
That his word is wonderful, that her deed will be done.
No swords these silent few, only pencils and paper
And flesh and thoughts with which to find their way.
What meter will hold the measure of their hearts?
What poet’s tricks can capture these people?
No kenning for these folk. These kings and queens:
One day, each will find themselves in a fight ,
A moment of no mere misfortune but monstrous:
Each will falter and fall and fail:
They will see their strength slip when needed most.
And each will find the mettle to flee
From their fear, that which they find most dear:
To fall, to rise, to recover their birthright,
Their kinship and claim to their true calling:
Gods and goddesses of earth and air
They will talk thunder, and we will tremble.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Goldilocks tastes like stupid

A freshman English students writes about his favorite childhood myth:

Goldilocks and the three bears was my favorite because the little girl deserved to get her face ripped off by the bears. If she's going to steal food from these most likely starving bears then the bears deserve to eat the uneducated girl. In fact, if I came home and someone had raided my fridge, sat in my chair, and was sleeping in my bed I'd probably eat her too. The story also taught that you should never piss off a family of bears and to not trespass in someone's house especially when they're 9 feet tall, have claws and could probably lift a car.