Apparently other drivers think Danica is too aggressive, a sentiment that AP has turned into an article. Since I don’t follow racing, the backstory and why it counts as newsworthy is unclear. But Danica defends herself nicely: “All I can say is with the words you used—aggressive and giving up spots—those are things that drivers never do.” “I think that in an ideal world, I would win over everyone’s heart and be a sweetheart and be tough on the track and have good finishes.” Go for the good finish, Danica!Read More →

In ruminating on my college days, I had a flash of thought about people I barely and briefly encountered during the drunken haze at UT. They were charismatic enough to remember after all these years. 1. Paul Begala. Yes, “I knew him when.” Meaning, I met him. Back then there was no student government. The reason is a complicated story not worth repeating. Paul Begala worked tirelessly to get student government renewed on campus, a campaign that I worked on by collecting signatures. Big whoop. Then, of course, he ran for president. Wikipedia succinctly explains. Here’s the lazy, cut and paste version: While at theRead More →

Predictably, Dinesh D’Souza had to go and comment on the Pew Study on Religion, too. He makes the same point below about people being shallow that I cited in an earlier blog post, but of course he frames his comments in a usual anti-postmodernist screed. He writes: There are two kinds of pluralism: the kind that holds that truth does not matter, and the kind that holds that truth matters greatly but as flawed human beings our reason and experience gives us only limited access to the truth. The first kind of pluralism is deadly for religion, and is typically embraced by flaccid people whoRead More →

We don’t read on line, we skim. According to Michael Agger’s article in Slate, that’s how we read on the web, and he bases the claim on some interesting research. He gives guidelines about making your website appealing to audiences who don’t read, but skim. I don’t follow any of those guidelines, which explains my low readership. But then, I’m journaling, not blogging. Also, this month’s the Atlantic Monthly asks Is Google Making Us Stupid?, which takes a media ecology approach to the web, citing the Phaedrus, McLuhan, and Mumford, among others. The article was a long column, which I had to scroll over, andRead More →

1. Marc Bousquet’s syllabus for Internet Culture and Information Society. I’m too obsolete to teach a cyberculture class again. I’m so out of it. I don’t like  MMORPGs. I don’t particularly like social networking. At least I blog (occasionally). Bousquet’s syllabus has them view the Daily Show’s report on Second Life. It’s worth a laugh. 2. An open letter to Star Trek director JJ Abrams. This is a list of things he should NOT do as he makes the Star Trek prequal. 3. Top Ten Reasons Why D&D is Better Than Dating. (I’m such a D&D geek. I love it.) 4. RPG motivational posters. (MoreRead More →

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life conducted a survey about American’s religious beliefs, confirming our country’s religious beliefs are plumb crazy. According to the survey, most of the people who identify with Evangelical Christianity think that there’s more than one way to interpret the Bible. Huh? And that there’s more than one way to get to ‘eternal life.’ Huh? *head scratch* These beliefs seem completely counter the most fundamental of Evangelical teachings. First of all, thank God people believe this way. But, the do ironies abound. My protestant students, for instance, think the Catholics are just exactly like them, without understanding the basicRead More →

Ok, I just have to say I really like the song “Valerie.” The original is by the Zutons and it’s very catchy. But the Mark Ronson/Amy Winehouse version is great fun. I love Amy Winehouse’s voice. She sounds so jazzy and authentic. The Washington Post says this about her: Aurally, she evokes comparisons to Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington, to Dusty Springfield and Nina Simone. Hers is a voice marinated in regret and pulsing with pain, yet soaked in snarkiness while fully rooted in the saccharine sensibilities of ’60s girl groups.Read More →