My childhood nickname was Binie. This is a huge confession. Still, the net has given me, like everyone else, permission to confess. Binie was short for my middle name, which I will in no way repeat out loud to any living soul. In addition, according to family stories, I somewhat resembled the character “Suzuki Beane” (1961).  Apparently, since I wore jeans with similar turned-up cuffs, and an attitude with similar turned-up edges, the nickname stuck. Suzuki Beane, who lived on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village, was the child of hipster parents. She befriended a square named Henry, and the two of them ditched school toRead More →

Huffington Post has lost it. The site contains story after story about Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin. Sometimes other people are added to the mix — all the usual suspects. To be fair, they add balance with Jon Stewart, Michael Moore, and Arianna herself. On the whole, though, that site is obsessed with right wing bloviation. This obsessive coverage just gives the blowhards more limelight, attention, and power. It’s like feeding trolls. Sarah Palin is now promoting her book, which means she’s making the media circuit. Ultimately this translates to more Palin for us to look forward to on HuffPo. They will documentRead More →

Googlism is a fun site that tells you what Google “thinks” about you by posting short excerpts of Google search results on your name (or whatever). The site is fun, flattering, and insulting. Google squelched Googlism’s capabilities by preventing the application from gathering fresh data. It limits the results to before 2004. Googlism seems fairly harmless, so the limitation seems silly. Below are some of the Googlism’s for “Laura.” I left out the ones that referred to s*perm, c*cks, and other pr0n references (aww, darn!) as well as some that were pointless. laura is new laura is a racist and a total phony laura isRead More →

The end of the semester is drawing near, bringing the closing blues. This semester started in such chaos with all the campus changes. I hope Christmas break brings its usual re-energizing rest (a little under a month away). I have excellent students this semester, which carries me through the weekly grind. Here is a random list of changes for next semester’s classes: 1. A service learning component to the interpersonal class. The project will be designed around a new “conversational partners” program on campus to help international students learn English. To that end, I joined this semester and met a great partner. She’s Chinese andRead More →

Today I am grateful for copy machines. I have to return comments on group projects to students today, and I don’t have to rewrite the comments for each student. I can simply copy each group member’s copy on my magical combo printer/fax machine/copier/scanner. Once, this sort of task was impossible. I remember carbon paper, ditto machines, and mimeographs. Members of the academic generation before mine shared stories about typing their dissertations on carbon paper, and storing copies in the freezer to ensure they would survive a fire. Editing and revising under those circumstances were herculean. Carbon paper gave us the origin of the phrase carbonRead More →

Confused about the difference between news feed and live feed on Facebook? Me too. The whole new, new Facebook annoyed and confused me until I finally Googled it to see wtf was going on. Once I did, it was worse than I thought The biggest change on Facebook are the Live and News Feeds. Everyone figured out how to drag the status feed to the top of the links menu on the left. That was supposed to restore the old Facebook, but it didn’t because the feeds are now split into the various status, links, pages, etc., plus the new Live and News Feeds. Confusing?!Read More →

The Latest Threes: (Semi-gratitudish) The intartubes: 1. My latest bookmarks are all WordPress related. 2. I’m on Google wave. Are you? 3. I’m still confused about the new Facebook. The meat world: 1. We are shifting to online teacher evals at school (wait, does that count as meat world? Or on the internet?) 2. I haven’t been to a movie in ages, but I did buy Madonna’s Celebration. 3. The kid and I eat out too much. She’s an expensive date, going for three courses and two drinks. But we do have such excellent conversations. My cat: 1. …is very fat. 2. …is on aRead More →

Google doesn’t allow abortion providers to advertise. Fair or not, that’s beside the point. The result, unfortunately, is that the google metrics or whatever it’s called elevates Christian pro-life clinics. Today, I was looking up examples of arguments for pro-choice and pro-life positions to bring to class. I Googled “pro-choice+arguments” and got an astounding number of hits that were Christian, anti-choice sites providing counter-arguments. Then I Googled “pro-life+arguments,” and I got the same thing. There were some pro-choice sites, but overall the hits favored the pro-life position. Certainly, the recursivity of Google’s search engine, combined with their choice about advertising, has caused this depressing result.Read More →

Generation Y documents everything about itself. Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr, the repositories of that generation are endless. My generation has some documentation; we’ve got home movies, videos, pictures, but nothing close to what the children of Gen Y will have as they age. Most people of my generation are lucky if they know anything about more than their grandparents and maybe their great grandparents. My family did a poor job of documenting us. I have very few pictures of us as a children, few of my parents at any age, and almost no pictures of my grandparents. There were no home movies or videos. ComparedRead More →

The latest Rolling Stone has an offensive retrospective on Madonna. Although Madonna’s iconic look is always the subject of dispute, lately, the media has treated her like a clown. The only explanation is that she’s over 50. Fifty year old women, they say, shouldn’t prance around on a stage and spread their legs. It’s unbecoming. Rolling Stone frequently participates in this mistreatment even though they’ve helped turn Madonna into an icon.  Many of their pictures deliberately show her in an unflattering light. In this retrospective, they do put a handful of pictures of her in her 50s, but they fill the pages with the youthful,Read More →