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Archive for December 13th, 2006

A year of screwups

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Regret the Error has it’s top Crunks of ’06 posted now.

Ryan was reading some of them to me earlier and one in particular made me laugh for a minute straight. Apparently it’s from the Lexington Herald-Leader in 2004:

It has come to the editor’s attention that the Herald-Leader neglected to cover the civil rights movement. We regret the omission.


Seriously. There are some very funny corrections listed and worth reviewing. They make me feel better about our headline “whoops” of this semester. The two I don’t think I’ll ever forget: “KAPS: WTF?” and “Who’s ready for some cornhole?” Yeah, those actually ran. The former was a joke by the forum editor that was meant to be caught in copy/design. It wasn’t. The latter? It was written and OK’d by the M.E. about an ACPB event where they played the game. I didn’t see it until the next day when it was too late to reconsider. (If you don’t know why I’d object to running the second headline on the front page, maybe mosey on over to Urban Dictionary to find out.)

Either way, we probably made some students laugh, and at least we didn’t miss an entire major period in history. It’d be akin to the Stater running a correction stating, it came to our attention that May 4 happened, and we regret that for the past three and a half decades we didn’t even notice. Now, that would definitely rile up the May 4th Task Force. Maybe not the same, but equally as bad.

How not to word true and false questions

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

So, although I did pretty horrible on my final anthropology exam, I am still breathing a sigh of immense relief. I would have to miss 50 of the 100 questions to get anything below a C in that class. And at this point, as the saying goes “C’s get degrees.” I am done with college. I have done everything I could and the burden is no longer mine to carry.

But, before I dismiss the whole final exam, I would like to point out a good part of why I feel I did horrible has to do with the test format and wording. First, 100 questions — true and false?! Second, half of the questions were based on lectures the professor himself was not present to give (he has cancer and missed several weeks of classes) and when he was were difficult to understand and hear (a large lecture with students constantly shifting, a room in an old building with loud air conditioning and heating, and a still thick accent that was only briefly punctated by bursts of cursing and offensive rants). Overall, it was a very unimpressive class and quite possibly the worst class I took during my undergraduate time. The final reason I feel I did horrible lies in the questions wording.

I will provide you with some samples of questions taken from the actual test to help everyone see why this test was ridiculous:

  • Hunters and gathers, the Archaic folk in the classificatory scheme we have used in this course, demonstrate by simplicity of their lives, how incompetent and uninventive they were for something like half a million years.
  • When we look at our own wasteful behavior in dealling with scarce natural resources, we can not help but admire prehistoric “primitive” man for the way his life fits harmoniouslly into an organic whole. He truly lives in tune with nature, having learnt how to conserve his natural resources.
  • The best access the ordinary citizen has to the relics of the past is the Museum, although a field season digging is likely to show the novice that the study of Man’s cultural “left-overs” can be less than exciting.

Those are actual questions. To his credit, the questions from the book were decidely more straight-forward and unbiased. But still. I felt like I was doing algebra trying to eliminate any statements that were obviously true to see if any false ones remained. It was tedious and unnecessary. Those are NOT the types of questions you should be asking in true and false format.

But who cares. I’m done with my educational career. Now on to my real career.

Smoking ban goes up in, well, smoke?

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

As this Beacon story (Smoking drifts back into area businesses) notes, several area establishments have quite literally been ignoring the new statewide smoking ban, which went into effect last Thursday.

I actually debated this with my father on Sunday. He (a smoker) pointed out that everyone was (and will continue) just ignoring the ban, so it didn’t even matter. Apparently, the bowling alley I used to work at (which was always a sort of shady place) is just telling smokers to pack the back party room and smoke there because they don’t want snow being trampled in all night. The smoke in the bowling alley alone probably took a year or two off MY life just because I had to breathe it constantly every night I worked. I remember guys would come up to the counter to smoke cigars. Cigars! I would literally choke while taking their order thinking “now, is that necessary?”

My father went on, “You think the bars in Kent are enforcing it? You’re wrong. Nobody is.” To wit I replied, “The ones I was in Thursday didn’t have a single smoker, and Ray’s yesterday and BW3’s today… nobody was smoking in any of them.” Perhaps because Kent was so close to its own ban, the bar owners resigned themselves to the inevitable. My dad’s argument to continue flaunting his cigarettes in public places was that it was a basic right. My reply? And not being exposed to pollutants that literally decrease the length and quality of my life, that’s not a right of mine? He then went into the old well “fast food is bad for people but they haven’t outlawed it” argument, and I quickly put that one to bed as well with a retort, “Well, if I chose to eat at McDonald’s then so I harm myself. I’m not hurting innocent bystanders or forcing it down anyone else’s throat.”

It’s not that my family and I don’t see eye to eye on most things, we do. It’s just that I am the one who sticks up for my position even when everyone else disagrees — probably because I’m the most informed. But seriously, as the article points out, enforcement or no enforcement, choosing to continue smoking is breaking the law.

In other unrelated news, this panda video is adorable.

The BlackJack?

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

I think this Wired reporter pretty accurately summed up my reaction to the Samsung BlackJack ads…

… the ad in question really made me want what it was advertising. My video advertising defenses, evolved over a lifetime of bombardment, had apparently atrophied from disuse. Suddenly, I wanted a Blackjack, and I wanted it bad.

I never watch TV. I don’t have time, and what little time I do have is mostly devoted to reading the posts on Romenesko or scouring CNN, NYTimes.com, Ohio.com, etc. for news updates. The only TV I regularly see is CNN muted in the newsroom.

But my roommate watches TV occasionally (as in the very rare periods when I am back home early enough that she hasn’t already gone to bed), and a few weeks back I happened to catch the BlackJack ad this article discusses. Now, why would I remember one single ad of the thousands that have bombarded me? Because, as the writer of the Wired post alludes, it literally made me speechless. I wanted it that bad. I was on the phone with Ryan when I saw the commerical. I literally halted the coversation, and then, when the commercial ended, I immediately told him about the phone.

All things considered, I still haven’t decided on a new phone (as I discussed in a previous post), but the whole lack of headphones thing may be a deal-breaker for the BlackJack. (Although, I have an iPod, so does it matter?) I also haven’t yet decided if the lack of wi-fi is a BlackBerry Pearl deal-breaker. It remains to be seen what company I choose to go with, which will depend pretty much on where I take a job.

But you do have to admit, the BlackJack looks like one awesome product.