and The Tarrasque ate New York City.

If you visit this page on a regular basis, go see Cloverfield.

If you understand the title of this post, revel in your knowledge of what is to come, and give yourself a geek point.

Hey boys and girls!

Don’t we love bugs?

I know I do!

Here, look at these!

Hungarians translate Puppytalk?

Fido wants a milk bone.  Fido rip your leg off if he doesn’t get it…

Pedagogy

This semester’s teaching features something I’ve never done before:  regular homework.  Reading quizzes aren’t cutting it.  In fact, all across my discipline, I hear over and over again that quizzes achieve nothing — those who would study do well, those who don’t, fail.  Survival curve.  So the first couple days’ lectures have been just a pure “here we are” lecture with the course basics plus motivational speaking, plus, for the benefit of those who have never actually used a textbook (aren’t high schools lovely nowadays?), “this is how to take history notes.”

Get them willing to give it a shot in the beginning, and tell them why giving it a shot will set them up for a slam-dunk grade at the end… and maybe it will stick.  You don’t have to have a brain to do history:  history is nothing but gossip put to writing.

Hugging, Stripping, Harassing, and Strangulation

Who knew the universe could be so tawdry?

On the lighter side, makeup zombies!

Not surprisingly, especially since we’re in Dallas, after all, it turns out that an excess of makeup can result in zombification…

An issue to watch: maternity leave for students

Not simply b/c I teach, but here you’ve got a situation where an 18-year-old is having a kid… she needs time to heal, time to be a Mom.

Any reason why she shouldn’t be able to arrange something with the school? I can’t think of one. A pro-natal perspective would definitely want to encourage this, and she’s having kids when her body is best suited for it.

One of the serious problems the western world is going through is a drop in birthrates because our current setup makes it really hard to have kids at the ages most appropriate for the job. As many people smarter than me have noted, this is a serious social problem. If we’re going to avoid demographic decline, or even the sort of demographic collapse that big chunks of Europe are seeing, we seriously need to both de-stigmatize and encourage this sort of thing.

And it ought to be a good sell to business, as well. Gals who are past the “intensive daycare” stage by the time they’re into their late 20s are a much better bet not to simply disappear out of the corporate world once they have their first kid… making them a much safer investment for their companies.

Putin and Historical Literacy

Somebody has actually read something.  Putin is precisely “in character” to see FDR as a role model, and it fits quite well.  FDR’s penchant for central planning, and his minions’ utter disregard for individual rights (up to and including felony trials for allowing customers to pick their own chickens at the butcher’s!) makes this quite a good fit.

And, actually, the truth is, it would be good were it truly so.  Likely, it’s not as close a fit as we’d like…but if you wanted a central-power guy to emulate, FDR was considerably less insidious than some others one could name.

What I want in a commute

doesn’t involve “loving the control” of the automobile… it involves wishing these guys succeed so I can sleep during my commute.  I work in three counties, and I see that same stretch of road each and every day… the thrill has worn off, you know?  But while running the Arlington-Plano-Dallas triangle, that’s a lot of snooze time I’d like to take advantage of…

EU Superstate… why?

If it’s not simply what the critics describe it to be, that is, a measure of coercive control for the Euro-elite Bureau-kleptocracy, then why, in this age where the advantages go to nimble powers able to engage in diversified competition… is the EU trying to ram the Lisbon Treaty down its members’ throats, whether or not they ratify it? Quote in question below:

The treaty seeks to streamline EU bureaucracy and will also provide more power to the European parliament, albeit it will reduce the number of seats. Furthermore, instead of requiring unanimous passage of a decision, a majority will now be sufficient.

At least in Hungary’s case, ratification first was a no-brainer.  The thoroughly discredited Socialists, many of whom are unreconstructed Communists (including a Kremlin-trained intelligence chief), are going to latch onto anything that they think might help them to survive, particularly as the country’s voters more and more begin to simply describe all of the major parties as useless.

But why the other European nations?

First, go get Joe Satriani’s “Surfing With the Alien.”

Okay. Are you ready?

Liar. No you’re not. Go get the CD, or get on youtube, or haxxor the Interweb or whatever you have to do. I’m not typing another word til you have it.

Good job.

Now play it while you read this piece of coffin surfing by Sharif.

This is my favorite part:

“The world must realize that Musharraf’s policies have neither limited nor curbed terrorism. In fact, terrorism is stronger than ever, with far more sinister aspects, and as long as Musharraf remains, there remains the threat of more terror. The people of Pakistan should not be antagonized any further for the sake of one man. It is time for the international community to join hands in support of democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan. The answer to my country’s problems is a democratic process that promotes justice, peace, harmony and tolerance and hence can play an effective role in promoting moderation. With dictatorship, there is no future.”

Okay, not bad sentiemnts per se, but compare the thrust of the piece vs. some of his earlier writings.

I haven’t picked over the full extent of the 1973 Pakistani Constitution, but his main thrust is the “Unfettered Islamic Parlimentary” system and the world be damned on their nuclear program and Kashmir. I know about the UN resolution and the stillborn referrenda, but when you look at his attempts to talk Kashmiri militants out of continuing an armed struggle back in 1999, and his new and improved rhetoric about an unswerving Kashmir policy, it leaves little doubt that he was never serious about the commitments he put his name to regarding the training, funding, arming and deploying of armed militants, some would say terrorists, into neighboring countries. Terrorism is stronger? No, terrorism was cultured into the halls of power before Musharraf got there. Now that the larger elements of it are being expelled, terrorism is metastasizing in Waziristan. Before it had all of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s not stronger, it’s just exposed, and in its exposure Pakistan has finally grasped just how ugly it is.

So now Sharif is advertising himself as Diet Bhutto, all the democracy, all the stability, only half the x chromosomes, leave your foreign money at the door when your done. It’s just awesome to watch someone who is so natural at this Olympic level of bullshit in action. It’s like watching a gazelle run.

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