December 29, 2006
By the way, don't take too seriously the "it's real" part.
Tandem Writing Assignment
The following is a true story received from an English professor.
You know that book "Men are from Mars, Women from Venus"? Well, here's a prime example of that. This assignment was actually turned in by two of my English students: Rebecca (last name deleted) and Gary (last name deleted).
First, the Assignment:
In-Class Assignment for Wednesday:
Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth.
Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached.
And now, the Assignment as submitted by Rebecca & Gary:
At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The camomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked camomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So camomile was out of the question.
Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far...". But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.
He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel." Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth -- when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.
Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress had left earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which vaporized Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.
Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.
My guess is that they have 5 children now.
December 28, 2006
Motorists who seem to turn off their brain when switching on their car's satellite navigation system have had a number of spectacular crashes in the past year -- but occasionally they're right to blame the machine.
Drivers obeying directions given by a sultry satnav voice have crashed into rivers, construction sites and roadside toilets in Germany, and had similar accidents in Britain.
"It's hard to understand how these things can happen," said Maximilian Maurer, spokesman for the German motoring club
"It's not as if people are driving in a tank with only a small slit to see out. You'd think they have their own eyes and brains engaged to make decisions and not rely on the satnav. I used to think satnavs were 'idiot-proof', but perhaps not."
In October a 53-year-old German, obeying his satnav's command "Turn right now!" jerked the wheel over and crashed into a roadside toilet hut 30 metres (yards) before the crossing he was meant to take, causing 2,000 euros ($2,600) damage.
A few weeks earlier, an 80-year-old motorist also followed his satnav instead of common sense and ignored a "closed for construction" sign on a Hamburg motorway. He hit a pile of sand at high speed but was not hurt.
Holy shit. George Carlin once quipped that "The average person is pretty fucking stupid, and half the people are dumber than that." I think that he understated a bit.
December 27, 2006
December 21, 2006
December 19, 2006
General crap to resume in short order. I've got a bone to pick with some of the effete Linux snobs in the "help" forums and I'm getting ready to start brewing again. Maybe a few
unlucky people can help me taste the results. And yes, Harvey, you're still on the list, as is our former Alliance mistress, assuming that she wants to be. Anyway, see y'all very soon.
December 14, 2006
There was a Rabbi named Keith
Who circumcised young men with his teeth.
It wasn't for pleasure,
or want of some treasure,
but to get at the cheese underneath.
December 04, 2006
She looked up, stepped out of line and tried to find the owner of the voice, with no success.
The she realized she had lost her place in the line and had to go back to the end of the line and wait all over again.
After she had purchased her ticket, she was thirsty, so she went to buy a drink. The line at the concession stand was also very long. but since the game hadn't started, she decided to wait. Just as she got to the window, a voice called out, "Hey, Linda!"
Again she tried to find the voice and got out of line as she wandered around looking for the owner of the voice. But no luck.
She was very upset as she got back into line for drink.
Finally, she had her drink and took her seat, eager for the game to begin. As she waited for the first pitch, she heard the voice calling, "Hey, Linda!" once more.
Furious, she stood up and yelled at the top of her lungs,
"My name isn't Linda!"
December 01, 2006
A computer with no software is like a garden with no tools, not much is going to happen without a rake, trowel or spade. But dont worry because help is at hand. We have collected 20 programs that will quickly become indispensable; some are replacements for the offerings supplied with Windows and others are worthy alternatives to expensive software.
Wherever possible we have found software that costs nothing beyond the internet connection and will do everything that the software you buy in the shops does. To make sure you have the best possible chance of getting the software, we have put aside a dedicated part of our website for this purpose.
The article goes on to list Open Office, Firefox, the GIMP, Thunderbird, Skype and others. Their list of other free software is pretty good, too.
OpenOffice.org Portable (formerly Portable OpenOffice.org) is the complete OpenOffice.org office suite -- including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool, drawing package and database -- packaged as a portable app, so you can take all your documents and everything you need to work with them wherever you go.
Installing OpenOffice.org Portable
To install OpenOffice.org Portable, just download the portable package at the top of the OpenOffice.org Portable page and then double-click it. Select the location you wish to install to and click OK. An OpenOfficePortable directory will be created there and all the necessary files installed. That's all there is to it..
Update: Well, lookee here. Apparently you can take the entire suite of open apps in one fell swoop. Excerpt:
PortableApps Suite™ is a collection of portable apps including a web browser, email client, office suite, calendar/scheduler, instant messaging client, antivirus, sudoku game, backup utility and integrated menu, all preconfigured to work portably. Just drop it on your portable device and you're ready to go.
Two Bugs: The PortableApps Menu bundled has a bug that prevents it from running on pre-Windows XP systems. The 1.0 to 1.0.1 Patch fixes this. Just install it to the same directory you installed the Suite to (usually the root of your portable drive). There is also an issue with high-resolution (120dpi) displays. A fix is being tested.
Let me get this straight: a browser, office software, anti-virus software, instant messaging software, calendar/task manager, email client and Sudoku puzzle game all come bundled together and fit nicely on a 512M thumb drive(there's a slightly stripped version that works on a 256M drive). And it's all free? I believe that that sound you're hearing is the puckering of Bill Gates' sphincter.
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