Thursday, January 31, 2008

man versus nuture

I now have two male friends who shave with straight razors because, they claim, it is more manly. Yeah...unless you are shaving with a straight razor because you live in the wilderness and you also use it to fend off bears and harvest willow bark as an analgesic for your many bear wounds, it's not really manly. It's really more foppish, the kind of thing that sits on your lacquered Louis XIV boudoir next to your snuff box, wig powder, opera glasses, and whatever apparatus is required to create those creepy fake beauty marks.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

waxing nonsensical

I once had a professor who likened the ubiquitousness of the statistical standard deviation to a goddess he called Normalina, whose purview it was to impose order on chaos in the form of a single, universal standard deviation. I immediately seized upon this idea for my magnum opus of notebook marginalia, one of my more impressive undergraduate achievements. In my mind (and alongside my notes for, e.g., Introductory French or Biological Anthropology), the Goddess Normalina had a standard-deviation-shaped hat, and she would peer down from the heavens, scanning the world for chaotic data sets, which she would then cram, unceremoniously, into her upturned hat, you know, really putting her arm into it. And then she would dump out the newly reformed contents back onto the earth, like Jello sliding out of bundt mold. Sweet, delicious math Jello....

Monday, January 28, 2008

the collective consciousness goes "huh?"

An election development so bizarre, it required its own neologism to accurately convey my reaction:Flabbergasm: n., a full-body shudder of complete bewilderment; adj., flabbergastic

Friday, January 11, 2008

open from a trusted source (i.e. not whitey)

YP: here's a cute asian baby
is this a picture of a panda?
not as far as i know
then why is the file called "panda.jpg"?
i think "panda" is just code for "asian"

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

the age of impertinence

We're going to the Opera! We (i.e., mikaydee's colorful cast of characters, PM, MP, and RM) just bought the tickets yesterday, and we are psyched to go all out: long gloves for the ladies, tuxes for the gentlemen, monocles for all! The crowning achievement of this exercise in vaguely satirical cultural pageantry would of course be a fur stole, the kind with the head, paws, and tail still attached.

The online box office page had a "how did you hear about us?" drop down menu, and none of the options adequately captured the accurate answer for us, which would have been something like "we live in this city, and we wanted to see an opera, so we googled the name of the city and the word 'opera'....welcome to the 21st Century" or perhaps, "logic dictates that you must exist." We settled on "from a friend."

This experience with poor survey methodology led predictably to the following mikaydee/PM brainchild:

The United States Federal Government: How Did You Hear About Us?
- word of mouth
- we strafe bombed your village
- we rebuilt your country following a major world conflict
- from a friend
- you fought a proxy war for us
- you fought a proxy war against us
- we supervised free and fair elections in your country
- we supported a brutal totalitarian kleptocrat in your country
- Baywatch
- propaganda [From where? (a) Politburo, (b) Al Jazeera, (c) CIA]
- you were tortured....but not by us* (*we deny any and all knowledge of and/or liability for positive responses)
- you own some of our national debt [How much of our national debt do you own? Enter a number between 0.01 and 9,203,378,381,250.93: $____]
- the internet

Thursday, January 3, 2008

on recreational math, grammar, and oppression

A few more of my favorite things:

(1) Favorite Palindrome: "reifier"

Well, that was predictable, wasn't it? The best part about accusing people of reifying things is that almost no one is ever actually trying to reify anything, so it's pretty easy to interpret any action that isn't revolutionary in some way as a reification of some status quo. Writing on piece of paper? Reification of the taxonomist oppression of trees by primates!

(2) Favorite Court Filing: Notice of Errata

First of all, love love LOVE non-standard plurals, especially Latin ones. (Sagitarii, represent!) Second of all, enamored of the whole mea-culpa-y nature of noticing one's errors in open court and on the public record, a kind of wussy, yuppie version of ye olde gratuitously public acts of penitence, e.g. hairshirts and self-flagellation. Forgive me Father, for I hath misnumbered mine interrogatoreyes....

(3) Favorite Number: 7.35 x 10^10
The acceleration due to gravity, as measured in furlongs/fortnight squared...yay for archaic things!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

14 points...of violent, abrasive contact

The makings of a great public service personal statement:

mikaydee: if i ever get bored of my job, maybe I'll apply to the wilson school
YP: what are you going to apply to it?
mikaydee: your face, as hard as humanly possible
YP: sad :-(
mikaydee: yes, you will be