Monday, November 30, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Iron Bowl

Thursday, November 26, 2009

3E wishes you a happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Here at the 3E house, we'll be having our holiday specialty.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Reality TV

Nearly everyone conforms to crude, cartoon stereotype (bitch, gold digger, flamboyant gay, recovering addict, sofa spud, anal perfectionist, rageaholic), making as many pinched faces as the Botox will permit, a small-caliber barrage of reaction shots that can be cut from any random stretch of footage and pasted in later to punctuate an exchange. (Someone says something unconstructive—“That outfit makes her look like a load”—and ping! comes the reaction shot, indicating the poison dart has struck home.) Younger reality stars may have more mobile faces, though in time they too will acquire the Noh masks of the celebrity undead. Their range of verbal expression runs mostly from chirpy to duh, as if their primpy little mouths were texting. The chatty, petty ricochet of Reality TV—the he-said-that-you-said-that-she-said-that-I-said-that-she-said-that-your-fat-ass-can-no-longer-fit-through-the-door—eventually provokes a contrived climax, a “shock ending” that is tipped off in promos for the show, teasers replayed so frequently that it’s as if the TV screen had the hiccups. The explosive payoff to the escalating sniper fire on The Real Housewives of New Jersey was a raging tantrum by Teresa Giudice, who flipped over a restaurant table in a She-Hulk fit of wrathful fury and called co-star Danielle Staub a “prostitution whore” (an interesting redundancy), all of which helped make for a unique dining experience and quite a season finale. Good manners and decorum are anathema to Reality TV, where impulsivity swings for the fences.
The usually insufferable James Wolcott on Reality TV

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

comics I like

PBF doesn't update anymore, which is sad, because it's great. There's still the archives.

Monday, November 23, 2009

frankly, i'd want my cable bill back for the month.

What a bunch of stand-up guys.

The Prisoner

The original one is on AMC's website. Pretty awesome, especially for me since I have not seen the series all the way through. The video has been a little choppy for me, but that's probably more a function of my service provider, which is a comcastrophe, rather than AMC.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Excerpts from Tha Captainz Exploration Journal

...and after that the big cats learned it was better - for their own sake - to leave Tha Captain alone.

Climbing again now. Always higher. Maybe it's the lack of oxygen but it absolutely and completely takes my breath away just to make a feeble attempt to try to maybe half-understand the majesty and the all-encompassing grandeur of the wonder that is these high moors.

An elk. A rare treat. I'm reminded subtly of my tryst in the great Canadian wilderness. I'm downwind of him and his musk is absolutely intoxicating. When I dream it is almost as rare a treat to be able to ride upon the back of such a beast. A twig snaps under my foot as I approach my would-be steed. He wants to run but he can't bring himself to do so. Closer. Closer. I can smell his breath. My pulse quickens. My blood feels as thick as napalm and twice as hot. I reach out. His fur bristles like a million tiny erections. I see a tear form in his steely eye. He knows his death is near but he knows it will not come in vain. I climb atop him. Onward, proud warrior, onward...


Saturday, November 21, 2009


A public service announcement.

1. A List of Fallacious Arguments

2. 38 Ways to Win an Argument

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nothing to do, nowhere to go-o-o-o

Finish your week right.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Saudi women

But unlike most other cultures, daughters also have to contend with constant supervision of their every move. A job that some brothers feel falls on their shoulders. No matter what age a woman is, many families believe that as long as she is single, she is a liability. This translates into horrific intrusions of privacy and personal freedom. In one extreme case, a family I know has no locks on any of the doors including the bathroom doors, so that to insure the daughters cannot seclude themselves and do anything inappropriate; pre-approval of clothing, whether at home or when leaving the house, is common.

A friend of mine once told me she had to sit for over two hours in an uncomfortable position because she had pajama pants on and was afraid her father, who had come early from work, would see them. And this is not only with teenage girls, but also adult women… even divorced mothers. So what’s a girl to do in this situation? Many go by the Arabic saying that translates into “a woman has only three places in this world: her family’s home, her husband’s home or her grave”.

So the majority wait patiently for their knight to rescue them, others commit suicide and a few run away.
The Ideology of Control

Big Ben on Twitter


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It is finished.

klick 2 embiggen!


Summer learning loss is one of Duncan’s major arguments for reworking the standard school year.

Children, he said, “get to a certain point academically in June and over the summer, they lose that.”

By September, he said, “it’s literally taking a step backward.”
Literally, A Web Log

Redesigned NFL helmets

Here. The ones he does for the Redskins and especially the Patriots are stupid, but the one for the Bucs is pretty sweet:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Different strokes for different folks

3E Presents: A Top 21 Things on the Internet: #9 Rotten Library

We've mentioned it before, but the rarely-updated Rotten Library never gets old. It was the first website that I fell into the click-a-link forever timewaster. The writing is sharp and crisp, the illustrations are nearly perfect, and most of the articles are exactly long enough to fell complete but still want more. Wikipedia has mostly taken the role of time-stealing-clicking now, but Rotten showed me the way.

Some of my favorites:

Everything in Crypotzoology

An extended, elaborate argument that Al Qaeda is connected to the Assassins cult

On the silly Matrix Trilogy

But really, it's all good stuff.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I've thought this for a while

But before the debate goes any further, there's a fundamental question that needs to be investigated. Why do football players wear helmets in the first place? And more important, could the helmets be part of the problem?

"Some people have advocated for years to take the helmet off, take the face mask off. That'll change the game dramatically," says Fred Mueller, a University of North Carolina professor who studies head injuries. "Maybe that's better than brain damage."

The first hard-shell helmets, which became popular in the 1940s, weren't designed to prevent concussions but to prevent players in that rough-and-tumble era from suffering catastrophic injuries like fractured skulls.

But while these helmets reduced the chances of death on the field, they also created a sense of invulnerability that encouraged players to collide more forcefully and more often. "Almost every single play, you're going to get hit in the head," says Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jake Long.

What nobody knew at the time is that these small collisions may be just as damaging. The growing body of research on former football players suggests that brain damage isn't necessarily the result of any one trauma, but the accumulation of thousands of seemingly innocuous blows to the head.
Is it time to retire the football helmet?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How to write badly well

Present your research in the form of dialogue

‘My god,’ said Geoff, ‘so it’s true. We hold in our very hands the original draft of the hitherto unknown third treaty of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia signed by the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III himself.’
‘Yes,’ confirmed Sally. ‘Who would have thought when we set off this morning for this remote Swiss village that we would end the day in possession of the very document which marked the birth of modern European statehood?’
‘Certainly not me!’ laughed Geoff.
’Nor me!’ guffawed Sally.
‘And to think,’ Geoff extemporised, ‘the Ratification of the Treaty of Münster occurred exactly three hundred and sixty-one years ago today!’
How to write badly well

Friday, November 13, 2009

Breaking news

So, The Who is apparently going to play Super Bowl XLIV, after recent Super Bowl halftime performances by Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Prince, the Rolling Stones, and Paul McCartney. 3E has obtained this exclusive list of upcoming acts.

2011: The Eagles
2012: The Pretenders
2013: Pink Floyd
2014: Blue Öyster Cult
2015: Cream
2016: Deep Purple
2017: The Monkees
2018: Chuck Berry

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Finally picked the cover for my dissertation

That's the made-up name Photoshop uses for every dissertation cover.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

fast in the eye-gougingly slow sense

Go here, scroll over the "Beamer Ball" and "Speed-Inspired Design" items, and tell me what's wrong with those sentences.

The rest of the lovely threads can be found here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Buffet Guide

Man, in college, I was all about some buffet value.
Meals leading up to the buffet have been debated for ages. My recommendations are a large dinner the night before consisting mostly of light breads and vegetables to expand the stomach. It is also advantageous to drink plenty of liquids, preferably water. This also varies greatly on what time of day your buffet meal is going to be. For a breakfast buffet your larger meal should be the lunch prior with a small dinner. The morning of I would suggest a very small meal containing some sugar in order to get your metabolism up and running. Eat nothing more throughout the day. Liquids are advised, preferably water, as almost a mandatory health concern due to the high sodium content you are about to consume.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Anvil launching

I bet fewer people make fun of him than would normally make fun of someone named "Gay Wilkinson." Because he shoots anvils.

Cell size


It's Hate Week.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Thursday, November 05, 2009


The typical white van speaker scam involves one or two or three individuals, who are usually casually dressed or wearing uniforms. They drive an SUV, minivan or a commercial vehicle (usually a white commercial van, which may be rented inexpensively) that often displays a company logo. To find suitable targets, the van operators set up their con in moderately-trafficked areas, such as parking lots, gas stations, colleges, or large apartment complexes. Alternatively, they may target people driving expensive cars and wave them down. The marks (victims) are usually affluent young men, college students, or others thought to have large amounts of disposable income.

The operators often claim that they work for an audio retailer or audio installer and that, through some sort of corporate error (warehouse operator mistake, bookkeeping mistakes, computer glitch, etc.) or due to the client changing the order after supplies were purchased, they have extra speakers. Sometimes, it is implied that the merchandise may be stolen. For varying reasons they need to dispose of the speakers quickly and are willing to get rid of them at "well below retail" prices. The con artists will repeatedly state the speaker's "value" as anywhere between $1800 and $3000, prices often purportedly verified by showing a brochure or a magazine advertisement. They will usually also have an official-looking website verifying their claims.
White van speaker scam

The Office according to The Office

In Season Three, the Dunder-Mifflin executives decide to merge the Stamford and Scranton branches, laying off much of the latter, including Michael Scott. His counterpart, the competent-sociopath Stamford branch manager, whose promotion is the premise of the re-org, opportunistically leverages his impending promotion into an executive position at a competitor, leaving the c0mpany in disarray. The Dunder-Mifflin executives, forced to deal with the fallout, cynically play out the now-illogical re-org anyway, shutting down Stamford and leaving Michael with the merged branch instead. The executives (David Wallace and Jan Levinson-Gould) are obviously completely aware of Michael’s utter incompetence. But their calculations are obvious: giving Michael the expanded branch allows them to claim short-term success and buy time to maneuver out of having to personally suffer longer-term consequences.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

You could just move to the North Pole

Paleo-Future: a look into the future that never was.

Sunday, November 01, 2009