Friday, December 15, 2006

Blogs, lectures, and mistakes

At last! My blog(s) have finally become eligible to be switched over to blogger beta; it seems to have taken a while, probably because there are a few attached to my account, and this one at least is on the large side - this will be post number 566. But! Everything is now switched over, which is tops, although because I have 566-odd posts, it could take me a while to take advantage of all the features, namely labels.

In other random thoughts:

When did it become acceptable to wear jeans and a t-shirt to your graduation? The ceremonies have been going on for the last few days, and I've seen two guys so far who couldn't even be bothered to put on decent pants for the occasion, let alone a shirt. On a related topic, I would like to know when people suddenly decided that jeans were appropriate attire for funerals; I've been to two funerals this year, and at both there were guys wearing jeans. Kids these days, I don't know...

Just went to a public lecture by Professor Francis Fukuyama, which was interesting, if not particularly earth-shattering in its revalations. Basically he said that "state building is hard, and it takes a long time." Which was incredibly revealing.

Often the most entertaining/painful parts of these public lectures are the questions at the end, and more specifically the weirdos who ask them. When Sandro and I walked in, we looked around and immediately picked out the woman who we thought was most likely to ask the stupidest, most long-winded question. You know the ones; they're always prefaced by a 5-minute diatribe, masquerading as a 'reflection', on the questioner's personal beliefs, followed by a rambling question that has absolutely no bearing on the subject of the lecture, the research interests of the lecturer, or life in general. And lo and behold, the woman we had picked turned out to be the token loony in this audience. I have a personal theory that the greater the amount of felt that a person is wearing, the higher the probability that a stupid question is asked; the wearing of inappropriate hats is also a strong predictive factor. The lecture will be available for download on Monday from here, so if you missed out you too can experience the wonder of stupid questions asked by hat-wearing loonies.

And to finish up, a hilarious link of the day (via Regret the Error's annual round-up of media errors and corrections. I adore this one from the Chicago Tribune:
An editorial in Friday’s paper incorrectly stated that Florida Cresswell, a candidate for state representative in the 28th District, was convicted in 1999 of battery and stealing Tupperware. In fact he was convicted of stealing a battery from a van as well as Tupperware that was inside the van.
Or this one from the New York Times:
A film review on Wednesday about "Little Miss Sunshine" referred incorrectly to contestants in the fictional children’s beauty pageant of the title. The critic intended to compare the contestants to underage prostitutes, not to "underage fleshpots."
But I think my favourite has to be the one mentioned at the very beginning of the round-up, which was actually the winner 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.


The Scientist said...

you've only just got a beta invite?

I got one a while ago (with a substantially smaller blog, mind you) but haven't bothered changing over after crips rantings about it...

off to try your word shoot game thing :-)

Mads said...

I have five blogs attached to this account, so I guess that slowed down me getting an invite. So far so good, although it could be a while before I work out how to convert my old template to the new system! For now, we'll all have to put up with this weird one...