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Oct 28, 2007

"Adopt Me, Please"

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you're probably a regular reader of the Independent Weekly.  And if you read the Indy, I suspect you've seen the great pet adoption ads run by the Independent Animal Rescue.  Here's a current ad for "Annie" from IAR's website:

Annie2adj Annie is a playful girl who loves affection. She enjoys going for runs with her foster parents, chasing her ball, chewing on a bone, and snuggling with humans. Her favorite part of the day is her afternoon ride in the car where she sits politely in the back seat and enjoys the view. She is truly a pack animal and wants to be surrounded by loving humans, as well as other dogs, as much as possible. She loves to curl up for a nap with the pugs in her foster home. Her house training is coming along very well. To prevent accidents, Annie is crated when her foster parents are not at home. Annie wants to become a member of a family that has lots of love and attention to give her.

Annie was found by a volunteer, and though it appears she has been a street girl most of her life, she came right to volunteers with no signs of fear or aggression. She was hungry, tired, and eaten up by fleas, but immediately rolled on her back, wanting her belly scratched and giving lots of kisses. This special girl was even rated a "Gold Star Puppy" by our IAR trainer for her wonderful temperament.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you're probably not a regular reader of The Triangle Tribune, "The Triangle's Choice for the Black Voice".  But if you saw last week's issue of The Triangle Tribune, you might have seen this adoption ad from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services:


Question (with no judgment implied): why doesn't the NC DHHS place adoption ads like this in the Independent Weekly?  According to the AdoptUSKids website sponsored by DHHS, there are 192 active "cases" of kids awaiting adoption in North Carolina.  My sense is that all of these are non-baby/toddler kids currently in foster care.

09:20 PM in Editorial, News, Seen | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oct 25, 2007

Shearon Harris: Does Energy Conservation = Water Conservation?


I just read in the N&O that Shearon Harris and the City of Durham use about the same amount of water each day: 33 million gallons per day for the power plant vs. 28 million gallons per day for the Durham water system.

So does this mean that conserving electricity is an immediate method of conserving water?  It's not clear to me.  Shearon Harris draws from Harris Lake, while Durham drinking water comes from Lake Michie Reservoir and the Little River Reservoir.  How tightly is Harris Lake's water supply tied to the other two?

Here's a primer on the hydrological cycle (how water moves around the planet).  Scroll ~3/4 down the page for a graphic showing how US household water consumption compares to other countries.  You won't be surprised.


Photo: nrc.gov

12:20 AM in Misc.Blog 2007, News, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (7)

Oct 23, 2007

"If It's Yellow, Let It Mellow..." - Water Conservation at Halloween

If it's yellow, let it mellow.  If it's brown, flush it down.

-- water conservation slogan that I first heard in the mid-80s.

Live it for Halloween:



Toilet costume photo from JokesUnlimited.com, which will sell you that Halloween costume or many others.

07:11 PM in Destination Durham, Editorial, News, Quotables | Permalink | Comments (3)

Oct 22, 2007

Got the Memo

Me, Adam, and Keith.

Keith generously shares out some of his extra office space at Brightleaf Square to me and Adam.  We don't usually show up on the same day, but that's because it's a lot of trouble to coordinate clothes.  Today we got it together.


"Three Amigos" by Nathania Johnson, Adam's colleague and coffee-driven online marketing blogger at BoldInteractive.com

02:43 PM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Oct 13, 2007

Humanities Egghead Test by Laura Cubbison

Just like it happened last month, a post from Barry at EnRevanche (and a followup comment by Doc at TheyRodeOn) sends me to the stacks for another reading-oriented blog at the Archer Pelican. 

Barry's latest post reminded me of the Humanities Egghead Test which I remember laughing at in the mid-90s after receiving it once or twice by email. 

Imagine my surprise that something I remembered as brilliant and interesting in the early days of the internet was UNFINDABLE (by me) on the web (search terms: humanities egghead "allegory of the cave" 1 12 books black coffee shop glasses).  Fortunately, I thought to look in the Newsgroups and was rewarded not only with the test, but also with what appears to be its original 19 September 1994 posting by author Laura Cubbison (then a grad student, now teaching at Radford University).

I give you the whole thing, below.  And I hope that my little effort will get the Humanities Egghead Test back in action and web-findable as it always should have been.


After T-bone posted the scientific nerd test, I started thinking about a test
for eggheads (humanities geeks).  Some of the questions on his test work for
eggheads too, so I kept them in.  I wrote most of the questions myself, and
T-bone contributed a few more.  Once I finished it, I figured up my score as 55.

I actually wrote this before the coffee house sketch on MST3K, but I did add
two questions inspired by the sketch.


                             --EGGHEAD TEST--

     For each of the following questions which you answer 'yes,'
      add one point to your score.  Your total at the end is your
      percentage of eggheadedness

1)Have you ever gone to a coffee house?
2)Have you ever talked about being and nothingness?
3)Have you ever been to a Pinter play?
4)Do you know who Pinter is?
5)Have you ever done #2 continuously for more than four hours?
6)At a coffee house?
7)Do you wear glasses?
8)Are your glasses shaped like John Lennon's?
9)Is your vision worse than 20/40?
10)Worse than 20/80?
11)Are you legally blind?
12)Have you ever taught freshmen?
13)Have you ever answered a question in lecture after a moment of silence?
14)Have you ever corrected a professor?
15)Have you ever refused to answer a hypothetical question?
16)Have you ever had to sit in a circle in a classroom?
17)Do you save your lecture notes in file folders?
18)Do you never sell back your textbooks?
19)Do you own a black turtleneck shirt?
20)Have you ever used a microfilm reader?
21)Have you ever used a microfiche reader?
22)Have you ever used gopher to retrieve James Joyce's _Ulysses_ for a research
23)Is your weight less than your IQ?
24)Have you ever done #2 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the same
25)Have you ever done #2 past 4 a.m.?
26)Have you ever done #2 with someone of the opposite sex?
27)Have you ever done #2 for money?
28)Do you have own a copy of Thomas Pynchon's _Gravity's Rainbow_?
29)Have you read _Gravity's Rainbow_?
30)Did you understand _Gravity's Rainbow_?
31)Without Cliff's Notes?
32)Do you have a copy of the Riverside Shakespeare?
33)Do you have straight hair of all one length?
34)Does it fall in your face?
35)Do you admit to being a white male oppressor?
36)Do you express your rage against white male oppressors?
37)Can you define deconstructionism?
38)Do you know the Allegory of the Cave?
39)Do you know the words that follow "To be or not to be"?
40)Do you have them on a t-shirt?
41)Have you ever quoted Nietzsche?
42)Do you know who wrote _Waiting for Godot_?
43)Have you seen _Waiting for Godot_ in the theater?
44)Do you own more than $500 in books?
45)More than $1000?
46)More than $2500?
47)Do you stack your books in the corner of the room?
48)Have you ever seen a Merchant/Ivory film?
49)After you read the book?
50)Did you cry?
51)Did you fail the math portion of the GRE?
52)Have you ever done homework on a Friday night?
53)Have you ever pulled an all-nighter?
54)Have you ever written a short story?
55)Have you ever written poetry?
56)Done #55 in the last three months?
57)Done #55 in the last three weeks?
58)Have you ever memorized a poem?
59)Are your pants rolled up because they're too long?
60)Do you wear sandals?
61)Have you read _The Canterbury Tales_?
62)In middle English?
63)Have you ever attended a Shakespeare in the Park production?
64)Have you ever seen a Shakespeare play in a theater?
65)Have you ever entered a writing contest?
66)Did you win?
67)Can you identify Jacques Derrida?
68)Have you ever read anything by Derrida?
69)By Michel Foucault?
70)Have you ever used a colon in the title of a research paper?
71)Have you ever applied literary criticism to a television show?
72)Have you ever used inter-library loan?
73)Have you ever had to justify your field of study to your parents?
74)Have you ever used the word "hermeneutics" in a conversation?
75)Do you view participation in extracurricular activities as a violation of
your non-conformity?
76)Do you dress exactly like your non-conformist friends?
77)Do you know more than 1 modern language?
78)More than 2?
79)Do you know an ancient language no longer spoken?
80)Have you ever made a literary joke?
81)Did no one get it?
82)Have you ever attended a conference?
83)Did you read a paper?
84)Did you attend all the presentations?
85)Did you ask a question?
86)Have you ever used the word "verisimilitude"?
87)Can you count in Roman numerals?
88)Have you ever had a book review published?
89)In a newspaper?
90)Have you ever MSTed a textbook?
91)Have you ever attended a RenFest?
92)Do you pronounce "Sorbonne" like an American or a Frenchman?
93)Have you ever bought bottled water?
94)Have you ever drunk Perrier?
95)Is Guinness Stout the only beer you drink?
96)Did you major in philosophy or literature?
97)Have you ever read Beowulf?
98)In Old English?
99) Have you ever bought Let's Go Europe?
100)Do you apologize for the existence of Western Civilization?

I hope you enjoy.  (Oh, and 42, by the way.)

10:13 PM in Misc.Blog 2007, Quotables | Permalink | Comments (19)

Oct 10, 2007

Aieeee!!!!! Web Server Down

If you hear a strange noise, that's me going nuts while my marsosudiro.com server remains down.  No email.  No website.  No fun.  And the folks at lunarpages.com are not fielding my (very first with them) help request nearly as fast as I want.  Their first response seemed off base.  I haven't heard back since I wrote them a followup, some 14 hours ago.

In any case, I'm doing my breathing and centering exercises, and trying to work on tasks that need to be done (and can be done) regardless of my marsosudiro.com status.

Okeydokey.  Gonna live.  This is not the end of the world.  Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe...

03:34 PM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (4)

Oct 08, 2007

Coalition to Unchain Dogs - Durham Benefit Concert October 13


The Coalition to Unchain Dogs will be holding a benefit concert on October 13, 2007 at Durham Central Park. For a $10 donation ($12 at the door), you will enjoy an autumn afternoon on the green grass of Durham Central Park as six wonderful acts fill your ears with music.

About the Coalition to Unchain Dogs (from their website):

Our three-tiered mission:    
1. Raise money and build fences for chained dogs in the community    
2. Provide support to and educate the community as to why chaining is cruel and dangerous and raise awareness of the physical, mental and emotional needs of dogs    
3. Advocate for the passing of laws that disallow or severely restrict the chaining of dogs

09:36 PM in News | Permalink | Comments (1)

Oct 07, 2007

Customer Service, International Style

Callcenter738075 Whenever I'm feeling no fun while dealing with telephone tech support. I try to remember that at least I'm not on the other side of the phone.

That said, I do try to make the experience a little better for me and the vendor.  Last January I had a pretty fun time talking with "Peter" at Dell tech support while we were running diagnostics on my machine.  I guessed pretty quickly that "Peter" was actually "Pedro", and after a few pleasantries exchanged in Spanish, he took me on an (English-speaking) virtual tour of Panama, home to him and 2,000 Dell tech support staff.  I had a second computer nearby, so Pedro toured me through all sorts of Panamanian websites while we waited for the four- or five-minute tests to finish.  It was fun.  And we figured out my computer problem, too.

On other customer service calls, it's common to hear a Filipino accent on the other end of the phone.  A quick "salamat, po" ("thank you, sir (or madam)") always gets a surprised giggle from the other side.  I tell them that my mom is from Pampanga, and they invariably tell me that they're talking to me from Manila.  And that news invariably makes me visualize them sitting in a white cotton shirt, crisply ironed and still clean despite the fact that the city is both hot and dusty.  I don't know how Filipinos stay so clean.  It's magic.

At some point I should try to learn a little bit of Hindi, so I can give appropriate greetings to "Jim" or "Bob" on the other side.  Tech support people need their giggles, I'm sure of that.


Image from the York Entrepreneur's Diary

10:53 PM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (8)

Oct 06, 2007

Editorial -- Z06-64 Zoning Plan

Editorial posted on behalf of a friend.  Opinions expressed are those of authors, not the Archer Pelican:

‘Orange’ you interested?

We of the Durham Watch (newhopefordurham@yahoo.com) need your help and advice. 

On Monday, October 15, 2007, at 7p.m. the Durham City Council will vote on yet another Rezoning. 

We hope to convince the Council to postpone, or deny, the Proposal. We need lots and lots of people to show up wearing orange to prove to elected officials that we citizens demand sensible development – not urban sprawl and the curse that goes with it.

This particular Plan (Z06-64) embodies all the ills of careless land use.  Citizens will suffer:

1. ECONOMICALLY –housing Prices Drop as roads get very busy and schools get more overcrowded;  and read on
2. DANGEROUS ROADS-increased traffic on Hope Valley and Garrett add risks of accidents and lives; 15-501 is one of the most Dangerous in Durham;
3. POLLUTED WATER/ENVIRONMENT-Jordan Lake Reservoir is on list of “impaired waters” and Cape Fear Standards for Improving Jordan Lake Reservoir have not been passed yet;
4. MORE CROWDED SCHOOLS-The cost for each added child to a trailer is $20,000;
5. EXCESS # OF HOUSES-Our homes are a Big investment in the future and we want them to be prime;
6. LOSS OF HISTORICAL LANDMARK-The Old Garrett House is to be removed;
7. INCREASED TAXES-City of Durham estimates that cleaning up Jordan Lake could cost more than $1.2 billion over a 30 year period (and we’re planning add to the mess…).

Elections are in November so now is the time to set a PRECEDENT with rejection of a very poor Plan that disregards the needs of the community for now and for the future.  It could be the Landmark Decision that brings about some change… We are hoping you have suggestions as to how to contact many people and make a Petition perhaps.

Thank you, Claire F. Jentsch       Stan Bekowski    Helen Fischer

04:14 PM in Destination Durham, Editorial, News | Permalink | Comments (3)