Saturday, April 02, 2005

XML, RSS now Available?

Alright, Ogre, thanks to your tips, I've installed the Feedburner/XML thing. I don't know if that's all I need to work the programme, but if any of the readership (especially you, reader that's dialing up from Singapore!) use XML, could you tell me if it works, and if not, what else I need to do? Thanks.

[I need to not post any more today]

Oops: (6:25 AM) I almost forgot. The feed address is actually http://feeds.feedburner.com/thebabagannouj, as opposed to the name of this actual website. Guess I broke my vow of not posting in less than ten minutes. Way to go me. Stupid addicting blogosphere.

Update (6:33 AM): Speaking of the stupid addicting blogosphere and website statistics, Sitemeter tells me that for the first time, people have been referred to this site from 13 different time zones. Mwa ha! What a pervasive influence I have...

Pope's Condition Unchanged!

Fox and ABC are both reporting that the Pope's condition is unchanged. ABC adds that the condition is still "very grave", and that the Pope still will not last the next 48 hours. I have hope, but I expect if anything, John Paul II will try to make it as close as he can to Sunday. I am quite relieved at this development, but still wait for the worst.

Update (7:41 AM): We really are a culture of Death, aren't we?

Breaking: Vatican Will Report On Pope's Condition At 4:30 AM

Fox News

That's 45 minutes from now. I hope for the best, but expect the worst.

Update: 4:25 - Rumble of thunder, flash of lightning.

Update 5:33 - As I said an hour ago, the Pope still lives.

Our father
Who Art In Heaven
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Thy Kingdom Come
Thy Will Be Done
On Earth As It Is In Heaven

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
Forgive Us Our Trespasses
As We Forgive Those Who Trespassed Against Us

And Lead Us Not Into Temptation
But Deliver Us From Evil.
Amen.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Why I'm Here Instead of UConn

A friend of mine attending the Avery Point Campus at the University of Connecticut (13 minutes driving distance) and I frequently get into not-so-heated political discussions. He's the kind of student who thinks along the same line as InstaPundit, without all the blended puppies and would probably love the Neo-Libertarian mag currently on display at QandO

Earlier today he asked me "If something like the New Deal that was set up allowed McCarthy to pretty much do what he wanted why would he want to impugn it?" My antennae perked up immediately. When McCarthy is mentioned in a history class, the results tend to be not good.

I couldn't think of an answer, so I just responded "Because it was an economic disaster?" (Which it was, of course)

But no, that wasn't what the question was about. The question was: "Name three problems with McCarthy and his followers." (emphasis mine) - Followers? McCarthy had his own cult now? Ah, yes - the McCarthyites, cultists who wanted the Communists out of the State Department and the rest of the Government (don't get me started on Henry Wallace). He had to explain why McCarthy was a hypocrite. (Jeff Goldstein might be the only one who could get an A+ on this assignment, BECAUSE OF THE HYPOCRISY, of course)

I asked him what he had already written the benefits were. He told me "We weren't asked about that." As I suspected. McCarthy is nothing but a force for evil, of course. It shouldn't have come as a surprise, then, when he remarked that she once snapped at a student for saying that welfare "was useless." Not a good sign. I'm working contacts and could get an interview with this student as early as Saturday. Sadly, I cannot find any information on the teacher, a Dr. Steenburg - I can only find her last two articles, and they are not linked. Perhaps I can find one in the library. She teaches Child Law , US History, and Maritime History (among other things, I think) And perhaps we can order her A Patriot's History of the United States, by Schweikart.

*As for the pervert-Teacher case, I'm still waiting for the student to get online so we will be able to draft a letter to the department chair. That's probably also coming Saturday.

Enjoy the Baba Gannouj, and don't rest until your teachers stop telling you how to think!

Server Issues?

Blogger's being a complete pain today. (Maybe many people are simultaneously blogging about the same thing [if so, curious as to what it is?], or not) Note the double post of my 1:36 endeavour. Irritating little thing. And no, don't tell me to switch to MT 3.15, because I tried it out and it just confuses me all to smurf.

I found a lot of stuff to say all of a sudden, so if there are no posts until 4/2, then it's all Blogger's fault.

I would also like to mention something else regarding the Horowitz story. Don't you think today is a little close to some other certain day that happens to fall on the first of April? (Please, do not forget this is tomorrow. People around me always do and are ALWAYS sorry)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Merits of Academic Professionalism

Okay, my physics teacher was mentioned in my first ever post here. Here is his website. Or at least should be. If the link is wrong, tell me. Go ahead and visit. He likes visitors, and you should see some of the stuff he did in his younger days.

Getting a PhD from Princeton is no easy task, I'll say that, whether the year is 1961 or 2005. However, there's a couple problems with his teaching style nowadays that I don't exactly want to link to age, but I think it could afford to be looked at.

He was hired in 1962. What's so special about that? It's not that it means he's 70, but it means he was hired before the Vietnam war really got started up. Thus, by the time it really got around to the teach-ins and sorts, he already had tenure.

Why is Dr. Kim so different? He spends the first fifteen minutes of class talking nothing but conservatism. (My favorite quote of his - "The Russians, they used to think they had the best system in the world, but they were just silly. Silly silly Commies. Silly, yes? Very good."

"Hey!" You say - "That's pretty cool, not to have a leftist indoctrinator brainwashing your classmates!" But I say "Hey! I'm paying 13,000 dollars a semester for classes like physics!" The man is a self-described "Freedom-loving person", but that's not what his job is. When a class is 50 minutes, and less than half of it is spent on actual physics, and then 80 percent of the class scores less than a 70 on his exam, there's a problem.

This is an actual quote from one of his lectures:

Okay, the next is electricity. You should know how to sum up a field and force. Do you know the difference between field and force, yes or no I am telling you not to move, but you move. You always do what I tell you not to. Then force is what. Q and Iznit, yes or no, c’mon. Do you remember this problem here? This is A. A, and this is what, V, Iznit? We have a charge, Okay. If the charges are the same, what happens, c’mon. Force will add up, Iznit? In what way, c’mon. This force is coming this way and this force is coming this way, Iznit? So what happens, c’mon. Tell me, please tell me what happens. I am not going to tell you in the exam, what happens, c’mon. How would you add? Vector sum. How would you do the vector sum. Yeah, triangle. What happens to vertical components, cancel out? Horizontal components add. How many of you remember this as a homework problem. The problem also called for the reading. It’s the same problem. Logic dictates that it’s the same. Very very good. Yeah, we will have this kind of problem, and you had a lot of exercises about charges in a vector field.


That's basically how every single lecture goes, except during this quote, he actually tried to teach us something. It's easy to see how we can all be failing his exams. Now, I don't know what to do about this, but I really needed to rant on the subject. If I had been the only one to fail (okay, score lower than 70 percent) on the exam, I'd account it to my lack of studying (though I studied rather often). But when about 4 of 5 people are failing it, then there is something amiss.

"O-kay..."

After reading The Puppy Blender's link to Townhall and UNCW professor Mike Adams, I figured I had to share this story which had me rather disturbed.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that this blog is in general very critical of lawsuits and lawyers (sorry, Oddybobo, but when you're a judge that'll be no problem, will it? ^_^), but sometimes I'm informed of something that I just find downright disturbing that I would hope DOES result in some sort of suit, or at least dismissal.

I've been around looking for jobs in different school districts across the country recently, and speak with students around the country about different vacancies in the system and general needs that the educators need to emphasize. Recently I spoke with a 16-year old female from the Philadelphia region who is exceedingly intelligent, but has enough personal problems to place her in danger of failing and the usual Saturday detention.

She was going over her daily schedule, and mentioned that one of her male friends was having a discussion with one of the teachers holding the detention, a mathematics educator aged about 24 and 25. She managed to catch the teacher and her friend discussing her behind her back, and what caught my eye was that, without even pausing for reaction, casually stated that she heard the teacher say "Yeah, I'd like to bone her too." And then she continued on her description of the day without even missing a beat.

I stopped her. Aren't teachers' supposed to be models of professionalism? 24 or not, this was highly inappropriate. She made an off-hand remark that he used to pat her on the head in the past when she sat in the front of the class and frequently calls her "Cute" and "Adorable". Seemingly complimentary at first, how many of you trust men in their late teens to mid-twenties to only be thinking that when they speak about a female? C'mon now. (Sorry, Frank J...)

She sits in the back of the class now, which is a good start, but it also signifies something else. Now, even though I can't stand how the current sexual harassment laws are written, they are the law, so we have to abide by them. Surprisingly, I cannot find a sexual harrasment policy on their website, though I would assume their student handbook would have one. It would probably include the oft-repeated phrase "Hostile Work Environment" though. I'd bet money on that. If someone has to move to the back of the class in order to avoid being flirted with/hit on/ the like, does this qualify? I'm sure hundreds of thousands of feminists not reading this blog would cry "Yes!"

In steps the wonderful Volokh. Read that piece. Being Volokh, it's lengthy, but an excellent read. So if it doesn't fit the wonderful definition of harrassment, what does it matter?

Well, further prodding revealed that "Meh, this happens all the time", and "I've just learned to ignore it." Apparently not if she had to move to the back of the class. In my thirteen years in grade school, I never saw any harrassing of this type occur, but when I was in eighth grade, a (rather dubious) harrassment of this very sort occurred, the offending teacher was fired in four days. What really got me was that she had basically desensitized the entire ordeal. This is not how I remember feminists.

So what happens with this guy? Does he continue teaching for another 20-odd years and continue to flirt with 15 or 16 year old girls? Do we REALLY want that to happen? We've certainly busted several women teachers in the past year for having sex with male students. Thankfully this situation hasn't degraded to that, but what happens when a guy finally does get caught again? How far does the head roll? And will it be this guy? Do we wait and find out? Now, I can't exactly reveal any information (such as which of the 50 Philly-area high schools it is) just yet, but if things do in fact continue on this route, I may have to go against my masculinist roots and call the irritating feminists into action. Sure, I may be a hypocrite, but you never really notice until it's your friend on the receiving end of it, now do you?

Monday, March 28, 2005

Return to Normalcy

Okay. The blog has not been updated since 3/18/05. I'm sorry. Firstly, I was visiting my family back up in Connecticut (yes, I'm so elite!), and then suffered a relapse of the malady that had been plaguing me for about two weeks.

So I was down and out for about three days when suddenly my left ear went absolutely berserk. The doctors put me on amoxicillin, and then augmentin, neither of which really did anything. By the time my ear had finished hurting, I had only about 50 to 70 percent of my maximum hearing left in it. At 18, already with 20-130 vision, that's not exactly something I need.

So after that, I found out I was/am failing two of my classes. That's uber-f*cking stupendous, isn't it? Especially when one of them is physics, which I have done all of my work in. How I'm failing that is absolutely beyond me. And chemistry - well, I could have seen it coming. It's just not a course I feel is necessary for me to be taking.

By the end of spring break I had become/was still single and not lovin' it. It was always a rather complicated situation, but I guess it's not any more. Meh. I'm only 18, I'll live.

But like I said, it wasn't exactly a terrific spring break. But now I'm back, relatively healthy, re-focused, and ready to kick something into high gear or at least kick its behind. I may have missed the entire Sorta-Pundit/basil blogwar, and may have lost half of my daily readership, but I'll bring it back. I may have missed the entire collapse of the Kyrygzstan government, but I'll get bak on the tape. Give me two more months.

This is a declaration of the return to normalcy. The Babaganoosh cannot be defeated - he can only be contained, and even then, one plays with fire.

Hear me, world? Bring it on.

Update (3/30/05): Thanks to any readers who actually recognize where "Not nostrums, but normalcy" comes from. Come to think of it, thanks to any readers who actually came back. ^-^

Friday, March 18, 2005

A Blog War

If you haven't already heard, basil's blog war with Sortapundit has taken a new twist. Apparently, the Ohio midget strippers term and the Jamie Spears term have both fallen (I'm not typing them out to prevent me from accidentally putting MYSELF up on the list)

However, since Basil and Oddybobo are two of my three blogparents (please, for the love of all that is good and chewy, do not ask), ties ask that I at least give a little aid, though I have no desire to be "against" the Sortapundit.

I could be a tad mischievous (sp?), however.

Penguin Porn
Murdered Hobos
Gizoogle
Giant Flaming Wombats

That is all. I have to catch the 4:05 train to Boston now, so see ya all Saturday! ^_^

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Another Set of Musings

I'm tempted to make this into a category, but I have to still categorize everything from today back until March 12.

Point One: As someone 1/4 Irish, allow me to say Happy St. Patrick's day. You know what? Happy St. Patrick's day to all of America. To paraphrase and degrade what the World Body claimed on 3/11, "We're all Irish now" ^_^ (well, Captain Ed might want to question Sinn Fein in that case, but they're the exception)

Blogging will be rather light up until Saturday morning. I'm kind of going on vacation, but not exactly. You see, Spring Break technically starts at noon Friday and I'm headed back home. It's a 6 hour train ride (which usually takes closer to 8), and I'll be in sometime Friday night. Yep. Back to Connecticut. I wonder if mAss Backwards can point me towards any other Conn-servatives. I'll check later.

Good to see the Terps won last night (85-72, over Oral Roberts). They had a 7-game advantage on us, including 9 in the win column, and we still beat them. Makes you wonder "Did they throw the season?" Or maybe it doesn't.

Anyway, before I get to the light blogging, however, I have to respond to The Alliance's new Precision Guided humor assignment. Look for that between now and 5 PM. I have to write up a Cell Bio 230 Lab Report (due in 5 hours), and then I'll be right on it.

Post-script: Happy birthday to my mother. She's 48 born on this day in 1957 as young as ever. Happy birthay, mom!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

More Random Crap

Sorry for the utter lack of updates yesterday: I suffered a relapse in my cold/flu illness thing. I haven't been this sick since I left Connecticut. Throwing up, coughing my spleen out, runny and stuffy nose simultaneously while still bleeding... oy gevault. I loathe sickness. Thankfully I've finally started to come down with a fever, which is a sign that your body finally realizes that "Hey - something's not right". To make matters worse, my top two wisdom teeth decided to join their bretheren in the "let's piss off this guy" contest. Urgh.

Speaking of Connecticut, I have to get off my lazy rear-end and trek down to Union Station to get my train ticket to go back. Amtrak charges a freakin' arm and leg for those things. 204 dollars for a round trip? Jeebus Crispies, as they like to say nowhere.

I'm looking for a good graphing program that can do 3-d graphs. I think I may have stumbled upon something, but don't have the tools to investigate it. But now we know that everything that is comprehendable by humans can be mathematically modeled.

Still sick as a dog. Sick sick sickity sick. The fact that I'm already 0-1 in the NIT is NOT helping.

Rockies won again. That's good, despite the fact that it's still Spring Training.

Bulls are 32-28. Just got to stay ahead of those blasted Pacers.

I'll get to posting things in a bit - how about you just sit back and enjoy "teh 1337 gannouj"

Update: No, my rants on biology were in fact not inspired by Kristol's writing on environmentalism that apparently came out the day before. I'm just seeing them as we speak. I don't believe environmentalism is dead yet - hopefully by 2013.