Saturday, September 24, 2005

Reason: wavy line versus straight line.


radio city new york

Sorry I haven't updated in a while, folks. I'm sure you were all assuming that my blood pressure got so high and that my carotid artery exploded, but no, not yet. I've just been busy as a bee (I'm that damn clever), and haven't had time to update. Plus, I would have loved to have updated about something involving the class I teach here at the university, but if any of my students were to find it, we might have a problem.

Instead, I'm going to tell you a fairy tale. It's probably NSFW.

Once upon a time, there was a bee. He referred to himself as the "King Bee," and he spent most of his time just buzzing around annoying people, stopping occasionally to smell the roses and drink the nectar out of some sweet flowers. You know, the kind Georgia O'Keefe always painted.

Of course, King Bee needed money to survive, just like all bees in his day. He wasn't getting paid (enough) for his nectar job, so he decided to get a job at the drone factory. Now, this isn't a factory where drones normally work, this is where they are made. King Bee wasn't too concerned with the politics of it all, he just thought it would be a good idea to get a little green on the side.

As time progressed, King Bee rose through the ranks, until he got to the point where he was training incoming worker bees. Most of the time, everything would be totally kosher (because bees are Jewish, not Hindu, get over it), but once in a while, King Bee would have a problem with some of the trainees.

For instance, just a few days ago, King Bee gave his trainees an exam. The exam was mainly issued to see if the trainees could follow directions and solve problems, so King Bee printed off a copy of the answer sheet (not the solutions, mind you), and the trainees would fill in the steps.

King Bee likes trying new things, so he just wanted to see if this would make any fucking difference. That is, would the trainees actually be able to do a goddamned thing this time, if they knew what the answer for each problem was.

For the most part, it didn't matter. King Bee has yet to grade this exam, but he was looking over it and saw so many mistakes. King Bee's favorite example of failure was the following (and I'll try to explain it to those of you who don't know jack shit about manufacturing drones).

There were two problems that the trainees had to actually use their brains on. One of them was comparing the areas of two shaded regions in the plane. The two regions looked very different, but on the first day of your job at the drone manufacturing plant, they tell you how to find the area of a region bounded by curves in the plane. All you have to do is this wacky thing called an integral. In the problem on the exam, the shaded regions had equal area.

The region in figure 1# (sic) was a rectangle.

The other was bound by some terrible function, something King Bee just made up. It was really wavy and crazy.

The most terrible response for this problem was:

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so the area in figure one is greater.

The funniest response for this problem was:

The area in region 2 is greater. Reason: wavy line versus straight line.

King bee has now seen that his work will never be done.

So what's the moral of the story, children? Don't waste your precious time trying to help those people who just don't care enough to take their education seriously. Some of these people are interested in going into aerospace engineering, and they don't even know how to add fractions.

On a totally unrelated note, I have to go to my office pretty soon to grade an exam I gave my students a couple days ago. I even gave them the answers to each problem, and they still managed to screw it up. My favorite complaint is that of the student who claims to have studied for many hours, only to still fail the exam. It's probably because you have no idea what studying is, or none of what you actually consider to be "studying" involves "understanding."

As a tangent, I'm going to get you off my conscience by next week Friday. Man, Ladytron totally owns you.

In other news, I finally picked up "Lunar Park" by Bret Easton Ellis. I can't wait to read it.

And I knew you were just dying to know.

Friday, September 16, 2005

I'd hate to go without a kill tonight.


the red sun of krypton

So, it's Friday night. Why would someone as social as the King Bee be at his trusty laptop, updating his blog? I'll tell you.

I killed Bambi.

Well, maimed, at any rate.

Let me set the scene for you. I was sitting around my apartment listening to Ladytron at an ungodly volume when I realized it was past the 8 o'clock hour, and decided to ring the Someday Bum to see if he would be hip to some carousing. He has this whole thing where he hangs out with a girl and they do private, naughty things together, and tonight was one of those nights where they were gearing up for some XXX action. Naturally, as any good man would, he had to decline my offer, tacitly choosing the XXX action in the process.

I told him I would just go out for a drive and chainsmoke (well, I left that last bit out). I was driving around this Jerkwater Burg, buying things like bottles of water and dirty women, when I decided it was about time to head home, drink an inch and a half of Hennessy, then try to get women to perform sex acts upon me in exchange for money.

On my way back, I decided to loop around the city and check out some of the places I haven't driven around before. I was motoring along (at the speed limit, no less), when two deer cut across my path. I slowed down for them, and they got safely to their destination on the other side of the road. When I sped up again and cast my gaze off to the side to admire some of my animal friends, I did not notice the third fawn who decided it was her turn to try and tempt the fates. When I looked forward again, it was too late.

I slammed on the brakes and managed to slow down quite a bit, but I still smacked the deer with the powerful force of 1991 Buick Century. Since America used to build cars as though they were tanks, there was no damage done to my vehicle, but the poor little creature was helpless in the middle of the thoroughfare. I pulled over and mulled over my options. I called back the Someday Bum to see what to do, but could only leave a message, as I can only assume the aforementioned XXX action was already in full swing.

A woman and her teenage son decided to pull over and comfort me, and I decided to call the police. While this was happening, the dazed doe was trying desperately to stand up and get away. I can only liken its gait to that of a college freshman who has just participated in some horrendous drinking game.

After a few tries, the deer righted itself, just as the cops arrived. Now, I don't hate cops, but they make me uneasy, what with all of their firearms and ability to put me in jail for the night. Hence, I inquired as to whether I had any responsibility in this matter, and here was the conversation:

Me: Hypothetically, if I were the one who hit the deer, do I have any responsibility here?
Officer: Well, if your vehicle was hypothetically damaged, we would like to know.
Me: It's a '91 Buick Century. That basically means it's a tank.
Officer: So, I'm going to guess that would be a "no."
Me: Right you are.
Officer: Do you have your license on you?
Me: That depends, did I do anything illegal?
Officer: Not having your license on you while driving would be somewhat illegal, yeah.
Me: Alright, here you are.

At this point, he radios to his 5-0 buddies, using the funnybook alphabet, and they conclude (through some mystery) that there are no outstanding warrants for my arrest.

Officer: Alright, you can take off.
Me: Thanks.
Officer: Now go hit another one.
Me: I'll do what I can. I'd hate to go without a kill tonight.

Probably not the best thing to say to a police officer, something I should have realized earlier, but I was rather shaken up from the whole experience. He just gave me a crooked glance and sent me on my way.

This whole time, the woman and her teenage son were trying to lead the deer into the woods, which they were successful in doing. I don't know if the thing is going to live or not, but it seemed to have all four of its feet underneath it when I last saw it. Basically, we can assume that I'm not racking up any bad karma here with Vishnu.

I think I'll have that inch and a half of Hennessy now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Anytime y'all wanna see me again, rewind this track right here, close your eyes, and picture me rollin'.


faster pussycat, kill, kill!

Last night was my annual Tupac Resurrection party, which basically means I load up a playlist of Tupac tracks, turn the volume up, and see how much Hennessy I can drink until I faint. Last night, I even had a couple of people stop by, but I passed out when more were on the way and failed to let them in my apartment.

Many people always ask me why I think that Tupac is still alive, or at least didn't die in the way we are all told he did. So, in order to answer this question, I will now outline 7 reasons as to why his death certificate is not convincing.

1. Since Afeni Shakur (his mother) was a Black Panther, Tupac was one as well. Black Panthers cannot be cremated, according to their tenets. Tupac was cremated.
2. Tupac's death was a murder. In murder cases in this country, we perform autopsies on the deceased. There was no autopsy done on Tupac's body prior to his cremation.
3. Niccolo Machiavelli wrote a book called "The Prince" (which Tupac admitted to having read), where he states that the best way to confuse your enemies is to fake your own death. The last album to be released while Tupac was still alive was released under the name "Makaveli," the name to which Tupac switched. Every album to be released since then has been under the moniker Tupac Shakur, not Makaveli, insinuating that Makaveli is the one who was shot and killed, not Tupac.
4. The album released under the name Makaveli was called "The Seven Day Theory." Tupac was shot on the 7th of September, and survived until the 13th of September, namely seven days.
5. The album "All Eyez on Me" was released on February 13th, 1996, and he died on September 13th, 1996. These dates are exactly 7 months apart.
6. Tupac raps about becoming president in some of his songs. One cannot be president if he has a felony record. However, 7 years after one's death, felony records are expunged, meaning Tupac could have ran for president if he were "dead" for 7 years.
7. Tupac wore a bullet proof vest everywhere he went, but not on the night he was shot, even though he was at a very public event (a Mike Tyson boxing match).

Finally, on the newest Tupac record on the first song, Tupac says "I'm back, in 2005." What's more disturbing to think, that he's still alive, or that he recorded this song 9 years prior to his own death? I think that the latter is far more weird to think about.

We can all see that the events surrounding his supposed demise are rather dubious. Do we conclude from them that he is still alive? Not necessarily, but we can certainly say that the situation is such that one could see how his death was faked.

The man was much more than just a rap artist, and I hope that more can come to realize that in the future. Until then, drink a fifth of Hennessy, put on "Thug Style" and "Picture Me Rollin'," and let the words wash over you like a waterfall.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Laying the pavement out for what's ahead in the journey.



Well, gentle readers, it's happened again. The King Bee has been blessed by the gods of the Lost and Found, and he has come into the possession of an essay; to be more precise, it is the notorious "Paper 1#." Finally, we have another item to add to the King Bee's Repository of Shit People Have Discarded Which I Have Found and Decided to Make Fun of to Make Myself Feel Like a Big Man (website coming soon!).

It was a normal Thursday evening. I was yelling at the straggling students to finish up the quiz because I wanted to go home. If it's a quiz that I can complete in 30 seconds and they're still pondering after 25 minutes, well, there's a problem.

After finally doing away with the last of them, I went out of the room to find the Someday Bum sitting on a nearby bench reading what looked to be a note. My first thought was "Holy shit, I totally need to read this and make fun of it on the intarweb!" Being the type of guy he is, the Someday Bum said he would concede the note, only after he had read it himself. I have scanned it and uploaded it for your pleasure (page 1, page 2).

The essay (in the strongest sense of that word, actually) consists of what I believe a freshman lad trying to use English to communicate his thoughts about a first year in college. The funny thing is that I can only assume that he is a native English speaker (in the weakest sense of that phrase, actually), so the whole essay will either split your sides or melt your brain, depending on how you look at it.

Let's help the lad out, shall we?

The fucking thing is titled "Paper 1#," not "Paper #1." You just know it's going to be bad.

The second sentence is not a sentence. Worse still, 2 of the 3 "phrases" he lists aren't even phrases. They're just solitary words.

Fifth line: "I believe it be the main-foundation for ones success." Well, I believe in conjugation. It would appear that our philosophies conflict.

In line 9, we find out that he has "a set ahead, rather than having a step-behind." This is the third time we run into his obnoxious use of the hyphen, and really the first time that he confuses two words as different as "set" and "step." Jesus Christ man, don't you read the sentence as you write it? How does that possibly make any sense at all?

Finally, we realize what is truly wrong with this student. Right after the whole "set ahead" conundrum, he admits: "Also being a student-athlete you have to learn how to use your time efficently [sic] and balance your school-work and football together." So, these are the types of people who get scholarships over me, are they? People who can barely fucking communicate and likely share more things in common with a chimpanzee than your market standard homo sapien get to go to college for free, while I had to pay for it.

We also see that one of his goals is to maintain a 3.25 GPA while taking a whopping 14 credits! My god man, that's impossible! That is like four-classes, something that no-one could pos-sibly accomplish in ones first-semester.

A few lines further and we realize he wants to build his reputation "within the teacher." Well son, that's a pretty funny double entendre you have going there (when he is probably under the assumption that "within" is the correct preposition to go with "building reputations"), and I'd like to give you credit for it. You've impressed me once so far. Let's see what's next.

Wow, in the next lines, you admit your weaknesses, and you actually cite the English language as one of them! This is a huge turning point. At least he knows he sucks at communication, right? NO. He claims he is "good with both, but in-order to be successful in a world that is competitive as ours is today, you need to be at your best in all areas of academics and intellient [sic]" -- and there ends the sentence. I believe his ADHD has reared its ugly head. No matter though, he just trudges along, and creates a new paragraph.

It goes on like this, only it gets worse as it gets longer. I can make comment after comment on each sentence, and eventually bore you to death, but you can click the links above and just read it right? Most of you should be able to see how terrible this boy's usage of my most beloved of languages is.

However, I would like to cite one great piece of wisdom that the anonymous author of Paper 1# has decided to bestow upon us. If we can survive to the end, refraining, tempting though it may be, to drive a railroad spike into our respective pelvic regions, we would find out exactly what our penman was after. He wasn't looking to change the world, or become the president, or even know when to use a hyphen. He knew all along that he was going to use Paper 1# as his platform, or soapbox, if you will, to let us know what it really means to face a challenge.

To be educated, is to have a great sense of wisdom & knowledge that have been developed. To encounter life challenges, struggles and conquer them and apply the stratieges [sic] that you developed to overcome these challenges.

Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Rousseau, Sartre; these men tried all their lives to sum up what it meant to face challenges. They never came close to accomplishing the feat; but our humble wordsmith, our worthy essayist, managed to sum it up in about one and a half pages.

Just look at that last sentence, it's beautiful. He gracefully shifts from a listing of nouns to just inserting verbs. He doesn't even take the time to realize that what he is writing will not make sense, but he doesn't care. He needs us to know. We needed to be privy to what he's privy; he just couldn't wait.

And it would have been great to end there, but no. He ruins the heartfelt moment that we've all just shared by inserting the most incomplete of sentences, "It becomes a habit that," something that doesn't even really follow from the previous sentence. We instantly find ourselves lost, and forget the epiphany we just had. It's like waking up from a bad dream you can't remember, or finally realizing how much you hate the company of others and deciding not to get phone numbers after long conversations because you know you'd probably just use that person for a little while, and you already sort of can't stand her right now, because you know that you're so much more intelligent than she and your mind is working on a different level and --

Okay, sorry, I kind of lapsed into something that happened to me yesterday, where I was scolded by a friend for not getting the phone number of a cute girl named Mandy who bummed a cigarette from me and then proceeded to hold a 10 to 15 minute flirtation session with me. It's the new hair, I know. I need to walk around with a pointy stick these days. But I digress.

Time to stash ol' Paper 1# along with the other finds the King Bee has made over the past couple years, and then he's going to refer you to this blog entry. If you use a Mac, it's funny. If you know anything about the themes in OSX, it's funny. If the only OS you've ever seen is Windows, then just forget it.

In response to the wild amount of comments I got last time I posted a DJ G Sounds song, I'm posting the new one, entitled "Das Ewig-Weibliche Zieht Uns Hinan," which I'm pretty sure is German for "I Let a Hot Chick Sit On My Face Last Night," but to be honest, my German is rusty. Enjoy.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Autumn's arrival means a fiery transformation for sugar maple trees.


multiplatinum

Sometimes, things that don't belong to me fall into my hands. I can't control this; it is a gift from the gods above. This has happened before. However, in order to repay the powers that be for blessing me with these finds, I must offer up the sacrifice of a King Bee entry. Plus, I'm even more blessed in that this story totally continues the whole cell phone theme that I started in the previous entry.

A few days ago, I got my mail out of my mailbox. I saw that there was a postcard amidst the credit card offers and student loan consolidation pleas, and my heart jumped. "Who could be sending me a postcard?" I thought. I was really quite happy, so I started reading it, even before I got back to my apartment door.

About a sentence into it, I realized that it wasn't addressed to me. Instead, it is addressed to Tara Kempen, who apparently lives in the apartment above me. Here's what it said [I have not corrected any spelling/grammar errors, so as to leave the feeling of the note intact]:

Hey! Im in my Comp.II class and its boring. Im glad your closer to us! Hannah and I have to come down this year. I miss you tons and cant wait to see you next. I have a cell phone now and get free night and weekend minutes! This postcard is beautiful just like you! love you!

Sarah


First, we have to note that Sarah signs her name by turning the negative space created by the "S" in her name into a heart. It's strange to describe, but I don't know what the law says about copying people's mail and posting it on a public website, so I thought I'd pass on scanning the card.

Naturally, after reading this, I started to wonder who this amazing Tara Kempen might be. She has friends who have cell phones with free nights and weekends. Her friends are easily bored by composition classes. Her friends quite obviously long for her company, as they apparently cant [sic] wait to see her again. Obviously, she has to be beautiful, as the image on the front of the postcard is a photo by Gary Alan Nelson, and his photographs are always pretty nature pictures. This one is of a "fiery transformation of sugar maple trees," which is apparently synonymous with "autumn's arrival." How soothing.

All that's left for me now is to bring this postcard to Tara, but of course, I'd like to see her. I've gone up to her apartment a couple of times now and knocked on the door to no avail, so I might just leave it there with a note, letting her know that there's a stud muffin living below her who thinks that her friends get bored in their composition classes because they quite clearly have trouble understanding what grammar is. Well, maybe we'll leave off that very last part.

If I do meet this woman, I'll follow up on this entry. Expect another DJ G Sounds song in the next entry.

And holy Jesus of Nazareth, everyone has to listen to Evil by Ladytron. It's the best song ever written.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The space-time continuum is not a local calling area.


in the year 2525

People normally travel on labor day, and since I am an element of said set, I thought I'd partake in this most ancient of American traditions.

Labor Day Weekend usually coincides with one of my sisters' birthdays, so I decided to proverbially kill the two proverbial birds with a single proverbial stone. I could visit her, as well as see other members of my family. However, what happened on this drive was something that I could never prepare for.

As usual, I was hopped up on caffeine from the five Red Bulls that I drank on the drive there. Hence, in addition to having my bladder explode all over US-20 East, when I got to the Mississippi River, I cried out (at the top of my lungs, no less), "There she is! The ol' Miss! The ol' Man!" I then sang along with Madonna's "Like a Prayer," arguablly one of the best pop double entendres that I've encountered. However, these were not the surprising things, this was just typical fare for this type of a trip.

Whilst coming down off of my caffeine high, I was forced to bear witness to the most miserable radio commercial ever conceived. I say "forced," since my car does not have any of the amenities that your more modern motor vehicles do, such as CD player, tape player, or even 8 track player. I am forced to listen to the local color on the various radio stations or drive in silence. Neither option sounds tempting, I know, but at least with the former I can end up singing along to Madonna sometimes.

The commercial was for US Cellular, one of the popular cell phone providers in this country, and shortly after hearing it, I hurriedly got out a pen and a piece of paper and wrote down the important parts so I could blog about it later -- while driving 65 miles an hour in a construction zone, no less. Let me set the scene for you.

We hear a woman's voice; she's probably pretty hip and in her twenties. She says the following:

I wonder about things sometimes. For instance, if you travel into the future and make a phone call, would you get charged for roaming?

Let me stop here for a moment. When I heard this, I was assuming that she was going to tell us about this new "future" with US Cellular, where no one pays roaming charges anymore, and everyone runs around with smiles on their faces. However, she had the audacity to make the following comment instead:

I don't know about you, but I'm guessing the space-time continuum doesn't count as a local calling area.

I have no idea where to begin with critiquing how utterly ludicrous this statement is, so I think I'll start with my reaction. It was a very audible "what in the fuck is she talking about," followed by a "stupid bitch, what the hell is wrong with this commercial," and finally followed by a "holy fuck, I am going to kill myself this is so insane." I kind of stopped listening to the commerical after that.

It's like saying that if I were to move to a different place on this planet, I would no longer be in the same solar system that I am now. What the hell?

First off, I would be impressed if this woman (or the marketing wizards who wrote the commercial) could even spell the word "continuum." I think we all know what she was going for, but to say the future is part of the space-time continuum, and the present is not just blows my mind entirely. Perhaps she is really a gifted scientist who hopes to break down all of Einstein's theories, and she's just starting by planting the seeds in people's brains by being the voiceover for a very confusing spot on a radio station in Nowheresville, WI.

Do I know what the space-time continuum theory is, exactly? No, I don't understand all of that stuff about space and time being one entity. However, I do know that her usage of the term is so utterly and inconceivably wrong that I almost drove my car off of a bridge because I couldn't take the mental and physical pain that this commercial was causing me.

Usually, when stupid people try to sound intelligent, they fail miserably. Let that be a lesson to all you youngsters out there; don't feign intelligence, because I (or someone just as irritable as me) will blog about your status as the worst human on the planet.

I have other stories too, but I didn't want to clump them into one post. I should be posting daily for the next 2 days at least, so stay tuned.

We can end this entry on the wisest adage that Robert Plant has ever penned in his days as lyricist for Led Zeppelin:

I don't know, but I've been told that a big legged woman ain't got no soul.

Amen, brother.

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