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{ Monthly Archives } January 2010

Understanding things

Finn has, sometime since New Year’s, passed the point at which it becomes clear that he understands what we’re saying to him.  Whereas toddlers of a certain age respond to vocal stimuli and delight in your company, after a certain age there’s a clear sense that they know what you’re saying, even if his entire […]

Conan got a raw deal

Okay, setting aside the idea of saying someone who just got paid tens of millions of dollars for being fired, I want to suggest that Conan got a raw deal from NBC.  If you were to move this situation into, say, retail businesses, it would be pretty darn evident that the NBC execs screwed the […]

Fragile: “Love Never Dies”

by Stefano Raffaele Fragile (2005) tells the story of a post-zombie world in which the few remaining humans are huddled in tiny compounds fending off the living dead.  Working for them are creepy predatory spiky-headed cyborg monsters called disinfectors.  But the zombies in this world have memories and feelings (and really don’t like the living […]

Music and my commute

Riding to work last week, I stepped off the train and started walking up the platform.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw a man, mid-twenties with very closely cropped hair and a black jacket sitting on the train rocking out to his music.  His eyes were closed and he held his MP3 […]

Punished by Rewards

The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes by Alfie Kohn With a new semester starting, it seems appropriate to post comments on grading. Kohn develops a convincing summary and argument for the case against grades and grading (as well as other Behaviorist rewards and punishment systems).  The root of his […]

Voyage Long and Strange

Written and narrated by Tony Horwitz What happened in that dark and lonely stretch of years between when Columbus arrived in the “new world” and when the pilgrims “landed” at Plymouth Rock?  Tony Horwitz takes us on a travelogue journey of these locations, scouting them and researching them, telling us about their history with a […]


Andrew sent me a note he found somewhere and suggested that I send it to FOUND website if I thought it was cool.  I did.  They thought so too. I Ask That Some Girl Will Open This Up

Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me

I went to a taping of Wait wait… Don’t Tell Me at the Chase Bank auditorium a week ago Thursday.  It was a fun experience, and something that I’ll probably do again.  A few reflections: The setup is pretty cool, kinda like a game show with the call-in listeners being replayed over the house speakers […]

Dance of the Dead

Dance of the Dead epitomizes the well-made B movie.  It’s a fine example of the emerging teen-comedy zombie survival flick, with competent acting and special effects, a decent script, and a good story.  But it’s also not exceptional at any of those things. The film follows a cross-section of high school cliques as they make […]

Death in the Andes

by Mario Vargas Llosa We read this book for my mystery reading group, but it’s hardly a mystery, traditional or no. Death in the Andes tells the story of two downtrodden Civil Guards who find themselves stuck at a remote outpost where they may be overrun by Communist rebels (of the “Shining Path”) at any […]

The Gunslinger Born

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born by Peter David, Robin Furth, Jae Lee, Richard Isanove I received this comic for Christmas from a friend who has read the Dark Tower series.  I’ve only read The Gunslinger, myself, but the world is intriguing and I’m sure I’ll read the rest eventually.  The comic tells an early […]



A student in my Zombies in Popular Media class loaned me her copy of Creepshow, which I know I’ve seen before, but it was so long ago that it was like watching a whole new movie. Entertaining in the cheesy way one would expect from a film version of an E.C. comic. A few thoughts: […]

“Close your ears!”

Avery and I were playing Go Fish (Go Go Gorilla, actually) today (with alphabet cards).  Here’s a rough transcript of one conversation we had. Avery: Do you have any Gees? Me: Nope.  Go Go Gorilla. Avery: Okay. [She draws a card.] Ceee. Me: Avery, you shouldn’t say what card you picked up — then I […]

The fierce urgency of Now

From “I Have a Dream” We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is […]

Night of the Creeps

What do you do when a colony of strange alien slugs lands on earth and starts using people as hosts for growing more alien slugs? Hook up with a wacked out cop and get a flame thrower, that’s what. Night of the Creeps takes a delightful turn as a comedy zombie film that’s aware of […]