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{ Monthly Archives } March 2010

Back from Spring Break

So I’m back from Spring Break.  It was a fun time, with good family stuff and not enough work done.  I’m off to PCA at the end of the week, so the blog will be spotty until 5 April, probably.  In the meantime, enjoy this picture of Chicago Comic Convention promoters who were hanging out […]


Sometimes the adult human chafes against the parent, and you say things you don’t quite mean.  So then you revise, and this happens: Setup: we’re 2.5 hours into a three hour car ride, Finn is screeching (not in an upset way, but loudly) and Avery has just finished a particularly long run of questioning everything […]

Ada Lovelace Day: Barbara McClintock

A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock by Evelyn Fox Keller For Ada Lovelace day this year, I decided to read a book about a female scientist with whom I wasn’t familiar. After some searchin–in which I discovered that nearly every book I could find about Maria Mitchell, the first […]

Definition of Immersion

Avery was playing her latest Wii game, World of Zoo.  Titled, I imagine, to trick careless parents who’ve been asked to buy World of Goo.  It’s not bad. But here’s the story: Avery’s playing with the elephant exhibits and is cleaning one of her two elephants with the brush tool.  The other elephant wanders over […]

It makes me a bit nervous

So my college has recently started an Honors program, which I was asked to participate in by running an Honors section of our research writing class. Some thoughts thus far: Columbia has always been ambivalent about the idea of honors because it implies that honors students are “better,” which subsequently implies non-honors students are “worse.” […]

The terrible vagaries of March

Morning of March 19 — no jacket needed, temp in the 50s. Morning of March 20, snowy and crummy, temp in low 30s. And later in the day. Crummy.

The Redbreast

by Jo Nesbø; translated by Don Bartlett Recovering alcoholic Harry Hole drags an albatross-laden career behind him, buoyed up by his brilliant successes.  After he makes a critical mistake with political implications, the cover-up pushes him into a promotion and he’s free to do what he wants: follow his hunches.  Conveniently, he’s investigating a strange […]

Do you know where you’ll be on June 6th?

I do.

The Analytical Engine

The Analytical Engine by Jon Steinhagen, playing at the Circle Theatre from 10 Feb to 28 March. A romantic comedy that turns on the question of head versus heart, The Analytical Engine romps along lightly, with solid characterizations, several amusing twists of plot and character, and a well-crafted narrative to fit the drawing-room comedy genre. […]

Rules for a good modern zombie movie

I just saw Zombieland and, like many, enjoyed it quite a bit.  The film does an excellent job of balancing the genre with its own angle, of blending humor and horror and solid characterization and a bit of fear.  If you haven’t seen the movie, its protagonist narrates by means of his personal set of […]

Another Human Target Wilhelm Scream

Another appearance of the Wilhelm Scream on Human Target.  This time, the mission takes Chance deep into the jungles of Peru(?) where he leads a bunch of ne’er-do-wells into a minefield.  The first or second “rebel” to step on a mine Wilhelms as he flies into the air. Also, this episode introduces Kim Coates as […]

Chat Roulette

So, like the good humanities scholar I am, I’m writing about something without having tried it. ChatRoulette is a fascinating idea, both for its brazen webby-ness (chat with people you don’t know!), its instant and obvious trollery (dudez show their junk!), and the potential for hilarity.  The two funniest ideas I’ve heard out of it […]

Why not wii?

I just ordered Guitar Hero 5 (with a guitar) and Beatles Rock Band for the Wii.  How come the Guitar Hero controller will work on the Wii Rock Band Games but the Rock Band controllers won’t work on Guitar Hero?  Those jerky guitar heroes are so snobby.

The Worst Hard Time

The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, by Timothy Egan; narrated by Peter Lawlor Whoa doggies, the dust bowl sucked. Worst Hard Time tells the story of the Great Depression through the eyes of the people living in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, an area called “no man’s land” that […]


Critical Regionalism

Critical Regionalism: Connecting Politics and Culture in the American Landscape by Douglas Reichert Powell *Full disclosure: the author works in my department and is a friend of mine. In Critical Regionalism, Reichert Powell proposes a mode of critical inquiry one might describe as palimpsestic. Recognizing the multiple forces that go into shaping concepts of regions, […]

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