is older than it's ever been and now it's even older


Slow ride

Bob called in sick today, which means my workplace blogging time has been restricted to a minimum. Nevertheless, I still managed to filter a few dozen pages, so all is not lost.

Last spring, I went and heard a paper presentation by eminent scholar and beloved mother Dr. June Hobbs, on "What Would Jesus Do." It was a rhetorical analysis of the modern mantra as it related to its origin piece from the end of the 19th century, which I forget the name of (I have no doubt in my mind she'll immediately write an email reminding me of what it is with some sort of good-natured scolding about how I ought to remember. Even if she doesn't I still feel guilty. Unbidden guilt happens all the time to me. Last night I was making some Tuna fish salad and needed to boil an egg. I couldn't remember the time for boiling a good hard boiled egg and so I looked it up on the internet, even though I had remembered multiple times during my childhood where mom explicitly told me, "this is how you boil an egg…" Sure enough, at the top of the page was an admonition about how this is how to boil an egg if your mom never told you how. Sheesh. I felt so guilty. But, I digress.).

Anyway, while WWJD is terribly interesting and deserving of its own bloggage, that wasn't what I was thinking of. At this same panel one of her colleagues gave an overview of some of the confusion that hearing people have when dealing with members of the Deaf community. This immediately came to mind when I read this article about a breakthrough in laboratories that will make cochlear implants work better. Cochlear implants (all of this is from memory, someone write me if I mess up any facts) are a huge issue in the Deaf community. Basically this procedure involves drilling a hole through the ear to the cochlea, which is a spiral shaped organ that connects to the auditory nerve. There, a wire apparatus is connected that essentially takes a microphone's electrical output and converts it to a signal that the auditory nerve can pick up, restoring some hearing. Most hearing folks are surprised to learn that much of the Deaf community is rabidly against this procedure. On the other hand, if you learn something about this group of people it makes sense; a minority group with their own language, Deaf people are discriminated against and fighting the current in a hearing world. When Deaf issues do come up (like this one), they seem focused on taking away specific members out of that group rather than doing simple things that would help more than a few Deaf people live easier in society, like providing interpreters or funding closed captioning in movies and Television. A very confusing but informative FAQ about the issue is also available if you'd like to learn more. (As people will inevitably fill me in with more links I'll pass them on as updates. Jeff also points out that his favorite site, Wrestlecrap, has descriptive narration to go with their video clips. Very nice.)
Short blurbs, cool links.

My late friend and colleague on the debate circuit, Becky Galentine, was very involved in starting an urban debate foundation towards the end of her life. I'm very gratified that it's taking off the way it is. I know or have met just about all the people in this story, too. Cool!

HOLY HELL! Now that Wizards of the Coast is being swallowed by MNC Hasbro, tell all stories are beginning to pop up. Sex, geeks, and Magic: the Gathering. Mag and I were Magic players back in Portland back when M:TG was still cool. I even won a tournament once. Hell, we still have a number of good older cards (just ask Mag to show you her Gauntlet of Might).

Finally, also from Salon: Why I like Camille Paglia. This is dead on.

Forcing restless teens of both sexes to sit like robots in regimented rows in crowded classrooms for thebetter part of each day is a pointless, sadistic exercise except for those with their sights on office jobs.This school system is not even 200 years old, yet most people treat it as if the burning bush floated it down from Mount Sinai. Too often, school has become a form of mental and physical oppression. Exactly what is being taught? Certainly not wisdom or perspective on life. Can anyone honestly claim that current high school students know more about history, science, language and the arts than students 40 years ago? As for college students, the shallowness of their training in the humanities has become all too evident as graduates of the elite schools have entered the professions and the media over the past 20 years.


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