The National Council of Teachers of English

RSC and I originally saw a sticker for this group on the drive down to NYC.

"Har! Can you imagine? An English Teachers' group with TWO prepositions in their name! Can't they be the English Te...oh. That sounds like they might be teachers from England. "

"Yeah. Maybe teaching english? Hm. That doesn't identify the members as teachers. They could be the institutions."

"What about ESL Teachers Association?"

"Might go beyond that to regular English -- like grade school. Hm"

Turns out the darn teachers were snookered into an awkward group name by the inexactitude of the very language they teach.


I believe this is the appropriate level of cynicism.
[though small, the label reads "Made in China"]
see more here, including these wonderful treats:


"See our complete Psycho Bunny collection."

Where could this quote originate? Snorg T's? ThinkGeek? . . . nope.

Neiman Marcus.

Yes. And it isn't some rogue product either. It's got friends, a posse, a line, if you will. What happened to this haven of white-washed couture wonder? Where are the jeans, already warn and stained by the less fortunate so that those blessed by HIS credit limit can feel "authentic"? Where are the high necked sleeveless LBDs? Alas, perhaps we should have known when J. Crew began emblazoning their cargo pants with cross-bones that N. Marcus could not stand idly by. We knew then that the war had started.

And now it has captured our furry friends. Frolic now, little ones, for soon the neckware cometh.


You gotta love when the only reason to believe that the photos you are looking at are real is that they are just too wigged out to have been made up by anyone.
(check out the photo gallery that goes with this article)


Go Straight! / Ask me how.

Seen printed on a "baby on board" style sticker in a Dupont franchise salon.

Cut: $16
Style, Blowdry: $24
Staring for at least 20 minutes at your own reflection under a motto that, if not for the fact that it is clearly unintentional, could be spit at you by narrow-minded protesters and sandwich board wearing jc freaks: $0.


Robots and Monsters

Joe Altiero, a SF-area artist, and his gf have started a website to raise money for their attempt at the SF AIDS Marathon. Here's the deal: You tell Joe whether you want a robot or monster, then give him some key words and $25 ($40 if you want a robot AND a monster -- seriously, there's something wrong with you), and Joe will send you a signed, original 6"x6" monster inspired by your suggestions. The money goes to the marathon.

What's not to like?


The "cross-over", that time honored stunt burned forever into our social conscience when Hannah Barbera twisted the space time continuum itself to have the Jetsons meet the Flintstones, has evolved. "Ask a Ninja" of the vlogosphere meets "Mythbusters" of the tele-geek-racy.


Jesus Christ: I will Survive.

This is a very funny video by Javier Prato. More importantly, it also launched a legal battle regarding fair use and sites such as YouTube.com. The battle was fought in part by Stanford Law School's CIS, where you can read more about the story. Feeling less literate? You can listen to NPR's story on this charming vignette.


Gizmodo officially labeled the posting for this wonderful product, "ass hat."

Not sure how many postings they tagged with that particular label, but I am sure it is bound to grow and broaden like its namesake. Now, if only content could droop...


T-shirt Hell brings us these lovely additions to popular culture:


From the "Lois, you're a feminist and that's adorable, but it's grown-up time and I'm the man," department (Family Guy, for the uninitiated):

Despite an increased workload and growing societal pressure to form lasting partnerships with other activist groups, the 39-years-young NOW has never been seriously affiliated with any other organization, perhaps due to its decision to focus on ambitious campaigning and legal advocacy work during its twenties instead of public relations. However, NOW vehemently denies rumors that it is only interested in other women's groups, declaring it "just hasn't found the right partner organization to start a coalition with yet.
- National Organization For Women Turns 39 Again, Today's Onion

See also:
Healthier living through purses. Turns out the things are coated in germs and you ladies set them right down on eating surfaces. Honestly, I don't blame you -- I didn't give this a second thought until now.

Simple. Of course, that is what makes it genius. Now, if only we could figure out similarly simple and ingenious ways of effectively reducing our impact on the environment instead of vice versa.


This public service announcement brought to you by generic Daypro:

If someone knows the number for Gregory House, please pass it along. For the rest of you, let's see if emulating the renowned TV diagnostician has armed you to deduce the cause of the following: jaw pain on the right side; not in the teeth, and just below the ear, occasionally pulling at the canal; bad enough to wake up the patient in the middle of the night and make for a generally irritable disposition during the day.

Possible causes:
1. Minor car accident in which the patient's head was tossed forward while the patient was looking 90 degrees to the left. Sound like whiplash? I thought so too.

2. Insufficient hygiene following fairly extensive dental work in the area not four months ago. Cavity? Good bet, even though the pain was not localized in the teeth. This theory went out the door when the pain started shifting from lower to upper jaw and back.

3. Stress: a history of teeth clenching and grinding. This is third on the list because it is a relatively recent recurrence of a childhood habit. The dentist originally caught it after the patient experienced pain on a business trip following a procedure. Altitude? Eh. Not enough to cause this type of pain.

Current most likely cause: Number 3, clenching. Turns out that having an abnormally strong bite can be downright excruciating when coupled with stress and a nasty unconscious habit.

Enter daypro: an anti-inflammatory that will at least make it all go away during the daylight hours. As for the stress that induces the clenching...well, there are always refills.


Two introductions:

1. To TED: Technology, Entertainment, and Design. These folks host some of the most amazing speakers at a conference that is truly "old web" -- you remember don't you? Back when it was all possibility and no profitability. Check it: TED

2. To Ze Frank: a truly "old web" artist/designer/funnyman.


"...the post-scholastic set..."

This is how Natalie Angier, NYT columnist and author of The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science, describes folks like me: out of school and no longer able to dedicate the time to go back and learn things like the hard sciences.

Strikes me that this is one of those phrases that misses from both ends:
(a) anyone hep to the phrase "post-scholastic set" is likely a grad in a good job with either an express or implied continuing education requirement. True, they aren't in a science lab, but they certainly aren't beyond picking up a slightly more technical overview of the field. Whether they choose to or not is a different question. A question which "pop science" likely does not answer.

(b) anyone who has no idea what "post-scholastic set" might mean is also the kind of person for whom "pop science" holds little to no appeal.


For those whose eyes are glued to the engineering-spectacle-turned-business-gamble that is the Airbus A-380, I present the following:

* one 77 second video of a complete evacuation of this tin foil albatross, care of Gizmodo.

You are watching nearly 600 persons evacuate out of just one side of the airframe. I believe they are doing this in Germany, but you will soon see video of the same test being conducted here. The FAA and its equivalents have their quirky requirements, and there are a lot of fanboys happy to volunteer for the chance to sit in one of these things and then deplane it about as rapidly as practicable, so these tests are conducted at a mfg's expense in each country (or, in the case of the EU, I believe they now do it as a single body. If anyone has more information on this, I'd love to hear it.)


Christianity: What if someone threw a ressurection and nobody came?


Thegameiam asks the right questions about enviro-fads: What about the fact that compact flourescents are low-level hazmats? In the same vein, here's one for you (and me) city-dwelling car owners:

Doesn't owning a car in the city create the very congestion we abhor? Or, put economically, isn't urban parking massively underpriced, creating crowded parking lanes instead of open, drivable ones? Slate reports in the "Everyday Economist."