chuckles: March 2004 Archives

Rolling out the red carpet

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Thought I'd use this, my 200th entry, to welcome Alyson to the blogosphere, not to mention my sidebar. Alyson is a friend of Lori's from grad school, and the three of us had lunch yesterday at Sparza's.

One thing that became increasingly clear over lunch was that Alyson needed to start her own blog, and start it she sort of has, since Lori and I set her up on Typepad last night. Her site is already generating posts at a breakneck pace, and it's clear to me that the DictionAly is going to make for entertaining reading.

The Singularity of Batman

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Wasn't planning on posting today, but this is worth a pointer: Craig Shields, "Analysis of the Batman Theme Song." High-larious:

The chorus goes on, repeating the previous tonal cycle in descending order, once again illuminating the cyclical nature of the life of Batman. Repetition of this chorus merely reinforces the potential energies, both positive and negative, contained within Batman.

When I was in Iowa a couple of months ago, and packing up my car, I happened across a couple of my old Calvin & Hobbes collections. Trotted them back to NY with me, and picked up one last night. Every once in a while, I end up reminding myself how positively classic Watterson's work is.

For those without access to the books, the CHESS (Calvin & Hobbes Extensive Strip Search) came across MeFi a week or so ago. Martijn Reemst has all 3150 strips databased and indexed--wow. I'm sure that it's not legal, but it's a wonderful resource.

Cleveland Scene published a story about Bill Watterson last fall, about his withdrawal from public life and his attempts to resist the "cheapening" of his work (both in terms of shrinking canvas size and cross-market oversaturation). I'm not an especially nostalgic "last episode" kind of person, but I do remember reading the final C&H in 95, and it's stunning to me that Watterson's last public appearance was in 1990.

Finally, if you don't know how to play Calvinball, then (1) you actually do know how to play, and (2) you should visit The Official Rules of Calvinball and see what you're missing. Just wait until you touch the "pernicious poem place"!

I know I'm a little late with this, but I almost fell out of my chair laughing this week, once I had a chance to see the final exam that Jim Harrick Jr. gave his students at the University of Georgia in his Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball. Among the questions?

5. How many halves are in a college basketball game?
A) 1; B) 2; C) 3; D) 4.

6. How many quarters are in a high school basketball game?
A) 1; B) 2; C) 3; D) 4.

8. How many points does a 3-point field goal account for in a Basketball Game?
A) 1; B) 2; C) 3; D) 4.

19. If you go on to become a huge coaching success, to whom will you tribute (sic) the credit?
A) Mike Krzyzewski; B) Bobby Knight; C) John Wooden; D) Jim Harrick Jr.

20. In your opinion, who is the best Division I assistant coach in the country?
A) Ron Jursa (sic); B) John Pelphrey; C) Jim Harrick Jr.; D) Steve Wojciechowski

Of course, that's only 1/4 of the exam. If you're scoring at home, the answers to 19 and 20 are supposed to be D and C respectively. And while you're scoring at home, you might count up all the students across the country, all of us who teach them, all of the family members who have helped those students get there, and then every person in the country whose tax money (rightfully) goes to support those students. Because that's the number of people that should be outraged and offended that bullshit like this still goes on. Wow. I'm sure that no school is perfect, but that's plain shameful.

I don't disagree with courses like those--as someone who's a dabbler, I'm fully aware that there are actual strategies and principles to basketball that could indeed be studied, and even challengingly so. But if you're going to give everyone an A, why mock the entire process with an exam with those kinds of dumbass questions? Is there anyone who would look at a question asking how many points a 3-point shot is worth, and be fooled into thinking that the course actually ever met (much less taught anything)? C'mon.



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This page is a archive of entries in the chuckles category from March 2004.

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