The teacher who graded this dismal paper from a physics class is either a lot braver than I am or cares a lot less about his/her relationships with students; and s/he certainly has better artistic skills and a lot more time on his/her hands than I do:
Read the whole essay and especially the teacher’s marginalia. I think it captures the temptation of every teacher to grade papers by unloading our own cleverness onto hapless, writing-impaired students.
But the article has a fair question — how does something this bad get a 3/3 grade?
For us Lutherans, yesterday was not only Halloween, it was Reformation Day, when we commemorate Luther‘s nailing of the 95 Theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg, which touched off the Protestant Reformation. Some people celebrate this occasion in ways which are, well, a little different.
Lyrics are here, and yes, that’s a parody of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems”. In my view, any rap that can successfully make a rhyme to the name of Ulrich Zwingli is a success.
From Harper’s, we have the encouraging news that the impending poetry bailout will restore the confidence of readers.
Cultural leaders have come together to announce a massive poetry buyout: leveraged and unsecured poems, poetry derivatives, delinquent poems, and subprime poems will be removed from circulation in the biggest poetry bailout since the Victorian era. We believe the plan is a comprehensive approach to relieving the stresses on our literary institutions and markets.
Let there be no mistake: the fundamentals of our poetry are sound. The problem is not poetry but poems. The crisis has been precipitated by the escalation of poetry debt—poems that circulate in the market at an economic loss due to their difficulty, incompetence, or irrelevance.
I propose a category theory bailout next.
I can never manage to get interested in Talk Like a Pirate Day, which was yesterday*, but I though this was pretty darn funny:
[ht The Collegiate Way]
* Is there a reason that Talk Like a Pirate Day is always on September 19? Is it some obscure thing like Pi Day being on March 14?
Many people don’t know that Dover Publications, venerable publisher of good and cheap math books, also carries a wide selection of activity books for children. From that line, I think, comes a publication I wouldn’t have expected from Dover: John McCain and Barack Obama paper dolls.
No word yet on whether the paper doll versions have better ideas on education and energy than the real articles.
- How to deal with feelings of inadequacy, from xkcd.
- edwired has some thoughts on the future of the academy in an economy where giving away your product doesn’t necessarily make your business unprofitable. Academhack follows up with related thoughts on using video podcasting to replace the usual lecture format. Interesting idea in giving away the podcast and then charging for in-class activity.
- Why pay dues to join a fraternity or sorority when you can pay one low price and have all the drunken party games on your Wii? I find it ironic that the Association of Fraternity Advisors would be so shocked. Where do you think the idea for the game came from, people?
- I’ve had a couple of posts lately about what I’d do if I were the university president. Now there’s a series of articles out on the same subject except with contributions by people who are probably a lot more qualified for that position than I am.
- Here are some updates on Xian-Jin Li’s purported proof of the Riemann hypothesis which I first blogged about here. Summary: There are some flaws, but it might be fixable.
- 50+ productivity blogs you’ve never heard of before. So please, spend lots of time reading those productivity blogs instead of getting stuff done. (Or better yet, write blog posts about spending time reading those blogs instead of getting stuff done…)
Along something of the same lines as Nietzche Family Circus, here’s Garfield Minus Garfield — a comic strip obtained by taking an ordinary Garfield strip and airbrushing Garfield the cat completely out of it. Or, as the site itself describes it:
Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.
I have to admit, that’s pretty brilliant stuff. Jim Davis likes it too.
[h/t incarnatus est]