More interesting internet stuff.

I figure that sufficient time has passed that I can share this with you readers. Also, since I still haven't been zapped by a bolt of lightning from God, I think that it's a good sign. On September 14th of 2004, I became an ordained minister. Yep, weird ol' me is a minister with the Universal Life Church out of Modesto, California. I did this through their website: www.ulc.net. Why did I do it? Who knows. It's one of those intersting things that you find on the internet. I even recieved a confirmation email. I could have had them send me a certificate, but that would have actually cost money. What am I going to do with this? I don't know, but as my friend says, I can now "marry 'em and bury 'em."

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 2:33 AM 0 comments  

Red ink isn't making the grade anymore.

According to an article at CNN.com, parents at several schools are upset that teachers are grading student papers in red ink. One of these "feeling police" parents said that the red ink was "stressful." Let me advise the reader here that we aren't talking about high school or college students here. We're talking about elementary school kids. What kind of person thinks that their 7 year old kid has anything to be stressed about. Stress, I'll remind you is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary defines stress as:

A mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression.
Traffic jams cause stress. Your significant other causes stress. Your job causes stress. Red marks on a paper in an elementary school do not cause stress.

I have a question for all of these "touchy-feely, crusading" parents. How do you expect for your child to learn from their mistakes if they are not pointed out to them? What is the easiest way for anyone to exchange false ideas for the truth? To have those false ideas expressed and then confronted by the truth. John Stuart Mill said this years ago in his essay "On Liberty."
But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
We are not helping these kids by sheilding them from their mistakes, we are only hurting them. The only reason that I was able to turn in any type of paper worth reading throughout my school career is because my mother would edit my papers for me. Those things came back with so much red ink on them that I thought some one had cut themselves and then used my paper for target
practice with the arterial spray. The parents of these kids should take less interest in what color is being used to edit and grade these papers and more interest in actually helping their kids to develop their writing skills. My question is what is going to happen to these kids 20 years down the line when they are expected to produce results and they have a manager who doesn't care how they feel as long as they are profitable to the company?

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:00 AM 0 comments  

Sabrage

Anyone who has read Maxim magazine is aware of the section called "How to do anything." This section of the magazine contains usually step by step advice on how to do anything from build a pole for girls to dance on in your living room to how to break up a fight. They are accompanied by either humorous photographs or drawings to help visualize what you are doing. While not exhaustive or detailed by any means, they do give the reader enough of an idea of how something is done to let them decide whether or not they would like to get more infomation to pursue such a goal.

In one of the recent issues, they had an article on a technique called "Sabrage." Apparently, this is a technique that Napoleon's soliders used to open bottles of chapagne while on horseback. It involves using a sabre to knock off the glass ring, or "annulus," at the top of the bottle where the cork is located. I was so intrigued by this, that I wanted to learn more about it. That's when I found this website. Apparently, there are entire clubs devoted to this. Luckily, they also include a tutorial on how to do this.

So, I went to the store and bought a bottle of cheap champagne to try this out. And, much to my surprise, it was successful. I'll inlcude a picture of the annulus that I knocked off of the bottle. I used a U.S. Marine Corps NCO saber when I tried it.

I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to impress people at a party.

This post was originally concieved of on Dec. 15th, 2004.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:50 AM 2 comments  

Euphemisms

At the risk of sounding like comedian George Carlin, I'm going to go off today on one particular euphemism that I think isn't really doing anybody any good.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines Euphemism as:

The act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive: “Euphemisms such as ‘slumber room’... abound in the funeral business” (Jessica Mitford).
Harsh, blunt, or offensive. In otherwords, we have to play nicely and not tell people what they need to know, the truth. To some people, euphmisms are a way of "softening the blow" that the truth brings. To me, it's a way of hiding behing vague and distorting language.

The particular euphemism that I have a problem with is one that you see on personal ads all of the time. Full-Figured. What the hell is going on here? There used to be a time where people were "fat." Then they went to being "plus sizes." Now they are "full-figured." When did this start? Unless you are missing a part of your body that you were born with, such as an arm or leg or eye, then you are full figured. You have all of your parts. You're not missing anything. Your figure isn't half or three-quarters, it's full. However, if when you stand in the shower, your body reaches from the shower curtain to the wall, you are fat. Get over it. Go out and run. Put the twinky down. And for sake of preserving what little strength the English language has, stop weakening it with these euphemisms just to guard your ego.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:20 AM 0 comments