Thursday, October 30, 2008


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

learning about language

Online chat is likely an ever increasing source of the evidence of the evolution of the English language, more than blogs, newspapers, etc.
OH: I looked in online chat rooms quite a bit, something that in my normal day-to-day life I never do. I looked at hundreds of blogs and hundreds of websites. Blogs in particular were incredibly useful, especially blogs written by teenagers and college students. I found the language just wonderfully inventive and interesting. In some cases, I came across words and structures that I didn't quite understand, and so I would then Google them in isolation and find other instances of them. Occasionally I'd ask some of my younger friends what these things meant until I felt like I'd nailed the meanings.
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importance of song lyrics to learning language

american songs, american culture, american language. Probably in that order, or maybe with the first two switched. that's just my assumption at least.

VT: When you were teaching English in Morocco, did you find that there was a lot of interest in American English, and especially the language associated with American pop culture?

OH: Yes. I found that the students were always really keen to learn English through the medium of music, and so if I found a good lyric that illustrated some good structures that they were working on, then I would teach it. And usually I could find recordings of the song in Morocco. In fact, one of my most successful teaching experiences of that kind was teaching a Dolly Parton song, "Coat of Many Colors," which the students loved. They would not let me stop playing it. I didn't have the recording with me, but I did find it in Morocco and was able to take it to the classroom.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This is cool.

I like it when websites offer services that really help and don't get in the way. My wife is using the site to see if it helps her in whatever way this site can help a woman. I like the design...
clipped from
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Caribou Barbie in a can

It's not disrespectful to people who pumped money into the campaign who want Palin to dress sassy and treat the spotlight well. It is, after all, a beauty/pageant/popularity contest. Spending $150k on clothes isn't sooooooo outrageous. Right?

No, wait. Indigestion is doing my blogging! I shouldn't blog after woofing down a lunch of soup that came in a can for $1.35. (Wow, that's expensive cheap soup!)

Palin’s spokewoman is saying this is much ado about nothing, that we should be talking about more important issues. But can you imagine the outcry if it were revealed that Hilary Clinton’s rainbow of pantsuits was paid for by campaign contributions? Or if college kids’ $50 checks to the Biden/Obama campaign were putting those men in $5,000 custom suits? (Obama’s suits are by Hart Schaffner Marx out of Chicago, and cost in the $1,500 range.)

In Palin’s defense, being a woman in the public eye has its own kind of pressures. And it’s unlikely she has been stepping off the campaign trail to join the ladies who lunch for shopping sprees at Neimans. Instead, she is probably working with a wardrobe stylist, who brings her things to try on and choose from. But the issue of clothing and hair expenses has always been a land mine for politicians (John Edwards' $400 haircuts), and someone should have been sensitive to that.

Caribou Barbie indeed.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Woot is a hoot. (And their newsletters are fun too.)

I'll probably get shot for posting this, but just got the "newsletter" here reporduced in all its gory:


Attention Woot employees -

We are now entering the final phase of preparations for the Woot-Off planned for midnight tonight. This is when we depart from our usual deal-a-day model and sell one product after another, offering a new deal as soon as the previous one sells out. For some reason, Woot members like jrome continue to have high expectations for this event. We must make every effort to ensure that they feel disappointed and betrayed.

All workers should be physically and mentally straining to make this Woot-Off a success, like every muscle in a wolf's body strains to capture and devour its prey. We expect total compliance with the following objectives:

* Make sure the stables are thoroughly cleaned and the horses properly groomed and shod. As you know, Commander Rutledge prefers to lead us on horseback during Woot-Offs. Charge!
* Customer Service department: all vacation requests for this week and next are approved. If you have not filed a vacation request, take one anyway.
* The little green pills in the kitchen are there to keep you alert and working. Take as many as you need. Officially, Woot does not believe in the concept of "overdose".
* Take at least one of our servers offline, just for laughs.
* Go to the landfill and dig up some more Sansa media players. If you see any Digipro Graphics Tablets (and you will), grab those, too.
* Place crap bags in company latrines so those orders can be "filled". To this end, the company will provide free lunch today from El Feo, the filthiest burrito joint in Dallas. Do your worst, guys.
* Neutralize all negative thinking among our members. We simply cannot tolerate any more posts like "do not want" or "Woot-Off killer". If electronic means like word filters and IP bans do not work, we must reactivate the rapid-response teams to physically eliminate all threats to our reputation.
* Last time, spot checks revealed that approximately 25% of products shipped are broken, incomplete, or excessively dirty. This is unacceptable. For this Woot-Off, defective shipments must make up at least 40%.
* Remind SmartPost that there's no need to hurry on these orders. Prompt delivery makes our customers spoiled and argumentative. Let them learn humility and gratitude while they wait.

Above all, we must strive to make this Woot-Off even more tedious, disappointing, and lucrative than the last one. The employee who achieves the most toward this end will be rewarded with one brown Zune. Second place: two brown Zunes.

Forward into battle! Remember: to give one's life for Woot is glorious!

Larry Stalin
eCommerce eKommissar
Woot, Inc.


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Saturday, October 18, 2008

makin' coffee

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The words in music

I don't know much about rights surrounding song lyrics, but 27 million unique users is pretty hot. The site is pretty much a disaster design-wise, so it seems to me this is just another fat cat licensing content and workin' it on a site that requires almost no work. I guess I'm expecting passion. I feel passionate about the music I love. But with these lyric sites, where's the passion? Is it too much to ask that the site look nice and have better search? Possibly.
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With more than 27 million unique users per month, up from 14 million
in December 2007, MetroLyrics went from the number three lyrics site
to number one in just six months and has more traffic than many of
the well-known sites in the music industry, according to comScore
Media Metrix. Now among the fastest growing sites on the Internet,
MetroLyrics has a daily traffic rank among the top 500 sites and also
boasts the number nine Internet property in the Entertainment-Music
Category based on total U.S. unique visitors [comScore Media Metrix,
All Locations, August 2008].
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Monday, October 13, 2008

Neighborhood Oktoberfest

Neighborhood Oktoberfest, originally uploaded by Jrome.

Neighbors came together. I got a keg, some brauts and people showed up. This was a fun fall festive feast.