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Wednesday, March 30, 2005
This turned out not to be nearly as dramatic as the main headline implied. Bit of an overdramatization, I think.
Welcome back, Jelani! Now, stop playing trivia!
Correction: I am Poopsie Toilet Brains
First: I am Poopie Toiletbrains.
Second: I am back from San Diego and Springbreak.
Third: Jetlag sucks!
Fourth: I have spent way too many classes discussing Terri Schiavo. I am sorry for both sides because, for all we know, Terri probably doesn't like this much attention. Further, I witnessed an 18-year old catholic girl argue Terri's case and how Terri could have "one brain wave" with a man who will receive his Ph.D in Biophysics in three weeks. Therefore, I have no opinion - sorry Margaret. However, in saying I have no opinion, I will state what I know. Florida law makes Terri's life's decisions the responsibility of her husband and vice versa. That is why the parents have lost every court battle that they have mounted - yet they continue to try.

Fifth and final: I have not played trivia in a while. I should get on that.

I still love cookies.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
An important, urgent correction from Gene's chat:

Gene Weingarten:
I received an important correspondence from Patrick Murray, creating an urgent need to correct a serious error from last week’s chat. I do not know how this happened, and will look into the matter immediately, but apparently a chatter submitted a bogus new-name generator for the Captain Poopiepants story! Here is the real generator, culled directly from the book by Patrick’s wife, Stinky.

First chart: Use the first letter of your first name to determine your NEW
first name.

A - Stinky
B - Lumpy
C - Buttercup
D - Gidget
E - Crusty
F - Greasy
G - Fluffy
H - Cheeseball
I - Chim-Chim
J - Poopsie
K - Flunky
L - Booger
M - Pinky
N - Zippy
O - Goober
P - Doofus
Q - Slimy
R - Loopy
S - Snotty
T - Falafel
U - Dorky
V - Squeezit
W - Oprah
X - Skipper
Y - Dinky
Z - Zsa-Zsa

Second chart: Use the first letter of your last name to determine the
first half of your NEW last name.

A - Diaper
B - Toilet
C - Giggle
D - Bubble
E - Girdle
F - Barf
G - Lizard
H - Waffle
I - Cootie
J - Monkey
K - Potty
L - Liver
M - Banana
N - Rhino
O - Burger
P - Hamster
Q - Toad
R - Gizzard
S - Pizza
T - Gerbil
U - Chicken
V - Pickle
W - Chuckle
X - Tofu
Y - Gorilla
Z - Stinker

Third chart: Use the last letter of your last name to determine the second
half of your NEW last name.

A - Head
B - Mouth
C - Face
D - Nose
E - Tush
F - Breath
G - Pants
H - Shorts
I - Lips
J - Honker
K - Butt
L - Brain
M - Tushie
N - Chunks
O - Hiney
P - Biscuits
Q - Toes
R - Buns
S - Fanny
T - Sniffer
U - Sprinkles
V - Kisser
W - Squirt
X - Humperdinck
Y - Brains
Z - Juice

Sadly, as Patrick points out, the world must revolve around reality, not unsolicited email. I am no longer "Zippy Girdlechunks," but "Fluffy Chucklechunks." And the president of the United States is no longer “Goober Chickenshorts” but merely “Fluffy Toiletshorts.”

The Washington Post regrets the error.
The original "food porn" article.

"NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Burger King is reportedly set to unveil a new breakfast sandwich that's a huge bet that not everyone is looking to watch their diet.
USA Today reported that the No. 2 fast food chain is set to debut its Enormous Omelet Sandwich Monday.
The sandwich will have one sausage patty, two eggs, two American cheese slices and three strips of bacon, according to the newspaper.
That works out to 730 calories and 47 grams of fat, according to the report -- more than a Whopper burger, which the Burger King Web site said has 700 calories and 42 grams of fat.
While the new breakfast sandwich goes against the trend at some competitors to offer healthier fare, some analysts were quoted as saying the new sandwich is likely to be a sales success.
'The critics will still label it food porn,' Sherri Daye Scott, editor at fast-food magazine QSR, told the paper. 'But the average male fast-food customer does not have a problem with this.'
The new offering could also make Burger King more of a player in the breakfast market, where USA Today reports it is quite a ways behind McDonald's (Research).
Burger King has been privately held since it was sold by British food conglomerate Diageo to a group led by Texas Pacific Group in 2002. "
Monday, March 28, 2005
"...food porn?"
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Unfortunately, the "suspect" "allegedly" shot himself before they were able to catch or convict him.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
So, at a record of 62 and 3, I gave up on Freecell and cleared the statistics.

Now I'm at 9 and 0.

SOMEONE MAKE ME STOP PLAYING.
Friday, March 25, 2005
*Mrs. B giggles*

It's juvenile, I know...but it's funny.
Mrs. B said, "How much proof do we have to have before we remove the word 'suspected' or 'alleged' from a story? Do we have to have a criminal conviction?"


That word "alleged" (and it's annoying cousin, "suspected") is often what stands between a news organization and a successful suit for libel. It's also good ethical practice to remind readers that claims made about a person are only claims, not fact. Hence world-class news organizations are religious about that reminder, and always use "alleged" until courts have ruled, investigations are closed, and the truth -- or as close to it as we will get -- is known.


It annoys me, though, that news outlets have become sloppy. "Alleged" is short (too short) for a much longer statement about the uncertainty of what we think we know. Much of what journalists know is based on hearsay, rumor, speculation, innuendo, and other non-factual sources. What someone saw or said is often less credible than what a piece of evidence, properly interpreted, will show. Presumption of innocence stands at the heart of the American criminal justice system, and even that system too frequently makes mistakes.


It's worth noting that "alleged" and "suspected" leave out a critical piece of information. Who alleges? Who suspects? In this case, multiple law enforcement officials, a slew of witnesses, and the boy's own family all "suspect" that the boy killed all those people. That's a much different situation than, for example, an alleyway mugging in which the victim alleges that a person is the assailant, even though the criminal left no known evidence and wore a ski mask at the time. News organizations leave out this information because they either failed to take time to capture it in the first place or because they failed to write it into the story. Either way, it's a failure.

Thursday, March 24, 2005
The game actually reset at

Today's game ends in 23 hours, 55 minutes.

And so....

The Smartest Player today is currently snickersbaxton. Woohoo!

One last thing, then I'm going to bed. My first question was:

Question 1
Why can't you safely drink out of the ocean?
-Ships have went across the water
-It's salty
-The fish need it
-It's against the law

The fish need it? No, wait - have went? HAVE WENT? WHAT THE -?
Ok, last one, I promise. The trivia game now says:

Today's game ends in 23 hours, 57 minutes.

But the high scores are still up and it won't let me play. It's weird. All I want to do is play, have it tell me I'm the smartest, and then go to bed.

PLEASE LET ME GO TO BED. I'M TIRED.
Two more quick things:

Right now, the trivia game says:

Today's game ends in 23 hours, 60 minutes.

Also, my Freecell record is 59 and 1. I am on a streak of 50 wins. I was a fool not to reset the record when I was 9 and 1.

That is all. Someone else post now. NOW.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
One more thing - on a point I think I've made before - if you've been reading the news, you've also read about the latest school shooting. Kid kills his grandfather, his grandfather's "lady friend," a security guard, a teacher, and a bunch of classmates. Dozens of witnesses, school security camera tapes, forensic evidence, etc. And yet, on cnn.com, there's this chart:

RED LAKE FATALITIES
Derrick Brun, 28
Dwayne Lewis, 15
Chase Lussier, 15
Daryl Lussier, 58
Neva Rogers, 62
Chanelle Rosebear, 15
Michelle Sigana, 32
Alicia Spike, 14
Thurlene Stillday, 15

Suspected gunman:
Jeff Weise, 16

Suspected gunman? SUSPECTED gunman? Does this mean we suspect he had a gun, or we suspect he was a man? We KNOW he had a gun. How much proof do we have to have before we remove the word "suspected" or "alleged" from a story? Do we have to have a criminal conviction? Because, if so, this kid is going to be a suspected gunman for the rest of time. (I almost typed "for the rest of his life.") He's not going to be tried, or found guilty. But he did it. I suspect.
Ok, so I haven't posted anything yet about the Schiavo case, probably because it makes me so mad. But now it seems that it's just about over, so I think I can talk about it without screaming. If you read Gene's chat, you saw his feelings about the case - and I entirely agree with him.

There are three things at issue here:

1. Each of us has the right to refuse medical care. In the case of someone who is incapacitated, this decision can be made by a guardian. In almost all cases, the guardian is the spouse, if there is one. This is because you choose your spouse (you don't choose your parents, or children), so he or she is most likely to know your wishes and know what you would want. If you don't trust your spouse to make these decisions for you, leave a living will. Better yet, divorce your spouse.

B) This case has already been properly dealt with in the state courts. This is a state issue, not a federal one, and Congress certainly has no right to start interfering with something that has always been legislated and litigated in the states. Neither does the Florida legislature have the right to try to choke the courts using new and unconstitutional laws. No matter what Jeb and George want.

iii) For the love of God, let her die. As was said in Gene's chat - let's suppose she's not entirely vegetative. Let's assume all the doctors were wrong, and she has some consciousness. How do we know she's not screaming, in her head, "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LET ME DIE, PLEASE, KILL ME KILL ME KILL ME KILL ME KILL ME..."?

4. There is no 4.

I'm interested in JB's opinion, since he is studying law, lives in Florida, and is black.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Hmmm. Fluffy Applebrain. Seems right to me these days.
In my own world, where I use the first letter of my first name, the first letter of my last name, and the fourth letter of my last name in a fashion similar to what's in the post below, my name is Stinky Toiletsniffer.

Perfect.
Our president ...

From Gene Weingarten's chat today:
"Honestly, there is genius in this. Our president is "Goober Chickenshorts." " --

The following is an excerpt from a children's book, "Captain Underpants And the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants" by Dave Pilkey.

The evil Professor forces everyone to assume new names...

Use the third letter of your first name to determine your new first name:

a = poopsie
b = lumpy
c = buttercup
d = gadget
e = crusty
f = greasy
g = fluffy
h = cheeseball
i = chim-chim
j = stinky
k = flunky
l = boobie
m = pinky
n = zippy
o = goober
p = doofus
q = slimy
r = loopy
s = snotty
t = tootie
u = dorkey
v = squeezit
w = oprah
x = skipper
y = dinky
z = zsa-zsa

Use the second letter of your last name to determine the first half of your new last name:

a = apple
b = toilet
c = giggle
d = burger
e = girdle
f = barf
g = lizard
h = waffle
i = cootie
j = monkey
k = potty
l = liver
m = banana
n = rhino
o = bubble
p = hamster
q = toad
r = gizzard
s = pizza
t = gerbil
u = chicken
v = pickle
w = chuckle
x = tofu
y = gorilla
z = stinker

Use the fourth letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:

a = head
b = mouth
c = face
d = nose
e = tush
f = breath
g = pants
h = shorts
i = lips
j = honker
k = butt
l = brain
m = tushie
n = chunks
o = hiney
p = biscuits
q = toes
r = buns
s = fanny
t = sniffer
u = sprinkles
v = kisser
w = squirt
x = humperdinck
y = brains
z = juice

Monday, March 21, 2005
Oh, if you have to log in for the Miss Manners thing - use a@be.com for the username and 1234 for the password.
So a few weeks ago, I put up the link to Miss Manners - not because I expect everyone else to read Miss Manners as faithfully as I do, but because she's often funny, and always relevant. Click on the link to Miss Manners, click on Food Fight!, and scroll down. Read the letter. Then consider this: for weeks it has been driving me crazy, even causing me some physical pain, that my Regional Operations Director uses the word "effect" in emails when she means "affect," and vice versa. I have longed to figure out a way to mention it - though I know I'm the only person crippled by this particular pet peeve - but now I know, conclusively, that I can't.

But I'll be honest - there have been emails from her that I didn't finish reading, because I got to a particularly horrific error in the second sentence and couldn't go on. Call me melodramatic, but I know I'm not the only one. At the very least, my sister gets it.
Well, it's only 5:00, so this could change - but for the second time,

The Smartest Player today is currently snickersbaxton.

Not by virtue of playing first, as is most often the case, but because I got more correct than several other people.

Sorry, had to gloat, it doesn't happen often.

Oh, and John - that sucks.
Everybody,

My boss just tendered her resignation.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Funny dialogue from my favorite sitcom:
Background: Angela walks into the room and everyone clears out leaving a cloud of smoke.

Angela: How come everytime I leave the room, you all do this?
Kelso: Well, it's Thanksgiving. Some people bake pies. We bake ourselves.

However unfunny it is now, it was really funny then.

OH! I wrote penisland.com on my board in an effort to tell my kids about it when the principal walked into the classroom. Knowing that is was Pen Island, I learned alot about my principal she stated, "We all have needs, and I know your girlfriend is out of town, but those type of sites are not allowed in a classroom and you should know better." To which I replied, I will convey your message to the residents of Pen Island." "Pen I-oh. Thank you, Mr. Berry. You may return to your class now." My wonderful students, who were listening at the door, could no longer contain themselves, and for the next fifteen minutes, neither could I.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
The Smartest Player today is currently snickersbaxton.

And this time, I earned it, instead of just being the first person to play.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
This is GREAT. Seriously. Go. Click play. You must.
Dear Miss Manners:

At an apartment-warming I attended, a couple arrived about 30 minutes into the party. Within seconds, the family dog began making love to the female guest's leg. Her date grabbed her because she was struggling to stand.

The hostess said, "Down! Down!" The host said, "No, 'Big Boy!' No!" and tried to pull Big Boy off, without success. A nearby guest then leaned forward and gave the dog's tail a single tug. The dog let out a yelp, dropped to his feet and began inspecting his rear.

The yelp brought the party to a halt. In the silence that followed, the hostess said, "Did you jerk my dog's tail?" The tail-tugger turned red and looked ashamed, but said nothing. The moment passed and the party resumed.

Big Boy walked away. The tail-tugger did, too, in the opposite direction. The female guest later became pregnant, but not because of Big Boy. I don't think anyone handled this well. What do you think?

That you had far too good a time at this party.
Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring banana phone....

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring banaaaaanaaaaaa phoooooooooooone....

I can call my cat!

Anyway, how is everyone? Is everyone out there?
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
The Smartest Player today is currently snickersbaxton.
Saturday, March 12, 2005
ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, March 11, 2005
Taste it JB!
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
So I managed to get 1 answer correct! I have indonesian on my quiz! Indo - Freakin" - nesian!
Monday, March 07, 2005
I just thought I'd say that its 68 degrees outside and beautiful and ... IT's SUPPOSED TO SNOW TOMORROW!!!!!! I hate this teasing, I want to be able to go outside and know that tomorrow it won't be snowing. Now that I've got that off my chest...I'm going back outside.

I have also discovered in recent days that my knowledge of useless Broadway trivia has been getting me a few freebees in the quiz. Does anyone else know Miss. Siagon's "winning number"?
I attempted to take a quiz while my students were completing their class work. This was a bad idea. It took me 155 seconds, but only because I finally told them to leave me alone for at least 1 minute of their lives. Now, they are all pissy. I love it when I neglect my job.
Yeah, I've run into a handful of problems where the question made no sense without the context of the subject (in parens!)
e.g.
1) Thinking minority question (color of rob's eyes)
a) blue
b) hazel
c) brown
d) green

In other news, Rob is incredible sore after a day of skiing on Saturday..... Lots of fun but I can't for the life of me understand how people go on vacation and do this 5 days in a row!!!

Ok, back to work.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
Um, I'm confused. One of my trivia questions today was:


Which Indian cities were the first trading posts for this company?
-Delhi and Bombay
-Calcutta and Delhi
-Madras and Calcutta
-Madras and Bangalore

Uh - WHAT company? Needless to say, I got that one wrong...But I got this one right:


Which is NOT a Constitutional reason for impeaching a President?
-Treason
-High Crimes and Misdemeanors
-Bribery
-Getting body piercings

Fortunately, the rest of my questions were somewhere in between these two.
Friday, March 04, 2005
7. On Mobil signs, one of the letters is a different color from the others. Which one is it?


WTF
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
In two days, I have managed to answer a whopping five questions. Proving once again that teaching does not make you smarter, neither does schooling, excessive beer drinking, or chocolate. These things, however, do pay the bills, increase the bills, feel and taste good, respectively, respectively (yes, this sentence warrants a double "respectively" even if incorrectly applied).