Saturday, May 10, 2003

So you want to have an outdoor wedding. But you still want the trappings of a church, and your addiction to connectivity means that you'll still want to be able to check your e-mail and see if your favorite blogs have updated during the reception.

But how can you have your day to remember, and still have all this too? It's easy!!

First, you pick the field for the ceremony and reception.

Second, you rent one of these:

Third, you solve your connectivity-at-the-reception problem by just stocking the reception area with these:

Fourth: if you seriously consider doing any of the above, smack yourself with one of these:

Friday, May 09, 2003

Find the fake food!

Incredibly, some of the foods in this list are not on any menu. Someone made them up. See if you can figure them out. (Answer inside.)

a. black-truffle lollipops
b. polenta ice cream
c. white chocolate and loganberry couscous
d. seawater mousse
e. pulverized Fisherman’s Friend lozenges
f. spaghetti noodles made from Parmesan cheese
g. suffocated peaches in aspirin sauce
h. foie-gras sorbet

(Inspired by this article, via aldaily. I am what some people call a “foodie”—compliment? not sure—and am willing to try almost anything people tell me is delicious. Almost.)
MemeWatch: Andrew Carlssin

The Collaboratory needs more hits, I think, so I thought I'd add it to the growing list of echoes of the current meme. This is a story about a story.

I first heard of Andrew Carlssin back in March this year in a story posted in Yahoo News:

Wednesday March 19, 2003


NEW YORK -- Federal investigators have arrested an enigmatic Wall Street wiz on insider-trading charges -- and incredibly, he claims to be a time-traveler from the year 2256!

Sources at the Security and Exchange Commission confirm that 44-year-old Andrew Carlssin offered the bizarre explanation for his uncanny success in the stock market after being led off in handcuffs on January 28.

"We don't believe this guy's story -- he's either a lunatic or a pathological liar," says an SEC insider.

"But the fact is, with an initial investment of only $800, in two weeks' time he had a portfolio valued at over $350 million. Every trade he made capitalized on unexpected business developments, which simply can't be pure luck.

"The only way he could pull it off is with illegal inside information. He's going to sit in a jail cell on Rikers Island until he agrees to give up his sources."

The past year of nose-diving stock prices has left most investors crying in their beer. So when Carlssin made a flurry of 126 high-risk trades and came out the winner every time, it raised the eyebrows of Wall Street watchdogs.

"If a company's stock rose due to a merger or technological breakthrough that was supposed to be secret, Mr. Carlssin somehow knew about it in advance," says the SEC source close to the hush-hush, ongoing investigation.

When investigators hauled Carlssin in for questioning, they got more than they bargained for: A mind-boggling four-hour confession.

Carlssin declared that he had traveled back in time from over 200 years in the future, when it is common knowledge that our era experienced one of the worst stock plunges in history. Yet anyone armed with knowledge of the handful of stocks destined to go through the roof could make a fortune.

"It was just too tempting to resist," Carlssin allegedly said in his videotaped confession. "I had planned to make it look natural, you know, lose a little here and there so it doesn't look too perfect. But I just got caught in the moment."

In a bid for leniency, Carlssin has reportedly offered to divulge "historical facts" such as the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden and a cure for AIDS.

All he wants is to be allowed to return to the future in his "time craft."

However, he refuses to reveal the location of the machine or discuss how it works, supposedly out of fear the technology could "fall into the wrong hands."

Officials are quite confident the "time-traveler's" claims are bogus. Yet the SEC source admits, "No one can find any record of any Andrew Carlssin existing anywhere before December 2002."

Weekly World News will continue to follow this story as it unfolds. Keep watching for further developments.

but it was only after I happened upon this page that I suddenly realised what kind of Internet super-celebrity he has become since then.

The fact that the story was posted in the Entertainment section or that the story was syndicated from Weekly World News should have been enough of a warning for most people you'd think but, no on the contrary, the story of Andrew Carlssin has been running hot continues to be copied verbatum from newspaper to newspaper.

Here's a rundown on the story's progress so far and, of course, as you might expect Carlssin now has his own webpage.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

SDB is annoyed that the University of Massachusetts is considering changing its mascot from a Minuteman to a gray wolf. Of course, he seizes on the single sentence in the article he cites that mentions "gender, firearms and ethnicity issues" to complain about political correctness, and completely ignores the article's larger point -- that the Minuteman-bearing merchandise just isn't selling these days.

Is this PC-run-amok, or is this just the free market at work?

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Grammar Hotshot Takes Down PSAT Question

I heard the lead-in for this on Talk of the Nation, but I didn't catch the discussion. Here's the question in question (the object is to choose which part of the sentence, if any, contains an error):

Toni Morrison's genius enables (A) [her to create] novels (B)[that arise from] (C)[and express] the injustice African Americans (D)[have endured]. (E) No error.

The intended answer was E. The teacher argued that A is the correct response. The question is whether "Morrison's" can serve as the noun antecedent for the pronoun "her."

My response? BS! Only a cast-in-the-die grammar cluck could argue for A with a straight face. "John Hardy's weblog enables him to share amazing facts and astounding theories with people on other continents." Anybody's got a problem with that sentence, I'll see them outside.

Monday, May 05, 2003