Ubiquitous Academicians

Posts Tagged ‘Ethan

This post is not political

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Well, at least I don’t intend for it to be. See, I wrote my title before my post, which is something I rarely do. I figure, if I commit my title to being non-political, I can probably accomplish the same with my entire post.

Instead of politics, I’ll write about a book I read recently. The Five People you meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom, was a rather provocative and interesting read for me. I won’t pen an entire review here. Rather, I’ll share some of the aspects that make this book both amazing and disgusting, simultaneously.

First off, I found the book provocative and emotional. Albom managed, in a bumbling way, to reach out and tell me a story which really provided an interesting viewpoint on life, death and what happens in between.

Note I said bumbling. This is because, in between some beautiful quotes and bits of action, Mitch writes like an overtired twelve-year old. With a hacking cough.

Anyways, it’s good to be back.

And I’ll point out that, although my ranting about the subject which is not in this post has been slightly excessive, at least it carried this blog along while my co writers were shirking.

Written by Ethan

May 25, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Posted in Books, Ethan

Tagged with , , ,

Oops – she did it again!

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How does she manage? Now, judging by the fact that I parodied a Britney Spears title for my title (no, I don’t own the CD. I did once, for about three hours before I broke it up into tiny pieces and trashed it. No, I didn’t spend money on it – it was a “gift” which I valued approximately between argyle socks and a battered map of the Horn of Africa.) you must be thinking I’m referring to Britney herself. No, I’m not – I don’t talk about wacky celebrities. Instead, I’m referring to Hillary Clinton (Hooray! Another unfounded rant by Ethan about Mrs. Clinton!) who managed to win Pennsylvania.
Now, for a word on how she did it. Apparently, she won over the large body of blue-collar “Average-Joes” and their wives. How? Well, I’m about to analyze this.
Let me say, first off, if I was a Pennsylvanian Average Joe, I’d be severely insulted. While Mr. Obama went bowling and ate at a diner, Mrs. Clinton downed a shot of whiskey followed by a chaser of beer. How’s that for an idea? I bet Bill came up with it… “Say, honey, here’s a thought: These blue-collar guys drink a lot, don’t they? Wouldn’t that be a good way to make them think you’re like them?”
Right. Because I want a president like that in the White House. Like I want that Britney Spears CD.

Written by Ethan

April 25, 2008 at 9:53 am

Olympic Hullabaloo – who really cares?

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I’m in San Francisco for a while, but one thing that is not on my agenda is watching the Olympic torch run. Let me say for the record, I have never watched the entire Olympic games – only sections I really enjoy, such as fencing. This isn’t because I don’t like the events; they merely coincide with other happenings, and don’t take top priority.

Basically, I don’t have very strong opinions about the Olympics. However, when ridiculous hypocrites create an atmosphere of fear and animosity during the celebration of a wonderful attempt at unity and sportsmanship, I am truly disgusted. I’m referring, of course, to the protesters for Tibet. Now I will admit, I’m not very informed on this conflict, so I won’t speak too ardently – but from what I have observed, the Tibetan people really do need our support, and China seems to be out of line. That’s all I will say.

But people – come on! When there is a close ratio of security personnel to spectators, you’ve must admit there is a problem. When people are being leaping around and attacking each other like battle-crazy barbarians, there must be a problem.

Especially when it’s being done in the name of PEACE!

You know, if you really cared about the Tibetan people, you’d be doing something to help them – not ruining this honored celebration.

And on the other side of the coin, it’s a flame! While it is symbolic, and crucial to the ceremony, it’s certainly not worth all this insanity.

Basically, I wish people would use theirs heads, instead of charging off to make peace using violence.

Written by Ethan

April 9, 2008 at 11:18 pm

Nice going WordPress!

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Great. A few minutes after I make one of the lamest posts in the history of humanity, wordpress goes and gives me excellent subject matter.

In case you didn’t notice, wordpress has just – and I mean just – updated their site. (Actually, they could have done it anywhere in the past 24ish hours. That’s what I get for using ScribeFire.)

The appearance seems to be the only thing, but I haven’t explored it very closely yet. So far, my opinions are mixed. It’s new and strange, and I’m somewhat lost.
That having been said, I like what I see. Many options seem more accessible – all my blogs are listed across the top of my window, instead of that silly drop-down menu I had to use before (which is still there; but I can smugly ignore it.)

Actually, it looks similar to Vista. I’m not sure how this is relevant, but it’s an observation I have made.

This post is brief because I’ve already posted today – I just figured I’d weigh in on the new subject matter at hand, while it’s still fresh.

Written by Ethan

April 4, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Posted in Blogging, Ethan

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Another Day, Another Post

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I just took a look at our blog statistics. Boy, what a good way to make myself depressed. Yesterday, we garnered a whopping 7 views – pathetic, compared to the 53 we earned on our debut. Granted, we debuted talking politics, at a time when politics were the absolute hot topic – and we posted about Wisconsin first.
We were also new, interesting and both writing.

Only one of these remains applicable.

Still, I will carry on. I’ll make a big deal about it, moping and whining in a manner unbefitting of an academician. But I’ll do it.

So, on to the actual subject matter of this post. I have resolved not to worm out of being interesting, like I did yesterday. Therefor, my subject is something pathetic. Indeed, today I am writing about when free stuff is good – and when it is not.

Funnily enough, I just listed all sorts of free software I’ve been downloading for my new laptop. Obviously, I am a fan of free stuff. (I’m keeping this to free software/media, not free anything.) Just today, I’ve downloaded even more – Pidgin, FoxLingo, and the most intellectual of all games: Line Rider. I also started OpenOffice, but when my horrible dial-up (I know, I know. I need to upgrade.) informed me that it would take 30+ hours, I put it on hold.
Lots of free software comes from the Mozilla Project (http://www.mozilla.org/), which I cannot praise highly enough. Projects such as this contribute more to innovation than most highly paid professionals.
All of this having been said, sometimes free stuff is not so good. An obvious example is software that comes corrupted with Spyware or viruses – trojans, miners, all sorts of creepy little things that haunt the dreams of my computer and wallet. These are not positive things, for anyone. The sad thing is, pretty much all of them come with free software; what kind of idiot would try to sell someone a virus?
There are other downers.
Not all free software is as good as “comparable” programs that you must purchase. In fact, this is often the case. Lots of free things are free simply because they aren’t good enough to be marketed.

There are many other pros and cons, but this post has gone on long enough. Please let me know what you think – and recommend our blog to your friends! The more readers, the happier we are; the happier we are, the better our writing.

This topic came to me courtesy of Chris Brogan (http://www.chrisbrogan.com/) who maintains a handy list for bloggers just like me – who are caught in a slump.

Written by Ethan

April 4, 2008 at 4:41 pm

The Academician Lives!

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Well, one of us at least.

Don’t let me fool you – Nick is still alive and kicking; he merely has followed his all-too-normal procedure for blogging: Don’t. Oh well. At least I’m still here, even though I’ve been absent.

A few news items on my “home front:” I purchased a new laptop! Toshiba Satellite A215 – very nice. I’m extremely pleased, not only because I can surf the web anywhere I want, but because I can write almost constantly, whether it is here or in my word processor, with a goal of publishing something.
Anyways, I’ve been customizing it over the past couple of days, and downloading useful tools.
Let it be said here and now: When it comes to computers, I’m no minimalist. Here’s a short list of things I’ve added so far. It’s short, but with time it will grow.

StumbleUpon (http://www.stumbleupon.com/) – It’s a great little toolbar that allows you to – in addition to being a social network of sorts – list some interests, and then see what others with similar likes and dislikes have found, and rated. All with the click of a button.
I’m very pleased, and have already discovered several interesting new websites and blogs.

Mozilla Firefox (http://www.mozilla.org/) Duh! Only the best browser out there! Not much else to say, except that it brings me lots of other useful gadgets, such as:

Mozilla ScribeFire (http://www.mozilla.org/) Which is what I’m using now. Basically, it is a blogging tool that stores your blog(s) information, and, with the click of a button, has you typing away at your next post. This post, in fact, is my main test. Synopsis: Very nice.

That’s all for now, other than my IM systems. I’m off to check out Skype – but I’ll write again soon!

Faithfully to my readers,

Written by Ethan

April 2, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Warning: Subject matter is absent in this post

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Well, I’m writing again today. I’m not really lingering on my great-grandfather’s death – I’m just picturing him on the other side, having a grand old time with Franklin D. Roosevelt – the greatest man ever born, as far as my Grampa was concerned.

I’ll be attending his funeral, and visiting with family later in the week, so my writing will be sporadic, at best. Still, I’ve got to pen (type, actually) something for today.

I can’t talk about the Oscars – not wholly because I didn’t watch them, but because Nick and I try to keep our subject matter diverse.

 

I’m rather preoccupied with a large essay I’m writing, concerned with the crisis faced by the oceans and the fishing industry. I’ll probably publish it here when I complete it, as well as anywhere I can. I’ve been reading quite a bit of material on the subject, and it’s distressing me greatly.

 

Herewith having filled about one half of my post, I’ll now try to say something of merit.

 

I read an interesting quote a few days ago. I’m not sure who to attribute it to, but whoever realized it was a wise person.

We’re all familiar with the adages “Knowledge is Power” and “Power Corrupts” – both have been in numerous movies, books and other media tidbits.

Well, pair them up. If knowledge is Power and Power Corrupts, shouldn’t we all try to remain stupid?

Now, let’s analyze this obvious contradiction of our principles.

Knowledge is Power – true, right? Well, if one has a vast store of knowledge, theoretically anything can be accomplished, if you know how. Being able to do more stuff gives you power – manipulation is much easier if you are smart enough to handle people.

Power corrupts. This is harder, and probably where the inconsistency can be found. True, power often corrupts – but there are just as many examples of good people staying good when they gain power.

This is not to say that people don’t change when they attain power.

 

Anyways, mull this over, and let me know what you think. I seem to have filled my post well enough, although its not the easiest jumble to comprehend.

Oh well. I have other stuff to do.

 

Written by Ethan

February 26, 2008 at 6:21 pm