Archive for October 25th, 2003

Memories Waft Like Gas

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What
a gorgeous day for a protest! I can picture it now….the human sea of
righteous indignation, the thin blue line of the scared and secretly
sympathetic forces of State Security.  My eyes are welling up just
thinking about it.  Or maybe it’s just a teargas flashback.

Almost makes me wish I had been there.  But instead, the Dowbrigade
spent the morning at the Just Don’t Suck tennis club, and the afternoon
sleeping
like a slug despite the glorious fall day outside. Hell no, we won’t
go…..

At any rate, here is the BBC coverage of the protests

And I Quote

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Don’t you hate people who have a quotation ready for
any situation or emotion to make themselves sound sophisticated, intelligent
and erudite? I
have tried
to accumulate a corpus of killer quotes, but with a memory closely resembling
swiss cheese, I could never get the damn things straight. Now, thanks
to The Quotations Page even
I can sound sophisticated, intelligent and erudite.

Or, as Dorthy Parker (1893-1967) used to say, "I might repeat to myself
slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound

if I
can remember any of the damn things."

Although I suspect I will end up agreeing with Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 –
1882) "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

The Quotations Page

BU Bounces Lecture Note Company

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Finally
– Someone cares enough to violate the intellectual property rights of
people who do what I do for a living – lecture to BU students!

It’s amazing how finding yourself on the other side of the bar can affect
your drinking habits. What are my thoughts aboiut companies that buy
lecture notes from students and sell them to other students ($5 per lecture,
$49 for a complete course)?

First, if the teacher was getting a cut I would be all for it. Otherwise,
well, lets just say my empathy for studio musicians went up a notch.

Second, buyer beware…..

In the first six weeks of the semester, Beantown Notes has blanketed
the campus with fliers, advertised in the student newspaper, and set
up Web page and a storefront a block from campus on Beacon Street. The
firm says it currently offers notes from about 30 classes.

But now BU wants to shut the company down for stealing its intellectual
property, saying that what Beantown Notes is doing is illegal.

from
the Boston Globe

BU Having Second Thoughts on Goldin

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So just
two weeks ago, we all get an email from the Boston University Chancellor’s
office, announcing that the university has declared November 17th an
Official University Holiday, all classes cancelled, all offices closed,
in honor of the coronation of the new University President, John Goldin,
Mr.
"Faster,
Better, Cheaper" himself.

A classic ploy to pack the galleries of an event which other\ise would
be pathetically unattended.

Of course, my student’s saw right through it. Given that the previous
Friday is also a program holiday ("Professional Development Day"), they
are being given a 4-day weekend, and added to Columbus Day, Yom Kippur
and three days for Thanksgiving, they are paying for a lot of days we
are taking off.

I have business students right now, and a lot of them can do the math.
They tell me it amounts to a 10% surcharge on an already inflated tuition. 

Now comes the news, three short weeks before the Ceremonial Installation,
that the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees is having second
thoughts, not about the ceremony or the holiday, but about giving the
green light to Mr. Goldin at all! How
am I going to explain this one to my students?

from
the Boston Globe

Goodbye, Crueller World

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from
the Boston Globe

Its retirement
never even merited a notice on the drive-through menu, much less a
memorial service with Homer Simpson-esque eulogies. But over the summer,
when customers were distracted by Coffee Coolattas and maple-frosted
scones and such, Dunkin’ Donuts took a step that left some loyalists
with an empty, funereal feeling, twisting them in knots like the snack
whose passing they now mourn.

Without fanfare, the Randolph-based company phased out one of its original
breakfast-pastry items, the doughy, dunkable girder upon which many a
franchise — and ample waistline — has been built.

The cruller is no more.

 

Every Playboy Centerfold, Ever, On One Page

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Man Bites Dog

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An
interesting post from Robert Koehler, and American ex-pat living and
teaching in South Korea, and author of the Marmot’s
Hole
, an excellent read.

"Now, for those of you who might not know, I managed to earn the nickname "Dog
Killer" at Kyung Hee University, and for a very good reason – I’ll
be willing to bet money that I consume more dog meat than any other white
man in the Republic of Korea."

When man bites
dog

Buddhist Studies Conference

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Ryan Overbey has put together a nice site for the upcoming Buddhist Studies Graduate Student Conference at Harvard in April.

“The Buddhist Studies Graduate Student Conference, inaugurated by Harvard students in 1997, has become an important annual forum for interdisciplinary exchange within the field of Buddhist Studies.”

Amazonian Finger-pointing

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Ecuador,
the Dowbrigade’s favorite country in South America, a land of unparalleded
natural beauty and beautiful women (including Mrs. Dowbrigade), is also
a founding member of OPEC. For years, most of their oil was sucked up by Texaco
(now ChevronTexaco), which, according to lawsuits currently working their way through courts in Ecuador and the United States, left a bit of a
mess behind, to the tune of 30 billion gallons of toxic
waste dumped into rivers and estuaries between 1971 and 1992 . That’s
a lot of waste.

The Reuter’s
caption
on the photo reads: "Huaorani Indians protest in
front of the Superior Court in the Amazonian town of Lago Agrio, Ecuador,
at the start of a landmark trial where indigenous rainforest peoples
are seeking to force ChevronTexaco to clean up the environmental contamination
left behind from Texaco’s oil drilling operations in the Ecuadorian Amazon,
October 21, 2003. The court has the power to impose a multi-billion dollar
judgement against ChevonTexaco that will be enforceable in U.S. courts,
for the waste left from oil drilling that has had serious health ramifications
for the Indians."

AP story