Thursday, November 10, 2005

bizspeak can bite me!

ok this is a pet peeve. some people must justify getting paid to do very little by using big words to explain simple concepts. or worse yet- using a whole mess of small words when just a few words would do.

"let's do that sooner rather than later"
sooner is rather than later dumbass (that's "dum-bass", not "dumb ass")

"let's go ahead and push the button on this"
jean luc picard said it much better- "engage!". say that in a meeting full of suits.

"let's think outside the box"
yeah, let's actually be creative by not using this crappy cliche.

people should model their speech after the way clint eastwood writes movie scripts- aim for brevity and relevance. so start thinking outside the box before you open your mouth, and try to do it sooner rather than later.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

you are now officially my friend.

at least that's what the website tells me. (courtesy of shont miller)
on friendster you can have as many friends as you want. Unless you exceed 500. if you exceed 500 you will have to delete some friends if you want to add new friends. if you delete someone from your friendster list you cannot be friends with them any longer. If you didn't add someone to your friendster list then they are really not your friend are they. if you want more than 500 friends then you should have a myspace page. but that's for teenagers who have time to upload songs, movies, and more than a few pics. because on friendster you can only have 50 pics. the entire memory of your life must be comprised of approximately 4 dozen images and a blurb section that is 1000 words or less. college applicants should just submit their friendster page instead of writing an essay. it would be more concise.

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Monday, November 07, 2005

higher (priced) education?

private colleges today cost about $45,000 / year including room, board, tuition, books, expenses, health care, travel between home and school, and a little bit leftover for personal expenses. uc's are significantly less- about half as much if you live on/near campus, and a quarter of the price of a private college/university if you live at home. about 15 years ago schools cost $22,000 if memory serves. so the cost of higher education, both public and private, has gone up at about twice the rate of overall inflation. $200,000 for four years is a lot of dinero for almost anybody. and it's not just higher education- polytechnic school in pasadena, a private prep school, now costs around $25,000 vs free for public school.

then there's always the debate of public school vs private school (at all levels). are smaller classes more beneficial than lecture halls? are participation and discussion critical to the development of a young mind? this is of course assuming larger student bodies at state schools have classes that are more lecture- than discussion-oriented, and vice versa for private schools with smaller enrollments. do hanging out with some of the nation's elite brats help your child get ahead in life? do you measure "getting ahead" in the same way as trust fund kids and their parents? and if you do believe in the benefits of private education, how much of a premium would you pay? 50%? 100%? 200%? or better yet, consider the premium as a percentage of your income and savings.

anybody who's attended private school knows that although every school has its share, not everyone at private school is a spoiled brat. there are lots of kids there from humbler backgrounds, and there are also kids from wealthy families who work hard and aren't spoiled. and on the flip side it's also nice to go to a uc, make good friends, and wind up near your hometown 15 years later with many of your college buddies living nearby. when you go across the country to attend college it doesn't always turn out that way- you often wind up with friends scattered all around the world pursuing their very different lives, and as everyone gets older and busier it becomes harder to stay connected.

party on (that's what college is about anyway, no? haha)

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Whack the GOOG!!!

ok everyone get your mind out of the gutter. that is not the name of my winky. google whacking is a fun pastime for people who are supposedly busy but actually have free time on their hands (*ahem*! college students, slackers, "creative people" haha jk). for those of you who actually have to work to make rent, support babies, pay mortgages, etc you are off the hook and can stop reading if you choose. There's an official website ( that will walk you through the rules, but basically they are:
  1. you need to find a 2 word search that yields only one result from google
  2. both words must be defined by the google dictionary. the little blue bar above the search results will show the search phrase- both words must be in blue and underlined (meaning there's a link to the word's definition). if it ain't defined it don't count, so "makhai khalem!!!" (for all of you who have seen father of the bride), even if it yields only one result, won't count.
  3. the single result cannot be a web page that is simply a word list (like those long list of obscure words that scrabble players use)
they have a validator on the googlewhack website, so when you get a google whack, you can go enter it on their site and if it passes all the rules you can leave a comment and your name to be immortalized in the goog annals (again get your mind out of the gutter).

the hard part is finding obscure defined words that are not listed in the various web pages that recognizes as a wordlist. one way to find such words is to look at recent whacks. likely they'll be made up of at least one such word.

so generally whacking the goog is hard (er, difficult). two and a half hours of nonstop whacking yielded "eponymous aquafarmer" and "fugliest charybdis". i'm sure many of you who score higher than 650 on the verbal sat, or those of you who actually read more than us magazine will be able to whack the goog much more quickly.

whack away!

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