Saturday, October 30, 2004

Daylight-Saving Time: A Weird U.S. Tradition

CNN's website has a little interactive report on Daylight-Saving Time. Check it out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

A change of heart

After viewing the Yes, Bush Can website, I've had a change of heart. It was the Fact Check page that really convinced me. Locked up here in my ivory tower, I wasn't aware of all the ridiculous things that were being said about our CEO President.

Unfortunately, it's too late because I already sent in my absentee ballot, but I hope that my dear misled readers (and if they're reading this blog, they must have been misled) will see the light after a trip to the Yes, Bush Can site.

Although I cannot correct the terrible mistake I made, I am considering taking the Patriot Pledge as a kind of penance. I'll also be passing the "Smokey the Log" petition around the office very soon.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The "Plagiarism" responses

I've posted a few of the responses to the questions about the "Plagiarism" chapter on my Research Methods site. I have to admit I was a little surprised that most of the students expressed agreement with Gibaldi's moralistic language regarding plagiarism. Maybe I should have told them they were allowed to question him...?

Monday, October 04, 2004

Update on Research Methods class

I mentioned in an earlier note that my Research Methods class was focusing on "plagiarism, copyright, and intellectual property" this semester. Here's what has happened so far.

We had a holiday last week so the Research Methods class couldn't meet. In the mean time I noticed 2 news articles that showed up on CNN's website that related to plagiarism: one about a playwright accused of plagiarizing from a book and a magazine article, and another about a Harvard professor who admitted plagiarizing from another book. I also noticed that if you do a full-text search for "plagiarism" or "plagiaris*" in an online encyclopedia like the Columbia Encyclopedia at Bartleby.com or the encyclopedias in the Grolier collection, you'll often get a lot of results that relate to literary authors who were accused of plagiarism. Wonder what that means...

I'm assigning my students the second chapter of the new (6th) edition of the MLA Handbook. The chapter is about (surprise!) plagiarism. It's quite a hoot in places... Here are the questions the students are supposed to answer about the chapter.
  1. Why do you think Gibaldi has this as the second chapter in the book?
  2. What words seem to you to be the strongest (or "key") words in this chapter? In other words, which words stand out the most to you? Why?
  3. Knowing that the author is writing with students like you as the audience, how do you think he wants to make you feel about plagiarism?
  4. How do you feel after reading this chapter?
  5. What questions do you have about plagiarism after reading this chapter?
If I get any really interesting responses, I'll post them.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

More revisionist history-journalism

Not to be outdone by the China Post (see my earlier note), the Taipei Times declared Sun Yat-sen "Taiwan's founding father" in an article in today's paper.

More on the moribund state of democracy in the U.S.

The Christian Science Monitor has an article about the persecution of anti-Bush protestors. I mentioned in an earlier post how Glenn Hiller of Hedgesville, WV got fired from his job after asking Bush some tough questions at a rally. The Monitor describes another incident in West Virginia, where two anti-Bush protestors were arrested for "wearing T-shirts with anti-Bush slogans" and "refusing to relocate to an area for protesters" at a July 4 rally. According to the Monitor,
At Bush campaign stops, attendees sometimes must sign a loyalty pledge, and staffers screen those who would ask the president questions.
Doesn't sound too different from what usually happens across the Strait from me...

In other news from West Virginia, AP reporter Ron Fournier quotes Allan Ramsey, "a 67-year-old retiree" from Hedgesville who said he was "disappointed in the president's performance" in the debate and thinks he found "reasons to maybe vote for Kerry" after listening to what Kerry had to say in the debate. Let's see... Ramsay can't lose his job, since he's a retiree, so I guess Bush will have to figure out some way to arrest him...

Friday, October 01, 2004

"I wake up every day thinking about how best to protect America. That's my job." GWB

Hopefully not for long...

"I sit down with the world leaders, uh... frequently..." GWB

From listening to the debate on NPR (via the Internet), I'd say Kerry did do better than Bush, despite the rules that hamstrung him (rules that Bush broke on one occasion, according to an AFP report by Stephen Collinson). I don't know if this qualifies him as "better than Cicero," but he definitely sounded more presidential than Bush.

Transcript of first debate (NPR)