A Video Message from the Students

This video comes via Project Tomorrow (which oversees the Speak Up Project for youth) and the video is a powerful message about priorities and needs of education from the view of students.

In 2008, the involvement in the annual Speak Up Survey involved:
281,150 Students
29,644 Teachers
21,309 Parents
3,115 Administrators

Peace (in listening),

Kevin

Writers do the Happy Dance

Someone shared this video over at one of my social networking sites and I just had to crack up. It is such a great spoof of how a book gets published, with everyone doing the happy dance as the book moves along the process.

Peace (in publishing),
Kevin

Dear Bob … Our Spam Anti-Hero

This is one of an occasional email that I write to an author after reading their books. I have no idea what possesses me, but that non-reflective stance has never stopped me before. Today, I am writing an email to Bob Servant (or is it Neil Forsythe?) who wrote a wonderful tome entitled: Delete This At Your Peril! that centers on Servant’s email exchanges with spammers who clog our inboxes with harrowing tales of royal riches, Russian brides and other adventures.

Bob, of Scotland, decides to join in the fracas with wit and humor, and I was laughing so hard my children were worried about me.

Here is a blurb from his website:

Delete This At Your Peril features the anarchic exchanges between Bob and the hapless spam merchants. As they offer Bob lost African millions, Russian brides and get-rich-quick scams he responds by generously offering some outlandish schemes of his own. The spammers may have breached his firewall, but they have met their match as Bob Servant rises heroically to the challenge, and sows confusion in his wake.

Also at Bob’s website, I found his email address and wrote him a letter.

Dear Bob,

I am a little reluctant to send you an email, knowing as I now do the possibilities of your replies. I don’t have the time or energy for that kind of relationship. So let me just start out by saying that I do not have a load of cash sitting in a vault in Africa, nor am I the long lost heir to some royal seat in Zambia. I will never be considered a Russian beauty with a well-endowed chest (although my wife thinks I am cute enough for her) who seeks a hubby for love and life, nor will I give you 15 percent profits if my “friends” wire you some cash that the government shouldn’t know about. In addition, Bob, let me make it clear that I have no interest whatsoever in Chinese rubber belts or plastic planter pots of any sort. Neither do I intend to fall for your “Bobby” babe routine.
And, just so we all understand and are on the up and up, I never took your window-washing ladders that day that will clearly live in infamy in your mind, Bob.
That said, Bob, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book, which I read yesterday afternoon in one long stretch. My kids were running amok, the chores were not being done, and in general, I let the world go to hell as I laughed my butt off about your exploits with email. I may never look at one of those spam emails again without thinking of you, Bob. Come to think of it, though, I had finally found myself not even noticing the spam anymore. Kind of like the kids screaming and you just tune them out completely? You know how that works. It just falls outside your field of vision. Now I will notice the spam again. I’ll see it in my inbox and think, should I forward this to Bob or has he already seen it?
So I am now wondering if I should be thanking you or be getting pissed off about spam coming back into my sight.
Let’s leave it at thanks, Bob. I bought the book, after all. You only wrote it. Staying positive about this whole spam situation keep us on some good footing, don’t you think?
Bob, I want to say that it’s not often that you run across someone who has the intellect to parry with the unknowns of this world, but you, Bob, have done it, with grace and humor and just enough vulgarity to make your adventure fun for the rest of us. I pictured you, with all of your Jazz magazines piled like rocks around you, punching keys in Scotland and meanwhile, somewhere in the world, some other fool was trying to string you along with only one goal: to gain your Cheeseburger Van fortune.
The real question is: are there really people who send along their bank numbers? Is this world littered with such imbeciles? Are we all such fools?
No need to answer, Bob. I think we both know the answer is, sadly, yes.

I come, then, to another sticky matter: Are you real, Bob? Or are you just some imaginary device from your pal, Neil? I guess it doesn’t matter. In the wired world, an imaginary fellow has as much chance to do damage as the real one.

Keep up the good work!

A pal from across the seas,

Kevin

The book can be ordered via Amazon. (Bob promises to ship me two talking lions for promoting his book, so tell them I sent ya)

Peace (in humor),
Kevin

And now … crazy warnings

Language is a funny thing.

Just check out these warnings found on products. Is it just because we, as humans, are generally stupid? Or is it fear of litigation? Or maybe something got lost in the translation from the place where things were made to the place where things are sold.

In any event, have a laugh on me and the folks over at Crazy Warnings.

Disposable razor:
Do not use this product during an earthquake.

And:

Furniture Wipes
Do not use for a baby wipe.

Stickers to put on the seat of a potty training toilet
This is not a toy. Stickers require adult supervision.

Lawnmower
Warning: When Motor Is Running – The Blade Is Turning

Instructions on the bottom of a grocery store pizza
Do not turn upside down.

Bottom of a Coca-Cola bottle
Do not open here.

Oh, there is plenty more at the Crazy Warnings site, too.

Peace (in instructions),
Kevin

April Fool’s for Geeks

Wired Mag has a list of some geeky April Fool’s Jokes that include:

  • remapping the keyboard of a friend
  • changing the sound of incoming email to a fart sound
  • ┬ácovering up the light on an optical mouse
  • the screenshot-as-desktop gag
  • and more

Check out the ten gags and you can even vote on the best ones. (but don’t try any of these with me!)

Peace (in playfulness),
Kevin

Bob, the palindrome video (by Weird Al)

This video was shared over at the collective Teach.Eng.Us site by Linus but it had me laughing so hard, I just had to share it out. It’s a Dylan homage (does Weird Al do homage or just farce?) and uses palindromes.

Very funny.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/RCG2E6AtNfc" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Peace (in backwards and frontwards words),
Kevin

Daddy?

In 30 minutes this morning, my three kids barraged with me these questions (I actually wrote them down once I realized the question attack was on, although it was a coordinated venture, as far as I can tell):

  • Can you get me a bowl (me: cereal)? Can you get the milk? Is that a spoon? (7 yr old)
  • My pajamies has milk on it. Can you get it off? (3 yr old)
  • This spoon is too small. Can you get me a big spoon?( 3 yr old)
  • Can you read me a book? (10 yr old)
  • What’s that right there? (me: it’s a crock pot) I don’t like crockpots. (3 yr old)
  • What’s chili? (me: kind of like soup, but spicy) It’s not soup! I don’t like chili. (3 yr old)
  • Can we see Lord of the Rings? (me: no, too scary) You always say that! (10 yr old)
  • Can you help fix my shade? (me: your shade? what’s wrong with your shade. Who yanked it all the way up?) Me. (me: why?) Don’t know. (7 yr old)
  • I don’t have my other sock. Daddy, can you find it? (3 yr old) — sock found in bed.
  • Daddy, when you are done, can I go on NBA.Com? The Celtics play tonight. (7 yr old)

Me: It’s gonna be a long day.

Peace (from the answer man),
Kevin