Facebook’s Manipulation

June 30th, 2014 → 6:35 am

“You would play upon me,
you would seem to know my stops,
you would pluck out the heart of my mystery,
you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass;…
do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?”  – Hamlet

Facebook is getting a lot of flack for manipulating users feeds to see if they could tweak their emotions (and apparently they can).  I am always ambivalent about such news stories; I would hate being manipulated by an insensitive, bigger “power,” but I am an academic and at the same time understand the value of such studies.  This one seems pretty minor, but, I have to admit, I really never have been much of a fan of Facebook.

Filed under: Blog & Stupid/Evil People

100 Year Anniversary of Ferdinand’s Assassination

June 28th, 2014 → 7:05 am

“More are men’s ends marked than their lives before.
The setting sun, and music at the close,
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
Writ in remembrance more than things long past.”  – Richard II

100 years ago today Archduke Francis Ferdinand was assassinated, and the world slid into its first World War.  It is humbling to look back on it now; the horror, the uninevitability of it, the profound waste.  There is a world that existed before June 28, 1914, and a rather different world that was borne after it.

Filed under: Blog & Economics/Money & Literature/Theatre/Art & Other & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Luis Suarez’s Bites

June 26th, 2014 → 5:47 am

“This is the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd numbers…
They say there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death.  – The Merry Wives of Windsor

Or bites?  Who is this guy who keeps biting people on the soccer field?  What an absolute weirdo.

Filed under: Blog & Stupid/Evil People

ISIS – Islamic State of Iraq & Syria

June 15th, 2014 → 6:57 am

“Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war.” – Julius Caesar

Crazy, bloodthirsty, vengeful fools.

Filed under: Blog & Stupid/Evil People

Eric Cantor’s Defeat

June 12th, 2014 → 6:40 am

“Down, down I come, like glist’ring Phaeton,
Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
In the base court?  Base court, where kings grow base,
To come at traitors’ calls, and do them grace.”  – Richard II

[Note:  The first two lines refer to the fable of Phaethon, who

drove a chariot of sun but couldn’t control the horses (or jades),

and they drove too close to the earth and set fire to forests and cities.]

Cantor couldn’t control the unruly Tea Party and now he’s thrown down; thrown down in the base court of Congress.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Rudeness, Prejudice, Ignorance, and Rage!

May 15th, 2014 → 6:41 am

“O, what men dare do!  
What men may do!  
What men daily do, not knowing what they do!”  – Much Ado About Nothing

I tried to take my son to the dentist for the first time on Tuesday.  We woke up early, got dressed and had breakfast, played Spiderman and Thor in the car on the drive over, and then giggled riding the elevator down to the doctor’s office.  Our joy ended when we walked into reception and after taking one look at us, the secretary refused to check us in.  She said that we couldn’t see the doctor until I (a white woman) could prove that I was actually my (African American) son’s mother.  I was flabbergasted.  She actually insisted on seeing court papers before she would check us in.  Needless to say, a few heated moments later my son and I were out of the building with no teeth cleaned, rage in my heart, and my baby repeatedly asking me why that woman didn’t think I was his mommy.  I knew adopting interracially would bring some memorable experiences, but c’mon!  The insolence!  The ignorance!  The prejudice, insensitivity, and rudeness!  How does such a thing still happen in this world?

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life & Stupid/Evil People

Boko Haram

May 8th, 2014 → 7:56 am

“Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile.” – King Lear

It’s been making me crazy these last couple of weeks that the Nigerian terrorist organization Boko Haram could kidnap hundreds of girls and just make them disappear.  I think daily about the horrors these girls must be living through right now.  At least Nicholas Kristof today wrote about things we can do now to, in some larger aggregate sense, counter the evil.  I really do wish I could do more, however.

Filed under: Blog & Stupid/Evil People

The Death Penalty

May 3rd, 2014 → 7:12 am

“So bad a death argues a monstrous life.” – Henry VI

For whom?  For the inmate on death row?  Or for the state that puts the inmate to death?  The issue is back in the news again after the monstrous execution in Oklahoma.

Filed under: Blog & Other & Stupid/Evil People

Shakespeare as Revenge

March 20th, 2014 → 5:58 am

“The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief.” – Othello

There was a story on NPR yesterday about a guy who bought a game console online, but then never received it.  When he realized he’d been cheated he exacted revenge by texting 37 Shakespeare plays to the seller’s phone.  It came to nearly 30,000 text messages.  I like the joke, but my question is, did he type it all in himself?!?!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Stupid/Evil People

Spoiled Teenagers

March 11th, 2014 → 6:14 am

“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is
To have a thankless child.”  – King Lear

I heard this story, about a teenage girl suing her parents to pay for college, and immediately recalled the famous Shakespeare quote above.  OMG, what a spoiled brat!

Filed under: Blog & Stupid/Evil People