Lucky Charmers vs. Cheerioians

McSweeny’s has a hilarious parody of David Brooks’ column “style”:

A close look by a disarming columnist/commentator/author at the issues facing the candidates this year shows that one of these groups may decide the upcoming election. That group is the Cheerioians, because the Lucky Charmers are six years old, and therefore cannot vote. More importantly, they can’t read my columns, which unerringly describe the shape and fabric of the America that exists inside my own head.

Seriously though, David Brooks makes me want to chop off my arm. I know it’s appealing to generalize about people, but he seems to actively promote the idea that voting for someone based on superficial features is somehow the American thing to do, and that therefore it’s ok, and indeed the appropriate thing to do.

a question of efficiency

There is a semi-circular drive on the west side of the campus, and I usually bike or walk up it on my way in to school every day. Most pedestrians walk on the sidewalk on the outer edge. Let r denote the radius to the sidewalk on the inner edge of the drive, and r’ the width of the road. Then a pedestrian on the outer edge walks a distance of (π/2) r + r’ to reach the east side of the top of the drive, whereas a pedestrian on the inner edge walks a distance of (π/2) (r + r’). Clearly the inner path is shorter, yet fewer people take it.

As an extra credit problem, why does it make sense for me to take the outer path anyway?

tooth and nail

I have been cast in the Department of Theater, Dance and Perfomance Studies’ production of Tooth and Nail in the part of Angelo. Originally written by the Junction Avenue Theater Company, the play incorporates life-size puppets and a fragmented narrative to show the complexities of the end days of apartheid and the re-forming of political consciousness in the New South Africa. Angelo is the manservant to a white woman, and the theatrical convention employed in the play is that they only communicate with each other via operatic singing. I’m very excited! Hopefully it will spur me into accomplishing lots of things in my other endeavors as well.

classical cd guide

Check out Dave Freeman’s (known to me as “morose Dave”) Classical CD Guide. It’s a good way to get oneself educated about classical music in general. Since I’ve lost myself in the corners of choral music and avant-garde electronic noodlings, a primer on basic orchestral and chamber repertoire is a good thing to have around…