October 2005 Archives

Level3 just announced intent to acquire the assets of Williams Communications.

Wow, the consolidation just keeps going.

Now that the Verizon-MCI merger is final (FCC clearance), I wonder how soon they'll change to peer directly with MCI's network. Right now, Verizon's peering/transit isn't very broad (they don't have direct peering with Level 3 or Qwest, etc). It used to be they had direct Level 3 transit (the company, not the layer of the OSI model), and Level 3 itself was very well connected.

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This article by Jack Lynch is some of the most sage advice I've read in a while concerning going beyond your sources:


Need to start reading Two Lives of Charlemagne very soon for the 3-page History paper due in November.

Way to go, Robert McCormick of Savvis...

To this day, I can't fathom how Smashing Pumpkins fans can so deride Adore. I do understand that they lost the edge they had prior to this album, but really, it's some of the most beautiful music out there (the vocalizations are another thing, but I'm not complaining too badly).

I keep wondering and waiting as to when the day will arrive that broadcast TV networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, WB) will stream their shows online on a regular basis. Note that the full premiere episode of the WB's Supernatural was featured on Yahoo! once.

The Prioress�s Tale is definitely anti-Semitic, but who can we ultimately ascribe these sentiments to: the Prioress or Chaucer, himself? As I worked through the story, it seems to become clear that we can attribute them to Chaucer. There are no comments about the Jews which are any less than fully derogatory; I would expect that if this tale was meant as a critique or commentary on Jewish-Christian relations at the time from an objective standpoint, that there would be a reprieve, however small, of some of the Jews portrayed in the story. None can be found, however, and all Jews that even knew of this incident are slaughtered, suggesting, of course, the myopic view that all Jews think and behave the same way.

The adjectives describing the two �sides��Christians and Jews�are quite contrasting. Consider the �innocent� and �little� child, his mother the �poor� widow, against the Jews who were �hateful to Christ and his comaignye� (5). They are also called the �cursed Jews� in line 112. Again, this is a mass-lumping of Jewish people into a single category that just so obviously reeks of deeply seated prejudice (there�s a stronger word I seek, but it eludes me at present).

When the provost draws the Jews by horses, the Prioress makes note that �after that he heng hem by the lawe� (147) � the Christian�s law, of course. It�s no stretch�whether you believe in capital punishment or not�to see how they might have justified killing the hired Jewish murderer, but I doubt that the systematic eradication of any Jew with knowledge of the boy�s murder has any such support under any law.

I am curious why the Prioress relays the song�s lyrics missing �mater� from the full O alma redemptoris mater until �Yet spak this child when spreind was holy water / And song O alma redemptoris mater� (153-4). Surely it�s not an oversight on Chaucer�s part; he seems careful to get it right all but once, so I�ll assume that its final reciting which includes �mater� holds significance, but as yet I�m unsure of what that might be. Perhaps this is a question that can be addressed and answered satisfactorily in class, particularly in light of how this particular tale comments on The Shipman�s Tale.

How I missed this, I just don't know: Kevin Max's new CD The Imposter is OUT!

He's definitely in my top 10 artists of all time.

Went to the Potawatami Zoo (which is right across from IUSB) today (Friday, that is), to begin my Direct Primate Observation for Anthropology. I observed a pair of "Common Chimpanzees" P. t. troglodytes--one male, one female--by using scan sampling, which is a technique that uses predefined behavior and locomotion categories with time intervals noted.

I am so buried in schoolwork right now.

* Spanish test and workbook due on Tuesday the 25th.
* Anthropology test on Tuesday the 25th.
* Primate Observation has to be done this weekend, with the writeup due next week (Thursday).
* Read tons and tons for History of Western Civ.
* Read tons and tons for English Literatures to 1600 and post lengthy online comments.

Man oh man!

�Es verdad, es verdad! Hammer just wants to get his club on.

The new Lexus IS website is live; what a great car! I do still miss the 2005 and prior years, though. Maybe after school I'll be able to pick up a 2005 model with low or no mileage on the "cheap."

Transporter 2 exists merely to serve as the model for what movies would be if they were envisioned and executed without the smallest shred of plausibility.

And no, I didn't hate the 1st one...

This season of Lost totally rocks my socks, except for last night's mostly-boring episode.

College has changed me into an irrevocably cynical and bitter person.

Really, I'm so tired of it.

I came to this school assured repeatedly that they would help me write better. Full knowing that I'd have to take literature courses, I still convinced myself that the end result would be worth it. Others, (some family and mostly coworkers of time past) tried convincing me that I should stick with my job. I'm rapidly losing strength. They are absolutely NOT, so far, teaching me how to write better, even though I'm under the writing concentration (we don't have a writing minor as other schools have). To the school and the department of English's defense, none of my coursework is unexpected, it's just that I was hoping for more focus on writing itself, not on various analyses of literary works (I must point out I'm an avid reader when time permits, but I read for fun, not to induce aneurysms).

Each class other than English is tough as nails, especially Spanish, which I'm in my 2nd year in, and keeping up with my other classes often drains me of critical time and mental resources that I'd rather spend on English. Perhaps I should let the others slide (Anthropology, History, and Spanish) and just focus primarily on English, but I do try to do as best I can in each.

After this semester, I still have 2 full-fledged literature classes left (300-level ones), a few electives, and hopefully, other 300 and 400-level writing classes. Of course, there's always the Senior Seminar, which is bound to be loads of tongue-slapping fun!

Began reading Becoming Human tonight, as part of my Anthropology class. I might post some brief thoughts once I'm through it a little further, as time permits me to.

Now we're reading The Canterbury Tales: A Selection in Chaucer's Middle English, not via translation.

Egads, it's tough!


I had to read Lanval for English Literature tonight.

I confess to being a little confused as to some of the inner workings of this story.

Chiefly, Lanval's girl admonishes him not to divulge her existence nor their relationship with her warning that "you would lose me for good / if this lover were known; / you would never see me again / or possess my body." (30, for lack of true line numbers, I'll use the predefined paragraphs instead). But as we find out at the end of this poem, we know this is not the case, but rather that he does reclaim her love, and by extension her body as well.

This poses the question, in my mind: since he begs and begs her to return and she doesn't, is it only the status of the accuser that prompts her to return? In other words, were it not for the queen's accusal, and the subsequent 'investigation' by King Arthur, would his girl ever have returned to him? It is, after all, the two girls he had met earlier--who he also denies knowing twice later on--that precede Lanval's girl, and foretell of her approaching.

As I begin to work with this poem, it begins to seem clearer that the chief component to this story is the nature of wrongdoing and forgiveness, especially as it pertains to honor. When Lanval broke his promise to his girl, it was the second response to the queen: the first out of propriety, and the second as a redress for her insult to him. In defending his own honor, Lanval makes the mistake of boasting about his love�breaking his promise in the process�but also making the mistake of his hasty, improper retort. I find it curious, then, to see that, no matter how insulting his response to the queen may be, ultimately the burden lies on whether or not his statement is in fact true; that his love is indeed the most beautiful of all.

But Lanval denies dishonoring or shaming his lord (75), and so, in retaining deep love and honor for his girl, maintains his position that she is fairer in beauty than the queen. That the court would still let the trial proceed is curious to me, especially as I�m not too familiar with medieval texts. I expect that the king doesn�t believe Lanval�s proclamations concerning his girl, and actually plans on a public humiliation. Of course, as we know from reading the poem, she is just as he claims, and the whole court is captivated by her beauty, and she and he live �happily ever after� on the island of Avalun.

Comments, anyone?

Reading Lysias: A Husband Speaks in His Own Defense for my History of Western Civ class. We have a in-class writing assignment Monday.

This Sources of the Making of the West: People and Cultures, Volume I: To 1740 book is very interesting.

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