November 2005 Archives

Merck just announced steps to lay off 11% of its workforce.

It's official: Threshold has been cancelled.

I, for one, won't miss it in the slightest. It had absolutely no long-term story arc.

Oh, and Alias takes its bow this coming May, too. I'll miss it only slightly more--the first 2 seasons are, of course, the best.

Glance at this list of Cisco acquisitions, and then don't wonder how they are as huge as they are today. Cisco, like IBM, probably has one of the most successful acquisition track records of all time.

Tonight I have begun in earnest on my research paper for E303 - Literatures in English to 1500.

10 pages, on Chaucer's The Prioress' Tale, as it demonstrates (and comments on) blood libels and anti-Semitism.

Teaser trailer for M. Night's new movie "The Lady in the Water" ("A Bedtime Story") is out here.

What a great poster for Lost.

Shoddy headline and article writing here:

"Feds Probe Deaths of 12 Kids Taking Bird Flu Vaccine: Federal health advisers are looking into the deaths of 12 Japanese children who took Tamiflu, an anti-flu drug."

First, vaccines are considered a drug, so no problem there. The converse, however, isn't true. A drug (category) cannot be a vaccine--that's like saying a color is red, when in fact saying "color" represents merely a category.

ABC's Invasion reminds me of a guy who just keeps pointing at something, drawing pictures in the air, and mouthing things, but never actually revealing much at all...

More Lost lameness:

Will we get any clarification about the numbers this season?
Damon: Carlton might want to punch me for actually going on record and saying this, but I think that that question will never, ever be answered. I couldn't possibly imagine [how we would answer that question]. We will see more ramifications of the numbers and more usage of the numbers, but it boggles my mind when people ask me, "What do the numbers mean?"

That last section, especially, irks me. Why/how could it boggle Damon's mind, when he cowrote the freaking show! Answer: they _are_ making this junk up as they go along, and they probably only have a small fraction of it actually figured out.

I tried to sign up for Google Analytics, but it took me a while to realize that it needs you to OWN the domain, not just simply have the appropriate permissions for a directory.

So since this weblog's url is:, the /stephend excluded me from signing up, which stinks.

Looks like I'll have to continue to use OneStat, para ahora.

I was browsing various university websites for history courses that compare to my current course in western civilization, and found this interesting stipulation from Western Michigan University:

All email communication between yourself and your instructor is to be made on your �� account. The address is to take the format

Say what? This isn't a company--does the university (or in this case, perhaps the particular department) really have the right to make such a demand?

If the intent were truly known, I bet it would reflect a desire to monitor a student's email communication, which seems to me to be a violation of privacy. (In all honesty, it could be a reflection of something more benign, but as the reason clearly isn't given, one can only speculate.)

ABC cancelled Night Stalker.

(Frank, get over yourself, the show was a big yawn, although it was miles ahead of Supernatural, which I won't even dignify with further comparisons.)

"Netscape" (by now simply a vestige of its former self) has "innovated" again, by simply retheming its homepage.

Right now, too, it's only the top-level page, none of the channels themselves have been retreated.


Subject to change so very radically at any given moment:

�Anti-Semitism�s Nature in Chaucer�s The Prioress Tale�

I. Thesis�topic sentence, something like �That Chaucer�s �The Prioress Tale� is anti-Semitic is not contested. To what extent, however, the anti-Semitic sentiments can be attributed to Chaucer himself or merely reflected in the character of the Prioress herself, however, is. Here I posit that although a conclusive answer cannot be found, the evidence supports a reading exonerating Chaucer from issuing such sentiments solely of his own accord.�
II. Define �blood libels�
III. Jewish rise to power
IV. Jewish persecution (their expulsion)
a. Expelled from England in 1290
b. Etc.
V. Jewish vs. Christian religion (cite from the Bible) (Huh?)
VI. Chaucer (1343?-1400)
VII. The Prioress herself
a. Description/overview of her position over the convent
b. How she matches or fails to match that description, and more importantly, how this might let Chaucer himself �off the hook.�
VIII. Story itself analyzed at great length
a. The Prioress� Prologue analysis:
i. Page 216, �Help me to tell it in thy reverence.� (20).
ii. Etc.
b. The Prioress� Tale itself
i. Define �usury�
ii. Etc.
IX. Conclusion (restate thesis sentence)

I received my own copy of The Chicago Manual of Style, 15 edition a few days ago from Amazon, and am tremendously pleased with it. Its breadth is simply unmatched.

Tonight I began in earnest on my final research paper for English. It'll be on The Prioress's Tale (Chaucer), and will (hopefully) reflect on the nature of the anti-Semitic sentiments, and perhaps examine and argue that they can be abstracted from Chaucer himself, instead attributed to his character, the Prioress.

Finished reading Einhard's account of Charlemagne, now beginning to read Notker the Stammerer's account.

Blogs are handy for just jotting down random things (my blog in its entirety is comprised of this very phenomena).

Currently, I have 77 credit hours, with 12 pending this semester.

One needs 120 to graduate.


So, 89 credit hours at "present".

120-89 = 31

31 credit hours needed to graduate.

31/2 = 15.5 credit hours per semester, for 2 semester, to graduate.

But of course you can't have 15.5 credits per semester, so let's do 12 x 2 = 24.

31-24 = 7 (which also isn't possible).

Summary: 2 full semesters, at 12 credit hours per semester, with a single semester of 3 classes (9 credit hours), for a grand total of 122 credit hours.

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