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December 12, 2009

Student activists protest enormous fee hikes by trashing Berkeley Chancellor's home

Eight arrested in attack at UC Berkeley chancellor's home In two days of protests the police have arrested over 75 people. For bonus points, check out that final graf below. This is Berkeley guys, and you're telling them they are too extreme as activists?
The arrestees were among some 40 to 75 people - some whom were carrying torches - who surrounded the mansion on the north side of campus off Hearst Avenue at about 11:15 p.m. Friday, officials said. Yelling, "No justice, no peace," the protesters began smashing planters, windows and lights and threw incendiary devices at the building, said campus spokesman Dan Mogulof. Birgeneau was sleeping at the time and was awakened by his wife, Mary Catherine, Mogulof said. They were unharmed, but university officials denounced what they called an unwarranted attack on the chancellor. In a statement, Birgeneau said today, "These are criminals, not activists. The attack at our home was extraordinarily frightening and violent. My wife and I genuinely feared for our lives. The people involved in this action will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I want to emphasize that they represent an extreme minority of our students." . . . "This is what it looks like when students get hijacked by extremist and violent elements in its ranks," Mogulof said. "There is no place in our community for such extremism. They now have to decide which path hey take going forward. If the elect to continue on this path of violence and extremism, we will spare no effort to identify an remove them from our community."

December 10, 2009

Overwriting: an example

I have non-native students who, on occassion, overcompensate for their...

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To Gracefully Split

Verbs and Verbals This is very sweetly worded advice on...

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I Love Grammar Help from Non-Native Speakers

To avoid mistakes it is requisite to know the principal...

December 09, 2009

Chris Sims vs Twilight, the archive

~*Crushed*Glass*~ - Chris vs Twilight, Chapters 1 through ... Chris Sims, the internet superstar and dirtbike champion, has always made it a point of reading things so you don't have to. First it was the breast-centric "Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose" which is one of the worst comic series ever written, and once featured a recipient of a cursed organ donation who ended up with a haunted vagina. Next Chris tackled the comic adaptation of a Laurel K Hamilton comic series based upon her popular (though I don't understand why) Anita Blake series, in which Anita Blake is drawn terribly and stands around a lot. Continuing in his public artistic masochism, Chris has begun liveblogging his read of the execrable "Twilight" series. Or at least the first book. Though I honestly doubt he'll be able to finish it. He's doing this on Twitter with the #ChrisvsTwilight hashtag, but it is still a bit cumbersome to read. Fortunately, someone has taken the trouble to catalog his comments on LiveJournal. Here is a sample. Though I really recommend following Sims on Twitter.
Here we go. Chris vs. Twilight, Chapter 1. In order to steel myself, I've put on the Pixies as background music. Before we hit the first chapter--Jeez, there's a preface, too--there's a quote from Genesis. Had I written this, there Genesis quote would be "I can feel it coming in the air tonight. Oh lord." So far so good. Preface is pretty interesting, stilted sentences aside. Girl's gonna die or something. Cool. Chapter 1 opens with girl describing her clothes. THE BIG SLEEP opens with Marlowe describing his socks. COINCIDENCE? (yes) P.4: "I loved the vigorous, sprawling city." FRANK MILLER'S TWILIGHT. I gotta say, five pages in and I don't really care for Bella. She's melodramatic and pretty self-important so far. . . .

December 07, 2009

"All That" a new short story by David Foster Wallace

All That : The New Yorker
Once when I was a little boy I received as a gift a toy cement mixer. It was made of wood except for its wheels—axles—which, as I remember, were thin metal rods. I’m ninety per cent sure it was a Christmas gift. I liked it the same way a boy that age likes toy dump trucks, ambulances, tractor-trailers, and whatnot. There are little boys who like trains and little boys who like vehicles—I liked the latter. It was (“it” meaning the cement mixer) the same overlarge miniature as many other toy vehicles—about the size of a breadbox. It weighed three or four pounds. It was a simple toy—no batteries. It had a colored rope, with a yellow handle, and you held the handle and walked pulling the cement mixer behind you—rather like a wagon, although it was nowhere near the size of a wagon. For Christmas, I’m positive it was. It was when I was the age where you can, as they say, “hear voices” without worrying that something is wrong with you. I “heard voices” all the time as a small child. I was either five or six, I believe. (I’m not very good with numbers.)