Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I have 27 poems about my dead dog.

via Creative Type


  1. "Oh, I don't read the New Yorker. I'm not from New York."


  2. Replace "writing" with "chemistry" and "getting published" with "making LSD" and these videos would summarize several conversations I've had with complete strangers in bars.

  3. These have lifted a considerable amount of gloom today.

    I teach a social science that is often confused with paleontology. It's always fun explaining to someone that what I do has nothing to do with (a) extinct animals encased in the La Brea tar pits or (b) hunting treasure.

    Although, BB, I suspect that not explaining how to make LSD in a bar would be more fun.

  4. @BB Wait, didn't someone make a TV series about your life? Can you tell me how to get my life made into a TV series? The world could learn a lot from my life.

    Oh, wait - that's that chemistry guy who started cooking meth. Wait, do you know him?

  5. Ah, if I had the stones to make LSD or meth, I'd be posting at "Drug Lord Misery". That would be an interesting blog.

  6. Replace "poem" with either "the UFO I saw" or "my theory of the Universe that contradicts Einstein or quantum mechanics," and "fiction" with "physics," and "The Writer's Market" with "A Ph.D. is Not Enough," and I've had conversations just like these. I find that the best response to the tin-foil hat crowd is to be kind to them. Let them down easily: some people can get very upset if you tell them that what the UFO they saw was in fact the planet Venus. Pretend to be interested, briefly, and encourage them to publish. I have never seen a case in which they actually complete a manuscript ready for publication: this is a high enough hurdle to filter out all but the most extreme. Don't lend them any of your books, if you want the books back: refer them to the university library. Since I work for a state university, they'll let in anybody. No, these people only think like they’re on LSD.

  7. Do you actually explain the Venus solution, or do you just say "I'm sure it was only Venus"? It's one thing to pull a CSICOP and say "It's all woo" and quite the other to try to follow in the footsteps of Carl Sagan and explain optical autorotation, the brightness of certain planets, and the implausability of extraterrestrial hypothesis of UFO sightings.

  8. This is great!

    BlackDog - On the La Brea tar pits: the equivalent mistake in my field is when students show up to a class on "western civilization" expecting a course about cowboys and Indians.

  9. I can trump this.

    A colleague brought a young man and his father to my office, announced that the younger man had proven that pi is a rational number, and left.

    Turned out that they wanted to give a talk to the math faculty announcing the amazing result, and could I please, as the department chair, arrange this?

    I suggested that perhaps the result should be published first, and then the author could give a talk in the dept after collecting his Fields Medal.

    Nothing doing. The editors would just steal the result.

    ok. If pi is exactly equal to a fraction, could they let me know what the fraction is?

    They gave me a few digits of the decimal expansion, but not all of them.

    Right. Your academic background?

    Civil engineering.

    So, perhaps it's possible you don't completely understand the mathematical issue at hand?

    No. The mathematicians started from imperfection and tried to work towards perfection, whereas this result starts from perfection.

    Afraid I still don't see.

    something about the Rig Veda .. something about a guy who built a pyramid .... no mathematical content.

    Right. Well, no lecture bookings until you show me a proof or publish it in a peer-reviewed journal. Trust me, no one is going to steal your work.

  10. I love the videos. Why is the audio always the same? Are there so few options?

  11. You are going to feel very silly, Sultans, if he ever does get his pi discovery published.

  12. @ Sultans
    If there was money behind it, there would be thousands of submissions trying to prove that pi is rational, or ends on a 1, or whatever "solution' the prize wanted. Remember the Wolfskehl Prize for solving Fermat's Last Theorem; what began as an attempt to solve this niggling question turned into a vast crank file.

  13. @Anastasia

    Does anyone remember reading the posts of Archimedes Plutonium on various sci.* newsgroups?

    I kept wondering if buddy who found out that pi is a fraction was perhaps a cousin of Archimedes.

  14. Richard, from what I've seen, Xtra Normal just doesn't have that many voice options. Plus, because the audio is read by a computer, it always has this halting feel about it, no matter which voice type is selected.

    Why not try it yourself? :)

  15. This is so f***ing funny I keep coming back to it. I can't get enough.

    "I want the world to read about my pain."

    "I've never heard of those places."

    "I want my poems to be turned into award winning movies."

    "I don't feel the need to waste my time reading."

    Teacher: "No, I've never published in Readers' Digest. One can always hope, though."

    "I don't read the New Yorker. I'm not from New York."

    Teachers: "Ah, they rhyme."

    "People could learn from my life...I don't have time to read someone else's story. I just want to write my own."

    "I don't want to spend any money on books."

    Classic. The only times I have encountered arrogance on this scale from a student have been with creationists.

  16. Alas, my dog, fair Oreo.
    She died, oh so long ago.

    The pain I feel
    From head to heel

    Hurts just like a mofo.



  17. @MPE - That was inspired. You should make it into a movie.

  18. Well such people are what is making life extremely hard for young writers who actually try. "I don't read it affects my work." Can she hear herself? Anyway she DOES have 27 poems about her dead dog right?

    Made my day. Definitely.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.