It's a open secret that, for many colleges and universities, more than half of the courses are taught by graduate students and part-time adjunct faculty. These are hired as needs arise. They are generally paid poorly (say, $2000 or $2500 a class), and are given no fringe benefits. Some unfortunates make a living by teaching multiple classes, often with a teaching load exceeding that of the full-time professors. This article explains. Now it just happened that one of the New Orleans universities needed to fill in two classes in philosophy with temp instructors due to overenrollment. Now, why did this happen, you might ask? The reason is simple. University students with any degree of word fluency and bullshit ability can usually come up with credible "A" garnering answers on exams. For them, it serves as a possible display of this useful social trait, b.s.-ing. For example, consider the question, "Is Hell endothermic or exothermic"? An enterprising student answered thusly. Anyway, getting back to the story at hand, the Chair of the Philosophy Department decided to put off his search by taking a little R and R in the French Quarter. There, on Bourbon Street, he encountered the Lucky Dog Guy, selling hot dogs, and Crazy Chester, hanging out and taking bets on horses, and thought: "Screw it. I'll just hire these two to teach those classes. They both can B.S.; the typical philosophy major or instructor won't know the difference." Chester's compadre, the Prophetess, was preaching nearby to the dissolute to mend their ways. The Chair gave her the number for the Head of the Theology Department. After all, why not make it easier for a pal? Maybe, with a little makeover and more conventional clothing, she could pass as a part-time theology instructor? So Professor Crazy Chester taught a course in Metaphysics, while the Lucky Dog Guy taught Symbolic Logic. The L.D.G. also sold hot dogs on the side. It was not until the end of the term that the campus food service got wind of his bootlegging hotdogs! Crazy Chester made some extra cash on the side taking bets from C and D symbolic logic students. By the was, both got the highest ratings on the "Rate Your Professor" site for the department. And, with only a bit of exaggeration, that is how some institutions hire part-time instructors.
Basically, respondents provided photos and self-reports to WhatsMyImage.com. Then perfect strangers made guesses about certain aspects of their lives, such as academic performance, sexual experience and others.
Women and men were perceived to be about as smart. An interesting finding, however, was a statistically significant correlation between female bra size and perceived GPA. On average, these strangers guessed that "A-cup" students earned GPAs that were about 0.1 points higher than "B-cup" or "C-cup" students, and 0.3 points higher than those with "D-cup" students. That's almost a third of a letter grade!
Some cautions in interpretation should be exercised here: 1. These data are correlative, and do not necessarily imply a causal linkage. 2. If there happens to be a causal linkage, in what direction does it go? Does being dumb give you bigger breasts in turn, or do bigger breasts make you less smart? 3. Could the phenomenon of many women getting breast augmentation surgery provide "noise" contanimating the results? Specifically, could those who chose to have breast enhancement surgery are also more likely to be poorer students because their interests are elsewhere?
4. Obviously, and very importantly, this result is based on peoples' opinions affected by limited data that they were provided in WhatsMyImage.com. The problem with human perceptions is that they are not always accurate. Indeed, these may reflect inaccurate stereotypes and there may not be any relationship between bra size and Grade Point Average. 5. However, we may be able to mention an advantage to having small breasts besides wearing a bra being optional and not having to worry about loss of perkiness: people tend to think you're smarter!
In the absence of facts, people are open to some strange beliefs or misinformation. As odd as it might sound, there are the recurrent stories that predict the eventual extinction of blondes or redheads. As a matter of fact, one of these was BBC_News, which predicted that blondes would be extinct in 200 years, with the last natural blonde being born in Finland. Probably, this was due to some people not really understanding the persistence of recessive characters over extended numbers of generations. Fairly recently, a news item came out that said that the North Dakota legislature recently enacted a ban on string underwear. The sources for this did not specify whether it was only thongs that were banned; or were string bikinis also included. Now, I assume that North Dakotan women (or guys, for that matter) are not often purchasers of such insubstantial lingerie; and that seemed to be a very unlikely place for this to be seen as a problem, much one requiring a legislative remedy.* It is true that several specific states, even Florida, have ordinances forbidding the wearing of thong swimwear; but nowhere does this apply to undies. [There was at least one schoolforbidding said garments by girls, together with an inspection of contraband[!]; and, as usual, the school managed to look petty in doing so.] Anyway, most people know nothing of North Dakota, other than it's a red state, fairly religious and Republican, underpopulated, and numbingly cold! In the absence of facts, red herrings can be found on occasion. This was apparently an April Fool's joke set up early. There was an old story of a cemetery in Montana where a tombstone had an ATMbuilt in. Said device had been placed there by the deceased to guarantee that family members would visit his grave to be able to withdraw $300 per visit. Not true; but a nice story. In my opinion, in order for a hoax to be successful, it must be on a limited bed of facts; and there must be a willingness on the part of some people to believe outlandish stories that emerge from those places. Let's face it: states like Montana and Idaho rarely make the national news, which emphasizes the two coasts and Chicago. And, if you take some esoterica out of context and broadly extend its meaning, you can get the groundwork for a good hoax. Here's a possible example. A college in Iowa stages Lysistrata, a play in which sometimes the male chorus may wear leather phalluses. The story gets extended: Phallic worship and rituals are widely practiced in the Hawkeye State! Nope, any more than eccentric farmers erect baseball stadia in cornfields. But if the story is juicy, so much the better for it to take hold in the popular imagination! Sometimes there are unexplained events, like overlarge footprints found in a swamp. This can lead to the rumor of the Honey Island Swamp Monster! Obviously, we can also infer that, in the absence of widespread knowledge of early French and Medieval history, books like Holy Blood, Holy Grail might catch on, and spawn novels as well. And, sometimes, the unexpected surprise comes true, as in the case of the coelacanth. *Just to be safe, I might purchase several pairs of granny panties if I ever visit North Dakota, not wishing to be apprehended by the Underwear Squad and having a rap sheet that includes wearing bikini underwear!
The Heart of Darkness was a famous novella by Joseph Conrad. It raises some disturbing questions about human nature and relationships. In it, Kurtz, originally intending to do good in the Congo, becomes cruel and monsterous in his treatment of the natives. He ultimately dies; and his final words are "The horror! The horror!" Years later, they made it into a movie entitled "Apocalypse Now," starring Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen.
Neither the book nor the movie are exactly light-hearted, if you know what I mean. And I suspect that the location of this heart of darkness in Conrad's book was internal in Kurtz, rather than geographical.
John Kennedy Toole wrote his outrageous comic novel A Confederacy of Dunces in the 1960's. In this work, the protagonist Ignatius O'Reilly described his going to Baton Rouge as going into the Heart of Darkness. Someone stole his hat with the ear flaps on that trip, which convinced him of the perils of travel to dangerous places. Actually, Baton Rouge is a pretty nice city with more to offer than Alexandria or Shreveport or Monroe.
But I think that The Heart of Darkness is potentially different for everyone. I see it as Washington or L.A. Where do you place yours?
Buttocks décolletage refers to a fashion in which the person deliberately wears her jeans or other clothing short or low enough to expose the upper part of the nether cheeks and crack. This can occasionally be done either by males or females; and usually the person provides this exposure deliberately. However, some plumbers may not be so aware. The general consensus of buttocks décolletage is to tolerate it if done by plumbers, as this is should be considered an occupational perequisite. Usage example: "The dress Wendy tried on allowed too much buttocks décolletage, even for the Gulf Coast beach hangouts." On the other hand, there is a Biblical argument in favor of buttocks décolletage: "Turn the other cheek." I'm sure that this would be persuasive to preachers in the western part of North Carolina where such sights are not unheard of. However, a few communities have passed ordinances against young men wearing their pants so low as to display their undies. The thrust of these ordinances seems to be more esthetically- rather than modesty-driven, as the undershorts cover the nether parts in question. I wonder if this is a peculiar form of sex discrimination directed towards males.
I think that it's no surprise that beginning a budding relationship with going to bed on the first occasion is not an effective strategy for long-term mating (i.e., one that is marked by a marriage ceremony eventually), although some may regard this as a short-term mating strategy to be selectively used. Years ago, a group of researchers from Florida found, to nobody's surprise, that men were less selective than women. Young men and women were asked to approach people that they considered attractive enough to mate with and ask them (a) for a date; (b) to visit the asker's apartment; or (c) to mate with. Only 3% of women agreed to the apartment visit; and none agreed to have sex. The men respondents, on the other hand, agreed to have sex with 75% of the women invitees, no matter their perceived attractiveness. Reading further into what's available about one-night stands, two different reports indicated that Australian women or Norwegian women were most likely to have one-night stands.
Researcher Anne Campbell of Durham University found that among 3,300 respondents between the ages of 17 and 40, more than half reported a one-night stand, about evenly split between men and women.Overall women's morning-after feelings were more negative than men's. While 80 percent of men had overall positive feelings, just 54 percent of women had positive feelings. Women predominantly reported "regret at being used," with additional comments including: "I felt cheap," "horrified afterward," and "I felt degraded. Made myself look cheap and easy." Apparently, they did not take into account the fact that guys' standards drop dramatically when it comes to an opportunity for easy sex.
In general, women are not well-adapted to a short-term mating strategy. However, they might be more disposed to this during the peak of their menstrual cycles. In general, they have too much more to lose.
[Pro tip: if you're unmarried and don't want a bambino, better stay home than go out looking to meet guys with this approach. Or, even better, follow the old-fashioned Baseball Rule: second base only after the fifth occasion, etc.]
My point is that there are some bona fide reasons for the courtship rituals, whatever form they might take from culture to culture. They allow for a couple to sort out whether or not they want a long-term relationship, or whether they're just responding to hormones. It may be useful, too, for a graduated increase in the type and tempo of affections to serve to the man that his attempts are well-received, and that he is not just simply spinning his wheels. Now after my pontificating, a little joke:
John took his blind date to the carnival. "What would you like to do first, Kim?" asked the man. "I want to get weighed," said the girl. They ambled over to the weight guesser. He guessed 120 pounds. She got on the scale; it read 117 and she won a prize.
Next the couple went on the ferris wheel. When the ride was over, John again asked Kim what she would like to do.
"I want to get weighed," she said.
Back to the weight guesser they went. Since they had been there before, he guessed her correct weight, and John lost his dollar.
The couple walked around the carnival and again he asked where to next.
"I want to get weighed," she responded. By this time, John figured she was really weird and took her home early, dropping her off with a handshake.
Her roommate, Laura, asked her about the blind date, "How'd it go?"
While Cowgirl Melinda was having coffee with some other girls (women, if you prefer), one of the group made a comment regarding someone at another table: "Will you look at her; surely she has fake [breasts].* Immediately, some others in the group joined in with their appraisals; pretty well in agreement with the first comment. This confused our girl, who was totally clueless as to how they derived their conclusions. So, in total naiveity, she asked. And got several plausible reasons. 1. The other girl had outsized breasts that seemed larger in proportion to her slim body; 2. She was wearing form-fitting clothes; 3. Her breasts were "too perfect:" they were cantaloupe-shaped rather than pear-shaped. 4. They were positioned relatively high on her chest. Melinda then queried, "Why don't you ask her if they're real or store-bought?" And immediately became aware of the fallacy of that approach. Later on, while back in the bunkhouse, Cowgirl Melinda decided to test that hypothesis. Taking off her denim jacket and Western shirt, she donned a baby tee. And checked herself over. "Those bitches don't know what they're talking about," Melinda exclaimed!"
Smitty, who happened in at that moment, asked, "What bitches?" "Oh, just the usual loudmouthed variety." "You must have been in Ten Sleep today, Melinda."
*My substitution for the dysphemism that was actually used, which Cowgirl Melinda would never use.
When the Times-Picyaune was full strength years ago, some of the devout would post an ad in the personal section of the paper that would thank some saint for a supposed blessing: "Thanks to St. Jude for favor granted." "Thanks to St. Rose of Lima, St. Anthony, and the Infant of Prague for curing Mama from her illness. "Thanks for answering my prayers, St. Thomas."
"Thanks to St. Joseph for helping sell my house."
"To St. Anthony, St. Expedite and St. Jude, I ask for forgiveness and Thank you for answering my request. I pray that you will always be with me. Your Humble Servant. G.T."
----------------------------------------------------------------------- Also, I have read that some changes have occurred in obituaries. At one time, those generated by funeral parlors baldly stated that the deceased "died." Apparently, in more recent times, the softer side of obits has crept in: "So-and-so has departed this life." "She has gone to be with her LORD." "He passed away after an untimely illness." "He is among the Blessed in Heaven." [Note: in funeral parlor usage, when in doubt, capitalize!] I suppose it was better than sometimes in the 19th century when reporting accuracy trumped sentiment: "Jack Slade was hung for being a general road agent and pain in the ass." But some obituaries make reference to the individual's place in an afterlife, despite an absence of documented evidence. Or, maybe the Times-Picyaune and the undertakers have sources that we are unaware of. But, after all, Cher recently did the same with regard to Sonny Bono's status! Who knows, maybe the millenials will reverse things, and come up with obituaries containing something like the following: "Richard L________ bought the farm yesterday." "Heather M________ went tits up on Oct. 7, 2032." "Megan S_______ bit the dust on Nov. 1, 2056.
The First Rule of Girls' Fight Club is not to talk about Girls' Fight Club. Okay, this is entirely fictional; but why is there such a compelling interest from guys when two or more girls or women fight? The participants are rarely skilled; there's a lot of hair-pulling and verbal abuse. I'll offer a few possibilities for consideration: 1. A girls' fight reveals a different side of girls: rather than seeming demure and quiet, they are noisy and forceful. 2. Girls actually physically fighting is a rare event; the novelty itself attracts attention. 3. The participants are rarely skilled at fighting by throwing punches or blocking them. But there's a lot of scratching, hair-pulling, bumping and name-calling for the audience to enjoy. 4. The participants tend to pull at each others' clothing, among other things. And there's the possibility of the audience seeing parts of the body bared that are normally clothed. 5. While there are some girls who have a reputation for toughness, rude people enjoy seeing the fighters experiencing an actual loss of class from this plebian activity. ["Well, look at Miss Priss -- she's brawling like a common barfly!"] And, for God's sake, why is it referred to as a "cat fight"? No cats are harmed in the process.
One of those well-known rhymes of children is the one that goes, "There's a place in France Where the women wear no pants . . . ." or "There's a place in France Where the naked ladies dance . . . . " With various alternative rhymes, sung to the tune of "The Streets of Cairo." Which, being a very literal-minded child, I assumed to refer to a particular locality in France. Now, using my well-honed powers of deduction, I assumed that it would not be in one of the large urban areas; otherwise, there would be television coverage of that fact. Perhaps in FranceProfounde, the boondocks. I had occasion to go to France when a teen and later; but gave it no further thought. Then the truth came down on me one day in a flash of insight. It happened that I was on the way to visit Bretagne*, and had dire need to use the facilities. Now that's a problem with tourists: needs come upon them. Finally, I found the ladies' room, and it was very, very basic. And dirty. Not to mention smelly! Ugh! It was a squatty!!!! It must have been the last one in Europe! The task: how to use this unfamiliar apparatus without getting my dress and undies wet? Suddenly, the French concept of savior faire came to mind, and I was deficient! Well, I managed to hike my my skirt as high as I could, and squatted in some unpracticed yoga position. And held the additional garment. Whew! I managed to keep all body parts and clothing without touching the floor! Now, the ladies' room was on a scale of dirty that would have outdone any American gas station's facilities, so I had to make some compromises. And that is why I visited Mt. St. Michel while going commando, with my panties in my purse! And I came to understand that I had actually discovered that fabled place in France, and why it is that way! For the record, it is near Rennes. *A perfectly amazing place to visit, with its landscape and seascape.
"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."
--Max Ehrmann, 1927
I thought that this little prose poem was inspiriting. I hope you like it.
What a story for Al Gautreaux and Missy Chauvin to cover on Action News! This was a local saga of a lawyer/television personality and a local cabbie. I leave it to you to sort it out, and figure what was going on. First, the taxi driver picked up a young female on Bourbon street who apparently had a few drinks and was flirtatious with him. This was a local radio celebrity who was also an attorney. She later filed a police report that the taxi driver took an upskirt picture of her, and then tried to extort some money to destroy the video. The claim was that he first asked for $60,000, but modified it to $1,000! Apparently, that was the local going rate for upskirt videos of attorneys in New Orleans. The recession does that to extortion, apparently. Recently, Mike posted a video that addressed a similar matter. The N.O.P.D. dutifully arrested him and sent him to jail. Orleans Parish Prison is a nasty place. This story made a row, even by New Orleans standards, and was even picked up by a newspaper in Britain, that seat of probity in reporting. Later on, the case against the cabbie was dismissed; still leaving him with numerous debts incurred because of his incarceration. And the N.O.P.D. soon had occasion to file false arrest charges against the attorney! This must have made their day, given the somewhat adverserial relationship between the minions of the law and some officers of the court! If convicted, she could get a year in jail, herself. Al: "Anything more on the taxi driver and the radio personality, Missy." Missy: "Only this, Al. The Police Department has filed charges against her based on the possibility that she fabricated the story leading to the driver's arrest." Al: "Is there any chance we can get an upskirt photo of someone to run on the 10 P.M. news?" Missy: "That would be a ratings boost; but not likely to be approved by the F.C.C." Al: "Oh well, bare bottoms are not unheard of on Bourbon Street." Missy: "Maybe we could have the participants come on like on the old Jerry Springer Show?" Sometimes real life outstrips imagination in New Orleans. At least Nancy Grace was not involved. As the Prophetess would have observed, that was the most graceful thing of the whole sorry, ambiguous affair.
Like in the Medieval morality plays in which virtues and vices are personified, and medicinal doses of morals are admininstered, sports also draws on this approach which is like hitting a mule on the head with a 2 by 4. Yes, over time, there have emerged certain teams and even players as Certified Bad Guys. Perhaps the most unequivocal case can be made for the New York Yankees in baseball as its Evil Empire. To use myself as an example, my interest in the playoffs evaporated when I was assured that the New York Yankees would not be in the playoffs, much less the World Series. [I'm not too keen on Boston, either; but I could live with another Red Sox series win. It might sweeten the deal if they would spell 'socks' right.] Pro football is less clear; but perhaps the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots make the ranks of the bad hats there. Certainly, the Cowboys Cheerleaders gain overly much publicity for their squad. And the Eagles and the Raiders lose points for fan deportment. Why can't some innocent team like the Tampa Bucs or the San Diego Chargers make the Super Bowl? College football has an abundance of Evil Empires. There's Alabama, there's Notre Dame, and there's Ohio State. Once USC was in their ranks; but now they're mainly known for their former head coach's attractive wife. Speaking of attractive, how is it that the Alabama quarterback's model girlfriend just also happens to be Miss Alabama and a student at Auburn? Pro basketball? Not very clear. The Lakers manage to avoid the stigma of being Hollywood's team. College basketball? Duke! Duke! DUKE! Soccer. I'm blank there, but the fan costumes are most entertaining. I think many of us instinctively root for the underdog.
Voodoo is a set of miscellaneous beliefs involving various spirits and attempting to influence events through supernatural means. Kind of like depending on the government to do things. Some voodoo objects involve strong magic, and should be used only by an adapt, like goofer dust (goofus dust) or John the Conquerer. One simple way of practicing some mild forms of voodoo is by burning candles. Now you may purchase votive candles, scent candles, or even candles in special containers with the images of saints or voodoo gods on them. Whatever, it's the color that is the most important element. Here are what different-colored candles are used for: White -- White candles are used to contact departed souls, and to ask for blessings, protection, or healing. It symbolizes purity. Red -- These colored candles evoke love, passion, romance, and to release the sexual passions. Burn one with someone's name on it to cause that person to fall in love with you. Green -- This color candle is burned to obtain money and luck in gambling. In general, green is associatedwith prosperity. Black -- These colored candles are burned to cause harm or even death to the person whose name is inscribed on them. Not a nice practice at all. Pink- -- The pink candles are used to foster love, friendships, and romance. Definitely dialing it down from the effects of red candles. Blue -- Blue candles are burned in requests for peace, harmony and abundance.
Purple -- Purple candles are used to control someone else's will. They should be burned only by people who know what they are doind, as certain forces are unleashed. Well, those are the traditional ones. But Voodoo Science, like Voodoo Economics, does change with the time. Here are some new ones: Purple and Gold -- Burned to bring about an L.S.U. victory. Red and Black -- This candle is burned to exorcise the inauspicious effects of a gift of red and black panties or teddies. Rainbow colors -- For celebrations of Gay Pride Week or subtly announcing to friends that you are out of the closet. Red, white, and blue -- To celebrate the Fourth! Green, Gold, and Purple -- To decorate the King Cake; to let the good times roll! Mauve -- Burn this colored candle before submitting your dissertation to a committee. But burn a black one if they turn down your dissertation!
Billy Bob and Peggy Sue finally tied the knot in holy wedlock, despite the fact that both were without jobs back home in Possum Grove, NC. Fortunately, Peggy Sue's parents gave them a room to live in until things got better; or they both got enough feck to move to Charlotte. Things were fine living in the same house as her parents, except for one thing: the rooms had such thin, uninsulated walls so that sounds easily carried. It inhibited their love-making at bedtime! Finally, Peggy Sue had a heart-to-heart talk with her Mama; and told her their predictment: "Mama, we can't make no love because we're afraid you and Papa can hear what we're doing." Mama thought, "Yup. And keeping score." But Mama said, "Huh, child, I know your problem. Me and Papa had the same problem when we lived with the grandparents when we fust got hitched. But here's what you ought to do. You and Billy Bob keep a-talking about something else while you're doin' the deed. I guarantee, you both will get satisfaction." So Peggy Sue and Billy Bob decided to try that. After all, they were having no luck nohow and were really itchy. So the very same night, they started trying this idea out. PS: "Billy Bob, did you hoe them turnips this morning.?" BB: "Yeah, I did," while starting. PS: "Did you do 'em all?" BB: "Yeah. Yeeahhh." PS: "And did you prime the well pump like you were supposed ta?" BB: "Uh....uh....yeahhhh. PS: "Uh...uh...and did you mend the fence okay?" BB: "Uh....yeahh!" PS: "How about the barrel? Did you move it like you said?" BB: "The big brown one that we keep the rainwater in? Puff puff......puff" PS: "No, the small one with the hoops.....hoops.....Whoops.....Whoops.....WHOOPS!!!" Mama thought, "Touchdown!"