Monday, May 30, 2011

Your Future is in Front of You

This post was written for the Fuller Blogs website, where it first appeared this past weekend.

It's that time of year again, when graduation looms just around the corner. Even though I myself got my degree from Fuller several years ago, this is a season that affects everyone in the Fuller community. Whether you're a graduating student looking forward to the completion of your own degree, or a current student just looking to get through your current class and perhaps preparing to say good-bye to some of your friends, or a staff member preparing end-of-fiscal-year budgets or closing out committee work for the academic year, the rhythm of the academic cycle ensures that graduation time is an important season for all of us at Fuller.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Transformers Feature: BotCon 2010 Rapido

Winding down the pre-BotCon 2011 features on last year's exclusives, we have a look at Rapido.  Unlike the toys previously mentioned here, the original version of Rapido was indeed sold in the United States under the Generation Two banner (although like Clench and Pyro, Rapido also originated in Europe in the days before Generation Two started in earnest)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

10 Years of Towel Day

If you're at all like me, you probably didn't know that Towel Day existed, but having heard about it, can probably guess what's going on, especially if you're a fan of Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy series.  If you don't already know that I'm a fan... well, let me just say you must have missed my tweet this past weekend, or my similar post on Facebook, where I said "There'll never be a better time for me to repost this link (than this past Saturday)"  Despite posting the link again a mere four days later, I still stand by that statement re: Saturday, but it should make the point that I'm a fan of those books.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fools, Power, and False Prophets

When I think of Jiminy Cricket, I tend not to think about Pinocchio, but the song from “I’m No Fool.” For those of you who haven't seen it, “I’m No Fool” was a series of cartoons from the 1950's designed to teach kids about safety. Jiminy would stage a safety contest between two characters he would draw upon the chalkboard. One was “the fool,” who would do everything wrong. The other was intended to be “you.”  Of course, "you" would always follow the safety procedures perfectly:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's the End of the World As We Know It... and I Feel Fine

If you're reading this message, you may safely assume that you have not been raptured.  Although I'm writing this message in advance, this is decidedly NOT a message intended to inform you, in my absence, of what has just happened to me.  In fact, I expect not to have been raptured, either.

Judgment Bus New Orleans 2011You may have already figured out what I'm talking about.  You may have seen the billboards talking about Judgment Day set to occur today, May 21st, 2011.  Apparently some even specify 6:00 pm, precisely, although I've not seen those, myself. (and if you're wondering "what time zone?" don't worry about that.  They actually do seem to mean 6:00 pm at whatever time zone you happen to be in).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Transformers Feature: BotCon 2010 Autobot Spark (Pyro)

If Harold Camping is to be believed, this weekend marks the beginning of the end of the world. Naturally, I'll have to say something about that, but I want to time my response to the date itself (5/21/11, in case you hadn't heard). That means that this week's feature on a BotCon 2010 exclusive toy — which I've been doing at the end of the week recently — will have to be moved ahead of its time by a little bit, and I can't think of any character it would be more appropriate to show off "ahead of its time" than Autobot Spark.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Reflections on Survivor - Why I Still Watch After a Decade

I don't watch Survivor as much as I used to. Back during the second season (I didn't see any of the first), Survivor was appointment television, and I joined a group of my friends around the television set every week to watch, and to talk about what we all thought would happen next week.

(Spoiler alert for the final episode of the season follows! You have been warned!)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Transformers Feature: BotCon 2010 Sky-Byte

Predacon Sky-Byte
Exclusively at BotCon
Do you envy me?


I mentioned last week that despite the fact that BotCon 2010 was nominally a Generation Two-themed event, the exclusives were actually a bit of a hodge-podge.  No exclusive that year came more from out of left field than Sky-Byte.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Identifying Racists and Scalpers

We want white tenantsI've been noticing a disturbing trend in current American dialogue.  On one side, you have people who seem to cry "racism" at everything (recognizing that racist attitudes are far more prevalent and systemic than many seem to realize), and on the other side, you have folks who deny racism exists at all (except perhaps in the obvious KKK or Nazi caricature).

It's perhaps obvious that the truth of racism in our culture lies somewhere in the middle.  Most people who do, in fact, possess racist attitudes don't realize it, and are certainly unlikely to be donning the white robe or the swastika.  Even so, there are definitely times when it seems that people cry "racist!" just a little too quickly, and I can't help but wonder if the resentment caused by such outcry may actually be hardening hearts to the problem when things really do need to change.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Our 100% Diverse American Heritage

There's an essay I originally read some years ago, written in 1936 by a sociologist named Ralph Linton, that I think Americans of today would do well to read.  Originally found in the book The Study of Man: an Introduction, it is commonly referred to as "The One Hundred Percent American."  The essay follows a typical American male as he gets up out of bed ("built on a pattern that originated in the Near East...") and follows him through his morning routine.  At every step of the process, the origin of the practice or item being used is mentioned, and a diverse and colorful array of foreign influences quickly becomes apparent.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Transformers Feature: BotCon 2010 Clench

It's hard to believe that BotCon 2011 is less than a month away!  This seems like a good time to write about some of last year's exclusives (Shouldn't be too hard, as I've only managed to work in G2 Breakdown so far).  The theme for the 2010 BotCon set was, officially, "Generation 2: Redux," but that's mostly because saying "Late Generation 1/European Exclusives/Generation 2/and-a-smattering-of-Robots-in-Disguise: Redux" really doesn't flow very smoothly.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Is the Six Dollar Burger Ready for a Name Change?

Back in 2001, when Carl's Jr. first introduced "The Six Dollar Burger," the intended irony was more obvious.  Accompanied by an ad campaign that suggested that eating burgers at fancier "sit-down" restaurants was a less than enjoyable experience, the name was intended to convey a bargain that only seemed like it should cost the exorbitant price of six dollars.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Godwin's Law and Osama bin Laden

If you've read or participated in any long-winding and contentious internet debates, you've probably seen Godwin's Law invoked.  For those who don't know what I'm talking about, the basic idea is this: "Eventually someone brings up Hitler or the Nazis."  Many groups have developed a corollary to this law, which is basically "whoever brings up Hitler loses the argument."

Sunday, May 01, 2011

'Til All Are One - Joining the Rally to Restore Unity

It's become something of a joke either to say, or to accuse someone else of saying, "can't we all just get along?"  And perhaps "getting along" does carry a sense of just white-washing differences and being "nice" in a way that is neither authentic nor especially helpful.  Even so, I know that there is widespread agreement that we, as human beings (to say nothing of we who call ourselves "Christian"), need to learn how to express our disagreements in ways that are less destructive, and more constructive.

It is in this vein that author Rachel Held Evans announced last week that the first week of May would be a multi-blog "Rally to Restore Unity" (yes, it's an obvious parody of the "Rally to Restore Sanity" that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert organized late last year).

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