Autodidact: self-taught


Do Your Body Parts Belong to You?

by V. L. Craven

What if you, I don’t know, have a part amputated, put it in a barbecue smoker for safe keeping and then lose the smoker because you can’t keep up the payments? Does the person who bought the smoker own your leg?

What do you think after you read this article about a North Carolina man whose leg was auctioned off in the smoker he could no longer afford to house.

Joy. I love it when the state I live in makes international headlines with quality stories like this.

This is going to court… It brings all sorts of questions to mind.
Why keep an appendage that’s been amputated? How do you preserve that limb? I know you can embalm a limb, but embalming is only to slow down decomposition–not stop it. Obviously, after whatever is done to it one doesn’t have to keep the limb in air-tight or temperature-controlled conditions.

If I were the judge of this case I’d say the leg didn’t belong to either of them.

Then get out my LART.

[This is a repost. Original post date: 6 October, 2007]


Father Frost Exists! HE DOES!

by V. L. Craven

Russian children aren’t allowed to think their parents are lying.

I love stories like this. I tend to think of Yanks as being the biggest idiots on the planet when really every country is stupid in its own way it’s just much more amusing to pick on the richest person in room. Like why it’s fun to watch fame whores make complete morons of themselves. The U.S. is the fame whore of the world, my friends.

Which is why I love stories like the one above where a Russian ad was banned because it denied the existence of Father Frost. “It said that declaring that Father Frost did not exist implied that parents were not telling the truth, so undermining childrens’ trust in them.”

Let’s ignore the misplaced apostrophe in “children’s” and focus on the real message: Kids, always believe your parents, even when they lie to you.
And then get on the Yanks here who continue to support Bush even after they know he lied to them.

[This is a re-post from a previous blog. Original post date: 01 January 2008]


This Just In: Scottish People Aren’t English

by V. L. Craven

Look at this:

Now. Look at this:

They look a bit different, yeah? It could be because they’re for two different countries.

This is news to some, as only recently did the Library of Congress decide to reverse a decision to classify Scots authors as English .

How very American. Why don’t we just say all English speakers are Yanks and be done with it. Oh no, we need to distinguish between proper Americans and Everyone Else That Speaks English. So we’ll have Americans and the English. Done and done. So much easier to keep up with.

Isn’t it funny when furriners get ticked off when you think they’re some somewhere else? Like anyone can tell the difference between Ireland and Australia, anyway. Sheesh.

Maybe next they’ll try to classify the Irish as English and we can see how fireproof the Library of Congress building is.

(And I love that Congressman McIntyre–an American of Irish decent–is the one on the Friends of Scotland Caucus to help reverse the decision. Are Jocks ticked that a Mick had to help them out?)

And just for fun, I had to look up the epithet for Scottish people and found this hysterical list of epithets. Just in case you’re ever around a flaming racist and can’t figure out what they’re on about.

[This post is from a previous blog. Original pub date: 12 January 2008]


Getting What You Pay For

by V. L. Craven

[This post comes from a previous blog.]

Parents today come from a generation that believes in getting what they pay for. The more they pay for something, the more they’re getting out of that thing, dammit. This includes their child’s education. And this is where they start getting right on my tits [non-gender-specific British saying for being really effing annoying] . Here in hallowed halls of higher education we call them “helicopter parents” and they are a flipping pain in the ass. They’re paying for their darling snowflake angels to go to school here and they feel that the tuition covers getting As.

I would have defenestrated myself before I would have allowed (forget about ask) my parent to call the university. Today I had a kid (and I don’t care if I’m close to your age–if your mommy is on my phone, you’re a kid) call who would rather go through the hoops of the paperwork to allow his mother to talk to his professor. It’s illegal for our profs to talk to parents about their kids because after they’re eighteen THEY’RE GROWN UPS.

The helicopter today was trying to argue that her kid should be given a higher grade because he’s had a difficult life and he’s really handsome. I wanted to say that if she thought he wasn’t capable of handling college (since he’s so special and had such a hard time) maybe he should seek his fortune elsewhere. Her chief problem was that this grade would mean he’d be in college an extra semester. My response: That’s not the end of the world. It takes longer than four years to finish a degree now.

After a pause she said, “It may be for him.”

I suppose that was her only counter for my statement. I can’t say it’s convincing. Does he have some sort of incendiary device attached to him that goes off if he doesn’t get what he wants just when and how he wants it? (Oh yeah, her name is MOOOOOOOM!)

After twice speaking with this helicopter–or listening to her yammer (these parents tend to talk a LOT and very quickly) I thought the kid probably was embarrassed by her and would be apologetic if I ever spoke to him. Oh no. He called later on and I offered to let him speak to the department chair, but he wanted his mummy to talk to him.

And that’s when the vestige of bad I felt evaporated.

Then there was much discussion about how late was too late to get his grade converted. Because the mother was absolutely certain that if she comes to talk to the department chair she’ll browbeat him into changing the grade. Uh huh. She’s going to say how another prof said this kid was such a nice student (he didn’t do what he needed to in the class in question, though) and how he can do good work when he tries (didn’t try in the class though.) And how he’s had a hard life and that an extra semester will make him explode or some such.

I only hope that the mother can’t talk the prof into giving this wee bairn the points because that would only teach him that being an obnoxious prat pays off. They both need to learn that’s not true. See? College is about teaching everyone involved important life lessons.

Update: The mother won. She yammered at the dept head for twenty minutes and he caved. Another point for the obnoxious people.


Spout of Certain Death

by V. L. Craven

This happened near where I live this morning.

Note the people running towards the spout of doom.

The beach patrol eventually arrived, no doubt to tell people not to run directly into certain death.

Those lacking the basic instinct for survival should be removed from the gene pool. I don’t mean they should be rounded up, but they shouldn’t be saved from themselves. Otherwise, they have children who will also lack the survival instinct, which is a dominant gene–it’s not like their progeny is going to be the most cautious individuals on Earth–and those people will be driving one day whilst texting and watching a DVD in their Hummer and will hit one of us. If they were only a danger to themselves it wouldn’t be a big deal, but we shouldn’t help these people in spreading their retarded genes. Yes, yes, I know, ‘retarded’ isn’t politically correct, but in this case, some part of their brain is clearly underdeveloped, which is the technical definition of ‘retarded’, so I think it’s the proper usage.

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