Annotated Bibliography

Class: The Writer’s Craft (EWC4U1)
Date: June 11, 2008
The Assignment: Write an annotated bibliography entry for everything you read this semester. Seriously. Also, you read a minimum of 60 things.

Arrington, Michael. “I Saw The Future Of Social Networking The Other Day.” TechCrunch. 9 Apr. 2008. <>.

Social networking has been mostly contained to the internet; there are no mobile applications that are popular enough to be useful. However, the author is optimistic that mobile social networking will be possible one day soon. He believes that people will be able to enter a building and then see the profiles of the people within the building using GPS. He began to create his own version of such an application, but stopped when he discovered another company already doing this. The unnamed company has created a program for iPhones only that allows the user to see people around them and even allows them to filter the results by age, gender, and other factors. They have also found a way to allow the program to run while the user uses the iPhone’s other features, something that had been a roadblock for such programs in the past.

Associated Press. “7 Canadians advance in U.S. spelling bee.” CTV. 29 May 2008. <>.

The seven remaining Canadians of the original twenty-two that competed in the 81st Scripps’ National Spelling Bee range from the age of ten to fourteen, both male and female. One student is Veronica Penny, who has a habit of covering her face during the competition; it looks like she is about to cry, but she says it’s just her way of thinking. Two American contestants, Tia Thomas and Matthew Evans, have both been in the competition five times already. The Spelling Bee has grown in popularity over the years, inspiring a movie, book, and musical. The competition is broadcast on ESPN, and the spellers who make it on television are very proud of their achievement.

Associated Press. “Facebook preparing for redesign to clear clutter.” CTV. 21 May 2008. <>.

The website Facebook has grown a lot in the past year, with many new users signing up and with the addition of a new feature called applications. Now the company is planning to clean up user’s profiles by moving the applications to a separate page within the profile. This change will make profiles more organized and will allow users to control which parts of their profile they want to stand out. Despite the benefits of the change, Facebook’s product manager believes the users will protest the changes at first. However, they remain confident that users will grow to accept the changes and it will be better for the site in the end.

Associated Press. “U. of Okla. freshman, 19, elected mayor of Muskogee.” Associated Press. 13 May 2008. <>.

The town of Muskogee, Oklahoma, with nearly forty thousand residents, elected John Tyler Hammons, a nineteen-year-old freshman from the University of Oklahoma, as mayor. Seventy percent of residents voted for Hammons over a former mayor, Hershel Ray McBride. Hammons’ platform was based on making the citizens more informed of operations within the city and making the government more open. By doing so, he believes he will gain the voters’ trust, which will help to solve any other problems that arise. Hammons says will continue his studies, but he has decided to transfer to a university closer to Muskogee.

Atwood, Jeff. “A Question of Programming Ethics.” Coding Horror. 7 Mar. 2008. <>.

Dustin Brooks found a program called G-Archiver that would let him backup the emails sent to his Gmail account. He decided to look at the code for the program so that he could modify it, but surprisingly found that the creator of the program had put their username and password in the code. Upon further inspection, he found that the program would send the username and password of everyone who used the program to the creator’s email address. Brooks logged into the creator’s account and found almost two thousand usernames and passwords sent to the address. He then deleted the emails and contacted Google to delete the account.

Atwood, Jeff. “Behold WordPress, Destroyer of CPUs.” Coding Horror. 22 Apr. 2008. <>.

WordPress is an open-source blogging script that anyone can use on their website. The author began using this script and found it worked well until he discovered how much of the CPU (or power) the script was using. His websites only had a few visitors, but WordPress was using an incredible amount of server power. Since WordPress is one of the most popular blogging scripts, this could cause problems for many of the more popular websites. The author recommends several plug-ins that can be installed to modify the way that WordPress runs, which in turn will decrease the CPU usage.

BBC News. “Bald teacher loses disabled claim.” BBC News. 16 Apr. 2008. <>.

James Campbell, a former teacher in Stirlingshire, Scotland took a matter of employment discrimination to court. He claimed that his baldness was an impairment because he was harassed by students because of it. This harassment had a negative effect on his capacity to do his job, he also claimed, because he was unable to stand in front of a class without feeling self-conscious about his appearance. The judge ruled against his claim, saying that baldness is neither a physical nor a mental impairment. By extension, the judge said that a physical feature such as a big nose or tallness could not be claimed as a disability.

Burgoyne, Patrick. “São Paulo: The City That Said No To Advertising.” Business Week. 22 May. 2008. <>.

In September 2006, Gilberto Kassab, the mayor of São Paulo, Brazil, passed the “Clean City” law, which banned all advertisements appearing outdoors in the city. Billboards, ads on buses and taxis, and even storefront signs were restricted or strictly regulated. It is predicted that the city will lose over $130 million in advertising revenue and over twenty thousand jobs. Some people believe this law will make the city cleaner and prettier while others argue it will make the city seem more dull. The law became effective in January 2007; those who did not take down signs would have to pay a fine of four thousand dollars per day. There are still many empty billboards left in place, as some people believe that the mayor will back down on the law eventually and allow advertisements again.

Canadian Press. “Many Canadians don’t believe in a god: poll.” CTV. 31 May 2008. <>.

A study shows a quarter Canadians do not believe in any god. Canadians have also been shown to be extremely tolerant of different beliefs. Canada’s twenty-three percent of non-believers are in contrast to America’s mere eight percent of non-believers. Statistics Canada has found that Canadians are more religious than they appear; studying church attendance is not always a good indicator, as only one third of Canadians attend religious services frequently. On the other hand, more than half of Canadians participate in religious activity on their own time. Canada comes in forth in an international survey ranking the importance of religion in an individual’s daily life, after the United States, Mexico, and Italy.

Cass, Jacob. “Why logo design does not cost $5.00.” Just Creative Design. 22 May 2008. <>.

This article begins with an explanation of a logo and its importance: a logo is what people associate with a brand and how they recognize the product. Without a logo, people will not be able to identify the brand, so it is necessary to have a logo. A bad logo is equally a problem: a logo needs to be distinct and attractive to be effective. After this explanation, it is clear that logo design contests and spec work (where the logo designer is only paid if the company likes the logo) are not something the author is fond of. The author uses a comparison to the dentistry industry: people don’t have a dentist clean their teeth and then decide to pay only if they like how it was done — but this happens to designers every day.

Chang, Kai. “My Favorite Liar.” Overcoming Bias. 24 Feb. 2008. <>.

The author tells of a college finance professor who claimed that he was a liar. His class was not an exciting course, so he devised a clever scheme to keep the students’ attention: every day, he would insert one lie into his lecture, and the class had to find that lie. This allowed students to challenge his information and engage in debates. If the lie was not found, the students were forced to look over their notes to find it and the professor would not tell them what the lie was until the next class. After one lesson when the students could not find a lie, the professor told them to think back to their first class, when he said every lecture would have a lie: that statement was the lie in that lesson, for the previous lesson contained no lies, but it forced the students to study their notes.

Cheng, Jacqui. “‘Douchebag’ blog post costs senior her student council seat.” Ars Technica. 1 Jun. 2008. <>.

A Connecticut high school senior named Avery Doninger lost her position as student council secretary over a post on her personal blog. The student council had been trying to reschedule a battle of the bands competition, but the school wanted to change the date again. The student council then began asking others to call or write in to support them, but this angered the school officials, who threatened to cancel the event entirely. Doninger complained about what had happened on her blog and referred to the school officials as “douchebags”. This post was found by the school officials, who then forbid her from running in the next school election. Doninger sued the school district, citing a violation of her freedom of speech, but her request to the court to force a new election was rejected.

Chisholm, Matt. “Why your Flash website sucks.” Glyphobet. 15 Mar. 2008. <>.

This post was spurred by the author’s discovery of a website made entirely using the program Flash, rather than using typical HTML. The maker of the site had completely “reinvented the wheel” by reprogramming an established blog script using Flash. The author admits that this is a useful learning experience, but a live site built entirely in Flash has many usability issues. Such issues include not being able to right click, copy and paste, or bookmark individual pages in the site, as well as a list of other reasons. While Flash has its benefits, the author shows that most of the effects that it can create can be achieved by other more common methods.

Clark, Kyle. “8-year-old suspended for sniffing marker.” 9 News. 4 Apr. 2008. <>.

Eathan Harris, an eight-year-old student at Harris Park Elementary School in Westminster, Colorado, was suspended from his school for three days for sniffing a permanent marker in class. Harris claimed that the marker smelt good, but he was told that it was wrong to think that. When asked if he was aware of “huffing”, he answered in the negative. His suspension was reduced to only one day after his parents complained, but the principal stands by his decision that he sees as sending a message about drugs. Dr. Eric Lavonas, a toxicologist, says that Sharpies cannot be used to get high, but despite this information, the principal has banned permanent markers from the school.

Coughlan, Sean. “University cheats ‘not expelled’.” BBC News. 3 Jun. 2008. <>.

A study from the Higher Education Academy and Joint Information Systems Committee found that in over nine thousands cases of cheating in university, only 143 students were expelled. Rather than receiving such a severe punishment, in most cases students were simply required to resubmit their work with a limit on the maximum mark that could be earned. Three times as many students that were caught plagiarising were given a warning compared to those who were expelled. Even students who had been caught cheating twice, eight out of one hundred, were allowed to stay at the university. This study shows that people who are concerned about the punishments for plagiarism are justified, as not all university impose the same sanctions. News Staff. “‘Back to the Future’ set, King Kong destroyed in fire.” CTV. 1 Jun. 2008. <>.

A fire at Universal Studios has caused damage to several famous movie sets, including the town square from “Back to the Future”. The clock tower from the film was damaged, but was not completely destroyed. Some other films that had sets on the lot included “War of the Worlds,” “When Harry Met Sally” and “Psycho”. Another building that contained over forty thousand films reels was also damaged in the fire, but there were duplicates of those reels stored elsewhere. One building and three blocks of sets were completely destroyed; sets made of timber were especially susceptible to heavy damage. The Universal Studios theme park did not suffer any damage and remained open. News Staff. “Kids spending more time in front of screens: report.” CTV. 27 May 2008. <>.

A report by Active Healthy Kids Canada finds that ninety percent of Canadian children do not get enough exercise and instead are sitting in front of television and computer screens. Ten to sixteen year olds spend six hours a day on average in front of a screen — three times more than the recommended time of only two hours. Some of the long-term issues this inactivity could lead to includes diabetes and cardiovascular disease as well as many chronic conditions. Children’s involvement in sports has decreased over the years, going from seventy-seven percent in 1992 to only fifty-nine percent in 2005. Only ten percent of children get to and from school in active ways, such as walking or biking.

Culver, Leah. “A Computer Science Degree Doesn’t Hurt (Much).” Leah Culver. 15 Apr. 2008. <>.

The author addresses people’s concerns about Computer Science degrees in university. She agrees that they can be difficult, but are not useless. Many programmers do not have a degree, but equally as many do. She believes that going to university gave her many benefits that people who did not go did not get, such as mentors and colleagues, in the professors and students. She also had the chance to learn many new programming languages, some that she never would have learned on her own. Learning a variety of languages is helpful when encountering new languages. As she previously admitted, the classes can be difficult, but she reasons that the difficultly of the courses is necessary for the student to learn.

Daily Mail. “Status Quo fan hangs himself after wife left him for guitarist Rick Parfitt.” Daily Mail. 10 Mar. 2008. <>.

Nigel Hewitt was a devoted fan of the band Status Quo who met and befriended guitarist Rick Parfitt. Eventually, he introduced his wife, Angie Hewitt, to Parfitt and the two began to have an affair. This sent Nigel Hewitt into a depression, which worsened when he was banned from backstage parties with the band. He killed himself when he learned that his ex-wife had remarried after her relationship with Parfitt had ended. Angie’s sister believes that she was able to move on with her life but Nigel never was; he continued to hope that she would come back to him, but finally realized that it was not going to happen.

De Quetteville, Harry. “Fake bus stop keeps Alzheimer’s patients from wandering off.” Telegraph. 5 Jun. 2008. <'s-patients-from-wandering-off.html>.

A nursing home in Düsseldorf, Germany has used an original method to keep their patients from leaving: they built a bus stop outside of the building that appears real, but is only a replica. Patients with Alzheimer’s occasionally leave the building in search of their family or home, which sometimes do not actually exist. The nursing home had to depend on the police to find these people and bring them back, but they decided to implement a new solution. Many of the patients have short-term memory, so they find themselves wandering off and immediately forgetting where they were going. The bus stop allows the nursing home time to find them and return them to the building. The fake bus stop has been so successful that other nursing homes have begun implementing it as well.

Dobson, Cathy. “Motley Crue protest shot down.” The London Free Press. 1 May. 2008. <>.

Dave Boushy, a councillor in Sarnia, believes that the rock band Mötley Crüe should not be allowed to play at the city’s summer music festival, Bayfest. Boushy cites the band’s off-stage antics as his reasoning. He believes that having the band in their city may harm Sarnia’s image. The rest of the council did not support him because they did not feel that they should engage in censorship of the event. Gord Park is the Sarnia resident who first brought up the issue. He believes that the event should go on, but he wants it to maintain professionalism; something he doesn’t see as possible with the inclusion of Mötley Crüe. Bayfest’s organizer is not concerned about the issues. Bayfest generates lots of controversy, and she believes that the band will not cause any problems for the short time that they are in town.

Ebert, Roger. “Dead Poets Society.” Roger Ebert. 6 Jun. 2008. <>.

Roger Ebert reviews “Dead Poets Society” in the summer of 1989. He describes the story as being about an English teacher who inspires his students to challenge society’s conventions. He comments on the film’s use of poetry; while many poets are referenced, the film does not truly do them justice. He believes that the students should leave the school with a love of poetry, but all that they gained was a love of their teacher. He commends Robin Williams’ performance, but notes that at times he does slip out of his serious role. He also sees the teacher as a plot device rather than a real character. Overall, he gives the movie two out of four stars.

Esquire. “What It Feels Like: Swallowing Swords, Having Leprosy & Being in an Orgy.” Esquire. 7 Apr. 2008. <>.

This article is a collection of interviews with various people telling about uncommon life experiences. The first one is about a man with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder who discussed his rigorous showering ritual. Two contrasting tales are told by Gabriel Pimentel, 2'11", and Shawn Bradley, 7'6". Both had distinct memories of high school: Pimentel of being picked on and Bradley of being able to see all the dust on top of the lockers. Jon Weiss and Brad Byers tell interesting tales of being shot out of a cannon and swallowing swords. Many other stories are told by people with diseases, people who have accomplished great things, and even people who have experienced extremely violent situations, such as exorcisms and getting shot in the head. Each tale gives an insight to occasions that most people will never experience.

Fogarty, Mignon. “Top Ten Grammar Myths.” Grammar Girl. 29 Feb. 2008. <>.

This article examines some of the most common grammar myths. The first myth regards run-on sentences, which are often believed to be only long sentences, but they are actually clauses put together without any punctuation. Another myth regards “irregardless” and its status as a word: it is indeed a word, but a nonstandard one. Its inclusion in a dictionary would be equal to that of the word “gonna”, merely as slang. The possessive form of words ending in “s” was another topic, which the author concludes is merely a style issue. The number one grammar myth was ending a sentence with a preposition: this is fine, as long as it is necessary. If the sentence means the same thing without the preposition, then it should be removed.

Fox, Laurie. “Grapevine student with top grades won’t be valedictorian.” Dallas Morning News. 3 Jun. 2008. <>.

Anjali Datta is a student at Grapevine High School in Texas. She is graduating with a GPA of 5.898, the highest of all the students graduating and possibly the highest on record for the school. However, she was rejected as valedictorian, with the position going to the student with the next highest grade, a GPA of 5.64. The reason for this is that Datta completed her high school education in only three years. A rule states that the valedictorian must have been at the school for four years to be eligible, to ensure that a student could not transfer to the school at the end of the year and become valedictorian. There is much controversy around this decision as the position of valedictorian also comes with a college scholarship of one thousand dollars.

Gilbert, James. “Educator Sent Home for Dyeing Hair Green.” WLTX. 18 Mar. 2008. <>.

Michael Rice, a guidance counsellor at Lower Richland High School in South Carolina was sent home on St. Patrick’s Day for dyeing his hair green. The principal called him into his office and told him that dyeing his hair green was “over the top”, but other staff and students merely found his gesture amusing. Rice respects the principal’s decision, but is in fear of losing his job. Rice is involved with a program that helps students prepare for college, but the school’s budget for next year no longer includes this program.

Hague, James. “A Spellchecker Used to Be a Major Feat of Software Engineering.” Programming in the 21st Century. 8 Jun. 2008. <>.

In the early days of computing, computers did not have as much memory as they do today. Thus, programming was a much more difficult job, as program codes needed to be much smaller. One way of achieving this was to compress the code, but code can only be compressed so much. Spell checker dictionaries on computers today have approximately two hundred thousand words. If each word were a single byte, then all of the computer’s resources would be required to run the dictionary. Even then, each word is bigger than one byte, and that would leave no room for the actually spell checking program, let alone the word processing program. By comparing this situation to today, it is evident how much computing has progressed in only a few decades.

Heller, Joseph. Catch-22. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2004.

Catch-22 tells the story of a member of the United States Army during World War II named Yossarian. Each chapter focuses on one of the many eccentric and irrational individuals he encounters during his time in Italy. Yossarian becomes convinced that people are trying to kill him (which, of course, they are) so he decides to leave the army. He is unable to do this until he completes the number of missions specified by Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions required. Catch-22 comes in whenever someone asks to stop flying missions: by doing so, they prove that they are sane, because no sane person would want to fly any more missions. However, the catch is that only insane persons can stop flying missions. Yossarian is stuck flying missions while his friends die around him until he makes a deal with the Colonel. When Yossarian realizes that the deal is not really what he wants, he escapes from the army on his own.

Hemsley, Rik. “I have Alice In Wonderland syndrome.” The Guardian. 16 Feb. 2008. <,,2256750,00.html>.

The author tells of a seemingly normal night when he suddenly found that his foot was sinking into the carpet. In only a few seconds, everything was back to normal, so he believed he was simply tired. Soon, he started seeing more strange things that made him realize that this might be a bigger problem. Objects and people appeared distorted in size and shape, which made the author very clumsy. Simple tasks like crossing the street became daunting, because he wouldn’t know how far away a car was. Doctors could find nothing wrong with him, but one day the author saw a documentary about a woman with the same symptoms, and he was able to identify himself as having Alice in Wonderland syndrome, but doctors could find no record of it. As time progressed, he stopped experienced these distortions and was able to live normally.

Higgins, Chris. “He Took a Polaroid Every Day, Until the Day He Died.” Mental Floss. 21 May 2008. <>.

This article consists of a description of a photo essay. What is interesting about the photos is that they were taken every day from March 1979 to October 1997. The author of the article examines the photos and makes several deductions about the photographer. Some such deductions are that the photographer is a filmmaker and a baseball fan. Throughout most of the 80’s and early to mid 90’s, the pictures are of family and friends or sometimes of just the photographer’s surroundings. In 1997, however, the photos become more serious, with a shot of the photographer in the hospital; the photographer has cancer, and a self-portrait in the same year reveals how differently the he looks from the earlier photos. After what appears to be frequent hospital visits, the tone changes and now the photographer is getting married. Shortly afterwards, the hospital returns, and the photos end.

Hughes, Sam. “Modelling time travel in fiction.” Things Of Interest. 5 Feb. 2008. <>.

This article is about writing stories about time travel, and the various ways that time travel can be written. The first model is the “Fixed History” model, in which history cannot be changed, because anything that one does in the past was supposed to happen. These changes are either a result of luck or an outside force, such as time travel police, to ensure that these changes do not happen. The next model is “Malleable History”, in which history can be changed slightly without problem, but major changes will affect the future, and thus need to be set straight. Another model is the “Sensitive History” model, in which changes are inevitable simply because the time traveller is there. The simplest model however is the “Multiple History”, in which every time one goes back in time, a new “timeline” is created, so changes can be made.

Hustad, Megan. “You are not your bookcase.” Salon. 2 May 2008. <>.

Users on sites like Facebook and MySpace are asked to fill out a profile with a list of their favourite movies, music, television shows, and books. The author believes that these lists are hardly able to describe a person, but when creating these lists, that is what one feels they are doing. People are constantly trying to improve their list, making sure that the bands listed as their “favourites” truly reflect them accurately. By judging one’s own list so harshly, people will naturally be judgemental of others’ lists, which will allow them to immediately dismiss someone as likable or unlikable, based on a few names and titles.

Jarrett, Ryan. “Live concert recordings on USB sticks.” Last100. 18 May. 2008. <>.

USB sticks are currently the most popular way to move data from computer to computer, surpassing the popularity of floppy disks and CDs. Musicians will sometimes release a recording of a concert from their tour on CD or DVD, but usually they will only release one show. If musicians began using USB sticks containing their shows, they could increase sales and sell a recording of every show. This will also help diminish the popularity of illegal bootlegs, as fans will be more likely to buy from the original artist. It is also possible that the recording can be sold immediately after the show, as it does not take long to transfer the material onto USB. Some bands, such as the Barenaked Ladies, have already begun doing this, which means the medium could become popular in the future.

Jhirad, Susan. “Feminists, the choice is obvious.” The Boston Globe. 9 Jun. 2008. <>.

The author, a self-proclaimed feminist, addresses her fellow advocates. She tells of the sexism she has witnessed in the past and the fact that a female president has only up until recently seemed impossible. She also elaborates on how she has been involved with the feminist movement. Not only that, but she also was involved with the black rights movement. She supports Barack Obama for president, but respects people who support Hillary Clinton. What she doesn’t respect, however, is former Clinton supports voting instead for John McCain. She doesn’t understand the reasoning behind switching to another candidate from another party just because Obama beat Clinton, especially when Obama’s political views are much more similar to Clinton’s than McCain’s views are. She concludes that while a woman president would be worth celebrating, so would an African-American president, for both situations will show how much America has progressed.

Kington, Miles. “High court hang-ups.” The Independent. 22 Mar. 2008. <>.

This article is a fictional piece about a man named Arnold Chrysler accused of stealing forty thousand coat hangers from hotel rooms. The transcript of the hearing often has the accused turning around and asking questions of the judge or lawyers, to humorous effect. The piece also ridicules a lawyer’s way of posing a question as a statement. In the end, the accused claims to have stolen the coat hangers because he manufactures wardrobes that are designed to only use the hotel style coat hanger.

Lewis, Kathryn. “Where Do Hollywood Babies Come From?” Slate. 17 Feb. 2008. <>.

Many movies feature babies in pivotal roles. This article answers the question “where do these babies come from?”. In California, babies can be in the movies starting when they are fifteen days old, but in other states, there are no age restrictions. Other than that, all that is required is a work permit and a letter from a doctor stating that the baby is physically fit enough to handle being in a film. There are also guidelines on what kinds of fluids can be used when simulating a birth; certain things are not allowed due to possible allergic reactions. The time that a baby works is also strictly regulated: in California, babies are allowed to be on the set for two hours, but can only work for twenty minutes. Infants can usually earn $126 each day and sometimes up to $737.

Maguire, James. “Who Killed the Software Engineer? (Hint: It Happened in College).” Datamation. 15 Apr. 2008. <>.

Robert Dewar, a professor at New York University, believes that the future of the software engineer is in danger. University Computer Science programs are making their curriculum much easier to understand, which is generally a good thing, but in this case, is causing those with Computer Science degrees to not fully understand their field. The reason for the “dumbing down” of the curriculum is to convince more people to pursue a Computer Science degree after enrolment declined due to the threat of outsourcing and the dotcom bust. They are removing the math requirements, because math is seen as “not fun”, and using simpler and “more fun” languages, like Java, which do not really teach the students what they need to know. He stresses that those who want to succeed in the field need to enjoy programming, whether using a “fun” language like Java or a structured one like Pascal.

Mamchenkov, Leonid. “Where did all the PHP programmers go?” Blog of Leonid Mamchenkov. 4 Jun. 2008. <>.

The author laments about his search to find a PHP programmer in Cyprus. After interviewing several candidates, he found none that were suitable, despite the low requirements. During the interview, he asked the interviewees to write down a simple code using a pencil and paper, but found that many were unable to do so when they were not sitting in front of a computer. The technical questions the interviewer has asked have also been extremely simple ones that any programmer should know the answer to. The author has also found that this program exists outside of Cyprus, in much bigger countries as well. He believes that the reason for this is that most people who learn PHP will move on to other languages and if they don’t, then they are not very good programmers.

McClear, Sheila. “What I Learned in Jail Last Night.” Gawker. 6 Mar. 2008. <>.

Author Sheila McClear tells of what happened after she was arrested for drinking beer in a New York Subway station. She was put into a van with two men who had both been arrested for taking up more than one subway seat. Before being put into a cell, the police took away her backpack and belongings as well as her hairpins, belt, and shoelaces. After waiting an hour, she had her mug shot and fingerprints taken. She waited for twelve hours in the courthouse with a group of other women arrested from minor charges. After being taken to the courtroom, the arraignment took only a minute and her charges were dropped.

Meowza. “Good design lies in the foundation.” Aviary. 28 Feb. 2008. <>.

The medium of the cartoon is very limited: drawings must fit into a small frame and an entire message needs to be conveyed within only a few of these frames. The author finds that as a cartoonist, one will begin thinking in simple shapes in order to meet these challenges. All characters are made up of these simple shapes. Furthermore, the author states that he knows when he has created a good character if he can recognize it by only its silhouette; such examples are Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse. However the characters are change, they will still be recognizable; that is, until their basic outline is modified.

NME. “Dr Pepper offers free drink for ‘Chinese Democracy’.” NME. 26 Mar. 2008. <>.

The soft drink company Dr Pepper has announced that they will give every American a free can of Dr Pepper if the band Guns N’ Roses releases their album “Chinese Democracy” in 2008. Guns N’ Roses has been working on the album since 1993, when their last album, “The Spaghetti Incident?” was released and their expenses in making the album has been upwards of thirteen million dollars. Jaxie Alt of Dr Pepper says that they understand Axl Rose, singer of Guns N’ Roses, and his quest for perfection, because the makers of Dr Pepper acted in the same way to ensure that their product was perfect.

Osley, Richard. “Keith Moon lived here. But don’t tell a living soul.” The Independent. 25 May 2008. <>.

An application for the home of The Who’s late drummer Keith Moon to receive a blue plaque was turned down by the English Heritage experts. The blue plaque pays tribute to notable historical figures; twelve to fifteen plaques are erected each year. The reason for Moon’s rejection was that he died at only thirty-two years old and many other artists of his time are still living, so he will not be considered for a blue plaque for another ten years. However, Jimi Hendrix, also a musician in the sixties, has already received a plaque, but Marc Bolan of T-Rex was also rejected. In contrast, the application for Sir Francis Pettit, a screw propeller, was accepted instead.

Ouzounian, George. “Nobody cares if your puns were intended.” The Best Page In The Universe. 3 Jun. 2008. <>.

This satirical article emphasizes the author’s hatred for the phrase “pun intended”. He believes that by pointing out a pun, it ruins the effect of the joke. It also shows that the author believes the reader would not see the pun unless it was pointed out, and by doing so, they are judging the reader’s intelligence negatively. Similarly, by saying “no pun intended”, the author is distancing him or herself from using a pun, as they believe it to be a too commonplace device, and is once again putting him or herself above the reader’s intelligence level.

Papadimoulis, Alex. “So You Hacked Our Site!?” The Daily WTF. 29 Feb. 2008. <!.aspx>.

As a result of the author adding his company to the Central Contractor Registration, he receives what appears to be a phone call from a telemarketer trying to sell him something. Instead, it turns out that it is the Federal Suppliers Guide and they want to place his company in their guide, to which the author accepts. However, upon further examination of the Guide’s website, he finds that he can access the seemingly restricted login page by simply viewing the page’s source code, which reveals the username and password. He gains access to a list of companies that had paid for inclusion in the guide and contacts them, then finding that nothing had ever come of it. When the Guide contacts the author and he explains what happens they accuse him of hacking their website.

Poulsen, Kevin. “Teenage Hacker Is Blind, Brash and in the Crosshairs of the FBI.” Wired. 29 Feb. 2008. <>.

This article tells of the exploits of Matthew, a seventeen-year-old phone hacker from Boston. He was introduced to hacking in 2004, when he joined a “party line”, which is basically a phone chat room. He was drawn to this form of hacking because of his disability: on the phone, it doesn’t matter that he is blind. When Matthew was rejected by a girl on the party line, he prank called the police, claiming that he was holding her hostage, which then caused the police to show up at the girl’s house one night. He would do such things to anyone that he didn’t like, and much of the time, his behaviour would be considered harassment. The FBI contacted him to be a informant to help them catch other phone hackers in the act and to give him more credibility, but he continuing hacking. When Matthew turns eighteen, his situation could change completely.

Richmond, Tom. “How to Draw Caricatures: The 5 Shapes.” Tom’s MAD Blog. 14 Feb. 2008. <>.

The article explains the basics of drawing an accurate and successful caricature. The three main ingredients are likeness, exaggeration, and statement. The drawing must obviously resemble the person who it is supposed to be; the exaggeration is what separates a caricature from a portrait; and the statement is what the drawing says about the subject. The human face is made up of only five basic shapes, which can vary greatly from person to person and from drawing to drawing. The recognition of these shapes and their placement relative to each other helps simplify the creation of a caricature.

Rogers, Michael. “Is the Internet dumbing us down?” MSNBC. 31 May 2008. <>.

This article addresses a book called “The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture” by Andrew Keen. The article’s author commends Keen on his knowledge of technology, as this is something that often negates other internet opponents’ positions. He also commends him for taking an unpopular stance on the subject. One of the main ideas behind the book is that traditional media companies will disappear because of the internet, which will in turn hurt the economy and job market. He argues that bloggers will replace journalists, but the article’s author says that this is not so, because the public is more trusting of an established news source. While some people the future of the internet as being a source of qualityless information, others are more optimistic and the see opposite. The author however believes that neither end of the spectrum will be true, but that the internet will always be both helpful and hurtful.

Rotten. “Press Your Luck: The Michael Larsen Incident.” Rotten. 5 Apr. 2008. <>.

In 1983, a man named Michael Larsen appeared on the game show “Press Your Luck”. He had taped every episode of the show and realized that the prize board sequence was not random; it had six patterns that never changed. By memorizing the patterns, he was able to hit a square with the grand prize and a free spin every time, allowing him to continue to play and win. Unfortunately, he realized while on the show that he did not know how he would be able to stop playing, so he ended up having to press his luck for real with over a hundred thousand dollars at stake. He managed to use up all of his free spins and took home a grand total of $110,237. After the show, he invested his money in a real estate fraud and eventually lost the rest to a robbery.

Samy. “I’ll never get caught. I’m Popular.” 17 May 2008. <>.

The author examined how MySpace worked and how it was coded, which eventually allowed him to create a code that would automatically add the author to the friends list of anyone who visited his profile. Eventually, he even injected the code into the other user’s profile, so that anyone who looked at their profile would add the author as well. In seven hours, he received over two hundred friend requests, in thirteen hours, over six thousand friend requests, and in less than a day, over a million requests. In the end, after the entire website crashed, MySpace fixed the code on their website that allowed the author to exploit the website in less than a day.

Seidell, Streeter. “An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of, From a New Yorker Magazine Fact Checker.” Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond. 30 Apr. 2008. <>.

A satirical letter is written to the founder of Facebook, stating several problems with the information contained on the website. Such problems include citing spelling mistakes, unsourced quotes, and nonexistent city names on specific profiles. The author has supposedly researched the obviously fake companies which people state they are employed at only to find that they do not exist. Another instance includes the author stating that the profile picture of a person is actually a picture of a celebrity. All such mistakes are commonly found of Facebook users’ profiles; this article ridicules such behaviour.

Skenazy, Lenore. “Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone.” New York Sun. 4 Apr. 2008. <>.

Lenore Skenazy tells of a day that she knowingly left her nine-year-old son in Bloomingdale’s in New York City to let him find his own way home. He had been constantly asking her to let him try this for weeks so she finally gave in. She states that while she was slightly worried, she didn’t see it as a big deal. She trusted her son and his knowledge and believed that he would be able to take the subway on his own, which he did. While she knows that she would have been devastated had her son not returned safely, she also knows that it would have simply been a rare case in many such occurrences. Statistics show that the horror stories of kids left on their own do not happen as often as one might think, and so while many people tell her that she was wrong, she stands by her opinions.

Spooky. “Gamucci, the e-cigarette.” Oddity Central. 25 Apr. 2008. <>.

Gamucci is a new invention that replaces the cigarettes. It looks, feels, and tastes like a real cigarette, but does not have any chemicals in it that harm the user, environment, or other people. Rather than the thousands of toxins contained in regular cigarettes, Gamucci contains water, propylene glycol, nicotine, and tobacco scent. The nicotine allows those addicted to cigarettes to use it and still satisfy their cravings, but not inhale the other chemicals.

Steve. “Anecdidn’t.” Rhymes With Steve. 18 Mar. 2008. <>.

A student tells of his attempts to find a quiet place to read at lunch. The hall, the staff lounge, and outside suffice for awhile, but he is always driven out by outside forces. The only place left is the cafeteria, which serves well for awhile, until he notices someone has been throwing food at him. Eventually, this act annoys him so much that he approached the suspected perpetrator and yells at him. At this point, the story takes several turns; one scenario is presented where the protagonist is called down to the principal’s office, another where a fake fire drill results in spontaneous singing and a perfectly happy ending. In the end, however, it turns out that the kid in the cafeteria was simply a friend trying to get the author’s attention.

Timmer, John. “Prof replaces term papers with Wikipedia contributions, suffering ensues.” Ars Technica. 8 Mar. 2008. <>.

Most teachers forbid students to use Wikipedia for school research, but one teacher has decided to allow the use of the website for submitting student work; instead of having students write a term paper, they would write an entire Wikipedia article. The goal of this assignment was to give the student’s work some meaning; regular term papers would only be seen by the teacher, but these articles could be used by other people around the world. The students were also forced to follow Wikipedia’s policies on neutrality as well as ensure that they were writing for a wide audience. Nearly every student involved believed it to be a valuable experience and found that they wanted to work harder on the project.

Todd, Charlie. “Food Court Musical.” Improv Everywhere. 9 Mar. 2008. <>.

Sixteen people gathered to create a seemingly spontaneous musical scene in the middle of a food court in Los Angeles, California. In one day, they learned the words and choreography for the song. The mall was also contacted to allow them use of the P.A. system and to use the mall to rehearse the night before. The actors got into the roles, with the actor playing a cashier actually serving customers and the “janitor” cleaning up the food court. The musical centered on several characters singing about their search for a napkin, finally ending when a security guard entered, apparently to shut down the performance, but who instead ended up joining in the song as well. As in any other musical, the actors returned to their jobs when finished, as if nothing strange had happened. In the end, they created quite a scene for the patrons of the food court.

Valcourt, Derek. “Police Make Headway In Baltimore Co. Mystery.” WJZ Baltimore. 28 Apr. 2008. <>.

In Pikesville, Maryland, there have been repeated occurrences of a loud explosion and flash of light in the middle of the night. Several people in the neighbourhood comment on the strange occurrence, citing that it would light up the entire room and sounded like a gunshot. One of the residents began keeping track of the noise, and witnessed it twenty-five times in eight months. The police initially were not worried and believed that the residents were simply exaggerating, but upon further investigation, found it could be dangerous. The police set up cameras to try to determine where the light was coming from and from the footage, will be able to narrow down where the starting point is.

venusangell22. “Lies Our Parents Told Us.” For A Pessimist, I Am Pretty Optimistic. 31 May 2008. <>.

The author tells us of her father’s fear of bees, which she often found quite funny, until she was told that he would die if he were stung. This topic came up during a family dinner when her father’s mother told him that he never actually was allergic; he was playing too close to a beehive and she told him he was allergic so he would stop. The author calls this a “tired lie”: a lie a parent tells when the child will not stop doing something bad or annoying otherwise. She wonders about all such lies that parents tell and whom they can negatively affect children later in life, such as with her father.

Violent Acres. “What Would Happen if You Bought 25 Bottles of Nyquil?.” Violent Acres. 26 Apr. 2008. <>.

The author tells a story of a her curious nature, starting when she was a young girl. She played a game called “what would happen if…?”, which would be followed with such things as “…I opened the car door while on the highway?”. Her curiosity carried on as she grew older, and her husband’s sickness prompted another round of the old game. After one failed attempt at buying twenty-five bottles of Nyquil with the wrong kind of ingredients, she tried to exchange them for twenty-five boxes of Sudafed, which led to some interesting employees reactions and the author being chased out of the store.

Vinson, Jake. “The Super Hacker.” The Daily WTF. 30 Apr. 2008. <>.

This article tells the story of a junior network administrator named Kiefer at a small internet service provider. His boss tells him that there is a security specialist, a “super hacker”, coming in to check out their system. The hacker’s job was to shut down the server from outside of the building and if he could do so, he would earn $3500. The hacker was there for two days, during which he was able to look at the system’s code and talk to staff. At the end of two days, he had succeeded and had even managed to fix the exploit. Kiefer discovers that the hacker had succeeded by paying a member of the night staff to pull out a power cord, when in turn shut down the server. This article shows that while it is important to have secure code, even more important is to make sure that the people in charge of the system are not exploitable.

Watson, Donna. “Woman sat dead in front of TV for 42 years.” Daily Record. 16 May 2008. <>.

A woman named Hedviga Golik was found dead in front of her television set in Zagreb, Croatia, which in itself is not that unusual. However, she was last seen forty-two years ago, in 1966, and officially reported missing at that time. Her neighbours were the last people who saw her and they assumed she had moved. One of her neighbours was Jadranka Markic, nine years old at the time that she disappeared, who said that Golik often kept to herself. Her body was discovered when police broke into the house to determine who was living there.