Monday, September 18, 2006

Something Light

Okay, so first of all, I got totally distracted after coming up with the title, because I was thinking about something light to read (based on the meme I'm about to do from Lady M), which prompted me to remember a scene from Airplane! Remember the part where the stewardess is offering magazines or something to read, and someone asks if she has anything "light" and she offers a pamphlet on great Jewish sports stars or something? Am I the only one who remembers this? Man, I crack me up sometimes.

Okay, moving away from silly distractions, I thought I'd take just one brief moment to update you all on my organizational insanity regarding the blog. I did, in fact, start up a spreadsheet, to keep an updated record for quickly glancing through. It has date posted, post title, length of post, general tone, how many photos (if any), how many comments (if any), and a summary of the post. I also started keeping Word files of posts arranged by month, and separated finished posts from drafts. Plus I still have my text file of general notes. I also got what Fiance refers to as my "third level offline storage," which is a tiny notebook I keep with me at all times for handwritten notes when I'm away from my computer. Yes, it's getting just a wee bit out of hand here.

That being said, I'm proud to say I'm drafting this post directly to Blogger! See, I'm not hopeless... yet.

Okay, on to the meme. Lady M tagged me for this fun little game: "Tell us the 5th through 8th sentences on page 123 of the book nearest you." Well, I'm being literal here, so I grabbed the book sitting nearest me, even though none of the books nearest me are actually books I'm currently reading. The book nearest me is A Bernadette Mayer Reader, which is a collection of poems by Bernadette Mayer, including the poem to which I alluded in a previous post, "Marie Makes Fun of Me at the Shore." Upon perusal, however, I have deemed the fifth through eighth sentences on page 123 much too... explicit for my delicate readership. So I offer you the next closest book, What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, by James Paul Gee:

"These are the times - and, as the game progresses, such times become more common - where learners see that their now-routinized mastery, developed earlier in the game and in playing similar games, breaks down. They face a new challenge for which their now-routinized skills don't work. In cases like this, a form of learning happens that is just the sort we want to encourage in school but often have little success doing: transfer of prior knowledge mixed with innovation. Let me make this point with an extended example from my own game playing."

It's a really interesting book, though I don't get a lot of examples he uses because I'm unfamiliar with the games. I've only read part of it - we were only assigned to read part of it for Literacies over the summer - but I'd love to read the rest of it at some point. If education and/or the philosophical discussion of video games is your thing (*ahem* Natalie *ahem*), definitely check it out.

Thanks, Lady M - that was fun. :) Now, I tag Tali, Natalie, Graham, and my long-lost Friend, who, if I believe him, is rejoining the blogosphere any day now... :-P


Natalie said...

The nearest book to me right now is my statutory supplement for my tax class. I will spare you the fifth through eighth sentences of the internal revenue code, although if you're curious the fifth through eighth sentences are sections 137 through 139A, stretching over pages 123 and 124.

As for your book, darling dancer, can I borrow it any time soon?

Mom101 said...

I'm just glad to know I'm not the only person who still thinks about quotes from Airplane. Like, um...all of them.
I still grab the paper and say, "it could be a hat. Or a brooch. Or a little pteradactyl."

Thanks for the blogroll mention, lady! Nice to meet you.

Lara said...

eric - thanks for sparing me your tax book. and yes, you are free to borrow the book whenever i next see you.

mom101 - man, a celebrity visit! no, Fiance and i quote Airplane! with some regularity, including the one you cited. just this afternoon i said, "there's a sale at Penny's!" and he responded, "and Leon's getting larger..." you are definitely not alone. :-P

Tandava said...

Okay, just 'cause I've got a weird one, here's what I've got in my nearest book:

If each finger is given a code in which the thumb is 1, the forefinger 2, index-finger 3, ring-finger 4, and pinkie 5, then a normal, five-fingered, hand has the formula '12345', while a duplicated hand has the formula '5432112345'. It is that strangest of things, an anatomical palindrome. [Image caption:] Mirror-image polydactyly.

As for Airplane quotes, anything about "a drinking problem" cracks me up.

Lara said...

graham - ha! yes! i just said that the other day, actually, when i was at dinner with bubs and he spilled some of his water. :)

thanks for sharing your book; it does sound very interesting...

Natalie said...

Responding for real:

[block quote]... To which rather impertinent query the damsel is made to bubble forth the following decided puff: "Why, Sammy, by saving up all my old rags, and taking them to Mr. -, who gives the best prices likewise for bones, pewter, brass, and kitchen-stuff!"[/block quote]

This style of advertising caught on, moving from rag-and-bone men to other working-class environments, such as fried-fish shops and stalls that produced cheaply prepared foods - stewed eels, baked potatoes - and finally soap companies (see pp. 157-158).

Kitchen waste was, of course, the main item to be disposed of regularly, and advice books were full of information on what could be got rid of, in what way. It is difficult to know how far their precepts were followed - the stress laid on the immorality of straightforward disposal implies that probably many people threw out much more than they were expected to. Cooks who were not thrifty put all the kitchen leavings in a bucket.

- Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England, by Judith Flanders