March 24, 2005

The Bermuda Triangle and Me

Talk about unintended consequences! Nine years ago I was teaching EDTEC 596, the course where the first WebQuest had emerged a year earlier. The class worked in interdisciplinary teams to create a WebQuest as their culminating project. One group had its heart set on doing a unit on the Bermuda Triangle, and by the end of May The Bermuda Triangle WebQuest had emerged. I had agreed to let them do this because I thought the topic provided a perfect opportunity to give high school kids a better BS detector. Unfortunately, the student teachers were less skeptical than I, and they treated the Bermuda Triangle as an authentic mystery.

Since there's a link to my name right at the top of the page, I have since been considered an expert on this topic. About once a month, middle and high school kids writing reports on the Bermuda Triangle send me earnest emails asking me to share my copious wisdom on the topic. Instead of reinforcing their "I Want to Believe" take on it, though, I always direct them to The Bermuda Triangle Mystery Solved by Larry Kusche. It's a great story in which Kusche, a librarian, actually does his homework and tracks back all the alleged airplane disappearances and other events to primary source documents. He shows that it's just a myth, easily explained by natural forces, inaccurate reporting, and exaggeration. Of course, it's in the self-interest of all those other Bermuda Triangle authors to keep the mystery alive, but Kusche's book is the only one worth reading.

After I point them to the book, none of my young penpals ever write back. It's not what they want to hear.

But my reputation as a Bermudatriangulationologist continues, and yesterday I got an email that tells me I'm now in the big leagues within that domain:


Hello Sir or Madam

My name is A%$@ F!*{. My attempt is to share with you my findings on the relationship among Bermuda Triangle mystery, UFO, and Jesus Christ. I have obtained your email from your website or other website with similar interest. I thought my research will be of a great interest to you.

I have been researching for over 22 years. I have written over 3000 pages on the subject of Bermuda Triangle’s mystery. In my findings combined with a divine experience, I found that there is a link between Bermuda Triangle and UFO. Recently I have a revelation from Jesus Christ to share my findings with anybody who is willing to listen or read my writing.

According to my findings, there is a great aspect that combines those three entities: Bermuda Triangle, UFO and Jesus Christ. If you are interested in reading more about the subject, this will not only pleases me, but I will be more than happy to send you additional materials. I would like to send you initially an introduction about myself and an outline for my experience. If you are willing to receive it, please reply to my email.

My intention is not to force my email on you, rather I would like to share my research with you if you want to receive it. Please take care and God bless you.

Imagine. 3000 pages. 22 years. Clearly if I'm to keep up with this field, I have a lot more reading to do.


March 19, 2005

BlogEvangelizing Again

No excuse for not blogging now. I'm teaching another Saturday seminar on blogging and I've got a new class of inductees typing up a storm here on campus today. Should be a fun Saturday (though I'm hungry for lunch already!)


March 01, 2005

The Longest Day

This is one for the record books. I got up at 5am in Phoenix to put the final touches on my keynote. Hoofed over to the convention center at 7:30, gave my presentation at 9:00. It went well, I think. The audience really didn't want to be there, as it was a required meeting for those who received the last round (ever?) of PT3 grants, so it was like trying to get a laugh at traffic school. A number of people who wanted copies of the slides... always a good sign.

Then back to the hotel and airport for a 1pm flight to San Diego. Taught my 4pm class (which was gratifying because I got them over a technical hump and now they're ready to make a million web pages.) Then June picked me up and got me back to the airport for an 8:15 flight. And now, comatosely tired but blogging with my last faint breath, I'm back in Phoenix, ready to enjoy the rest of the conference. More tales of interesting sessions to follow.