June 13, 2007

Britain's Got Talent

I'm not proud to admit that I watched America's Got Talent the other night. It made me wish for the black and white days of the Ted Mack Amateur Hour where the audience and judges weren't so cruel. Why watch? I guess we all hope for a moment of transcendent surprise and joy. Didn't happen.

But such moments have happened at least once in the original Brit version. Watch this and warm up your heart:


March 29, 2007

Imagine Me on the Love Boat

My reputation as an eminent expert on the Bermuda Triangle continues, as previously documented here. Today I received the following invitation via email:
Dear Mr. Dodge,

We were researching experts in the subjects of Bermuda on the internet today, and we came across your names.

May we respectfully take a moment to introduce our company, Sixth Star Entertainment & Marketing. We are the leading provider of “Edu-tainment” Programs to the cruise industry, staffing top cruise lines with engaging Destination Speakers. We invite you to visit our website at www.sixthstar.com for more information.

We are currently working with Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and many more. To view our current roster of Destination Speaker openings for 2007, please Click Here.
It actually sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Cruise speakers pay $50 per day and can bring a cabinmate along. To earn your keep, all you have to do is....
During a typical week at sea, Speakers traditionally deliver three to four 35-minute presentations, with 10 minutes at the end for questions and answers. Presentations should be very entertaining (or as we like to say, "edu-tainment"), and we highly encourage the use of professional presentation tools, including slides and Power Point presentations.
That sounds like something I could do. I can't imagine, though, that any ship would want someone edutaining the passengers about the Bermuda Triangle while they're cruising right through it. Hmmm... or maybe they would, since what I'd be saying with my edutaining Powerpoint slides is that the whole thing is a load of crap. That might calm the nerves of the credulous.

I'll have to run this past my potential cabinmate.


February 17, 2006

Veronica Mars Surveyor

A couple of weeks ago I was touring a potential new faculty hire around the SDSU campus. As I turned a corner, suddenly everything was unfamiliar. There were banners displayed labeled "Heritage College" or something like that and I wondered if some re-org had happened when I wasn't paying attention. Turned another corner and things got clearer. There were video cameras, boom microphones, large white reflectors to control the sunlight, and actors walking across the quad in front of the Campanile Tower. They were filming an episode of Veronica Mars.

I've never watched it, but I feel the same kind of civic bragging rights as when Simon & Simon was set here back when I first moved to San Diego. I mean, how many shows are filmed in Waterbury, Connecticut?

So what are the educational technology implications of all this trivia? I just noticed a link to a Wayfaring Map of Veronica Mars Locations which is a great example of the use of Google Maps to clarify a story. The Wayfaring site lets you create your own annotated maps and share them online. Since I'm teaching my class for pre-service English teachers again, I find myself looking for applications of technology to literature. The Wayfaring site would be a great tool to analyze Joyce's Ulysses, or Homer's Odyssey. I could even do one about Thurber's Secret Life of Walter Mitty which took place, more or less, in my home town Waterbury. Yet another daydream.


April 10, 2005

Papal Pooling

I've always been fascinated by Vatican politics. The last time we went through a papal succession (twice in one month) there was no internet to spread speculation and background information. Now, it's everywhere. Nieus over de kardinalen en het conclaaf is a multilingual Belgian blog that does a nice job of compiling news reports and interviews.

Going beyond merely watching the process, a little wagering is one way to make the conclave more interesting. Poolitics has a pool going on who the next pope will be, and I'm getting ready to pitch a few dollars into the breach. I need to read up some more before betting, but I'm leaning towards Arinze or one of the Latin Americans. Best Betting had Dionigi Tettamanzi as a shoo-in earlier this week, but now Arinze has taken the lead.

Ordinarily, I think gambling is for dopes. I managed to spend three days in Vegas last week without betting a single dime. Betting on future events, on the other hand, is more interesting because a little bit of homework can give you an advantage over those who just guess. Should be an intriguing week.


May 21, 2004

Traffic Jam

Grading is done.

June rented Jutai, a 1991 Japanese movie known in English as Traffic Jam. It's one of those wonderful flicks that takes you completely away to somewhere completely different. In that way it's like my other faves London Kills Me and The Last Emperor. A family heads to the dad's home island over the New Year's holiday and gets stuck in a 100 km long gridlock along with other mishaps. It's about work vs life and discovering what really matters. Another review here. Recommended.


April 02, 2003

Celebrity Blogs

It's interesting to come upon blogs written personally by famous people. The first one I started to read was Wil Wheaton's, and it's clearly from the heart and not the product of some PR firm. Also genuine (I think) are the blogs by Moby and Dave Barry.

Vanessa Dennen just sent me the link to an even more famous blogger: Kim Jong Il! Reading this regularly is a great way to gain insight into the mind of an important world figure.

(I should have posted this yesterday.)

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February 09, 2003

Madonna to Unleash Iraq Video

According to Drudge...

"Madonna is hoping to cause maximum controversy with a new video from her forthcoming CD, AMERICAN LIFE, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal. Editing is in progress on a musical video concept which insiders say may be the most shocking anti-war, anti-Bush statement yet to come from the showbusiness industry."

I'm thinking the song will be called "Material Breach". You heard it here first!