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Ben Babcock

6 Articles in May 2007

  1. My grammar sense is tingling

    GM signYesterday was a bad grammar day. I kept on noticing so many little grammar mistakes everywhere I went, and it really annoyed me. By far, however, the largest one was pointed out to me by my coworker--this sign on the front of our GM dealership.

    Take a moment to look at it. "Last year GM more than doubled the sales of it's nearest competitor." Firstly, there's the glaringly obvious mistake: "it's" means it is. In context of the sentence, I believe they meant to use "its". This is a common mistake for reasons that escape me--how hard is it to memorize when to use its and when to use it's? :wacko:

    Now read the message again, slowly. What do you think it is saying? GM has more than doubled the sales of its competitor? To me, that sounds like GM has more than doubled its competitor's sales, which is to say, its competitor's sales have been doubled because of GM. So now GM is helping its competition? :ermm: Right.

    So I decided that the only thing to do was to ask about it. Today my friend Alex and I went to the GM dealership and asked about the sign.…

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  2. iGoogle?

    Anyone else noticed this new iGoogle thing that Google has going for it?

    What's with the name? You would think that a company as creative as Google would be able to come up with a better name than something that--well, frankly, that sounds like a bad Apple rip-off. And this isn't just Google's problem. iWhatever has become the new "Whatever X" of our generation. I feel sorry for the poor letter--it's not even uppercase! And it's being attached willy-nilly to products and services just because it sounds cool.

    In fact, if the current trend continues, we'll run out of i's to use in every day conversation! Soon conversaton wll look lke ths, because we wn't have enough eyes to go around. :( T wll be the end of cvlzaton as we know t.

    But I digress. Anyone else tried iGoogle? It looks interesting. I use regular Google as my homepage because it is quick to load, but I think I will try out iGoogle for a week or two to see if I like having all this information at my finger tips better.

  3. The death of culture

    Often you'll read one critic or intellectual or another say something along the lines of how Hollywood is destroying the movie industry, creating cheap flicks at the expense of "art" and "culture". And as much as I am sometimes tempted to agree with this cynical evaluation of our entertainment industry, I can't bring myself to jump on that bandwagon. I just can't.

    I have observed that more movies are "packaged" these days. What are "packaged" movies? Well, these are the hits that look and feel like the director simply sent in a form from a mail-order catalogue--he or she filled out the title and main characters, and the company sent back a pre-packaged movie: special effects, music, etc. Movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, and--especially with its third installment--Spider-Man are packaged blockbusters.

    Are packaged movies inherently evil? Does it make a movie bad? Of course not. I like each of those three movie series above--although none of them are particularly spectacular--but they aren't moving and they aren't cathartic. And sometimes you need that. Sometimes you don't need a purging; you just need some action, some humour, and some explosions. The only reservation I carry is…

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  4. Visa: Communists, terrorists, or both?

    The Visa credit card company is always trying to give us free stuff. Think about it: "win what you buy"? That grocery contest? We all know that there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. The glorious capitalist system was founded on such a principle. So if Visa is giving away things for free, then they are violating the very foundation of free-market economy.

    Is Visa in league with the terrorists? It wouldn't surprise me: working away at our morals from the inside. It's of course the only logical conclusion. :yes:

    You might argue that Visa only uses these contests as promotional ventures to encourage spending through the Visa credit card. Quite frankly I think such detractors from my logical argument simply harbour sympathies for Visa and other communist conspirators!

    I'm glad I've exposed this plot to shake the very pillars of prosperity before it went too far. :arr:

  5. The rules of war

    For the past week we've been watching The Patriot in history class. The movie is moving in some parts. There are incredibly tender moments, like when Susan finally speaks to her father and breaks down just as he's leaving again. That part almost made me cry. Unfortunately, the latter part of the movie lacked that same emotional fervour, simply because I was too busy laughing.

    And this is through no fault of the director. The movie was very accurate. I just can't get over how silly warfare was back in that time.

    Everyone arranges his- or herself in nice, neat lines. Then the two sides march forward. One side fires, reloads, while the other side fires. If you get shot, you get shot. It is, as Mr. Nowak puts it, "gentlemanly warfare". And watching it on a television makes it look so absurd! The melée part with bayonets and swords isn't so bad. But just the initial firing of musket volleys looks so ridiculously polite that I completely understand why guerrilla warfare surged in popularity afterward. Sure, you had to clean your uniform more often--but at least you were alive.

    So that got me thinking. Some current rules of…

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  6. And the geek shall inherit the Earth...

    Hi, I'm a Marvel. And I'm a DC.

    I'm envious because I have never thought of something so funny. ^_^ Those Mac versus PC commercials are fun on their own, but this parody is very clever. There's 4 in total (the first has links to the rest); #1 and #4 are the funniest, but the other two are still very cool.

    Share and enjoy!

About Me

I’m a 26-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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