29 April 2010

New Kindle update coming this month

Excellent.
Kindle Version 2.5 Overview
The 2.5 software update for Kindle and Kindle DX is coming soon. We are rolling out the new software update to a limited group of Kindle users and plan a broad release in late May 2010. Check back here for updates on the release schedule.

Here's a list of the coming enhancements:

Collections: Organize your books and documents into one or more collections.

PDF Pan and Zoom: Zoom into PDFs and pan around to easily view small print and detailed tables or graphics.

Password Protection: Password protect your Kindle when you're not using it.

More Fonts & Improved Clarity: Enjoy two new larger font sizes and sharper fonts for an even more comfortable reading experience.

Facebook & Twitter Posts: Share book passages with friends on Facebook and Twitter directly from your Kindle.

Popular Highlights: See what the Kindle community thinks are the most interesting passages in the books you're reading.
I don't care so much about the Facebook thing or password protection, but collections and PDF pan and zoom are invaluable and will make my Kindle even better. I'm already rapturous over the damn thing, and it's hard to believe they keep rolling out these great updates.

25 April 2010

Bill Donahue is an asshole

I know. Not really news.
If a 17-year old guy has sex with an older guy for twenty years, and continues to have sex with him at the age of 38—while he is married with children—is there anyone who would believe his claim that he was sexually abused? The answer is yes: the New York Times would. That's exactly what happened in the case described in today's newspaper involving a homosexual affair between Chilean priest Fr. Fernando Karadima, now 79, and Dr. James Hamilton, now 44.

Why would the New York Times try to sell this so-called abuse story with a straight face? For two reasons: it wallows in stories designed to weaken the moral authority of the Catholic Church, and it is so gay-friendly as to be gay-crazy.

According to the Times, it all started with a kiss. Let me be very clear about this: if some guy tried to kiss me when I was 17, I would have flattened him. I most certainly would not go on a retreat with the so-called abuser, unless, of course, I liked it. Indeed, Hamilton liked it so much he went back for more—20 years more. Even after he got married, he couldn't resist going back for more.

So what about the priest? He is a disgrace. Throw the book at him for all I care. But let's not be fooled into thinking that Dr. Hamilton is a victim. The real news story here is not another case of homosexual molestation, it's the political motivation of the New York Times.

23 April 2010

Teeth

I need to go get my teeth cleaned, because it's been like a year since the last time. I didn't take good care of my teeth when I was younger, but I am increasingly paranoid about it now. It's made a lot worse now, since I work around kids with absolutely terrible teeth. A lot of Koreans have oral surgery to fix problems around high school or college age, but that has the side effect of making them relatively unconcerned about their teeth in elementary school. Braces are almost an unknown.

Have you ever taken a handful of pencils and put them in a jar? They stick out in all directions, points and erasers spraying around awkwardly and crossing over each other. That's pretty much what the mouths of these kids look like. Incisors stick out crazily, canines cross over other teeth and go on quiet country walks with their paramours, and the molars are subject to continual abuse.

Just yesterday, one of my sixth-graders (twelve years old!) came up to me with a grin on his face. He starts to say something, then gets a surprised look for a moment. He reaches into his mouth (with a grubby, disgusting hand) and pulls out what appears to be basically almost a whole molar. This was not a small piece of a tooth. This looked like everything but the root. He holds it up and says, still surprised, "Tooth."

Yes. Tooth.

It seems he and another kid had been playing Yu-Gi-Oh! or Pokémon or Goddamn Absurd Collectibles Game #43, and he'd knocked into something and sheared off a tooth without even realizing it. He's twelve - those aren't baby teeth! He didn't even seem bothered, but just smilingly asked to go see the nurse.

I am going to the dentist immediately.

17 April 2010

Veto!

Crist vetoed the Florida education bill!  This lends even more credence to the Crist-as-Independent possibilities that have been flying heavily in the face of some tepid evasions by the Crist camp.

(h/t: my brother)

Parking


This is a parking space.


NOT A PARKING SPACE YOU CRAZY FOREIGNER MOVE YOUR GODDAMN CAR!

14 April 2010

From the Blogged Memoirs of Robert Wolff

One particularly good bit:
In 1960, during the primary campaign that led to the nomination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy as the Democratic standard bearer for the presidency, Murray undertook some fieldwork around Boston for what eventually became his 1966 book Kennedy Campaigning. Jack Kennedy, Massachusetts' junior senator, was wildly popular, and this being a state in which "the name's the same" had been raised to a fine art, there were thirteen Kennedys up and down the ballot for local, state, and national office. Six of them were named "John," including the State Treasurer John Francis Kennedy, who had already parlayed his name into public office, and now sought the nomination for Governor. One day, as Murray was interviewing prospective voters in Southey, he knocked on the door of a little old Irish-American lady. This was the sort of home in which there would be three pictures reverentially displayed in the parlor -- of Jesus, the Pope, and JFK. Murray asked her who was her candidate for the Presidency. "John F. Kennedy," she replied unhesitatingly. "And who is your candidate for Governor?" "John F. Kennedy." Something in the intonation of her voice told Murray that she thought they were the same person. "Do you think that the same man should run for both offices?" asked Murray. "Sure," she replied in a broad brogue, "if the dear boy wants to be President and Governor, I don't know why he shouldn't be."

Gingrich is starting to pre-campaign

I know, we're not even past the midterms yet. But since the potential candidates aren't waiting, why should we?

The Southern Republican Leadership Conference was recently held. And the candidates were off and running, particularly Gingrich.

Now, it's no CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), but then even CPAC wasn't really CPAC this past year - it seems like a lot of the energy was stolen by the Tea Partiers, and what energy remained was quietly restrained in the aftermath when Ron Paul took the CPAC straw poll. The GOP has always been uncomfortable with the Paulite's immense ground movement, and so they didn't churn up as much post-CPAC enthusiasm so as not to encourage him.

But the SRLC has loomed large this time around. And of particular interest was Gingrich. If you look at the media coverage, a lot of it focuses on Palin. That makes sense: Palin is extremely interesting and attention-grabbing. But only slightly less interesting is Gingrich - especially since he's started to try to spin the past.

In a recent newsbite, Gingrich says:
At a luncheon at the Heritage Foundation -- his second meeting with conservative journalists and bloggers today -- Newt Gingrich expanded a bit on his argument, made most recently at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, that a new Republican Congress could roll back the Democrats' victory on health-care reform by refusing to fund it. I asked Gingrich how this would work, given the experience of Republicans in the winter of 1995 when a showdown over the budget forced a government shutdown.

"Wait a second," said Gingrich. "This is the standard, elite, inside-the-Beltway worldview. Tell me in what way we didn't win. After that, we got to a balanced budget. And what happened to the Republican majority?" The answer, of course, is that Republicans held the majority in 1996, while President Bill Clinton was reelected.

"I've always been amazed at this," said Gingrich. "Frankly, I was getting beaten up so bad that year -- there were 121,000 ads run against me around the country, and you had 83 ethics charges being filed -- everything being done, correctly in my judgment, piling on me, because they thought it was easier to beat me up than to the attack the message. And that actually did demoralize many Republicans. ... I kept thinking to myself, let me get this straight. We took a liberal Democratic president and stopped him in his tracks. We got on track for four years of balanced budgets. We had the slowest rate of increase [in spending] since Calvin Coolidge. And we reelected a Republican Congress for the first time since 1928. Which of those is bad?"
Given that it's been accepted as a given that the struggle led in no small part to the Clinton victory the next year, and certainly helped crush Gingrich's career for more than a decade, it's pretty clear that this is the start of an attempt at spin. Look for some highly-placed outrage-filled columns demanding to know why Gingrich isn't given credit for his efforts, and laying all the credit for the economic surges and surpluses of the late nineties at the feet of Newt. It won't matter how counterfactual this is... I'm calling it right now, you'll see these pieces. Actually, I'll predict right now that David Brooks will write this column.

That said, Gingrich is the only major Republican politician more divisive than Palin, and he has zero chance at the nomination - no matter what he thinks. Nor does it help his cause to abandon the "man of ideas" facade and try to be a second-rate Palin, like his blustering denunciation of Obama would make him out to be ("secular socialist President"!)

12 April 2010

Newsweek is terrible and I hate it

Let's ask a serious question here: why are writers and editors of Newsweek so terrible?

Go over to that magazine and read this article called "Why Obama Should Learn to Love the Bomb." In it, Newsweek writer Jonathan Tepperman as well as his editors (implicitly) argue that nuclear proliferation is a good thing. Yes, you read that right. It's long, so I'll just excerpt the high points.
The argument that nuclear weapons can be agents of peace as well as destruction rests on two deceptively simple observations. First, nuclear weapons have not been used since 1945. Second, there's never been a nuclear, or even a nonnuclear, war between two states that possess them. Just stop for a second and think about that: it's hard to overstate how remarkable it is, especially given the singular viciousness of the 20th century.

...

Nuclear weapons change all that by making the costs of war obvious, inevitable, and unacceptable. Suddenly, when both sides have the ability to turn the other to ashes with the push of a button—and everybody knows it—the basic math shifts. Even the craziest tin-pot dictator is forced to accept that war with a nuclear state is unwinnable and thus not worth the effort.

...

Nuclear pessimists—and there are many—insist that even if this pattern has held in the past, it's crazy to rely on it in the future, for several reasons. The first is that today's nuclear wannabes are so completely unhinged, you'd be mad to trust them with a bomb. ... But are Kim and Ahmadinejad really scarier and crazier than were Stalin and Mao? It might look that way from Seoul or Tel Aviv, but history says otherwise.

...

Still, even if Iran or North Korea are deterrable, nuclear pessimists fear they'll give or sell their deadly toys to terrorists, who aren't—for it's hard to bomb a group with no return address. Yet look closely, and the risk of a WMD handoff starts to seem overblown. For one thing, assuming Iran is able to actually build a nuke, Desch explains that "it doesn't make sense that they'd then give something they regard as central to their survival to groups like Hizbullah, over which they have limited control. As for Al Qaeda, they don't even share common interests. Why would the mullahs give Osama bin Laden the crown jewels?" ... A much greater threat is that a nuclear North Korea or Pakistan could collapse and lose control of its weapons entirely. Yet here again history offers some comfort. China acquired its first nuke in 1964, just two years before it descended into the mad chaos of the Cultural Revolution, when virtually every Chinese institution was threatened—except for its nuclear infrastructure, which remained secure.
This terrible, terrible article rests on some impressively huge flaws. It seems to being trying to convey the impression that once nuclear weapons went up on the shelves, everyone was forced to ratchet back their belligerence in general and especially towards other nuclear powers - and so we should welcome more nuclear weapons, to continue to force people to restrain themselves. In other words, terrible terrible Newsweek is arguing that the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction is a good thing, because the terror of a nuclear response to mundane attack is so great.

This is dumb. Newsweek is dumb. Who was the author? Oh, yeah. Jonathan Tepperman is dumb.

Nuclear weapons have been used - as bargaining chips - frequently. The article mentions (and glosses over) the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was one of the biggest moments of American nuclear threatening. But more recently North Korea has used its weapons to try to get attention or blackmail the world for support (2006 and 2009). And these threats only work because they are convincing, and they are convincing because an astute student of history can draw a far more powerful conclusion than "no one is crazy enough to nuke." The real student of history can look at the chain of events and realize, "Goddamn, there have been all kinds of seriously crazy and misinformed people in charge."

Let's skip the lesser examples and go right to the top. Terrible terrible Newsweek did it, so we will too. Hitler. Who is willing to say that Hitler would not have used an atomic weapon if he had them? And who is willing to say that there will never be another figure of comparable insanity rise to dictatorship of a nuclear power? For that matter, we know very little about North Korea - who is willing to say that no petty lieutenant, seizing power amidst a troubled change after the death of Kim Jong Il, will not be stupid enough or crazy enough or ignorant enough to hit the button if he gets into position to do so? Is it really so hard to believe that this could happen? Is that why terrible terrible Newsweek thinks it's okay if highly insular and leader-worshipping countries keep a few apocalypses in the pantry?

But let's look again at their history argument, upon which they rely a lot.  It's true that no two nuclear powers have ever engaged in full-scale war.  But it's also true that no two countries with McDonald's have ever gone to war with each other and so-

Oh, wait.  Nine years after that ravening moron Thomas Friedman proposed his Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention, which asserted that the hands of world-flattening globalization would prevent war, the dreaded nation of Russia and its neighbor Georgia went into all-out combat over local territory.  It looks almost as though making arbitrary rules is a goddamn stupid thing to do when it comes to war.  Hey, did you know that Iran has never gone to war with America in the past, despite the many ideological conflicts?  Clearly, Iran cannot and will not attack America.  Impossible!


But really, the best argument for nuclear de-escalation is the simplest and smartest one in the whole discussion: accidents happen. False alarms occur. World leaders get bad information. The responsible people in charge can be wiped out and leave subordinates running things. Carrying around a backpack full of nitroglycerin is certain to make me walk more carefully, and maybe with my increased care I won't trip for a long time. But I only need to trip once.

08 April 2010

#6 ctd

So the Florida education bill (about which I posted recently) is headed to Governor Crist's desk. From everything I know of him, he'll probably sign it. Sorry, Florida teachers.

Bald-faced from NRO

Paul Ryan and the hacks at National Review Online have been circulating the myth that Obamacare helps pay for itself via the "doc fix" (something that will be explained in a moment). Chait at the New Republic pointed out that this was very wrong. Jeff Anderson at NRO tried to reply, and has been caught in that rarest of things: an easily-demonstrable and easily-understood bald-faced lie.

So, what is the doc fix? I'll let Chait's original post explain:
In 1997, Congress changed the formula for reimbursing doctors under Medicare. Due to poor design, they created a formula that would impose massive reimbursement cuts that were never intended by Congress. As a result Congress has regularly restored the unintended cuts. Yet because the law remains on the books, the budget assumes the cut will go into effect every year even though it won't. In other words, the budget baseline is off by about $200 billion a year, which is the rough cost of filling in this hole.

... [T]his is not one of the costs of health care reform. It is a cost that would have happened regardless of whether health care reform passed. Moreover, the imaginary future savings of cutting physician reimbursement is not one of the cost offsets for health care reform. Over the next decade, the new law will create $800 billion in new obligations for the government and $938 billion in new savings.
So this is not too hard to understand. An analogous situation might be an office coffee donation box. Every day a supervisor takes out $0.25 to buy the coffee at the end of the week. This is silly but possible. So every day there's an expense of 25 cents from the box. But one day the supervisor wants a bagel. He puts $1.00 into the box himself, and then takes out $1.25 - the money he put in the box as well as the daily quarter deduction. Does that mean that the bagel really costs $1.25? No.

Jeff Anderson took issue with Chait's criticism, and replied to it. But it appears that while he was composing his reply, he must have realized that he was just completely wrong. We have to assume that, because he clearly and visibly tried to lie to cover the matter.

Here's part of what Anderson replies:
Chait adamantly denies that Obamacare is being credited for this “savings”: “The imaginary future savings of cutting physician reimbursement is not one of the cost offsets for health care reform. . . . The purported cut in physician pay is not part of those savings.”

The CBO begs to differ: “The provisions that would result in the largest budget savings include these: permanent reductions in the annual updates to Medicare’s payment rates for most services in the fee-for-service sector . . . yielding budgetary savings of $186 billion over 10 years.” That’s the physician pay cut.

As I write in IBD, “In other words, as the CBO makes plain, it’s scoring Obamacare from a starting point at which doctors’ pay hasn‘t yet been cut. It’s then crediting Obamacare for the cut, but not charging it for the fix.”

This is shameless house-of-cards financing, and the Obama administration’s messaging on it has been not only shameless but outright deceitful — and Representative Ryan has been doing a service in highlighting it.
Wow. We can see he's invoking the Congressional Budget Office, an institution whose name has become sacrosanct among the halls of debate for being neutral and competent. And apparently the CBO has said, almost flat-out, that Anderson and Ryan are right and that Chait is wrong.

Now, let's digress for a moment. If you follow politics, you know about spin and subtlety to some degree. When a politician says something offensive, they will reply not with, "I'm sorry I was so offensive," but with the more delicate "I'm sorry that so many people found this so offensive." That added clause makes this apology look less like an admission of guilt and more like a passive-aggressive bit of defensivemess. Most importantly, it's slight enough to make any critics seem like they're being petty if they attack it.

Or take the "private army" bit of nonsense from the radical right. Obamacare established an emergency health corps to help out in emergencies, but some nutjobs are claiming Obama is going to use it as a private army. That's idiotic and stupid and so on, but the law doesn't explicitly say they won't put Michelle Bachmann in a FEMA camp so it's hard to call them liars. At most, it can only be demonstrated that they're catastrophically wrong and stupid.

But in Anderson's reply to Chait, it seems like he couldn't find that wiggle room. Because he just lies.

Chait's reply reveals the glaring untruth. Now, there's no source for the CBO claim that Anderson makes. It's not in the CBO scoring of the Obamacare bill or any other scoring it did. So it's a pretty hard thing to find. But with help, Chait located the quote in a letter from the CBO to Sen. Harry Reid about the Senate healthcare bill (not Obamacare).

But how about that lie? Well, we see that Anderson wrote:
The CBO begs to differ: “The provisions that would result in the largest budget savings include these: permanent reductions in the annual updates to Medicare’s payment rates for most services in the fee-for-service sector . . . yielding budgetary savings of $186 billion over 10 years.” That’s the physician pay cut.
But the actual quote is:
Permanent reductions in the annual updates to Medicare’s payment rates for most services in the fee-for-service sector (other than physicians’ services), yielding budgetary savings of $186 billion over 10 years.

So by deliberately excluding an inconvenient four words, Anderson hoped to completely reverse what the CBO was saying. It is that relative rarity in political commentary - the unabashed and unashamed attempt to lie and hope the other guy never notices. Not entirely surprising from NRO, but still.

Vegetarian Progression

March 8th, 2008.
I have been struggling with the issue of animal rights for literally months now. Specifically: is it morally wrong to raise and consume animals?
This is a very hard issue. I love meat. I LOVE it. The best meal is a thick, juicy steak, only seared on the sides. Every meal is incomplete without meat, I consider it the entree and main affair of a meal. It is seriously at the heart of my daily approach to food.
So when I say that I am wrestling with this matter, I mean I am wrestling. I don't want to come to the conclusion that it is wrong to eat meat, because I enjoy it so much. But I'll be goddamned if I am not coming inevitably down in that direction, no matter how much I read and think about it.
...
The conflict comes when I consider that this seems inherently flawed on a gut level. The reducto ad absurdum is a situation wherein someone tortures a puppy to death. If animals don't matter, this is not wrong at all. No mitigation, it's just not wrong. It has the same moral consideration as eating a tomato.
But I'll be damned if that seems right.
I sat down to reevaluate morality from the ground-up, beginning with the beginning: Plato. Moving forward, I retackled Kant, Marx, and Locke, addressing their major works with an eye for an answer to the problem or some new fundamental of thinking. I read several of the works of Peter Singer, the seminal animal rights philosopher.
But I must reluctantly admit I am little closer to the source of the problem and understanding how the conflict can be resolved. It is maddening... I am driven to seek the answer I dread, but can't just forget about it because how could I live every day knowing my actions were morally untenable.
Gah.

March 20th, 2008.
Well, still unable to come to a conclusion on animal rights, I have settled for the time being on a diet of greatly-reduced meat. The past few nights, I have made a tofu stir-fry (surprisingly really tasty), a ginger-soy chicken dish from a single chicken breast, and veggieburgers (pretty lousy). If anyone has any tasty vegetarian recipes to share, it would be swell.

May 1st, 2008.
Okay, after much difficulty I am settling down to a compromise: fish and chicken, but no pork or beef. Pork and beef are both the most destructive to the environment (obscenely so by a wide margin), and both the most intelligent animals (and accordingly most capable of suffering). I really just don't think I can manage to be full vegetarian, as it has been making me goddamn miserable. This is a compromise between my conscience and practicality.

June 25th, 2008.
Rolling Stone has a story about one of the biggest pork producers, whose behavior is entirely typical. Even aside from the ethical consideration (it is not moral to cause pain and death to a sentient creature if it is so easily avoidable), read about the hideous destruction to the environment.

December 4th, 2009.
In the wake of an enlightening and difficult debate about the morality of eating meat, I found myself wanting to explain more clearly my reasons for my vegetarianism and how I did it.
...
I would go to the store and see the slabs of beef laid out on crisp paper. If I could have, I would have happily seized one and gulped it raw in big chunks. And pork ribs at a barbecue, glistening with grease and emerging steaming and savory from the smoker. And chicken wing contests when I was out with the boys - I had give that up, too! And I was great at eating the spiciest wings... I was always the only one who could handle Wing Hut's "atomic" wings, delectable little bits of meat that were so spicy I would have reddened contact burns around my mouth the rest of the day. Going out to eat became a pain, and going to dinner parties was a nightmare. It is very awkward to be unable to eat the succulent centerpiece dish at a dinner party. Everyone notices and you have to explain yourself and then defend your beliefs and it's just terrible.
...
But I could have done it. I know this, because eventually I did. And I finally managed to find a way to make it easy. Meals became a pleasure again. Cooking became fun. And the agony of constant yearning went away.

07 April 2010

Here

So I'm celebrating 10,000 hits to this blog. Pretty good, I guess.

Most-viewed articles:
Seems predicable that they're about women's butts, racism, and literature.

Some top search queries:
  • "sword of truth terrible"
  • "gertrude stein roast beef explanation"
  • "florida "senate bill 6" summary"
  • "beach volleyball"
  • "postmodernism anarchy"
I remember the day I migrated from LiveJournal. Damn was that a good decision!

04 April 2010

Titan-ically Awful

Hahahaha did you see what I did there?

So Titan was basically just like Avatar. Great visuals and flashy stuff, but with no dialogue or plot to speak of. But it's the message of the movie that makes the least sense.

I don't want to spoil it for you (HINT THE GOOD GUY WINS) so maybe you better stop reading if you feel emotionally invested in going into this one unspoiled.

Okay?

Okay. So the movie begins with a very clear and labored message: the gods are tyrannous jerks and all the humans are just waiting for one of their own to rebel and bring them down. This actually gets you pumped up - you're now picturing some sort of magic or even a physical fight where Perseus will destroy the gods and free men from their villainy. They even reinforce the point by having one of the gods personally and maliciously kill all of Perseus' adopted family. And Perseus is rescued by the soldiers of a city that has declared war on the gods, and it's up to him to save them and also avenge his family! And our hero even disdains the magical sword granted him by his real father, Zeus, and openly scorns prayer.

"If I'm going to do this, I am going to do this as a man," he declares.

So we're all on board at the midpoint of the movie. The message and theme are a little clumsy and obvious, of course; it's hard to imagine anyone saying Perseus' lines without a camera hovering in front of them and post-production dramatic music. But we know where it's going, and it makes internal sense.

But suddenly at the midpoint, things get rough for Perseus. And he needs Daddy's help.

Now, in Olympus the viewer has been treated to a few scenes of Hades and another character, in which Hades helpfully points out that recent events are all his trick to regain power. This is not a huge surprise, since they pretty much stated this was the case in the opening thirty seconds of the film. But suddenly this means that Zeus has gone from being just one of the evil gods to being the noble god being attacked by an evil one. This is the same Zeus who, not twenty minutes ago, dramatically shouted, "Release the Kraken!" And now we're supposed to feel sorry for him? What's the loss if he dies? No more cities will be eaten by monsters?

Worse is that somehow Perseus seems to act like he knows what's going on. Presumably no one invited Perseus to the secret underground Hell-conference, so why does he suddenly abandon his moral stance to accept no help from the gods? All at once he's using a magical sword his father gave him, and he's taking Pop's money to pay a toll.

The pinnacle of stupid is at the end. The climactic moment arrives and the monster is dead. Hades appears before Perseus to taunt him (or... something? who knows) and mocks the hero. The hero raises his hand to summon his father's lightning - exactly like it happened in a flashback to which he was not a witness! - and then throws his sword at Hades to carry the lightning to his enemy. Hades folds up and vanishes under the ocean, defeated by... Zeus. Then Perseus and Zeus have a fun chat and exchange some, "Atta boy!"s.

So what's the message? The only thing I can get is that the moral must be, "Don't see anything with Sam Worthington in it."

01 April 2010

Easter class

So today is an Easter lesson for my four sixth-grade classes.  I found this out late yesterday, when I was presented with a Powerpoint done by the other native-speaker teacher and told my planned lesson was canceled.  Instead we would be doing a special egg-painting Easter class, since Sunday is Easter.  You can see the lesson here.

The kids today were told to bring hard-boiled eggs into class.  Right off the bat, you have to know that this is going to be serious trouble.  Successive classes of thirty-five sixth-graders with hard-boiled eggs in a room barely big enough for all of their desks?  It took ten minutes before the smell of yolk from the broken eggs and stinking water from the plastic baggies became overwhelming.

I tried to teach the Powerpoint at the beginning of the first class.  The antique computer is hooked up to the ancient big-screen TV in the room, and that's how we display things like that.  Oldest and worst setup I've ever seen in this country. And today, it developed an interesting new flaw: it's goddamn haunted.

Every three or four minutes, the television would (without interrupting the display of the Powerpoint) suddenly burst into seemingly random two-second cuts of television shows. So the presentation went kind of like this:
Okay, so when the Easter Bunny has the Easter Eggs in his basket, what does he do with them?  That's right!  He takes them and hides th낄넘에졉퉃퐇동!
It was jarring. The kids call it "ghost TV" now.

Only three more repetitions to go.