Sunday, November 20, 2011

Famous Poets as an action team:

William Shakespeare is the team leader.
Edgar Allen Poe is the dark, edgy, cloaked one.
Robert Frost is the hard-hitting tough guy.
Emily Dickinson is the token female.
Lewis Carroll is the comedic relief.

Also, e.e. cummings is an odd side-character who helps them on occasion, though he’s never recovered from his encounter with a pack of Grammar Nazis.

I'm sorry to leave out Hemmingway, Lord Byron, and the Bronte sisters... but there's always the sequel.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fun Fact

In the past three millennia of world history, the average imperial power has survived for 215 years. America, measured from the ratification of the constitution, is now 223 years old.

I find this hilarious, because it sounds like one of those quaint, patently ridiculous "facts" that people pass around online, but I found it in a scholarly article by a guy who researched the fact himself. Evidence:

"Using a data set of empires that spans over 3,000 years, I wanted to create a model that could show us, statistically, what the lifetimes of empires look like. There are many more complex and intricate models of how civilizations grow and decay, but perhaps something could be gained by creating a very simple model that looks only at life span.

This data set is expansive, including everything from the Babylonian Empire of ancient Mesopotomia - known for such contributions as Hammurabi’s Code - to the Byzantine Empire, which has provided us with the eponymous word for red tape. Some of the world’s empires lasted an exceptionally long time: The ancient, and now little known, Elam empire located in present-day Iran lasted a thousand years. Others were short-lived, for all their power: The Phrygian and Lydian empires were around for only about six decades each. (The data set, based on earlier research in empires, ends at 600 A.D.)

If you crunch these all together, the first thing you discover is that the average lifetime of these powers is 215 years.

If you’re playing at home, this number is pessimistically eerie: It’s been 223 years since the ratification of the US Constitution. And that should perhaps give us some pause. To make this explicit, the United States has now outlasted the majority of the empires in my historical data set, and is now crossing the threshold into hoary old age."


Life at the moment

I have three eight-page papers to complete in the next four weeks, at least three four-pagers (I haven't counted em yet), a website to design and launch, and a couple finals, on top of my typical homework for my seven classes. I've also volunteered to help prepare posters for the senior projects of the honors kids graduating this year. I'm not sure why I did, as I'm a tad busy already... probably the same reason I'm taking the time to write this post. Maybe it's terrible priorities.

On the upside, I've finished my internship duties for a month or so, and as of last Saturday, also finished the production of Alice in Wonderland in which I was the Mad Hatter. It sold out for six out of eight shows, but we couldn't extend the run for another weekend, which is just as well, as next Saturday I'll be attempting to shoot an entire short film within one day.

I was hoping to do Nanowrimo this year, too... But I do have a week-long Thanksgiving break coming up. I might be able to dash off 50 thousand words.

College study tip:

If you leave your book alone on a library table overnight or even for several hours, the libraries clear it away. But if you stick it spread-eagled on one of the display shelves, no one notices or cares, and it’s easily retrieved later. It’s hiding in plain sight. There’s probably a cool story in there.

Maybe one written in the 1800s by Edgar Allen Poe.