Archive for the ‘Trivia’ Category

Daily show requires knowledge, rather than generating it

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

When I'm talking with my students about their news diet, at least some - though not as many as you might think - will mention the Daily Show or similar satirical content. I've repeatedly commented that my sense is that the Daily Show doesn't inform viewers about what's happening in ...

Dog shoots man

Monday, October 29th, 2007

So, a variant on the old 'man bites dog' story, with the dog as the main actor. Courtesy of the BBC.

Grammar peeves

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

There's a 'standard' grammatical error, whereby when a person is talking about doing something with another person they say "My brother and me went to the shops" or similar. To avoid this, generations of teachers have stressed the importance of saying "my brother and I went..." instead. That's not my peeve. ...

Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

Seemingly a deckchair from the Titanic is being auctioned off today. It sounds like the setup to a joke of some sort....

Will he attend West Wing viewing parties?

Monday, April 10th, 2006

From the news of the strange department, Martin Sheen is to become an undergrad at my Alma Mater in Galway.

Is it about a bicycle?

Friday, February 24th, 2006

I've been a fan of Flann O'Brien since I read The Third Policeman at 15, followed shortly afterwards by At Swim Two Birds. It's heartening, if somewhat perplexing, to learn that sales in the United States have skyrocketed since the book was featured - very briefly - in a recent ...

NBC to launch Eurovision not-so-clone

Monday, February 13th, 2006

NBC plans to launch a 'Eurovision-style' contest, with the winner gaining a recording contract. Funny thing is, the Eurovision song contest is actually won by a songwriter, not by a performer. So the '50 states, 50 entrants' thing is kind of like the Eurovision, but the concentration on performers rather ...

Risk aversion on television

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

The Freakonomics blog has had a number of posts about Deal or No Deal, a television show that had passed me by until I came back to Ireland for Christmas. I've now seen parts of several episodes of the British version, which I'm guessing is fairly close to the U.S. ...

Say, what?

Saturday, August 6th, 2005

Sometimes it's the vaguely off-kilter stories that get you. There's just something about a story that begins: A Baptist pastor who ministered in Bandon in west Cork has been charged with holding up his local bank.

Book-meme time

Monday, June 20th, 2005

A friend 'tagged' me with a book meme - the idea being that I post my answers to some questions, so here goes: Number of Books Here in Urbana I've got around 460 books (and 40-something on loan from libraries). Back in Ireland I'm not sure how many I have - probably ...