Monthly Archive: April 2006

Apr 14 2006

Squeezing workers to the limit

So there you are in a fast food drive-through, waiting for the people in the car ahead of you to place their order. They do so and move on, and you slowly move up to the speaker. It takes about 10 seconds for this shifting of cars to take place. Haven’t you wondered what the …

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Apr 13 2006

On writing-4: The role of originality

(See part 1, part 2, and part 3 in the series.) So why do people end up sometimes plagiarizing? There are many reasons. Apart from the few who deliberately set out to do it because they are too lazy to do any actual writing of their own and lack any compunction about plagiarizing, I believe …

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Apr 12 2006

Atheism and Agnosticism

In an interview, Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, who called himself a “radical atheist,” explains why he uses that term (thanks to onegoodmove): I think I use the term radical rather loosely, just for emphasis. If you describe yourself as “Atheist,” some people will say, “Don’t you mean ‘Agnostic’?” I …

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Apr 11 2006

On writing-3: Why do people plagiarize?

(See part 1 and part 2 in the series.) Just last week, it was reported that twenty one Ohio University engineering graduates had plagiarized their master’s theses. Why would they do that? I think it is rare that people deliberately set out to use other people’s words and ideas while hiding the source. Timothy Noah …

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Apr 10 2006

The politics of V for Vendetta (no spoilers)

I believe that V for Vendetta will go down in film history as a classic of political cinema. Just as Dr. Strangelove captured the zeitgeist of the cold war, this film does it for the perpetual war on terrorism. The claim that this film is so significant may sound a little strange, considering that the …

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Apr 08 2006

Don’t miss V for Vendetta!

I don’t normally post on the weekends but last night I saw the film V for Vendetta and it blew me away. It is a brilliant political thriller with disturbing parallels to what is currently going on in the US. It kept me completely absorbed. I’ll write more about it next week but this is …

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Apr 07 2006

Tiktaalik bridges the gap

As you can imagine, the world of science has been abuzz with the news yesterday of the release of a paper in the prestigious science journal Nature heralding the discovery of a 375-million year old transitional fossil between fish and land animal, which has been named Tiktaalik. The fossil seems to provide evidence of a …

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Apr 06 2006

Precision in language

Some time ago, a commenter to this blog sent me a private email expressing this view: Have you ever noticed people say “Do you believe in evolution?” just as you would ask “Do you believe in God?” as if both schools of thought have equal footing? I respect others’ religious beliefs as I realize I …

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Apr 05 2006

On writing-2: Why do we cite other people’s work?

In the previous post on this topic, I discussed the plagiarism case of Ben Domenech, who had lifted entire chunks of other people’s writings and had passed them off as his own. How could he have done such a thing? After all, all high school and college students get the standard lecture on plagiarism and …

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Apr 04 2006

No more daft women!

Evan Hunter, who was the screenwriter on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film The Birds recalled an incident that occurred when he was discussing the screenplay with the director. I don’t know if you recall the movie. There’s a scene where after this massive bird attack on the house Mitch, the male character, is asleep in a …

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