A Pattern

5.15.09 by Ben + 87 comments!

And I don’t mean like fractals. No, this is a pattern of a more distressing sort.

All the blogs that I have been a part of (2) have ended up ignored and have faded away into obscurity.

Point-in-fact; the last post was made nearly a month ago.

Perhaps the upcoming journalism club will help, but I think that we need a more immediate solution! Unfortunately, I’m all out of ideas (lame, I know). When I think of some, I will be posting them below, and then telling you all at school. You should follow suit.

Free Shepard Fairey

3.22.09 by Ruth + 89 comments!

According to this article in … yeah, I don’t really have to tell you what publication … an artist, Shepard Fairey, (who is incidentally most famous for another piece of art) was brought to court this week in Boston for vandalism.

An example of the charges against him:

Here’s something else which was painted on concrete…

…in Berlin, in 1989.  That piece of concrete is now an art gallery.

There are many many many more examples.

Remember the trash cans at Central which had reproductions of famous pieces of art on them?  If you didn’t go to Central, pretend you remember them anyway.  I think we can all agree that that was a pretty awesome idea.  It was an awesome idea because it took blank surfaces and made them interesting.  The difference between that and the examples above is, essentially, the pressence of permission.  As rebelious teenagers, I think we can all agree that permission isn’t important.

If you were considering going out and spraypainting “Free Shepard Fairey” on the sidewalks, you should call me so I can go with you.  Actually, if you are Shepard Fairey you can probably afford both a good lawyer and bail.  Nevermind.

On Promises

7.18.08 by Deus

I imported this article, practically unaltered, directly from my blog.

I attended eighth grade at Shawnee Heights Middle School. One of my easiest classes there was Algebra (an allegedly “advanced” class, and I was quite surprised with how easy it was). The teacher was good, he taught his subject fairly well and amused the class (and at the end of the year, he even admitted me to be the “genius” of the class), though he lost much of my respect when he showed a lack of caution at one point and presented the class with a promise: whoever was to solve a problem involving the quantity √-23 would not have to take any more tests and would receive an A for the year. He spoke completely seriously, saying that no one in his prior classes had ever solved the problem and, to quote, “The promise still stands.” Of course, I still had my doubts–was he even allowed to do that?–but I was very interested in what the answer was and, being naturally lazy, didn’t want to take any more tests. So I went to the library and spent an hour or two researching what the square root of a negative number was, eventually finding out that the quantity simply equated to i√23. I came to him at the beginning of school the next day, showed him the answer, and waited. He acknowledged that I had indeed solved the problem, and then left. In class that day, he didn’t answer my repeated attempts to draw his attention to the fact that he owed me that promise; it became apparent that he only made it because he didn’t expect anyone to solve the problem.

So what’s my point here? Never, ever, ever make promises you can’t keep. I have since learned that unless the person who makes the promise is extremely responsible, chances are that the promise isn’t going to be kept. I myself do not always keep all of my promises, but only when the promise is so insignificant that it hardly matters anyway.

Another example: when I was at MUNUC , I mentioned the Facebook group “Dravidism”, which worshipped Dravid, during a conversation. The people with whom I was talking were inspired by this idea and resolved to create a group named “Antonism”, which would concern me. As I subsequently told them, they would never make the group. Nevertheless, they assured me that they would. Guess what? They didn’t. There were many assurances along the way, but not a single one came true. I don’t blame them–I understand that people get caught up in the heat of the moment and promise things that they forget about or simply don’t bother to do. But it’s a really good idea to learn to control this urge.

I myself don’t make promises without leaving a back door (my favorites are “I’ll try to…” and “…If I don’t forget”). That way, I’m rarely to blame for my promises even if I don’t fulfill them.

Don’t grow up all the way

6.17.08 by Tim

I never had anything good to say about Anton’s post so i didn’t comment and nobody did anything for a LOOOONG time and I was not quite to the point where I acknowledged that it was partially my fault when Ben was awesome and wrote a post. And so I’ve been inspired by his initiative, to do exactly the same as he did.

Today I put together some little craft mirrors and some hobby motors and some knob-things and wires and a laser pointer and made a light-show contraption. On Friday I used my sisters jump-rope to climb onto the first branch in the tree right in front of our house, and the day before that I took a bike-ride with Grace to explore east Lawrence.

I started thinking- “It’s a good thing I’m still living in my parents house off of the money my dad makes. Soon I won’t be able to do any of this anymore.” and then I started thinking, “When I have a job, I will have some free time, and I will hopefully have a little money left over after paying for food and a place to live. I can devote my life to doing this stuff if i want!”

And then I thought “when’s the last time my parents did anything fun like this?” My dad spends a lot of time at work, and on work trips, but when he’s at home he spends most of his time biking for exercise or sitting on the couch using his laptop and watching tv. my mom drives us around, cooks food, cleans house, and gardens when she has time. I’m sure they weren’t always like this. They can’t have always been like this.

I’m starting to get worried that its a psychological thing that happens to you once you start working for your own money. I’m starting to worry that it’s going to happen to me. I DON’T WANT TO STOP ACTING LIKE A KID SOMETIMES.
Listen to your teacher. Repeat after me:

I won’t grow up,
(I won’t grow up)

I don’t want to go to school.
(I don’t want to go to school)

Just to learn to be a parrot,
(Just to learn to be a parrot)

And recite a silly rule.
(And recite a silly rule)

If growing up means

It would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree,

I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up

Not me!

Not I,

Not me!

Not me!


5.23.08 by Cypy

After thinking it over for a day, I decided to “disconnect” from the internet, and computers in general. About a year ago, I realized that computer games are usually a waste of time. The hours that many people spend playing them could go towards learning a new language, training for a sport, cleaning up the house, playing games outside with friends, writing a book, and a myriad other activities. With this in mind, I stopped playing computer games. That was a year ago. Now I have realized that computers, those wonderful “time-saving” machines, and the Internet, the cloud and “repository of information,” do more harm for me than good.

Before disconnecting, here is what I did on the Internet:

  1. Checked/sent email
  2. read blogs about science/news/technology/general strangeness
  3. checked Facebook (one of the worlds “evils”)
  4. learned web-programming and worked on websites (such as this blog)
  5. did research for school
  6. looked for new internet tools/toys (such as face-morpher, buzzword, google-maps, implicit associations test, mixtape, carrot-mob, etc.)
  7. played Travian
  8. every once in a while, watched a video on YouTube or watched LOST on

Before disconnecting, I asked myself if there was an alternative to everything I did on the Internet. In the cases of email and Facebook, I had snail-mail, telephones, and face-to-face conversations. Replacing reading blogs, I had newspapers, magazines, and the radio (I don’t have cable TV), and instead of watching videos or TV shows online, and playing Travian, I could do something more productive with my time. (Despite previous efforts to stop playing computer games, web-based games such as Wee-War, LineRider, and Travian snuck into my life)

Getting rid of those left web-programming, Internet tools/toys, and research. These, for me, were a bit more complex. I reasoned that if I was not going to use the Internet, I didn’t need to program for it (Web-programming knocked out). Web-based tools/toys such as Google maps had always fascinated me, and I often looked for new developments in fields such as this (search for some of the ones I mentioned if you’re curious). I decided that all-in-all, those were insignificant compared to what I could do off the computer (Internet tools/toys knocked out).

Of course, this left research for school. I thought along these lines:

Twenty years ago, kids in school didn’t need the Internet for research, why should I need it now?

“Well…” I thought, “schools have changed, and there is so much information available for free on the Internet that it is the easiest method of research.”
To tell you the truth, I still haven’t decided what to do about school-related research. I realize that summer will pass and I will go back to school, but I want to be able to stay disconnected for a year. I’ll see what happens but in the meantime, I am going to enjoy being off the Internet and away from the computer, writing my blog posts by hand, and spending my spare time setting up a dictatorship and taking over the world.

-Cypress, who wrote this all while sitting outside on a porch-swing.

PS. A big thank-you to Tim for typing this for me (and hopefully checking my spelling).

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