April 28, 2005

no more yesterdays

I just noticed that my last four blog entries start with "Yesterday [something happened]." I promise more variety in the future....

Posted by wrjacobs at 11:00 AM

field trip to the co-op

Yesterday I witnessed an unusual sight at the Seward Co-op grocery store: elementary school children were there on a field trip! Those kids had to be pissed when the teacher announced their destination, probably screaming "why can't we go to the mall or to a Twins game!?" Once they realized that at least they would get out of normal school work, though, I'm sure that they perked up....

Posted by wrjacobs at 10:48 AM

April 25, 2005

shoe coolness factor

Yesterday I bought a new pair of basketball shoes from Foot Locker. The sales staff at the time (20 minutes to close on a Sunday) consisted of two teens who were half my age. As I tried on a pair of mid-priced Nikes they kept trying to interest me in the highest-end kicks, saying I'd look "cooler" in them. That tactic might have had some influence 10 years ago, but now I'm more interested in stability and cushioning for my tempermental back. They also tried to sell me on a Foot Locker VIP card so I would have access to "cool stuff" like autographed game gear. I did sign up for the card...but provided the 411 just to get the $10 discount. Next time I'll avoid all the hassle by an on-line purchase....

Posted by wrjacobs at 3:57 PM

April 23, 2005

tale of two letters

Yesterday I received big academic news in two letters. One was from a research foundation, saying that I got turned down for a grant. No biggie with that, though, as it was totally insignificant next to the other letter I opened a few hours earlier, one that every academic wants to get: I will receive tenure. Now I can go join the Dead Wood Club :).

Posted by wrjacobs at 9:25 AM

April 21, 2005

Save GC rally

Yesterday hundreds of people held a rally in support of The U's General College, which is facing closure. For stories (including video!), go to the Minnesota Daily (Quicktime video) or KARE 11 (video for the media player from The Evil Empire).

Posted by wrjacobs at 9:29 AM

April 19, 2005

favorite TV shows

Today I am assigning students a project of analyzing a favorite past TV show. If I were doing the assignment, the show at the top of my list would be Roswell, but I've already discussed it in a previous post. Next on the list, I think is Northern Exposure, the quirky "dramedy" from the early 1990s. This show is special because it's the first show I fell in love with on its own merits, not because everyone else liked it. Also, I was hooked from the very first episode (as was the case with Roswell). A small problem, though, is that my memory of when I first watched it seems to be off: I recall tuning in during the last week of June 1990, just before I left the ATL to go live with my grandfather in St. Louis, but TV Tome reports that the pilot premiered on July 12, 1990. I think that I took a road trip somewhere in the middle of July, so maybe my memory is about watching it just before I took that trip, not just before the big move. Damn, I used to be able to remember all the correct details about everything....

Posted by wrjacobs at 12:53 PM

April 15, 2005

good, bad, and ugly on the Hi

Riding the Hi (Minneapolis' Light Rail system) was very eventful today. I'll break observations into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good: At each station are several interactive audio/visual art kiosks, but the ones I find are usually either broken or play stories that are irrelevant to life in the Twin Cities (for example, a piece about fog rolling in to San Francisco). At the 38th St. station two of three kiosks were busted, but the third played a nice story about a promotion at a 1984 MN Twins baseball game: one could win a car by landing a paper airplane through the sunroof; after only a dozen or so planes from the thousands launched from the stands reached the field, the author jumped down, ran to the car, and slam-dunked his plane in.

The Bad: Two transit cops harrassed a young bearded guy who appeared to be of Middle Eastern ethnicity. Wait, make that three officers, as backup was called in. For twenty minutes they went through his bag, examined several types of ID, and asked a steady stream of questions before turning him over to a G-man in an unmarked car (who interrogated him for at least another 25 minutes; was ongoing when I split). His crime? Taking pictures as the train rolled out of downtown. Did the Po-Po take a White guy off who was doing the exact same thing?! Frell no. Gotta love the Patriot Act!

The Ugly: After turning the "terrorist suspect" over to the government official, the cops turned their attention to pre-9/11 usual suspects: pulled a Latino and a Brotha off the next train and frisked them both before issuing citations. Another great day in the U.S.A....

Posted by wrjacobs at 3:53 PM

April 14, 2005

book release


Today or tomorrow I should receive copies of my book Speaking the Lower Frequencies: Students and Media Literacy. While seeing my first book in print is exciting, it's old news to me: started the proposal in 1996 and did the bulk of the research in 1997-1998 at Indiana University (I do, however, include stuff done here at The U from 2000-2002), so this project has been ongoing for almost a decade. I gotta get going on the next book....

Posted by wrjacobs at 9:10 AM

April 12, 2005

GC blogs

As I noted last week, The U wants to downsize the General College from a college to a department. GC is fighting the change, and has altered its website to reflect this. You can also find blogs about the campaign to save GC, both official and "underground." Check 'em out!

Posted by wrjacobs at 5:20 PM

April 7, 2005

hyperlinked print media

Last night I had a dream in which I was given a book -- titled Memo -- that came with an overlay that revealed additional text in the margins. Maybe my mind was channeling something that really does exist, an article in the April issue of The Atlantic magazine, containing author commentary that appears alongside the primary text; phrases within colored boxes in the main text "link" to the side notes. Interesting....

Posted by wrjacobs at 9:22 AM

April 5, 2005

basketball legacies

Last night the University of North Carolina men's basketball team won the 2005 NCAA championship. They were led by big man Sean May. 29 years before that, Sean's dad Scott lead Indiana U. to the 1976 championship. While a grad student at IU in the 1990s I played a pickup game against Scott May, in the basketball mecca shown above, the HPER (pronounced Hi-Per) -- Health, Physical Education, and Recreation -- building, with 10 courts (in use most hours of the day). I was totally frustrated by the slightly overweight old man (mid 40s), who scored 12 or 13 of his team's 15 points...all against me (in my late 20s). I asked someone, "How can this fool be taking me to school like this?!" When informed that I was guarding a former college star and NBA player, I felt much better. If I ever see Sean on a pickup court, though, I'll just hang up my shoes for the day....

Posted by wrjacobs at 5:10 PM