Monthly Archives: February 2008

Birthplace of age-, gender-, sexuality-, ethnicity-appropriate and tortured sentence construction to temporarily pause in openness

Perry Ellis

In English, that reads, “PC birthplace set to close next year.”

Antioch College, which became famous during Perry Ellis’s long-gone college days (we wear glasses to this day due to the eye strain of studying by candlelight) for helping to usher in the political correctness movement, is temporarily closing its doors. From Cincy’s Business Courier:

“The board of the Yellow Springs [Ohio] school said at a meeting in Los Angeles that it opted to suspend the college effective June 30 and close it for the 2008-09 academic year after it ran out of time to reach an agreement on the transfer of the college to an independent group called the Antioch College Continuation Corp. The board hopes to reopen for the 2009-10 academic year.”

So it seems the school we have to thank for the word “womyn” are getting a well-earned break.

Antioch’s 1993 “Sexual Offense Prevention Policy,” an admirable attempt to curb the incidence of date rape on campus after two womyn students reported being sexually assaulted by acquaintances, viewed “any sexual offense as not simply a violation of the victim’s rights, but as an offense against the entire campus community,” according to Wikipedia.

Alma mater of Horace Mann, Coretta
Scott King and countless awkward sentences.

Which is undoubtedly true, under the Alexander Dumas Postulate (“All for one, one for all!”) But summary expulsion of the accused without any semblance of due process seems a tad harsh, especially with such a thorny and hard-to-prove accusation–date rape is darn close to the definition of “he said, she said.”

All joking aside, the kerfluffle over the policy and some of its more ludicrous constructions served the practical purpose of raising awareness about date rape in particular and womyn’s women’s rights in general. Which is excellent.

So here’s hoping Antioch takes the coming year to settle its affairs so its students can get back to mangling the English language and receiving “narrative evaluations” instead of letter grades for it.

Leave a comment

Filed under college, grammar, ideas, misleading headlines, politics, racism, religion, studies, writing

Pax Absentia: Otis! My man!

Perry Ellis

With Pax and the Padre off enjoying sunnier climes, it devolves to Perry Ellis to keep some semblance business as usual around these parts.

So here’s a pair of items designed to warm the cockles of our hearts (and yet another music re-issue update), with a double hat tip to Pitchfork:

1) The redoubtable Rhino Records is re-releasing the 1966 album by Official Saint of Pax Arcana Otis Redding, the seminal Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul, the LP that brought “Respect” to the world–and Aretha Franklin. Sock it to me.

May the blessings of the saint be upon you evermore.

2) The working title of The Hold Steady’s fourth album in five years is Stay Positive, which is unnecessary advice for Perry Ellis–just the news that this great band is hard at work in the studio is enough to keep hope alive.

As the week wears on without our esteemed leader and his capable sidekick, we hope to have a post from our new advice columnist, courtesy of the Reverend E, and anything else Perry can scrape from the Webertubes between researching integrated supply and open-source ERP products. Stay tuned!

Who’s got the better mustache, Otis, Pax or the Boss of the Beast Lair? You be the judge!


Filed under bands, music

Friday Random 10*: Pushing Atoms Edition

Pax Arcana


Scientists at IBM have been pushing single atoms around for years, and now they say they’ve been able to measure the force required to do it — One 130 millionth of an ounce.

That is not interesting. What is interesting is that one of the guys conducting the experiment did so by vivisecting a cheapo wrist watch:

In the experiment, Dr. Heinrich and his collaborators at Almaden and the University of Regensburg in Germany used the sharp tip of an atomic force microscope to push a single atom. To measure the force, the tip was attached to a small tuning fork, the same kind that is found in a quartz wristwatch. In fact, in the first prototype, Franz J. Giessibl, a scientist at Regensburg who was a pioneer in the use of atomic force microscopes, bought an inexpensive watch and pulled out the quartz tuning fork for use in the experiment.

Huh. Cool.

On to the songs:

Weary Memory — Iron and Wine
Gigantic – The Pixies
All These Things That I’ve Done — The Killers
Afterword/Rag — M. Ward
The Slim — Sugar
Casino Boogie — The Rolling Stones
Reset – Outkast
Let Down — Radiohead
Paper Planes — M.I.A.
One Down — Ben Folds

Bonus video:

Hey Jude (Live), The Beatles, performed by Hero Ha

*The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are welcome to post their own.


Filed under Friday random 10, Uncategorized

Japanese hairstylists threaten global economy

Pax Arcana

Thought the US housing market and subprime mortgage shenanigans were going to lead the world economy into the crapper? You were wrong. Not about that second part — that’s going to happen — just about the cause.

Turns out the Japanese economy — a major global influencer according to the economists living in my imagination — is very sensitive to ladies’ hairstyles. And the current trends do not look good:

Until the early 1990s, when Japan’s economic bubble burst, 60 percent of women in their twenties kept their hair long, the Nikkei said, citing the survey.

During the 1990s economic slump, short hair — defined as above the collarbone — became the dominant hairstyle for Japanese women. But since 2002, long hair has regained some popularity — just as the economy started to expand, the Nikkei said.

The Japanese Global Economics Council ponders lowering interest rates and growing out their bangs

So one of the most important economies in the world, in a nation that produced some of the most fearless, relentless, cunning warriors and businessmen in the history of humankind, is largely pegged to the whims of the female patrons at karaoke night at the Mr. Soul Disco in Kyoto.

OK, I’ll buy that.

Japanese women hairstyles track economy ups and downs [Reuters]

Leave a comment

Filed under economics

Happy birthday, Robert Wadlow!

Pax Arcana

If Robert Pershing Wadlow were still alive, he’d be 90 years old today. He’d also be like 36 feet tall.

Wired celebrates the birthday of the tallest man who ever lived — a fixture of the Guinness Book of World Records, which Pax Arcana read a record 1,342 times growing up — with a brief, unsentimental look at the gentle giant. Wadlow was born with hypertrophy of the pituitary gland, which caused him to grow much faster than normal humans and would have continued to produce growth hormone as long as Wadlow lived:

robert_wadlow.jpgWadlow was a 6-footer at the age of 8. At 10, he was 6 feet 5 inches and weighed 210 pounds. At 13, he was “the world’s tallest Boy Scout,” standing 7 feet 4 inches. He was 17 when he topped 8 feet. At the time of his death, Wadlow stood an inch shy of 9 feet, weighed 440 pounds — and was still growing.

He was 22 when he died. Remarkably, it wasn’t the health conditions caused by the pituitary condition that killed him, at least not directly:

One of his leg braces caused a leg blister to form, which became severely infected. Despite blood transfusions and surgery, Wadlow’s condition worsened, and he died July 15, 1940. He was entombed in a coffin weighing 1,000 pounds, requiring a dozen pallbearers and eight other assistants.

Feb. 22, 1918: A Really Big Kid From Alton, Illinois [Wired]
Robert Pershing Wadlow [Wikipedia]

Leave a comment

Filed under history

If they did this in Boston, the whole city would burn

Pax Arcana

franzia_costume.jpgRemember that time Radiohead put that album up online and let you pay whatever you wanted for it?

Well, at least one German wine bar owner is taking that idea waaaayyy too seriously. He’s letting people drink all they want and then pay what they think they should owe at the end.

From the Times:

These wine bars — all based on an honor system — have a charming, if maybe a bit naïve, faith in mankind’s honesty. For the price of 1 euro (about $1.50), you rent yourself a glass and get to sample as many of the wines as you want. At the end of the night you throw some bills or coins into a big jar, the amount based on what you think is fair.

I’m sure the economists would love to get a good look at data from this little experiment. For one thing, based on my extensive experience in the restaurant industry, I’m quite sure a person’s definition of what’s “fair” changes the more they imbibe. Many will think they are being overly magnanimus by paying anything at all. A smaller number will get hammered, catch a smile from a cute waitress, and tearfully drop their entire paycheck in the jar.

All I know is, if any of those Radiohead guys go there, the first $8 is on me (check your pockets, boys).

Honor system wine-bars in Berlin: drink all night, pay what you think you owe [Boing Boing]
Berlin: Weinerei [New York Times]

Leave a comment

Filed under booze

Padre musica: Links from around the Intertubes

Father Scott

The Padre is about to become Padre Tropical, as I head to sunny (or perhaps more appropriately, air-conditioned) FLA tomorrow for a week-long conference. It promises to be a romantic trip for Padre, Pax, and 2,000 people who run software systems.

Father Scott, if he weren’t about to be working 14-hour days

So before that, I thought I’d dip back to my roots with a music post. I promise this will be NBA-free. After the jump: a few links I’ve found interesting.

Continue reading


Filed under music

Funniest headline ever

Pax Arcana

From the New York Times:

Mercury Taint Divides a Japanese Whaling Town

And now, tomorrow’s headline today:

Crabs Cross Notch into Hairy Situation

Ba-dum, bum.

Leave a comment

Filed under journalism

The baristas need to get learnt

Pax Arcana

britney_starbucks.jpgDon’t bother hitting your local Starbucks next Tuesday evening. Chances are pretty good they’ll be closed down so senior management can swoop in and remind the baristas how to make coffee. Because they forgot or something. Via WSJ:

The company plans to retrain more than 135,000 employees in an effort to create “a renewed focus on espresso standards,” it said.

The nation’s 7,100 company-operated stores across the U.S. will close at 5:30 p.m. local time and reopen at 8:30 p.m., Starbucks said. Locations in places such as airports and supermarkets will retrain workers, but not necessarily at the same time.

Consumerist takes a deep whiff, blinks a few times, and points out the obvious:

The training session is another move by re-instated CEO Howard Schultz to demonstrate a renewed focus on product quality, although it also sounds a little bit like a PR stunt.

Look, I’m all for continuing education for people who run hot water through burnt beans all day, but I’m a bit terrified of what’s going to happen if the Marbury v. Madison Ave lady can’t get her fix. We’re talking real weeping and gnashing of teeth, here, and quite possibly lawsuits.

Starbucks stores to close for espresso training [WSJ]
Starbucks Retraining Employees At 7,100 Stores Next Week [Consumerist]

1 Comment

Filed under business

We’re on the edge of Burma

Perry Ellis

The edge of a massive re-issue of Mission of Burma’s catalog, that is (HT: Pitchfork.)

They’re not not not not not not not not your academy, but they might be Perry Ellis’s.

The uber-underground-post-art-punk-awesome-seminal-groundbreakers (they’re like the Velvet Underground–only about 100 people ever bought their records, but all 100 of them started bands) will see their three-album catalog and a bunch of live stuff re-released, courtesy of the good folks at Matador Records.

It’s the latest re-issue to cause a stire at the Ellis house (note to Mrs. Ellis: May 18 approacheth!); we caught M.O.B. last year at the Paradise and they were seriously great (especially considering they’re even older than we are. No, really.)

They were also insanely loud, which is a signature of sorts (they originally disbanded in 1983 after guitarist Roger Miller (no, not that Roger Miller) developed severe tinnitus.) They reunited in 2002, but with the proviso that drummer Peter Prescott smash the skins behind a protective acoustic booth. Miller often wears headphones as well.

At the Paradise that night they turned it way past 11, so much so that the saintly and sonic Mrs. Ellis was driven into the adjacent lounge. To appreciate what it was like, max out the volume on the video below. Or just put your head right next to a running jet engine.


Filed under bands, music