Thursday, February 05, 2009

Three Excellent Things

1. The exuberance of the headline on this report about a prehistoric giant snake -- not to mention, of course, the snake itself. It had grapefruit-sized vertebrae! It could eat cows (but probably mostly dined on alligators)! It was forty-two feet long! This report totally brought out the previously unknown eight-year-old herpetologist in me. So. Cool.

2. David Foster Wallace's Kenyon College commencement speech (via). This apparently has been on the Net since he delivered it back in 2005, but I only read it today, and was much impressed by its honesty and thoughtfulness about real adult life:

As I'm sure you guys know by now, it is extremely difficult to stay alert and attentive, instead of getting hypnotized by the constant monologue inside your own head. Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.
3. Your choice of goofy video: Stephen Colbert protests his lack of a Newbery, or, in related news, the Swedish Chef makes a banana split. Bork bork bork.


  1. Cool links, thanks for posting them. Love the snake, scared for the environment. Number two really made me think, I re-read it several times. I've seen people pay attention to the total opposite of what I do. There are times I feel completely clueless.

    I thought of you the other day. I was at World Market here in PhxAz and they sell McVities Biscuits.

  2. I reread #2 several times, as well. Very interesting!

    (I, too, found myself strangely fascinated by #1. Way too cool.)

  3. re #1, I enjoyed contemplating that there was something out there that used to scare the crap out of alligators. :)