Archive for April, 2006

Not too bad, but not as good as I’d have liked. I dispute one of the
answers (hanged/hung). A few of the others I got wrong were silly mistakes I always make with me/I and farther/further. The others were questions
where more than one choice was correct, and I didn’t realize that, so at least
I erred on the side of getting something right. 🙂 Be sure to read through the answer key after taking the test for a helpful explanation of each item. 

You scored 92% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced,  and 73% Expert!
You have an extremely good understanding of beginner, intermediate, and advanced level commonly confused English words, getting at least 75% of each of these three levels’ questions correct. This is an exceptional score. Remember, these are commonly confused English words, which means most people don’t use them properly. You got an extremely respectable score.

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog: http://shortredhead78.blogspot.com/.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 24% on Beginner
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You scored higher than 36% on Intermediate
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You scored higher than 69% on Advanced
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You scored higher than 25% on Expert

Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

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I didn’t want to say anything until it was clear that this wasn’t one of the self-referential jokes South Park likes to make. But it is true, Comedy Central decided to take the coward’s way out and removed the image of Mohammed from last night’s South Park episode.  Michelle Malkin’s post is the best roudup I’ve seen.

These two episodes have had some of the most outspoken and articulate (I know, but it’s true) pleas for defending free speech seen on TV this year, and Comedy Central’s executives read the script and buried their heads in the sand. They didn’t mind showing Jesus and George Bush pooping on people, though. Probably because Christians and Republicans don’t make a habit of rioting and murdering innocents like deranged children when they get offended, and Islamofascists do.

But that’s just not a good enough excuse. As Kyle said in the episode: "You can’t do what he wants just because he’s the one threatening you with violence! …Yes, people can get hurt. That’s how terrorism works. But if you give in to that, Doug, you’re allowing terrorism to work."

So great job on that, guys. Next time you make a fuss about how brave you are for running those edgy comedy specials we’ll know exactly how you really feel.

Also note that the depections of Mohammed are actually pretty common in the Muslim world. This isn’t a real religious taboo, it’s just an excuse.

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Yet more suspicious video and photos from Iraqi stringers working for the AP. It does seem peculiar that this same corner shows up repeatedly in a video and in two seperate photos taken more than a year apart. There may be a reasonable explanation, but it’s not unlikely that the photographer is either staging events or involved in the planning. It has happened many times before.

Of course, as I’ve talked about here before, there is an easy way for the AP to avoid these issues. Just release the original photos with EXIF data, and the original unedited video files.

In this case there’s probably no GPS information embedded in the files (I doubt they give stringers that sort of equipment) so the exact location can’t be determined that way. But the date/time information and full-resolution images would certainly help answer these questions. I’m sure have the files in their archives, and the Iraqi part-timers are not likely to complain about copyright issues. How about it AP? Why not take this extra step to earn the trust of your customers?

(via Instapundit)

UPDATE: These photos were taken by Bilal Hussein, who has won a Pulitzer for his suspiciously cozy photographs of Iraqi terrorists. Michelle Malkin has a great roundup on his checkered career, which may have just abruptly ended with a military arrest. (via Dean)

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Well, in jolly old England, death hops. And nature is exacting her horrible revenge.

It’s just like this chilling documentary warned us would happen, more than thirty years ago. Why didn’t we listen? WHY!?!

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Smithsonian Sellout?

The Smithsonian museums are one of my favorite places ever. But this Smithsonian-Showtime Agreement is really an incredibly awful idea. It apparently gives the Showtime cable network a right of first refusal over the use of any archival items in films or documentaries. Based on what is known so far, if you’re making a documentary about, say, civil rights, and Showtime thinks that they’d like to make a pay-per-view special with that same material they can deny you access.

This clearly violates the spirit of the museum, the collections, and the many donors who have contributed to the collections over the years with the expectation that they’d be freely acccessible, not controlled by a TV network. The fact that the contract is apparently being kept secret is outrageous. No one seems to know exactly what is covered by this contract, how much Showtime is paying the Smithsonian for the access, or anything else. Why is it secret? Are they ashamed of this arrangement and trying to hide how bad it really is? It’s just disgraceful for the Smithsonian to treat their members and the public this way.

UPDATE: Boing Boing has two scathing legal replies to a PR office response from the Smithsonian. Basically,  having given Showtime exclusive access so they can make pay-per-view specials, they now intend to selectively deny filmmakers access to the collections except for "incidental" purposes. No one knows what that means, since "incidental" is apparently a deliberately vague standard that they refuse to define or discuss.

They also refuse to discuss any details of the contract with Showtime, despite receiving 75% of their funding from the government and despite past agreements to abide by the FOIA. If this is such a great thing then why are they violating their own policy by refusing to share the details? Probably because they were taken advantage of by Showtime and don’t want to reveal how badly they and the public got shafted on this deal.

I’m unhappy that this imporant issue being handled by PR flacks with form responses. Doesn’t the Smithsonian have any real experts on hand? Are any of them allowed to discuss this?

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In Hidding
Originally uploaded by sigma..

This spooky picture by flickr user sigma is of the S.S. Aquarama, aka the Marine Star. It’s a former Navy troop ship which was converted and modified in 1957 to serve as a luxury ferry on the Great Lakes. That idea didn’t work out and 49 years later the ship sits where you see it, rusting away. Will it ever sail again? I doubt it.

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Banning American flags?

School systems often seem to live in a bureaucratic mirror universe, where logic and reason have no meaning. Here’s a perfect example. Skyline High School in Colorado is banning the American flag because they’re afraid it might incide violence. They’re actually hassling students over t-shirts and flags inside cars. And some other schools are now doing the same thing. That’s quite possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. This is exactly the wrong lesson for kids to be learning.

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