Thursday, September 25, 2003

This has got to be the stupidest thing I've heard this week:

    Junior Achievement is projecting that the lesson, which will be taught both in school and after school, will be used in 36,000 classrooms nationwide and has the potential of reaching 900,000 students in grades five through nine, or about 10 percent of all students in those grade levels.

    In the role-playing activity Starving Artist, for example, groups of students are encouraged to come up with an idea for a musical act, write lyrics and design a CD cover only to be told by a volunteer teacher their work can be downloaded free. According to the lesson, the volunteer would then "ask them how they felt when they realized that their work was stolen and that they would not get anything for their efforts."

    (user: cosmoran / pass: spider)

Besides sounding like an activity out of a first grader's "Community and Sharing" social studies book, it's a poorly designed activity where the build-up is much larger than the lesson learned. Plus, any good teacher would be hesitant to give a lesson where the lessons-learned question is so open-ended and prone for tangents and dissent.

Since the RIAA and movie companies probably will not be able to come up with good activities on their own, I have devised one that they are welcome to use, that may actually affect more than 1% of future filesharers.

    In the role-playing activity Guillible and Stupid, for example, groups of students are encouraged to stand behind a skittish horse shaking tin cans, only to be kicked in the face by the horse. According to the lesson, a volunteer would then "ask them how they felt when they realized that they had been kicked in the face by a horse and that this was how all filesharers were punished."

While we're on the subject of filesharing, I have a downloaded copy of the song, Politik, by Coldplay. Downloading Coldplay off the Internet led directly to me purchasing both of their expensive CDs (which I would never have done otherwise), but that's not the point of this anecdote. This particular piece opens with two bars of steady eighth notes pounding out a dominant seventh chord resolving into two bars of the same rhythm on a minor tonic triad with an added eleventh. However, the downloaded version of the song only has seven beats of dominant, followed by a full two bars of tonic. Evidently, this is one of those placebo songs placed online to prevent someone from getting the real version (If you try downloading popular artists, you will occasionally get a snippet of the chorus looped over and over for the duration of the song).

The sad thing is, the abridged version is actually better musically than the original.

Sixty-six year old woman does not listen to Trick Daddy's "I'm a Thug"
Allowed to rebut what Statham ruled was a personal attack, Schwarzenegger said, "I would just like to say that I just realized that I have a perfect part for you in 'Terminator 4.'" He also suggested that she might need "more decaf."

tagged as newsday, mock mock | permalink | 0 comments


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