Texting Leads To Sexting…Leads To Bad Television

Researchers Find

What they find is a way to publish yet another study documenting what everybody already knew. According to this article, sent in by reader Jack Mosevich, researchers have discovered that it is the most gregarious teenagers that are engaging in sex and “other risky behaviors.”

They don’t put it that way. Instead, it is announced that teens who send an awful lot of text messages to a welter of peers each day have the most opportunity for intermingling. According to one of the men in white, “‘This study demonstrates that it’s a legitimate question to explore,’ said Douglas Gentile, who runs the Media Research Lab at Iowa State University.”

This begs the question: was it a legitimate question to explore before they had their results?

I could not bring myself to read the original report, but I’d bet that they have a nice, low p-value that backs their conclusions.

Cooking and Bad Music Don’t Mix

Reader Dan Clock sent in this link to a new cooking show on the Cooking Channel, which he describes as like a horrible accident that cannot be looked away from.

The program is called—and I wish I were attempting a joke—Bitchin’ Kitchen with Nadia G. In the video, which I am now just recovering from watching thanks to a medicinal morning glass of Chablis, the lady sings a horrific song which contains the lines:

Viagra spam for ten years straight.
Look, if you can’t get it up, a soufflé’s great.

A stranger tries to pinch my butt.
Shkoff a truffle a BEAT HIM UP!

Food, food.
This one’s for you.

Anticipating the intelligence of her audience, Nadia G. holds up four fingers of her left hand when she sings the penultimate word of the last line.

After the intolerable caterwauling comes a promo, which proclaims, “We promise that you have never seen a cooking show like this.” Which means that at least the executives at the Cooking Channel are honorable, because they have kept their promise. I never have seen a show like this. Wednesdays 10:30 pm.

Buy College Essays

The Cornell Sun features an article on the website The Essay Exchange (which I refuse to link to), whose purpose is to sell college entrance exams. Each costs about fifteen bucks, plus or minus depending on the essay’s popularity.

There are already a number of term-paper sites—see this exposé featured from today’s Arts & Letters Daily—but this one sells essays that supposedly led to successful admissions at top-flight colleges.

I was ready to be disappointed, but my heart soared like a hawk when I read the words of Pat Wasyliw, assistant dean of admissions and advising in the College of Arts and Sciences, who said, “In a nutshell, if you think this is a good idea in any way, you do not belong at Cornell or any comparable institution of higher learning.”

Amen, brother. Preach it!

Some encouraging news on the Human Extinction Front

Reader Francisco González tells us that the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement is gaining steam.

Their main idea appears to be that if there are no more humans, which may be obtained by a lack of breeding, the “Earth’s biosphere to return to good health….and be allowed to return to its former glory, and all remaining creatures will be free to live, die, evolve (if they believe in evolution), and will perhaps pass away, as so many of Nature’s ‘experiments’ have done throughout the eons.”

Of course, there won’t be anybody around to enjoy the Earth’s new found good health, so one can ask why bother? And what about the creatures that don’t “believe in evolution”? They’ll be stuck on the same career path for all eternity, cladistically speaking. Just goes to show you how important it is to believe in Darwin.

The organizers add that the VHEM is the “humanitarian alternative to human disaster,” a sentence that will take a passel of grammarians to parse successfully. But wait: wasn’t “human disaster”, or something like it, the new euphemism for terror attack?

Now, it’s sometimes difficult to know when one is in earnest. But the absurdities of the VHEM pile up so quickly, each one more asinine than the next, that it must be joke. Kind of like the Flat Earth Society. But on the diminishing probability that it isn’t, I want to do all I can to support the followers of VHEM in their celibacy.

Essays for Sale

Just in case you didn’t see the link above, be sure to read the exposé The Shadow Scholar:
The man who writes your students’ papers tells his story
featured from today’s Chronicle of Higher Education. After doing so, you might want to join me in another glass of some potent restorative.


  1. Bernie

    To: All current and prospective members of VHEM
    Fr: Father of three
    Why wait? Celibacy or, more strictly speaking, non-procreation is a risky business. There might be an unguarded moment and all that hard work will have gone for naught. Think how devastated you would be if you were the direct cause of yet another earth devouring, species extinguishing, pollution spewing, parasitic human. Give us all a break and put yourselves out of your obvious misery, ASAP.

    Me? I am looking forward to a bunch of grandchildren I can teach how to hunt, fish and otherwise enjoy life and the fruits of the earth.

  2. Where were the VDEHs when we needed them on Mercer Island, Washington, in the late 50’s and early 60’s? Could have saved a lot of grief.

  3. Luis Dias

    Of course, there won’t be anybody around to enjoy the Earth’s new found good health, so one can ask why bother? And what about the creatures that don’t “believe in evolution”? They’ll be stuck on the same career path for all eternity, cladistically speaking. Just goes to show you how important it is to believe in Darwin.

    Oh boy did I spilled my coffee with that one!!

  4. Roger

    Looks like The Essay Exchange site you mentioned above doesn’t sell college entrance exams at all. They allow you to read application essays that current students used to get into the schools on the site. I think the real controversy are the college essay consultants, who cost thousands of dollars and basically write your essay for you…but you don’t hear too many people complaining about them.

  5. Robert Blair

    The Shadow Scholar is a shameless fibber. He gives it away in comments about the essays he claims to write for seminary students, thereby unwittingly revealing that he cannot possibly have written a serious seminary essay.

    Too bad Shadow Scholar, I was just about to swallow your little bag of fibs, but you couldn’t help getting in a swipe at the ideological enemy, revealing your total ignorance.

  6. Briggs

    Robert Blair,

    Really? I’d love to believe you. Can you tell us why you think he’s lying (and, of course, accepting that he lies for a living)?

  7. Robert Blair

    I am from Australia, and maybe things are different in divinity colleges in the US, but I would be very surprised if essays such as Shadow Scholar describes are ever so important to achieving a pass that a student would pay money for one.

    To start – course units that would even discuss contemporary moral decay would be decidedly in the minority, and (unless the US is a lot different) never a requirement. I cannot believe that the required theme of a required essay would suggest “discuss our societies moral decay as exemplified by abortion/gay marriage/teaching of evolution (choose one)”.

    Have such essays been submitted by divinity students? Of course. Was such an essay ever a requirement? Doubt it greatly. Was a course unit in which the submission of such an essay was even possible ever a required unit? Also doubt it.
    I cannot believe in a cynical, cheating divinity student who, nevertheless, pays $2,000 for an essay which will not have any impact on whether or not he achieves his diploma or degree. Perhaps he is doing it for the altruistic beauty of the irony?

    However, Mr Briggs, I have e-mailed this question to a US divinity student, chosen because (a) he is a US divinity student, and (b) he has a popular blog, ergo, he is assumed to be gregarious enough to entertain the question and provide some sort of answer. I will post his reply here if he responds in the next couple days.

    Maybe Shadow Scholar was asked, once, to do such an essay for a student who chose that topic with an eye to a particular teachers prejudices. If so he has exaggerated the point to such an extent that I doubt the whole essay – maybe we need to deflate all his claims to a similar extent. Which makes his story rather small beer indeed.

  8. I’m with Luis. Ten points and a gold star for “cladistically speaking”.

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