Archive for May, 2015

Summer haircut before & after


posted by Michael in Terry the Dog on 5/31/2015 | No Comments

A poem I wrote in 2008

I just found this gem in an old Facebook chat. Apparently a friend had asked me to write a submission for an adoptee newsletter or something and this is what I came up with.

My dog Terry is neat.
He always wants to eat.
For breakfast I give him shredded wheat.
His favorite food is meat.
He gets excited when I say Treat.
He’s hard to catch when he runs down the street.
When we’re playing poker he likes to cheat.
He’s popular with bitches in heat.
He gets pissed when I’m sitting in his seat.
When I’m watching TV he licks my feet.
He gets grossed out when I beat.

I don’t think it got printed.

posted by Michael in Whatever on 5/17/2015 | No Comments

My Three Homes

Chicago Timelapse Project, Windy City Nights II
from Max Wilson

Seoul Timelapse 2011 from Oh Choong Young

Timelapse: San Francisco from Adonis Pulatus

posted by Michael in Misc. Videos on 5/16/2015 | No Comments

Beer gut + gold cape + red speedo = rockstar

There are much weirder Japanese music videos than this, but I like this guy because he looks hilarious and just doesn’t care… and apparently his four hot friends don’t care either.

posted by Michael in Music Videos on 5/13/2015 | Comment (1)

$10 for a canteloupe

That seems reasonable.


posted by Michael in Whatever on 5/12/2015 | No Comments

Last week’s homework

This week is week 11! My first semester will be over in about a month. Gonna be busy.

I’ll lead off with brain class homework this time. One of the chapters we had to read was apparently written for fucking brain surgeons so it was pretty hard to digest. Ugh. This is the second shortest homework I’ve turned in so far.

1. Logie and Duff (2007) investigates the relationship between processing and memory span. What is memory span and what do they find about its role in working memory?
Working memory span is “immediate memory” as it functions alongside cognitive processing. It is essentially the extent to which we are able to both process and immediately recall that processed information. Logie and Duff (2007) found that processing and memory, when working together in a combined task of verifying arithmetic sums and recalling the solutions, was only slightly more demanding than each task performed individually (p. 122-124). Similar results were also found in a related experiment that was slightly modified, suggesting that the brain has separate resources that serve both memory and processing which can run concurrently without any significant performance deficit (p. 126-128). This stands in stark contrast to Barrouillet and Camos (2001) who posited that processing and memory were a single resource where one function’s allocation would detract from the performance of the other (as cited in Logie and Duff, 2007, p. 120). If our brains are truly wired to both process and recall simultaneously, then it would stand to reason that actively integrating context into learning might be one of the reasons that this is possible.

2. Martin and Hamilton (2007) propose a model of working memory that has striking differences from the original model proposed by Baddeley. On what evidence do they propose their new model?
Of the three components of working memory outlined by Baddeley and Hitch (1974, as cited in Martin and Hamilton, 2007, p. 183), it seems that the item most directly challenged by Martin and Hamilton is the phonological loop. Martin and Hamilton point to numerous cases that contradict the phonological loop’s proposed purposes in the fact that prose is easier to recall than unrelated words and that various STM patients have demonstrated comprehension of complex sentences despite severe short-term memory loss (p. 184). As an alternative to Baddeley and Hitch’s working memory theory, Martin and Hamilton propose a model of STM wherein language processing functions through separate semantic and phonological components. The logic of this separation can be seen in patients whose semantic short-term memory deficits cause difficulties in recognizing the anomaly in a sentence such as ‘She saw the green, bright, shining sun, which pleased her,’ but not in a similar sentence where the position of the adjectives was changed, as in ‘The sun was bright, shining, and green, which pleased her’ (p. 185). Changing the position of the word
green, the anomaly, allowed the semantically-challenged patients to identify it correctly, but no such pattern was seen in patients whose short-term memory deficits were phonological in nature. Likewise, Freedman, Martin, and Biegler (2004) found that semantic STM patients were at a great disadvantage in comparison with phonological STM patients when asked to name two semantically-related pictures in a single phrase (as cited on p. 186). Read more…

posted by Michael in Back to School on 5/11/2015 | No Comments

My hilarious TESOL joke

Someone in my Teaching Writing class tonight was talking about how he had attended a thing where the Stephen Krashen was speaking (Krashen is very well known in the world of TESOL). He talked about how Krashen said over and over that reading skills lead to better writing skills.

And then I chimed in…

“And then Swain stood up and starting saying how writing influences reading!”

GET IT? The teacher laughed. She thought it was funny.

posted by Michael in Back to School on 5/6/2015 | No Comments

The NCAA Amazon Project

First I created Miss Kylie and ManlyStuff69 on Twitter for the purpose of trying to save a certain mock betting site that Pat’s friend created. Then I thought about the possibility of using Twitter to sell a popular weight loss plan called The Venus Factor so I created a fake doctor who may or may not start hawking this weight loss thing, I haven’t really decided yet. Then I revisited the betting thing, looking for a better way to build an audience that would be interested in the underserved fantasy market for college football… see, fantasy football is huge but it’s only available for NFL teams. This betting site owned by Pat’s friend isn’t fantasy football, but it has fantasy elements to it that I think college football fans would be onboard with, and it’s also just as fun as fantasy football so I think it could be very successful if the right audience could be reached. Then I started thinking about trying to monetize this audience in other ways, just in case the betting site doesn’t work out. This is how the NCAA Amazon Project was born. Here’s the very, very simple plan:

  1. Build an audience of followers for the top 10 college football programs
  2. Post affiliate links to team-specific gear such as sweatshirts, coffee tumblers, baby clothes, etc., interspersed with legitimate sports news


I’ve been more or less retired from all of my web-based projects for the past year, so I’m ready to give this a try. I think I can automate things to the point that very little maintenance will be required, but there’s a good amount of legwork to be done before I reach that point. If nothing else, I should learn a few things from this and maybe come up with some better ideas in the future.

posted by Michael in Plan X on 5/4/2015 | No Comments

Midterm papers

Well I haven’t posted any homework since week 5. Does anyone care? No? Ok. Since then we’ve had one week where there was no homework because midterms were coming due, so I think I really only forgot to post one week’s assignments.

In each of my classes we were given options such as writing a theoretical assessment of an issue, conducting research, writing lesson plans, etc. There was no actual exam and I suspect there never will be unless I choose practicum over writing a thesis in order to graduate. So anyway I chose to write a theoretical assessment for both classes. It was a lot of research, and I actually learned a lot from writing the papers. My finals in both classes will be a continuation of the midterm, so I’ll be continuing my research on both topics at semester’s end.

Teaching Writing: I wrote about how Twitter, Facebook, and blogging can be used to improve second language learners’ writing skills.

(Download PDF) Social Networking Platforms and Their Potential to Aid in the Development of L2 Writing Skills

Human Learning & Cognition: I wrote about how age affects second language learning, and I also talked about different views of the critical period hypothesis (this theory says that you have to start learning a second language during childhood if  you want to master it).

(Download PDF) Investigating the Disparate Relationship Between Age and L2A Success

posted by Michael in Back to School on 5/2/2015 | No Comments