31 March 2008

Mythbusters: A formerly great show.

Mythbusters used to be an entertaining and even educational show, but it has lost its roots and it has ventured outside the realm of "myths" and meanwhile has seemed to forget that those performing the tests are stunt men, not reputed scientists.

Mythbusters used to pride itself on testing myths, but seems to have abandoned this base in favor of moving to such subjects as oddities. It seems more and more that the testing of their purported myths has become second priority to simply using the most explosives possible. Rather than thoroughly testing each myth, they focus on a climactic single test that does not sufficiently measure different variables. They present their work as science, yet they have no grasp of the concept of analytical thinking. I believe that the turning point for Mythbusters was when they tested one of the inventions of Nikola Tesla. I believe that they referred to the device they aimed to replicate as the "earthquake machine", and they concluded that it was not possible. Little did the viewing audience know, Tesla was a prophetic savant whose inventions changed the world. He invented things such as AC electricity, the radio (the 1943 US Supreme Court case Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company v. the United States overturned Marconi's patents on the radio in favor of Tesla's), X-Ray, robotics and neon lights. Tesla has an international airport named after him and to this day holds the record for the largest man-made lightening bolt, but somehow two stuntmen feel that they can overturn his legacy with incomplete and imprecise tests. While using recycled junk they have laying around their shop, they present their findings as if they were found using scientific and precise instruments. They falsely assume that if they can not replicate a circumstance with their imprecise machinery that it is completely and utterly impossible.

Overall, Mythbusters should go back to the realm of "myths" and avoid tarnishing the esteemed reputation of the real scientific community.

-P. I. Lumen

15 March 2008

Grammar Still Matters!

The English language has been viciously abused in the United States. This is prevalent in innumerable areas in our lives and cultures. The adverb has been utterly forgotten, Technology has encouraged laziness and insolence, and our upcoming generation has no stimulation to improve their vacuous ways.

A friend once told me "I'm not doing good in Spanish class". I replied, "Maybe you should focus on learning English first." The adverb is an important part of the English language, but it is utterly forgotten in our modern world. An adverb is a word which modifies an adjective, a verb or another adverb. As an example, dogs run quickly. Dogs do not run fast. Also, I am not doing good, I am doing well. It is a relatively simple concept, but numerous Americans have ignored the existence of this vast set of words. When a teacher says, "Do good on this test!" I cringe in pain, hoping that he or she can successfully teach complex subjects when not even able to practice basic grammar.  It seems as if a whole sect of our language has experienced somewhat of a genocide and has completely disappeared. Perhaps this is a plan Al-Qaeda, or perhaps this is a part of the legacy of George W. Bush. Regardless of the cause, we as Americans must fervently break from the norm and revive the usage of these essential words. The next time someone asks you, "How are you doing?", dare to be different and reply "Well"; prove that you are not a Joe Schmoe. All are fallible in terms of grammar, but we must not be ignorant. 

I cringe when I receive a message online that reads something like, "r u gonna? okayy. omg! ur pic suks! jk jk, lol." Has the person who sent the message failed to pass the first grade? Did their computer throw up in their message? Are my eyes going bad? No. Actually, the person is just lazy and impudent. When confronted with this type of message, I usually conclude that the person doesn't value me enough to waste time typing out whole words and complete thoughts. As a result, I don't bother to waste time responding. This is just casual messaging, but what happens when these types of people who lack the basic and essential ability to communicate enter the business world? In an age with intrinsic spell check programs on computers, people have no excuse to communicate so poorly. It is debilitating to me when I see advertisements for businesses that have obvious errors in spelling or grammar. It befuddles me that people have begun to use abbreviations such as "lol" in daily verbal conversation. These communication problems will only get worse, as our "future leaders", the teenagers, religiously use websites such as Facebook or Myspace on which a complete and proper sentence seems sinful. Languages were developed to allow effective communication, and we must unequivocally aim to communicate effectively with them.

In conclusion, I hope that you reserve "@" for your email address, that you pay attention to spell check, and that you dare to conduct yourself differently.

-P. I. Lumen

11 March 2008


What a fun word.
In fact, one of my favorite words.
When I first heard the word, I thought someone was inventing it to fit the mood of their speech. Brouhaha is in the dictionary, but some classify it as an onomatopoeia, so I guess that my initial reaction to the word must not have been too far off. 
My friends and I all have a mild infatuation with the word, compliments of our History teacher, so now we play somewhat of a "Where's Waldo?" game with the word. I was ecstatic after seeing the word used in Time Magazine last week. I paraded the issue, showing it off to my quirky friends as if it were some kind of trophy, all because of one single word. The article, being from Time, wasn't the best, but that single word made it phenomenal.
If you have any other favorite words, feel free to post them for the edification of all.

-P. I. Lumen