Teacher Humour: Why spelling matters

By Gordon Rugg

If one of your students ever complains that you’re making too much fuss about correct spelling…

accidentally-satan

https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/573223858803590270/

(Image used under fair use terms, as a humorous low-resolution copy of an image already widely circulated)

If you want a more detailed explanation, this previous article goes into more depth (but is less artistically striking…)

 

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New cultural experiences

By Gordon Rugg

As regular readers of this blog will know, I’m interested in striking music. As regular readers of this blog will also know, I have a sense of humour that occasionally wanders into areas of unhallowed eldritch horror that would probably have been better left alone.

Today’s post includes both themes.

The link below is to some Tuvan throat singing, accompanied by a range of instruments; it’s striking and elegant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbxGP6fBma8

The next link is to a crossover between classic blues and Tuvan singing and music; some listeners (including myself) think that it’s brilliant, but others vehemently disagree.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U327iCwt_9k

The last link is to a crossover that was not such a good idea, namely throat singing combined with rap music. Much though I would like to describe it, like the famous quote about Wagner’s music, as not being as bad as it sounds, honesty compels me to remain silent…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuVLjAhsw-w

I hope that at least one of these experiences brightens your day.

 

Genghiz Khan meets modern music

By Gordon Rugg

Regular readers of this blog will know that my tastes include an occasional penchant for dark humour. In that spirit, today’s article is about Genghiz Khan in popular Western culture.

For some reason, he inspired not only a film so bad that it’s now a much-cherished classic (until you’ve seen John Wayne playing Genghiz Khan, you haven’t savoured the true depths of bad movies) but also a song which is legendary for its kitschiness even by Eurovision standards. That song is the topic of this article, though I’ve detoured slightly into a mention of Barbara Cartland towards the end. If you wish to read more, you know what sort of unhallowed ground you will be entering…

bannerSources for the original images are given at the end of this article

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The band with the tractor drum kit

By Gordon Rugg

If you’ve ever wanted to see a band with a tractor drum kit, accompanied by the Red Army Choir and Russian dancers in full national costume, performing “Delilah,” then here’s your chance…

The inimitable Leningrad Cowboys, poker faced as ever (unlike the dancers, who are clearly having the time of their lives, and who are also clearly trying very hard not to laugh).

 

200 posts and counting

By Gordon Rugg

Our earliest posts included a lot of tutorial articles about specific concepts and methods, such as graph theory and card sorts.

Our more recent posts have increasingly often featured broader overviews, and demonstrations of how concepts and methods can be combined. This has included a fair amount of material on academic craft skills, where we’ve looked systematically at how to turn abstract academic concepts such as “good writing” into specific detail.

We’re planning to continue this move towards the bigger picture in our posts over the coming year. We’ll look at how formalisms from knowledge modelling can make sense of a range of features of society, including belief systems and organisational systems.

On a more prosaic level, we’ll continue our tradition of offbeat humorous articles.

In that tradition, the closing part of today’s article is this inimitable quote; we hope it brightens your day.

“I don’t play a lot of tuba anymore. It’s not the most common or useful instrument. There’s a reason there’s not a lot of tuba in a heavy rock and roll band. I’m just glad I was able to use it to help people,” he says.

“At the end of the day, I was just at the right place at the right time with a sousaphone.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/22/meet-the-man-who-beat-the-kkk-with-a-tuba.html

Notes and links

There’s more about the theory behind this blog in my latest book:

Blind Spot, by Gordon Rugg with Joseph D’Agnese

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blind-Spot-Gordon-Rugg/dp/0062097903

Overviews of the articles on this blog:

https://hydeandrugg.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/the-knowledge-modelling-book/

https://hydeandrugg.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/150-posts-and-counting/

https://hydeandrugg.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/one-hundred-hyde-rugg-articles-and-the-verifier-framework/

 

 

 

 

Bad questionnaires, gender and ethnicity: When researchers achieve profundity by mistake

By Gordon Rugg

My usual response to badly assembled questionnaires involves a rant, followed by a dissection of the methodological issues involved and of various relevant bodies of theory.

Sometimes, though, a questionnaire manages to achieve a level of badness so extreme that it transcends its own awfulness.

Today’s example is one of those. It’s a question from an unidentified questionnaire. It’s asking about sexuality. It offers one option which you don’t usually see in this context. Admittedly, it’s probably the result of a copy and paste error, but that’s a minor detail. (Yes, I’m being ironic there…)

Anyway, here it is, in all its blighted majesty…

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Strange places

By Gordon Rugg

There’s a scene in the movie Byzantium where a vampire hesitates at a threshold, waiting for her intended victim to invite her inside. The setting is a run-down seaside town, out of season. It’s a scene that combines several types of unsettling strangeness, which makes it a good starting point for today’s article about strange places.

bannerv1Two boundary spaces: Image credits are at the end of this article.

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