Daniel Radcliffe Memorizes the Lyrics to “Alphabet Aerobics”

This is a work of fiction. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is completely intentional. Except for Emma Watson, who seems like a perfectly nice woman. Inspired by One More Thing.

 

 

Azkaban

“Artificial amateurs aren’t at all amazing. Analytically, I assault and amaze…”

Daniel Radcliffe pressed “pause”, then “back”. He glared balefully at his iPod.

“No! That’s not right.”

He pressed “play”. The song began again:

“Now it’s time for our wrap-up. Let’s give it everything we’ve got!”

Daniel nodded in time with the beat. This time, he thought, I’ll get past “D”.

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The Best Books of My 2015

I read about 125 books this year, and these are the ones that come to mind when I think of the word “best”. They are very different, and you won’t like all of them, but they all do something well.

To quote my book-review post from last year:

I’ve sorted this list into a series of “bests”: a Best Graphic Novel for people who like those, a Best Book About Selling Stuff for people who like those, and so on. Whoever you are, I’d probably recommend many of these books to you. And some of them are free!

For a list of every book I remember reading, check out my Goodreads account.

 

Best List of All the Books

These are in alphabetical order, save for the first four, which I liked most of all.

  1. Sapiens
  2. The Neapolitan Quartet (series, all four books)
  3. The Book of Disquiet
  4. Negima! Magister Negi Magi
  5. A Civil Action
  6. Azumanga Daioh
  7. Behind the Beautiful Forevers
  8. Digger (free!)
  9. Great (free!)
  10. Gone Girl
  11. Parable of the Sower
  12. Strangers Drowning
  13. Strong Female Protagonist (free!)
  14. The Road to Wigan Pier (free!)
  15. The Vision of the Anointed
  16. The Yale Book of Quotations
  17. Them: Adventures with Extremists
  18. We Learn Nothing

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GQ Magazine Made Me Very Angry And Now I Am Complaining

It is not easy to make me angry, and it is harder still to make me angry enough that I feel the need to write about how angry I am. This is, I think, the first time I’ve written anything angry on this blog.

But GQ recently did a really good job of making me angry.

Not the entire magazine, but this story, which has inspired me to write my first post with a tag of “outrage”:

https://genius.it/www.gq.com/story/sugar-daddies-explained?

I annotated the story with the Genius Web Annotator, so you can see my notes in the original context, though the context doesn’t make the story any less terrible.

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Dogs and Existentialism

I have a Tumblr now! I’m still experimenting with using the platform for short essays and thought nuggets. Here’s an essay cross-posted from that Tumblr:

 

The Melancholy of Retrievers

(Wandering philosophy. Not attached to most of these opinions.)

I’m staying for a few weeks in the home of relatives who own a Labrador Retriever. I’ve spent a lot of time around this dog in the last few weeks, after many years of not living with a pet. As a result, everything about the notion of “owning a dog” – or the very existence of domesticated dogs – has become strange to me.

The dog, Jasper, lives to play fetch. When he isn’t sleeping or eating or drinking, he picks up anything he can find and brings it to you so that you can throw it. If you don’t throw it, he’ll try another person. If no one else is around, he’ll pant and whine at you and shove his head between your legs to stare sadly into your eyes until you give up and play fetch.

I’m sure this is normal dog behavior, and it’s the sort of silly thing that people love about dogs. But it makes me wonder how it feels to be Jasper.

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Teach To The Future

I’ve started a new series of blog posts on Applied Sentience: “Teach To The Future”.

Through these posts, I cover subjects like teaching people (especially kids) to write for an online audience:

http://appliedsentience.com/2015/01/09/teach-to-the-future-part-1-how-to-write-for-the-internet

Or teaching people to see through the eyes of other people, in a rigorous and practical way:

http://appliedsentience.com/2015/03/09/school-of-the-future-pt-2-seeing-through-other-eyes/

I care a lot about education, especially since I’ve just received 17 straight years of the stuff. But I think we spend too much time on some subjects and not enough on… well, the subjects I cover in these posts. I don’t know much about pedagogy, but I try to stick to skills I do know. As always, let me know if you have thoughts on how to develop these ideas further.

Bonus: If you teach children and want help figuring out a curriculum based on any of the subjects or lesson plans I describe, I’m happy to help!

The Best Books of My 2014

What is the point of writing a “best books of the year” list?

If you are Amazon or the New York Times — and if you are, how are you reading this, you enormous corporation? — you write the list because you expect that people will buy books from you, or at least listen to you, no matter what you recommend.

I do not expect either of those things to happen. At best, the person reading this might decide to look up a single free story on the internet, or check out a single book from the library.

Thus, I’ve sorted this list into a series of “bests”: a Best Graphic Novel for people who like those, a Best Book About Selling Stuff for people who like those, and so on. Whoever you are, I’d probably recommend many of these books to you. And some of them are free, including my #1 for the whole year!

If you’d like to see a list of every book I remember reading, check out my Goodreads account.

 

The Best Books of My 2014

Best List Of All The Books

Not in any particular order, save for #1.

  1. Worm (this year’s favorite) (free!)
  2. Love Is The Plan, The Plan Is Death (free!)
  3. Stories of Your Life (some of the stories are free online)
  4. Complications
  5. A Path Appears
  6. Making Minds Less Well-Educated Than Our Own
  7. Poking a Dead Frog
  8. One More Thing
  9. The Motivation Hacker
  10. Mission in a Bottle
  11. Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got
  12. Ogilvy on Advertising
  13. Building Stories
  14. The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
  15. The Charisma Myth
  16. Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead 

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Dog with a Blog // Why I Love Wikipedia

For those in my reading audience who are not acquainted with the modern-day Disney channel:

There exists a television show called Dog With a Blog.

The subject matter: Exactly What It Says On The Tin.

The Wikpedia article: Priceless post-post-modern literature. Second only to The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars as an example of gonzo Wikipedianism.

* * * * *

This television show is written by a team of adults. The money these adults receive probably helps them support their families. These adults are functioning members of the U.S. economy.

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