Posts Categorized: Satire

1poetry voice noun \ˈpō-ə-trē, -i-trē also ˈpȯ(-)i-trē ˈvȯis\

a : a warbling of the vocal cords that allows the speaker to move from breathless whispers to punctuated singsong according to an unknown rhythm

b : a treatable disease that predominantly affects young poets

Examples of POETRY VOICE

  • “Everywhere and nowhere,” she said in her poetry voice, standing on stage with her eyes closed.
  • I drank so much PBR, I lost my poetry voice!


Middle English, from Old French vois, from Latin voc-, vox;akin to Old High German giwahanen to mention, Greek eposword, speech, Sanskrit vāk voice

First Known Use: 14th century


Related Words


Hogwarts Launches MOOC


“After the Second Wizarding War, enrollment and retention have not kept pace with pre-Voldemort levels,” said Headmistress McConagall

Hogsmeade, Scotland—In a move sure to shake up the wizarding world, Hogwarts will launch it’s first MOOC (massively open otherworldly course) this year. Headmistress, Minerva McConagall, said, “in the spirit of experimentation and outreach, we are offering Care of Magical Creatures to any who wish to further their education. There are beings around the globe who do not have access to magical education.”

After researching companies like FutureLearn and Coursera, faculty at Hogwarts decided to partner with former alum, Parvati Patil and support her startup Lavender. “Of course, we respect muggles and how they educate their own; however, most magical beings do not own an Internet,” said McConagall. “Though he’s gifted in computer science and charms, we weren’t convinced by Dr. Andrew Ng’s proposal. To quote Texas wizard, Sullivan Blood, ‘It’s all hat and no cattle’.”

Lavender, named for Patil’s roommate, who died in the Battle for Hogwarts, uses crystal balls and a pensieve to open the classroom beyond the walls of Hogwarts. In third-world wizarding countries, like the United States, Hogwart’s MOOC is sure to be a game changer. “Beyond reaching beings in other countries, my commitment to Lavender is inspired by the Second Wizarding War. If a third war was to break out, concerned students could take classes from the safety of their own homes,” said Patil. Initial funding for Lavender came from wizarding startup investors Ron and George Weasley. When asked about their decision, Ron replied, “We thought it was a joke.”

Will MOOCs change the landscape of magical education? Headmistress, Olympe Maxime, of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic could not be reached for comment, while the new Highmaster of the Durmstrang Institute stated: “We view MOOCs as being in line with our commitment to the Dark Arts. We are currently developing a teaching methodology based on the Imperius Curse. Our completion rates should outshine others.”

Back at Hogwarts, Rubeus Hagrid is pouring lessons into his pensieve. “Magical creatures are all around us,” he said, “Whether it’s how to heal a hippogriff or the proper way to raise razor-backed barn owls, these are skills everyone should know.” When asked why Hogwarts chose him to teach their first MOOC, he replied, “It takes a massive man to teach a massive course.”

5 Ways To Not Write a Listicle

  1. Create a title that doesn’t involve numbers. There are exceptions though, like, DeLorean Hits 88 MPH; Travels through Time, or  Huffington Post-esque articles, Discover What 2 Plus 2 Equals, (the answer of course being 4).
  2. Write complete sentences and correctly use grammar. Imagine your audience has more than an elementary school vocabulary and reading ability.
  3. Don’t use bullet points or ordered lists for the content. Try paragraphs and transitions.
  4. Carefully explore a topic and set it in context.
  5. Provide references in a recognized format like MLA or APA.

How to Get Faculty Support for an Institutional Repository

Your library tech geek has been working overtime.  You’ve got a sweet open source repository online.  Resolutions were passed.  Buzzwords like, scholarly communication and open access, were tossed around like creative commons used to be.  The future, someone whispered, is now.

Then, nothing happened.  Your library tech geek uploaded his prayers to Github and meandered through message boards.  Librarians burned old DVD’s of Field of Dreams.  James Earl Jones had never led them so far astray.

When all seemed lost, at one university, a young, naive librarian asked, why aren’t we looking at this from the user’s perspective?  What do faculty care about besides tenure?

The answer?  Parking spaces.  By tying together institutional repository submissions to parking lot proximity, librarians have finally found a way to gather those submissions.  Now, instead of supporting an unused infrastructure, the library tech geek was requisitioning more server space!  When interviewed, one faculty member said, “I didn’t work twenty years to park by the athletic complex and take a shuttle.”

Remember, if you’re having trouble gathering faculty support, step back and look at the problem from a broader perspective.  How can you get those submissions?  Maybe an IR that blends citation count and ego is perfect for your institution.

Review: Unseen Academicals – Terry Pratchett

At this point, reviewing a Discworld novel, assuming you are a fan, is rather like reviewing a bowl of delicious ice cream, again assuming you are a fan.  Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett is more of the same: smart, funny, entertaining, and satirical.  Pratchett loves bending words and playing with context.  Ice cream is wonderful on a warm, sunny day.

This time, Pratchett has focused on the idea of soccer/football, and what sports mean to society.  The other area, which Pratchett explores, is inclusion and what it means to be different.  Often, Pratchett writes about what it means to be an outsider, and the unfairness of society.  By creating such extreme situations, he can point out the fissures in our own society.

Unseen Academicals revolves around an Orc, one of the last of his kind, who doesn’t know he’s an Orc and has been raised to be useful, worthy, and to seek knowledge.  All that is known is that Orc’s are warlike and used to tear people apart.  Is it fair to base a stereotype on assumptions?  Are there people we marginalize because of their culture?  These are questions Pratchett takes up, and his views are delivered through the characters of Ankh-Morpork.  If you like ice cream, you’ll enjoy this novel, though I suggest it be consumed with sprinkles and chocolate syrup.

The News Cycle and Shared Symptoms of Shock

On June 12th, 2009 the networks shifted to DTV.  If you haven’t noticed, either you don’t have a TV or have the ability to conjure programs from watching static snow, much like those cryptic pictures with hidden sailboats and puppies.  As we built up to this shift, there was hype and proclamations about how great our lives will be with digital TV.  Personally, my life did change greatly, and for the better.  I decided not to get a converter box.  I decided not to have television.

As I’m writing this, it seems like a blessing.  Michael Jackson died, and I’m not flooded with images, sounds, and repetition.  Every channel would be playing the same thing.  The same people would be interviewed, and with the beats of Billie Jean in the background they would all be saying the same thing.  What a tragedy the King of Pop is dead.

The news cycle displays all the symptoms of shock.

Skin condition is described as pale, cold, wet. Just think of Bill O’Reilly.

The conscious state of someone in shock is described as altered, confused, aggressive.

Also, people often have a rapid pulse with short rapid breathes.  Now it is true that some Buddhist practitioners have used yelling at each and talking over each other while controlling their heart rate in an effort to slow their metabolism and achieve nirvana, or to ready themselves for a flight to the U.S., but for the rest of us this is quite hard to master and so we must study the one known as Hannity Sensei.

Television and media is a two way street.  They perform and as such, need an audience.  The other symptoms of shock are experiences one may have when viewing the media cycle.  These are nausea and/or vomiting, collapse and unconsciousness, and progressive ‘shutdown’ of body’s vital functions.  Remember OJ?  Iraq War part I (that was the good one, part II dragged on forever)?  Or that other thing that happened last year?

So while most people have been overwhelmed with the news and the repetition of grief, I’ve enjoyed the break and am recovering nicely.  Once the nausea ended, and I got a few more fluids back in my body, I could turn my attention to the more important things in life.  I didn’t get rid of the TV itself, just didn’t get a converter box.