Monthly Archives: May 2007

ADD Reading Group: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

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In a joint effort with our friends at Camp Nutria (the attempt of some Austinites at regressing in style), Gather Round, Children brings you the first in a series of questions meant to guide readers safely through the dialectic without getting chewed up by the many pages, the flowy prose, or the loquacity of that guy who will not admit that he has only read the first 30 pages and got the gist of the rest of it from the internet. (Hint: When that guy pauses to reload intellectual jargon, simply cut in with, “Next question.”)

 Lolita: Discussion Questions

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1. What do you think of the cover of the book? The one with the sexy lips on it? Do you find the lips to be sexy? If you do, does that make you a pedophile?

2. According to the first chapter, Dolores Haze had many names: Lo, Lola, Lolita, etc. Discuss other figures in popular culture who have many names. (Example: Sean “Puffy” Combs or Jennifer Lopez, who dated each other for a time.) Is it a coincidence that Jennifer Lopez goes by J-Lo and Dolores goes by “Lo, plain Lo, in the morning” or is Lopez consciously drawing a parallel between herself and Haze, hoping she will remain young in the eyes of her public? If yes, did the semi-creepy gamble pay off? If no, you have to admit that it’s quite a coincidence. Continue reading

Lent Remembered

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Publication! A new short piece is up on the Crate website. Read it if you want to learn something about discipline for once in your indulgent life.

Invented Statistics #4 – Technology

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Once Google Books has every published book on its database, proof will exist that 97% of everything anyone writes is cliché. The other 3% is likely gibberish, like when you mash your hands over the keyboard. By 2020, a truly original poem will look like “erooooh;43a 09999;onygai;;= / -09i-t4-q[despair4q38tio / fvkngvtormentte4ha38 / 904yp08q”.

Thanks to the internet, only 9% of the 1-900 numbers that existed in 1993 are still around today.

By 2034, the computer will be able to feel 13% more love than the average human and only 17 American orators will be able to deliver a more stirring speech than a computer.

18% of all jury members wonder at some point in the trial why they don’t just send CSI in there to solve the damn thing.

If the US government promised free iPod Nanos to all forty-year-old women who had only birthed one or zero babies, the population increase would be slowed by 4,000 babies per year. (Stipulation: If one of these women has a baby after receiving her free iPod Nano, the government should compliment her on her miracle and confiscate her iPod Nano or tax her for the going eBay rate.)

96% percent of all remembered birthdays are the result of facebook.com reminders.

Summer Update

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To all the vultures who somehow got my cell number while I was ON VACATION just to ask when the next GRC update would be: shut up. I appreciate your enthusiasm (sometimes) but not your threats to cut off one of my fingers for every day that nothing is posted on the site. Don’t you realize that would be counterproductive? How am I supposed to post with nubs? If anything, you should threaten to cut off my toes so that I’ll have nothing to do but post. Don’t do that, though. I’d quit the site just to spite you.

So. The first good bit of news is that GRC will open its east coast office in Northampton, MA in July. We will be sharing our office space and phone lines with Trimble Inc. We have found their employees to be very agreeable and physically attractive in the past and expect great success in the venture. In late June, there will be a send-off party to celebrate the holy partnership of GRC and Trimble Inc., followed by a business retreat in Kauai to meet with the CEO of Trimble Inc. and plan for the months and years ahead.

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Invented Statistics #3 – The Cuteness Timeline

cuteness  <– (Click to enlarge or download)

According to statisticians in the GRC Stat Lab, this is an accurate representation of the average person’s “cuteness level” throughout a lifetime. Invented participants were shown photos of subjects at various ages and asked, simply, “Cute or not cute? Rate cuteness on a scale of 1-10.” Right now, all we have is the numbers and we’re still sorting through them, trying to figure out what they mean. Note: For our purposes, “cuteness” and “attractiveness” are being lumped into the same category. Obviously, the high score at the age of 21 reflects a very different sort of cuteness than the high scores at the age of 1 or the age of 80.

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Invented Statistics #2

alex with trustworthy statistician Alex Moore

After driving in LA for 10 years, the average Los Angeles driver has a 74% chance of being an asshole.

It is a myth that cats have 9 lives. The average American cat only has 6.3 live. European cats have 5.7 (smokers), and African cats have 1.3 due to a rampant strain of cat AIDS.

The average aspiring musician has a 1/100,000 chance of making it big and considers herself roughly 3x more talented than she really is.

12% of the American Idol auditioners who are cut would have made the show if only they weren’t so ugly and boring. The other 88% are ugly, boring, and untalented (tough break).

Continue reading

At Long Last… Season 4, Episode 1 of the Gather Round Children Show

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Episode #1 “False Alarm Intervention” (4/30/07):  Featuring singer/guitarist/graduate Joey Brumme. Songs/segments include “Summer Spectacular,” DVD sales, Darnell intervention, the real world, “Everybody Wins,” “Graduate… Shut Up,” “Shanina,” remix, “Oh, Places You’ll Go,” “River Under Bridges”. Part 1 , Part 2