I’m Phoning It In


I usually have to spend a few days a semester talking about the pros and cons of using websites as resources. Because they — websites — can be very useful, sometimes. And they can be utter nonsense. I almost always have to deal with the wikipedia issue. Isn’t it a good source? Because it’s kind of self-policed, no? Everyone, it seems, loves wikipedia.

So I always end up sounding like the crotchety old man I fear I am becoming and try explaining to students about the wonders of peer-reviewed articles and following the development of arguments over the span of a few journals or books, but students’ eyes begin to glaze over and I end up sounding like someone you wouldn’t want showing up at your birthday party because I might go on and on about how sugar is bad for your teeth rather than just letting everyone enjoy the cake.

Truth is: I kind of like wikipedia. It is just eat up with interesting. Here’s one of my favorite pages.

I had no idea what the longest name in the U.S. was: Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. And I didn’t know that there is a “104-foot long, 5-foot wide house in New York City built entirely out of spite for the neighbors.” It’s called, creatively enough: Spite House. I didn’t know that there is a name for the theory that the world is steadily getting smarter: The Flynn Theory. I didn’t know that toilet paper holder was so complex a piece of equipment: but it is.

Anyway….skim through the list and enjoy learning about things you didn’t even know you wanted to learn about.


16 Responses to “I’m Phoning It In”

  1. Capt. Midknight Says:

    I wonderful page!
    Should come under the heading:
    “You couldn’t make this stuff up …”

  2. Whitney Says:

    Sadly, I know that the Flynn Effect is.
    But the Spite House…now that’s some serious information.

    I’m not teaching now, and so I actually really miss those first few class periods where you’re trying to be cool, yet get taken seriously at the same time. But, rest assured, you’re cool. I checked your “ratemyprofessors” page. 🙂

    Thanks for something fun, Mikey. Hope you have a great semester.

  3. DeJon Says:

    I used to love wikipedia… until last semester.

    As a part of a class last semester, I was instructed to write or add to a wikipedia page. “How ludicrous!” I thought. I got an “incomplete.”

    Point of the story being, I’ll pay top dollar to anyone willing to get that “I” off my record.


  4. michaellasley Says:

    Good for you, Anonymous. Thankfully, I’ve always had professors who only assingned things that were useful.

    Whitney — I looked at my ratemyprofessor page when I was at Syracuse, but I haven’t looked since I’ve been here. I’d rather not know, I think.

    Capt. — yeahp. Some of the things on there are pretty ludicrous. I always wonder who has the time to put into creating a wiki page for these things.

  5. urbino Says:

    There’s no “I” in “record.” Maybe you, dear Anonymous, should point that out to The Man.

    It works every time in sports.

  6. aliasheea Says:

    So one of the coolest things from the wikipedia website is that tomorrow is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! It doesn’t get any better than that.

    I have to say I’m glad you posted this because I have never been on wikipedia before and it was very interesting. Thanks Michael!

  7. urbino Says:

    Isn’t every day Talk Like a Pirate Day?

    No wonder I can’t get a girl.

  8. michaellasley Says:

    Everyday *should* be talk like a pirate day. No?

    I thought girls liked pirates. They go nuts over that Orlando Bloom guy, and he’s as pirate-y as they come.

    Aliasheea — here’s hoping you don’t get addicted to wikipedia. It can be addicting. Although, as far as addictions go, there could be worse.

  9. urbino Says:

    Yeah, Kiera Knightley should be all about me by now. Unaccountably, she isn’t. Go figure.

  10. urbino Says:

    Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg

    What in the wide, wide world of sports was the idea there? There are some Welsh words that aren’t that long.

  11. urbino Says:


    Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

    is bleedin’ genius.

  12. Terry A. Says:

    Good news, Mikey. I checked out your ratings.

    You are easy. (In other news, sun rises in east.)

    You get the yellow smiley face of approval. This means you’re as good as it gets, I think.

    And the red chili pepper seems to indicate that you are “So Hot Right Now.”

    However, I noticed an unusually large concentration of peppers in the English department. Is this the Pepperdine Effect (check wikipedia), wherein all the good-looking professors migrate westward toward Malibu, or is it a department-engineered jerry-rig, or is it just — as fits my experience with such things — that most English-major chicks are a little bit — oh, how does one say this — apple brown betty?

    By the way, I tried to vote to make you look like a tougher instructor.

  13. unicorntx Says:


  14. michaellasley Says:

    Well, Terry, it’s kind of a SoCal thing. You have to meet certain standards of beauty before you can even enter the place. So, really, having a red pepper next to your name is kind of redundant.

    Urbino — being half Welsh my own self, I hear what you’re saying. That’s a mean word. If I lived near Lake Whatever, I’d dread filling in my address on a deposit slip.

  15. Terry A. Says:

    You should see my scores on RateYourNonProfitOrganizationPRFlack.com.

    Just yesterday, I used “cachet” in a brochure. I’m pretty sure there will be a serious ratings spike from this alone.

  16. Rusty Mc Says:

    This is my first time to check out the Hungry Hungry Hippos page. You still crack me up. Thank you so much for the ridiculous stuff you share. You and T Ray make me laugh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: