Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/.

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
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Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue

Slanglish

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"


















 
Mail Trillian here





Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.



Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.





Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Tuesday, August 26, 2008  
At the risk of sounding like a crotchety old lady…what’s wrong with kids today?

I read that for the 10th consecutive year SAT scores have remained consistently low.

They did revise the test in ’90s, made it “more difficult.” Okay, sure, that’s rough on some kids and explains some of the decline in scores.

But. They also added essay questions. Pfft. Spoiled coddled little babies. Essay questions? Essay questions???! SAT isn’t about subjective reasoning skills, it’s about making kids conform to academic objectives, the standardized benchmarks by which your entire future is based. Sheesh. Essay questions. Babies.

And yet even with essay questions the scores remain lower. 515 in math. 502 in verbal. That’s an average of 508.5. 508! .5! Crimony.

My score was dragged down by my math score, but even with abysmal results in math my average was higher than 508.

And I’m not bragging. Really. I’m not bragging. I'm not proud of my math score. In fact I'm embarrassed about it and nearly re-took the SAT in hopes of a higher math score. A guidance counsellor told me I'd "probably be okay but it wouldn't be a bad idea to try again." In the end I stayed with my original score and guess what?! I got into college!

My math score, while “good” for me, a kid with no discernable left brain, was a disgrace to my school’s math program. Compared to my classmates my math score was horrible, especially considering all the classes and preparation and tutoring I had. By the time I took the SAT I had Algebra I and II under my belt, along with Geometry, Trig and a semester of Calculus. I even had a probability and statistics class and intro to econmoics. I should have scored better based solely on the fact that I’d sat in these classes and was exposed to the vocabulary and concepts.

When I took the SAT there were plenty of kids taking the SAT who did not have the opportunity to be exposed to those, ahem, “life enriching” classes. Everyone, my parents, teachers, guidance counselors kept hammering it into our heads that it would all be worth it, that we should take advantage of our educational opportunities. And I did, at least I tried. And yes, exposure to those math topics did help my math score. But still. My score could have, and should have been better. I knew my ace in the SAT hole was the verbal section. I flew through it in practice tests and even caught an error in the answer key on one of the practice tests. (Hey. Every class has a Lisa Simpson, someone has to be the know-it-all who points out errors.) I knew I could rest on my verbal laurels when SAT day arrived. And yes, I knew it then, and I know it now, that’s not a good attitude. I should have pushed harder to do better on the math portion. I tried, I really did. But I could have tried harder, I could have put in a few extra math study hours. I could have cared more.

Were it not for my verbal score I would have been thrown in the shallow end of the learning pool at my schools. Other kids, my classmates, did well on the SATs. Far better than I did, at least on their math scores.

The point is, I’m not bragging about my SAT score. It could have, and should have, been better. Sure, it’s a nice, respectable score. On the rare occasions I find myself at a party with a college dean I don’t feel the need to hang my head or change the subject if the conversation turns to SAT scores. (Which, much to my surprise, actually happens.) But. My score could have been better. It should have been better. If those same college deans press me for details about my pre-university schooling their brows furrow with a look of dismay.

They know. They know that what seems like a respectable SAT score is actually very low given my educational background. They (rightfully) dismiss me as a slacker. I know better than to try to defend myself with my verbal score. Openly admitting that I went into the test relying on my verbal aptitude only stands to make me look worse. And, given my average score and with a verbal score of that caliber, the math score must have been atrocious. It was.

But.

It was a heck of a lot better than a 515. And that's not bragging. That's me saying, "Whoa! 515? Seriously? I did better than that and I slacked on math! What the heck is wrong with these kids?!"

I realize there are a ton of factors contributing to the national SAT averages. I realize it’s not the kids’ fault. Well. Not entirely, anyway. More kids want to go to college so more kids are taking the SAT and more kids taking the SAT means more variance in backgrounds and education level and that means a broader range of scores. Hey, I had a crappy math score but I did take probability and statistics, I did learn something of use in my adult life and career.

But still. You'd think that more kids would mean more scores lumped in the middle - average - score zone and that would drive the average score up a few points. Had I done better with prob and stat I'd be able to whip up some sort of variance formula and graph which would solve all of this. Instead I'm complaining like a crotchety old lady. Kids, do your homework! Study! Do well on your SAT or you could end up like me!

I doubt there’s a correlation between SAT scores and success/failure in life. I sincerely hope not. But. I remember some kids who didn't do well on their SATs. Kids who did even worse than I did on the math section. Let’s just say the kids in my school who scored lower on their SATs weren’t exactly the shining examples of fine youths offering promise and hope for the future. I remember their scores because I hung out with some of them. I was a social pariah and they were underachievers. We were divided in our SAT scores but united in our outcasting. Nothing in common except we were all unpopular. One of them joined the Army, was sent on some special secret missions and then went a little “funny in the head,” moved back home with his parents and now works at a gas station. Another SAT “low” scorer was killed, gang execution style, in a drug deal gone very, very bad. I’m not saying SAT scores indicate a future as the town weirdo whose head was messed up by the government, or that a low SAT score leads to a life of crime and a grizzly, violent death at a young age. But it does pose an interesting random sampling of SAT scores and what the future held for those kids.

More interesting to me, though, is the random sampling of kids who did okay, or even above average on their SATs. My score was “good” and look at me. I’m hardly a shining example of success. Also on the plus side of the SAT average scores was one of my classmates who did exceptionally well on her SATs. Those scores paved the way to a very prestigious university. She earned her degree. And got married two weeks after graduation. And promptly got pregnant. And never used her education or degree to earn a living. Has yet to contribute her physics knowledge and education to society and the species human. I saw her mother at my dad’s funeral. My overachieving classmate who earned a seriously difficult physics degree just got her first job (ever) last month: Now that her kids are all in school she’s helping out at a clothing store two mornings a week. Hey, if she’s happy, great, that’s cool. But I don’t think that’s the sort of future the SAT people would have expected from her. Nor do I think they would hold up another of my classmates as an SAT success story. He also did exceptionally well on the SAT. His math score was phenomenal. He was charged in that huge credit card hacking heist a few years ago. The allegation is that he was the one of the big brains of the operation. Ummm, dude, you’re supposed to use your powers for good, not evil. Come to think of it, I don’t remember him taking our required civics class…

Further proof that my random and not exactly official or accurate methodology indicates that SATs don’t indicate anything in terms of success or failure.

So why am I all bothered about the consistently low national average SAT score? Good question. I, of all people, shouldn’t be bothered.

But I am bothered. Kids taking the SAT in the last few years have loads of advantages which weren’t available even 10 years ago. Cripes, even I could have done better in math if I’d had the online tutoring resources now available to kids. Sure, I had the Sesame Street advantage. And sure, I had new math and old math. (Which I yearn to blame for my particular math issue – one or the other people, one or the other. Old or new math. Choose one and stick with it.) But the internet? Come on. They should have to change the SAT so drastically that us pre-internet schooled kids’ heads would explode trying to figure out the math problems. But no. That’s not the case. And, yes, I know kids are kids, I know. Just because they have access to the internet doesn’t mean they’re going to use it to their academic advantage. I understand that. But. Still. When it comes time to study for the SAT let’s be honest, kids in the past 10 years have a huge advantage over those of us in the pre-internet study groups. The scores should at least be a little better, or trending up, even if very slowly.

But they’re not and that scares me. I know our species is evolving. I mean, I think we're evolving. There are advancements in science and health, humans are learning things and solving problems. But as a species, a collective group, well, not so much. In new math speak, there are sub-sets which are doing great, learning and evolving, but the group is apparently growing stagnant because there are more sub-sets which are not learning and evolving. Crap. Damn those slacker sub-sets bringing down the group. Evolution is so unfair.

I know, I know. I shouldn't run all crazy ranting about survival of the species simply because of some stats on SAT scores. By my own unscientific study SAT scores don't indicate much of anything other than helping the college admission process.

But why the decline and stagnation of SAT scores? I think kids care. More kids are taking the SAT so obviously they care. Obviously they have the inclination. But apparently falling short on ambition, motivation, study skills or innate aptitude.

Why do I care? Because I have a theory. My theory is that as a collective species we've hit our tipping point. Some very smart people will learn, explore, discover and change the world. We'll have the Steves of the world (Hawking, Wozniak, Jobs) and other-named people who will discover, challenge, change, innovate and evolve. I have no doubt that smart, clever and insightful people will be born and discover amazing things. That's not the problem.

The problem is the rest of us. The rest of us will adapt as best we can or get left behind. And my hunch is that fewer of the rest of us are adapting and that's bringing down the group. The SAT could be a sign of that. Some people are still doing great on the SAT. But as a group we are unable to do better or even maintain a higher average on the SAT. More people are unable or unwilling to adapt and are de-evolving. Good-bye top of the food chain, time to start crawling back to the swamp. And that's disappointing. I was clinging to optimism for our species. I really wanted to believe we are capable of turning this thing around and doing our species proud. But I'm seeing fewer signs of that.

I thought blogging would be a great tool for the otherwise unheard brilliant voices to be known. And there are some great blogs authored by great minds. But. There's a ton of crap in the blog-world. A ton of it. Oh sure, there always has been a ton of crap in the blog-world. But now along with the usual blogging crap there's the corporate backed kind of blogging crap - blogs which appear to be written by someone like you and me, but are actually written by a marketing collective. And then there are the political blogs. Ugh. You know what? I'm not going to go there. You're smart. You know what I'm talking about. The crafted blogs hoping to sway voters one way or the other, some subtle, some not-so-subtle. I'm sick of it. Sick of the pundits, sick of the endorsements, sick of the "My opinion is the only right opinion and if you disagree you're wrong" attitude on many political blogs. And the blogs held posted by "credible" news agencies. Double ugh. Where's the editorial integrity? It's just: Absent. Intead of putting out new or original ideas, thoughts, insight...the blogworld is just a big mess of words. Finding the pure, original, insightful, wise, clever or uniquely funny blogs is an arduous task.

Scarier, though, is looking at the top ranked blogs. People apparently like crap. A lot of people. Oh sure, the ranks and hit counts aren't accurate and anyone with a load of time on their hands can manipulate the hits on a blog page. BUT. Sustaining that is another thing entirely. And taking out the individual blogs and looking at themes, the top ranked blogs are "celebrity" blogs, fashion blogs, entertainment blogs, sex/porn blogs and oh, yeah, a health blog or two, particularly those about pregnancy and STDs usually make it into the top 20. Right now political blogs are garnering a lot of hits, and I guess that's good. It's certainly to be expected. But I do worry about misinformation parading as fact when it comes to selecting any politician. (That concern doesn't apply just to blogs - I worry about it in general and more to the point, I worry that more people don't worry about misinformation.) The great thing about blogs is that anyone can post one. The horrible thing about blogs is that anyone can post one.

Blogs are like SAT scores - a few people do really well. Others do really horribly. And everyone else is somewhere in the middle ground known as "average." And just as the SAT scores can be a barometer of evolution, so can blogs. Sure, there are more blogs every day, but that doesn't mean there are better blogs every day. And that's sad. Just like SAT scores, I would hope that more brains at work = a better collective average. But that doesn't appear to be the case. I'm sure I don't know some of the good ones. I'm sure I'm missing out on some great blogs. But I don't have the time or desire to wade through all the crap to find the good ones. I'm not alone in that mentality. Sure, there are indexes and referral sites and everyone's got a favorite blog or two and those are great places to find some good blogs. But. There's simply too much "out there" to find the good stuff, the important stuff, the stuff that matters.

If you're sitting there reading this, I have to question why. I mean, thanks and everything, but really, why are you reading this? Because we're friends? Okay, that's cool, and thanks (and Hi, how are you?). But the rest of you: Thanks, really, but, do our species a favor: Your blog time could be much better spent elsewhere. Find a blog that teaches you something useful. Find a blog that makes you think. Find a blog that challenges you to use your own, unique brain. Find blogs that help our species evolve in a positive way and stick with them. My theory is that if we all do this, eventually those SAT scores will improve.

7:06 PM

 
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