May 23, 2006

Modern Governance

Filed under: web — ted @ 3:01 pm

A slew of small things today:

Officials in Kenya are claiming the markings on a tuna fish caught by locals read You are the best provider in Arabic. The fish was apparently stolen from a fishery where it was being stored–but it has just been recovered.

Here's a close-up of what it looks like:

A Creative Writing graduate student at the University of Florida who publishes fiction on his livejournal was recently bothered by the University's police, who wanted to collect fingerprints and a DNA sample. Apparently, the police were alarmed by the violent descriptive content of one of his stories. From the full report on Boing Boing:

The police have repeatedly visited the student and demanded that he submit his fingerprints and DNA to them so that they can compare the fictional murder he described in his story to evidence from any similar unsolved murders.

Obviously, this is ridiculous.

Even more ridulous: Tommy Hilfiger vs. Axel Rose. A brawl, with punches, at Rosario Dawson's birthday party, in front of a crowd of other famous people, because Axel moved Tommy's girlfriend's drink. Goodness.

I totally love this piece from lawroberts's flickr. It's called "Modern Goverance"

In the circles where I grew up, there were a number of well-worn jokes about Pensacola Christian College, where boys and girls walked on separate, color-coded, sidewalks and people were called into the Dean's office for having "sex with their eyes." From what I've just read in The Chronicle of Higher Education, these stories are more or less true:

Of Pensacola's many rules, those dealing with male-female relationships are the most talked about. There are restrictions on when and where men and women may speak to each other. Some elevators and stairwells may be used only by women; others may be used only by men. Socializing on particular benches is forbidden. If a man and a woman are walking to class, they may chat; if they stop en route, though, they may be in trouble. Generally men and women caught interacting in any "unchaperoned area" — which is most of the campus — could be subject to severe penalties.

Those rules extend beyond the campus. A man and a woman cannot go to an off-campus restaurant together without a chaperon (usually a faculty member). Even running into members of the opposite sex off campus can lead to punishment. One student told of how a group of men and a group of women from the college happened to meet at a McDonald's last spring. Both groups were returning from the beach (they had gone to separate beaches; men and women are not allowed to be at the beach together). The administration found out, and all 15 students were expelled.

Even couples who are not talking or touching can be reprimanded. Sabrina Poirier, a student at Pensacola who withdrew in 1997, was disciplined for what is known on the campus as "optical intercourse" — staring too intently into the eyes of a member of the opposite sex. This is also referred to as "making eye babies." While the rule does not appear in written form, most students interviewed for this article were familiar with the concept.

As she tells it, Ms. Poirier was not gazing lovingly at her boyfriend; he had something in his eye. But officials didn't buy her explanation, and she and her boyfriend were both "socialed," she says. 

The whole article is super intense. Read it.

Lastly, check out this superfun, one-of-a-kind, web performance (link will open in a new window, since it works better that way):



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