Posts tagged “decline of civilization”

Cursive == Dodo

“When handwritten essays were introduced on the SAT exams for the class of 2006, just 15 percent of the almost 1.5 million students wrote their answers in cursive. The rest? They printed. Block letters. … Scholars who study original documents say the demise of handwriting will diminish the power and accuracy of future historical research.”

Speed Stacks

Are you as surprised as me that this is not on ESPN right after the poker and billiards championships? Apparently there is a new “sport” sweeping the country by storm: Cup Stacking, in which teams attempt to stack — and unstack (maybe that’s the “sport” part?) — specially designed plastic cups. File under: Decline of


“Grammatical English is now the near-exclusive province of the middle-aged and elderly because it hasn’t been formally taught in most schools … for about thirty years. Knowledge of the mechanics of how words, clauses, and phrases are hooked up to form sentences and paragraphs has been withheld from most children for such a long time

GPS Revisited

So. Remember the story about the Connecticut man who got busted for speeding in his rental car by the GPS the rental company had installed? Apparently he sued Acme Rent-a-Car and they dropped the fees on the grounds that – although it was clearly stated in the contract – he hadn’t thoroughly read the contract


Not words: acrost, irregardless, nucular, supposably, nother, alot, alright Not verbs: interface, input, impact, itch

School Rules

A fifth-grade girl at Cincinnati’s Mount Airy School says at least 15 boys have been trading soda and cash for sex with at least five girls. [link via me-fi]

Sex with Dolphins

I am going to quote just one line from this article on how to have sex with dolphins and just let you read the rest: “If you are in the water, they may press their genitals up against yours, nibble your fingers, nuzzle your crotch, or do pelvic thrusts against you.”

What Is This? is the personal weblog of me, David Vincent Gagne. I've been publishing here since 1999, which makes this one of the oldest continuously-updated websites on the Internet.

A few years ago I was trying to determine what cocktails I could make with the alcohol I had at home. I searched the App Store but couldn't find an app that would let me do that, so I built one.


You can read dozens of essays and articles and find hundreds of links to other sites with stories and information about Ernest Hemingway in The Hemingway Collection.