Tuesday, December 06, 2005

there but for the grace of God goes your brain

Exam season has begun, wherein I get up early each day to figure out new and innovative ways to procrastinate. My possibly-illegal cable just inexplicably shuffled all the channels and lost clear reception of TBS, so I'm going to have to get creative here. As badly as this might affect my academic performance, I'm still doing better than some other people. For instance, I have a friend at another university who is TA-ing a course about women in the Christian tradition, and today she received this e-mail:

If you're a politics student like I am, you can almost pretend that reading about politics on the Internet is studying. If not, you can just say that becoming a more informed citizen is a productive use of your time. Either way you're clear to go take the Vote By Issue Quiz (link from Meredith), which presents you with the anonymous stances of the Liberals, NDP, Conservatives, and BQ on twelve issues, and then tells you who you agreed with and disagreed most with at the end. (You can take the quiz without including the BQ positions if you're only interested in, say, looking at things you can actually vote for.)

My results:
You agreed with:
Paul Martin on 7 issues
Stephen Harper on 3 issues
Jack Layton on 11 issues
You disagreed with:
Paul Martin on 5 issues
Stephen Harper on 9 issues
Jack Layton on 1 issue
Oh, I'm sorry, is my social democrat showing?

Another fun way to not really do anything is to use Pandora (link via Brian), which is a web program that analyzes the musical qualities of an artist or song you enjoy and then generates an Internet radio playlist of songs and artists with the same musical qualities. I can't quite enjoy this because my soundcard has been broken for months, but the recommendations it gave me that I recognized sounded pretty right-on. The program will get smarter when you give it feedback, and is also very polite when it is slow or malfunctioning (Bill Gates, are you paying attention?). But isn't it kind of depressing if a computer program can figure out your musical taste for you? WONDER-KILLER.