Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hot/Cold Enough For You?

Episode 8 of Nostrum Series 3 is now available in audio and pdf versions. So is War and Peace, but why would you want to read that piece of junk when Nostrum is just sitting there, ripe for the taking?

We almost didn't make it this week. The Nostrumite is in a state of permanent depression over the whole global warming thing. "It's not that I don't believe in it," he says. "I'm not an idiot, and I understand how science works and that wishing and hoping and not believing in reality does not, in any way, affect reality—" and then he digresses into a whole long evaluation of epistemology which we need not concern ourselves with at the moment— "but I would like it to either be too bloody cold or too bloody warm. Two weekends ago three of my ears fell off from frostbite from marching across Harvard Square for exactly one minute, and this weekend I was lollygagging about in my Speedo and wifebeater." Now, I know for a fact that the Mite owns neither Speedo nor wifebeater, but he is nothing if not prone to hyperbole. "These weather changes just provide fuel to the deniers. And they don't need fuel because—" and then he goes on to talk about the quality of education in backwater America, which for him includes everything but a couple of schools on the east coast, this really weird work farm for adolescent geniuses somewhere, I think, in Nevada, and the Convent of the Wholly Unwarranted Assumption in Boise.

There's no talking to him when he gets into this sort of a mood.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Notes from the high-fidelity first class traveling set

Episode 7 of Series 3 is now available in a fairly well-typed pdf and an execrably spoken mp3. This time out we examine the finances of circuit debate, and introduce the lovable character Winnable Rugrot, owner of the Brotherly Love School for Highly Intelligent Teenagers.

We almost didn't make it this week. The Nostrumite is in a state of permanent depression over the ridiculous expenditures of this last weekend, with circuit debate tournaments spread all over the country. "I don't mind people going to tournaments," he says, "but when schools send seemingly infinite numbers of adolescents across the country at great expense seeking TOC bids, well, if that's not a violation of the Mann Act—transporting minors across state lines for immoral purposes—I don't know what is." There's no talking to him when he gets into this sort of mood. It's probably a result of working on the latest episode, where we explain how the average circuit debater spends twice as much on a debate addiction than Utah spends per student on all that student's education. "Utah might be a bunch of cheapskates, but the real problem is that all the money spent on going to fancy universities to compete could have been spent locally on, I don't know, classes for everyone else? If forensics is so damned good for people, why don't we aim our sights on more people having it rather than fewer people doing it further away?"

See what I mean? Where's the logic in any of that?


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

We can see New Hampshire from our window

Well no, not really. Otherwise we never would have gotten around to finishing episode 6 (audio / pdf). I mean, seriously now. Real live human people thinking that Trump is so presidential that they actually cast a ballot for him? You really think that this man should be President of the United States of America? Oy.

Of course, while the Nostrumite is in a state of permanent depression, it's not over American politics. "This is the land of Harding and Nixon and George W. Bush," he explains. "How high are our expectations supposed to be?" No, it's the Superbowl that's been bothering him. "If that wasn't the most boring game of football since my high school lost 62-0 to Les Mis Prep back in 1992, then I'll eat my helmet." Not that the lad actually tossed the old pigskin around himself back in the day—an athlete he isn't—and for that matter, he's not much of a fan, either, but like most people, he succumbs to the hype. "The two allegedly best football teams, the year's allegedly best commercials (if that isn't an oxymoron), no limit on the chips and dips and lagers—that's the high life in the land of Harding and Nixon and George W. Bush." He fell asleep somewhere in the middle of the third quarter. "And to top it off, I didn't even come close to winning the teachers' pool at TWHS." I think that was the real problem. It's bad enough watching defensive play after defensive play while everyone slips around on the field like it's an ice skating rink and all that time you're wondering if Cam Newton is as tall as he looks, but losing five bucks on top of it? Oh, the horror.

Anyhow, it's unlikely that you'll hear anything from us on the wild world of sports again until next year's Superbowl. If then. Maybe the Mite will swear off sports completely. Stranger things have happened.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Trump is a winner with us, at least

The latest episode of the COC Edition of Nostrum is now available. Audio. Pdf. Ignore it at your peril!

We almost didn't make it this week. The Nostrumite is in a state of permanent depression over Trump's showing in Idaho Illinois Freemont whatever the hell flyover state the voters flipped him the bird in. "The Donald is not the sort of person who takes second place lightly," the lad laments. "He's never lost anything before." He pauses. "Except, of course, the times that he did." I won't say that the Mite is a dyed-in-the-wool Trump supporter, since in fact the Nostrumite is best described as a crypto-communist, but he does have some sympathy for the boy from our home state. "This probably also means the end of Bloomberg," he continues. "Unless Bernie and The D make a big comeback in New Hampshire," which, he adds, would also be a flyover state if were located anywhere people might be forced to fly over it. "It's all the people who left Massachusetts for being a socialist commonwealth," he says. "New Hampshire is welcome to them." To which he does not add that this thus leaves the commonwealth safe for crypto-communism.

I don't know whether I'm happy or sad that we decided to start publishing again during an election year. Whatever. I think I'll go back now to my automatic Sarah Palin Speech Generator. I could use a few comforting words.