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May 28, 2007 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Bagging the Universe

From a list of 10,660 entries submitted in 1993 to the Big Bang Challenge, a contest organised by Sky & Telescope magazine to “rename the Big Bang.” The contest’s judges were unable to find a worthy replacement for ‘Big Bang’ among the entries. According to Carl Sagan, one of the judges, “There’s nothing [in the list] that even approaches the phrase Big Bang in felicity.”

A Celestial party
A Steven Spielberg-George Lucas production
Beautiful bounty
Bouquet of beginnings
Bursting star sack
Creation of a universal dream
Go God!
Hey, looky there at that
Hot hurl
Immense blossoming
Infinity forever
It’s a universe
Jiffy pop
Leisurely cosmic expansion
Let there be stuff
Okay, fine
Purse opened to reveal Universe
Sigh of eternity
Stupendous space spawning
Super historic change
The beginning of the becoming
The crescendo of a sound
The expanding Godhead
The outward pouring
The primal billowing
The whole enchilada
Well, I’ll be

Blaze of Glory

From the “disacknowledgments” section of a 1999 master’s thesis by Christopher Todd Brown, who was a graduate student of Materials Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The university refused to confer the master’s degree unless the section was removed, and Brown filed a lawsuit in response. U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that Brown did not have a First Amendment right to his “disacknowledgments” section, maintaining that “an academic thesis cosigned by a committee of professors is not a public forum, limited or otherwise”. Further details of his case may be found at

I would like to offer special disacknowledgments to the following degenerates for being an ever-present hindrance during my graduate career:

To the dean and staff of the Graduate Division, you fascists are the largest argument against higher education there has ever been. Any claims you make as an ally of, and resource for students are an utter sham. All dealings with you have ended in sheer frustration. I’d rather take a hot stick in the eye than deal with your bureaucratic nonsense. An especial disacknowledgment to David Fishman, whose officious, blind devotion to absurd rules provides a disservice to both education and the university.

To the entire management of the Davidson Library, Your strict adherence to self-serving draconian policy has made it a supreme displeasure to work in your vicinity.

Incomprehensible fines, unwillingness to help, and general poor attitude have made most library visits an ogre. I trust your incompetence will preside over the continued decline in library quality.

To Professor Fred Wudl, For failing to realise that your professorship and tenure don’t give you the privilege of disrespectful and cruel treatment of your students and employees. Further, it has surprised me that your arrogance and proclivity at being an ass can affect even those isolated from your presence. It is my supreme pleasure to never have associations with you again.

To former governor Pete Wilson, a supreme government jerk who has personally overseen the demise of the university.Your policies have 1) raised tuition and fees fourfold since my first association with the university, 2) dismantled and traded some of the most competent senior faculty, and 3) generally hurt as many people as possible.

For these, I wish you to never wield any governmental power again, as you have surely proved your ineptitude.

To the UC Regents,whose continued suppression of graduate students, your most loyal employees, serves as a paragon of corrupt management. May your continually biased and corrupt practices be fraught with controversies brought upon by the students whom you offer a fatuous disservice.

And to science, for being a hollow specter of what you should be. Your vapid conceits have rendered those in your pursuit lifeless, unfeeling zombies. If I can forever escape you, the better I will be.

Sexual Liberation

The following letters were written by employees of Playtime, a US adult toy store, to accompany 36 vibrators sent as gifts to Iraqi women last October. The project was funded by Playtime’s owner, staff, and customers, and undertaken “for humanitarian reasons.”

Dear Iraqi Woman,

From what I’ve seen on the news, you and your fellow women have been suppressed for some time, and now that you’ve been liberated it is our thinking that we should spread love and hope. There’s no better way to do that than with vibrators.

I’ve selected a glow-in-the-dark vibrator with variable speeds because it is not only a convenient size and shape but the glow feature may come in handy during those dark Iraqi nights. I’m also enclosing some Eros lube because it is one of the best lubes I have ever used and I think it will hold up well in the arid desert conditions. It’s our hope that through these vibrators we can in some small way bridge the gap between our two countries.

Howdy from N]!

Hello. I’d like you to know I personally selected the enclosed vibrator for you. We have never met and I don’t know anything about you, but I do know that the enclosed vibrator is very popular with women in the 21-35 age bracket and was featured in a TV show here in the US called Sex and the City. I hope that when you use this vibrator you realise that Americans do not hate you or your country. We are a kind and loving people who just want everyone to live freely and without oppression.

Dear Iraqi Woman,

As the bombs and molten death rain unmercifully upon your homeland, know that there are those of us, in various corners of the world, who sympathize with what you are going through. Although there is very little that I myself can accomplish to stop the invasion of your homeland, know that I am helping to send you various sexual toys and well-wishes in a show of solidarity. The Prophet (just like all religious figures) preaches patience, and I believe that your suffering will be short-lived. Soon your precious oil reserves will be plundered, and your country will no longer be important. A local despot will gain power, and the great cycle will continue. Enjoy your vibrator while you can.

When my fellow Americans leave your country, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to enjoy it much longer.

Greetings to my Iraqi sister,

I love getting gifts and surprises, and I hope you feel the same way. The items in this box were selected personally by me for you. The Sphincterine wipes will help you keep your anus and vagina minty fresh (I imagine things get a bit musky there in Iraq), and tasting great.The lube is one of the finest in the world and can really help enhance your pleasure.The vibrator I am enclosing is the same as the model I personally use. It is soft and bendable and features metal pleasure beads attached to the center shaft so the beads can continue to rotate regardless of how tight you clench! Trust me, it can be one wild ride!

Feelings here in the U.S. are mixed about Iraq right now, just as I am sure your feelings are mixed about America.

What I want you to know is that I am sending this gift to show that the sisterhood of woman is stronger than politics, stronger than religion, and stronger than any doctrine or rhetoric. It unites us all, and through this bond we can find peace. Enjoy this gift, my far away sister, and know that I love you.


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