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Archive for July, 2011

At the risk of this blog descending from sophisticated literary posts to the deluded rantings of a nut-job, I’ve noticed some other odd goings-on lately besides the uncanny similarities between Papa John’s and Pizza Pro.  Specifically I’m talking about gas prices in Beebe.  First let me explain to you how gas prices in Beebe worked for years and years.  The Citgo at the junction of Dewitt Henry and Center tends to have the lowest prices.  Just down the road are an Exxon and a Shell station, and their prices hover about 3-4 cents above the Citgo.  Nearly everyone else in town has comparable prices to Exxon and Shell, and all of them, without exception, are about 10 cents higher than any gas station in any surrounding town.

Until recently.

It started a couple of weeks ago.  The ratio of prices stayed roughly the same, Citgo was still a couple of cents cheaper than the others, but, suddenly, Beebe’s gas stations were lower than everywhere else.  Searcy was higher.  Jacksonville was higher.  Even Cabot was higher.  At first I assumed they just hadn’t gotten around to raising them yet, and we had a one-day (or maybe even one-hour) window to get cheaper gas at home.

But the next day it was the same.

And the next.

And the next.

Eventually the prices went up, but they were still comparable to everyone else, not way higher.  And now they’ve dropped again.  I drove through town last week and noticed that Exxon, normally one of the highest, was lower than everyone else by about 8 cents.  I figured everyone else would immediately follow suit.  They did, but not as quickly as I expected.  Then tonight, we went to fill up at the Shell station (because it was the same price as Citgo), and noticed that Exxon was 18 cents higher!

What is going on?

It’s long been speculated, that all of the gas station owners in Beebe come together regularly to determine where to set their prices.  As far as I can tell, they wanted them just high enough that they made a lot of profit, but not so high that people were willing to drive out of town for gas.  Now I don’t know what’s going on.  It’s kind of like when the mafia Don who was able to unite all of the families dies, and then everyone left starts all out war to stake their claims.  I used to think I could predict the relative gas prices in Beebe, but not anymore.  I just left a gas station and I wouldn’t be confident telling you what the current prices are.

But as long as they’re cheaper than everyone else, who cares?

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I don’t know what it is about Tuesdays, but that’s when I tend to fall back on Wikipedia for content.  I blame a currently unknown outside cause.  The problem can’t possible lie with me.  The subject of this week’s random Wikipedia article is:

Yggdrasil.

Sorry to disappoint the Norse mythology fanatics out there, but this article is about an album by some Japanese rock band called Bump of Chicken, not the world tree.

I recommend you look up the article about the mythological Yggdrasil.  It’s much cooler.

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I’ve done the research.  I’ve tried Wikipedia.  I’ve tried Google.  I don’t know where else to turn except to you.  So let me lay it out there, and you tell me what to think.

Why are Pizza Papa John’s and Pizza Pro so similar?

Think about it.  There has to be something connecting these two restaurants.  I’m willing to concede the similarities in their logos as mere coincidence.  Both of them are red, white, and green (red letters on a green and white background no less), but the Italian flag is red, white, and green, so I’m okay with that shared inspiration.  But the look of the pizza?  The taste of the crust and sauce?  The flavor of toppings?  A pepper and garlic sauce in every box?  At some point this has to move beyond coincidence and into the realm of relationship.

I’m positive if I sat down to a blind taste test, I could distinguish a slice of Pizza Pro pizza from Pizza Hut or Mazzio’s or, heaven forbid I should put it in my mouth, Little Caesar’s.  But I really don’t think I could tell the Papa John’s and Pizza Pro apart.

I smell conspiracy!

On a side note, I did find out that Pizza Pro was started in Jacksonville, Arkansas.  Who knew!

Well, okay, I guess a lot of people knew, but I didn’t.

 

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If you’re wondering about the lack of substantive posts this week, you can blame my job.  What’s that you say?  Don’t teachers spend summer days at their beach houses and yacht clubs, and the nights attending pretentious galas and hobnobbing with royalty?  I hate to break this to all of the education majors out there, but a teacher’s summer is not all champagne and caviar.  It also means professional development.

Last week I was in Hot Springs for a five day AP Chemistry Summer Institute, and this week it was off to Greenbrier High School for four days of pre-AP training.  Greenbrier is a longer drive than I thought it would be, especially coming home in the afternoon.  Don’t get me wrong, they were good workshops and I’ve got a lot of new ideas to test on my guinea-  I mean students.  But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t glad to be done for a while.  For the record, I now have all my required sixty hours including the six technology hours and two hours of parental involvement, with more still to come.  I’m going to end up with well over a hundred hours by the end of the school year.

If I’m not a professional by May, no amount of development is going to help.

 

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I just caught the first teaser for next years Spider-man reboot, The Amazing Spider-man.   Here it is in case you haven’t seen it.

My first thought was, oh great, another origin story.  I guess it is a reboot, so they have to start there, but it just feels like that whole story has already been done, and done well, not that long ago.  Sure Raimi’s Spider-man has its flaws, but the origin part is really well done.  I’m sure they’ll do something to distinguish this from the earlier movies besides change actors and directors, but I didn’t find this teaser all that thrilling.

Unless they make the entire movie the first-person/video game viewpoint they ended with!  It will feel like I’m Spider-man!

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It’s been a while.  I know everyone’s been anxiously awaiting the next installment, so I won’t keep you one the edge of your seat any longer.  The subject of this week’s random Wikipedia article is:

DYRF-AM.

An AM radio station in the Philippines.  I know what you’re thinking right now.

Totally worth the wait!

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In case you don’t keep up with the latest in education, the state of California has adopted a law requiring their classrooms to include gay history.  Isn’t studying history all about discovering which of your earlier teachers lied to you?  Now we find out there’s a whole minority whose contributions have been forgotten.  Kind of reminds you of someone else, doesn’t it?  That’s right – the Irish, and so we gave them St. Patrick’s Day.  In honor of this legislation,  I thought we might look at a few highlights from their new curriculum.   These are the things your homophobic history teacher “forgot” to tell you.

  • Napolean lost Waterloo when he flew into a blinding rage after being told the Duke of Wellington had said he “looked kind of gay in that hat.”
  • The Trojan War wasn’t fought over Helen…
  • The long-feared Ramon Gaston’s tenure as a Spanish Inquisitor ended in scandal when he was caught in a Vatican bathroom with a male prostitute and eight ounces of cocaine.
  • The son of King Edward I of England was gay.1
  • Five years of will they/won’t they sexual tension finally broke when Grant and Lee fell into each others arms at Appomattox Court House, ending the Civil War.
  • Lord Renly Baratheon was apparently in love with Loras Tyrell, otherwise known as the Knight of Flow – oh, my mistake, that’s HBO’s Game of Thrones.
  • The Founding Fathers actually wanted to include a provision on homosexual marriage in the Bill of Rights but couldn’t agree on the language beyond “We’re not gay, but…”

1. Wallace, R. (Writer). (1995). Braveheart [DVD].

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