April 13, 2012 • Quirk Poetry
April is National Poetry Month, and some of you are probably already celebrating by quoting Emily Dickenson or John Keats. No? Just me then.
For everyone who thinks poetry has to be about high-minded intellectual pursuits or daffodils in spring, we are going to feature a more relaxed form of prose. For the next three weeks, we’re going to share a poem from Broetry by Brian McGackin, who tackles important, real-world topics like beer, frozen pizza, and Bruce Willis.
It was difficult to select just a few poems to share, but it seemed logical to start with one that featured the formation of the universe. This poem contains all those very important poetry themes: the indifference of God, the history of the printed word, and the Police Academy sequels. Enjoy, and happy National Broetry Month.
April 12, 2012 • Fiction
Samuel Beckett was born on April 13, 1906 outside of Dublin. Sam Beckett was born August 8, 1953 in Indiana, eight months after the world premiere of Samuel Beckett’s acclaimed stage play Waiting for Godot in Paris, France. Samuel Beckett died on December 22, 1989 -- just 9 months after Sam Beckett made his first appearance in the series premiere episode of the NBC time travel drama Quantum Leap.
Coincidence? Well, okay. Maybe. But still. Bear with me here.
April 11, 2012 • Handbooks
Photo via Office Fridges, not actually our fridge
In honor of Workplace Conflict Awareness Month, we're posting excerpts from Caroline Tiger's How To Behave: A Guide to Modern Manners. In How To Behave, Caroline dedicates an entire chapter to office etiquette. It's my hope that these bits of wisdom, posted every Wednesday this month, will help you to alleviate the conflict in your workplace.
Last week, we featured Photocopier Etiquette, and hopefully it helped you avoid an Office Space-esque mental breakdown. Today, we're featuring something near and dear to everyone at Quirk... dealing with the overripe communal refrigerator. A point of serious tension in any office (especially ours!), the communal fridge can be a nightmare if it isn't taken care of.
Tiger's suggestion? Be the office hero and clean it for everyone. That'll eliminate any tension and resolve the conflict before it even happens.
April 10, 2012 • Fiction
The Sunnydale High Library in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
It’s National Library Week, and even fictional characters need a place to check out books from time to time. Though it’s not always the case, fictional libraries tend to be magical; after all, they’re created by writers, and writers know the power of the written word. If they’re going to invent a repository for knowledge, then at the very least, it should be an interesting one.
Of course, in the manner of mice, cookies, and milk, when a writer creates an unusual library, he or she is going to invent an unusual librarian to go along with it. Here are a few memorable made-up archives and their equally memorable keepers:
Matilda & Mrs. Phelps in Matilda: The Musical
The Local Public Library & Mrs. Phelps (Matilda): Roald Dahl’s classic opens by introducing the protagonist, Matilda, as a Reader, which perhaps makes Mrs. Phelps the most important librarian of them all – in taking a four-year-old’s request for a ‘grown-up’ book at the local library seriously, she sets the rest of the story into motion. Mrs. Phelps is the first adult in young Matilda’s life to encourage her to learn, and the first to feed her hunger for knowledge.
The magic here is in the moment when Mrs. Phelps presents Matilda with a library card and tells her she can start taking books home.
The Great Library & Cheshire Cat (Thursday Next): In the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, characters can travel in and out of books, interacting with public domain heroes and villains – as long as an intrepid explorer has already found a way in. In Lost in a Good Book Thursday enters the Great Library for the first time, which contains every book ever written, every book that ever will be written, “and a few others beside.”
The Library is the starting point for all Prose Resource Operatives, or members of Jurisfiction, and is overseen by the ‘quite mad’ Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland (technically, the Unitary Authority of Warrington Cat due to adjusted county boundaries). He can give you the publication date, ranking, and up-to-the second reading figures for every book in the library – as long as you have tuna-flavored Moggalicious to trade.
April 9, 2012 • Parenting: Dad
Dr. Anthony DeBenedet, author of The Art of Roughhousing, gave another TEDx talk (his last one was in September 2011) at Eastern Michigan University. This time around, he talks about the benefits of being playful.
Reclaiming play as a priority in our lives can transform and perhaps even heal us in powerful and unexpected ways. Unfortunately, from the moment we leave childhood, our inner sense of play is attacked. Whether it's in our workplaces, schools, or homes, play is thwarted by a pervasive culture of seriousness and productivity.
But what if play is just as important as genetics or personal choices when it comes to health, quality of life, and longevity? Would we set different priorities? Through science and personal anecdotes, we will explore the play-health connection. And hopefully, in the process, reawaken the playful child that lives within all of us.
Give it a watch. Nice job, Anthony!
April 5, 2012 • Handbooks
PC Load Letter?!
In honor of this clearly legit declared month, we're posting excerpts from Caroline Tiger's How To Behave: A Guide to Modern Manners. In How To Behave, Caroline dedicates an entire chapter to office etiquette. It's my hope that these bits of wisdom, posted every Wednesday this month, will help you to alleviate the conflict in your workplace.