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“I Am On A Drug”: Charlie Sheen Mad Libs

February 28, 2011

I made a meme! Click here and try!

Bullish: In Praise of Anger (and How to Use It)

February 25, 2011

New on TheGloss: How to Be a Productivity Unicorn

February 18, 2011

Oh, the glamor! I just can’t handle the glamor!

February 14, 2011

This is me on the stage after performing What Philosophy Majors Do After College at Sachem Public Library. I’m holding the poster that had been taped to the book drop.

Today: What Philosophy Majors Do After College at Sachem Public Library

February 10, 2011

Tonight at 7pm I’ll be doing my signature show, What Philosophy Majors Do After College, at the Sachem Public Library in Long Island, as part of the “Friday Night Cabaret” series.

For those not in or around Ronkonkoma, I will also be doing this show in the Women in Comedy Festival in Boston on March 10th!

“Dziura’s topic is relatable to most floundering twenty-somethings, especially those of us who decided not to be brokers. Her show has substance, heart, and rapid-fire laughs. It’s a gripping college lecture without a windbag professor.” – Abbi Crutchfield on The Apiary


photo by Abbi Crutchfield

New on TheGloss: F*ck Corporate Personality Tests and Take Control of Your Personality

February 10, 2011

Words Mean Things: “Exceptional” Children Edition

February 10, 2011

Applied behavior analyis is a branch of psychology related to controlling and predicting behavior. Such an interesting topic, and applicable to so many fields! Although ABA is best known for its use in treating children with autism, it is also possible to get a masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis for business.

So, what do you think this book would be about?

Now, a little background — I spent while looking around Amazon for books on this topic, and discovered that the minus-sign operator does work (that is, searching for “applied behavior analysis -autism” brings up applied behavior analysis results that don’t mention autism, just as you might want to search for, say, “da vinci -code”). I finally found this book, which is out of print, has no reviews, and was available used for under $10. So I took a chance. I mean, I had my suspicions. But really. I thought, surely … you couldn’t mean …. surely there would be something on the cover….

Yep, it’s about mentally disabled people. You know: exceptional students. Obviously.

Words mean things, people. Sure, look up exceptional in the dictionary. The first definition is just about being an exception in any way; the second is about being awesome. Then, this:

Education . (of a child)
a. being intellectually gifted.
b. being physically or especially mentally handicapped to an extent that special schooling is required.

Great, guys. Somebody ruined a word! Now it doesn’t mean anything the fuck at all.

I think most people would agree that, in modern English usage, exceptionally can certainly be used before a word that is either good or bad (exceptionally beautiful, exceptionally horrific), but when exceptional appears alone, it means awesome. I mean, if there’s a kitchen with brains and eyeball goo all over the counter, no one says This is a really exceptional murder scene unless he is a psychopath.

Surely, the word retarded is outdated and offensive. If a new word or phrase is required, by all means, coin one! Cognitively disabled is general, factual, and more accurate in describing most people’s issues than is the r-word (which implies a slow rate of development). But if that doesn’t work, really, come up with anything you want. I’ll say differently mentally abled if you want me to, despite the fact that the -ly -ly hardly trips off the tongue. BUT DO NOT USE AN EXISTING WORD TO MEAN THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT EVERYONE THINKS IT MEANS.

At least if you coin a word, people who see it will know what they do not know! This is a crucial step in acquiring knowledge: knowing that a knowledge gap exists so that steps may be taken to fill that gap.

Please let us make this principle numero uno of new coinages: “new.”

If I saw Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis with Gfjskldldetr Students, it would be very clear to me that I have no idea what this book is about, which is fine, because I know how to look things up on the Internet. But if you call something The Compendium of Belgian Beers for Former Philosophy Majors, and it turns out that by former philosophy majors you mean men with testicular cancer, I will cut you.

I also understand that anyone who knows anything about the formal study of education would have gotten the lingo. But this book is on Amazon and popping up in people’s search results. I bought a book that I thought was about teaching gifted people, and it is not. I want my $9.81 back, and not from the used book seller: I want it back from whoever coined this shit in the first place.

Bullish: What to do about being (temporarily) pretty

February 4, 2011

What You Can Do presents: “Support an Animal Shelter”

February 4, 2011

I recorded this last year. Sadly, I did not get to meet the adorable puppies who also appear.