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July 2004

karma top ten

I've had my Karma for a month now. Here's a list of my Top Ten songs ... not sure what it means to say Top Ten, but this is what it will play if I ask for "Top Ten Played Tracks," so I'd call that my Top Ten:

Queen Latifah, "Ladies First"
Donovan, "Riding in My Car (Car Song)"
Buffalo Springfield, "Kind Woman"
Marianne Faithfull, "The Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
En Vogue, "Don't Let Go (Love)"
The Tymes, "Wonderful! Wonderful!"
Bruce Springsteen, "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)"
OutKast, "Ms. Jackson"
Andrew Gold, "Lonely Boy"
Jefferson Airplane, "Embryonic Journey"
I currently have 2183 songs on my Karma, which adds up to more than 142 hours of music (to be precise, if I put it on shuffle play, I wouldn't hear a song repeated for 5 days, 22 hours, 15 minutes and 10 seconds). Titles range from A ("Abba Zaba" by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band) to Z ("Zurich Is Stained" by Pavement). Artists range from Aaliyah to ZZ Top. Genres range from Acapella to Zydeco. The most recent song I added to the Karma is "C30, C60, C90, Go!" by Bow Wow Wow. And the last time I listened to it, I played songs from 1980 (I have 31 songs from that year).

There's very little bad I can say about this thing. I ordered an extra kit with docking station, plugs, etc., and so it's very easy now to plug it into the various stereos in the house. Right now it plugs easily into the car stereo via a cassette adapter, but when we switch to the newer car in a few days, that will no longer work because that car only has a CD player.


community colleges

Interesting article about community colleges, which has a running theme of "look where the Ph.Ds are teaching now." It's a bit bogus ... while I'm sure more people with doctorates are teaching at the community college level (like me, for instance), I'm not sure it's usually a case of "here's where I want to teach" as much as "here's where the jobs are." There are people (again, like me) who for a variety of reasons are more interested in teaching than in doing research, and those folks are likely to be very happy at colleges which emphasize teaching. But it's not the best way to show the value of a community college education, to say "hey look, this guy wrote a book and he teaches at DVC!" Community colleges are good for students because teaching is appreciated in itself at those institutions. And teaching was appreciated at DVC long before some guy with a Ph.D wrote a book. I should know ... I was a student there in the 70s.

Anyway, one other thing I liked is that one of my former students showed up in the article, Melissa Dollman, who transferred to Cal from a junior college. The article doesn't mention it, but Melissa was recently accepted into grad school at UCLA, so all of us lucky enough to work with her in the past are very proud.


bowling for entertainment

Due to a series of circumstances that are best left unexplained for now, a handful of pieces I wrote for a nameless publication did not get published. My friends at Bad Subjects are going to run the articles, and have started with this review of a few documentary films, written pre-Fahrenheit. Here's the opening paragraph:

The Best Documentary Oscars the last two years have gone to films (Bowling for Columbine and The Fog of War) which are at the least critical of mainstream political thinking and at most, explicitly leftist in those critiques. In the current context of a news media too willing to serve as stenographers for the powerful, should it matter that filmmakers like Michael Moore are accused of a cavalier attitude towards "facts?" What should we demand from our documentary filmmakers?


pc world on karma

Best of 2004

It's not as pretty as Apple's much-adored IPod (which finished a hotly debated second in our polling), but what the Rio Karma lacks in sex appeal, it makes up for in clever, usable features. It supports numerous audio formats (including Ogg Vorbis and FLAC), ships with a slick docking station that includes ethernet capabilities, and offers the pleasantly addictive Rio DJ, an on-board feature that generates playlists based upon your own listening habits. Add to that a long-lasting rechargeable battery and a reasonable price, and you have what Peter Rojas--editor of Engadget.com--calls the best player currently available for the power user.


eric gagne: asswipe

Report: Gagne tried to send a message

Los Angeles Dodgers closer Eric Gagne all but admitted he was trying to send Michael Tucker a message Thursday, a day after Tucker made contact with pitcher Jeff Weaver on a play at first base, triggering a bench-clearing incident.

"What he did was not respectful to Jeff Weaver," Gagne told KMPC-AM in Los Angeles on Friday. "(Thursday's pitch) wasn't planned, but in the heat of the moment I just thought it was the right moment to throw one up and in.


nice to be remembered

Not sure why, but the student evaluations for the very last class I ever taught at Berkeley, Intro to Mass Communications last summer, arrived today. I guess I went out in a blaze of glory. There were evaluations from 55 students, rating me on a scale of 1 (bad) to 7 (good). My average rating was 6.11 ... I got 22 7's and 20 6's, and nothing lower than a 4 (3 votes). Here are some of the comments:

Professor Rubio is not only an expert in the field and at lecturing, he is charismatic, funny and a real treat.

Best class I've taken at Cal thus far. Too bad he's leaving.

I loved his teaching style & enjoyed the present day examples. As a professor, Rubio really knew how to relate to students!

This was by far the best class I have ever taken at Berkeley. Mr. Rubio was not only extremely knowledgeable about the material but very entertaining. I enjoyed coming to class. It is unfortunate that I won't be able to have him again.

Steven Rubio is an asset to the University.

I would have to say that I am really sorry to see Prof. Rubio go. I have been at Cal for a while and he is definitely at the top of my list.

Rubio's class was probably one of the best I've taken at Cal. It's a shame he's leaving, because he brings such a refreshing, accepting perspective to Mass Comm. His positive attitude is matched by his intelligence and understanding of the material. Re-hire him - for good!

Professor Rubio is by far the best professor I've had at Berkeley to date.... Professor Rubio's teaching style is simply amazing. He has the ability to keep the class completely enthralled ... He seems to disavow any notion of the "stodgy old professor!"

This is the best class I have taken here at Cal and I am sad to have it end.

AWESOME! STEVEN KICKS ASS