in a perfect world of yancies: Speed, Song, and a Writing Sample

24 April 2006

Speed, Song, and a Writing Sample

Saturday was the big day at the Kansas Relays, an annual event (in its 79th year, I believe) that brings all sorts of track and field athletes to Lawrence, at the high school, college, and even Olympic level: we watched (from the hill above the stadium, where it's free) former Olympian (and Kansas City native) Maurice Green anchor a 4 x 100-meter relay against Olympic 100-meter champion Justin Gatlin. Gatlin's team won, in a Kansas Relays record 38.16 seconds--that's a quarter of a mile in 38 seconds; damn.

Mimi outside the stadium--lots of sun; we both ended up a little pink, but it was a beautiful day.

We also watched some pole-vaulting. This is just about the best shot I could get from outside the stadium; I can't recall the man's name, and I think he ended up kicking the bar, but an impressive feat nonetheless--the bar's at almost 18 and a half feet.

This next item is mainly for Merrica: we went to the Lawrence Earth Day festival on Saturday, and found out about many things, including local car-pool arrangements, the Kansas Green party (who also gave us tomato seeds), and the local anarchist library. We also got to watch some kids roll a giant ball that looked like the earth around (pictured); not exactly sure what the lesson there is, but whatever.

Anyway, while we were there, a Beatles cover band was playing; I know how my sister, Merrica, likes Beatles cover bands, so I recorded a bit of their performance of "Revolution 1." Oh, the band's name, if you're wondering, is Vera, Chuck, and Dave. How cute. Here's the video:

For more on the song, see the Wikipedia entry here--an interesting quote about the other version, "Revolution": "'Revolution' was the first Beatles recording, and indeed one of the first rock music recordings by any artist, to be licensed for use in a television commercial." Huh.

Finally, I saw this ad in the Economist the other day, and just couldn't resist:
The Economist's office in Washington, DC, seeks a writer-intern to help with coverage in the four months up to this November's elections. Experience unimportant, pay negligible. Please send a CV and a sample article to
I mean, who couldn't like such a cute paper? So anyway, I sent a sample article--after all, negligible pay matches the best teaching offer I've gotten so far, so what the hell?
If you're interested in my sample article, the following link will take you there: read.
If nothing else, it was a fun Sunday-afternoon distraction.


  1. Despite your writerly qualifications, I'm not sure you'd pass the Economist's ideological litmus tests--after all, they do insert opinion into almost every article.

    But its still a great magazine, and I hope you get the job.

    Thanks to Michael Jackson for selling a great song to Nike and ruining it forever.

  2. Are you suggesting, Deron, that my pro-Busby slant (which I assume the Economist would share) was too subtle? Well I never.

    Don't hope too hard about the job: if I get it, you'll probably be stuck with me, and possibly Emily, on your couch for four months. . . .

  3. Your article was good, but you'd better hope they don't see your blogs.

    The couch is comfy but doesn't fold out.

  4. I've often wondered to myself, which is worse? Using a Beatles song in a commercial, or using a cover of a Beatles song (i.e. the Philips commercials, "Getting better all the time..."). I mean, I guess the obvious answer is BACK AWAY FROM THE BEATLES SONGS! But seeing as that doesn't seem to be an option, I can't decide which is worse. I mean, IF you're going to use the Beatles, then at least use the Beatles!!! but then, no, don't!!!

    These are the thoughts that haunt me!

    That's great, by the way, about Earth Day. Maybe rolling the ball is supposed to get them acquainted with all the continents ??? hehehe

  5. Hi, Merrica. I'd prefer they use Beatles covers, because then you can still listen to the original song without the taint of the commercial ruining it.

    I like how, in the Phillips commercial you mention, they use the "Getting better all the time" line but conveniently cut out the line, "It can't get no worse."

  6. hello, nice to meet you. im a japanese student who goes to university. the pictures seem to be enjoyable. in japan, we have some annual events. there are so exciting.

  7. Thanks for the comment, fumiya; my sister lives in Japan, actually (in Akita-ken)--she really loves it. If I ever find a job, Emily & I would love to visit.

    Speaking of jobs: I received a very friendly email from the Economist the other day, informing me that they'd gone with another candidate for the internship. For now, at least, I'll have to be satisfied with reading that fine paper.