Tag Archives | Shakespeare

Treason and Tyranny: Defense Attorney David Coombs Rallies Public Support at All Souls Unitarian Church

David Coombs, Army Reservist, America Hater Photo: Tyler Bass, Washington Correspondent, The Internet Chronicle

On December 3rd,, 2012, David Coombs–Bradley Manning’s Attorney and an Army Reservist–spoke to a congregation near Mt. Pleasant, District of Columbia. He spoke for almost 90 minutes, part of which included a question period in which he answered questions from the press fed to him by members of the Bradley Manning Support Network, a group that has collected legal fees for the private suspected of leaking thousands of pages of data documenting war crimes, innocuous activity, the overclassification of information. Some call the Army Private a traitor; others, including Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg, have called him a whistleblower.

“He told me that his dream would be to go to college to get a degree. And as a young man at that time he was 23. That makes sense. We all know that college degrees are pretty much the ticket to a productive future.” The Unitarian Church is notable for being one of the most educated denominations in the country, and certainly this line resonated well with attendees.… Read the rest

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The Neverending Will Shakespeare Conspiracy Theory

File:ShakespeareRandy Dotinga writes for the Christian Science Monitor that despite theories like those in the new movie Anonymous that William Shakespeare was someone else entirely, drama professor Scott McCrea says conspiracy theories surrounding the playwright are all false:

This weekend, thousands of moviegoers will get their first glimpse of the theory that the playwright and poet named William Shakespeare wasn’t a balding guy named William Shakespeare. “Anonymous,” starring Vanessa Redgrave, suggests a grand conspiracy obscured the true identity of the Bard of Avon. (Well, make that the Bard of Not-Avon.)

The Will-wasn’t-Will idea isn’t ancient, but it’s not entirely new either. Ever since the 19th century, skeptics have been questioning whether an upper-middle class man with a rather ordinary background could have become one of the most influential humans of all time.

Recent books have debunked the doubters, including 2010′s “Contested Will,” by Shakespearean scholar James Shapiro (you can read my review here) and 2005′s “The Case for Shakespeare: The End of the Authorship Question,” by Scott McCrea, a drama professor at Purchase College, State University of New York.

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(Virtual) Monkeys at Typewriters Reproduced Shakespeare

Monkeys At TypewritersThis is a thousand monkeys working at a thousand typewriters. Soon, they'll have written the greatest novel known to mankind. [Reading one of the typewriters] "It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times"?! You stupid monkey! [Monkey screeches] Oh, shut up. —Montgomery Burns This Simpsons episode inspired programmer Jesse Anderson to see if it could actually work. As he explains:
Instead of having real monkeys typing on keyboards, I have virtual, computerized monkeys that output random gibberish. This is supposed to mimic a monkey randomly mashing the keys on a keyboard. The computer program I wrote compares that monkey’s gibberish to every work of Shakespeare to see if it actually matches a small portion of what Shakespeare wrote. If it does match, the portion of gibberish that matched Shakespeare is marked with green in the images below to show it was found by a monkey. The table below shows the exact number of characters and percentage the monkeys have found in Shakespeare. The parts of Shakespeare that have not been found are colored white. This process is repeated over and over until the monkeys have created every work of Shakespeare through random gibberish.
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