Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Replacing Front Lowbeam Driver side Headlight bulb on VW Golf IMPOSSIBLE

I found it difficult enough to replace the headlight bulbs on my Mazda 5, but this was simply ridiculous. Don't bother trying. You will certainly get the blown bulb out (with a bit of fiddling), but you will never get the new one back in. The problem lies in the bulb holder. Once you unlock the thing by turning it counterclockwise, you then have to really wiggle and pull it quite energetically to get it out. It finally pops out after a lot of resistance. To get it back in, you have to align the bulb holder with its space in the housing PRECISELY, then push it back in so that the three tabs on the bulb holder pass through the three corresponding slots in the housing PERFECTLY. You're doing this completely blind, from above, with no more than about 1.5 inches of space to manoeuver in. I promise you, this is IMPOSSIBLE. I'm no slouch in matters like this, and I wasted the better part of two hours wrestling with this before giving up and going to the dealer. Don't waste your time. Just go to the dealer. Very disappointed. VW shouldn't make it so difficult to change a lightbulb.

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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Bypass Microsoft Internet Registration with new Computer

 I detest the way Microsoft requires you to use an online identity when you are starting up a Windows 10 computer for the very first time.

This means that Microsoft will be following you, very intimately, for the rest of that computer's life.

It should be illegal, but since big tech have bought congress, it isn't, apparently.

However, you CAN bypass the requirement:

You will almost immediately get to a window that reads "Let's Connect You to a Network". It tells you "You'll need an Internet connection to continue setting up your device" (etc.)"

YOU DO NOT NEED AN INTERNET CONNECTION. This is a lie. It's a scam by Microsoft to make you register yourself online, using a microsoft identity and making your machine, and you, doubly trackable.

Simply press Alt +F4. The machine will proceed without internet. You will have to set up a local identity to get into this computer. Don't forget the identity, your password, or the three security questions.

Disable everything else that is offered to you while you set up the computer. It's just tracking software.

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Monday, January 03, 2022

WPUNJ English Department Newsletter 2021


English Department Newsletter, 2021:


WPUNJ English Department Newsletter 2019


Department Newsletter, 2019:


WPUNJ English Department Newsletter 2018


 Department Newsletter, 2018:



Thursday, October 24, 2019

Brexit in a British, Irish, European and Global Context

I also gave a version of this lecture at Bloomfield Public Library (NJ) in Spring 2019.

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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Medieval Studies and Bogus Identity Politics

Re: " Symbols of Past Used by Right Upset Scholars"/"Medieval Scholars Joust With White Nationalists. And One Another" ( New York Times, May 5th, 2019).

The very term medieval (Latin for "middle-aged") is a construct, referring to Europe between the collapse of the Roman Empire around AD450 and the "Renaissance" one thousand years later. This thousand-year period is Eurocentric by definition, and that cannot be altered. No similar collapse occurred elsewhere, nor did any similar Renaissance. The Europe of this period was overwhelmingly white, Christian, and patriarchal, and any attempt to redefine that is simply an attempt to remake the medieval period in a 21st-century American image. This may be culturally commendable, but it is unscholarly.
The Kalamazoo Congress has tried to appease cultural relativists by organizing sessions on medievalism in the modern world, as it did in 2018 with a session including the paper "Fuck this Shit: How Can You Not Say Something?"
Traditional medieval scholarship may not be trendy or controversial, but it is worthy, scholarly, and content-driven. The social-media battle you describe in your article, driven by trollish demagogues specializing in identity politics, does not represent it.

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Sunday, March 05, 2017

Lecture on Ireland at Bloomfield Library Wed 8th March 6pm

"Celtic, Gaelic, or Anglo-Irish: Which is the Real Ireland?"

Bloomfield resident Brian Ó Broin, a medieval literature professor at William Paterson University and a prizewinning Gaelic novelist, traces the history of Ireland from pre-Celtic times through the series of invasions that brought Christianity, cities, castles, Gaelic culture and English culture to this mysterious island nation of North West Europe right up to the modern day. Using slides and recordings (and maybe even a song or two!) Professor Ó Broin demonstrates the color, the uniqueness, and the resilience of this modern European country which sent so many emigrants to America, as Ireland faces the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Ireland has always been a target of invasion. the Celts invaded Ireland three hundred years before Christ, completely displacing the previous stone-age culture whose mysterious structures, like that of Newgrange, still dot the landscape. Six hundred years of Pagan Celtic culture followed the invasion, and the tribal warrior culture of that period is still visible in surviving Gaelic texts such as the Fenian stories and the Táin Bó Cuailgne. An African-tinged Christian monasticism followed conversion to Christianity, and the monastic sites of this period are still to be found throughout the country, marked by their strange cone-tipped bell towers. Vikings saw easy pickings in these monasteries, and came to raid. They stayed, however, and founded Ireland's first cities, like Dublin, Waterford, and Limerick. The French-speaking Normans followed, bringing in feudal culture from England and France. Finally, the English themselves came, in several catastrophic waves, and still remain to this day in the six counties of Northern Ireland. The other twenty-six counties, however, have been a self-governing nation since 1922, constitutionally enshrining both the Gaelic and English cultures. Ireland is a member of the United Nations, and has been in the European Union since 1973.


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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Rutgers Phonology Project at WPUNJ

Helping out a linguistics doctoral student at Rutgers with her project on Irish phonology.

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