Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Survivor: Nuclear Reactor Substation No. 512

The contestants on this season of PCP's Survivor are stationed at the exotic Nuclear Reactor Substation No. 512. This lush atomic paradise, erected upon a dust field, is immured by sheer concrete walls covered with barbed wire vegetation. However, there isn't time for the usual frivolities like nuclear bathing or barbed wire climbing as the contestants must battle for their lives after PCP deposits German Expressionist mad scientist, Dr. Frankengari, in the substation. Dr. Frankengari commences nuclear experimentation post-haste, killing some contestants, merely maiming and deforming others. Each time Frankengari smites one of the potential survivors, the voice of the host, an unnamed government agent located in the on-site Panopticon, bellows through the station's intercom system, "Atomic energy has spoken. It is time for you to be vaporized." Upon that cue, a nuclear reaction causes what remains of the cadaver to vanish in a vibrant mushroom cloud of gas. Each subsequent mushroom cloud weakens the remaining contestants, who must simultaneously dodge Frankengari's experiments while forming catty alliances, until one earns the title of "Sole Survivor of Nuclear Reactor Substation No. 512." The winner receives discounted healthcare and a collection of doom movies and nuclear holocaust films, including Armageddon and Hiroshima Mon Amour.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Top Librarian

Top Librarian, the exciting new reality TV show from Plabnox Cures Programming (PCP), exposes the politics and tensions rife in the library community within a competitive setting. As on similar shows like Top Chef and Project Runway, personalities clash and body heat rises regularly on Top Librarian. Each episode features a challenge in which the bibliophilic contestants must vie to win by organizing a cart filled with various books according to the dictates of the host. Once time is called, the librarians must wheel their carts down a runway for scrutiny by the trio of Librarian Evaluators. At the end of each episode, the losing contestant is elimated with the dreaded phrase, "Please turn in your library card. You have been taken out of circulation."

A recent fortnight-long timed “Classification and Cataloging Challenge” mandated that the librarians catalog a cart of recent acquisitions using the Dewey Decimal System. Special guest Evaluator, the State of Vermont Department of Libraries Senior Cataloguing Coordinator, censured one contestant’s shelving of a volume: “I think you played it safe with this monograph. You chose to put it in Philosophy, but you really could have wowed us by placing it elsewhere—perhaps in Linguistics or Semiotics. The top row of your cart is interesting, but once I get down to the third or fourth row, your cataloging becomes predictable and routine. I was expecting more from a librarian with your skill set.” Such scathing remarks are commonplace on Top Librarian. In a particularly thrilling episode, the librarians were thrown a curveball when they were asked to catalog periodicals.

The season will climax with a competition in New York City, 2 months after PCP dumps at each contestant’s domicile 30,000 uncataloged volumes to be processed and shelved. The librarians are responsible both for transporting the cataloged collections to New York City and locating a proper storage facility with archival-grade HVAC. The season winner gets to keep his or her collection in the aforementioned storage facility , as well as a 1000-yard roll of mylar dust jacket preservation material, 2500 cataloguing cards, and 2500 adhesive spine labels, generously provided by Brodart, to start his or her own lending library. A reunion episode will document the immolation of the losers’ collections in a blazing conflagration on an Alaskan Wildlife Reserve.

Applicants for Top Librarian must possess a Master of Library Science from an accredited university.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Plabnox Cures School of Arts and Medicine Announces New Graduate Program: Cinematic Hair Studies

The Plabnox Cures School of Arts and Medicine (PCSAM) will open a new graduate program of study, Cinematic Hair Studies, in Spring 2009. Prospective students in the Cinematic Hair Studies program will apply for the MA or PhD track. An MA will also be awarded to PhD candidates for partial fulfillment of the degree requirements.

The curriculum of PCSAM's Cinematic Hair program explores the discourses and texts of filmic hair from a critical and theoretical standpoint. Students will engage with professors and colleagues on the hair-related topics and problems addressed by cinema of the past and present. The course offerings are broad, with a particular focus on hair theory, history, and criticism. Students may choose to specialize with electives in, among other course offerings, Feminist Coiffure Theory, Follicular Semiotics, Hair Production: Tangles and Tantrums, Bouffants of the Studio System, and Puffy Iconography: Ted Danson and Michael Douglas.

The first two years of the PhD track require completion of the following core courses:

Historiography of Film Hair
Silent Strands
Bangs in Narrative Film
or Bangs and the Documentary
Writing Eyebrow Criticism
Female Forelocks

Aerodynamic Hair and American Neoclassical Cinema
Hair Choreography: Hirsute Movement On-screen

Crinosities and Avant-Garde Film or The French New Wave: Rat-tails and Curls

The PhD track culminates in a Qualifying Examination after the fifth year of coursework, along with dissertation research. The dissertation must be submitted for review within ten years of commencing the Cinematic Hair Studies program.

We would like to remind prospective applicants that the Cinematic Hair Studies program is purely theoretical, historical, and critical in nature. Although PCSAM currently does not offer a graduate degree in Cinematic Hair Production, MA and PhD students may enroll in hair production, direction, and screenwriting classes at the undergraduate level.