I.E.: the International Baccalaureate zine

Tranquil center of the universeWhen packing up my apartment, I stumbled across all the issues of I.E. (which stood for, among other things, "Insolence is Excellence") I ever owned. A zine published by the International Baccalaureate students at Henry Foss High School from time immemorial, it was assembled from taped-together texts and images, photocopied, and sold basically at-cost on the sly before class. For myself, at least, the risk of being caught disseminating subversive material that criticized (at various points) the teachers, the IB program, technology, consumerism, and the response to 9/11, and contained no shortage of sex and-- as the Russians put it-- "uncensored words", was part of the thrill.

I don't know what form this material would take if generated now, over 10 years later. I have a hard time imagining us writing a collective semi-pseudonymic blog, and the experience of assembling and distributing the material would have completely changed the dynamic. We realized that at least some authority figures would get their hands on it, but we did try to keep it within our own inner circle.

As I flipped through the treasured issues I had carefully preserved from folds or wrinkles, it occurred to me that they're more than personal nostalgia, they are (if my 15-year-old self will forgive me) "cultural artifacts" that capture something about the shared experience of the overachieving elite at the turn of the century, to say nothing about major political events, such as the election of George W. Bush and 9/11. I think they're worth preserving and sharing-- really, what are the teachers going to do to us now? Black market copytoner racketAlmost everyone wrote under a psudonym, and most non-pseudonymic references are first-name only or are missing a few letters, such that dirty OCR + Google couldn't pick them up to cause the writers grief as they've moved on with their lives. For my own part, I'll confess to being "Nary A Quince", courtesy of an on-line anagram generator for "Quinn A Carey".

I've uploaded copies of the issues to the Internet Archive, given their stated mission of "chang[ing] the content of the Internet from ephemera to enduring artifacts of our political and cultural lives." They'll do a better job with long-term preservation than I will myself, and these are a product of the "internet age", even if we only published them in print. If you want to see the Internet Archive pages for these issues, just search for IE: Insolence is Excellence. I can only imagine what a royal mess their OCR has made of things, but for some reason you want a mangled plaintext version, the Internet Archive has generated it, along with a Kindle version and a number of others.

If anyone else has more issues of I.E. that I can scan and post, please e-mail me at quinn - at - quinndombrowski - dot - com

Disclaimer: Writer's club and its syndicate, i.e. are not affiliated in any way, shape, or form with Henry Foss High School. The opinions expressed here are those of the writers only. You know where you did not get this.

I.E. Vol 27, November

IE, Vol 27, NovemberDownload PDF

  • Mission statement
  • Grandpa Jack's "Male"-order™ !MEN!
  • The Disintegration of Basic Decency in Our Society
  • The Dangers of Hugging Trees: a comprehensive report by Penny Petty
  • Dear Mr. Philosophy Pedagogue
  • Poetry
  • Overpopulation at Foss
  • Horoscopes
  • Random Thoughts From the Upper Lefthand Corner
  • Join Starfleet!
  • Lord of the Flies Island Vacation and Child Care Program
  • Poetry
  • "I have recently found myself lying in bed..." - Justinian in Genoa
  • Dedicated to Someone Unimportant - Stumblebum
  • "Many a night I have rolled the blanket up to my neck..."
  • Poetry
  • Wrath of the Evil Janitors
  • Lies - Peanut Butter Pixie
  • "Can't you do anything?" - Meadowl the Magnificent
  • "We all have defenses" - 67% Alkat
  • Strip Club: The Henry Foss Free Love Commune
  • Why Barbie Should Be Destroyed - Mildly Evil Ogre
  • Points to Ponder
  • Constitutional Amendment
  • Taking Care of the Pet
  • Unbreakable Bones - Every Sandal Off
  • "Come hither dear Stella" - Alkat
  • Punishments
  • The Typical IB Student
  • A Plea To The Writers of the Tabloid I.E.
  • I.E. Idiot Editors
  • IE 1st annual 'Fall Fantastica' Art Contest

I.E. Vol 28, Issue 1: I.E. Unauthorized Access

IE, Vol 28, Issue 1Download PDF

  • Notes from the Editor
  • IE Presents: Things That Are Shiny
  • A Conspiracy of Grass; An Amok Harvest
  • Plan For Week
  • IE Presents: Things That Rhyme With Kitsch
  • The Secret to IB Teachers' Grading Methods
  • The Rant of an IB Junior - Nary A Quince
  • Terrorist Nation/Communist Dictatorship Education Governmental Leadership Development - Clever Pseudonym and the IE staph
  • IE Presents: Things That Really Suck Ass (Formerly the bitch column)
  • IE Trivia, Facts and Information
  • Hell or Farmer?
  • The IE Poetry Page
  • Home
  • Jen & Eggplant
  • Morning Announcements Bingo!
  • Humans - Anarchy Boy
  • Die Kleine Ziege die Könnte
  • The Saddest Limerick Ever
  • S&M's - Clever Pseudonym and her sexy male muse
  • IE personals
  • It's funny... - dark scarlet heart

I.E. Vol 28, Issue 2

IE, Vol 28, Issue 2Download PDF

  • Note from the Editor
  • Foss in an Energy Crisis - Falling Bead
  • How Al Gore Stole My Soul (and Katherine Harris stomped on it) - Clever Pseudonym and her sexy male muse
  • IE Presents: Teacher-isms!
  • Censored Issues & Examples
  • Poetry Page
  • Math for the Oh-So-Cynical
  • Technology - Anarchy Boy
  • Choose Your Own Religion
  • Big Mo Playa's Guide to Rap Song Creation
  • To the 6th Period Clock - Nary a Quince
  • Public service announcement
  • If you are reading this issue without paying for it...
  • Lost and Found
  • IKEA: Incipient Kommunist Economic Attack: Frightening Findings from Penny Petty
  • Wanted: Little Voice Inside My Head
  • Hey, Kids! Wanna Join I.E.?

I.E. Vol 28, Issue 3

IE, Vol 28, Issue 3Download PDF

  • Note from the editor
  • Lascivious Pictography in the Style of Amerigo Vespucci
  • Bob Dylan Illustrated
  • I.E. Presents: Pictionary Words from Hell
  • The Thousand Daily Deaths of Magic - Nary A Quince
  • 88 Lines About 44 IB Students
  • The Day I Scared My Shadow - Mama Crass
  • You believe that you alone hold the monopoly on bitterness...
  • It's Like, Poetry, man...
  • Scooby-Lou and the Case of the Missing Motivation
  • The Idiot's Guide to Success in The Global Economy
  • Lost & Found
  • IB Damned and other reflections from this year's seniors
  • The Conspiracy of Sperm
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse
  • Excerpt from Henry Foss Daily Bulletin, Thursday, May 24, 2001
  • Poll Question: What is the meaning of life?
  • Evolution: A New Application - Mama Crass

I.E. Vol. 29, Issue 1, Back to School Issue

IE, Vol 29, Issue 1Download PDF

  • Note from the Editor
  • Feed the I.E. Box!!
  • One Night Stand - Head Down
  • Open All Nite
  • At Home with Laura
  • Up Close and Personals
  • Gates Grant: Which Way Will Henry Foss Go?
  • Poetry Page
  • Foss ASB President Detained after Park Brawl - The Mirra World Report
  • "It Turns the Screws of Psychological Terror" - Stumblebum
  • From our Friends at the Tacoma News Tribune: A 12-Step Program
  • From your friends at I.E.: A 12-Step Program to Foss - Clever Pseudonym and her sexy male muse
  • Patriotism - Nary a Quince
  • Ginsberg Revisted - Clever Pseudonym & muse
  • Got a problem, PUNK?!?
  • Have you ever had the urge to...

I.E. Vol 29, Issue 2

IE, Vol 29, Issue 2Download PDF

  • Note from the editor
  • IE Horoscopes
  • The Class of Eternal Damnation
  • Plight of IB student type R
  • Lost and Found
  • CNN: Page 1 of 1 Johnson and Johnson® Makes Plea in Baby Oil Case
  • Poetry Page
  • The Terrorist in the Kitchen - Nary A Quince
  • "As long as there have been humans to talk about such matters..."
  • The Band Council - Rich Nauk
  • Daffodil Pageant Review - Nary A Quince
  • New Proposed NHS Logo...
  • "For my eighteenth birthday I always wanted to go to a Strip Bar."
  • "hrm... a mixture of drugs, lack of sleep..." - Turtblu
  • How to be popular

I.E. Vol 29, Issue 3

IE, Vol 29, Issue 3Download PDF

  • The Wonder that is I.E....
  • Attention, Everyone Who Eats in the Pit! - Nary A Quince and the IE staff
  • Horoscopes
  • The IB student's warped view of reality...
  • Olympic Officials Realize They Forgot to Build Speed Skating Rink
  • "Since I was a child, I have always watched the Olympic games" - Stumblebum
  • Maiming of Hearts - Nary A Quince
  • Ode to Dr. Dan
  • Poetry Page(s)
  • A Sample Calculus Problem
  • "Eyes open." - Iron Jocky
  • Paid Advertisement: Recently Discovered in a Cave in Afghanistan: The Kama Sutra of Sleeping!
  • Lost & Found
  • Calculus and Philosophy - Nary A Quince
  • Magic Tricks - Nary A Quince
  • To: G.W. Bush
  • Depravity & Consequence

I.E. Vol 29, Issue 4

IE, Vol 29, Issue 4Download PDF

  • Read this first!
  • Ben: In a Snit!
  • avuncular erotics: The Pleasures of the Closet - Twit and Pussycat
  • Hemingway-esque - N. Mirra
  • Pulp fiction, with references to 33 plays, novels or bodies of work read over the last four years of English IB
  • American Insults of Brotherhood
  • Degenrate Words of Evil
  • IE Horoscopes
  • Sweet Savage Splendor Text Response Journal - Mama Crass
  • Pilgrimage - Nary A Quince
  • "Who is your hero, and why?" - Twit and Pussycat
  • Ms. Colclough Rewrites Chemistry
  • Professional Smart-Ass
  • The Pit - Nary A Quince

I.E. Vol. 30, Issue 1, Back to School 2002, I.E. Wallows in Sin

IE, Vol 30, Issue 1Download PDF

  • Shameless Begging for Submissions (formerly known as Editor's note) - Ed. Err
  • I.E. Horoscopes
  • Mad Props (formerly known as Dedications)
  • Ed. Err has a Thoughtful Thought
  • Up Close and Personals
  • The Worst Story Ever Written - from Yearning, by Justin Merrill Grosslight
  • Lost and Found
  • Six Degrees of Kevin Martin: A decade of Foss romantic history
  • Dress Dubya
  • The WASL: Secret Agenda
  • Which I.E. Staph Member is Your Soulmate?
  • Ben has a Bad Day - Replacement Nick
  • Random Projectiles Thrown from Blue Subaru - Thad Rocket
  • Ed. Err Has a Thoughtful Thought
  • Up Close and Personals


FRBR, Lojban, and culling my book collection

Day 94: This is Home.As a prerequisite for moving this spring (due to impending renovations by the new owners of our apartment building), my husband and I have been culling our book collection. The process of getting rid of books has, strangely enough, gotten me thinking a lot about Lojban, FRBR (the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records), and an endearingly dorky t-shirt I picked up in Library and Information Science grad school (which reads I love Works Expressions Manifestations Items Books.)

Earlier this year I discovered Lojban, and was quickly taken with its methods for disambiguating language, particularly written language which can't benefit from intonation. In contrast to blunt instruments used for some degree of disambiguation on-line (emoticons, "j/k", "LOL", etc.), Lojban has an elaborate system of attitudinal and emotional indicators. A sentence like "there's a meeting" can be given entirely different shades, depending on the emotional marker. A'o indicates despair, aucu'i indicates indifference, i'e indicates approval, etc.

In the Lojbanic spirit, I began to consider the following: when I decide to keep a "book", and check it into LibraryThing (yes, I'll confess to checking in my own books to my own library catalog), what is it that I want to keep? And I thought of FRBR. My dorky t-shirt may dismiss each level of FRBR, and settle on simply loving "books", but given the many ways we use the word colloquially, it's quite ambiguous. There are examples for each of the FRBR "group 1 entities", where we've kept books primarily on those grounds:


Many of the books we've kept are purely for the sake of the Work (a "distinct intellectual or artistic creation.") The information contained in Atlasi dialektologjik i gjuhës shqipe is useful, and we want to have access to it. If there were Manifestations available that were reasonably easy to use, and didn't require us hauling around a bound collection of paper, we would probably have gotten rid of it. As it stands, that's exactly what happened with our mass-market sci-fi and fantasy paperbacks. In the last few months, we both acquired Kindles. Realizing that A) we'd probably prefer to read those Works on the Kindle, and B) there is a Kindle (or Kindle-compatible) Manifestation of all those Works, we decided to get rid of books we'd previously been intending to keep.


Literature translated into languages other than English makes up the bulk of the books we've kept because of the Expression ("the specific intellectual or artistic form that a work takes each time it is ‘realized'".) We got rid of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but kept Harry Potter dhe guri filozofal (Albanian). Спутник Љубов (Macedonian) is going to fare better than Murakami's Sputnik Sweetheart if we run low on boxes. We've kept one English-translated Expression of a Work we can read in the original (this collection of poems by Anna Akhmatova) simply because the translation is awful; sometimes a failed Expression makes for an interesting Expression.


There aren't many books that we've kept because of the Manifestation. One of the only examples that comes to mind is Древненовгородский диалект. While PDFs identical to the book are available on-line, there's still something nice about flipping through the paper copy.


IB EnglishMost of the books that we haven't kept because of the Work itself are still on our shelves because of the Item ("a single exemplar of a manifestation. The entity defined as item is a concrete entity"). These are Items with sentimental value, ranging from birthday gifts to tattered companions from high school IB English. Many of the books that we're keeping because of the Work also have value as Items, due to some fond memory of their acquisition (like the massively heavy book we found at the bookstore of Vilnius University, after my husband snuck me past the security guard, and we lugged around all day through streets filled with Scots in kilts in town for some big soccer game that night, past a street fair with some guys dressed as Native Americans and "playing" South American pan flute music, and it was worth it because the content was so cool).

FRBR meets Kindle

As we've been phasing out paper copies of mass-market fiction in favor of reading on the Kindle, I started considering FRBR in the context of e-books, which seem to pose some non-trivial challenges for the model. I read e-books on my phone on the bus ride to work, and on my Kindle before bed and on weekends, but I have to download the files to each device separately. If I flash a new ROM on my phone, DRM restrictions don't allow me to use the files that are already on my phone's SD card-- I have to re-download those same files for the Kindle app to work. Have I then read two different Items on my phone, before and after I flash the new ROM? Typeface and page layout don't differentiate Expressions, but they should matter for Manifestations (think large print edition); if I decide to increase the text size on my Kindle, am I reading a new Manifestation even though it's the same Item?

Googling around, I came across an analysis of the situation, "How Many Books Dance on the Head of an e-Pin?":

[T]hat may be where we’re headed — toward a world that can’t presume items or manifestations, but only list expressions of works. Or perhaps we should evacuate some of the detail from “manifestation” in order to provide an appropriate silence on the issues involved.

I think there's some intuitive weight behind treating the Expression as the core form of a "book". I don't usually think twice about paying for different Expressions of a Work, except in cases where the new intellectual contribution is minor or not of interest to me, such as a new introduction. But I can't deny feeling some qualms buying a Kindle book when I already own a paper copy because my gut says "it's the same thing", even though my MLS says otherwise.

Sulking VityaStill, I think something useful would be lost by eliminating granularity beyond the Expression. A scanned PDF from a printed Manifestation and a Kindle Manifestation with the very same text differ, at the very least, in the fact that the PDF will have page numbers if they weren't cut off by the scanner, and the Kindle will not-- at least, not until a future software update, which can't come soon enough. Perhaps FRBR should adapt to cope with the fact that typography is malleable in many e-book formats, and changes in typography (and whatever takes the place of "pages") shouldn't affect the Manifestation. The Item, too, has value as an independent entity; my Item (file) of a PDF Manifestation can become corrupted, and I can see the desirability of being able to identify that corrupted file specifically. "Evacuating detail" from Manifestation to Expression isn't enough.

At least for now, e-books are staying out of my LibraryThing, saving me from having to consider what level of abstraction I'd be cataloging. U'inai* I've got no shortage of printed Items to sort through and pack up in the next month and a half-- 2,450 of them, and counting.

* Lojban emotive marker for weariness.


Please, please, please, please

Translation Party (which takes an English phrase, translates it into Japanese, then back into English, then back into Japanese until an equilibrium is reached) had its 15 minutes of fame some months ago, but only today did the thought occur to apply it to excerpts from my husband's dissertation.

Regrettably, the following sentence won't ever achieve equilibrium:

The precise chronology of the expansion of Ottoman control over the areas under discussion in this study varies; in particular it may be noted that the establishment of Ottoman control over central Albania was delayed by some decades by the local resistance movement of Skanderbeg (see Schmitt 2009 for a recent and comprehensive treatment).

Every time you run it through, it yields a slightly different bizarre final result before it gives up:

We Skanderbeg Schmidt, DC, rather than Tashi that I have to respect the Albanians (you Uiruosuman itself is being paid to the discussion of the empire of the benefits of heart region 2009 Please change the rules to another Pavilion must have been established is) his many decades, please visit the pits to the pits please could slow down the comprehensive treatment of the resistance potential, please local time, I Please refer to the Ottoman Empire should be used.

Itadakemasen response Ottoman rule, doctors, overarching goal of the Albanian Skanderbeg decades Schmidt refractory to please, please see the rewards of appreciation. In this paper, (range), please describe the specific end, the exact time, 2009 Tasaosuman Imperial Regional Center will be established. To extend the rules to please be delayed.

In this paper, the Ottoman 2009 Ottoman Albanian Skanderbeg (Schmitt, proposed space in the heart of comprehensive treatment for most), please correct control sequences to skip resistance and local control can be established. I need to please please please please refer to delay debate to give can call the change.

In 2009, the center of resistance in general, Skanderbeg Schmidt, Albania, Jinari response, if necessary, asking for decades is believed to please please see your local post . To change the precision of control can be said to extend a particular area of the Ottoman Empire. Treatment (time), he said. We are said to have spread to establish the rule of the Ottoman Empire.

In this paper, in 2009, many decades, Albania, subject to control in order to change the correct time. See under debate, resistance to develop a comprehensive treatment of the Ottoman Empire (a Rurushumittoosuman Skanderbeg in the heart of delaying the presentation of the empire built-in) so please please please please please.

During this period, Albania decades Yes, the rules Skanderbeg and debate the Ottoman Empire, precise treatment, in certain regions when Schmidt, in this paper, Center for the Ottoman Empire (the local rules of the Empire State and their extension gradually many) that has been established, please please please refer to 2009.

Albania, local time Skanderbeg, Schmidt, today's report, the purpose of treatment (if necessary, can grant an extension of the work area of the Ottoman Empire Shock Naka.) Ottoman Empire was established 10 years Comprehensive strict rules please please please please refer to the year 2009, he said.


Android fleece hat

Android hatLast week was miserably cold in Chicago, so over the weekend I set about making a winter hat. I had some bright green fleece lying around, so it turned into an Android head. From start to finish, it didn't take more than an hour and a half.

What you need

  • Bright green fleece (amount depends on your head size, should be less than a yard)
  • A very small amount of white fleece (one strip about 12" wide and 1/2" high, and two small circles for eyes)
  • Optional: enough contrasting fabric to cut two 6" x 5" pieces for the outside of the ear flaps
  • Bright green thread
  • White thread


  • Measure the circumference of your head, and add 3 inches; this will be the length of the hat band.
  • One of four Android panelsDivide the hat band measurement by 4, then add 1; this will be the width of each triangle.
  • Example: My head measures 23", so my hat band needs to be 26" long. 26" / 4 = 6.5" + 1 = 7.5", so each triangle will be 7.5" wide.

Cutting the pieces

  • Cut a strip of green fleece 6" tall, and as long as your hat band measurement.
  • Cut 4 green fleece triangles that are 7" tall, with the width you've calculated above
  • Cut 4 U-shaped pieces of green fleece, 1" wide and 3" tall, for the antennae.
  • Cut 4 U-shaped pieces of green fleece, 5" wide and 6" tall, for the ear flaps (optional)
  • Cut 2 strips of green fleece, 1.5" wide and 10" long, for the chin ties (optional)
  • Cut 2 U-shaped pieces of contrasting fabric, 5" wide and 6" tall, for the outside of the ear flaps (even more optional)
  • Cut two small (1/2" diameter) circles of white fleece
  • Cut one 1/2" strip of white fleece, about 12" long (or shorter, if you want a smaller mouth)

Straight lineNote: I cut the triangles with rounded edges (see above), which gave the hat little points on each side. To avoid giving the Android a nose, I had to fix it after sewing the front pieces together by sewing a straight line, instead of along the edge (see right). If I did it again, I'd cut it with straight edges.

Sewing the pieces

  • Take two antenna pieces and pin them, right-side together. Stitch all the way around the U, keeping the bottom open. Repeat for the other antenna.
  • Attaching an antennaTurn the antennae inside out.
  • Take two triangles (#1 and #2) and pin one edge, right-side together. Stitch along that edge.
  • Take a third triangle, and pin one edge, right-side together, to the free edge of triangle #1.
  • Pin one of the antennae 2" from the top, so that the majority of the antenna is on the inside with the right sides of the fabric (see right).
  • Attaching Android eyesStitch the edge of triangles #1 and #3 together, attaching the antenna between the two.
  • Repeat, stitching triangles #2 and #4 together, attaching the second antenna between.
  • Pin and sew the eye-circles to the right sides of triangles #3 and #4, about 2" below the antennae.
  • Pin triangles #3 and #4, right-side together, and stitch them.
  • Fold the hat band in half lengthwise, wrong-side together, so the band is 3" wide.
  • Fold the hat band in half width-wise, right-side together, and stitch the ends together to form a circle.
  • Pin the right side of the hat band to the right side of the hat body, so the seam in the hat band aligns with the seam in the back of the hat body, and stitch all the way around to attach them.

Ear flaps

Adding the chin strings

  • If you want to add ear flaps, pin two of the fleece ear flap pieces, and one chin strap together (see right), and stitch around the U, leaving the top open.
  • If you want to have a contrasting fabric for the outside of the ear flaps (I used some scraps of Android fabric from another project), put the contrasting fabric between the two pieces of fleece, and stitch.
  • Turn the stitched ear flaps inside-out. If you're using a contrasting fabric, it should be facing out.
  • Stitch the top of the ear flaps to the inner seam connecting the hat band and the body of the hat, positioned to line up with the ears. (On my hat, the ear flaps start 3" on either side of the back seam.)


Android ear flapsDay 24: Happy Android Hat

The Google Android Robot has been shared by Google using the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License, and this tutorial is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License. Feel free to repost or modify it (as long as you credit me) or sell the resulting hats if you'd like.



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