Read this morning that Honda has stopped manufacturing the Element. Bummer.

Apparently the targeted market (er, audience imagined) was too niche. Twenty-somethings proved too broke to spring $20,000 for the rinsable-interiored dream-box on wheels. Only, for my tastes–and more importantly, for my body type–there’s something to be said for the head and leg room inside that box: it’s roomy enough for me to drive and ride comfortably. That’s not something I can say for many cars, including most family-sized mini-SUV types. We test-drove CRVs and Liberties and a Ford forgettable-something in 2004, the year we bought the Element, and while all of them had more aero-rounded bodies, they are all designed for drivers 6-2 and under. I would require a contortionist’s flexibility to drive one of them for more than ten minutes. A tight-space contortionist, at that. I mean, I’d have to mush my kneecaps into my chin to fit, if I wanted to push the accelerator pedal with my right foot, that is. I suffer severe claustrophobia at the thought of it. And what else is there? Envoy? Hummer?

Obviously, I’m disappointed. The tall and big-footed life yields regular spatial disappointments, though (e.g., I don’t remember the last time I went into a shoe store and actually shopped other than muttering freakishly, “Bring out your fourteens.”) And anyway, it’s not like we were planning to buy a 2011 Element. But I hope the one we have holds up for another ten years or longer, at which time I will enthusiastically buy your low mileage used 2010 Element.

Hansen – New Philosophy for New Media (2004)

The foreword by Tim Lenoir, "Haptic Vision: Computation, Media, and
Embodiment in Mark Hansen’s New Phenomenology," lays out groundwork on the "deterritorialization
of the human subject" in terms of digital media, detachment and problems of
reference.  Lenoir touches on Hayles’ account of post-humanism (also Bill
Joy’s "Why The Future
Doesn’t Need Us"
), Shannon & Weaver’s signal-based model of information, and
Donald McKay’s alternative communication model.  Overall, it’s more than a
worthwhile thumbnail of Hansen’s project in the context of other works only
semi-familiar to me: Kittler’s Gramophone, Deleuze’s Cinema 1 & 2:,
and Henri Bergson on the body as image:

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Kinaesthetics, Intensive Gatherings and Bodily Arts

The body itself becomes a sundromos, an intensive gathering of forces
(of desire, of vigorous practices, of musical sounds, of corporeal codes),
trafficked through and by neurons, muscles and organs.  Entwined with the
body in this way, rhetorical training thus exceeds the transmission of ‘ideas,’
rhetoric the bounds of ‘words.’ (Hawhee 160)

Yesterday I attended a Writing Program mini-seminar on the relationship
between the writing center and athletics and the presence of
student-athletes in writing courses. As a part of ongoing professional
development, most writing teachers at SU attend two mini-seminars each semester. 
The speaker–a graduate student in rhetoric at Arizona–brought many insights;
he’s been instrumental in launching a satellite writing center in the athletic
department at UofA, and so the four-hour session was aptly named "Home Turf:
Defining Access and Success for College Student-Athletes."  Early on, the
conversation hinged on the spatial quality of athletic performance; for
pre-reading, we looked at Hawhee’s "Bodily Pedagogies: Rhetoric, Athletics, and
the Sophists’ Three Rs," from College English, Andrew Zimbalist’s chapter
"The Student as Athlete" from Unpaid Professionals, Wilfred Bailey’s
"Summary: Time Constraints, Or Why Most College Athletes Cannot Also Be
Students," (College Sports, Inc.) and a few articles from
on whistle-blowers. We also talked through perceptions of
student-athlete privilege, so-called "problematic sports" of men’s basketball
and football (with no direct justification for crediting this commonplace to any
particular institution, much less SU), and part-time faculty bearing added labor
because of support measures (email check-ins from coaches, mid-semester progress
reports, etc.) initiated from athletics.

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