February 3, 2009

So I walked out of the classroom not realizing that I was still wearing the wireless microphone.

Can you believe that thing transmits from one end of the law building to the other? Let's just say it could have been much worse. There weren't that many students hanging around in the room where my voice was playing, and I didn't insult or defame anyone, reveal any secrets, commit any crimes, or — shudder — go to the bathroom.

34 comments:

chickenlittle said...

or — shudder — go to the bathroom.

Celebrity farts!

Smilin' Jack said...

20th century: So I walked into the classroom not realizing that I was naked.

21st century: So I walked out of the classroom not realizing that I was still wearing the wireless microphone.

Thanks for giving us something new to dream about.

Curtis said...

I was at a Department of Education conference, some years back, where the presenter (who was not, shall we say, the most personable individual in the history of the world) did exactly that - failed to unplug her wireless mike on her way to the bathroom.

Everybody heard everything.

Nobody told her.

Bob said...

If you mutter to yourself, Popeye-style, you'd probably end up in a lot of trouble.

traditionalguy said...

Just reassure us that you were not overheard praising the new President, and all will be forgiven...for now.

Crimso said...

At least you didn't call anyone a major-league asshole (and the chances that somebody in that room didn't fit the bill are precisely nil).

Jim said...

Althouse as Leslie Nielsen? Best movie scene ever.

Hunter McDaniel said...

You wouldn't believe the stuff we hear on conference calls sometimes when people forget to use the Mute button.

traditionalguy said...

That reminds me of the transition from the days you could hold your hand over the mouthpiece, and later the new At&t phones could still hear thru your hand. Way to embarrasing to go on.

former law student said...

Can you believe that thing transmits from one end of the law building to the other?

It would be a nontrivial engineering task to design a transmitter-receiver-antenna system that covered that lecture hall and no more.

1. You want sufficient transmitter power and receiver sensitivity for you to be heard no matter where you are in the lecture hall.

2. The university (or whoever) wanted to save money by buying a commercially available unit.

3. To meet objective 1 while maintaining objective 2, the university bought a system that covered the lecture hall -- and then some.

mcg said...

Yup, Curtis, I've been in a very similar situation. The presenter was somewhat sick that day and had to excuse herself mid presentation. We found out why.

Original Mike said...

It would be a nontrivial engineering task to design a transmitter-receiver-antenna system that covered that lecture hall and no more.

Not really. Exactly the lecture hall and no more, sure. But it's not that hard to limit it to the lecture hall and the immediate surrounds. Working on the other end of the building is dopey. It seems likely to me there's a market for limited range. Maybe the purchaser of said system didn't do his research.

EDH said...

My cell flip-phone just broke and it no longer automatically hangs up when closed.

Now I have to remember to push the "END" button or avoid the usual mutterings altogether.

traditionalguy said...

Does this mean that the Feds could have been playing our Prof's words thru their eavesdropping Computers? What if she lectured upon the G'tmo prisoner's (oops, I mean Detainees)rights under the Constitution? The homeland security agents may open an investigation into this interesting scholar(also see, what happened to an interesting scholar named Martin Luther...who maybe related to the Alt-Haus clan also from Wittgenstein,) who asked one too many questions. Maybe we should turn her in first to avoid Patrick Fitzgerald knocking on our doors? Never mind, I don't do fear well.

Ron said...

This goddamn Interweb! Yeah, good thing about not going to the bathroom; you'd have 20,000 YouTube "views" by now if you had...

Pogo said...

Sounds like an ad spread
"I dreamed I was still wearing the wireless microphone, in my Maidenform bra".

AllenS said...

You just have to be more aware of those things. Before I walk into the grocery store or the hardware store, I always check to make sure that I'm zipped up.

Simon said...

Wait, 30rock did this last week...

XWL said...

I can't believe nobody's brought up the Kyra Phillips incident yet.

mcg said...

It would be a nontrivial engineering task to design a transmitter-receiver-antenna system that covered that lecture hall and no more.

It doesn't necessarily have to cover the entire lecture hall, just the speaking area.

sean said...

"go to the bathroom"

I was at a church service once many years ago where the pastor did that. Very embarrassing, with the sound echoing through the sanctuary.

KLDAVIS said...

traditionalguy said..

"Maybe we should turn her in first to avoid Patrick Fitzgerald knocking on our doors?"

She walked off with a wireless microphone? You don't just walk off with one of those, that is a f***ing valuable thing.

Synova said...

Isn't there some Bible verse about what you do in private being shouted from rooftops?

Whatever it was... I always took it as a smart reminder not to have different standards in behavior in private and public, particularly when it came to talking about other people.

It's not pious, it's just smart.

Palladian said...

"Not really. Exactly the lecture hall and no more, sure. But it's not that hard to limit it to the lecture hall and the immediate surrounds. Working on the other end of the building is dopey. It seems likely to me there's a market for limited range. Maybe the purchaser of said system didn't do his research."

Build a Faraday cage around the lecture hall.

David said...

This story could have been so much better.

former law student said...

It doesn't necessarily have to cover the entire lecture hall, just the speaking area.

My most Socratic (psychotic?) prof strode up and down the aisles during class. He used the whole area of the hall -- "in your face" was no metaphor.

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, I don't do it that often, but I think walking around the room is cool. I sometimes walk up close to people just because I've got my reading-level contact lenses on and I need to get closer to see.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"I'm trying to explain the fucking Dormant Commerce Clause to this fucking class and you fucking walk right in front of the fucking lectern! What the fuck?... Oh, you were going to adjust the fucking overhead projector? That's fucking great. You just fucking took me right out of the fucking lecture. What the fuck is the matter with you? Hey, this thing still on?"

Kirk Parker said...

mcg and Original Mike,

You write as if you think there would be a big-enough market for 50' range wireless mics, and 75' range wireless mics, 100' range wireless mics....

Forget it. There's not. Ann's institution, like every other mass purchaser of equipment, doesn't want to buy 30 similar variants of a product, they want to buy a single model that covers all their common usages.

Ralph said...

Build a Faraday cage
I used to work in a DoD TEMPEST room, designed to stop spying on computer emanations. People were getting "mysterious black shit" on their clothes. The bronze door seal was picking up toner dust from the air.
They're difficult to cool, so the students would get even sleepier.

Original Mike said...

You write as if you think there would be a big-enough market for 50' range wireless mics, and 75' range wireless mics, 100' range wireless mics....

No. Two models. 100' and "the whole building". I bet the 100' one would outsell the dopey one.

A Faraday cage which require a line-item in the stimulus bill. $$$

Kirk Parker said...

Sorry, Original Mike, but my hypothetical was meant to question the economic viability of the concept, not to assert that something like a "100' maximum range" was even feasible in engineering terms.

Original Mike said...

Kirk - My post opines that the 100' model will be a lot more popular with customers than the "broadcast from the bathroom" model. I believe it is also technologically easy by limiting the transmission power (I don't mean to imply that the range would be well calibrated, just very short).

Jib said...

I was a pallbearer at a funeral a number of years back, and once we got the casket out of the church, the pastor stopped us. We still had to traverse a tricky ramp to get the coffin to the hearse, and he gave us very specific instructions on how to accomplish this without dropping the coffin. As he did this, we heard laughter start to cascade from the church. He'd left his wireless mic on while giving us his "do not drop the body" instructions. Fortunately, the family of the deceased had an excellent sense of humor.