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Highest Form Of Flattery

defective yeti ... IN THE NEWS!

As far as the judge was concerned, the paper he ordered Brandon Dickens to write as punishment for ducking jury duty was plagiarized ...

Dickens, formerly of Tyrone Township, originally landed in [the judge's] doghouse in June, when he failed to return to jury duty after a lunch break. The judge ordered him to spend three days observing a civil trial and to write a five-page paper on the history of jury service.

When Dickens turned in the paper Aug. 30, a court employee recognized phrases from something else the employee had read previously. An Internet search showed many of the phrases came word for word from "Trials and Tribulations," a story by Seattle writer Matthew Baldwin that appeared in an online magazine, The Morning News ...

Apparently I'm an inspiration to an entire generation of civic duty shirkers. Makes a guy feel are warm inside.

The story first appeared in the Livingston Daily and was subsequentially picked up by AP. Jennifer and Patrick were the first of many to send it my way, and thanks for that.

In forwarding the story, one reader said "his has got to be a sign of the quality of your writing." Well, that's one interpretation. Another is that Mr. Dickens just plugged the phrase "stuck in jury duty goddammit" into Google and swiped the first result.

Posted on September 04, 2006 to dy


So awesome.

Posted by: Newley on September 4, 2006 9:37 AM

I'm not surprised. You'd be my first stop for plagiarism too.

Posted by: Rory on September 4, 2006 9:38 AM

Copying is the highest form of flattery... so they say.

Posted by: Chris on September 4, 2006 10:53 AM

Congratulations on your Internet fame. Being a professor, I can tell you that you're a fine example of an unexpected consequence of the Net. For years, people were panicking that students could cheat wildly by pulling quotes or whole papers off the Web. On the contrary, having it all on the web means it's that much easier for ME to find out you did it. Imagine if that court clerk had had to read every *printed* story in every local paper. Not much hope. And as a bonus, you get even more attention in virtue of having *been* plagiarised. All hail the Yeti.

Posted by: Jaroslav Bibo on September 4, 2006 11:47 AM

only in Michigan.


Posted by: whfropera on September 4, 2006 5:57 PM

I'm proud of you, dude.

Posted by: a on September 4, 2006 6:01 PM

Way to go!

I also enjoyed the article on jury duty. Be prepared for your 2007 call. We also live in Seattle and, since our first selections, my spouse and I get called "randomly" every two years like clockwork.

Posted by: kate on September 4, 2006 6:54 PM

You're not the first google result for "stuck in jury duty goddammit". You're the ONLY google result for "stuck in jury duty goddammit"!

Posted by: Mary Jo on September 5, 2006 1:12 AM

Could be worse. I was called for jury duty (twice) when I lived in Kentucky, and there you're on for three months. There's a number to call every week to see if they are sitting a jury, and if they are they'll say "Jurors # (whatever) through (whatever) please report to the courthouse for jury selection." They'll let you off a week if you've got vacation planned, and I got one stint deferred for six months because I'd just started a new job. Was kind of a pain at work. "Are you going to be at the meeting next Thursday?" "Hope so, but I am on jury duty, you know."

When I was on jury duty for King County downtown, I wandered into Elliot Bay Books on my lunch. While I was paying for my books, I was bitching to the cashier about being on jury duty. He said, "Oh, do you have your juror badge?" I showed it to him. Turns out they give a discount (can't remember how much) to people serving jury duty.

Posted by: C. on September 5, 2006 5:12 AM

haha That's freaking awesome!

Posted by: Debra on September 5, 2006 6:26 AM

I want to see the words "student plagiarizes 'defective yeti'" in the news...

Posted by: CrankMama on September 5, 2006 10:04 AM

That is so hilarious. Speaking of jury duty, did I ever tell you about the time I was stuck in jury duty and invented Legonomics to pass the time?

Posted by: Duane on September 5, 2006 3:02 PM

Story just got linked to on Metafilter

Posted by: Anonymous on September 6, 2006 6:11 AM

Congratulations on your Internet fame. For years, people were panicking that students could cheat wildly by pulling quotes or whole papers off the Web. And as a bonus, you get even more attention in virtue of having *been* plagiarised. All hail the Yeti.

Posted by: Rob Cockerham on September 6, 2006 10:11 AM

Sorry...linked to from Fark not Metafilter

Posted by: Anonymous on September 6, 2006 10:55 AM

Yeti Writes Student's Paper; Conspiracy Theorists Rejoice!

I probably would have stolen the "Darth Vader Made Me Cry" article, but then I'd have really gotten busted.

Posted by: Mo on September 6, 2006 11:18 AM

I have a fellow message boarder at an internet community I hang out in who is an online college professor. She routinely weeds out plagerizers (sp?)in her class - often ending up with less than 50% of her original class by the time the semester is over.

We like to keep score with her (another one bites the dust!) and there is a thread devoted to her cheaters on the board. Imagine my surprise when I noticed a link to that same news article you just posted in that thread yesterday.

Posted by: April on September 7, 2006 6:58 AM

The AP article just showed up yesterday in my local newspaper in Flagstaff, AZ

Posted by: AZ Dave on September 7, 2006 8:22 AM

It feels like the season of jury summons, as I just got back from one too.

I feel the same way as you in your conclusion to Trials and Tribulations. (Not the part about buying homemade tamales from the back of some guy's van, 'cause that's just scary.)

Edited presentations - multimedia or speech - are unavoidable. When something is summarized and compressed, data is lost and bias is created. Even documentaries and news can't escape that.

I'd being more willing to take in what's given to me if it wasn't an animated power point presentation though.

Posted by: Spacebunny on September 9, 2006 3:57 PM