Tuesday, February 24, 2009


People certainly love giving advice. This never seems to be more evident than when there are injuries afoot. Everyone has a guy to recommend. Or a method of rehab to be tried. Or a diet to be implemented. THANK - YOU. Now please stop, unless your city cures the ailment I don't need to hear about it. On top of that people always have stories of how their experiences were awful. I had so many people tell me of the misery they experienced when they had their wisdom teeth pulled I had an ulcer by the time I got to the office to have them removed. And how did it go? I was eating pizza three days later and had only the smallest of headaches throughout the whole ordeal. Take it from me folks, if you're about to get your wisdom teeth out, everything is going to be FINE. Do not panic. And whatever you do, don't go out the night before, purchase a gallon of vodka, a speedball, rent a car, get hookers, and a new life insurance policy before torching the car and driving it into the Mississippi. Anyways, I had a cervical epidural today which is supposed to reduce the inflammation around the nerve in my spine and hopefully I'll be able to feel my thumb again soon. Regret of the day: Not having a camera to capture the look on my doctor's face when I asked if I could play volleyball this weekend if I felt better. Sorry vball crew, looks like it'll be another week or two ;(

Shout outs this week: Word to all my Catholic peeps celebrating Ash Wednesday tomorrow! Share what you're giving up for Lent in the comments section. I'm giving up procrastinating - no more waiting to do homework. And I'm done putting things off until the "right moment"...this doesn't mean I'm going to ask that girl out right away, just that, once I'm drunk enough I'll totally text her or call and hang up a few times or passive-aggressively hint that I like her and we should go out but never address the situation in a serious manner and ultimately hate myself for my complete lack of gravitas, maybe.

Next, I would tell you to check out the Jeff Bezos interview on the Daily Show where he continues to pimp the Kindle 2, but that would be a waste of your time. Seriously, it was terrible, don't bother.

New book - How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer. In a word: awesome. I only got it yesterday so I've only made it through the first two chapters, but so far it is very readable. If any of you have read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell it is very similar in nature, but not quite as anecdotal. How We Decide seems much more, so far, scientific in nature. Cliffs notes thus far - well it's a book about neuroscience and nueroeconomics. It looks at the rational brain vs. the emotional brain and how people make decisions. Apparently Plato's metaphor of charioteer and wild horses is accurate except the charioteer is the emotional brain. Ok, it's not quite THAT extreme, but the emotional brain is involved way more than any of us would like to think (PUN!)

Speaking of decisions, after leaving the hospital I got back to the train station and out of habit tapped my back pocket to make sure my pass was tucked away. Yep, no pass. I could now decide to take the two dollars I had in my wallet and buy a $1.25 one-way ride or I could bet that there would be no one to check my pass on my twelve minute ride home. What would I decide? What would YOU decide? And which parts of our brain were making that decision?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Oh they've done it now. Nope, not talking about L.A. banning new fast food establishments within certain parts of the city. Not talking about Chicago's foie gras ban or New York's War on Trans Fats™ or the country's hatred of smokers. A few days ago there was a headline about New Hampshire introducing a bill to limit the amount of alcohol a bar can serve someone to 1 drink per hour. Fortunately, the aneurysm produced by said headline did not keep me from finishing my unproductive day of work. Unfortunately, it was one of those things that did not immediately leave my head and was, instead, stuck; bouncing quite fervently on my frontal lobe until I simply had to research the matter to satiate my curiosity. As it turns out the bill isn't quite worded that way.

Here it is!

So as it is worded it makes it illegal to knowingly serve someone that is already intoxicated. It seems likely to me the '1 hr/drink' headline comes from the idea that it takes the body about one hour to metabolize one drink (loophole alert: you could technically do three or four shots in the first ten minutes and not ask to be served all night yet still be wayyy drunk and dangerous). Seeing as I now have an agent in New Hampshire I thought I should get her perspective on this. I decided to delicately broach the subject. "WTF is wrong with your state?" I asked politely. "lol. Nothing, why? lower unemployment here" she tartly replied. I was in no mood for verbal abuse, so I quickly presented my scientific findings. "Your legislature is a bunch of stoners that are firmly in the pocket of the powerful Doritos™ lobby and they must be stopped. They're proposing crazy legislation on drinking" I posited. "Like they could ever reinforce that!" she said. Granted, she meant enforce, but lets cut her some slack. She's probably drunk.

The fact that this law is ridiculously difficult to enforce is beside the point. The heart of the issue is that this would essentially make getting drunk, illegal. I realize people are terrified of drunk drivers, but this is not a law that is going address the problem of drunk driving. It seems more likely this law will either a.) make people pre-game a little harder at home before heading out or b.) increase the sale of personal flasks ten-fold. This raises the question, can stores continue to sell twelve packs? or, god-forbid, handles of five-dollar Fleischmann's? Unless there is a special law regarding liquor stores because the way this bill is worded it leaves little doubt " No licensee, salesperson...shall sell or give away or cause or allow or procure to be sold...liquor or beverage to a person under the age of 21 or to knowingly serve an intoxicated individual." I guess the key here is the person being intoxicated. So you're still allowed to go into a store (or bar for that matter) grab a case and head out. And of course everyone is responsible enough to wait until they get home to start consuming their hooch, oh wait, we're legislating responsibility here. No getting drunk at home either!

Oh, and guess what? I happened to find something beautiful while I was researching this. Also on the list of legislation? A bill to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18. Yes, you read that right A BILL TO LOWER THE DRINKING AGE FROM 21 TO 18 - awesome. Hey kids, now you can drink when 8th hour lets out, oh...but you can't get drunk! You still have to do that at school. HAHAHA!

I don't understand the desire to legislate personal responsibility on the masses (gay marriage, suicide, smoking). What makes all this especially outlandish is that the same people restricting personal freedoms are the ones giving banks, auto manufacturers, and airlines billions of dollars in corporate bailouts so their CEOs can continue giving themselves eight figure bonuses. The hell? I heard a proposal that we should have given the billions in bank bailouts to individuals with the rationale being individuals would use that money to pay down credit card debt and/or save the money which means it would, largely, end up in the banks. Then you have a consumer base with a reduced credit burden so they feel freer to spend AND the banks have recouped their money from individuals with poor credit, so you've bailed out people AND their banks. The only argument I can think of against this would be that the individuals of this country aren't exactly known for their fiscal responsibility and rather than use the bailout money to pay off credit card debt or save, they'd use it to buy a big flat screen TV, or put a down payment on a boat or something else equally useless. And now my faith in humanity begins its downward spiral, I need to turn on the news and hear about something good to restore my...wow, turn it off, turnitoff!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Sleep is one of those weird things, huh? Sometimes you can get a few hours and feel great all week, and other times you can get ten to twelve hours in a single night and all you can think about the next day is a few more p's and q's...wait, I think I got my phrases turned around on that one. I find that I can get four hours or eight and a half hours and be good, but anything between leaves my eyelids feeling like paperweights on my face...faceweights! That's mine! Quick someone bust out the faceweights©, there we go, sweet. Anyway, yes, I am acutely aware how weird that sounds, but what it has resulted in is me sleeping from 5-7 in the evening and then again from 1-5. It seems the two hours is enough to get me through six hours and four hours can carry me through the other twelve...hmm, PATTERN! As part of my tubing I came across multiple sites that are apparently dedicated to this topic; biphasic (me), triphasic (3 90 minute naps a day), tetraphasic (a half hour every six hours)...up through 'hexaphasic' (15-30 minute naps every 4 hours - supposedly pulled off by Da Vinci). There is also a great suggestion for a 28 hour day made by Randall Munroe of xkcd fame here. So far I have only gone slightly crazy from my bizarre schedule and hope to return to a more steady setup when I can actually sleep in my bed again (it's been since January 13th). My sleep schedule hasn't been this warped since sophomore year when I was working third shift. Talk about funtimesgalore; up for 36 hours, sleep for 12, occasionally snuggle up on the couches in the basement of the MU *nostalgia alert! nostalgia alert!* Woah, we narrowly avoided that cluster of nostalgia there...I need to re-calibrate the sensors.

On the technical front Jeff Bezos and company held another press conference for their Kindle 2. I'm not exactly impressed. The buttons look like they'll still be in the way. There is still no 'hold' button. The screen isn't a whole lot bigger. The screen still cannot be rotated (view in landscape). Not color (no, not really a big deal). No SD smart card. That being said there are some neato features on the new Kindle. The screen is bigger. The storage space is much bigger. The buttons are more difficult to accidentally bump. And it has a text-to-speech function (which I suspect will take up a chunk of that extra storage space...) I guess there are some Kindle 1 owners that are complaining that Amazon isn't offering them discounts to upgrade to the Kindle 2. To which I can only manage a WHAAAA? (followed by a fit of maniacal laughter). You don't get benis for being an early adopter. You've had your Kindle for almost a year and a half while the rest of the world was trying to figure out how to get that darned book off their computer screen and take it with them on the bus. You're already a winner, shut up and revel in the fact that you didn't have to buy the carrying case for your Kindle (enjoy spending that extra $30 Kindle 2 owners).

*cue maniacal laughter*

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

word games

When did data become plural? The only thing data are is is *esplode*

If I hear one more instance of "begging the question" being used when it should be "raising the question", I might lose it. One is a logical fallacy the other is basically an if -> then statement. I can handle the math behind both so I'm not entirely sure why this bothers me, but dammit they mean different things, semantics are all we have people!

When asked why our government is mortaging our future and spending more now than it did under President Bush, be sure to say in a dark voice resembling Emperor Palpatine "O-BAMA". I did this last week and now my office is using "O-BAMA" as an expletive. Guys, this is your chance to spread a new meme, JOIN US!

And I thought yarwhal was a real word º~º <- disappointed emoticon

For anyone that missed The Colbert Report last night, check out the "Nailed 'Em - Amtrak Photographer" video (best part starts at the 3:10 mark). LINKY

Ok, time for everyone to share their pet peeves here during Pet Peeves Week at TS™

EDIT: Snakes are not poisonous (ok, there might be one or two poisonous snakes out there, but I doubt it). What people mean is that snakes are venomous. Yes there is a difference. Yes this bothers me. No I don't know why.