Still working on clearing the links: as quickly as I clear them, I find new articles… This is a collection of “What The Fucks” — things that just totally surprise me:
- A Hairball Where? This one came across one of the link collections I see, and was marked NSFW. Here’s the subtitle, which should give you an idea of the tease: “I went to see my gynecologist about aches in my lower abdomen. I never could have guessed that my cats would be to blame.” Curious? Read on at your own risk. I have no idea if this is true.
- A Matter of Perspective. The news has been filled with the breakup of Kermit and Miss Piggy. People are taking it far too seriously — for example, feminists are upset that Kermit’s new girlfriend is too thin. But here’s the thing that creates the WTF — more so that you never thought about it. Kermit was right to leave Piggy — she was a domestic abuser, constantly beating up her loved one. Now, think about all the times you saw Piggy beating up Kermit with her purse, hard enough to knock him over. Why didn’t we see it?
- Neti Pot Worries. From time to time, I use a neti pot (always with salted water) to clear my sinuses. All the reports about brain eating amoebas have me worried? Is the salt sufficient? After all, I don’t go swimming in freshwater lakes. Let’s add to the WTF worries: the normal level of chlorination in domestic water supplies is insufficient to kill the amoeba due to biofilms.
- Mathematics in Real Life. We’ve all seen motorcycles do those turns with an incredible leans. Here’s an article on the math behind those turns, and how motorcycles somehow come up with a coefficient of friction greater than one. Some are as high as 1.7. Don’t try this at home.
- Judeo-Christian is a Bad Term. This one is courtesy of my daughter, who posted it on her tumblr yesterday: the common term “Judeo-Christian” is an extremely poor term and exclusionary. Quoting from the article: “… it’s almost always erasing and inaccurate! most of the time, what the person means is “abrahamic religions” – this is the group of religions that share the story of abraham. it includes but is not limited to judaism, christianity, and islam. ¶ “judeo-christian” is a term used by the christian right to a) purposefully exclude muslims from the abrahamic tradition, b) align christianity and judaism together as “western” (i.e., white) religions, when these religions are neither practiced primarily or exclusively by white people nor united by any kind of ethnic identity, and c) erase their own ongoing antisemitism. they create a narrative of being allies of jews, when in reality they actively work to promote christian culture, religious beliefs, and moral codes over all non-christian ones, including those of jews.”
- Cassette Tapes as a Business. With all the digital downloads, we probably think that the cassette business is a dead business. After all, when was the last time you really made a mix tape on tape. But it turns out that the one company still making cassettes has a booming business. About 70 percent of the company’s sales are from music cassettes while the rest are blank cassettes. You want that analog sound and need something portable? Cassettes. Then again, you could try this portable vinyl player.
Music: “Mahna Mahna” (Mahna Mahna & The Two Snowths) from The Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem & More!
After my wonderful plumbing experience yesterday, my mind cannot make sense — or find a theme — in this collection of news articles. I’ll leave it to you to find the theme, or determine whether these items need to be tossed into the garbage disposal and washed away. Let’s just hope they don’t clog your pipes…
- Survivor – My Guilty Pleasure. One of my guilty TV pleasures is the TV show Survivor. I’ve never been able to describe why this show is still head and shoulders above other reality shows. This article presents one analysis of why Survivor is successful. For me, its success comes from (a) the shifting alliance aspects of it — the show is very much like the game Diplomacy with negotiation, trust, and bluffing at its heart; (b) the skillful editing used to craft a story and create characters; and (c) the quality shown in the casting to find a group with strong personalities that draw one to watch.
- This American Life. This week, TAL reaches a milestone – episode #500. To commemorate this, BuzzFeed presents the story of how TAL got started, and how it reached episode #500. Related to this, FlavorWire presents their take on their 15 favorite episodes to date.
- Hidden Environmental Impacts. Earlier this week, I wrote about how copper mining — required to move to a green environment — really isn’t so green. Another thing that isn’t green are music festivals. This article from LA Weekly is a great exploration on the trash problem created by many festivals.
- Autopsy Results. OK, here’s a real weird one. Some people decided, for the hell of it, to do an autopsy of a “Baby So Soft” doll. Here are the grisley results. You’ll never look at a child’s doll the same.
- Looking at Things Differently. Speaking of looking at things differently, here are 11 classic works of art reimagined with people of color.
- NSA and the CIA. On the grounds of the CIA is a sculpture with an encrypted message. The CIA recently believed they had solved the message. However, the NSA really solved it first.
- Places to Go in The San Fernando Valley. Here’s a nice article commemorating Universal City Walk reaching 20 years. City Walk was a trendsetter — it led to Downtown Disney and other integrated shopping areas that are regional draws at theme parks. Don’t like that? How about an old-fashioned soda shop in Canoga Park?
- Bringing Up The Rear. Bringing up the rear are a few totally pointless things. First, a gun that uses salt to shoot flies. I have no idea how effective it is. Secondly, a list from the good folks at Vanity Fair point out 40 signs that you’re a BuzzFeed list maker who has run out of ideas. Thirdly, there’s a Wesley Crusher Beer. Lastly, somebody put dummy names for the pilots of the Asiana 214 crash on a recent news report on KTVU. Alas, they made it onto the air. Yup. Today, your flight is commanded by “Sum Ting Wong”, assisted by “Wi Tu Lo”, “Ho Lee Fuk”, and “Bang Ding Ow”. I can only shake my head. Someone has likely been handed their walking papers. Naturally, the station has apologized.
Seen while cleaning out the spam comments: “EasyBinaryCash.com – Learn how to make 1000′s of dollars a month from home.” My first thought? Gee, I can make 8 dollars a month! Second thought? Gee, I can earn more being a folk musician; they make tens and tens of dollars!
So, I’m reading the LA Times, and I see the headline: “Listening to loud music linked with pot use, unsafe sex, study says”
Oh yeah, this is going to be on next week’s “Wait Wait”. Somehow, I don’t believe the loud music is the cause, no matter what the headline wants to imply. If it was, somehow I missed out.
Earlier this week, my mother-in-law called and wondered if I wanted to go with her to a talk her City of Hope group was hosting. The speaker was Judd McIlvain, a well known consumer reporter here in Southern California. Expecting an interesting talk with good “how to be a smart consumer” anecdotes for seniors, I decided to give it a whirl. Needless to say, it wasn’t what I expected.
I should have been suspicious when a codger in the audience kept asking him when he was going to talk about Kennedy. Mr. McIlvain kept responding that he was still dead, so I thought it was just a heckler. But then McIlvain started talking about a book of stories he was working on that his superiors never let him air… and one of them was on the Kennedy Assassination. He then told this story about a woman who purportedly worked for the CIA in Mexico delivering cash to operatives, who was put in jail for 5 years because she told Adelei Stevenson that one of the operatives she paid, a Mr. Oswald, kept hinting that the CIA planned to kill Kennedy. There were all these coincidental deaths, you see, … well, you know the theories. Supposedly this particular one wasn’t on the Internet yet, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t true (and, of course, it is on the internet if you know where to look). Of course, McIlvain had testified to a congressional commission on this, but the results and such won’t be released for 99 years. Even more suspicious.
Now, my job is to be skeptical, and I didn’t believe this at all. Sure, Oswald could have been framed, but at this point it doesn’t make much of a difference (as most of the folks are dead). The likely answer, whatever it is, was too sensitive to be released at the time. But the CIA? C’mon. That’s stretching plausibility even for me. I’d be more likely to believe another government.
So it was definitely one of those off the wall evenings.
Music: The Marvellous Toy & Other Gallimaufry (Tom Paxton): Katy
As I often do on the weekends, I’m recording LPs to my iPod. Yesterday, in the thrift store, I picked up the album “Rhymes and Reasons“, John Denver’s 1969 debut album. On this song are two very political songs: (1) “The Ballad of Spiro Agnew” by Tom Paxton, which is simply “I’ll sing of Spiro Agnew, and all the things he’s done.” (and the song ends)… and (2) “The Ballad of Richard Nixon”, which is just 5 seconds of silence. But this doesn’t deter Amazon or others. Amazon is willing to sell you a 5-second silent track for 99c. Do a search for it, and you’ll find sites willing to let you download the track as a ring-tone (I don’t imagine it would be very effective), or that purport to be the lyrics to the song.
My quandry: Should I be an ideological purist and put the track on my iPod?
Music: Rhymes and Reasons (John Denver): (You Dun Stomped) On My Heart
A support question seen posted on the Apple iPod Classic support forum:
got probs wid my ipod.. wen turning it on, wat appears on screen is a “sad ipod wid a danger sign” .. how can i solve dz one. please help me.. tnx
Sigh. What happened to our written language?
Batman and Eve: “Hmmm, I never see Batman and Adam in the same place at the same time…”