May 2009 minutiae
- The look completely ridiculous. Like they were designed
by someone who didn't realize that "The Colbert Report" is satire.
- And while we're on the subject of graphic design,
here's some ace Photoshop work by San Leandro Honda. Think about it:
someone looked at that banner and said, "Looks good — let's get
- I went to sfgate.com to check out the news. The big story was that Jack
Kemp had died. One of the subheadlines was "Jack Kemp bio." It was a link
- I'm pretty sure that
is going to receive prominent billing in my suicide note.
- Reuters: Afghanistan's only pig quarantined in flu fear. The
article notes that the pig, normally on display at the Kabul Zoo, is one of
the few animals at the zoo that the mujahedin didn't eat.
- It occurred to me that it had been a long time since I'd listened to
music on the radio, so I started putting Live 105 on from time to time to
see whether there were any new songs I liked. Not only were there no new
songs I liked, there were also no new songs I disliked. Live 105 never
played anything I hadn't heard before. Has it switched formats to 100%
Gen-X nostalgia or something?
- Coincidentally, after writing that, this showed up in my Twitter feed:
mamster Enjoying music has become
unspeakably easy and awesome. Obtaining, maybe. Enjoying? In the
90s, enjoying music meant turning on 120 Minutes or even, like,
KROQ. Now it's a matter of waiting months for Pandora to find something
good that I don't already own.
- Two consecutive tweets:
adamcadre Calabrian peppers make everything better.
adamcadre Correction: Calabrian peppers do not
make corneas better.
- Product label: Metromint is mintwater, pure and simple. The fact
that "mintwater" isn't actually a word suggests that it may not really be
as simple as all that.
- I was reading an article about a woman who had swallowed several
X-Acto blades prior to her arrest for the rape and murder of a neighbor
girl, and came across the following sentence: In a text message Huckaby
sent to CBS 5 on the night of her arrest, she had denied trying to take her
own life: "And no I was not in the hospital for suicide attempt. LOL."
And I wondered... of the countless SF writers who have attempted to forecast
the future, which came closest to predicting "LOL"? Is Nadsat the closest
- space.com: Neutron Star Crust Is Stronger than Steel. That
didn't sound like a very bold claim to me, so I looked to see what the
article really said. 10 billion times stronger than steel, it
clarified. So, yeah, way to sell your story, headline writers! Note that
this is equivalent to saying, "Fixing the California budget deficit will cost
more than a candy bar."
- Every so often the media trots out
a story about how
humankind is on the verge of subdividing into two separate species, much like
the Eloi and Morlocks of H.G. Wells. Bloggers with a grounding in evolutionary
biology dismiss these stories as pseudoscience. But... man, click on one of
the "Trending Topics" on Twitter sometime. It's already happened.
- Someone on gmatclub.com forthrightly declares, Leaving one question
blank shaves 3 percentage pt off your score. For example, if your score was
40 without skipping any questions. Leaving one question will reduce it to 37.
Let's ignore the sentence fragments for the nonce and examine this claim.
First of all, the subscores the poster refers to are not
! In the middle of the GMAT scoring range, more than
three percentile points separate one score from the next: according to the
chart this person is referring to, a subscore of 27 represents the 46th
percentile, a 28 the 51st, and a 29 the 56th. Second, let's look at the basis
of this claim. It turns out to be a misreading of the following: Failing to
answer five verbal items, for example, could reduce a person's score from the
91st percentile to the 77th. Well, hey, it just so happens that the 91st
percentile on the relevant chart is a 40, while the 77th is a 35. In short,
each missed answer has dropped the test taker's subscore by one point, not
The fact that these are the sort of quantitative skills demonstrated by the
people who go to business school says a lot about why the economy has tanked.
- Here's a FAQ for you... am I really the only person who pronounces it
- I love the fact that on these
Mad Scientist's Alphabet Blocks" the letter K stands for "potassium."
- I started keeping track of what I had eaten prior to the onset of a
migraine. I expected this to be a useless exercise, but lo and behold:
04-10-09: artichoke, bell pepper, chickpea, and olive tagine
05-05-09: pizza margherita, marinated bell peppers
05-17-09: bell pepper pizza
05-22-09: penne puttanesca with roasted bell peppers
05-25-09: penne with tomato-cream sauce and roasted bell peppers
I guess this means I should try eliminating bell peppers from my diet and see
whether that reduces my number of incapacitating headaches!
...but I love dem
Return to the Calendar page!