2015.11 minutiae

  • The history class I'm auditing is held in the room where my calculus class was held my first semester in college, and apparently there are still math classes taught there, because the board is often full of equations.  The instructor of one of these classes writes the letter x as a pair of osculating half-circles, sort of like this: ɔc .

  • In my class the instructor ended one lecture by talking about the right of capture in regards to oil, which holds that if a pool of oil lies beneath two properties, then the owner of one property can install drilling equipment and drain the entire pool, depriving the other property owner of that resource.  I kept waiting for him to refer to the "I drink your milkshake" speech from There Will Be Blood, but he didn't.  And then it occurred to me: if the students in this class are 20, that means that that movie came out when they were 12, and as it is not typical fare for 12-year-olds, maybe they wouldn't recognize the quote!  Even though it seems like just the other day that you couldn't leave your house without spotting a couple of people wearing "I drink your milkshake" t-shirts. 

  • I heard a radio commercial for a diamond retailer that boasted that its young staff allowed it to stay on top of the latest industry trends — for instance, "geometric shapes are 'in' this season".  Um… are diamonds normally cut into shapes unknown to geometry?

  • So I was walking down the street and I saw this sign:

    And then as I passed it I looked at the other side:

    I guess on Mondays they only let you in if you speak Spanish.

  • My landlord had warned me that a handyman would be coming by to look at the steps leading up to my front door — apparently they'd begun to rot.  Here's how that went:

    • knock on door
    • I open it
    • handyman is there
    • he crouches down and looks at where the steps join the house
    • he says "GYAAAAGGH" in disgust
    • he stares at the spot for a while
    • he says "IT'S BAAAAAD"
    • he says "that's all I gotta look at" and that I can close the door

    I hope that's not how people react to the Ready, Okay! ebook!

    (…Which is out now!  Go buy it!)

  • Sign you stayed up too late into the night editing: "Oh, shit, that's two apostrophes in a row. Better flag that."

    (a long moment passes)

    "…wait, no, that's a double quote."

  • I went to the Monterey Market and glanced at a rack full of bagged nuts as I headed into the store.  As I walked to a different aisle, I had the following mental monologue:

    "'Organic Awakened Almonds'.  I wonder what that means."

    "…Wait, that doesn't mean anything.  Obviously I misread it.  Clearly it must have read 'Organic Evaporated Almonds'."

    "…Wait, that doesn't mean anything either!  Buh!  Now I have to go back and look at it to see what it really said or this will drive me crazy."

    So I did.  It turned out that the bag said "Organic Awakened Almonds".  "Awakened" in this case is apparently a New Agey term for "sprouted".

  • One of this month's viral news stories was that an underground bunker in Tift County, Georgia, went on the market for $17.5 million.  Reports indicated that the facility "can withstand a 20-kiloton nuclear blast".  Perfect for surviving World War III!  Provided, of course, that World War III happens no later than 1948.

  • From the script a non-player character in A Mind Forever Voyaging follows, courtesy of The Infocom Cabinet:

    …45 minutes?  Dang, how big was that sandwich?

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