Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Wish Everyone in Customer Service Felt This Way About His Job

Back in the day, I spent a lot of time riding the BART system, but that was 30 years ago, and he's only been at it 20, so I never got to meet him. Wish I had, though, he sounds pretty cool.


[Agent of Connection] (Viewer #51)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Pondering

Faith is taking action in the face of an uncertain outcome

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Looking for Professional Opportunities



Because of some recent developments in my personal life, I find myself in need of more remunerative employment.

So, short version:

For 5 years I worked at Westwood One as the Digital Content Manager for 3 different nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts (Fred Thompson, Doug Urbanski, and Dennis Miller). Basically my job was to make them look good on the internet.

If, during the course of your activities, you hear of someone who is looking to make someone or something look good on the internet, please pass my name on to them or their name on to me, because I'm looking for opportunities to be useful.

Contact me at harvolson@gmail.com

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Love Hacks AKA Shortcuts to Relationship Happiness

It's a New York Times article, and I don't trust them to keep this on the web forever, so I'm copy/pasting the useful part so I'll always have it:

Touch Your Partner

Holding hands can win you points even when you don't mean it, as demonstrated in an experiment with couples who watched a video together. Some people were instructed not to touch their partners during the video, while others were told to touch in a "warm, comfortable and positive way."

Afterward, the people who had been touched reported being more confident of being loved by their partner - and this effect occurred even when the people knew that their partners' actions were being directed by the researchers. Their rational selves knew that the hand-holding wasn't a spontaneous gesture of affection, but it made them feel better anyway.

Don't Jump to Bad Conclusions

If your partner does something wrong, like not returning a phone call, don't over-interpret it. Researchers have found that one of the biggest differences between happy and unhappy couples is their "attributional style" in explaining a partner's offense.

The unhappy couples tend to automatically attribute something like an unreturned phone call to a permanent inner flaw in the partner ("He's too selfish to care about me") rather than a temporary external situation, like an unusually busy day at work. When something goes wrong, before drawing any conclusions about your partner, take a few seconds to consider an alternative explanation that puts the blame elsewhere.

Picture a Fight From the Outside

In an experiment with 120 married couples in Chicago, Dr. Finkel periodically asked questions about their marriages over the course of two years. During the first year, their satisfaction with their marriages declined, which unfortunately is typical.

At the start of the second year, some of the couples were instructed to try something new when they found themselves in an argument: "Think about this disagreement with your partner from the perspective of a neutral third party who wants the best for all involved; a person who see things from a neutral point of view. How might this person think about the disagreement? How might he or she find the good that could come from it?"

Again, that little exercise made a big difference. Over the next year, marital satisfaction remained stable in those couples, whereas it continued to decline in the control group that hadn't been instructed to take the third-party perspective.

Make a Gratitude List

Once a week, write down a few things your partner has done to "invest in the relationship," as the participants in one experiment were instructed to do. Other participants were instructed to list things they had done themselves to invest in the relationship. The ones who patted themselves on the back subsequently felt a little more committed to the relationship, but the ones who wrote about their partners' contributions felt significantly more committed - and also, not surprisingly, a lot more grateful toward their partners.

Accept a Compliment

One of the most common factors in failed marriages is the "rejection sensitivity" of one partner. People with low self-esteem have a hard time believing their partner really loves them, so they often preemptively discount their partner's affection in order to avoid being hurt by the expected rejection. Eventually, even when they start off with a loving partner, their worst fear comes true because their defensive behavior ends up driving the other person away.

In testing ways to counteract this anxiety, researchers asked insecure people to recall a specific compliment from their partner. Giving a detailed account of the situation and the compliment didn't have any effect, apparently because these insecure people could dismiss it as a lucky aberration: "For once I did something right."

But there was a notable effect when people were asked to think about the compliment abstractly: "Explain why your partner admired you. Describe what it meant to you and its significance for your relationship." That quick exercise helped them see why their partner could really care for them.

Celebrate Small Victories

When your partner tells you about something that went right in his or her day, get excited about it. Ask questions so your partner can tell you more about the event and relive it. Put some enthusiasm into your voice and your reactions. Researchers call this a "capitalization attempt."

When researchers studied couples who were trained to use these techniques in their evening discussions, it turned out that each partner took more pleasure from their own victories, and both partners ended up feeling closer to each other. By sharing the joy, everyone came out ahead - and in true love-hack fashion, it didn't take much time at all.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Not Normally a Fan of Theremin Music, But This Is Done Beautifully


[THEREMIN - Over The Rainbow] (Viewer #5,073,394)

Right hand controls pitch, left hand controls volume. I especially like the vibrato.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

No, Google, That's Not Creepy or Stalkerish at All...

This was on my Google home page (yes, that mouse-hover text is real):



Guess I need to put a tighter rein on my personal information (although I guess that ship has sailed by this point in my online life...)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I'm Surprised the Anti-Capitalist Crowd Isn't Going All Social Justice Warrior on Apple Over This

I'm The Voice Of Siri: And No, Apple Didn't Pay (Or Warn) Me

Personally, I don't have a problem with the situation. She sold the rights to her voiceover work and got paid the money she asked for. But I could certainly see how leftists who don't understand how free markets work could make up an injustice to scream about.

And since that's what makes that sort happy, I'm puzzled as to why they don't.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How to Win an Argument

I hate infographics, but the advice is sound (via Mental Floss)

How to Win an Argument

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Repeat to Yourself "It's Just a Show, I Should Really Just Relax"


[Star Trek Voyager's IMPOSSIBLY Tiny Planet] (Viewer #84,976)

He makes a good point, but instead of laughing it off and chalking it up to artistic license, he seems to get kind of offended that digital animators aren't always scientifically accurate.

Anyway, I recently decided to give Voyager a chance, so I've seen this planet a lot recently.

I'm somewhere in Season 2 right now, and I've been told I just need to grit my teeth until 7 of 9 comes along, after which it gets... well, if not better, at least tolerable.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I Think I'm OK With This

US T-shirt company sells swastika design as 'symbol of love and peace'

Homosexuals ruined rainbows and the word "gay", so co-opting symbols is definitely possible.

I can't think of better people to have it happen to than neo-Nazis.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Meanwhile, Men's Suits Are Mostly Unchanged

Women, whatever you're wearing right now, be thankful:

Women's Fashion 1784-1970

[in a single, easy to view illustration - via Neatorama]

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Just Cute


[goalkeeper cat] (Viewer #30,979)

I don't know why I like this so much. Maybe it's the unblinking intensity.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Saturday, July 1, 2017

53 Nosy Questions

Good for getting to know someone or yourself

Via Gentleman's Gazette

53 Great Questions to Ask

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Possible Future Baby Names

Via Mental Floss

I'm really hoping that none of the list ever get used, but I fear that all will.

I consider "Halden" the least worst of the lot with "Rusert" coming in a close second.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Literacy Kills

Don't know why I find this so amusing, but I do:

Signs for luring ants into ant traps

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Marriage Tips

Found a list intended to advise women on how to keep their marriage strong. I was tempted to say "I wish my ex-wife would've read that when we were married", but the truth is, I'm in a really good place now, and there's nowhere else I'd rather be.

But I do hope she reads it during her second marriage.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Video Game Graphics Then and Now

via Dorkly: 15 Stunning Examples of How Far Videogame Graphics Have Advanced

Yeah, but what about gameplay?

Doom is still fun to play. Doom 3... not really. Discrete episodes & quicksave make a big difference in the amount of fun you can have.

"I made it through THAT mess, but I'm at 50% health and there isn't a medical kit anywhere in sight. Should I reload & try to make it through healthier, or quicksave & hope for a health boost before a wave of imps descends on me?"

Saturday, May 6, 2017

This... Never Ends Well


[The Friendzone As A Horror Movie] (Viewer #129,574)

There IS a way out, but you won't like it, it's too much work, there are no guarantees, and it's frankly easier just to find a new girl entirely.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Imagine This Road Rash On Your Face

via Buzzfeed, 17 pictures of very damaged helmets, and one tiresomely sarcastic headline, which you are requested to ignore all 17 times:

17 Reasons Why No One Should Ever Put On A Helmet

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Statistically, It's Safer Being a Redshirt

via Neatorama:

The Real Danger in Being a Redshirt

I will, however, continue using the term "redshirt" to mean someone expendable.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Saturday, March 18, 2017

World's Fastest Bumblebee

He gets around to his sub-minute rendition of "Flight of the Bumblebee" at the 4-minute mark, if you get bored, but his pre-Bee patter is somewhat interesting, too, if you want to wait it out.


[Fastest violinist in the world - BBC News] (Viewer #3,174,535)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Good News for Fans of Cursive (Like Me)

via Mental Floss: Cursive Is Regaining Popularity in U.S. Schools

I like cursive for two reasons:

1) It looks elegant, which is nice in a world gone crass

2) Without it, original historical documents become hieroglyphics and you lose your past.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Like You, All I Can Think Is "That Poor Chicken"

via Mental Floss


[Egg inside an Egg] (Viewer #686,057)

"It's called counter-peristalsis contraction, and it happens when a second egg starts forming before the egg that precedes it exits the hen's reproductive system. In such cases, the new oocyte (the part of the egg that becomes the yolk) moves through the chicken's oviduct per usual, collecting membranes and albumen (the white part) along the way. If a fully formed egg has been contracted back into the oviduct from the uterus, the whites of the still-forming egg will amass around it."

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Somebody Try This and Tell Me If It Works


[A "solution" to clear frost off your windshield] (Viewer #5,154,321)

One commenter said that the water froze on the windshield after the alcohol evaporated. Maybe 70% isopropyl alcohol doesn't need more dilution?

Saturday, January 7, 2017