Wednesday, December 19, 2018

TV Watching Advice

I don't think my flatscreen is fancy enough to have this problem, but I've noticed it when I watch movies at my father-in-law's house. I don't know whether it's worth changing the setting, but if it bugs you, you're not alone.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Elephants Are Evil

I wasn't aware of this before:
In Sri Lanka alone, a country close to the size of West Virginia with 20 million people and 5,000 elephants, roughly 70 people and 250 elephants are killed annually due to the human-elephant conflict.

"Could you imagine us tolerating, in West Virginia, 5,000 of an animal that . . . kills people?" Jones asks.

Pro-elephant people are even worse than the ones who want to see more wild wolves.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Thought of the Day

God doesn't give you happiness. God gives you things to be happy about. The rest is up to you.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Holiday Inn

Saw this Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire vehicle for the first time last night, as part of this year's "untried Christmas movie" stack.

Good singing. Good dancing.

Good heavens! A minstrel show???

I will, forever more, wince whenever I think of Lincoln's Birthday.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

I've Read All 5 Books in the Trilogy

Via Sheldon Comics

Anatomy of Douglas Adams

I post this because, to this day, I still use the phrase "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike" to describe disappointing things.

Also, I frequently reference the Total Perspective Vortex when I post sciencey videos about the size of the universe.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

You Know You're in Wisconsin When...

You see this sign at a public library


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Quote of the Day

"Our attitude tells the world what we expect in return. Make yours expectant and cheerful."

-Earl Nightingale

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As an Analogy, It's Not Wrong

via Neatorama

Somewhere in the bottom of the pit, we assume there's a shiny quarter.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Antlers vs. Horns

I never thought about the difference, but what they say makes sense.

The real question is: why don't horses have antlers?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

How to Acknowledge Pain Without Offering Unwanted Advice

[How do you help a grieving friend?] (Viewer #93,488)

Frankly, I could use more script suggestions in addition to "do you want to talk about it?".

Anyway, this advice applies to any time you want to help someone who is feeling particularly angry or sad, even if it doesn't rise to the level of "grieving".

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

How They Did Things Before Government Did Everything

via Neatorama

How the West Was Wired

It's funny... I've been re-watching Little House on the Prairie, lately, and in the later seasons, everyone starts getting telephones. I thought that was anachronistic garbage, sort of like that episode where a woman plays a phonograph record when the Edison cylinder isn't even a thing yet.

Apparently, phones WERE a thing...

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The World's First Decent Artificial Cat Purr


Personally, I set the top slider more toward the sleepy side, and the bottom slider all the way to the right to skip the meowing, and I'm good.

You can almost feel the claws kneading into your thigh.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Sometimes Fun Comes With Alarm Bells

via Basic Instructions

Panel 4 reminds me of the time I went to butterfly exhibit in an enclosed building.

Apparently my blood sugar is high, because butterflies kept landing on me and licking my sweat.

Which sounds creepy in writing, but because a butterfly proboscis is the lightest, featheriest touch in the world, it's actually kinda cute in real life.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Life Advice from a Cartoonist's Daughter

via Stilton's Place:

[I don't want to know how she learned #2]

1. Nothing good ever comes from clowns.

2. Never try to blackmail a murderer.

3. Have a flashlight in every room - you never know where you're going to be when the lights go out.

4. You can microwave regular oatmeal just like instant oatmeal.

5. Someone doesn't have to be a bad person to still be bad news.

6. Understand statistics - otherwise people will lie to you with facts.

7. Understand personal finance.

8. If you're going to speed when driving, make sure someone else is going faster than you. That's who the police will pull over.

9. Driving and competitiveness should have nothing to do with each other. Let the angry speed demons pass you. My personal zen-like phrase is "be the rock in the river."

10. Life is too short for cheap, crappy toilet paper.

11. One's living space should be both tidy and expressive of your life and personality. This ensures that, when you are murdered, the forensics team and investigators will be able to get a clear picture of your circumstances and thus more likely to catch the killer.

12. Large groups of women can quickly turn into war zones about nothing.

13. There are more sociopaths in the world than you would think.

14. All Christmas lights are beautiful.

15. Prolonged self-pity is a form of narcissism.

16. There is a very tight correlation between parents who refuse to discipline their precious babies and parents that get easily, easily offended.

17. You can generally identify these parents before even meeting them by hearing the 'creative' names of their children. I'm looking at you, Camelot.

18. Even when they make you crazy, having a dog keeps you sane.

19. Stick up for people being bullied. You'll probably end up being bullied too, but no one should have to feel isolated and alone.

20. Very few people tolerate someone making a constant stream of puns. Keep them close and cherish them.

21. Ramen stops being cheap when you have to buy heartburn medicine to go with it.

22. Beware the quiet ones - they are the ones who, when pushed too hard, will lose their minds with rage. As the quiet one, I admit to relishing the look of absolute, pants-staining terror on the faces of those who didn't see it coming. I'm looking at you, jocks who threw french fries at me. ONCE.

23. Running a spoon under hot water, then placing it on a mosquito bite, will instantly stop the itching. I feel sad for all of the summers I didn't know this.

24. Compatibility with your co-workers makes up to 99% of your job satisfaction.

25. Wear comfortable, practical shoes. You never know when the zombie apocalypse will start, and trying to run in strappy stiletto heels is a recipe for disaster.

26. Don't try to hide mistakes. It just makes things harder for everyone.

27. It's nice to have your own theme song. Mine is Academic Festival Overture by Brahms.

28. Never underestimate Japan's power to screw with your mind.

29. Life doesn't owe you a thing.

30. Sometimes, when you get stuck in a routine, it feels like your life is being lived for you. Those are the times to do something a little different - it reminds you that your life is yours. So yeah, I am going to get that third ear piercing! Sorry Mom and Dad!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

I Have My Own Definition of Friendship

The New York Times, among other characteristics, notes that friendship means "having a common enemy".

Personally, I define a "friend" as "an acquaintance with whom you share a secret".

Not sure what the dictionary definition is.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

It's Not the Time Together, It's the Commitment to the Time Together

Regarding the Atlantic's "Mormons’ Weekly Family Ritual Is an Antidote to Fast-Paced Living", I notice that they see the effect, but miss the cause.

Yes, family time is beneficial, and any family that practiced it weekly would grow closer.

The thing is, there's ALWAYS a reason to skip Family Home Evening. It's always a pain to gather everyone in the same room for an event that doesn't revolve around a video screen. Everyone is always tired, or hungry, or busy, or not in the mood. Nobody really feels like doing it... until they start doing it.

It's just so much easier not to do it, that I can't imagine a family that hasn't been commanded to do it by someone they trust and respect (like the leaders of the church they attend every week), would ever have the commitment and determination to do it when its hard and uncomfortable.

Which it is every single week.

Maybe the authors of the article should attend a few Latter Day Saint church services and figure out the REAL reason people believe it's worth the effort.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Document It or Experience It - Pick One

via Mental Floss

Want to Remember Your Vacation? Take Fewer Photos

My opinion - sunsets never look as good in pictures because it's the panoramic experience of them filling your vision that makes you tingle.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Lessons From the Big Screen

(As told to me by my blogless brother Tom)

My rules for surviving in a horror movie:

1. Always have a good flash light with a freshly charged battery or two.
2. Always have a gun and several spare magazines.
3. Never go into the basement in your underwear when you hear a strange sound and the light isn't working.
4. When in doubt, always empty the magazine into the monster's head BEFORE you chop it off and bury it in a 20'
deep hole and fill it with concrete... on holy ground.
5. Finally ALWAYS look In the back seat BEFORE you get into a car.

(With thanks to every 80's horror movie ever)

Saturday, March 31, 2018

I Just Like This Poem

via American Digest


They will declare: Every journey has been taken.
You shall respond: I have not been to see myself.
They will insist: Everything has been spoken.
You shall reply: I have not had my say.
They will tell you: Everything has been done.
You shall reply: My way is not complete.
You are warned: Any way is long, any way is hard.
Fear not. You are the gate – you, the gatekeeper.
And you shall go through and on...

— Alexandros Evangelou Xenopouloudakis

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Controlled Folder Access

If I don't jot this down, I will never remember how I set this up

via IMAO

[How to Prevent Ransomware with Windows Defender] (Viewer #10,823)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sea Salt: Trendy Little Lie

(Via Mental Floss)

Turns out the FDA couldn't care less if it's actually derived from seawater. It's just a name, not a promise.

Your Sea Salt May Not Actually Come From the Sea

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Saturday, January 13, 2018

I Slept Here for 3 Years

Not this SPECIFIC bed, but when I was aboard the Enterprise (CVN65) between 87 and 91 (the last year was in the yards for refueling, so I lived off base), I slept in a middle rack, which opened up just like this one:

The biggest difference is that mine had 2 blue "privacy curtains" that you could draw across the opening to shut out the light.

And yes, that 3-inch thick foam mattress is even less comfortable than it looks.

The whole sleeping space was about 2'x2'x6'. Tall guys had to sleep on their sides, curled up. I was very lucky to be 5'10"

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Not Just a Joke in "Monster House"

[What Does Your Uvula Do?] (Viewer #1,172,710)

More useful than that bum, the appendix.

[title reference link]