Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Fat Guy Sitcom Rule

Every once in a while you hear someone complain that TV sitcoms all revolve around a fat funny guy who is married to a woman who is way too attractive for him.

Today while following a thread of links on IMDB I learned that Kevin James (the slightly rounded star of The King of Queens) is, in real life, married to a model.

I like irony.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Peculiar TiVo Choices

One feature that TiVo has is that it can record programs that, based on your viewing habits, it believes you will enjoy.

Some of TiVos choices are the usual: Friends, Seinfeld, and the Simpsons--you can't swing a wet noodle on a city street without hitting someone who likes one of them.

But another choice is a bit odd--it recorded the Spanish language version of Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers. Twice.

Umm, yeah. I've asked it to search for every episode of Gargoyles, so the Disney cartoon is kinda logical, but the foreign language?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

For My Brother

Today my brother asked me if I had any wisdom to give him, from one college student to another. This is what I told him:

1. Don't be defined by any one thing. There's nothing wrong with liking Star Trek, but if all anyone can see about you is the Federation emblem on your shirt, you're going to be shallow. This is not limited to geeks--a jock is a one-dimensional athlete, after all, and some of the most frustrating people in the world have no identity aside from their religion. In short, do not be like a sitcom character. You have depth, show it.

2. Good and evil are good fodder for Saturday morning cartoons, but they have very little practical use. Love and selfishness are more useful ways of thinking--and it's consistent with most of your major religions.

3. Most of the people you met aren't trying to be bad. They may make selfish choices, they may differ from you, they may be flat-out dumb, but generally thinking of them as "shortsighted", "scared", "rash", or even "logically challenged" leads you to a healthier interaction with them then "evil", "hateful", or "worse". This applies even to your enemies.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Good News

My brother's surgery today went well.

This means that he will be able to walk around without pain in the near future. This is good.

However, he is on crutches for a few days. This means that he is, for all practical purposes, incapable of being too irritating towards me. This is also good.

Okay, it's not that he can't be annoying. He just can't poke me. It's still a win. ;-)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Three Paragraphs

I have three paragraphs of my M.S. thesis written.

This took 5 hours of staring in front of a computer screen to write.

I hope the rest goes faster.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Science News: Lizards are poisonous


Apparantly we've managed to study iguanas for many, many years without noticing that they were venomous! I can only wonder how you miss this fact...

Monday, November 14, 2005

The New Bookshelf

Today I ordered a Tivo box--they're on sale for $50, although you have to pay for a full-year subscription, which is another $150. I had the cash, though, and I've been meaning to do this for a while.

This brings up what I believe will be a social convention of the future. Right now we all know that the first time you go to someone's house, you snoop on the bookshelves--if someone has 1984 on their shelves, you gotta be suspicious.

Will finding some covert way to look through someone's TiVo listings become the new bookshelf-scan? You never what people are closet fans of, after all...

How to Fnord Up Pina Colodas

As many people know, Pina Coladas are one of my favorite drinks.

But did you know that it's possible to ruin them, not with bad rum, nor with bad mix, but with bad ice? I can hear my mom now, "If you drank ice in your soft drinks, you wouldn't have this problem."

Oh well...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

What's the Limit on Mythological Creatures?


Authorities in Sweden have declared open season on mythological lake monsters.

So how many of these are you allowed to bag in a day? And shouldn't the be protected species?

There is just so much wrong here...

Monday, November 07, 2005

Meditations Upon Gradstudentdom

Today I felt very much like a plastic surgeon struggle to repair the face of a baby that ran afoul of a pack of wild dingos.

By this I mean that I got some revisions from my advisor on a piece of writing.

Sadly, he's been stressed lately, which means that the piece a lower state of stylistic revision when I received it than when I gave it.

Le sigh, as they say.

On the upside, I was told to start writing my thesis today. Yippie.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Walking on Sunshine

Today my advisor actually pouted a little over something and said "okay, I suppose you're right."

My morale hasn't been this high in months :-)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Kanye West Doesn't Care About White People

This morning I had a song stuck in my head--not a song I really enjoy, either.

Now, the problem is that this song has some of the lyrics bleeped. This doesn't help me out.

So what do i do? I think like a physicist: I make the simplifying assumption that I am in a parallel dimension. In this dimension, the actual lyrics to the song are "I ain't saying she's a golddigger/but she ain't hanging out with no broke ninja." In this dimension, I feel comfortable singing along with the song.