30 September 2008

Cure for sarcasm

I need a maximum-strength version of this drug. But I'm not sure if I want a cure.

sarcasm :

  • harsh or bitter derision or irony
  • a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark:

29 September 2008

Lovely expressions

I love the expression, "chin wag." A Britishism for a light or idle chat. I am prone to like Britishisms but this one in particular strikes my fancy.

27 September 2008

Changing the world

You don't have to be a Nobel Peace Prize nominee to change the world. Google's 10 to the 100.



  • Project 10 to the 100th is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible.
  • Google has committed $10 million to make the projects happen. "Our goal is to help as many people as possible. So remember, money may provide a jumpstart, but the idea is the thing."
  • Send in your idea by Oct. 20.
  • Vote for the finalists beginning Jan. 27. (Sign up for a reminder to vote.)
  • "May those who help the most win."

How many people use Google to search, send/receive e-mail, blog, etc.? And those millions of those people find out about this great project. And some of them submit awesome ideas to change the world. I'm overwhelmed by the coolness.

Shoes and plants

Saw these tacked onto a house in Switzerland. I love it!


26 September 2008

I'm not just being lazy

To set the record straight -- on days I post only "Dumb Dares for the Office," I'm not just being lazy. I am also sharing joy.

I like to read the dare, close my eyes and envision myself, or John Cleese as Basil Fawlty, doing said dare.
Put someone else's name on your lunch bag then prominently display the bag while you're eating.

With everything you say all day, roll your eyes.

When someone hands you a form or an envelope, caress it and whisper huskily, "Mmmmmmm. Yes, I've been expecting this one."

Give a colleague an unlabeled prescription bottle filled with mints or candy, and instruct them to withhold the "pills" no matter how hard you beg.

25 September 2008

Zwei Herzen

The new single from Klee, Zwei Herzen (Two Hearts). Love it!
Klee - Zwei Herzen

Great moments in history (the pretend version)

This one's worth a try. Ignoring or bombing each other aren't really working out. Via Hallmark magazine. (I was stuck in the doctor's office waiting room. Limited reading options.)
Great Historical Events That Never Happened:
Two world leaders agreed to settle their differences with a spelling bee.

24 September 2008

Evolution of a nickname

One of Pele's nicknames is sack. The journey to this name went like this:
  • Bill: He looks like a tube steak
  • Jude: Tuber
  • Me: Sack of potatoes
  • Jude: Sack

23 September 2008

Rock on UDHR!

Human Rights 2.0. There's a blog and a twitter feed on human rights violations and blogging. Hooray! You are so not persecuting people for speech undetected! Web speech is also protected speech, even if you don't agree.
Article 19, Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Take that, despots!

Committtee to Protect Bloggers blog
Committee to Protect Bloggers on Twitter

Found via a comment by Curt on Web Strategy by Jeremiah

22 September 2008

Make-me-laugh list, episode 2

Too many posts to include in the previous make-me-laugh list. I love, love clever insults. I don't often get a chance to use them, but they're still useful as exasperation letting-outers.
  • Sagface charisma vacuum. The News Quiz (BBC)
  • Git wizard. The News Quiz (BBC)
  • Survival of the gittest. The News Quiz (BBC)
  • Dumber than a sack of hammers. The News Quiz (BBC)
  • The whip-crack smart gang of chimps that look after our government. The News Quiz (BBC)
  • Worst thing invented by humans since mustard gas. Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me (NPR)
  • Too stupid to be elected. Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me (NPR)
  • [Insert word] is [insert language] for 'I think the medicine is wearing off.' The News Quiz (BBC)
  • It's a loathe-hate relationship. Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me (NPR)
  • You can put your boots in the oven but that don't make 'em bread. Southern hickism related via Kelsey (a non hick)
  • Niinyhammer. Samuel Johnson
  • Eye of a tiger, mouth of a teamster. Homer Simpson describing Lisa's performance as a hockey goalie
  • Charles Ryder's father: You liked Miss ____?
    Charles: No
    Father: No? Was it her little moustache you objected to or her very large feet?
    Brideshead Revisited

21 September 2008

The Oath

Sometimes after you visit a a place it sears itself into your brain. You pay attention to what happens in that particular place more than you did before. That often happens to me with books, too.

The book that seared Chechnya in my mind was The Oath: A Surgeon Under Fire. The title sounds a bit made-for-TV-movie like but the story is anything but. It's written by Khassan Baiev and is his story.

Baiev was formerly a cosmetic surgeon. He becomes a traveling doctor of sorts when the Russians enter Chechnya to fight Muslim separatists. Baiev took his Hippocratic oath very seriously so he treated whoever showed up whether it be a child caught in the cross fire or a Chechen separatist leader. His working conditions -- his home, bombed out hospitals, etc. -- were horrifying. That anyone survived is a miracle. Along the way he reminds you of what these now-decimated areas were like before they were destroyed by the Russian/Chechen conflict.

Being non-sectarian gets him in a lot of trouble. Both sides hate him. With the help of several human rights organizations he eventually flees with his family to the U.S., away from the from the fighters, but also those caught in the middle who need him so desperately. They are now without someone who, despite the danger to himself, takes his devotion to people first.

20 September 2008

Post 1 of 30

I read about NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) on Moe's blog. Seemed liked a good challenge -- blog every day for 30 days. I'm usually up to a challenge as long as it doesn't involve physical or emotional pain, or perceived pain. I'm inherently lazy.

Today I have a question. Why are there so many movies and shows becoming musicals? Little House on the Prairie, Legally Blonde, Spamalot. I heard a story on NPR this morning about 9 to 5 the musical. I really don't get it. But at the risk of sounding like the kind of person who kicks kittens, I don't like most musicals.

16 September 2008

Slackers Unite!

Michael Moore's new movie, Slacker Uprising, is coming out next week. You can download it for free on 23 Sept (only in the U.S. and Canada). Sign up here to get an e-mail when it's available for download. The trailer.



Michael Moore can be over the edge at times but we need people like him to poke hypocrites in the eye and roust things up in general. The beauty of free speech. (Most of the time I agree with him.)

Worth a try

This is the lazy way to post but I'm doing it anyway. From today's Dumb Dare calendar -- to brilliant not to share.
Preface every statement with "Apropos of nothing" and whenever a co-worker says something, tell them, "You're not wrong."
And time each person to see how long it takes for them to go red in the face and/or get a "I could strangle you with my bare hands" look on his/her face.

15 September 2008

Tug-o-war

This captures the first time Sophie and Pele played tug-o-war. (Thanks to Lisa's gift from the puppy shower.) They sound so fierce when they're playing. They're all talk. So far.

14 September 2008

Palin & Clinton

Saturday Night Live ran this sketch of a faux Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton press conference. It's priceless! Tina Fey, playing Palin, is dead on with the accent (she really does sound like she stepped out the movie Fargo). Amy Poehler brilliantly captures Clinton's underlying rage. The script is great, particularly the first part which includes:

Clinton: I believe that diplomacy should be the cornerstone of any foreign policy.
Palin: I can see Russia from my house!


12 September 2008

Friday treat

It's Friday and the sun is shining! Hooray! As if anyone needed more, it's the Conchords.

Wonderful words

Today's Wordsmith word of the day via EclectChick.
Glasgow kiss
noun: A headbutt: a strike with the head to someone's sensitive area (such as the nose).

Etymology:
This slang for headbutt is relatively recent. The OED shows this 1982 citation from the Daily Mirror as the first printed use of the term:

"Glasgow has its own way of welcoming people ... There is a broken bottle gripped in the fist of greeting. Or there's the Glasgow Kiss -- a sharp whack on the nose with the forehead."
The term arose from allusion to violence in part of the city. An earlier term is a Liverpool kiss.

10 September 2008

Sleep -- Y or N?

At what point do you decide that it's so late that it's better to stay awake until it's time to go to work?

09 September 2008

08 September 2008

It's getting tough everywhere.

A sign of the economic times -- the "pastries" in our vending machine are now .95 cents. They should pay a person .95 cents to buy them and $9.50 to eat them.

06 September 2008

Podcast addiction

I am addicted to podcasts. Like Google Reader, books and Thanksgiving dinner, my eyes are bigger than my stomach/hours in the day.

Ever since I can remember I've been hooked on learning things. Most people want to learn new things but for me it's a compulsion. (I don't think this makes me any better/worse, smarter/dumber than anyone else. It's just part of my geekiness.) It's like someone who hasn't eaten for a week heading crazily for the buffet table.

Three of my favorites:
  • The Bugle -- Audio Newspaper for a Visual World (from Times Online). It's hilarious. The hosts review, and skewer, some of the news events from the week. They're snarky, smart and sometimes rude. The link to sharing your views on the shows says: "Send your partially informed opinions to The Bugle where Oliver and Zaltzman will respond to, rebuke, lampoon, plagiarise or ignore your comments as they see fit."
  • News from Lake Wobegon (from Prairie Home Companion). Garrison Keillor's monologues on small-town life and human foibles. Usually hilarious and often poignant. This program is about the only thing that's ever shut up my whole family during dinner. Another plus -- if it's bluegrass night you can catch the monologue while avoiding the annoyance and anger that bluegrass induces.
  • Animal Planet Audio Podcast, particularly Animal Miracles. (Don't be scared away by the narrator -- Alan Thick. The great stories cancel out his annoying voice.) The stories tell about animals' extraordinary relationships, knowledge and intuition. E.g.:
    • A diabetic woman whose dog kept bugging her until she woke up enough to eat some sugar. She was slipping into unconsciousness because her blood sugar level was out of whack. The dog was not trained to do this. He saved her life.
    • Prisoners who train rescue dogs to make them more adoptable. The dogs likely give the prisoners some of the first unconditional love they've ever experienced.
  • This American Life. This show is one of the best on public radio. There's a theme each week and several essays or stories around it. The show can be poignant, touching and/or funny. The host, Ira Glass, is so crazy smart as are the contributors. Because it's now available as a podcast, I avoid the panicky feeling I used to get when I missed the radio broadcast.

02 September 2008

Third Candidate for President

This video breaks the story that there will be a third candidate in the "War for the White House." According to one person interviewed, who plans to vote for Joad Cressbecker, "I'm voting for a man who I could imagine drowning a bag of cats." And according to a poll quoted in the report, voters say that McCain is not ornery enough.

From The Onion.


Old, Grizzled Third-Party Candidate May Steal Support From McCain