July 7, 2008

Public Service Announcement

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 7:45 pm

Just popping back in to alert you of the recall of a dangerous product which is behaving in completely unpredictable ways.

It seems that the Black Cat people, who make fireworks, have released a product that, uh, well, here’s how the CPSC put it: “The firework can produce a loud bang and unexpectedly scatter debris, posing an injury hazard to the user and bystanders.”

I know you wouldn’t expect that from fireworks, so, after you light the fuse, you should get away. They should put something like that on the label.

Here’s all the details.

What’s the world coming to. Fireworks that explode. Loudly.


May 25, 2008


Filed under: pedantry, pointlessness — Brian @ 4:07 pm

I had my first Snickers in a while today, and on the wrapper it said, “Substantialiscious.” Hmm. Inside was this definition: “(noun). The weight of something when you weigh it with your tongue.”

Via Google, I find that Ryan G also noticed the mis-classification-iscious-ness of it: clearly this would be an adjective and not a noun. By the way, Mr. G is #2 at Google for this term, a position he should value for its addition of the objective weight of algorithm-driven authority to his opinion, which opinion I am proud to share.

But I must go further. If “substantialiscious” is truly “the weight of something when you weigh it with your tongue,” then it isn’t even a relative term. I propose this to be implicit in declaring it to be a noun. Nouns are not relative. They just are. Any given “substantialiscious” shares core traits with any other such person, place, thing, or idea.

We are further left to assume that anything one weighs with one’s tongue becomes forevermore a “substantialiscious,” merely by the act itself. Unanswered is the question of whether it retains whatever character it brought with it to the tongue-based determination of mass-times-the-force-of-gravity or whether “substantialiscious” also effaces any previous reality. “That was a bite of pizza, but no longer. It is now and forevermore a substantialiscious.” If this were true, then one’s stomach is, at all times, filled to varying degrees with substantialiscious and nothing else, save perhaps stomach acid and bile. This strikes me as unlikely.

Or – is “when you weigh it with your tongue” meant to indicate a single, passing point in time, after which things return to their previous state? Does, “when,” equate to “while,” here? That is, while one weighs a thing with one’s tongue, that thing transforms into a thing called a “substantialiscious” and, upon its removal from the tongue, or tongue-based weighing instrument, returns to being “a beet” or what have you?

In my opinion, the confusion implicit in this new word far outweighs (whether weighed by the tongue or any other means) the word’s potential utility. It will not find a home in my vocabulary.

The Snickers, though? There’s room for more of those.

May 23, 2008

Not Even Wrong

Filed under: pedantry — Brian @ 7:30 pm

An apparently scientific argument is said to be not even wrong if it is based on assumptions that are known to be incorrect, or alternatively theories which cannot possibly be falsified or used to predict anything.

Very nice.

April 9, 2008

Killer Eggs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 8:33 pm

Six eggs a week is fine, but that seventh one will kill you.

The article opens with, “Middle-aged men who ate seven or more eggs a week had a higher risk of earlier death, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.”

…and closes with this:

Men who ate the most eggs also were older, fatter, ate more vegetables but less breakfast cereal, and were more likely to drink alcohol, smoke and less likely to exercise — all factors that can affect the risk of heart attack and death.

Pay no attention to the old, fat, out of shape, no exercise part. It’s the eggs. Egg number seven, specifically.

April 7, 2008

Turning Left is a Privilege, not a Right

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 8:41 pm

Fellow drivers:

I know you’re just trying to be polite, but may I point out that, in certain cases, doing what’s expected and agreed-upon is a higher good than doing what might otherwise be more polite?

Case in point: you’re driving straight across an intersection, and someone coming the opposite direction wants to turn left across your lane.

You’re going straight. You’re going straight. GO!

The left-turning person will inch forward as you pass and then go behind you.

That’s the rule we all learned in driver’s ed in America. The car making the left turn never has the right-of-way. Apart from being a good rule, in that it allows for more cars to cross an intersection in a shorter period of time, it’s the rule everyone knows! is supposed to know!

It’s nice that you want to be nice, but making up your own rules at the four-way stop isn’t the place for it.

Thank your grocery clerk and mean it. Be patient when the waitress doesn’t refill your water glass immediately. On your girlfriend’s birthday, buy flowers for her mother. (seriously, try that one.) But please, do not stop in the middle of the road so you can have an extended gestural conversation with someone who just wants to get home after you get out of his way.

I want one of those semiautomatic suction cup dart guns, and I want a ticket issued to anyone with more than two darts stuck to their car at the end of the day. Not a fine: traffic school.

Here in Ohio, there are a few people who know the rules, and the rest seem to try to out-yield each other.

They Fry Chips in Oil, Right?

Filed under: pointlessness, recommendation — Brian @ 8:18 pm

Health food idea: potato chips.

They fry ’em in oil, right? So, why not fry ’em in (omega-3 rich) fish oil instead and call ’em health food?

I’d try it myself, but I don’t have the patience to cut open that many fish oil pills myself.

Someone please try this out and let me know how it goes.

March 13, 2008

A Public Service Announcement

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 8:46 pm

I’d never had this called to my attention in quite this way before. Figuring I’m not the only one, I thought you could all benefit from seeing it as well.

hot fireplace

Curiously enough, this sign alone omitted the braille equivalent.

February 20, 2008

It’s Perfectly Clear Out

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 8:38 pm

…for the eclipse tonight!


February 11, 2008

For All Your Needs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 7:05 pm

Their emphasis is on “all”.

Need a hand moving that refrigerator? A cool drink? A sense of purpose?

White glue’s just the thing.

glue for all your needs

Cashless ATM?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 2:46 pm

What’s the point of a cashless ATM?

There’s a sign in the window of a storefront nearby, and it says, “Cashless ATM Inside.” It’s a government storefront (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) so I doubt it’s a joke…

I’ve got to be missing something … what’s the point of a cashless ATM?

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