Wednesday, July 29, 2009


In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University ...
On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air.
The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.
He got down on one knee, inspected the elephants foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.
As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.
The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.
Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled.
Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.
Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.
Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son.
As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing.
The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down.
The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.
Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant.
Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure.
The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.
Evidently it wasn't the same elephant...

(thanks, si ;-)

Monday, July 27, 2009

fun stuff

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

i don't much care for modern country music can be annoying and very limited, but they often have some good lyrics. Anyway, here's an example of a song I don't care for musically, but I like the words:

I like the idea of "live like you were dying" because, guess what: we are, all of us.

Most of the people I love are "living for eternity." That means that nothing in the here & now matters except inasmuch as it relates to cosmic/universal/eternal truths & standards. Prioritizing (or even meddling with) things that have no eternal impact is considered a misdirection of time & energy -- a gross waste of time at best, and ultimately tragically shallow & spiritually fatal.

But what if this is all there is? To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens (a bright-but-unhappy-and-often-unpleasant man), We're shot out of our mother's womb as if from a cannon, headed for a door studded with nails; the trick is to make something meaningful or ironic out of our lives in the brief moment we have.

My point is that we're all going to be dead soon. (Cheers!) Some people view this idea with dread, or are convinced they've found a get-out-of-death-free card -- and to each his own, I say -- but I've seen no evidence that we do anything after we die except decompose.

So in the meantime, turn that frown upside down -- you're gonna be dead sooner than you expected, but in the meantime, look! You're alive! Yay! Don't worry, be happy. And for heaven's sake stop worrying about what other people think, what you're wearing, what other people are wearing, and also 90% of the other absurdly irrelevant things you worry about. It's not worth it, and in 100 yrs not only will it not matter, nobody will even remember it.

Just sayin.

this is cute

My favorite part is this, from the comments:

If you start singing spontaneously at Disney world do people just join in like this? because I tried it at Time's square and a bunch of people just beat the crap out of me. I think a prostitute bit me. I'm so lonely.

Monday, July 06, 2009

nifty music

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Things that suck

1) Fox News. I don't know if this bit (look for video called "Crumbling Model?") is part of their news section or their editorial section, but it's definitely presented in "news" format. Actually, I'm not sure the majority of Fox's viewers even know the difference between news and editorializing. But the point is, the smug, mocking tone is incredible considering the limited treatment they gave the subject matter.

2) I-tunes. As my son's friends would say, "It sucks @$$" for the following reasons:

  • The interface is clumsy and non-intuitive.
  • The ituneshelper process sucks up CPU like an airliner sucking jet fuel.
  • The way it "manages" your music is laughable: it lacks the ability to detect two identical files, so if you have a song stored twice on your hard drive, you now have two copies in I-tunes.
  • If you move or rename a file, I-tunes can't find it any more.
  • OTOH if I-tunes is managing your music (which it will keep trying to do, even if you told it not to), for some reason it only (in my case) imported about 2/3 of my music, plus you have no control of what files are stored together, all you can do is establish playlists of titles.
  • If you had several named folders of music with files names Track1, Track2, etc, now all your Track1's are together, followed by all your Track2's, etc.
  • There's apparently no way to tell it which files of your large collection to put onto your small I-pod, except by sync-ing using selected playlists, but you can only use selected playlists if you automatically update when you plug in your I-pod -- you can't say "move these playlists to my I-pod just this once".
  • I found no way to simply view the contents of my I-pod in an explorer-type window and manipulate (eg, delete) files manually.
  • If you lose your hard drive and want to re-import your music from your I-pod, I-tunes won't do it for you; you have to do a special hack to just get the files back, but your song titles and playlists are gone.
And on and on. I could design a better program with one hand tied behind my back, my penis slammed in a door, and a fork stuck in my eye. I can't believe this product is the standard for personal music devices...

3) Televangelists asking for money. Just watched about 10 minutes of some slimeball exhorting his viewers to "plant a thousand dollar seed." Quick n dirty, if you plant a $1000 seed (ie, send in $1000), God will give you a harvest (ie, you will get a sh*tload of money) in the near future. It was one of the most disgusting examples of manipulation and mendacity I've ever seen. Quick example (out of dozens):
If you are moved to plant your $1000 seed right now, and you want to use your credit card (you know the sooner the seed enters the soil, the sooner the harvest comes), call this number. I know there's someone who needs their credit card debt wiped out -- if you use your faith, when you plant your seed with your credit card, God can wipe out your credit card debt...

If I saw that guy, I'd be tempted to punch him in the face.