Tuesday, October 31, 2006

have some fun at work

Ha, I am definately going to get going on some of these dares. I meean, what a breeze! Nobody will even blink when I walk sideways to the photocopier.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

OMFG this is great

Handbag Hodgepodge

Ok ok. So for some reason my Project Runway finale-inspired anxiety last night fueled some OCD-like behaviors, including a manic handbag cleaning. I found 3 different purses that I haven't used for a while in various closets that all were filled with junk. Look at all the goodies I found:

1 memory stick from sometime in the last century
1 teabag
1 large pink eraser
1 batch of Post-Its
1 safety pin
1 green button
2 AA batteries
2 nail files
2 paperclips
3 matchbooks
3 toothpicks
3 yellow highlighters
4 pencils
5 types of lipstick, lipgloss, and Chapstick
5 sticks o'gum
6 Advil
7 bobby pins
9 tampons (!)
9 pens
11 hair bands
16 mints
$2.95 in change
A multitude of receipts, business cards, and general garbage

Wow. Clearly I have some problems with clutter. I'll bring it up later with my therapist.

Overall, this whole experience has reminded me of when I was a little girl and loved--more than almost anything--digging around in my mom and my grandma's purse. For some reason my grandma always had lots of gum, rubberbands, and business cards while my mom mostly just carried cigarettes.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Makin' Babies

Across Europe, birth rates are falling. To counter this, the French have instituted incredible incentives such as 3-year paid parental leave with guaranteed job protection, full-time preschool for all starting at age 3, stipends for nannies, monthly child-care stipends that are graduated to ensure only a certain percentage of a working mother’s wages go to child-care and increase with the number of children in a family. All of this has resulted in France now having a birth rate of 1.8, the second highest in Europe.

Most of these policies sound like good ideas but it’s the motivation behind them that gives me a touch of the willies. Ensuring that mothers can work and sustain a good quality of life is a great thing, but doing all of this for the sake of birthing more French babies smacks of eugenics and short-sightedness. The world population has now topped 6.7 billion, and just this week the U.S. population hit 300 million. Does the world really need more European babies? We have enough children being born places like Malawi, where women pop out an average of 6.1 children over their (short) lifespan and at least 1 million AIDS orphans need a home.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Beware Autistic Child

Recently I was driving through a suburban neighborhood and saw the oddest sign. A yellow street sign warning passers-through about....an autistic child. How what does this mean exactly? I can't quite figure it out and I have been thinking about it for a while. Below is a picture of the sign.As far as I can figure, this is a warning to those in the neighborhood not to be alarmed if a kid starts acting strangely. Or perhaps to be on the lookout for unusual people in the neighborhood who might take advantage of an autistic child. Or maybe it's just a statement letting everyone know why the Jones boy can't stop shouting everytime he sees a yellow car. Perhaps it's a reminder to the neighbors to pay extra attention to the kid to make sure he isn't picked upon by the bullies, or doesn't decide to wander off into the woods. Maybe it's just another way of saying drive-slow-around-here-because-you-never-know-who-might-wander-

But if that is the case, why not just use a "drive slow, children playing" sign? I suppose the sign owners figured they would you get a bigger reaction the autistic child sign, for example, cars slamming on their brakes and people jumping out into the middle of the road to take pictures with their cell phone camera. Hm.

But after all this, I still can't help but be reminded of the "Prison Area. Do not pick up hitchhikers" signs you see all across the great state of Texas.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

This Is Satisfying

Although not quite as good as the real thing, this is still pretty darn satisfying.

Friday, October 13, 2006

So Capricorn It Hurts

You are 73% Capricorn

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Smell that letter, a synesthesia experiment

For a small percentage of the population, letters or numbers are associated with particular smells or colors; words have flavors, sounds are perceived in color, numbers exist in a mental spatial pattern, or ordered objects have their own unique personalities.

Synesthesia is a neurological condition that results in a difference in perception; it's not exactly a disorder or a disease since it doesn't necessarily have negative consequences--in fact, it could be a positive thing. Imagine if everytime you saw the color blue you experienced a pleasant scent.

Checkout these fun experiments on synesthesia and decide for yourself the color of a lion's roar:

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Question: What's grosser than cracker crumbs in your new cubicle?


So today, after a ridiculous number of emails, discussions, paperwork, and forms, I moved to a new cubicle. I'm not sure why. All that matters is the fact that I had to move all of my stuff except my phone (done by Mr. X) and my computer (done by Mr. B). Moreover, I had to remove all of the old stuff from my new cubicle. Nobody wanted to take responsibility for a whole bunch of crap leftover from an extinct grant.

So I schlepped boxes and boxes of junk back and forth using my chair as a dolly. Then I had to clean my new cubbie to eradicate what appeared to be years worth of dust. I discovered in the drawers that the previous inhabitant, who I will refer to as Ms. M, had some kind of unhealthy obsession with crackers. There were cracker crumbs in every nook and cranny, some of which simply will not leave! But what's worse are the 5--count them--5 (!) silverfish that have come out of hiding from Ms. M's piles of junk. I even found one on my chair---sneaky thing jumped off her old papers mid-transport from the new to the old cubicle and then tried to scare me by appearing near my leg. EW!

Something you might want to know about silverfish, (thanks Wikipedia), they love to eat anything with starch or polysaccharidies, including glue, book bindings, sugar, hair, dandruff, and CRACKERCRUMBS. Apparently, they have no direct effect on health beyond psychological distress. No kidding.

Well, I will continue to work on the cracker crumb eradication project (CCEP) and hopefully that will take care of the problem. I am concerned, however, over the news that silverfish can live for several months without feeding. Maybe I will lay a train of crumbs to lure any remaining bugs over to someone else's cubicle.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Great Time Killer

Here's a fun little game called Funny Farm with a simple premise: brainstorm interrelated words to fill in the blanks. Looks easy, huh? Well, be forewarned, it might keep you up all night.

Here's the game: Funny Farm!

This is what I've solved so far, feel free to help me out by sending me the URL of your additions: My so-far solution

If you want to cheat, check out some real smarty-pant types who have solved most of the puzzle. Cheater.

Have fun!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Too Bad I Missed This Great Conference

Just a few weeks ago, the Contraception Is Not the Answer national conference took place in Chicago. From what I can gather from the conference website, while contraception was heralded in the mid 20th century as a method to free women and families from poverty, it has instead caused widespread promiscuity, divorce, and abortion.

Apparently, since contraception has no effect on lowering poverty, the pro-contraception lobby has instead decided to re-group and promote contraception as the solution to unintended pregnancy. But this strategy, as well, has failed.

You don’t believe me? Take, for instance, this statistic from the conference website (this is in fact a reliable statistic from Jones et al., 2002): 54% of women who had abortions in 2000-2001 report that they had used a contraceptive method at least once in the month in which they got pregnant. Wow, if that didn't convince you, try this quote, also from the conference website and attributed to “Abortionist Judith Bury” in 1981: "There is overwhelming evidence that, contrary to what you might expect, the provision of contraception leads to an increase in the abortion rate."

As someone who has basically dedicated her life to evaluating cause- and effect- relationships and is particuarly well schooled in the study of human behavior as it relates to contraception and pregnancy prevention (not to toot my own horn or anything), I have to say that this is some darn convincing evidence!

I mean, I am seriously bummed. In addition to several great misogynistic, ill-informed, Bible-thumping and illogical thinkers, I missed listening to a Dr. Tiger (for real!) present his lecture, The Decline of Males: How Contraception Alters the Status and Identity of Men (also for real!)

Okay, okay, now I really am being serious---This conference is so up my alley I actually would have paid to be a fly on the wall at this event. Maybe next year.