By admin |

mining ever closer to the present...

  • Happy 200th birthday to Frankenstein! Fire bad!
  • [BBC headline: "Ben Saunders has led 13 expeditions since 2001 and has walked around 4,000 miles in skies."] There is ... another ... Skywalker! I'm not used to seeing the British plural for skis.
  • I think it's funny that my uncle was not put off of watching The Wizard of Speed and Time by my warnings of objectivist philosophy and borderline offensive character stereotypes. No, he was put off (in under 5 minutes!) by its relentlessly cheerful electronic soundtrack. Which I have since had stuck in my head, even though we didn't watch the rest of the film. Call it Jittlovian conditioning.
  • Proposed: Expressing controversial opinions is like farting in public. Sometimes it's possible to hold it until you leave the room, but when it's not, you should own it, apologize for the breach of etiquette, and face the consequences. Leaving the room after farting is antisocial behavior. 
  • It's a shame Trump doesn't speak Klingon. Exclusively. I think that language would be more expressive of his sentiments, and it would give translators an opportunity to mitigate the damage in English.
  • I always appreciate it when prospective Couchsurfing guests list their favorite Ayn Rand books in their profiles. What are you doing in the sharing economy if you think ordinary people are losers? Take your capitalist butt to a hotel room.
  • I remember exploring the beach after a high tide and finding seaweed floats... Leathery, green, about the size of a super ball... I remember thinking, no way I'm eating these tide pods...
  • I wonder how many congregants of First Parish of Stow and Acton think to themselves, "first, perish of slow inaction."
  • If you organize your wallet with debit cards on one side and credit cards on the other, you might be an accountant. Or something like one.
  • Whenever I see signs for [thrift store] "Plato's Closet," I can't help imagine LGBT people captive inside, looking at shadow puppets.
  • The parking situation at Century II (Wichita convention center) is an affront to market economics. On one side, there's a lot with hundreds of individual parking meters that only accept cards, and right across the street, free parking for 2 hours at a time. On the other side of the building, there's a ramp that costs $14/day, and right across the street, a surface lot where you can park all day for free. Every time I come here I think there must be some kind of mistake.
  • I've always wondered why Britain didn't use the Euro, but I never took the trouble to look it up. Short version: they weren't willing to give up trade with Commonwealth countries, particularly New Zealand, to prioritize European trade. So Brexit was foreshadowed by their unwillingness to Brenter in the first place.
  • "He's one chord short of a Charleston" is not an insult, just an unfortunate fact of playing the autoharp.
  • Anyone who records '80s style music now is doing the equivalent of Billy Joel recording '50s style music in the '80s. ...which means that "All About That Bass" was the equivalent of recording 1920s style music in the '80s. Ragtime, for example.
  • I just realized that "Vive la différence" may have originally been a pun on "Vive la France."
  • Much has been made of the fact that luggage used to not have wheels, but I don't think enough has been made of the fact that first-class postage used to have a face value. When the postage rates would go up, roughly every two years, if you wanted to use the stamps you'd already bought, you had to make up the additional value with 1¢ or 2¢ or 4¢ stamps, or your mail would come back to you postage due, and your rent would not get paid on time or your electricity would get cut off. And yet the USPS was not under any obligation to notify you when the rates were about to go up; they'd put out a press release, but in spite of the fact that they are required by law to visit your home and workplace in person six days a week, they were not required to give you a postcard or a sticker or anything to notify you that your mail was about to be rejected. A lot of things still need work in our society, but at least we got Forever Stamps figured out.
  • Yoda ain't got nothing on Japanese grammar. Duolingo sentence translates literally as "Park in cute cats is five there were." "Morning, birds of voice is did." "School of near of big pond in fish is six swim there are." "Two of birds is the sky at flying there are." I think when a preposition is used in reverse Polish notation, it should be called Pole Position.
  • Jessie's mobile phone payment shows up on our credit card bill as VZWRLSS*APOCCVISN. I don't want to know what their apocalyptic vision is or the role her phone is destined to play in it.
  • Sending me an email to log in and read a bitmap fax saying that if I want to keep my insurance discount I need to call their 24x7 customer service number and verify some unspecified information, and then keeping me on hold for 20 minutes and counting? Now that's Progressive™!
  • You might have been watching too much Olympic coverage if you follow a link to an article described as "long form" and wonder if that form requires twizzles.
  • When a Web site loads, the hero's journey is exactly the same as every other image's journey. So get over it, graphic designers. Your big banner image will not save us.
  • It's taken me about 25 years, but I've finally reached the point where I can reliably read %20 as a space.
  • I used to laugh smugly at people who drive to the gym. No more. If you've never been afraid you'll run out of steam when you take a walk and need to be rescued, well, just wait. If you live long enough, you'll find out what it's like. In the meantime, please cut people some slack who are trying to exercise safely.
  • I don't always hammer in the morning, but when I do, I prefer to hammer out love between my brothers and sisters all over this land. But then again sometimes it's just some loose shingles; deal with it.
  • How embarrassing for the FBI to have known about a dangerously unstable man who openly planned to harm people, but to have done nothing to stop him, and now he's probably tweeting that they are incompetent.
  • If you cry havoc when you let slip the dogs of war, I think when you let slip the dogs of summer you should cry hammock.
  • When I see the phrase "S corporation," I imagine a desert-dwelling corporate entity engaged in sting operations.
  • if you put the second amendment over the second commandment, you might be breaking the first commandment
  • Thanks, Facebook, for not turning on facial recognition by default and instead telling me how to enable it. I appreciate it. And now that you've read this post, please go back to pretending to respect my privacy settings. Thanks.
  • Just listened to a podcast in which four open-source software developers took issue with the saying that free software is "free as in beer, free as in speech" because "beer isn't free!" These same guys had no issue with the saying, "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow."
  • At the Ladybird Diner in Lawrence, the soundtrack this morning is heavy on Prince and Jackson 5. Just when I thought I'd heard about as much mewling as I could take, an honest-to-god Chipmunk-style sped-up voice came on one of the tracks. I guess somebody couldn't sing falsetto without help.
  • The dogs have started paying attention to the garlic chives in neighbors' yards. Spring is coming. Also, don't eat the chives near the sidewalk.
  • koan for the morning: "At least 50% diversity"
  • Games nonprofits play, vol. 23: "You've never donated to our organization, but we're so sure you will, here's your membership card in advance. Why don't you carry it in your wallet so you can show people how proud you are to be in the select group of people we imagine will someday join us?"
  • By analogy to drag and drab, I think an adult actor cast as a teenager should be called drat.
  • Games nonprofits play, Thursday edition:
    1. Schedule a conference call with your distributed volunteer team. Tell them it will take an hour.
    2. Use a conferencing app that requires a browser with no security plugins whatsoever, and that fails silently.
    3. As a fallback, use a phone-in system for audio, and tell the volunteers they can ask questions by pressing 1.
    4. Ten minutes into the scheduled time, hearing no questions because 1 was not the right number to press, tell volunteers to ask any remaining questions on Slack, and end the call.
    5. Log out of Slack and go to lunch for the remainder of the hour.
    6. Upon your return, respond to any criticism of this procedure by saying that's the way you always do it.
  • That feeling when you're grateful that the Cold War prevented your client from giving any awards to Soviet bloc researchers, because the field you're importing data into only recognizes the names of contemporary countries, not historic ones.
  • Thanks to the random stranger in a big truck who honked right behind our little shih tzu as she was pooping this morning and then drove away laughing, for providing the metaphor for our time.
  • If somebody had told me 25 years ago when I was really into Jesus Christ Superstar and none of my classmates had heard of it, that there would one day be a live performance of it on network TV on Easter Sunday, I know exactly what my response would have been:  
    "Easter?   ...They do know the play doesn't include the resurrection... right?"
  • [photo of a roadside pulpit that reads LISTEN WITHOUT INTERRUPING PROVERBS 18] Tell me you've never had visitors from a black church without telling me
  • Nitwits: the twits who say ni
  • "Thunder only happens when there's lightning / Slayers only love dudes who are frightening." There, I fixed it.
  • Tai chi : chai tea :: quinoa : Joaquín
  • When I get repeated emails from the same fundraising campaign for the same arbitrary deadline, I can feel the signal-to-noise ratio in my brain counting down. I heard you the first time, but I hear you less each time. Want me to unsubscribe? Keep emailing...
  • A podcast I follow asks every guest, "If you woke up tomorrow and the Internet was gone, what would you do?" As yet, no one has said that they would ask, "have you tried turning it off and back on again?" I mean, it sounds like a tech support issue to me...
  • Ready Player One : The Lego Movie :: G.I. Joe : Team America World Police
  • After seeing the new Jesus Christ Superstar last night, I can't help wondering what it would be like if somebody actually staged the show as if Jesus were a contemporary superstar, with mass media appearances instead of just lounging around in ruins with a bunch of ragged punks. The song "Hosanna" in particular would be about government attempts to suppress media coverage. "Nothing can be done to stop the tweeting. If every phone was still, the tweets would still continue."
  • How come the fancy talking smoke detector that can say "fire!" and "carbon monoxide!" can't say "low battery"? Instead it chirps just like all the other smoke detectors in the house... Poor Marcel is traumatized.
  • Having a chronic illness has totally changed my definition of endurance. If you see a person who may look totally fine but appears to be having trouble with basic stuff like walking from the car to the door, climbing steps, standing up, or holding a coherent thought, do me a favor and cut them some slack. You have no way of knowing how much effort they're putting into just getting through the day.
  • I think people who are disappointed by Thoreau have probably mistaken him for Dick Proenneke, but they don't realize it.
  • When politicians retire, they invariably say it's to spend more time with their families. Should we assume that when they ran for office, it was in order to get away from their families?
  • While pulling up excess irises this afternoon, I realized I was eliminating outliers more than 1 standard deviation from the trendline, in order to reduce the probability of the null hypothesis. #babystatsftw
  • O the irony: Traditional Medicinals has recalled their Lemon Detox tea for salmonella...
  • So tired of trendy ligatures in Web fonts. All of my i's need their dots, thank you very much. That's how I know I typed the right freaking character and not an I, l, !, or |.
  • I can't help noticing that no past civilization was saved from collapse by not using drinking straws.
  • Why is there a tab to re-close the box of brownie mix? Is there some way to use a partial box of brownie mix, so that you would need to put the rest away for later?
  • TL;DR: our microwave oven is trying to cook us, but we're going to be OK.
    Consumer Reports' magazine for kids, Penny Power, raised me to believe that extended service plans are for suckers. They had statistics to prove it. But Jess Ann and I have had enough experiences with electronic appliances breaking right after their warranties run out that we've come to the opposite conclusion. Case in point...
    We bought an over-the-stove microwave oven on 1/15/12. Sears notified me in December that the warranty was about to run out, and I extended it until 2021 for a comically low price -- I think it was $12. A couple days ago, the microwave came ON when I opened the door. This morning, it's now doing it every time you open the door. I thought it could be just the fan & light, since the turntable doesn't turn, but I checked the EMF field (because I have an EMF meter), and what do you know, the oven is really trying to cook us alive.
    So I called Sears, and in under a minute they scheduled a service call tomorrow. That $12 may have bought us a whole new microwave oven.
  • Modern agriculture's obsession with killing unwanted creatures is insane. could call it....
    psycho farm ecology
  • Diatomaceous earth should be called Tomaceous D
  • Don't cry for me, oh Susanna
    I've come for you wiiiiiiith a banjo
    from Alabama
    to see my true love
    in Louisiana
    and that means you, love
  • I just realized that when the wind is gusty like it is today, it's because the atmosphere is bubbling like a lava lamp.
  • I think bank robbers who put pantyhose over their faces should put helium balloons in the feet. #pointsforstyle #myeyesareuphere
  • When the Christmas carol says, "Angels, why this jubilee?" I imagine the next line is, "Pipe down and get off my lawn." We have already heard you on high. Now let us hear you at a lower volume.
  • I think it's interesting that the main manufacturer of glyphosate herbicides and glyphosate-tolerant GM crops (Monsanto) is now wholly owned by a company based in Germany (Bayer), where GM crops are currently banned and glyphosate soon will be. It'll be interesting to see whether not being able to sell their products in their own country has any effect on their eagerness to continue selling those same products here. I know it took Honeywell a good long while and a lot of political pressure to stop making landmines in Minneapolis to sell overseas.
  • Games nonprofits play, May edition: We are conducting a nationwide survey, but we want to hear only from our most dedicated supporters, and that means you! Only a few supporters were selected from your zip code to take this survey, so we really need to hear from you! [these are actual quotes from the email]
    [link goes to a form with 5 questions their most dedicated supporters are sure to answer all the same way, followed by an opportunity to donate.]
  • If you do a Google Image search for "kneel in the grass with tights on," the first hit is a picture of Neil DeGrass Tyson.
  • I always thought it was weird that Green Day emphasized the second syllable of "melodramatic." But what if they're saying "malodoromatic" ...?
  • I wonder if people whose pastors speak with a drawl ever get confused about whether Jesus is Lord or risen.
  • I like how all the commentators are saying that Trump reneging on a treaty will undercut America's credibility forever, as if America has never broken a treaty before. Granted, the Native Americans didn't have nukes.
  • Have you ever thought about how the part of the Internet you pay for is the slowest part? The information superhighway you get for free. The WiFi, also screaming fast, usually free. But the connection between the two, the bottleneck that limits your speed, that's the part you pay for... Seems a little odd when you think about it.
  • Fun fact: On Valentine's Day, 1998, Nancy Heege, executive director of what was then Prairie Star District UUA, gave an impromptu talk to a young adult conference in Bloomington, MN. She had been invited by David Leppik (seated at her right hand in this photo; Margaret Orwig is sipping from a mug), who was on the board of PSDUUA. I thought it was kind of odd at the time -- most YA conferences don't have keynote speakers -- but in 2005 when I was looking for work, I saw a position at PSDUUA and remembered Nancy from 7 years before. I wound up working there for another 7 years. Seeds well planted, Nancy!
  • Questionable business models, Hibü edition:
    step 1: offer a service practically no one needs anymore.
    step 2: charge too much for it.
    step 3: harass customers when they try to cancel service.
    step 4: continue to give them the service for free for *five years* after they cancel.
    step 5: when they call to have the free service stopped, tell them they must be mistaken even though there is physical evidence.
  • The product placement in episode 2 of Lost in Space is so blatant they should call the planet they're on Wayne's World. Now Oreos can't change their packaging for the next 100 years or so...
  • If the opposite of constitution is prostitution, is the opposite of substitution superstitution?
  • Just explained the character of Tom Bombadil by comparison to Princess Unikitty.
  • I wonder what percentage of Handmaid's Tale viewers got a certain hymn stuck in their heads after the most recent episode. "There's been a bombing in Gilead."
  • How I imagine the Sense8 finale was written: Lana Wachowski watched Return of the King and thought, "That's a modest, unpretentious ending, except I'm still feeling some sexual tension among all of the characters. Hold my beer..."
  • I always wondered what Captain EO was supposed to do exactly. Now I've realized: He can turn metrology into meteorology. So ... I guess he measures rainfall?
  • Just received an email saying, "Hello My name is General Nancy William, U. S. A. Army, is my pleasure to contact you????????" ...seems legit... Image removed.
  • Ay ay ay ay, canta y no llores, porque cantando se mantendra, cielito lindo, seca mi lorry.
    (I'm about to drive an open truckload of stuff to Nebraska, and there's a chance of rain.)
  • Pride is almost over. Next month is Wrath.
  • Is there a word for when a harmless organization is named after a former terrorist cell? I'm thinking specifically of Weather Underground, but any sports team named Pirates would fit the bill.
  • People can't seem to resist putting famous men on a pedestal and then complaining that they don't like the bits at eye level. I'm not saying boys will be boys, but after the 100th revulsion or so, maybe just stop putting them up there.
  • I don't know about you, but I can't see the word "gubernatorial" without imagining a swimming pool full of peanuts.
  • Recursive functions are the best thing since recursive functions.
  • = make me a sandwich [if ($a = $b) echo "a is now b";]
    == I'll have what he's having [if ($a == $b) echo "a is equivalent to b";]
    === his sandwich is mine [if ($a === $b) echo "a and b are the same thing";]
  • IMO the best part of "Mamma Mia! Here we go again" is Hugh Skinner's dead-on impression of a young Colin Firth. We all love Colin Firth, but he's adorably awkward in the *exact same way* in every role he plays... and seeing somebody else doing that is hilarious!
  • Here's what's crazy: I grew up in Bartlesville, which is on US-75. Omaha is also on US-75. I went to Grinnell College, whose campus is bordered on the south by US-6. The Dundee neighborhood we're moving to is also bordered on the south by US-6. My place in Fairfield, IA, was at the time about a quarter mile from US-34. Right now I'm staying with family about a half mile from US-34. The outlier here is the six years I lived in the Twin Cities: no US highways in common! Though they do share I-35 with Emporia.
  • Yo' momma's so butch, her phone connector is OSB.
  • [link to an article about goats eating poison ivy] Possibly the most Vermont thing ever: "The goats named Ruth, Bader and Ginsburg, got their start. Herbert brought the 6-month-old Kiko goats in her Subaru, and enclosed them in fencing where they grazed while an occasional bicyclist passed by. "
  • If smartphones are so smart, how come they don't put themselves into airplane mode when they can see they're going 50mph on a runway?
    They are probably smart enough to wonder this same thing about their owners.
  • Whenever MySQL complains about a "deadlock" on a table, I just assume it's because the table is made of wood. #obscuredoctorwhojoke #sonicscrewdriver #technobabble
  • Thought of the morning: how come Green and Black's is a chocolate company? Shouldn't they have gone into the tea business?
  • Snapshots of Dundee: one of our neighbors, a young man who looks like Tintin, was waiting at the curb. His ride arrived: another young man who looks like Tintin. I should totally cosplay Captain Haddock.
  • Sometimes I have nightmares that the people who like "mind maps" have reorganized my spreadsheets.
  • [headline: "Spiders blamed after broken siren played creepy nursery rhymes randomly at night to UK townsfolk"] Another prospective Doctor Who plot line spoiled by happening in real life.
  • So far this week I've asked Lexis-Nexis to correct an accident report on my driving record that is costing us $$$ per month in insurance, asked a credit card company to remove an erroneous account closure from my credit report that is costing us in higher interest rates, asked a landlord to stop charging us a fee that is not mentioned in our lease, and been contacted by the credit union saying one of our cards might have been compromised. It's not exactly identity theft, but it is basically a part-time job. How do people with full-time jobs find time to keep track of this stuff? Or is full-time employment a way of keeping us distracted while our money is stolen out from under us?
  • automatic email: Your application was rejected because the document you attached was out of compliance with statute 21-117 [no link]. If you have questions, call or email, or consider hiring a lawyer to do this for you because you clearly don't know what you're doing.
    me, on phone: I looked up the statute, and I can't figure out how my document was out of compliance.
    clerk: We don't have access to the document you submitted.
    me: Do you have some sort of template I could use as an example of what you're looking for?
    clerk: No, but if you email me the document, I can give you feedback. Do you have our email address?
    me: Is it this one that just sent me the unhelpful automated message?
    clerk: That's the one!
  • me: it's nice and toasty here in the back of the bakery.
    also me: I wish I had my CO meter, because it smells like incomplete combustion.
  • I like how Cyndi Lauper repeatedly clarifies, "when the working day is done." So it's not like girls wanna have fun instead of working, they just wanna have fun after work. And her parents aren't concerned that she's a slacker, because she already has a day job, they're more concerned she might neglect her true calling. Maslow would be so proud.
  • I just learned that the delusional economist Julian Simon died in 1998. He spoke at Grinnell in -- what, 1996? We didn't stage a protest, but I was one of dozens of students who walked out in disgust before his talk was over. I don't think we would have been more sympathetic to his views if we had known he had only two years to live. I guess he died doing what he loved, cheerleading and accelerating the destruction of the world.
  • My horrifying realization of the day was that the love triangle of Amy, Rory, and the Doctor is the same as the one in the Twilight books/films. Amy thinks she's in love with the Doctor, but actually it's her unborn daughter who's going to marry him; she's destined for Rory, who is no longer mortal, but before she can marry him she must become superhuman. How weird is it that such similar stories unfolded at roughly the same time?
  • I remember back in 1996 when I read "Snow Crash," I thought the titular premise was ridiculous, since "snow" on the screen is an analog phenomenon and computer monitors are digital. I'd never seen a digital computer output snow. But now, for whatever reason, both my MacBook and our Apple TV routinely output a screenful of snow whenever they wake from sleep mode. Since Apple never admits to doing anything by accident, I can only assume this is an intentional homage to Neil Stephenson.
  • The carpet cleaner upstairs from us sounds exactly like the sound Stanley Spadowski made when spinning the plastic army guy he found in the cereal box. [nasal] AAAaaaAAAaaaAAAaaa
  • [headline: NASA photographs rectangular iceberg] Remember this is just the part above the water... The whole thing is probably a cube and resistance is futile. It's an iceborg.
  • Little girl about 5yo in coffee shop is schooling her mom about the presidential vs. midterm election schedule, peppered with age-appropriate epithets (e.g. poopyhead) for elected officials. Mother says, "Listen, I'm not a fan of those guys either, but we don't call names. And [consulting her phone] you're right, the people elected in 2016 didn't take office until 2017. Where did you learn all this?" She was evasive. Like, doesn't everybody know? I guess if you don't teach your kids about civics they'll learn it on the playground...
  • [quote from an article] "People who believe that everything is fundamentally one differ in crucial ways from those who do not." ...or do they?
  • Question for my friends who believe in astrology: when Facebook shows you all your friends who have birthdays today, do you think to yourself, "Yeah, that makes sense, they all have the same personality, and I bet the same things will happen to all of them today"?
  • Lesson learned: when deciding which of your belongings to leave in an unsecured place, the question should not be, "What would someone not want to steal?" The question should be, "What can I replace if it's stolen?
  • Anyone know what happens if a confirmed Supreme Court Justice gets disbarred? Asking for a country
  • OMFG Robert Fox of MoveOn, no, MoveOn was not "built for this moment" (opposing Kavenaugh). MoveOn was built for the exact opposite historical moment, opposing the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Unless and until you apologize for defending a womanizer and perjurer then for political reasons, your organization has less credibility than literally any organization for now opposing a political appointee for being a womanizer and perjurer. Go away and let somebody else fight this battle. Seriously.
  • I love how some people are like, animals and plants have feelings and emotions just like us, but don't call them "invasive species" because that's projection, everyone knows nonhuman species don't "invade." Also, prey species are capable of complex rational thought, but predator species are acting on instinct and don't know any better.
  • It's hard for me to take seriously an article that consistently says "modem" instead of "modern." While there may arguably be a field of "modem science," there is no such thing as "modem agriculture."
  • Somebody should write an update of "Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla" where instead of exotic pets, they have friends who prefer nontraditional pronouns. I mean, how many songs are there about pronouns? That one is ripe for an update.
  • Webinars are the worst. I would rather not know anything about a topic than attend a webinar about it. My brain actively recoils.
  • It was 22 years ago that the US Congress decided it didn't need to know the likely impacts of technologies before making policy and disbanded the Office of Technology Assessment. Appropriately enough, the impact of that decision is one that the OTA could reliably have predicted.
  • Kung-fu Janet is the best thing since Jeremy Bearimy.
  • Ahmed Elmaghraby asked me today what is the appeal of bike touring. I told him about how it helped me personally with self-esteem issues I had in my 20s, and I touched on the joy of riding a good bike when one is in good shape, but since then this is the song I've had in my head, by Abi Tapia. Road trips are a fundamental part of the American experience; we learn from our parents and friends that travel is an end in itself. But what bike touring teaches you is that the slower you travel, the more you see and benefit from the experience. Different trees and time zones, but also the movement of the stars in the sky from day to day as you travel under your own power.
  • There are a lot of great cameos in Wreck It Ralph Breaks the Internet, but my favorite is the one legged pigeon from Enchanted. There's no particular plot reason for that pigeon to be there, but someone at Disney thought to put it in. I think my favorite thing about the movie is that I'll never think of insecure software the same way again. I feel sorry for any foreign language markets where that pun didn't translate.
  • Right now our apartment is a microcosm of the US response to climate change. We know we should be conserving energy, but we have the windows open and fans on because the heat is not under our control. We've repeatedly written to those in charge and hope that they will take action, even though they have not done so in the past. Actually, if it were a microcosm, there would be a wildfire in the kitchen and a flood in the bathroom. Best not.
  • Times that come to mind since 2005 when I've been proud to be a Doctor Who fan, in no particular order:

    • when, after 40+years of endlessly re-enacting the London blitz through metaphor, the Doctor actually went to the London blitz for the first time and spoke directly about how brave the British people were in that moment when all hope appeared to be lost
    • when the Doctor finally made things right with Sarah Jane
    • when a character claimed to be the real Santa Claus, and damned if he didn't turn out to be realest Santa Claus that there is
    • when Micky and Martha showed the Doctor that he had consistently underestimated them and they were better off without him
    • when the Master used the word "decimate" and then clarified that he meant the real definition of the word, even though the popular definition would have been more drastic
    • that one time they finally got the theme song exactly right (for the 50th anniversary special)
    • when the Doctor tried to resolve Davros's underlying childhood trauma, without caring whether or not it worked
    • when the Doctor tried to resolve the Master's underlying childhood trauma, without caring whether or not it worked
    • every time they've pointed out that a trope of the show is dumb and then found a way to justify it
    • every time the writers have managed to get through an episode without contradicting themselves (still counting on one hand)
    • every time someone who grew up watching the show got the chance to work on it and did an amazing job
    • David Tennant's "500 miles" video

    (There have been far more times when I've been embarrassed to be a fan, but moments like these keep me going...)

  • Is the Mason-Dixon Line an example of an accent wall?
  • I like ACDC's "You Shook Me" a lot more since I noticed the choruses and the verses are not talking about the same person. I imagine his roommate shaking him all night trying to wake him from an embarrassing sex dream.
  • Upon viewing "Coco" with commentary from the writers and director, I can't help wondering how Héctor believed that Miguel's only relative in the land of the dead was one great-great grandfather. How would that work, exactly? None of the writers or actors had a problem with that? Hmm
  • Those of you talking about quitting Facebook because it's too addictive: why not try using a browser without images? Then you won't be able to make sense of half of what your friends post... #sillyrabbit #memesareforsightedpeople
  • Pro tip: If you start your fundraising email apologizing about how "we know you're being inundated with emails right now," maybe don't re-send that same message 5 times during the course of the day. This is not TV, I wasn't out of the room during your previous 4 emails.
  • Another pro tip for email fundraisers: use alt text for your Donate buttons so that those of us who don't load images in our email for whatever reason (blindness, paranoia, etc.) have something to click on. Your pleas for money look really pointless when there is nothing to click.
  • I think people who confuse the words palate and palette must have eaten paint.
  • If a seer is someone who sees, I guess I'll have a beer
  • In case you were thinking of trying Panera's new Cuban sandwich, don't. It's all wrong. My taste buds are crying.
  • Just misspelled Patreon as Parteon, and now I'm imagining a Wayne's World reboot that is crowdfunded.
  • I have to share this important spam message I just received: "Hi Look what we tight with a cityscape you! a believableoblation "Upright click on the affiliation lower to to coolness"
  • And now, Deep Thoughts: snowmen look more like insects than people, with their three body segments, their legs sprouting from the thorax, their beady black compound eyes, their antennae, their piercing or chewing mouthparts
  • It's almost 2019. Can we please stop sending Word documents as attachments?
  • Indiegogo just informed me that my project is eligible for an Innovation Award. You may recall that Indiegogo refused to release the funds raised for my project because they were concerned that I didn't have State Department approval to travel to Cuba (and didn't ask), and I missed the deadline to get that approval because I didn't have the money (and they wouldn't tell me why). Thanks, Indiegogo! So glad my "ingenious ideas played a pivotal part!"
  • I have seriously been sitting in the living room for half an hour processing all that happened in episode 11 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. What kind of post-ironic, postmodern future world is this? How did everything I needed in a TV show come together in She-Ra of all places??
  • Dear Discover Card, I do not think "Fraud Enhancement" is the phrase you're looking for to describe your enhanced fraud protection.
  • One of Shuri's less celebrated achievements in the Black Panther film is that she disproved Chekhov's Gun.
  • Idle thought: the molecular structure of ice is tetrahedral; each water molecule bonds to four others. The same is true of the vertices in a tetrix fractal. So could ice form a tetrix, and if so, how big could it get before it collapsed under its own weight?
  • I heard "Welcome to the Jungle" on the PA at the supermarket today, and I remembered the first time I heard that song at a supermarket. I was still in middle school, so it couldn't have been later than 1990. I was surprised it jumped the shark so soon.
  • An absurdist, dark comedy with magical realism and science fiction, about telemarketing
    [describing "Sorry to Bother You"]
  • Many years ago I watched "Evita" and was baffled by the nonsensical lyrics to "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina." I was thinking about them this morning and was vindicated to read on Wikipedia that Tim Rice (the lyricist) described them as "A string of meaningless platitudes." Well, then.
  • Last night (or very early this morning) I introduced our local UU youth group to Silent Football. I hadn't played in over a decade and got some of the rules wrong, but it doesn't matter much. I was impressed by a number of things: 1) that they were up for playing such a game at midnight in the first place; 2) that they caught on to the (imperfectly remembered) rules of passing the "ball" so quickly that we had a few runs of over two minutes; 3) that they caught on to the spirit of the game so quickly that we had a few runs of ten minutes or more of unbroken tattling before anyone got impatient and asked for the "ball" to be put back in play; 4) that one of the youngest felt so confident in his mastery of the rules that he asked to be Dictator for the second round (!!); 5) that they grasped the political implications so quickly that they figured out how to overthrow the Dictator in the second round. It's unfortunate that the Dictator they overthrew was a kid trying something new, but I don't think any feelings were hurt.
  • I wonder whose dog is named Sir Pantsalot
  • TFW you find your friend's car keys in your pocket as you go through airport security
  • You know, if industry doesn't want to be regulated by government, they should really do a better job of regulating themselves... You'd think the railroads would know the benefits of train brakes better than anyone, but apparently they have to be forced to upgrade their equipment.
  • Happy solstice to all! Whether you celebrate it or not, the planet's axial tilt is the reason for the season!
  • I've always heard that Bruce Goff named the Joe Price house in Bartlesville "Shin'en Kan" because it meant "home of the faraway heart" in Japanese. Google has an alternate translation that may be more appropriate given the house's fate: "anxiety!"
  • No, Vanessa Carlton, I don't think time would pass you by if you could fall into the sky. What you want is to fall into a black hole. It's a little farther than a thousand miles, and you won't arrive tonight, but that's just as well since I'm expecting The Proclaimers to fall down at my door.