Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Label logic

I heard on the radio the other day that GMO companies are trying to block legislation in certain states that would require GMO foods to be labeled as such. Why? If you believe in your product, shouldn't you WANT to have your label on foods? Would coffee companies ask to hide the word "caffeine" from their labels? Of course not. They wouldn't be true to themselves. Did Frankenstein hide from those villagers? No, he became a movie star. So to all the GMOs out there, I say, be true to you. Embrace who you are. You don't have to pretend to be something you're not. We'll still love you, glow-in-the-dark peas and all.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Book Review: The Professor in the Cage, by Jonathan Gottschall

The Premise:

An adjunct English professor takes up Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), AJ Jacobs-style*, in an attempt to discover “why men fight and why we like to watch.”

The Good:

Prof. Gottschall has a good sense of the dramatic—teasing his fight at the beginning—and maintains good pacing throughout. His straightforward style makes the book easily accessible and overall the book is a quick read. He has clearly done his research (much of it firsthand-to-hand; couldn’t resist) and this book is a treasure trove of fight-related factoids. I particularly liked the history of dueling and the exploration of the Martial Arts (I was once a devout practitioner).

The Bad:

When Prof. Gottschall focuses on fighting, he is well matched and delivers targeted facts, insights and knowledge. When he strays into discussions on masculinity, gender and society, he seems to be punching a bit above his weight. It’s not that he is necessarily wrong or right on any one thing, but there are times when it feels like he is trying to make the facts fit the fight.

The Verdict:

Read it. If you are a fan of boxing, fighting, Martial Arts, MMA or ninjas, it’s well worth a read. If you aren’t, but want a voyeur’s view into the motivations behind the maulers and brawlers, you’ll also want to check it out. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Adventures in Book Sale-ing: A Series of Unfortunate Titles

I have a confession to make: I love old pulpy mysteries. The hard-boiled detectives. The overuse of the adjective "hard-boiled". The hyperbolic titles, such as "A Fistful of Death" or "Pay-off in Blood" (actually a pretty good one, by Brett Halliday). But, like a desperate punch thrown by a self-confessed murderer/ess, sometimes the titles just don't land. Also, I didn't buy any of these.

Exhibit A: Don't Die Under the Apple Tree
Accused of: Being preposterous--it's okay to die, just not THERE--and overly confident--First in a new series!
Verdict: Guilty on all counts.

Exhibit B: Dumb Witness
Accused of: Being overly judgmental and confusing--dumb as in stupid or dumb as in unable to speak or both?
Verdict: Guilty of an unnecessary pejorative

Exhibit C: 10 Little ... did I read that correctly???
Accused of: Racism.
Verdict: Guilty in the UK. Not Guilty in the USA.
Evidence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_Then_There_Were_None

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Man has worn the same underwear every single day for 3 years

For the past three years, a man--who wishes to remain anonymous because, as he puts it, "I'm no hero. I'm just a man who has worn the same underwear every single day for 3 years."--has worn the same underwear every single day for 3 years.

"Why do I do it?" the man asked himself when asked by a reporter, "Why not?"

Some people find the idea of wearing the same underwear every single day for 3 years disgusting.

"It's disgusting," said an online commenter reading an article about the man and his underwear routine.

"How is that even possible?" said another, disbelieving online commenter.

The man, who takes the underwear off occasionally, usually at night, but sometimes when he puts on swim trunks at the pool or to do laundry, admitted there had been a few close calls.

"The burrito incident comes to mind," the man said, remembering. "Also, there was a close call where a port-o-johnny-on-the-parking-lot line was taking a long time. I ran in place for what seemed like a mile before I was finally able to make it inside."

Truth be told the man isn't sure there's even enough fabric left to be considered "underwear".

"It's more the idea of underwear." he ruminated. "Oh sure, there's still an elastic waistband--that stuff lasts forever--but there's not a whole lot of the original tighty-whiteys left."

Asked if he would ever switch to another pair, the man raised his head to the sky, looked plaintively out the window and farted.