The Scene: Bob and I are hanging out at my house in the morning before I have to go to work. I'm sleepy. I yawn.
Bob: Oh, I learned something yesterday.
Bob: When you yawn, it's to cool your brain down.
Me: *thinking* No, it's because your body doesn't have enough oxygen.
Bob: Nope! There's this new study, and apparently that old school of thought is wrong, and the actual reason you yawn is to cool your brain down.
Me: *skeptical, as usual* Oh really? And where did you hear this?
Bob: An expert.
Me: What?! You're believing some random "expert"?
Bob: It was in the news! This leading expert in the field did this big study to prove his theory.
Me: First of all, just because it was in the news doesn't mean you should just blindly believe it! And second of all, one study certainly doesn't make a scientific theory fact!
Bob: It was a big study!
Me: And did you do any research at all into the other school of thought before you just decided to take what you read in this one article as absolute truth?
Bob: *gives me a look* No.
Me: Why not?
Bob: I just don't care that much. It's a fucking yawn.
The moral of this story is that sometimes playing Devil's Advocate is just silly.
Just for fun I found the article Bob was talking about on ABC News:
Aahh, the Science of Yawning
Expert: Yawning May Be More About Cooling off the Brain Than Tiredness
July 30, 2007
It can signal tiredness, boredom or even rudeness, and everyone does it. But, now, a new science may explain why people yawn, and even crack one of the world's most mysterious phenomena — the contagious yawn.
Some people think yawning stems from a need to stretch or change. Until recently, scientists thought people yawned to replenish oxygen supplies to their blood.
But University at Albany psychology professor Gordon Gallup said, as people yawn, they cool off their brains.
"Brains are like computers," he said. "They only operate efficiently and effectively when they're cool. And, therefore, there are some very intricate cooling mechanisms that serve to regulate the temperature of the brain."
He said many things associated with yawning, like being tired, actually make the brain hot, and yawning can alleviate the heat.
"Extended periods of sleep deprivation raise brain temperature and do produce excessive yawning," Gallup said.
In a sense, the yawn is like the brain's air conditioner, which may make some rethink societal assumptions.
"Many people have the impression when talking to someone that if they yawn, it's an insult," Gallup said. "But according to our hypothesis, it's really a compliment, because it suggests that brain mechanisms have kicked in to reinstate and optimize mental processing."
Gallup and his son tested their idea by creating an experiment where students were asked to watch a film of other people yawning.
When they held a cool compress to their head, or breathed through their nose — a natural brain coolant — they didn't yawn at all. But, if they breathed normally or held a warm compress to their heads, they were far more likely to yawn.
Gallup believes the yawn is more than just a way to cool the brain.
"During human evolutionary history, when we were subject to attacks by a group, then the ability to detect danger would have had a critical relationship to your ability to respond to it on a moment to moment basis," Gallup said.
"If everyone yawns in response to seeing someone yawn, it reinstates an optimal level of vigilance on the part of people in the group."
But, for those looking to avoid yawning, one of the best ways is to breathe through the nose.
So today I got a gorgeous little Panasonic Lumix digital camera. 7.2 megapixels, twelve million different scene modes, an automatic stabilizer, huge LCD screen, etc. It's pretty much amazing.
2007 Honda Shadow Spirit 750. VT750DC to be exact. Much better than the C2.
Base MSRP? $6,449.
It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.
Yesterday I met Bob at Central Market to get food. When he came walking up to me, he was carrying his motorcycle helmet, which could mean only one thing - Bob's '94 Suzuki Katana is running again!
We made an emergency run to the Temple of Evil at about 8PM so I could purchase a Bell motorcycle helmet, thus earning myself a position on the back of the bike. Then we went to visit my mom. ^_^
First words out of Mom's mouth when we came up the stairs beaming and holding our helmets was "I am not happy about this."
I know, Mom. But I am. ^_^
After we left my parents' place, Bob and I ended up riding around Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island for about two hours. I think one of the most entertaining parts of the entire journey was when we stopped at a park on Bainbridge Island and played on the swings with our helmets on. ^_^ Yes, it was awesome.
It's been years since I've been on a bike, and I'm freshly hooked. If merely riding on the back of a motorcycle is one of the best and most exhilirating feelings I've ever had, how much better will it be when I have my own bike, and I'm the one driving?
I'm starting to look at the Honda Shadow Spirit 750. It's a great looking bike, and cheaper than the Marauder.
The Scene: Standing in the market in the produce department where Bob works. Bob takes a ten minute break. We determine that he is going to come over to my place tonight. Big surprise - he practically lives at my place right now. ^_^
I ended up going back inside for another three songs or so, but was again driven back outside by the unbearable volume, joined this time by Bob - Ian never went back inside. Bob had the same complaint that we did, and we decided to spent the rest of the show outside the venue, since we could actually hear the music way better outside than inside. And so we [passed the rest of the evening outside, listening to, but not actually seeing, Nile play. If admission had been any more than the $17 that it was, I would have been pissed. As it was, I learned about a great band, got to hear a lot of stuff from Nile's upcoming album Ithyphallic and some of my favorite songs from In Their Darkened Shrines, and got to spend hours hanging out with Ian and Michelle, friends that I don't get to see very often.
All in all, it was a good night.
The Scene: At my office, sitting at my desk working on the company websites. The phone rings. I answer.
Anonymous Woman: Hi there, this is ***** from the yellow pages! I just need to make sure I have your company's information correct. Would you mind verifying it for me?
Me: *suspicious that this may in fact be a marketing call, but not 100% sure so I play along.* Sure.
I listen to the woman on the other end of the phone rattle off our office address, my boss's name, and our main phone number. I confirm all of it, then get really suspicious when Anonymous Woman asks for my name and title in the company.
Me: Rebecca M**, Marketing Coordinator.
Anonymous Woman: Great! We'll use the information you verified to update your free trial yellow pages ad, don't worry, you're not buying anything, it's totally free, and now all we need you to do is go through our automated answering service and answer our questions so we can send you the material on our service and management can review it and decide if it's a service that would benefit your company! I'm transferring you now, it's important that you not hang up the phone until you've answered all the questions for our answering service! I'm transferring you now!
I hang up the phone. I remember now - I had to deal with this company months ago, finally having to sternly tell them off after they called for the fifth time in one week. I'm not very excited at the prospect of doing it again.
The phone rings.
Annoying Telemarketer (henceforth referred to as AT): Hi Ma'am, it's ***** again! You must have gotten disconnected when I transferred you!
Me: No, we didn't get disconnected, I hung up.
Me: We're not interested in receiving the free trial.
AT: What...? *such utter incomprehension cannot possibly be feigned*
Me: My company is not interested in receiving the free trial that you're offering.
AT: Ma'am, you're not buying anything, this is just a free trial, now please answer all of the questions on our automated answering service which I will now transfer you-"
Me: No, I don't think you're understanding me. We are not interested in your free trial, and we are not interested in receiving any information about your services.
AT: Ma'am, you're not buying anything, please just answer the questions on our automated answering service so -"
Me: My company is not interested. And I am not interested in answering the questions on your automated answering service.
Me: I'm not going to answer your questions. Please don't call here again.
AT: Ma'am, you're not buying anything (OH MY GOD how many times is she going to repeat this???) , this is just a free trial, and we would like to send you information about our services, but we need you to answer the questions on our automated answering service."
Me: I am not interested in your free trial or information about your serivce.
AT: *condescending tone* Ma'am, it's not for you, it's for your company.
Me: I realize that. My company is not interested.
AT: You're not buying anything, this is a free trial. Now please answer the questions on the automated answering service so that your management can receive the information about our service and decide if it would be beneficial to your company, and so you won't get a call back.
Oh, I don't think so.
Me: Not only am I not answering your questions, I do not expect to be called back.
AT: That's why you need to answer the questions on the automated answering service, ma'am, so you won't get a call back.
Me: I am not answering your questions. You will not call this office back.
AT: Maybe I'll call back and speak with your manager.
Me: Go ahead.
Good luck, dear! I answer the phone, and my office manager sure as hell isn't going to want to talk to you!
AT: *curt, clipped tone* Have a nice day.
Me: You, too.
Office Manager Hugh: *calling to me from the other room* Good job, Rebecca!!!!!
And that'll teach me to actually try to talk to the telemarketers instead of just hanging up on them. Although from past experience with this company if you hang up on them, they just repeatedly call and call and call. So I guess it was better to get it out of the way. And they haven't called back!
*** out of ****
When I was a kid, I never played with the Transformers action figures, and I never watched the Transformers cartoons on TV. Even so, when I first started seeing the previews for the new live action Transformers movie, I got ridiculously excited. I think it's great that even though the Transformers originally made their debut in the '80s (specifically 1984, I believe) so many people still know who and what the Transformers are. And thanks to this movie, kids who were born after the Transformer's time will become aquainted with the legend! ^_^ I wonder if they'll start producing the toys again?
I am all about free of charge public restrooms. The freedom to relive yourself without paying is a valuable one. But I'm finding these fixtures in China's new four story public restroom (yes, that's a big public restroom, 30,000 sq. ft. to be exact) a teeny tiny bit offensive.
I mean.... what??? There is something very wrong about that.
And if you're a man, and you've ever wanted to urinate into the Virgin Mary... guess what, you're in luck!
Here is the article that accompanied these photos:
Officials in the southwestern Chinese city plan to ask Guinness World Records to have the free four-story public bathroom listed as the world's largest, state-run China Central Television reported Friday.
"We are spreading toilet culture. People can listen to gentle music and watch TV," said Lu Xiaoqing, an official with the Yangrenjie, or "Foreigners Street," tourist area where the bathroom is located. "After they use the bathroom they will be very, very happy."
Footage aired on CCTV showed people milling about the sprawling facility and washing their hands at trough sinks. For open-aired relief, there's a cluster of stalls without a roof. Some urinals are uniquely shaped, including ones inside open crocodile mouths and several topped by the bust of a woman resembling the Virgin Mary.
There are also plans to build a supermarket nearby, which will sell toilet-related items, CCTV reported.
The photos below are images of the new fashion line for women knowledgeable about safe sex:
Don't you want to just run out and buy a dress made of condoms???
Below is a shortened version of the article accompanying these photos. Apparently real reason fashion designers are making clothing out of contraceptives.
I was filled with apprehension as I drove back to my office, that sweet, air conditioned haven. The AC in my car was turned on full blast, and still I could feel the sweat trace salty paths down my skin. The heat was inescapable, the car's AC fighting a losing battle with this all consuming, desperately powerful force.
It's amazing what you stumble across when you read the morning news. For instance, this article:
Missing staple lets murderers appeal Mon Jul 9, 8:12 AM ET
SYDNEY (Reuters) - A missing staple from a court document has allowed two murderers found guilty of one of Australia's most brutal killings to appeal against their convictions.
Under a technical loophole, the murderers will argue that an earlier lost appeal was not finalized because the indictment paperwork was never fixed to the court file as required by law.
"It just seems so wrong," said Bev Balding, mother of Janine Balding who was abducted and brutally gang raped and drowned by a group of men on the outskirts of Sydney in 1988.
Balding's murderers are serving life sentences, with a judge's recommendation they never to be released.
"How do they know someone has not removed the staple on purpose? You can't rely on the law when it relies on a solitary staple," Bev Balding told reporters Monday.
The New South Wales (NSW) state government said it was looking at ways to close the technical loophole.
"I understand that closing this loophole through an amendment to the court rules of the supreme court is currently being considered...to avoid it being an issue of discussion in any future case," said NSW acting state premier John Watkins.
Amazing. I mean, really, how ridiculous can you get? Allowing a convicted murderer a way to attempt to weasel out of his sentence... and that way happens to be a staple? This totally blows my mind. Unbelievable.
Well, it's been a few posts since I wrote a movie review, so I thought I'd present my take on Live Free or Die Hard. My friend Bob and I went to see this movie last Saturday. I was protesting the outing, insisting that since the movie had just been released on Wednesday that the theater would be too full. And I hate seeing movies when the theater is crowded. But I was talked into it, and was pleasantly surprised when only about sixy percent of the seats filled up. Of course, going to the very first showing on a Saturday probably helped. ^_^
An interesting thing to note is that this is the first Die Hard movie to be rated PG-13. Trying to make more money? Yes.
On a side note, I saw a trailer for the new 'Hitman' movie, scheduled to be released in October, which I am now very excited about. Just about any movie based on a video game is good by me... especially that particular series. ^_^ Check out the trailer!
1. A Helicopter.
2. Cars. Lots of cars.
3. An entire building.
4. An apartment unit.
5. A semi truck.
6. A fighter jet.
I'm pretty sure those were all the major things that blew up. Oh, the White House blew up too, but that was only in a video broadcasted by the terrorists. ^_^ Anyway, the amount of explosions was awesome!! I got especially excited when the fighter jet blew up, that was pretty much hilarious.
The acting was totally fine. Justin Long played the part of a hacker completely out of his league when people start trying to kill him very well. Obviously Bruce Willis was awesome, and even with a little more huffing and puffing he's still a bad ass action hero, and I don't care how old he is. I love love love Timothy Olyphant, so even though his acting wasn't really worth commenting on (not bad, just not notably good, either,) I still loved him. ^_^ Mary Elizabeth Winstead played Lucy McLane well. She had a great character.
The writing was great. Entertaining (if a little silly) story playing on how computerized our country is today, and what would happen if terrorists hacked the system. All the explosions!!! Amazing!!! There were hilarious quotes all through the whole movie that kept you laughing. And I already mentioned it, but Kevin Smith's small part in the movie was just great. And you know Kevin Smith had to have been so excited to be in a Die Hard movie!
Anyway, that's about all I have to say. Great, over the top action movie with plenty of explosions and one-liners. Great Die Hard fun!
The Scene: Standing in my kitchen getting ready to make sandwiches for dinner. I'm next to the toaster making myself a bagel while Bob puts the finishing touches on his sandwich. Bob finishes and begins to eat, walking away.
Me: Well, it's great to see that I can buy you stuff for dinner, and you don't even bother making me a sandwich after you finish yours. Thanks.
Bob: You're picky about your sandwiches. And you like gross stuff on them.
Me: Mayonnaise is not gross. You're like an alien or something. Everyone likes mayo!
Bob has no retort. Obviously I'm right, and he is an alien.
Bob: Fine, I'll make you a sandwich.
Me: *smiling* Thank you!
I go to stand next to the counter to carefully observe the making of the sandwich as I munch on my bagel. My scrutiny proves warranted as Bob begins to put the mayonnaise onto the bun.
Me: What are you doing??? Just because you don't like mayonnaise doesn't mean everyone else is weird, too! I can barely even see the mayo on that bread! Good lord!
Bob: Not enough? How much do you like mayo?
Bob gives me a wicked grin, then dumps an enormous amount of mayonnaise onto the helpless bread.
Me: BOB! MY GOD!
Bob: *innocently* Too much?
Bob: It's okay. I'll just use the extra on the other half of the bread.
Bob continues spreading the mayonnaise.
Me: You're getting mayonnaise around the edge of the bread. Where were you raised, that you were taught to make sandwiches like a barbarian??
Bob: You're the one who eats nasty mayonnaise.
Me: Just give me the knife! I'll make my own sandwich!
Bob: Like hell! I'm finishing this damn sandwich!
Me: But you do it all wrong! It'll go faster if I just do it!
Bob: I'm finishing the damn sandwich!
Bob carefully smooths the mayonnaise on the bread so it's perfectly level, then with exaggerated care makes sure he scrapes all the mayo off the side of the bun. He keeps giving me pointed, sarcastic looks. Finally he presents the mayonnaised bread to me as if it's a work of art.
Bob: Is that acceptable?
Me: *cheerfully* Looks good! Now, the barbecue sauce. You have to be careful when you put the barbecue sauce on. Just a couple dollops should be good. Otherwise it's too much.
Bob: *rolls eyes* Barbecue sauce?
Bob carefully squeezes barbecue sauce onto the bread.
Me: Stop! Stop! That's enough! Too much!
Bob: Calm down, I'll just put the excess on the other side of the bread.
Me: Just let me do it!
Bob: No, I'm finishing it!
Bob carefully spreads the barbecue sauce over the bread.
Bob: How's that?
Me: *examines the bread* Not enough. Put a little more on. But just a little!
Bob: I thought you said it was too much!
Me: It was, but then you spread it over both sides of the bread, and now it's not enough.
Bob drops a little bit more barbecue sauce onto both sides of the bun and carefully spreads it around.
Bob: Happy now?
Me: Yep! Time for the cheese! I want one slice of cheddar, and one slice of swiss, but I don't want that nasty swiss you used on your sandwich, which I told you not to eat, I want the Tillamook swiss that I just bought.
Without comment Bob carefully places a slice of cheddar onto the left side of the bread, then goes to put the slice of swiss onto the right side of the bread.
Me: Don't put them on opposite sides of the bread!! Put them both on one side of the bread! I don't like the meat sandwiched between the cheese!
Bob just stares at me.
Bob carefully positions the slice of swiss cheese on top of the slice of cheddar cheese, and looks at me for further guidance.
Me: Good job! Now, meat!
Bob opens up the container of thinly sliced turkey. It is scrunched together and difficult to separate.
Me: I want the turkey laid flat on the bread, not like the big lump you put on yours.
Bob: *sarcastically* Why don't I take each individual slice, roll it up into a tube, put that on the sandwich, and repeat that until you have enough meat?
Me: No, I want it laid flat.
Bob: Oh, my God.
Bob carefully makes sure that all my meat is relatively flat on the bread. I notice some errors, but since I can sense that Bob might be getting a little frustrated with this sandwich making process, I decide not to mention it.
Bob: Is that enough?
Me: One more slice should do it.
Bob picks up several more turkey slices.
Me: Just one!
Bob carefully chooses one slice and slaps it down on the sandwich.
Me: Hey now, respect the sandwich!
Bob: *laughing* I just don't believe this. Is it finished?
Me: Just put the two halves together!
Bob puts the two halves together and hands me the finished product.
Bob: This better be the best goddamn sandwich you've ever eaten.