Old news, but fun to remember where the Colbert Report started.
"Truthiness." Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's Colbert Report popularized the word "truthiness," and it has been selected by the American Dialect Society as the "2005 Word of the Year."
But all this begs the question: What does "truthiness" mean? And who or what is the American Dialect Society?
The truth hurts...
The Engineer and the Manager - Received this funny (dare I say insightful) piece in an email recently. It compares an engineer and a manager, and involves a hot air balloon.
Could you substitute "engineer and manager" with "husband and wife," "father and son," or "Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell"?
My wonderful sister-in-law shared this. It gave me a big smile, especially at the end to be reminded of the USC "Professor of Love," Leo Buscaglia, who died a few years ago. I'm sure he would have "loved" this...
- TV Land strike - Matt Davies Blog
- Perfect illustration of the Hollywood Exec's position in the screenwriters' strike.
Worst Unhealthy Restaurant Food - I was shocked with some of the "winners" from Men's Health's 20 Worst Foods In America. Below are a few that surprised me.
Worst Mexican Entree
Chipotle Mexican Grill Chicken Burrito
47 g fat
125 g carbs
2,656 milligrams (mg) sodium
Sadly, I really like this chicken burrito. I don't have cheese with it, which helps. I guess nixing the tortilla and cheese and going for the chicken bowl instead would be better. Chipotle tortilla is 330 calories.
Hubba, hubba, hubba. Sex sells servers for QSOL.COM. In poor taste...but gave me a laugh :)
My wife passed this one along...Being of the male persuasion, I was intrigued by the question...The .
What Religion is Your Bra?
A man walked into the ladies department of a Macy's and shyly walked up to the woman behind the counter and said, "I'd like to buy a bra for my wife."
"What type of bra?" asked the clerk.
"Type?" inquires the man. "There's more than one type?"
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ), also known as ubiquinone, is a natural, fat-soluble antioxidant produced in the body. Some reports claim that statins (Crestor, Lipitor, etc.) interfere with the liver's natural production of Coenzyme Q10, reducing quantities by up to 40 percent. As a result, some suggest statin users take supplements of Coenzyme Q10, but warn that absorption varies. Here's some help I found on eHow for how to best Absorb Coenzyme Q10.
McGrath Video Laryngoscope - Dad says this is the greatest advancement in laryngoscopes since...the invention of the laryngoscope.
Gorgeous series of images by the ever creative portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz. This image of Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella is just one of about seven photos from the Stars in Wonderland series by Annie Leibovitz.
Rap Lyrics Translated - Story goes that an Oakland High School student earned the school districtís highest honors at an Ebonics Translation Competition with this inventive translation of rap lyrics into....What? Honky talk?
WARNING - Lyrics and translations contain sexual and violent themes (which, sadly, can be heard coming from the mouths of grade-schoolers). I find it difficult to believe a school district would sponsor such a competition, but it's a kick none-the-less.
Mysticism is a rational enterprise, religion is not...The only angels we need invoke are those of our better nature: reason, honesty, and love. The only demons we must fear are those that lurk inside every human mind: ignorance, hatred, greed, and faith, which is surely the devil.
~ Sam Harris
End of Faith by Sam Harris ignites a firestorm of debate. Here are some choice reviews and comments:
In Stumbling On Happiness, Daniel Gilbert exposes the flaws of the human mind.
Quite disillusioning, this expose of the human mind. His thesis is simple. Humans cannot reliably predict what will make us happy, nor can we accurately recall what made us happy in the past. That leaves us with the present.
The reasons for our failure to find happiness are many, and revolve around the idiocyncracies of the human mind.
One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world's end somewhere, and holds fast to the days, as to fortune or fame.
"I Don't Believe in Stories with Happy Endings"
I heard director Todd Field say this on AMC's Shoot Out program while promoting his film Little Children. The statement has stuck with me like an irritating thorn ever since. It certainly doesn't encourage me to see any of his films (I don't seek out stories with unhappy endings), but is he right? Or perhaps a better question: Is that perspective useful?
There's a difference between an absence of evidence, vs. evidence of absence.
A medical test is performed on a person and comes out positive for cancer. The doctor presents this diagnosis and prescribes medical treatment. After the treatment is completed, the test is run again. This time the test comes out negative, the test offers an for cancer.
However, after the test results the doctor will sometimes say: "You are cancer free!" That declaration suggests the test is of cancer. It is not. The tests are an absence of evidence for cancer. What?
My apologies to the billion plus people of Chinese descent, this post (from an email) is in very poor taste and culturally insensitive...but it made me laugh :)
Howard Glasser teaches parents, educators, and therapists his Nurtured Heart Approach for "transforming difficult children." At his Transforming the Difficult Child website, Howard Glasser describes his approach this way...
"A child's feeling of self-esteem is centered on the experience for which he/she is noticed most intently."
~ Howard Glasser
Beyond Positive Discipline - Howard Glasser -In his parenting book Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach (co-written by Jennifer Easley), Howard Glasser describes some brilliant ideas that apply to parenting ALL children, not just "difficult" children.
What is the favorite toy of all children?
And children quickly learn that parents (their favorite toy) will focus a lot of attention on them when they do something wrong.
Think about it. Don't you put a lot of energy and attention on your children when they do something bad?
What about when they do something good?
Howard Glasser believes a parenting philosophy can be found in techniques used to train killer whales.
In his parenting book Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach, Glasser describes the method used by trainers to teach Shamu to jump over a rope suspended over his tank.
How they started surprised me.
How that philosophy informs parenting is profound.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb joined a discussion at IBM about his book The Black Swan. Here are my notes from the discussion. I've added my own comments and explanations (based on his books).
As an author, Taleb tries to be universal and not customize his message to the audience. (I think he's talking about the ideas he's espousing, not the method of communicating. Your communication style HAS to consider the audience or your won't be heard.)
Rec'd this by email (soon after seeing on Reddit). Quite funny, though I was disappointed that there was no followup to the reference to bacon grease, as promised.
ADVICE FOR ANYONE MOVING TO TEXAS
1. Save all manner of bacon grease. You will be instructed later how to use it.
2. Just because you can drive on snow and ice does not mean we can. Just stay home the two days of the year it snows.
3. If you do run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in the cab of a four wheel drive with a 12-pack of beer and a tow chain will be along shortly. Don't try to help them. Just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.
4. Don't be surprised to find movie rentals & bait in the same store.
5. Remember: "Y'all" is singular. "All y'all" is plural. "All y'all's" is plural possessive.
Feist - I'm loving what I'm hearing...and seeing from this Canadian Leslie Feist. This girl's got depth. The more I learn about her, the more I hear her music, the more I like her.
Below is the video for her 1,2,3,4 hit, which I first heard on an Apple Nano video Ipod commercial. Yuck! But it's okay. She gained another fan.
Most are from the 80's
Take on me - A-Ha!
1234 Lyrics by Feist - First heard this song on an Apple Ipod Nano commercial. The tune caught my attention big time. I found the original video for the song (see below). It's actually really clever little vid. Looks like it's a single shot (though certainly not the reality). I'm gonna have to investigate Feist a bit more.
Feist was on The Colbert Report in April 2008. Silly interview but she also performed a song, while Colbert wore the outfit she wore for her 1234 video. Feist said as part of the deal for using her 1234 song for Apple, Steve Jobs somehow managed to get the Canadian a U.S. passport, so Feist has dual Canadian/U.S. citizenship...At least I think she was serious about that.
Bill Maher on Religion - I worry about this trend. In this video, Bill Maher calls himself a "Rationalist," and those who have religious beliefs he calls some pretty harsh names. I know it's Maher's shtick, and it's not that I'm religious myself. What raises red flags for me is when I hear a self-righteous voice -- whether "rationalist" or religious. Believe what you want; I don't care. But I think Maher's "rationalist" slam of all with religious beliefs is just as self-righteous as a fundamentalist Christian claiming those who don't believe in Jesus will got to hell. Arrogance, on whatever side, raises warning flags for me....
But we are attracted to confidence, aren't we? When we can't find faith in ourselves, we seek it out in others...so the arrogant are rewarded with this attention, and thrive.
What I learned from President Bush - A sad statement that reflects current sentiment about President Bush and his legacy.
Teens and Sex - New Study - Interesting observations from this study reviewed in Psychology Today. As a parent of a pre-teen, it caught my interest. Quotes and notes from the article below...
Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter
Miss Potter - Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter - Wonderfully charming, touching, and emotional biographical film of the famous children's author Beatrix Potter. But this is not a childish film, though it starts out quite sweet as it sets up the Victorian period, Potter's family, and her personality as an imaginative artist and writer.
Absolutely delightful interview with John Cleese by Michael Parkinson. Six parts on Youtube. Enjoy...
Videos were removed...bummer... Perhaps there's another source.
Domino Harvey - Bounty Hunter
Domino - Watched Tony Scott's film Domino and was thunderstruck. From a cinematography perspective, this was a huge risk. Lots of experimentation with film processing, hand cranking the camera, double exposures, etc. From DVD extras, it sounds like poor Director of Photography Daniel Mindel lived in fear every day that footage would be lost in the experiments.
But those risks in cinematography reflect the risks of the story and its main character, the real-life beauty, model, and bounty hunter Domino Harvey, portrayed by Keira Knightley.
- Received this by email. Totally hilarious and, as per George Carlin, so very insightful. Carlin's wisdom grows with age.
George Carlin on Aging
Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. "How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!"
You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key. You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. "How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16!
Nintento Wii Tennis Cheats, Tips, Hints from various sources...
Power serve - Some serves will have a trailing streak behind them and are difficult to return. These are power serves. To do one, time a quick swing to coincide with the top of the ball's arc. Controller angle is important. If your serving motion mimics an overhead tennis serve, then the controller needs to be angled forward and down, like in a true tennis serve or overhead smash. BTW, .
Two Sides of Norah Vincent
Norah Vincent was a gender spy.
To write her book Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back, she transformed herself into a male alter-ego she named "Ned." To look the part, she got a haircut, added fake stubble to her face and 15 lbs. of muscle to her upper-body. She bound her chest, wore a suit and tie, and inserted a fake penis into her male briefs.
Norah Vincent pretended to be man for 18 months.
During that time she went to strip clubs, joined a bowling league, attended a men's monastery, and went out on dates -- all the while pretending to be a man named Ned.
In the end, Vincent suffered a nervous breakdown, angered some of those she deceived, and learned a lot about the culture of BOTH genders.
Myers-Briggs Personality Types - Here's a hilarious version of the famous Myers-Briggs Personality Types. Totally loved the often comic book perspective. It's a lot of fun to guess where where you and others fit into this personality universe.....
Stephen Jay Gould
Powerfully persuasive piece that helped me gain a "healthy" perspective on the statistics thrown out by doctors, researchers, other medical professionals--and the media. No understatement to say, this essay made a huge difference in my life and health.
The Median Isn't the Message
by Stephen Jay Gould
My life has recently intersected, in a most personal way, two of Mark Twain's famous quips. One I shall defer to the end of this essay. The other (sometimes attributed to Disraeli), identifies three species of mendacity, each worse than the one before - lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Ear of My Heart - Most Inspirational Blog - This is my wife's blog, and as her worst critic, I can honestly say it contains among the most inspirational writing I have ever read. As an avid reader, that's saying something. Just look at her comments from other (less biased?) readers. LaRonda's Ear of My Heart blog is awesome!
Magic Bullet Blender Review - After seeing the infomercial and doing a little investigation, I bought a Magic Bullet Blender through Amazon (cheaper shipping rates w/ Amazon). Reviews I read by others have been mixed (pardon the pun), though generally positive.
I use the Magic Bullet Blender almost every day for smoothies. It's become a morning ritual, made very easy with the Magic Bullet Blender. Here are the pros and cons I've found so far.
A.I. Movie poster
AI - Artificial Intelligence - Haley Joel Osment portrays a "mech" (robot) child who forms a unique, unbreakable obsession (love?) for his human "mommie." Steven Spielberg directed this emotional sci-fi story. Stanley Kubrick co-produced the film, but died before shooting started. Heard a rumor Kubrick was slated to direct; not sure that's true. Surely, it would have been a different story with Kubrick at the helm.
Frances O'Connor plays Osment's "mommie." It's a terribly emotional role. Programming a machine to "love" a human is one thing. But will the human love the machine? What happens if the human can't?
These are the questions posed in this film. I was quite stirred up by the end. Is love between a human and machine possible? Is hate? Are we prepared for such relationships?