They say that even a stopped clock gives the correct time twice a day. So if you collected 720 broken clocks and set them all differently, you would have the right time all the time.
I had been thinking about getting on here to air my grievances, today being December 23, which is of course Festivus as well as the last day of Hanukkah (this year). But I was having a hard time thinking of any; I don’t have much to kvetch about in my personal life, and while I could get on my high horse about climate change or the Taliban, really, who wants to hear it?
To the rescue comes Rand Paul, who took to Twitter today to air his own grievances. For example:
First, politics in general: As a Doctor, I was trained first to do no harm. Wouldn’t it be nice if politicians started from that premise? But we get “politics is the art of looking 4 trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly&applying wrong remedies.”
Hey Rand Paul! I got a few problems with you! First and foremost, you are not funny. If you’re going to invoke the spirit of the best sitcom ever made, you should be funny. And, let me say that again, you are not funny.
Also, you are violating the spirit of Festivus, which is supposed to be an (admittedly insincere) alternative to the commercialism of Christmas, by hijacking it for your own political purposes. (And while we’re at it, your political purposes are nonsensical, but that’s really a topic for another time.)
Your intelligence is overrated, and you come across as a smug, pampered asshole who gets everything he wants and doesn’t care what happens to anyone else. It would be nice if you would go away.
Here endeth the message.
Because I sometimes have a morbid mindset, every so often while listening “Car Talk” I would think, “Someday one of these guys is going to die, and that’s going to be a real bummer.”
Well, here we are. Tom Magliozzi, longtime co-host of “Car Talk” on NPR with his brother Ray, passed away yesterday at the age of 77. One of the comments on the NPR web site says “I never felt so sad over the loss of someone I had never met,” and that about sums it up.
How many hundreds of hours have I spent over the years listening to those two guys giggle? If laughter has any medical value, Tom and Ray have extended many of our lives considerably. It was always a pleasure to hear two people take such joy in entertaining themselves, each other, and incidentally whoever happened to be listening.
And of course we will continue to hear them, as NPR has a gazillion shows in the can. But it makes the world a little drabber to know that Tom and Ray will never crack each other up again. Well, that’s life. Give somebody you love a hug why dontcha.
So in the time it took me to get all the way through Apocalypse Now, the NBA Playoffs, the World Cup, the Tour de France, and many other world and personal events came and went. In the interest of economy and brevity, I have composed some haikus to cover this lacuna.
I hate the Clippers
I wish we could have beat them
Andrew Bogut’s ribs
The pain of Brazil
Four goals scored in six minutes
Do you believe that
Vincenzo Nibali is
Drug-free? Please discuss.
We have a new house
It’s full of boxes and cats
Please come and visit
Out of the boonies
Man, the Internet is fast!
What’s good on Netflix?
I have a new job
I know, it’s hard to believe
But what can you do?
One weightlifter to another:
“I can’t believe you’re more narcissisistic than me.”
That is what it should say, on large red signs posted 100 yards in every direction from the Companion Animal Foundation in the Humboldt hamlet of Sunny Brae.
From the outside, the storefront looks like any regular thrift shop, littered with loose clothes and books. But make your way past this innocent facade to the back and you will find yourself facing the mortal peril of the Kitten Room.
Which is just that, a room full of kittens up for adoption. I find it hard to believe that this kind of thing is allowed to go on unregulated. It’s like having a free public crack house down the street. “I’ll just look at the crack,” you tell yourself. “Maybe I’ll smoke a little. But I’m definitely not taking any home with me.”
So far no kittens have wormed their evil way into my household, but that could change at any moment. Deep breath. One day at a time, isn’t that what they say?
Unless you’re willing to risk feeling stupidly happy for awhile:
This theory, first elucidated by the big-brained Edward Tufte (author of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information), is outlined in some detail here. The gist is that a deck shown to engineers at NASA before the fateful shuttle flight actually warned them of the looming disaster, but that due to the way the information is presented in a poorly thought-out PowerPoint — clipped, jargony, and with too many levels of hierarchy — no one noticed.
I can’t help but think of the famous pre-9/11 briefing that warned “Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.” — one line amidst an ocean of data that turned out to be of world-shaking consequence. If it’s hard for even the rocket scientists among us to filter out the signal from the noise, what chance did a dim bulb like George W. Bush have? I never blamed George for failing to prevent 9/11 (though cynically exploiting it was another matter). Likewise, I find it hard to blame anyone in particular for the failure to communicate in the shuttle disaster — even Microsoft, though certainly the idea has its appeal.
While we’re on the subject, here’s something else I ran across in my research. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before too: The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation.