30 March 2010

in which I reveal deep misunderstandings

Posted in oddities tagged at 1:15 pm by Tricia

photo of missing tooth

look ma, I lost a tooth!

Maybe this is just a sign that I don’t understand acupuncture, but my first thought on reading this article (headline: Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work) was “really? people who are anxious about going to the dentist are going to be willing to let someone stick them with needles first? And that helps??”

And my second thought was “how come I didn’t read about this at the BBC yet?” Never fear, they covered it too! I didn’t find their version the first time I searched – maybe they were busy hunting down the researchers to get more comments, such as this one: “it may not be suitable for those who also have a fear of needles.”


4 March 2010

Watch out for that colored snow

Posted in oddities at 9:09 pm by Tricia

Walking home the other day, we noticed “Miss Dig” markings. In the snow. Make that on the snow.

orange miss dig markings on snow

Watch out for that orange snow...

Hello? Don’t they realize that snow melts?? And can be moved? In fact, within a day or two, the markings were oddly pixelated, and are fading as the snow melts. At first I thought our neighborhood was an isolated case of cluelessness, but then I saw the same thing on campus and around downtown.

orange spray paint on snow

Watch out for that hot pink snow...

It wouldn’t matter so much if they came out to do the work the next day, but if course they never do…

snow with yellow strip

Yellow snow - that's where all the gas lines go!

11 February 2010

News you can use

Posted in oddities, Z-boy tagged at 10:35 am by Tricia

I’m not sure why I saw this in late January when it was first published in 2005, but here is some news you can use from the BBC:

untidy beds may keep you healthy

Watch out mites! We're leaving our beds unkempt...

Granted, this claim is based on a computer model, and there is a suggestion that the average humidity in a house might mitigate the effects of unkempt bed covers, but I’m sure plenty of people are willing to sign up for the treatment condition in any real-world experiments!

On a related note, the middle child had a friend over a few weeks ago. Friend walked into the boys’ room, looked around, and said: “You’re lucky. My mom makes me clean up my room!” Sigh.

18 January 2010

So much for solidarity!

Posted in oddities tagged at 8:56 pm by Tricia

caption from BBC

Someone ought to send these folks a dictionary (or at least a dictionary entry):


–noun, plural -ties.

1. union or fellowship arising from common responsibilities and interests, as between members of a group or between classes, peoples, etc.: to promote solidarity among union members.
2. community of feelings, purposes, etc.
3. community of responsibilities and interests.
1840–50; < F solidarité, equiv. to solidaire solidary + -ité -ity

Synonyms: 1. unity, cooperation, community. 2. unanimity.

30 November 2009

Persistence Pays Off

Posted in oddities tagged at 8:22 pm by Tricia

Update on a story I mentioned back in February: after taking her driving test almost 200 more times, Cha Sa-Soon finally passed in early November. That is, she passed the written test – I haven’t yet seen a news story about attempts at the road test!

Woman passes 950th driving testSouth Korean woman passes 950th driving test

14 September 2009

Don’t tell my kids!

Posted in oddities at 8:51 pm by Tricia

I need to make sure my kids don’t see this news item – I just convinced them that showers were better than baths because you weren’t soaking in the scunge that washes off your body!

news story

19 August 2009

Ancient Squid and Modern Zombies

Posted in oddities at 2:51 pm by Tricia

Astonishing news from the world of science:

From the BBC: Ink found in Jurassic-era squid. Scientists found a squid ink sac in a Jurassic-era fossil, and were able to write with it! Inquiring minds want to know: will they be able to use the DNA to clone a squid? Jurassic Sea World, anyone?

And also from the BBC (because as long-time readers may have figured out, it’s my primary online news source): If zombies actually existed, an attack by them would lead to the collapse of civilisation unless dealt with quickly and aggressively! That is the conclusion of a mathematical exercise carried out by researchers in Canada.” Good to know it was research done in Canada, because otherwise you’d have some (R) senator spouting off about it next time NSF funding comes under scrutiny.

cc-licensed Zombie Squid illustration by Flickr user UNBORNE

cc-licensed Zombie Squid illustration by Flickr user UNBORNE

I would suggest you go buy a zombie squid hat in honor of these two important findings, but it’s no longer available, so this illustration will have to suffice.

9 August 2009

Hang up and pedal!

Posted in oddities at 2:33 pm by Tricia

cyclist on cell phone

cyclist on cell phone

Lately I’ve been seeing people talking on cell phones while riding a bicycle.

This makes me crazy. Not only does it seem idiotic from the distraction perspective (I also don’t wear headphones when I bike, although I will wear them when I walk or run on city sidewalks), but they’re usually holding the phone in their right hand. This means the only hand on the brakes is their left. (Of course, this photo I found on the web doesn’t really illustrate what I’ve been seeing, because that person is in Amsterdam and doesn’t have hand brakes. The people I see around here have hand brakes.)

What happens if they need to brake suddenly? They’ll slam on the left brake, which will stop the front wheel but not the back, and they’ll fly over the front of their bike and break their shoulder. Okay, maybe not, but I broke my shoulder because of left-hand-only braking (I was signaling with my right, not holding a phone!), so that’s the first thing I think of. But really, just WHAT are they thinking?

18 May 2009

caption contest!

Posted in oddities at 9:25 pm by Tricia

personal discount

personal discount, for you my friend, today only!

This filtered view of my spambox needs a snappy caption, but my snappy caption writer is plumb tuckered out. Suggestions anyone?

(One thing is clear: Dr Aubrey is the one to go with! Well, there’s that anonymous 85% discount, but if the person won’t even identify the doctor what use is that??)

5 February 2009

Now THAT is persistence!

Posted in oddities at 10:50 am by Tricia

A snippet of a story from the BBC News:

Grandmother fails driving test 771 times!

Koren woman fails written driving test 771 times!

When you figure that there have been not quite 1430 days since April 2005, that means she takes the test on average every other day. Wow. Talk about persistence!

On the down side, it turns out the persistence is also costly:

The cost of persistence...

The high cost of persistence...

Maybe she should take a couple weeks off and spend the money on a personal tutor…

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