Let’s skip the pleasantries, shall we? We have 13 things to talk about this week!
1. Everyone seems to have an opinion of who to vote for in the upcoming presidential election – even 600 lb. pigs. Yes, the unnamed pig decided he wanted to try and cast his vote in Pelham, N.H., on Feb. 9, 2016. No word yet on who he voted for.
2. Arizona. Land of the Grand Canyon, birthplace of Ernesto Miranda, site of the westernmost Civil War battle, and now, the Land of Testing Welfare Recipients. If you listen to conservative radio you’ll hear pundits going on and on about people mooching off the welfare system and how we’ll save so much money by drug-testing each and every single person. Over the course of three years, Arizona did just that – testing more than 87,000 welfare recipients.
Guess how many positive tests there were. One. Saved the state $560! Yeap, so many addicts mooching off welfare.
3. What if male scientists were described the same way as female scientists?
“A devout husband and father, Darwin balanced his family duties with the study of the specimes he brought from his travels.”
“Sassy and carefree Feynmann challenged social mores as he worked on his research. He broke hearts all over [the] USA.”
@Daurmith has been tweeting these funny but sobering bios of famous male scientists to show the disparity between how men and women are treated in the scientific community.
4. Tired of having to choose between the lesser of two evils at the polls? Frustrated that candidates have forgotten their solemn commitment to better their communities? Well, have no fear! Voters in Whitby-Oshawa, Canada, now have the option of choosing “None of the above.”
Sheldon Bergson of Thornhill, Ont., changed his name to “Above Znoneofthe” to givc voters another option. He hoped that his new moniker would be listed as “Znoneofthe Above” at the bottom of the ballot, except provisional ballots are listed FirstName LastName.
Oops. At least voters will have another option, and who knows, maybe Above will win. Wonder if this is who the pig voted for.
5. I am the first person to admit that my mind wanders down pointless and illogical paths — do elevators get lonely? — but occasionally I have an eureka moment. As we were driving back from the mountains recently, I started thinking of our new house, specifically what would happen if I locked myself out. There are so many kitchy products on the market to hide keys – fake rocks, hidden compartments in gnomes, sprinkler heads – but I wanted something less obvious*. Ding! A garden hose nozzle with a hidey hole in the trigger for a spare key**.
Colby was very amused when I told him, he never knows what will come out of my mouth, but told me we wouldn’t have to worry about it – we’re going to have a smart lock system so I can’t lock myself out of the house. Boo.
And here I thought I had a genius idea.
*Plus rocks are ugly.
**If you make this, I want 10% of the profits.
6. After an altercation which left a mentally-ill 19-year-old (Quintonio LeGrier) and a 55-year-old bystander (Bettie Jones) dead, Officer Robert Rialmo of Chicago, Ill., took the unconventional route and decided to sue the 19-year-old’s estate, stating that when LeGrier swung a baseball bat at his head, it forced Rialmo to take two lives, something which caused him “to suffer extreme emotional trauma.”
There is something sad and more than a little disturbing about a sworn public defender blaming the victim for their own demise and seeking $10 million in damages. When someone becomes a police officer, they do so with the knowledge that by possessing a firearm and being in a position of authority that they might be forced to take a life to protect themselves and/or others. Whether or not LeGrier did indeed swing, his family should not have to deal with the additional pain of a lawsuit.
8. Do elevators get lonely?
9. Anyone want an elliptical bicycle? Per Hammacher Schlemmer, the bicycle (tricycle?) “is propelled by elliptical exercise movements, providing a full-body, low-impact workout outside. The bicycle‘s upright handlebars and foot platforms move back-and-forth, toning muscles in the arms, back, and legs, providing cardiovascular exercise, and propelling the three-wheeled bike forward.” All for one low price of $999.95*
*Sorry, no payment plans are available at this time. That’s what credit cards are for.
10. Eric Springer at Medium had a disturbing encounter with the world’s largest online retailer Amazon recently – someone tried to obtain Eric’s personal information by contacting Amazon and inquiring about recent purchases, credit cards numbers, etc. While Amazon didn’t provide Eric’s card number to the unknown individual, they did provide his address and phone number. The scariest part is that this unknown person wasn’t logged into Eric’s Amazon account – the retailer provided help without the customer being signed in. A bit frightening.
12. DIY steampunk lamp. Enough said. Thanks, Steve Ramsey!
13. I was going to write this last week, but I put it off.
You know you’ve done the same thing. But why do we do it? The Akrasia effect (as coined by famous Greek philosophers) is “the state of acting against your better judgment.” Basically, you are making plans for your future self, but when your future self becomes your present self, it would rather go for the immediate reward, instead of the nasty chore. How to get around it? Try planning a task for a specific time — take out the trash at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, do 15 push-ups at 9 p.m. on Monday — and you’ll be more likely to actually do it.
I’m terrible at forcing myself to do things I don’t like, but reminders do help me. I have a daily reminder at 8:30 a.m. to take my medicine, I can set a reminder to alert me when I get home around 4:45 p.m. to feed the dogs. I add tasks to Todoist and set a due date. I add errands to Google calendar.
It mostly helps.