1041

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 yeah we work on the floor

I like how the statement “Food that has been on the floor longer than 5 seconds doesn’t have any more germs than food that has been on the floor shorter than 5 seconds” expresses such a different message from “Food that has been on the floor shorter than 5 seconds doesn’t have any fewer germs than food that has been on the floor longer than 5 seconds”… even though literally they mean the same.

However, I don’t think the studies in question actually examined any food that had been on the floor for weeks. I think they just established that there is no magical germ threshold immediately after 5 seconds.

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1040

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Poor Abby loves art and writing, but is very bad at it.

This explanation assumes that the world’s dumbest pickup line was invented before the typewriter… which somehow I don’t find so unlikely.

In other news, my brother just gave me an old inflatable kayak, which I restored with Shoe Goo and Gorilla Tape and christened “Skidbladnir” after the mythical Norse ship that could be magically folded up to fit in a pocket. As soon as I get a better paddle, I will be out on the lake a lot in the near future.

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1039

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hot summers are good for making wine

Zach Weiner of SMBC once posted a poem where he rhymed his last name with “greener” or “carabiner” or something with a similar-sounding ending. I don’t remember the details, and I can’t find it in the archives, but he should know that his name is actually pronounced more like “whiner.” It’s a German name, and in German, it’s I before E when the sound is “ee”, and E before I when the sound is “eye.” (The name “Weiner” means “one who makes wine,” and “Wiener” means “one who is from Vienna.”)

But then, if I’m going to be so picky about pronunciation, I might as well tell him he has to pronounce the W like a V, too. Let’s revert all German-derived words to their full phlegmy Germanness! And while we’re at it, let’s all annoy football fans by giving Brett Favre’s name its original French pronunciation, complete with the gargled R.

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1038

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crappity doo da, crappity ay.

Sometimes we don’t really want to feel better right away. Sometimes we just want our bad mood to run its course. This goes against the idea that all desires are ultimately based on a desire for happiness, but that’s the way it is sometimes.

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1037

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If jobs ever became obsolete, society would really have trouble adapting.

I hope, for all our sakes, that Abby’s right about robot motivations. But there are many ways the development of robot intelligence could go wrong, and the people with the most power to control it aren’t well-equipped to understand it.

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1034

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gallo-banzo

John doesn’t think the VW Beetle looks like a beetle. At all. It didn’t even occur to him that it might be named after a beetle– he assumed it was named after the Beatles, since they were popular around the same time.

He also can’t see images in clouds, and when I told him chick peas looked like chickens, he reacted pretty much the way Abby did. I dunno… when I retell stories about John and me as Abby and Norma comics, I usually cast Abby as me and Norma as John, but this time I felt it worked better the other way around.

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1033

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mispronounced AH-myg-DA-la, of course


I had a very similar experience with the “Bulletproof” song. Seriously, I considered everything from “forever” to “your lover” to “Belieber,” and it never occurred to me to try anything that wasn’t intended to have the accent on the second syllable.

As of the time of this writing, the Wikipedia page for “amygdala” specifically includes a note at the top, indicating that “amygdala” is not to be confused with “Amidala.” I guess a lot of people got confused?

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