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Thursday, November 21, 2002

Some people really do have unpleasant things to say about Microsoft Corp. and its head honcho, Bill Gates. A random LiveJournal user's girlfriend, though, isn't one of them:

" That reminds me... My Girlfriend blessed Bill Gates last night. I asked her why, and she said that He was responsible for the ubiquity of the mouse wheel and therefore for the extreme dexterity of the middle finger of my right hand."

On behalf of all satisfied girlfriends everywhere, thank you Bill Gates.

Saturday, November 9, 2002

Aquatic Operatics

Do you sing in the shower?

I do too.

But why?

Jearl Walker, author of The Flying Circus of Physics, says:

"If you sing in a large open area, you basically only hear your voice as it is produced. In the small area of the shower, you are also receiving reflected sound waves a very short time after you produced them. This in effect prolongs the sounds causing a richer and fuller song."

Sue Parker, also an author, offers a more hippi-fied explanation:

"It is not surprising that we sing in the shower: we are alone, safe, and naked. With today's hectic pace this may be the only time of the day that we are calm and relaxed. Intellectually, we are removed from responsibility. We are actively nurturing our physical selves. The quiet solitude creates a space in which our spirit can freely express itself."

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

public conversations

On the bus, train, in a restaurant or the computer lab, whether you're waiting in line at the bank for money, outside the box office for concert tickets, or in your chair for class to start, you will most likely overhear someone else's conversation. The low, humming rumble of someone else's voice suddenly becomes all that you hear, whether you choose to actually listen to it or not. (Listening to someone and hearing them are two different things, I learned whenever queried by my lecturing mother as to whether or not I "heard" her. "Of course I hear you mom," I would reply while I mockingly said to myself, "but I'm not listening.")

It's only until you actually listen to someone else's conversation that it really even matters that they're talking at all. It could be that two young women in the table next to you at the International House of Pancakes are waxing melodramatic about breaking up with their boyfriends. Or maybe they're sitting across from you at the computer lab, one of them patiently listening as the other recounts the horror that fell upon her after receiving a D on her Econ paper, especially since she's "never got a D in her whole life." Maybe as one bus driver pulls up to the next they salute each other and the cheerful weather. Maybe one of your roommates tells the other all about the wild night he missed out on because he had to stay in and study for a Physics midterm.

Whoever's conversation it is, whatever they are talking about, you are either:
1. Eavesdropping
2. Ignoring It
3. Or Being Annoyed

Each of the following are under-lied, I believe, by a simple jealousy. Although this may not always be the case, most of the time you are listening to them because you have no one else to talk to you.

Mundane conversation is taken for granted. Shooting the shit is a lot more than just rambling meaningless banter. When you talk to someone and they listen to you, you are having a conversation, a dialogue, and don't feel taken for granted. This dialogue forms the text of our life, the foreground to our background, and defines us.

Maybe not everyone feels jealous upon hearing someone else's conversation - they shouldn't. Maybe they should instead cherish the times they actually get to participate in one, even if it does highlight the trivial, everyday, and ordinary aspects of life.

Monday, November 4, 2002

Albatross, or Albatrosses

Albatross, or albatrosses, are like humans.

This excerpt, taken from an article, helps prove my point:

"They groan, scrape their bills, and dance about awkwardly, before pairing and mating occurs. "

Tell me you haven't groaned, scraped out some bills and danced about awkwardly, all in hopes of getting laid. Ok, well, maybe you haven't. Maybe it's just me. Regardless:

Albatrosses, or albatross, are also alike humans in another way.

I was watching Animal Planet's "Ultimate Animals" show and learned that:

After a pair mates, incubates the egg, and successfully raises their winged child, they depart each other for two years, using their 12 foot long wings to fly and glide across a span of thousands of miles. Then, after all that soaring time spent alone, they return, from their biannual sabbatical, to each other, the same pair, and repeat the process all over again, for the rest of their feathery lives.

Well now, looking back, I would say that we aren't exactly akin to the albatross. Yet still, something hopelessly romantic inside me wishes we were.

What Would You Do If You Found a Wallet With $20 Dollars In It?

With all the bullshit floating around in the news lately about politrick-cians, impending doom in the middle east, and that thieving-ass bitch who played the creepy girl in Beetlejuice, it's nice to finally read something positive and uplifting.

Saturday, November 2, 2002

Now, everyone knows who Sigmund Freud is and what his general contributions to psychology were. His theories were accepted, for a while, as fundamentally accurate descriptions of the way we act and why. But now, though, once asked their opinion on Sigmund Freud, most professors or TAs involved with the Psychology Department (or pretty much any modern psychologist) here on campus will tirade on and on about the absurdity of his ideas.

I mean, yeah, ok, doing a lot of coke and having this weird relationship-thing going on with your cousin probably wont look good to your peers or historians later on down the road, but really, why has the backlash towards Freud been so strong? So maybe the guy didn't have the "scientific, empirical" data to back up his ideas, but come on, I mean, how available and effective were the mechanisms for measuring brain activity back in his day?

There weren't any to begin with.

But now, there are. And now, brain imaging techniques, increasing in efficiency and number, are allowing neuropsychologists to paint a more thorough potrait of the thing inside our skull. Basic thoughts and emotions have already been mapped out and measured, and guess what?

Freud was right.

At least, signs are pointing in his favor. So, for all you Freud nay-sayers, go read this MSNBC article further describing what i'm talking about, and then, when you're done reading it, go eat a bowl of dicks.