This Kid Made an App That Exposes Sellout Politicians

8 Jul 2014 /

Via VICE:

http://www.vice.com/read/greenhouse-app-hannah-ewens-nick-rubin-201

Yes, the algorithm is


if (isPolitician(x)) {
    x.sellout = true;
}

Thus spoke The Programmer.


Neil Young Sings “Fancy”

8 Jul 2014 /

Have you seen this? This is absolute genius . . .


One Piece of Advice From T. Boone Pickens

7 Jul 2014 /
T. Boone Pickens

If I had to single out one piece of advice that’s guided me through life, most likely it would be from my grandmother, Nellie Molonson. She always made a point of making sure I understood that on the road to success, there’s no point in blaming others when you fail.

Here’s how she put it: “Sonny, I don’t care who you are. Some day you’re going to have to sit on your own bottom.” After more than half a century in the energy business, her advice has proven itself to be spot-on time and time again. My failures? I never have any doubt whom they can be traced back to. My successes? Most likely the same guy.

— T. Boone Pickens

Ten Steps to Being Fat, Lonely and Broke

7 Jul 2014 /

Some behaviors come naturally while others require more effort. For example, there are dozens of bestsellers on finding love, losing weight and creating wealth but no market for books like Ten Steps to Being Fat, Lonely and Broke.


If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete. — Buddha


More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Great West Retirement Services

6 Jul 2014 /

Because I changed jobs recently, I want to roll over a 401k into an IRA. I filled out the form, mailed it in to Great West Retirement Services — they manage the 401k — and got this in return:

The enclosed benefit request is being returned for additional and or missing information. We require the following item(s) be completed before processing can take place:

  • Please have this request completed on the attached current version of the distribution form. The form this request was submitted on is now discontinued.

OK, first of all, the form isn’t being returned for additional or missing information. I filled out the form I was given and you’re telling me it’s now discontinued. You can’t figure it out anyway? You really need me to fill out ANOTHER 6-PAGE FORM with EXACTLY THE SAME INFORMATION in a slightly different format?!

And I love this part: “Please have this request completed . . .” I DON’T HAVE SOMEONE WHO COMPLETES FORMS FOR ME! I HAVE TO DO IT MYSELF, YOU FUCKING PRICKS!


As every married person here knows, love is a rotten substitute for respect. — Kurt Vonnegut


An iPad a Week

6 Jul 2014 /

Red Bull

Our boy has an internship with Red Bull this summer . . . he’s excited because in addition to getting paid, he gets an iPad and 2 cases of Red Bull a week.

The last time I told someone that, she said, “He gets an iPad a week? Can I have one?”


Not Enough Information?

6 Jul 2014 /

Bertrand Russell declared that, in case he met God, he would say to Him, “Sir, you did not give us enough information.” I would add to that, “All the same, Sir, I’m not persuaded that we did the best we could with the information we had. Toward the end there, anyway, we had tons of information.”

— Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of

6 Jul 2014 /

Riptide warning sign

The worst thing you can do to people, aside from physical injury, is give them the idea to blame their failures on vague impersonal forces or the actions of anybody but themselves. It doesn’t promote success or happiness. I don’t know any happy people who think like that.

For example, I read this in a New York Times article about an impoverished area of West Virginia:

John got caught up in the dark undertow of drugs that defines life for so many here in McDowell County.

That is just awful. I live in Southern California, not too far from the ocean . . . I’m familiar with undertows (although I’ve never heard of a “dark” undertow). First of all, sorry to be pedantic but undertows aren’t dangerous . . . they’re just after-effects of individual waves. What’s dangerous is a riptide . . . a concentrated flow of water that can jet you offshore in a matter of seconds.

Maybe John got caught in a riptide of drugs.

Some beaches post signs warning swimmers of riptides on high-risk days, but in general, getting caught in a riptide is an unfortunate but unavoidable event. Drug abuse is optional. It’s a decision you make about your life.

(I’m assuming here that no one sticks a funnel in your mouth and pours drugs into it against your will . . .)


Futility

5 Jul 2014 /
BODIES

We saw BODIES: The Exhibition at the Luxor in Las Vegas. You’ve probably heard about this . . . dissected bodies are preserved and displayed for educational purposes.

Most of the bodies are displayed in athletic poses with props: baseball, basketball, tennis racket, etc.

One of the bodies is aiming a dart with his right hand while holding a second dart in his left hand. Of course he’s never going to need that second dart because he’s never going to throw the first dart. Because he’s dead.

It creates a sad effect in my opinion . . . plans, unbeknownst to the planner, that will never come to fruition. Futility doesn’t always end with death.

Meanwhile . . . I overheard a young woman telling her girlfriend that one of the cadavers had “a nice butt.” Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse.


How I Identified the Impostor

5 Jul 2014 /
Duplicates

Capgras Syndrome – The patient believes that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member has been replaced by an identical-looking impostor.

We’re going on an overnight trip out of town. Whenever we do that, my wife packs a bag the size of a steamer trunk full of clothes and god-knows-what for all eventualities.

This morning, when I went to carry the giant bag downstairs, I realized it was only half full. It was too light.

And that is how I identified the impostor.


Any time I see a person fleeing from reason and into religion, I think to myself, There goes a person who simply cannot stand being so goddamn lonely anymore. — Kurt Vonnegut


Louis Zamperini, 1917-2014

3 Jul 2014 /

Team Foosball

1 Jul 2014 /

Team Foosball


A Pug Story

30 Jun 2014 /

Lightning Epps

Hi everybody! It’s me, Lightning!

My owner read me a story by Isaac Babel:

And Mimka arrived too, curled up on the sofa and fell asleep at once. She was a terrible sleepy-head, but a wonderful dog, good-hearted, sensible, small and pretty. Mimka was a pug-dog. Her coat was light in colour. Even in old age she never grew fat or flabby, never put on weight, but remained shapely and slender. She lived with us a long time, from birth to death, the whole of her fifteen years’ doggy life, and loved us — quite plainly, and most of all Grandmother, who was stern and without mercy to anyone. What friends they were, silent and secretive, I shall tell another time. It is a very good, touching and tender story.

Actually that was only part of the story but the rest was kind of boring and I don’t really remember it.

— Lightning paw


Killed by Prayer

30 Jun 2014 /

Thumbs down

A woman on Facebook a couple of days ago asked everyone to pray for her seriously ill father. Today, he died. Go figure.

Had he made a miraculous recovery, we would have said that prayer “worked” . . . but what does it mean when you pray for someone to live and he dies?

I had a college professor . . . his exams were graded by a graduate assistant, but students had the option of appealing grades to the professor. That’s not unusual, but most professors will either raise the grade or leave it as is. This guy, however, would either raise the grade, leave it as is or lower it. Risky!

Maybe God operates on the same principle. When you put someone’s fate in his hands, he retains the option of saying “toodle-oo.”


Email From a Bird

29 Jun 2014 /

Angry bird

I meant to sign this email “Nest Regards” but I typed “Best Regards” by mistake — and the spell check didn’t catch it! I am one angry bird right now . . .


Milestones

29 Jun 2014 /

Someone asks me for my home phone number and for a moment I can’t remember the last four digits.

I am 55 years old . . .


Descending Kroeber Hall

27 Jun 2014 /


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