December 29, 2006

Good and Evil: Part 2


So, even if Darth Vader's motives seem righteous to him (which they tried explaining in Episode 2), it is apparent to the audience who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. So, in world conflicts today, even though the sides aren't decked out in white and black uniforms to make it easy, why is it so difficult for people to agree on who the good guys are. And I'm not saying 1 side's perfect and 1 side's morally inferior. I'm saying, when you see a conflict going on in the world, and you learn why it's going on, it should be fairly easy to see who has the best case. Why is this so difficult?

December 28, 2006

Good and Evil: Part 1


Before we begin, a question. Did Darth Vader know he was evil?

December 27, 2006

Right Hand on an Archie


The first Muslim elected to Congress, Congressman Keith Ellison, a man who converted to Islam in college, plans on swearing in to office on the Koran, the holy book of Islam. This to the outrage of many people who claim that confirming the divinity of the Bible is necessary for governmental appointment. The problem is that there is no law saying that an oath needs to be made on anything other than the man's word. So, instead of just saying "Any book will do," how about saying "Your word is all we ask for". After all, swearing on the Bible sure hasn't made for any less corrupt of a government, now has it? An often contributor to this site, Jeff Philips, brings up an interesting viewpoint that I wanted to mention.

"If the scientologists manage to elect 1 Congressman, so be it. Let him swear in on that Dianetics book. If a Nazi fascist somehow wins election and wants to swear in on Mein Kampf, let 'em! Watch as the outrage pours in, watch him become absolutely isolated by his fellow memeber, and watch, most importantly, as the level-minded Americans in his/her distrcit oust them the next time around."

That is indeed an interesting point. And for the Bible bangers that think this is the worst thing to happen since they banned the word Christmas from Target's greeting cards, read this.

Matthew 5:36-37
36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

December 26, 2006

E-Ching for the Day

"There are those who can not help themselves. There are those who can. Yet, our laws can not distinguish the heart."

December 22, 2006

7 Times Around


Does everyone remember the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho from Sunday school? I was reading this the other day, and a particular verse of the passage struck me as very interesting from the book of Joshua, Chapter 5.

13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?" 14 "Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come."

Neither. An angel of the Lord was a Switzerland to this whole conquest.

Merry Christmas!

December 21, 2006

Invention: "The Innocent"


How about a coffee table book that contains baby photos of evil men? I'm not sure what the profundity of this would be, but it's gotta be something. The young lad pictured, by the way, would one day grow up and marry the lovely Eva Braun.

December 20, 2006

We're All Going to Drown


So, let's say scientists started coming out and saying that the damage we've done to the Earth is irreversible and that our sea levels are definitely going to be one meter higher in 40 years, putting several coastal U.S. cities underwater. Wouldn't that dramatically alter the real estate market? And since, we're not really on our way to changing our production/consumption/emission habits, would it be a smart investment to start selling off beach front resorts now (just in case)?

December 19, 2006

Invention: Universal Dress Shoes


As I raced to Target at 8 AM yesterday, because I forgot to pack my dress shoes in my gym bag, and had to buy new shoes, because I didn't feel comfortable wearing beaten up sneakers with my dress pants and white sweater, I had an epiphany. Well, epiphany's are probably more important than this...but an idea nonetheless. What if we invent a shoe color that can be worn with both brown and black pants? It would have to be a black shoe with a maroon/brown shine or something like that. But, if you could find that ideal color that would go with dark dress pants as well as khakis, that would be nice. And they would have athletic soles of course.

December 18, 2006

The Psychee of the Fast Food Counter


At Dunkin Donuts the other day, I witnessed an obvious language barrier between a customer and the cashier. The person was trying to point at the donuts she wanted, and I thought it was strange that no one behind the counter could speak Spanish. Turns out, the customer was actually deaf. And while holding up 2 fingers when you want to order the number 2, two cheeseburger value meal at McDonalds is probably easy, having to point at the particular donut you want when they're all lined up right next to each other a few meters away is rather difficult. I started thinking that there's got to be some sort of device where a deaf person could type into it what they wanted to say, and the device could say it for them. After sharing this idea, a co-worker of mine suggested that a pen and paper would do just as well. Touche.

2nd story. I was at a Long John Silvers (my body is my temple), and there's a cashier who works there that has some sort of mental disability, but is fully-functional. Standing in front of me in line was a huge, Harley-looking guy with long hair looking up at the menu board. The cashier, in a lisped, broken voice, then called out, "Whenever you're ready Maam."

I think that the long hair must have confused him, but I was really waiting for the customer to go nuts on him. He took it very well, what a Teddy Bear. In conclusion, eat poorly. You'll get some stories.

December 15, 2006

E-Ching for the Day

"Faith in an invisible God requires some foolishness. But, ignoring the possibility altogether is far too risky."

December 14, 2006

The Evolution of War, Part 2


So, I recently got to hear the story of my friend's brother-in-law who has been in Iraq for most of the last 4 years. I'd heard stuff similar to his story in the news a while back, but coming from him, it made it more real for some reason. So, this guy was a tank driver. And a couple of years ago, another U.S. tank driver was driving through an Iraqi city and an Iraqi threw his 2-year old son out in front of the tank. The tank came to a stop so as not to injure the child. And six men jumped out from a building with machine guns and shot the men in the tank. So, after that day, U.S. tanks were ordered not to stop for anything when going through cities. So, my friend's brother-in-law informed me that several times as a tank driver over the last two years, he has run over infants and small children thrown out in front of his tank. Someone else listening to this conversation stated, "That really says something about the moral character of those people over there." I don't think that could possibly be it. Bad people don't intentionally slaughter their children. This is something far worse. And even though recent Iraq study reports have suggested that President Bush have civilized, diplomatic peace discussions with the leaders of Iran, Syria, etc., perhaps there is not a universal interest in peace.

December 13, 2006

The Evolution of War


So, if you watch the film, The Patriot, you will see that the rules of war used to maintain somewhat of a gentlemen's approach. Often, the two sides lined up at a specific field, fired shots and then the second in line (the survivors) moved to the front. It was a battle of numbers as well as aim. When watching this, I'm screaming, "You guys are morons! Sneak attack!!! " They beat me to the punch and war became more strategic. But, there was still a venue, a 'wrestling ring' if you will, to separate the soldiers from the civilians. Lately in Iraq, we have been giving the Iraqi civilians warnings of the places we are going to attack before we attack, in order to give them enough time to evacuate their families. However, some civilians have recently been going to these buildings that we have warned about, and surrounding the building with a human shield, knowing or hoping that a civilized country like us would not destroy the lives of "civilians" in order to destroy a target. So far, they have called our bluff correctly. But, if these civilians are protecting an enemy, are they really merely civilians? And do our rules need to change?

December 12, 2006

One More on the Environmental


So, my friend nicely told me the other day that the emission results of my penguin-hating consumption habits were ruining the world, and that I should give my money away. So, naturally offended, I thought that over. Let's say I give 50% of my income away. And we all willingly redistribute our funds so that no one's rich and no one has need. Will total consumption change? I will just be consuming less, and other people will be consuming more. I don't see how that solves his environmental concerns. Isn't he really looking for a production decrease? Or a population control mandate?

December 11, 2006

A Convenient Platform


So, I watched Al Gore's biopic, "An Inconvenient Truth" this weekend. What the heck were with the flashbacks to Gore's life throughout the film that had nothing to do with the science being promoted?

Anyway, if I read between the lines right, the movie's point was that tree frogs TRUMP tree beetles, and that polar bears TRUMP humans.

When asked about the economic downfalls of America signing progressive emissions legislation, Gore answers the question by saying "Actually, it would increase jobs, because we have to remember that doing the right thing is always a step forward." Ok, but, you're not a muppet and I'm not a 6 year old watching Sesame Street, so that answer doesn't appease me.

The film did indeed open my mind to the fact that the tripling of the population in the last 45 years has indeed skyrocketed CO2 rates and IS a problem, but the film almost made it seem like the world is already working extremely hard to produce cleaner energy, so it didn't make me want to vote for Al Gore in order to get it done, which is clearly what the film is about.

December 08, 2006

The Tipping Point: Part Seven


Alright, I have it...the tipping point for illegal immigration. First, this is based off the premise that illegal immigration is indeed an epidemic that needs to be addressed. So, if you can't concede the problem, then obviously no solution is needed. For those who are looking for a solution and don't like the financial repercussions of a Great Wall of Mexico, how bout this? If an American corporation knowingly hires an illegal or undocumented worker, the worker responsible for the hiring receives 6 months in prison.

December 07, 2006

I Guess it Worked


From the same History Channel Lincoln special referenced a couple of weeks ago, they also talked about Lincoln's obsession with finding some way to be remembered, which he was obviously successful in doing. Does this bother anyone else? The media was equally obsessed with this question regarding our current President's legacy, asking questions like, "What legislation can Bush push in the next two years in order to leave his mark...etc." I don't understand this. I understand the notion that everyone wants to be liked and thought of positively. But, the idea of people standing up and fighting for legislation that they don't really believe in, in order to have a positive mention is the next generation's 4th-grade history book is mystifying to me. If these people are making decisions based primarily upon how history will judge them, and not upon whether they truly believe it's the right decision or not, these people should not be in office.

December 06, 2006

The Tipping Point: Part Six


Let's tip AIDS. Instead of an epidemic for this one, we want to go in reverse. Since unprotected sex is far and away the leading cause of the spread of AIDS, let's start there. Condom distribution, 6th grade sex ed videos, abstinence teaching, stricter punishment for adultery...The forum is open:

December 05, 2006

Coke: No Alternatives


New Advertising Campaign for Coke:

quick :15 second spot

cut to (bunch of guys sitting at a table in a sports bar/restaurant)
guys begin to order sandwiches and fries
cut to guy ordering "I'll have a burger, fries and a coke."
cut to waitress saying, "Is Pepsi ok?
cut back to guy ordering (offers a blank face and blinks a few times, then sighs)
"No. I'll go without liquids."
cut to later, guys eating meal (guy w/ no Coke smacking lips to pronounce his dry throat)

December 04, 2006

Who Would Vote For Layoffs?


Why do government officials get to vote on their own salaries? That's just as ridiculous as a boss letting their employees decide their wage. I for one, would definitely give myself a raise, just as they continuously tend to do. But, since they are representing us, shouldn't we as a people determine what that job is worth, and we'll get what we pay for?

December 01, 2006

Locker Room Etiquette


So controversial question, why are locker rooms same-sex only? (The controversy's coming, don't worry). Get an answer to that question before reading on by the way... Ok, so, I came up with two. Either A) Locker rooms are same-sex because we want to avoid the temptation of staring at the opposite sex in their underoos. OR B) We don't want people who may be sexually attracted to us staring at US in our underoos.

So, does the existence of homosexuality mean that our locker-room etiquette needs to be changed? Because unless there's another reason that I'm not thinking of (please correct me), homosexuals break both of those reasons for same-sex only locker rooms. So, perhaps we need to change the policy of public nudity allowed in these locker rooms?

November 30, 2006

IQ Name Tags


So, I recently read a study that says that a group performs a task better when all the people know who the smartest person in the room is. I'm assuming that people simply tend to give that 'smartest' person the benefit of the doubt, and give them the final word. But, that seems very similar to me to a common corporate structure. A worker gives their boss the final word, right? Maybe not. Not if they truly think they're smarter...or their idea is better. So, question: What is the most effective way of convincing someone they are wrong when they do not respect you as their intellectual superior?

November 29, 2006

Sufjan Rove


From his song, Come on! Feel the Illinoise!
"Oh God of progress.
Have you degraded or forgot us?
Where have your laws gone?
I think about it now."
It's clear. Pat Robertson has infiltrated the hipster cutting edge music scene, and convinced Sufjan Stevens to try and subconciously get us to legislate morality by lyrically blaming the degredation of the world on the loss of Godly morality. I see right through you Sufjan.

November 27, 2006

In Charge of the World


I've had a few conversations with people who are tired of the U.S., probably more specifically, Bush being in charge of the world. They would rather us be a more peaceful quiet, Switzerland, or at least more like a socialized Western European country. And that might be fine if there were a worthier heir to our throne. But, who takes our place if we step down? China? Russia? India? None of the countries in the E.U. have large enough economies to really take our place. Simple question, would you feel comfortable with China being in the position that we are today?

November 22, 2006

Thanks for What?


A year ago today, I went to one of the coolest church services I have ever been to. It was a small turnout on the Wednesday night before Thanskgiving, and people were asked to share publicly something they wanted to give God thanks for. Now, typically, when a pastor asks the congregation to share testimonies, people don't often tend to share anything unless it's a miraculous healing or someone coming to know Christ. But, on this night, everyone shared. People shared the new job they were at, the new relationship they were in, the fact that the leaves were beautiful, that they were on better terms with their children again, and there were indeed stories of healing and salvation. But, it was mostly people being completely honest about these little things that they attributed to God. And it was powerful. And by the end of the night, we all started to realize that if God was doing all of these good things in all of these people's lives, then maybe He could do some good stuff in our lives as well. It was a cool night. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

November 21, 2006

Women make 75 cents on the Dollar to a Man


Ever heard that? I have, and was surprised that there would be such blatant gender bias when it comes to payscale in this "sophisticated" society we live in. Well, here's where that number comes from. It's not comparing apples to apples. The average women's salary is 75% what a man's is. Not with the same job, not with the same hours. Just average overall. So, what we need to remember is that men work very different jobs than a woman. Nursing and Elementary Education are the two leading vocations for a woman. Women tend to work shorter hours than the average man. Women tend to work on average, 10 years less than the average man. When you compare men and women with equivalent jobs, equivalent hours and equivalent credentials, the salaries tend to be just that, equivalent.

November 20, 2006

More Cubs Fans Needed in Congress


The Cubs just signed Alfonso Soriano to a long-term ginormous contract that will guarantee him $17 million dollars as a 39-year-old, when he is currently 31 and coming off a .277 season with 160 strikeouts. And yet, Cubs fans everywhere are rejoicing. I would like to see this unbridled, ignorant, optimistic passion from our democratically appointed electorate. Not because it works, simply because it's a lot more fun.

November 17, 2006

Why the Switch


I read an article that stated that people voted for a new Congress because they were sick of the extreme right. Undoubtedly, there were many reasons why Democrats were elected in to replace the Republican majority. But, it seemed silly to me to consider the past Republican majority/President as anything close to 'far right'. Am I alone in considering this past Congress/Administration anything but conservative, and therefore thinking that this vote does not signal an American vote against conservatism, but this wacky Republipostmodernim?

November 16, 2006

Is Divorce too Easy?


I recently learned that U.S. divorce laws back in the day only allowed for divorce if a partner was abusive or unfaithful. The universal checkbox of irreconcilable differences was not an option. While divorces tend to take place at the low-end of a marriage, if obtaining a divorce was harder, would this help some unhappy marriages to have the time to turn around before ending prematurely?

November 14, 2006

E-Ching for the Day

"The only way to get rid of a corrupt government is to get rid of the government."

November 13, 2006

Living Wage Hero


So, with the newly-Democratically controlled Congress, a minimum wage increase in the near future seems quite likely, and it looks like the national minimum wage will be raised from $5.15 to $7.15 an hour. Without getting into the argument of whether or not government wage control is economically beneficial for the country, I have a question to pose regarding this new "living wage". What does a "living wage" mean? When do we raise or lower this "living wage"? When one person can afford a modest mortgage payment, utilities, savings, etc? Or what if they're married and the spouse does not work? Or what if it's just one person raising five kids by themselves? Who is supposed to be able to live and in what quality with this "living wage"?

November 10, 2006

I Deserve It


As citizens of this nation, what should we be entitled to? Currently, we accept the notion that all citizens are entitled to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". Anything else?

November 08, 2006

From the Great Quasi-Emancipator


I watched a film the History Channel put out on Lincoln last night (that really made him look like a bi-polar nutcase incidentally). But, one of Lincoln's speeches struck me very interestingly when talking about slavery. He said when talking to a man from the South, paraphrased "if we could agree on the fact that a slave is not a human, but your property alone, then you would of course be free to do with your slave as you wished, but this is something that we simply can not agree on."

This struck me as very similar to the abortion debate in America today, which can really not be properly discussed until we consense one way or the other on what a human is?

...and by the way, judging from the state of South Dakota's voting to ban gay marriage but not abortion, are they really saying that they would rather their children be dead than raised by a homosexual?

Why Everyone Wins


Yesterday was a historic day for the political world. The citizens of the United States said that they think Democrats can do a better job. Democrats all across this country should be excited. But, Republicans shouldn't jump off the train just yet. The current (before this new vote) majority in Congress in no way represents the conservative pulse in this country. This bastardization of fiscally liberally Republimoderates is just silly, and it's not the worst thing in the world that they're gone. Now, I think we will begin to see a shift into two new parties that better represent the country and are both fiscally conservative. These parties are the socially liberally, and the socially conservative. And that's not a bad debate to be had.

November 07, 2006

E-Ching for the Day


"Let us no longer defend a party, let us no longer defend a man. But, let us begin to defend ideas, most importantly, the notion that we may be wrong."

November 06, 2006

Black Panther Feminists


What's the difference between the Black Panther Party, whom, because they have been oppressed by white men, decide that justice means black domination, and Feminists, who believe that since they have been oppressed by men, decide that justice means female dominance?

November 02, 2006

Sybaris Pool Suites


So, since I didn't have cable growing up, the commercials for Sybaris pool suites were about the raciest thing I saw. Even before I understood marital exploration, the idea of a waterslide in a bedroom seemed awesome to me. So, somehow, that childhood suggestion stuck with me, and when I was looking for a place to spend my first night with my bride, I researched Sybaris and got on their e-mail list for special rates. I ended up choosing somewhere else, but I recently got an e-mail from them advertising a special rate. The rate was only good from Noon-2 PM on a weekday. Classy.

November 01, 2006

Constitute This!


I just watched documentaries on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X back-to-back. It was fascinating how such dissenting views both came back to the brilliant words of Thomas Jefferson eventually. Those being, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'

Challenge: Rephrase this sentence however you like, in order to crystallize the foundation that America is or should be built upon. e.g. (change 'men' to 'persons', delete 'by their Creator', etc., or extrapolate how 'equal rights' should not be confused with 'special rights' or 'forced equality through distribution')

Or vote that Jefferson's original statement takes the cake.

October 31, 2006

E-Ching for the Day

"We must not endorse a system where it is profitable to do nothing."

October 30, 2006

The Tipping Point: Part Five


If people started holding the door for people more often, displaying a high-level of courtesy, would we begin to see a decline in traffic accidents? This is the backwards thinking we have to start looking for.

October 29, 2006

The Tipping Point: Part Four


The Tipping Point for civil rights was arguably a single man. Martin Luther King, Jr. Are there currently any injustices close to the magnitude of that one still going on in our country today? Something that needs to be tipped to bring it out into the mainstream?

October 27, 2006

The Tipping Point: Part Three


What could the tipping point be for a third political party? People are definitely sick of the current two. But, an independent vote (save the case of Joe Lieberman) is typically a complete waste. And right now, when people think third party, they think green, environment, pot. I would suggest a different party. Perhaps a true John F. Kennedy party, or a true Ronald Reagan party, even though both Democrats and Republicans, respectively, claim these icons as their own, they're really not. What could tip it? Could it be a candidate's personality? Could it be a push back to state rights? Thoughts?

October 26, 2006

E-Silly's Joke of the Day:

"My father is a staunch believer in hard work. That's why the only handouts he gives to homeless people are pistachios."

October 25, 2006

The Tipping Point: Part Two


Please read yesterday's post before this one. What I am looking for are possible "Tipping Point" suggestions for curing an ill in society, or furthering a good. My suggestion for today looks at the ill of prostitution in our society. Policies made over the years to quench prostitution have ranged from legalizing it, to raising the minimum wage to de-incentivize it, to religious protestors yelling God's wrath at them. But, to little success, there has not yet been a tipping point that has "cured" prostitution. How 'bout this? People start calling up escort services, hiring out a lady for the evening, and treating her like it's your first date with a movie star. Take her out to a nice dinner, a movie perhaps, and ask her about her life. No goodnight kiss either gents. What could that do?

October 24, 2006

The Tipping Point: Part One


The Tipping Point, written by Malcom Gladwell, discusses how the effects of a seemingly "small" thing can be the tipping point that turns a virus into an epidemic, for things both good and bad. You may have heard of the 'broken windows' theory. Studies found that crime rates go up drastically in neighborhoods where there are broken windows in houses and buildings. So, instead of hiring more policeman, some cities have simply been replacing windows in run-down areas to tremendous success. (Note: Some people use the 'broken windows' theory to say that people are not responsible for their actions since their actions are only a result of their environment...that's not where I'm going with this.) New York City had a crime problem on the subway. Some guy suggested repainting all of the trains and repainting the cars the second they were graffiti vandalized. The crime rates plummeted. A particular STD in the city of Philadelphia spread rapidly in a short period of time. It turned out that a half-dozen homosexual men were by and large the culprits. AirWalks, a shoe for skateboarders became wildy popular overnight, and can be attributed to a few skateboarders in California.

The big idea is that it's the little ideas that can go a long way. These ideas have captivated marketers, trying to determine how they can 'tip' their product. But, how 'bout we try discussing how we can do something little that can stop, start or cause something big. Let's go.

October 23, 2006

Walmart: The Start of the Future


I watched an independent documentary last night entitled, WalMart: The High Cost of Low Price. The film made some very good points and defaming accusations about the legality of WalMart's practices, those that WalMart certainly needs to change. Such as forcing workers to work off the clock, well, maybe that was the only one. But, most of the film centered upon the small hardware stores that were closing because WalMart came to town. A common argument by these small store owners was, "I'm no communist, but this just isn't fair." They're right. It's not 'fair'. And it is sad that these owners felt like they could do the same thing for 43 years and stay in business. But, the people have spoken, and they have chosen the giant stores. They are showing that they value inexpensive goods over friendly service and professional expertise. So, my question is, "If WalMart started acting completely legally in its hiring and compensation practices", do you have a compelling economic (NOT SOCIAL) reason against the WalMartization of the world? That's what I rented the movie to find, and I didn't.

October 20, 2006

Invention: Athletic Soled Dress Shoes


To be sold at Business Casual, athletic soled dress shoes will give the appearance of fancy, business appropriate footwear while being comfortable enough on the inside to play basketball in.

October 19, 2006

E-Ching for the Day

"The will of the people is always right."

October 18, 2006

Global Warketing: How to Market Global Warming to the Skeptics


Al Gore's crew runs into a few problems when trying to convince us animal-haters that global warming exists for the following reasons.
1) We don't really care too much about animals. We hear about penguins and polar bears drowning and don't care. 2) Rising water levels don't scare us. Just by numbers, the majority of people are land-locked, and do not live in fear of tidal waves wiping out their cities. 3) We don't think the Earth is fragile. Some would contend that humans destroying/permanently damaging the Earth is an improbable if not impossible order.

So, how does Al Gore reach this selfish, crazy market? Well, he could show us cities in California that are filled with smog so much that children are developing asthma and lung conditions at scary rates. He could show mercury levels in drinking water around the country that are life-threatening. These are actual proven scenarios where the cause and effect is apparent, where we don't have to rely on rock stars and politicians to teach us predictive science. In this way, we can actually focus on tangible solutions, less drastic than completely shutting down America's system of commerce.

October 17, 2006

Flash Mob Strikes Again


The little phenomenon of 'Flash Mobbing' has now struck the iPod community. I first heard about this idea a couple of years ago when roughly 100 people gathered in downtown Peoria one night at some random street corner, yelled something like "Blue Raccoon" at 7:36, and then all went their separate ways. My initial impression was, "That's awesome." Kind of like when I saw Fight Club for the first time. For a large part of my life, I have held the position that if someone does something that I have not yet thought of, it's genius. The idea of being clever...it was everything. What's better than being more clever than everyone? But, now I'm tired of being so amused by cleverness. The 'Blue Racoon' mob did nothing. But, they all went home thinking they were clever, a part of something maybe, a rebellion against the system, who knows. But, whatever they went home thinking, they were wrong. They did nothing. The iPod article above refers to a group of people who advertised a flash mob online, and ended up with a couple hundred of people in a subway station who started dancing (silently) to their iPods (with headphones) all at the same time. Why do I still think this is clever? What is this thing deceiving me into wanting me to waste my time thinking of ways to be clever? Why can't we be clever AND useful?

October 16, 2006

E-Ching for the Day

"The Bible always contradicts itself when people want it to say something it doesn't."

October 13, 2006

Explanation: We're in the MonkeySphere

Yesterday's post (read below) about the death of Yankee pitcher, Cory Lidle, prompted me to bring up the concept of the MonkeySphere. I have heard this concept called in multiple names. But, the idea is the same throughout. Our brains are limited in the amount of people that we can comprehend. The idea of 6 billion people to us, is completely artifical to us. Only about 150 or so people are actually REAL to us. Studies have shown that native cultures, would separate into tribes no bigger than 150 people. Businesses accomplish the most when there are under 150 people at each location. It's an odd concept, one that has a lot of interesting elements to it, that you can read more about at the above link. But, it may explain yesterday's episode. Cory Lidle was never a real person to us. We watch the news and hear about fires burning down buildings and killing people, and we say that's sad and change the channel. But, it's not really sad, because those people aren't real to us. I quote the movie, 'Following', "It's like going to a futbol match, and you're in this giant arena full of people and your eyes graze across the stadium and you stop on one person. They're no longer part of the crowd. They're an individual." Cory Lidle was not an individual to us. That can explain why his death did not affect people. However, it does not explain why his death was so quickly mocked. Perhaps because his death seems to be his fault?

October 12, 2006

Correction: Tragedy Promotes Hilarity

Cory Lidle, pitcher for the now eliminated NY Yankees drove his small plane into a New York skyscraper yesterday, and died. A few hours later, on my drive home, I was listening to a Chicago sports radio show, preparing to hear tribute memories. What I heard were comments like, "How do you fly into a building accidentally? Well, if you saw his pitching the other night, you could see he has aiming problems, hahahahaha." I kid you not. I was absolutely flaberghasted that people like that could exist. Then, this morning at LifeTime, guys were making similar comments, "Steinbrenner's probably going to blame Lidle's optometrist, haha." "Who runs a plane into a building? What an idiot." What is going on?

October 11, 2006

E-Ching for the Day

"You can not presume a position of authority. You must be placed there."

October 10, 2006

Unified by an Idea

People say that tragedy brings people together. I don't thing that's what it is. I think tragedy brings people to the same mindset, be it loss, grief, anger, revenge. And it is that shared mindset that unites people. So, after Sept. 11th, non-conservatives didn't just start liking Bush's politics; we just all agreed that there was something more important to come together for. There still is.

October 09, 2006

Animal Lover Hypocrisy

Of course, everyone who knows me knows that my number one political push is for the ending of the domestication of animals. Here is another situation that helps illustrate my point. Every now and then, you hear of these GreenPeace or other animal rights groups sneaking into zoos and letting all of the animals out of their cages...freeing them. Those same activist groups likely go home at night to their several dogs, cats, birds, etc. It's ok for them to cage animals in their own house, because they love them?

October 06, 2006

Congressman McFeely

So, there are quite a lot of comments that could be made about the Congressman Foley situation. And not too many of them would be very insightful. But, I have one. Are those who are trying to use this congressman to link Republicans with crime and debauchery, inadvertently, linking homosexuals with sexual perversion?

October 05, 2006

Calling all Bio Majors

When is one's sex drive turned on? Is it a gradual thing? Is it sudden? Does it get turned on like a light switch during one's first sexual experience? I was thinking about my celibate single friends who want to stay celibate until marriage. Once someone has a sexual experience, becoming celibate for a long period of time seems very challenging. But, if one had never had a sexual experience, physiologically speaking, would there be the same longing?

October 04, 2006

MoneyBall

There is a book called "Moneyball" that talks about the sport of baseball from a purely financial stance. It refers to an Oakland Athletics team from a few years ago, and the management that had one of the least paid teams in baseball win 100 games. The big idea behind it was that they created a financial metric that ranked each player based on things that were truly important, RBI's, On-base-percentage, etc. It turned out that some of the top ranking players were on the bench for other teams. They scouted and bought up those players and put together one of the most underpaid, overperforming teams of all time. It's a quite remarkable study about how to treat a game like a business in order to better win the game. It also makes me feel dirty.

October 03, 2006

E-Ching for the Day

"How can one be wise if he has not yet been born?"

October 02, 2006

Invention: Electronic Newspaper


Since moving up here, I've been buying the Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune. It's fabulous. In Peoria, there was no good paper to get, and I didn't care, because Yahoo! News gave me everything I needed. But, there's something about flipping through an actual newspaper, not reading off a computer screen, and getting a wider assortment of stories at your fingertips. I don't know. But, how about an electronic newspaper? You buy a flexible electronic reader that folds up into one newspaper spread. It unfolds like a regular paper, but only one spread thick. With either wi-fi or through a USB input, this same paper updates electronically every day, or throughout the day. When you open the paper, there is a menu that allows you to flip through the paper electronically.

Much of the cost of newspapers is caught up in printing and distribution. Perhaps this would slow the death of newsprint?

September 29, 2006

Addictive Personalities

How do you know if you're addicted to food? Because I eat every few hours, and I'm pretty sure I couldn't stop.

September 28, 2006

Fantasy Football Makes Me Evil

So, I heard about the Terrell Owens incident yesterday morning, and within the first ten seconds of reading the article I thought, "Oh, I'm glad I don't have him on my fantasy roster." Yes, I'm sick. Last year, when Priest Holmes got hurt, I was watching the game, and yelled at him for ruining my chances, indifferent to the man behind the stats writhing on the ground. When we're just fans, we feel for the players. When you have something at stake (a just-for-fun fantasy football league), those sympathetic feelings obviously go out the window. What about people who have millions of dollars invested in these players, this "game", I can't even imagine.

September 27, 2006

Existential Thoughts of Relief

Here is an exposition of the E-Ching from yesterday. It's a thought I've been mulling around for the last week or so. Is "pleasure" an above-and-beyond feeling, or is it just getting back to normal? Eating when you're hungry can be a huge relief. A crude example: relieving yourself can be a huge "relief", even to the point of feeling some pleasure. Cigarettes? Sex? Are these all relievers? Does true pleasure exist or is it all just temporal relief? Are all of our happiest moments truly that, or do they only feel that way because in those moments, everything else faded out?

September 26, 2006

E-Ching for the Day

"There is no pleasure. There is merely relief."

September 25, 2006

AA Driver's License Stamp

There are many alcoholics who do not want to drink, but find themselves under a compulsion to do so. And unfortunately, they have easy access to as much alcohol as they can afford. So, what do you think about the idea of a person willingly choosing to have their driver's license stamped with a "Do not sell this person alcohol" code or color. Logistically, bartenders would now have to check everyone's ID, but that's probably a good idea anyway?

September 22, 2006

Was Denise Huxtable Black?

Our current affirmative action system is unfairly exclusive. Why are race and gender the only basis to determine whether a group has had equal opportunity? African-Americans weren't the only slaves. What about the Jews? Pharoah, Hitler, etc. Or is the idea to only help the people who America itself discriminated against? Even so, if a minority group immigrates to our country today, America has not yet hurt them, so why would they receive privileges over Europeans who are still getting over that lousy potato famine?

September 20, 2006

Moving Help

Well, we finally tracked down the seller's and we're closing on our house tomorrow morning and moving in Saturday. For the Chicago readers here, if anyone has an hour on Saturday morning to spare and help load a U-Haul truck, please let me know. Coincidentally, my grandparents are moving that day as well, and all of my family has already been contracted to help with that move. You would be MUCH appreciated!

Coke or Pepsi

I read a fascinating study regarding soft drinks the other day. When asked which beverage they prefer, roughly 70% of people choose Coke. But, in a blind taste test, over 53% of people prefer Pepsi. This is fascinating to me. Is advertising that powerful? Is Coke that much 'cooler' to like? Pepsi's the most popular drink on the market and no one will stick up for it. Who me? Nah, I like Coke. I'm not a girl.

September 19, 2006

Invention: Healthy Cigs

My wife and I were walking past a bakery or something that made the air smell good the other day, and I started thinking, since second hand smoke can give you cancer, can second hand grease-smelling make you fat? Anyway, this led to a discussion that ended with the idea of putting vitamin additives into cigarettes. Replace as much of the tar and chemicals you can, while keeping the nicotine so people can get their fix, but include antioxidants or Vitamin B, something that can be absorbed through your lungs. So, they can keep their oral fixation, keep their nicotine buzz, get healthy, and not die from it. Takers?

September 18, 2006

Union Tactics

So, let's say the 20 creative personnel at my company all get together this morning, walk into our president's office, and say we want a 40% wage increase or we're all walking out of here. Sounds strangely like blackmail, no? But, when teachers do it, it's ok?

September 15, 2006

It has begun.

Charles Manson predicted it 35 years ago. Helter Skelter is coming. And it began last night with CBS' Survivor: Battle of the Races.

E-Ching for the Day

They will know we are Christians by our war.

September 14, 2006

Autism? No Thanks.

So, scientists have discovered a DNA link to autism that can be found in a child's umbilical cord. This is leading to the possibility that one could know whether or not a child could have autism shortly after conception. This leads to the possibility that one could abort their child based on an imperfection that they do not want to deal with.

September 13, 2006

Adjustable Vases

Invention for the day. I would like vases to have adjustable necks. Because with floral arrangement, quantity is important relative to the size of the vase. But, most people only have one or two vases in their house. So, a small bouquet of flowers often flops around the wide neck and can look rather skimpy. But, if the vase neck was adjustable to become tighter dependent on the amount of flowers purchased, you could perfect the look of any arrangement. Any venture capitalists out there?

September 12, 2006

Ringo's Super Fabulous Musicians

The Beatles is a horrific name for a band. First of all, you’re committing a huge cliché by using the term “Beat” in your band name to signify you’re musicians. Secondly, a beetle is a really creepy bug. Big mistake. They could have been huge.

Boycott Braille on the ATMs

You know how to tell dimes and pennies apart? You can feel their ridges. Or you can LOOK at them and see that one’s COPPER and one’s SILVER. This whole “catering to the blind” thing is going too far.

September 11, 2006

Written Five Years Ago

Clouds of black from God I guess

At least that's what they scream
As they dance the streets covered with joy
And candy wrappers
Discarded by children who know the good guys
Just won, justice, just for the hell of it

The same street which will likely meet
And flood with blood
And we'll dance in the streets
And children will see
The colors of fire, snow, and sky waving in the wind
And know the good guys have won

I still see clouds
From God I guess

September 08, 2006

Sabai's Fantasy Life

Could I create an entire fictitious fantasy sports game? A fantasy game that did not rely on true sporting events at all? Perhaps a realistic soap opera like story about different un-connected people? They have different personalities, resources, goals. And you draft people that you believe will achieve the most financial success. That’s how you gain points, based directly on their financial portfolio. The story would be written by a team of writers. Then, the game would become so popular that people would actually like this idea of betting on people. Then, my true goal of a Human Stock Market could come true. Instead of venture capitalists betting money on an idea, they’d bet their money on the idea-maker.

September 07, 2006

The WalMartization of America

So with the world becoming flatter ala Magellan & Thomas Freidman, this is leading to increased competition based on easier global access. This increased competition is going to lead to narrower profit margins, which means more sales will be needed to make a profit. This road seems to lead to the inevitable WalMartization of every non-service based commodity product in the world. Am I correct?

September 06, 2006

Mrs. Salt

Have you ever been out at a restaurant where you order a Dr. Pepper and the waitress says, sorry we don’t have that, can I get you a Mrs. Salt? I’ve heard that a bunch of times, it’s never been very funny. However, I thought about that joke today. Salt is obviously the opposite of Pepper. But, the joke also assumes that the opposite of a doctor is a woman. That’s offensive. Not to me, but to the ACLU, probably.

Hitler's Cross

I've got to play blame ignorance on this one. If I had known that this sort of thing was frowned upon, I never would have opened up a restaurant full of swastika signage called Hitler's Cross!

September 05, 2006

Sex

Some people don't have sex 'til they're married. Some people elect to maintain professions which declare that sex is truly meaningless (stripper, escort, etc.). Yet, the majority of the world is probably somewhere in between. A lot of women would be apalled if a handsome man came up to them in a restaurant and proposed intercourse. But, if she was set up with that man on a blind date at the same restaurant, suddenly sex that evening could become a proposition. How can sacred and meaningless be a first name basis away?

August 30, 2006

E-Ching for the Day

The truth shall outring what is loud.

Empathy?

By the way, since I'm homeless for three weeks and have limited online usage, this will not be as aesthetically pleasing of a site until I get into my new house.

August 29, 2006

Rosa Parks Was Obviously a Nerd

A Louisiana bus driver made 9 black students sit at the back of the bus after designating the front seats for white children. Now, I know it's offensive, but it's true. The back of the bus is for cool kids and black people are simply cooler than white people. The bus driver is simply recognizing this. Pretending that white kids are EQUALLY cool is not going to solve this problem. Creating quotas that say that 20% of your workforce has to be cool white kids is an impossibility. What white people have to do is actually BECOME cool. Let's focus on the ends and not the means.

August 28, 2006

Democracy Button

Completely theoretically, would you be in favor of a yes/no voting button that would relieve the need of the electorate? And all policy decisions would be made directly by the largely uninformed public?

August 25, 2006

Sexual Delinquency Ain't Oppression


Last night, I watched Terry Moran's piece about AIDS in Black America on Nightline. He blamed Jesse Jackson, as leader of Black America, for letting black people continue to have unprotected sex with multiple partners under his watch. Instead of disputing this ridiculous premise, Jackson retorted, "Well, George Bush is president." Then Mr. Moran blamed the black church for not standing up against AIDS like they did segregation back in the '60s. What am I missing here?

August 24, 2006

E-Ching for the Day


We must not agree to disagree on that which is important.

The Pale Horse


This season of the reality show "Survivor" is going to be participating in what they call "a whole new kind of social experiment". They are splitting up the 20 survivors into 4 teams and having the teams compete against each other. The teams are segregated by noneother than color. 5 white people, 5 black people, 5 asians and 5 hispanics. I saw some people interviewed about this idea and a lot of the minorities said that they would be rooting for their respective ethnic groups. So, I guess I should hope that the white race completely oppresses all of the others. Why do people feel allegiance and pride toward something they have no control over?

August 23, 2006

Levi Strauss' New Ad Campaign


Beautiful classical music cues. Cut to a girl walking in and lying down on a railroad track, Cut to a person driving off a cliff, Cut to a bunch of people crossing themselves and jumping off of a bridge, Cut to a girl walking down the street casually and comfortably in her Levis. Cue voiceover "Levis. You'll make people want to kill themselves because they look so hideous compared to you." Pan to a guy who sees the girl walking down the street and then just starts punching himself in the face. End.

E-Ching For The Day


The majority should rule even when they are wrong.

August 22, 2006

Matt Lauer Has Never Led Me Astray


Whether it's blindly believing in a terrorist regime's pure motives for a Jewless society, or his blank face unable to respond to an economist explaining that a lower income tax would actually produce greater federal revenue, Matt Lauer has never led me astray. But, I had no idea that behind that sharp-suited Christmas package was a Calvin Klein model waiting to get out. Lauer for Unquestioning Leader in 2008!