October 31, 2007

E-Ching For the Day


"The only two options are war and peace. But war doesn't have to mean fighting, and peace doesn't have to mean apathy."

October 30, 2007

If It's So Moral


If you truly believe that certain political issues are a moral outcry, in particular, the idea that certain people in this country don't have healthcare, then why aren't you currently spending your personal money on helping to alleviate this problem?

I'm not saying ALL of your money. My contention is that if you claim it to be a serious moral problem, and that you currently choose to ignore the problem unless everyone else sacrifices with you, then would you admit to being immoral?

When you stand on your podium and tell me that I'm greedy, and yet I give ten times the percentage of my income on charitable giving than you do, you lose all credibility with me. And yet, no one else calls you out on this. I don't understand it.

October 29, 2007

Respect for the Presidency


This is a fully-loaded post title. What does having respect for the position of presidency mean?

If you notice, President Bush is extremely careful not to denigrate any former President, and is extremely gracious and complimentary when he meets with President Clinton. This is contrary to the actions of many other former Presidents who are quick to throw these men under the bus in order to rise their historical ranking.

Once retired, President Harry S. Truman refused to make money off of his prestigious title. While President Clinton is making millions off book sales and speaking engagements, Truman refused either. President Bush recently stated his inclination to go on a similar speaking tour once he retires; the only problem might be getting the gigs.

Or does respect mean being careful not to abuse Presidential power? Well, we haven't had one of those in a while.

So, it comes down to which of these characteristics of respect do YOU respect the most?

October 26, 2007

Stem Cell Sacrifice


Have you ever heard the argument that even if you do consider an unborn child to be human life, that the research done through harvesting these stem cells makes destruction worth it, because of all the diseases that could be cured through this research?

So, why aren't these proponents willingly donating their own bodies for this cause as well? Plus, they can offer blood, working organs, etc. Seems to me like a no-brainer by that logic.

October 25, 2007

Ignorance Beats Foolishness


I think ignorance gets a bad rap.

You don't know where Toronto is? You're ignorant. You don't how a carburetor works? You're ignorant.

But, we're all ignorant before someone teaches us these things. The idea of "common knowledge" that everyone should know is kind of preposterous. If someone is intelligent and open to learning, I'll take them ignorant over someone who knows what S.A.R.S. stands for and thinks they have everything figured out.

Intelligence without wisdom is worthless.

October 24, 2007

While We're On Columbus


Many credit Columbus for being the first to discover America (cough, Leif Erikson), and many also credit Columbus for being the first person to think the world was round. But, all of those smart toga guys in Ancient Greece had known the Earth was round for well over 1000 years before him. In fact, they taught it in their schools. So, why wasn't this universal knowledge by 1492?

What knowledge might people still ignore 1000 years from now that you can't believe isn't widely understood today?

October 23, 2007

Columbus Day


This holiday was recently "celebrated" in this country, recognizing the date on which Christopher Columbus discovered "America". Someone in my office brought in cookies that day. And someone else responded with a witty comment of how he didn't believe in eating cookies on "Indigenous People's Day". When I say witty, I mean that one other person encouraged this comment and began ridiculing Columbus, while the rest of us awkwardly managed silence.

I don't contend that we should overlook any acts of violence occurred through colonization. But, to be consistent with a Columbus hatred, we must also detest every land discovery ever made and label it as intrusion onto other's property, whether these others include people, animals or wildlife.

And I'm ok with that opinion. At least it's consistent.

October 22, 2007

Losers are Necessary


So, I commission a fantasy football league every year. I've done pretty well in the past, but am experiencing my first year of "horrendousness". And it's fairly discouraging. I feel like it reflects poorly both on my status as a sports fan as well as a man.

But, you know how when you're a kid, your mother used to let you win at board/card games so that you'd enjoy it?

So, can't I feel good about the fact that my poor performance is making some of my friends feel better about themselves.

I mean, I'm arrogant enough where I can take pride in something else pretty easily. So they can have football...this year.

October 19, 2007

If the Universe was Infinite


If the universe has been ever-expanding since it's conception, then by definition, it must be finite, correct?

But, IF the universal was eternal (which modern physics has declared is impossible since they have found a beginning "bang"), then an infinite universe could technically be possible. And IF the universe was infinite, then wouldn't that necessitate, by definition, other human-inhabited planets?

People call Earth the "Privileged Planet" because of the specific temperatures, molecular compounds, gravity, pressures, magnetism etc. that with such great fragility makes life possible.

But if the universe was truly infinite, even if the odds of an alternative "Earth" were 1-whatever quintillion^quintillion they say it is, infinity would beat those odds out.

But since it seems that the universe is still expanding and yet finite, it is quite probable that we are alone...besides from whoever started that bang.

October 18, 2007

You're Just Normal Crazy


So, if I claim to communicate with an invisible God, why don't they lock me up?

Is it because that's a common form of craziness? Is something only lock-up worthy if they believe in something that no one else believes in? Or does my belief have to physically threaten myself or those around me before they call me crazy?

October 17, 2007

Silly String Theory


I've been getting into laymans physics a little bit lately and learning about string theory. String theory is a theory intended to unify quantum theory with the natural forces of gravity, etc. into one consistent theory that explains just about EVERYTHING in terms of physics, the universe and the natural world.

However, our limited knowledge makes a theory like this incredibly hard to prove scientifically. So, while we're waiting, I propose a Silly String theory. Because how cool would science class be that day!

October 15, 2007

Hallmark's Missed Opportunity


They need a dysfunctional family section of greeting cards at Hallmark, containing cards with memorable poetry such as:

"Mom, you tried."

October 14, 2007

Premonition


So, I was watching the LSU-Kentucky game on Saturday. Kentucky lined up, and I thought, "huh, I don't think the QB's going to be able to hang on to that snap." One second later, the ball was snapped, and botched.

Now I watch a lot of football, but never having played, I don't know too many formations. I don't really understand the intricacies, so I just assumed they lined up wrong. They showed the replay, and the announcer said, "yeah, the center just made a bad snap."

So, what just happened? What did I see? How did I know? And how often do these things happen, where we see things that just aren't right, but can't explain why? And more importantly, how can we make money off this?

October 12, 2007

E-Ching For the Day

"We tend to inherit the first viewpoint on an issue we hear that makes any sense at all, and often see no need to hear another."

October 11, 2007

The Satisfaction of Smell


One of our clients, a producer of high-end coffee roasters sent us some Colombian coffee yesterday. I sat there smelling the bag for about a half hour, and have never felt better. Since nothing's actually entering my system, I assume this has to be simple brain chemistry, right? And yet, I literally became happier.

Why can't depression be eased by scent?

October 10, 2007

Close it a Little


How open-minded can I be before I don't believe in anything anymore?

October 09, 2007

A Challenge: Encouraging Invention


The next time you see a child entrepreneur (lemonade stand, etc.), pay $5 for the cup of lemonade.

My contention is that this will be one of the greatest ways you could ever spend $5. Not only will it be probably the coolest thing that's ever happened to the kid, and a story he'll remember for ever, but it will radically encourage the child's drive for entrepreneurship in the future.

Now, I'm NOT talking about kids selling magazines for their school, or candy bars for their scout troop (I'm not looking to create any more Mary Kay, Partylite fake pyramid scheme business models that abuse friendships than already exist out there.)

I'm talking about a kid who comes up with his own idea and acts upon it. Go out and embolden that kid's dream.

October 08, 2007

Ten on an Island


(continuation)

The premise is that there are ten people on an island, they are a sovereign nation, and they are trying to best determine how to govern themselves.

Question #4: The oldest person on the island can no longer work. He has always been a hard worker, but is physical unable to do so any longer. How is this person taken care of?

October 05, 2007

Arrival of the Fittest


1) How can evolution explain altruism?

2) If intelligent design can not be true because it can not be proved using the scientific method, then free will must not exist as well.

October 04, 2007

Lock 'Em Up


Could a sonogram be considered child pornography?

October 03, 2007

Why Every President Sucks


(continuation)

#6. John Quincy Adams

Adams was the first President to wholeheartedly endorse federal spending for internal improvements and claim the constitutional right by which to do so. This position caused a seismic shift of the accepted role of government to becoming a means by which to improve the general condition of the populace. Adams also instated a 62% tax on 92% of all imported goods to protect New England domestic industry at the cost of all other citizens. Opposers to the bill amended alternative ridiculous tariffs along with it in order for both sides to see the ridiculous nature of the bill. Instead, the bill was passed, and quickly and aptly named the "Tariff of Abominations." A revised, lowered tariff was passed 4 years later.

October 02, 2007

What's With South?


So, living in Chicago, it's common knowledge that the South side is the more dangerous part of the city. And not just because White Sox fans are weirdos.

But, recently I've also realized that when a city has more than one high school, the "CityName South" school is typically intellectually inferior to the "CityName North", even though it may possess the stronger football team.

South Carolina has a more negative reputation than North Carolina too. And what's with the phrase, "things are going South". Do we just live out the naturally negative connotation of these names, or are these just a series of coincidences based on my limited environs?

Interestingly, the word "north" has a negative connotation in Africa.

What is this? The heat? The magnetism of the equator? City building and planning patterns? Have you noticed this? Or is this the opposite where you live?

October 01, 2007

Over Spice


So, there's some guys who just smell like aftershave all the time. That's their scent. You can smell them coming, and long after they've left. It's often a good smell. But, still. I'm not sure I like that idea of banking on one particular scent. I think I prefer to be odorless. I stopped wearing cologne on a daily basis after realizing this, and came to the conclusion that I didn't want to be "the guy who wears Curve."