Depicted: a car driving up the vertical glass side of a skyscraper.
The fine print: Professional driver on closed course. Do not attempt.
You know what I say? Give it a shot, bunky. Drive up the side of a building.
A few days ago I was reading an article by Bill Barnwell over at ESPN. Barnwell writes long, data-driven articles about sports (mostly football), and he has the ability to make what is often very dry subject material interesting. In this case, he caught my attention for something that wasn’t there.
This article was something like Blah Blah Blah NFL’s 10 Worst Teams. What he said about each team doesn’t matter for this episode; what matters is the list itself.
10. Denver Broncos
9. Detroit Lions
8. Buffalo Bills
7. Oakland Raiders
5. New York Giants
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
3. Cincinnati Bengals
2. Miami Dolphins
1. Arizona Cardinals
Don’t see it? Look at number 6 again.
When I noticed that, I dared hope for a moment that ESPN had decided as a powerful media company to simply not use an offensive racial slur on their site.
Nope. The r-word is still all over the place. But at least Bill Barnwell has made the choice to never utter it. If enough of his colleagues do as well, maybe something will change.
One of my fellow code warriors at work is considering moving south from her little place in Oakland. Up there, she has a small home in an interesting neighborhood. “Interesting” is code for diverse, but I don’t think it’s offensive code. Fellow code warrior has young children, and when she moves she doesn’t want to lose the ethnic diversity of her current place.
I applaud that. I’m behind it all the way, fizzing with my enthusiasm for the idea. But I can’t help but remember that WE (affluent white people) are choosing to live with THEM (everyone else, especially non-native English speakers). THEY don’t have a symmetric choice to live with US.
Still, raising OUR kids with THEM, maybe the kids won’t notice the caps, or even the ‘them’, and just get on with life.
Today on the radio I heard an ad from McDonalds. It went like this: slow down from your hectic life and take a few minutes to wolf down a breakfast at our fast food chain.
To emphasize, we have the flag bearer of food with speed realizing that people aren’t slowing down enough to eat their breakfasts. So now they’re saying, “Hey, slow down, bud! Cut twelve minutes out of your day to have a McGriddle!”
I grew up in a small town, but one of my first visits to a large city carries with it an enduring memory. A man, skinny and bedraggled, on a street corner, shouting obscenities into his hat. I was just a kid back then, and didn’t understand the tragedy that man represented. I was just perplexed. I learned, somehow, later, to be afraid of people like that — maybe the reaction of the people around me that day informed that fear. Which is awful.
Yesterday, walking down the street in San Jose, there was another man standing on a corner shouting into the air, a stream of profanity. I just assumed he was on the phone.
I learned the former when using the Web site to report for jury duty in Santa Clara County. Links to the locations of the courthouses take you to MapQuest.
For a brief explanation of the latter, MapQuest is overrun with intrusive advertising, and the “get directions to a place” feature does not include public transportation.
My next post is likely to be observations on the Wheels of Justice. Oh boy!
In an article at I Fucking Love Science, about strange references in hundreds of scientific publications to a paper that doesn’t exist, is this sentence:
Nevertheless, it seems that the phantom reference is a symptom of wider problems within academic science publishing, such as low-quality control, careless editing, and – the real bugbear – predatory journals.
The article’s actually pretty interesting, and worth the thirty seconds it would take you to read it. But man. Low-quality control, in a sentence about low-quality editing. If you’re ever going to be really, really careful about a sentence you write, it should be the one critical of others’ editorial standards.
This afternoon I opened a door in the house to find a dog waiting anxiously for me on the other side. It took my mind to an old comic by Gary Larson, in which lab-coated dogs are studying diagrams of doorknobs, marked up with vectors and other sciencey-looking things.
Knowing how it could change the lives of canines everywhere, the dog scientists struggled diligently to understand the Doorknob Principle
I wondered if somewhere in a dimension far away yet right here, there might be a similar comic pinned to a tetricle (a four-dimensional cubicle) featuring humans and the speed of light.
I’m on the patio this evening, wearing a sweatshirt but naked from the knees down. My whiskey glass is unwhiskied, but there’s a simple remedy for that.
Moments ago a tiny creature landed on my glowing screen, backlit by pixels. These tiny bugs annoy me, because it seems their entire purpose in life is to swim in something I want to drink. And when they’re not swimming they’re flying around my eyeballs or crawling across my screen or exploring my nasal passages. The little fuckers bother me mightily.
So naturally when this little critter landed on my screen, my first instinct was to flick out my hand and crush it. But… lit that way, I could really see how well-constructed the creature was. It possessed a symmetry and a focus in construction that I had to pause and appreciate. A much better spokesman for intelligent design than any mammal will ever be.
I stayed my hand, and it flew away. If it landed in my glass, I am now digesting it. A more honorable death, for sure.