Monthly Archives: February 2011

Antics in the ProClub Steam room and Sauna

I’d first like to start this blog by showing you this:


Minor Differences 2

This cartoon is not an exaggeration. It’s a pretty accurate depiction of what old men are like at locker rooms – especially the one at my gym.

Usually on Sundays, after my work out, I’ll go to the steam room and then the sauna. Today, while I was in the steam room, a guy walked in holding two bags of ice, a bottle of water, and a towel (yes, he was holding and not wearing the towel). He then proceeded to sit right next to another guy who he didn’t appear to know. Check out this diagram that I drew:


The three blue circles represent the guys that were already in the room. The one in the middle is me. The red circle is where the naked guy came in and sat.

So I was looking straight ahead trying to ignore him, but I just heard a bunch of rustling coming from the red circle guy. Then, I heard the blue circle guy say, “sorry for looking, but I was just curious as to what you were going to do with the ice packs.”

Now, I don’t know if the red circle guy actually did anything weird (other than sit right next to someone he didn’t know), but I just thought the blue circle guy’s comment was odd enough that I just needed to share it.

A few minutes later, I went to the sauna, and a naked guy walks in. Here’s a diagram:


Here, I’m the blue circle. The naked guy is the red circle (different from the guy from the steam room, I think). He immediately walks to the other side of the room, stands on top of the bench, and stands in front of the machine that produces the heat for the sauna with his arms akimbo. For those of you who don’t know what “arms akimbo” means, it’s this:


So that’s what the steam room and sauna were like today.

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Career discussions and other similar things

In many work places, it’s common to have a candid conversation with your manager yearly in which you discuss your performance and where you are in your career. This is called the yearly career discussion.

However, having only a single checkpoint a year is often too infrequent for many – especially those who want to ensure that they are staying on track in meeting their career goals. For this reason, many companies encourage mid-year career discussions.

However, some smaller organizations will prefer to have one large discussion about a career that lasts for the entire year. Because this discussion takes so long, they limit it to only occurring once on the exact midpoint of your entire career. This is called the mid-career discussion year.

In some cases, during a discussion, employees will be so inspired that they interrupt the discussion, spending the next full year making impactful contributions to their organization and earning themselves a very strong reputation among their peers. This year of contributions is called the mid-discussion career year, after which the discussion continues and the employees is highly praised.

People, such as myself, who make a living talking about things with others only have the career discussion once in our entire careers, and we call it the discussion career career discussion.

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Lab-grown meat

The Medical University of South Carolina recently suspended Vladimir Mironov, a scientist working on a project to grow meat in labs. The project could potentially solve problems like world hunger and his kinda wondering whether he can do it.

The following article provides more information:

The following is a leaked photo of one of his experiments:


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A study on haters

Recently a team of 5 Swedish scientists set out to understand the nature of hate and where it comes from. The results of their study are summarized here.


The graph above looks at the source of hate. It was found that 90% of hate comes from haters, and only 9% comes from non-haters.


This graph focuses on the sample of haters. From this part of the study, we found that 100% of haters hate. There exists a discrepancy between this graph and the other, but it falls within the +/- 5% margin of error.


The last part of the study involved asking haters what they had opinions about. Haters seemed to have lot strong opinions on Survivor, Jersey Shore, and politics. Kittens and opera tended to be less interesting to haters though they did have reasons to hate them.

Based on the strong correlation found between haters and hating, the panel of Swedish scientists concluded that there is a strong likelihood that haters gon’ hate. The panel plans to conduct a study to investigate potential causality in early 2012.

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How do you pick Grammy winners?

arcadefireI’m a huge fan of Eminem, but I was pretty excited that Arcade Fire won best album at the Grammy Awards. Then I saw this page:

High-larious! I didn’t realize Arcade Fire was so obscure. That just makes me even edgier. Now I can say that I liked Arcade Fire before they were popular… which apparently is still some point in the future.

But this did make me wonder, “how does a band like Arcade Fire beat out Eminem?” My answer: I don’t know how to judge music, but here are a few metrics that might be a part of it:

  1. Musicality – I don’t think this is real, but if I were to BS an explanation as to why Arcade Fire deserved the award over Eminem, I’d probably bring up the word “musicality” and act as though the person I was talking about was stupid if they didn’t understand me.
  2. Sight Reading – I skip the actual CD and order the sight reading versions of the albums where Eminem and Arcade Fire are trying to play their music for the first time. Arcade Fire’s is much more impressive.
  3. Faculty or facility – Whenever I got my scores for my violin auditions, I noted that I was always rated on my “faculty” or “facility.” I don’t remember which it was, and I don’t know what either would mean in the context of the violin, so I’m thinking this may be the missing link in my understanding of evaluating music (because I obviously understand everything else).
  4. Manatee voting – You’re probably thinking, “hey, you stole this from South Park,” but what you should be thinking is, “you completely avoided the question – how are the manatees evaluating the music?”

So there you have it. I’d love to tell you that the answer is that it’s really based on manatees voting based on intonation in the sight reading tracks, but I can’t because I don’t know. I’ll just end this post by saying Go Arcade Fire!

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Joe Rogan Live in Seattle?

I’ll often see some text and completely misinterpret it. Here’s an example of an ad I saw on Facebook:


Joe Rogan Live in Seattle? My gut response was, “that’s not grammatically correct. It’s ‘lives’ in Seattle, and that’s not even true. Joe Rogan doesn’t live in Seattle!”

Earlier today at work, my manager was referring to a wine pairing when she asked, “what do you eat it with?”  I couldn’t get out of my mind the thought of attempting to use some mystery utensil to eat wine and that it was that mystery utensil that she was trying to inquire about.

Do you know where your anus is?

Electric_300x225Do you know where your anus is, or do you only think you do? Close your eyes, and imagine a person that is 6 feet tall standing on the ground. Is the person’s anus 3 feet off the ground, slightly above that, or slightly below it?

On my first day volunteering at the hospital, I was being trained by another volunteer named Bethany. One of the first things she showed me was how to set up a stretcher.

stretcherTo prepare a stretcher, you first disinfect the inflate-y thingy (sorry but I’ll be using complicated medical terminology today) on top of the stretcher’s padding. Then, you put on top of the inflate-y thingy a 3×2’ protector thingy that’s supposed to prevent pee or poop-related accidents from sullying the inflate-y thingy. Then you do other stuff that is not relevant to this article.

After I observed Bethany set up a stretcher, she watched as I set one up. I first disinfected it, and then I placed the protector thingy on it where I thought it belonged (where I thought most people’s anuses would be). Bethany had this look on her face that  conveyed deep thought as she observed my placement of the protector thingy, and after a few seconds of thinking about it, she moved it up a few inches.

Whoa! Did I get that wrong? Did I misjudge where the anus is on the body, or did I just misjudge the average height of our patients? Alternatively, was SHE the one that’s misjudging something?

I’m not going to tell you where I placed the protector thingie – that’s pretty beside the point. The real question is: do you know where the anus is? How confident are you? Or is this the sort of thing we take for granted until we have to prepare stretchers?

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Soap Opera Time

swanscrossingWhat’s “soap opera time”? Is it what Pauly D shouts out to get everyone motivated to watch soap operas? Not quite!

Growing up with three sisters, I’ve seen my share of soap operas. So when Felicia from General Hospital got amnesia, I was there! And when Kendall from All My Children switched from looking like Sarah Michelle Gellar to some other girl, I was there! And when John Black from Days of our Lives had to use magic goggles to track down Marlena Evans who was being kidnapped by Stefano DeMira, I was there! And when Kristen threatened to burn down Graceland, I WAS THERE.

…but I was kinda confused. Days on the soap operas would seem to span weeks in reality, but at the same time, soap operas would always celebrate holidays on the same days we would in reality. The net effect was that it seemed like there was only a month between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. That, my friend, is what I have defined as “soap opera time.”

Did that bother anyone else? No? mmkay.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what the picture above is – it’s the only good picture I could find involving the show Swan’s Crossing.


Dear Jennifer 8 Lee; what?

Do you know what TED is? It’s this thing where important but obscure people come and talk about subjects that are important and obscure so that other people can chime into random arguments and say, “actually, contrary to popular belief, the popular belief is wrong.”

Actually, to be perfectly honest, I really want to dislike TED, but I have a hard time finding real reasons to dislike them… except there’s this one video:

Jennifer 8 Lee is a journalist that is also interested in food and has written a book about it. Find it on Amazon or at your local book store’s bargain section (I’m not joking).

In her TED video, Jennifer refers to what she calls “Spontaneous Self-Organization” where Chinese restaurants all over the country have serve the dish General Tso’s Chicken without needing a some sort of franchise system.

At first, I was blown away… until I realized how stupid that analogy was. General Tso’s chicken never actually tastes any more alike in any two independently owned restaurants than burgers will at two independently owned burger joints unless they’re from franchises. Am I completely missing her point? Does she have a point? Is it just that the history of Chinese food is interesting? Great thx, I’m sure the people that like TED will love delving into the potential profundity of that.

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Beauty is only skin deep… or is it?

sammiYou know in the hit TV show House when Wilson or Cuddy says something inspiring House to solve the mystery but also completely zone out as a result? I often have moments like that, but instead of doing something important like solving mysteries or saving lives, I’m usually thinking about something completely random like an episode of House I’d seen recently.

A couple of days ago, this happened to me while I read something that said, “beauty is only skin deep.” It made me think, wait a minute, isn’t it somewhat inherently superficial to define beauty as something that is just skin deep?

Then, I started thinking about the movie She’s All That and Extreme Makeover where they try to make a girl that’s beautiful on the inside beautiful on the outside as well. I wondered, could you make someone beautiful on the outside beautiful on the inside as well? Couldn’t you just take them to a homeless shelter or something where they’ll just learn compassion? How hard could it be?

Then I thought about Sammi from Jersey Shore and concluded that yeah, it could probably be pretty hard.

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