Monday, December 15, 2008

Its Hard Sometimes to Find Personalized Knicknacks

I often have a hard time finding crappy personalized products with my name. Sometimes, in a really touristy place like Orlando I might be able to find a Mickey Mouse mini-license plate, but thats only because there's probably a wall of 675,000 personalized name plates in 109 languages to serve the Small World of visitors they greet each year.

Usually though, I'm screwed and I'm forces to come home with a chili-pepper painted mug from Santa Fe with "Gene" on it, or maybe a belt buckle that says "Jesus" (because at least two of the letters are the same). My name isn't that unusual, and I have trouble. Its nto the best name, but at least its not something embarrassing like some Bart Simpson Prank--Amanda Hugginkiss, Seymore Butz, Mike Rotch or any other creative name-slam.

I mean, seriously. What name could be worse than I.P Freely? or Ura Snotball? Maaaaaybe Adolf Hitler. Well, its not like anyone would actually name their kid after Hitler...or would they?

Heath and Deborah Campbell of Holland Township, PA have gotten a little creative with their child naming responsibilities. The names of their three kids are JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell and Adolf Hitler Campbell. If you ask me, Aryan Nation is a pretty crappy middle name. The problem this family is currently facing is that the local ShopRite is refusing to put little Adolf's name on his birthday cake.

""We believe the request ... to inscribe a birthday wish to Adolf Hitler is inappropriate," said Karen Meleta, a ShopRite spokeswoman."
I'm pretty sure that if I worked at Shoprite as a cake decorator I would refuse to write Adolf Hitler in with my star tipped green frosting pen (you know, unless it was for some college history class celebration of his "death", or something) but can the company itself really refuse? Leave your thoughts in comments.

Post Script: This whole discussion really reminds me of this site. Awesome.

Post Post Script: ahhhh! The Cake Wrecks site (linked in the Post Script) actually has a post about the same topic. Double Awesome!

Isn't There One Very Important Question to Be Asked?

Man sprays 'toilet-papering' teens with fox urine

The Associated Press

WILLMAR, Minn.—A 50-year-old man told authorities he was fed up with teens toilet-papering his house during homecoming week. This year, he decided to defend his property—with a squirt gun filled with fox urine.

Now, Scott Wagar is in trouble with the law. He pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in Kandiyohi County District Court to misdemeanor assault and other charges. He was released on personal recognizance.

According to police, on Sept. 16, Wagar used night vision goggles and saw 15-20 people running toward his place. He told them to leave and sprayed them with the fox urine. He also struggled with one teen who he says grabbed him from behind.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Wagar says he's innocent, and has a right to defend his property. He says groups of teens have been toilet-papering and egging his house during homecoming for about eight years, and each year it gets more destructive.

He says he sprayed the kids with a mixture of one-third fox urine and two-thirds water because "it stinks, but it doesn't hurt anything."


Where the hell did he get the fox urine?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kill Time, I Dare you


Today is a little slow, to say the least. I have been trading fun, time wasting websites with a few colleagues over the course of the last couple hours, which I would like to share at this time. Its amazing that there is such a demand for pictures of humorous things on the web. Is anyone doing any work anymore? The picture above is from engrishfunny.com a site dedicated to poking fun at awkward/funny/inappropriate translations into English from other languages. because of Engrish, I have been sufficiently warned not to point at the creature. There's plenty of fun to be had there.

Another good one I was just turned on to is the Fail Blog. A place where pictures and videos of failure come together in harmony. the photograph below, a display failure, depicts an unfortunate bookstore display of not-so-festive titles under the Happy Holidays sign.


These two sites can take up plenty of time while you are struggling to keep your job during the recession, listening to your hungry baby cry, or browsing your iphone on a city bus. There are only so many legitimate news stories you can read and still convince yourself to wake up in the morning, so you might as well rejoice on other peoples failures or bad English translations instead of cnn.com.

Post Script: I'm really thankful that my Firefox spell checker doesn't know what an iphone is. As soon as it suggests it correctly I'll know Apple is the messiah. Maybe by that point Firefox will stop suggesting "granulate" as the correct spelling of my last name.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Curse of the Shades


Every time I take a nasty fall in a public place there is a common factor. It's not a certain gripless pair of shoes, or a tree-root shifted sidewalk square that "just gets me every time!". It's nothing logical. Nothing that would make my unfortunate diggers more understandable or at least a little bit less embarrassing. I'm not that kinda lucky.

The common factor?

I'm always wearing ridiculous, oversized, movie-star sunglasses.

While this has occurred numerous times, I'll just recount my favorite time and the incident which occurred this morning.

The Best Fall Ever
When I first moved to DC I was living in upper Northwest on Connecticut Avenue. This was not a "cool" neighborhood (unless you are an octogenarian), but I sure as hell thought it was cool. I had a great apartment and the state code "DC" on my mail. All was good. Perhaps it was this overinflated sense of self worth which lead to my (literal) downfall.

It was a beautiful spring day and I strutted to the metro in my favorite brown skirt, flip flops and denim jacket. Over my shoulder my green and orange Timbuk2 messenger bag was carefully slung, full of text books for my recently begun graduate studies. My ipod earbugs sprung from my ears as some popular band I probably didn't like that much but thought I should blared. My hair was as big as it can get.

Of course, perched on my nose are my giant, movie star sunglasses.

Strutting my stuff, looking soooo goooooood, I approach the entrance to the Metro, accelerating rapidly. Some invisible object, probably hubris, gets in my way and I trip. And boy do I trip. The weight from Langston Hughes and WEB DuBois sets my liberally propagandized Timbuk2 bag into motion. In the one short second I have to regain my balance and my dignity, the weight of the bag lurches me forward, somersaulting me into the crowd of commuters. My favorite skirt flips over my head, my ipod goes flying and I land like the Vitruvian Man. The only part of my appearance still in tact: the sunglasses.

As passersby stop to assist me, their mouths gaping open in concern (with a touch of schadenfreude), I swiftly gather my belongings and rush down the escalator as fast as I can, pushing my sunglasses up, breathing irregularly and shouting, at an abnormally high pitch, "I'm fine! Thanks though! I'm fine! Gotta run! Thanks!"

The train downtown (and away from my shame) departs just as my feet hit the platform and I am forced to wait 2 minutes for the next one. As I stand there, the entire crowd of people who tried to help me, who were left in my dust as I busted my ass down the escalator to escape them, come quietly down the moving stairs and pass me one by one, trying not to look at me. I hid behind my over-sized sunglasses.

As if that memory hasn't been burned into my tiny ego long enough, I constantly reignite old shame when I soberly eat dirt probably around twice monthly.

I think most people look like they are trying to be Vanilla Ice when they wear sunglasses, as if they also have their ragtop down so their hair can blow. But, honestly, there are only about six times a year in which sunglasses are really necessary.

Five of these times include driving due east or west on a highway, or playing volleyball on a beach in Cancun. They other time, my favorite time, is about wearing sunglasses for no reason whatsoever--when the sun is barely shining or you are maybe even indoors. Its about wearing sunglasses to feel cool. I love sunglasses.

Today's Slippery Slope
This December morning, I intentionally put my contacts in(instead of the usual carefree spectacle look I sport) so I can don my new sunglasses on the way to work. Sure, WJLA had already informed me that it would be a cloudy day today, but from the shaded window of my basement apartment, I judged it to be light enough outside that sunglasses were a necessity.

As I locked the external door and headed up the stairs (ipod, Timbuk2 and sunglasses in tow) I realized it was drizzling. I had no where to safely store the shades so on my face they remained, and on I walked. To cut to the chase, my metro escalator is mighty steep and primarily exposed to the elements. It was still raining on me as I decended the stairs at an "I live in Washington DC, I'm important, get out of my way!" manner. I passed by a few slower folks, cruising at what I'm sure was an unsafe speed, until there it was again, sliding under my loosely laced red converse sneaker--hubris.

I slipped.

As I slipped, an inadvertent, instinctual mom noise tore from my lips, "oooh!". I hit the hard escalator, its angry teeth biting both my calf and vulnerable muffin top.

Faster than everyone could turn around to witness the tragedy (well, I wish it had been faster, but in actuality it was just long enough for everyone to turn) I popped up miraculously, every joint aching from the whiplash, and continued my jaunt to the bottom. Sunglasses still on my face, like a total toolbox. Don't worry, there wasn't a James-Bond-convenient train waiting to whisk me away this time either; I stood on the platform waiting while all the witnesses paraded by, probably thinking "Maybe you wouldn't have fallen if you weren't wearing those ridiculous sunglasses in the rain at 7:30 in the morning."

Oh, sunglasses, you make me look so cool, but why do you bring such ill fortune?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Is this guy a Governor or Lil' Wayne?"


I really wanted to comment on the scandal in my home state with good old Governor Blagojevich, but I wasn't sure how to frame my blog until I heard those magic words. "Is this guy a Governor or Lil' Wayne?" Thank you Jon Stewart, for being so dreamy.


























For those of you who don't know, Illinoisians (if thats a word) re-elected Rod in 2006 over his opponent Judy Barr-Topinka, primarily because of bad hair, a nasty Chicago south side accent and her dedication to the White Sox. In fact, it must have been the baseball thing because Rod and Judy have the bad hair and accent in common, but R-Blag is a Cubs fan. (Yes, Chicagoans know that the White Sox won the series in 2005, but we also know that White Sox = guys in sleeveless shirts driving mustangs and punching other guys in the mouth. The only exception is Barack Obama.) This Christmas Card may also have something to do with her loss:


Either way, Blagojevich kept his seat and continued his promise to reform Chicago after the 4 years of Governor George Ryan who began serving his sentence for federal corruption convictions in November of last year (but Ryan did issue a moratorium on executions in IL in 2000, and that was pretty cool of him. Props to you in the Pen, George.)

Oh Chicago, your beauty is again marred by scandal.

Also, you can check out a lil' Lil' Wayne music video here, if the picture above wasn't enough for comparison.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Breast Implants and Suicide Rates

My weekend research topic was “What happens to silicone implants when you die?” I know that implants can’t be biodegradable or else they would biodegrade inside your body, but does that mean that after your skin and bones become one with the earth that your implant/s would still be in the ground? I’m also pretty sure that all implants have serial tracking numbers, meaning that in a CSI-related moment calf implants found in some overgrown woods could be all that is left of a murder victim?

Unfortunately, I didn’t really find too much about this topic in my internet scouring, but I did find some information about breast implants that I had not previously been aware of. I am not against plastic surgery or implants at all, as long as one decides to go for that type of body modification for oneself and not to please a partner or society (or whatever) but I have always had a little bit of hesitation about the safety of those decisions.


Breast implants have notoriously had problems with leaking or bursting in the past. Silicone and saline and all sorts of things I don’t much understand, but in November of last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration okayed the sale of silicone breast implants for the first time in 14 years. I just recently heard about a study completed in 2007 which dropped this frightening statistic:

“WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Women who get cosmetic breast implants are nearly three times as likely to commit suicide as other women, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.”

From the same study, USA Today reported:

“Women who have breast implants are three times as likely to die by suicide and have a similar increased risk of death as a result of drug use or alcoholism, a study says. The finding confirms earlier reports linking suicide and breast implantation and suggests plastic surgeons should consider mental health screening and follow-up for their patients.

The study, in August's Annals of Plastic Surgery, is by researchers at the International Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Md.; Vanderbilt University in Nashville; and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. It extends by eight years research on 3,527 Swedish women who had cosmetic implants from 1965 to 1993. No notable increase was seen in the first 10 years after surgery, but 10 to 19 years after, risk was 4.5 times higher, and six times higher after 20 years, compared with the expected suicide rate. Researchers say it's not clear if the increase was the result of underlying psychiatric illness.”

The study showed no rise in the rate of cancer among women with implants, but the suicide connection seems pretty conclusive. The article from Reuters also said that in 2006, 383,886 U.S. women had breast augmentation. Do you think that those almost 400,000 women thought that their mental health could be severely affected by an augmentation? What are the causes?

I'd also be interested if anyone knows about the biodegradability of implants to fulfill my initial topic of interest...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oh Prop 8, You Make Me Laugh

There was so much to blog about today, but, alas, the man had me emailing, conferencing-calling and whatnoting all darn day. Because I haven't been too political lately, and because my blogging hiatus awkwardly fell during the whole Prop-8 situation I'll just leave you all with this one lovely video today.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Is This News?

I'm starting a new weekly post on That Makes Me Nervous called "Is This News?" When I say weekly I mean whenever I get around to it, of course. Once every two weeks or once every 2.5 months...you know.

This week comes from a CNN headline that reads: "Obama disappointed in Richardson."

Or course, I have a tiny heart attack. I love Bill Richardson. I love New Mexico. I even love the fun-living folkloric jackrabbit who lights up the desert night with his human-like cry. I felt nervous that for some strange out-of-this-world reason Richardson perhaps turned down the job of Commerce Secretary. What was the article really about?

"(CNN) - Gov. Bill Richardson showed up to his press conference with President-elect Barack Obama Wednesday morning without the beard he has been sporting since dropping out of the presidential race in January, sparking his new boss to tell reporters he is "deeply disappointed with the loss of the beard.""

Oh CNN! You are soooo hilarious! Thanks for letting us in on this little life or death piece of information! Whew. What would I have done without knowing about Obama's little quip?? Richardson sure does look hipper with his beard! Gosh, I miss it already!

Hey wait, CNN! Did you hear that there were terrorist attacks in Mumbai recently? Or that the US is in a financial crisis? Weird! I was so busy thinking about the untimely death of Richardson's beard that I forgot all about all that crazy stuff!

Is This News?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Greatest Day of 2009

Since my short experience studying abroad in the UK about a million years ago, London has held a special romance for me. Certainly Big Ben, William Shakespeare, The red telephone booth and that bar in New Cross where I was frisked because someone had recently been killed there--all of it holds a certain glowing beauty about it. It was later my sister and I learned about the one thing that could possibly make London better: the introduction of the 24-hour bar. Now, I'm not sure if there are 24-hour bars anywhere besides in Heaven, but I do know that in 2005 London was blessed with this miracle.

It was the Swan Pub which obtained the first 24-hour pub license, and the owners were kind enough to be thankful while also taking the public interest into consideration.
"Pub licensee Adam Pattinson said he was "ecstatic"-about the prospect. Last night drinkers at the pub were also pleased, but added they hoped the move would not attract an "unsuitable" element of binge drinkers."

You know how those binge drinkers * can be!

In that vein, let me get to the point of this blog post. I've just learned from the dcexaminer.com that DC bars may stay open around the clock for Barry Obama's inauguration! Yes. 24 hours:


"A measure put forth today by D.C. Councilman Jim Graham - who represents the party-friendly Adams Morgan neighborhood - would allow bars and restaurants licensed to serve alcohol to keep pouring until 5 a.m., and to keep doors open 24-hours per day between Jan. 17 and Jan. 21."


The best part about it? I practically live in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood. So, for all of you Obama fans (or i guess just fans of drinking, too) this might the right weekend for you to come on out and see what DC is made of *! Just don't try to stay with me. Plenty of Chicagoans already made reservations at my crib for those days even before the 24 hour bar thing became possible. ESP, maybe.

*Wikipedia states: "Binge drinking is often defined nowadays as drinking alcoholic beverages with the primary intention of becoming intoxicated."
*Travel and Leisure Magazine ranked DC #24 out of 25 cities in which to have a "Wild Weekend". We have quite a reputation for fun, eh?

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Snuggie

For all of you who at one point or another thought to yourself, "gee golly! I'm freezing, but I just can't be bothered to go put on a sweater!" or "Man, this blanket keeps slipping off my arms when I reach for the remote, I wish there was something that would wrap around me like a straight jacket and keep me warm even when I'm at a sporting event, holding my baby, or reader. Gosh! I wish someone would invent a luxurious fleece blanket with sleeves!" This product is for you! Its The Snuggie, and its ridiculous.

From the website, "Blankets are OK but they can slip and slide, plus your hands are trapped inside. The Snuggie keeps you totally warm and gives you the freedom to use your hands. Work the remote, use your laptop, or do some reading in total warmth and comfort!"

Right. I need a blanket with sleeves. What would stop me from wearing it backwards like a cape? hmmm...a cape. I like that idea.

Unfortunately, the Snuggie isn't alone. There is also The Slanket (and no, I'm not making this up).


Surprisingly, sleeves are everywhere. For example:

Tattoo Sleeves (not real):


















Someone without sleeves:






Something that shouldn't have sleeves (wedding dress):



















A good time to wear sleeves (handling a wild, taloned bird):

And, you know...the laptop sleeve.






That concludes our lesson of the day. Tune in later this week when we investigate another wacky, indefinable term! Any suggestions?

Monday Kitten Snack with Update!

LC bought the kits new beds. They have been taking turns testing them out. I think the kits like the the beds because they were handcrafted in a developing nation by women who sold them for meager quantities of money and were then able to feed their families. The kits are really into humanitarian shit like that. l

*UPDATE*

It looks like Eliot has also caught on to the new cat bed (10/2)! Go cats snuggled in cat beds!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Nelgected Blog is (temporarily) Revived by Cocaine


So i haven't blogged in months because my school schedule suddenly flew off the handle and left me with minimal time to do so, but this article needed some airtime.

The Guardian recently reported that "four square metres of rainforest are destroyed for every gram of cocaine snorted in the UK, a conference of senior police officers as told yesterday."

So THATS who to blame for the rapidly depleting rainforest. Check out the full article here.

Post Script: I'll make an avid attempt to come back to thatmakesmenervous. I realize that i've been posting funny things I find on facebook anyway, so i might as well post here. For those of you who are facebook friends, watch out for some repeats in the coming days.

Post-Post Script: I am so afraid of drugs, this picture makes me nervous. I cant even watch Blow.


Woot!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thanks Brad.


Brad Pitt announced Wednesday that he would donate $100,000 to support gay marriage equality in California. Celebrity opinion on social and political issues is markedly more important when it involves money. You can donate to "No on 8", an organization against Proposition 8 in CA:

"Prop 8 would re-write our California Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California -- denying gays and lesbians the respect, dignity and responsibility that come with marriage."

So say no to 8. If we lose California other states don't have a chance---supporting civil rights in CA right now means supporting civil rights across the nation for years to come.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This Quorn Quontains...


Ew.

This is totally not new to news, but something I've never heard before. I love me some vegetarian meat substitutes--I used to be really into Morningstar Products, and now mostly Boca. I've never tried Quorn, but I've heard quite a lot about its deliciousness over the years.

The widely held belief has been that Quorn was a mushroom based burger (mushrooms and soy being very common bases for meatless products), but it came out a couple years ago that the "mushroom base" was actually a shroom imposter.

The base of the product is a processed mold. Yeah. I said it. Sick, right?

Below, a savvy customer did some research after getting sick from the product:

"The mycoprotein that is in Quorn is called “Fusarium Venenatum”. It is a moldy fungus that is grown in large fermentation tanks by the Quorn corporation. Under certain conditions, “Fusarium venenatum” can morph into toxins known as trichothecene mycotoxins, causing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Quorn products have sickened hundreds of people. CSPI has been gathering their sickening stories and sharing them on their website. They also are pushing for the removal of Quorn products from store shelves."


Um. Not only are those words I can't pronounce, but they are definitely words I don't want to eat. From their website, Quorn seems to be up and running...but I certainly won't be venturing into their meatless lands any time soon.

A little short on rent?

Just check your piggy bank and you might be as lucky as these folks.

Pretty awesome.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Green Screen on John McCain?

Last night, John McCain spoke at the RNC, and aside from his unsurprisingly boring speech and inanimate robot face, there was a mysterious green screen behind his head... as visible in this video, part one of the borefest:



I thought it was a little odd when I was watching it. Strange to shoot on a green screen like a movie set, strange to make yourself look more mechanical by removing all reminders of reality from the shot. Just strange.

But this afternoon I read something that converts that strangeness into absolute hilarity. Talking Points Memo notes that McCain wasn't talking in front of a green screen...it was just a bad close up on the grassy knoll of a large mansion-like building. Was McCain speaking in front of a photo of one of his very own mansions? At, first no one was sure. This building was recently identified as "Walter Reed Middle School, in North Hollywood, California. Wow. Thats even stranger.



Unless...someone was trying to place a picture of Walter Reed Army Hospital and just failed in their google search? I dont know...but its a pretty hilarious theory. Check out the full article (with pictures) here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

McSexist


I've got politics on the brain, so here goes:

John McCain has been pretty good at hiding is negative views of women and their rights and freedoms, but a few people are starting to call him out. Have a little read about these nasty views here, on me.

A few highlights:
"He opposed legislation requiring that abstinence-only programs be medically accurate and based in science.

n 2000, McCain begged Bush to amend language in the GOP platform, which calls for a human-life amendment banning all abortions and provides no exceptions for rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother. This week he indicated that he won't work to change that platform.

In March 2007, the New York Times' Adam Nagourney asked McCain whether grants for sex education in the United States include instructions about using contraceptives, or if they should abide by Bush's abstinence-only policy.

After a pause, McCain responded, "Ahhh. I think I support the president's policy.""


Theres so much more!

Read on!

This one is good too!

Just Keep Your Mind Closed. All the Conservatives are doing it.

I guess one good thing about being a conservative is that you are allowed to admit you are ignorant, and proud of it. I've been sick of hearing conservative/Republican rhetoric bouncing all over the place for the last 19 months, and it just gets worse and worse.

I've been so hyped up the past couple days because of the incredible spirit of the Democratic National Convention. Watching the Tribute to Ted Kennedy video and then hearing him speak, watching Michelle Obama bring her husband and her family a personal, emotional edge, and last night, being audience to the awesome Hilary Clinton, who really has stepped up her game, acknowledge and be acknowledge for the great strides she has made for women.

All of these moments have been inspiring and exciting--and have left me in that cloudy bliss that makes me forget there are people out there who have no interest in making life better for others. People who don't mind that women don't make the same wages as men. People who don't think minorities are still at a huge disadvantage in this country, or just don't care about civil rights--or at least those who don't care to help. People who have no problem telling two people who love each other that that not only can they not get married, but that they shouldn't be able to--because at some point the government took on the role of moral and religious guide.

But then, when I am lost in this perfect liberal bliss, I am confronted with that lovely conservative ignorance--and this time I'm not just talking about John McCain. Today we discuss young conservative Ashley Herzog and her August 11th article on Townhall.com "College Classes for Conservatives to Avoid".

In this piece of work, Ms. Herzog recommends the following:
"Don’t register for English classes that revolve around the writings of some allegedly oppressed group, such as “Gay and Lesbian Literature” or “Women and Writing.”

If possible, avoid the sociology department, especially introductory-level classes. These are often crash courses in politically correct thinking.

Be skeptical of classes with words like “Non-Western” and “Multicultural” in the title."

...among other things. This is the kind of conservative/republican thinking that is somehow acceptable in those communities. For some reason I really cannot imagine, this gal actually thinks its ok to not make any effort to know about any non-white, non-American, non-heterosexual peoples. Talk about a whitewash. I'm ashamed to share the same gender as this woman. Ug.

via feministing.



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This Reminds Me More of SVU Than DKNY

I've seen this covered in a few news outlets, but I had to mention it myself. The newest ad campaign coming from Wrangler (remember those jeans your brother wore in the mid-eighties?) is not only offensive and disturbing, but also kind of pointless and ridiculous. Check out the new "We Are Animals" campaign from Wrangler:



I mean in what world is this seemlingly dead woman supposed to make me want to wear Wrangler Jeans? There is something to say for an ad that depicts humans with animalistic behaviors or characteristics, but its another thing to depict women (not men!) as (what appears to me to be) victims of violence.


Is it just me, or do these women look dead? Theres a video out there too, thats strange as well. I don't get the campaign, do you?

Via Feministing and AfterEllen

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dos Corect Speling mater?

I have always been a horrible speller, something I blame on my brainedness (although I'm not totally sure if its the left or right brained folks that are supposed to be good spellers)--but it is something that I still, in adulthood, work hard to correct. I'm still teaching myself tricks to fix the errors I've been making for decades (definitely is spelled with "finite" in the middle), and try to beat out my spellchecker to correcting my mistakes. But, I can totally understand the perspective that correct spelling might not actually matter. I mean, does the spelling matter if you get the message across? Should folks be judged for making spelling errors? Is it primitive of us to not really view English as a changing language? A recent article on time.com investigates this issue:

"Good spellers, Smith says, should be able to go on writing as usual; those who find the current rules of English too hard to learn should have their spelling labeled variant, not wrong. Smith zeroes in on 10 candidates for variant spellings, culled from his students' most commonly misspelled (or mispelled, as Smith suggests) words. Among them are Febuary instead of February, twelth instead of twelfth and truely instead of truly — all words, he says, that involve confusion over silent letters. When students would ask why there's no e in truly, Smith didn't really have an answer. "I'd say, 'Well, I don't know. ... You've just got to drop it because people do,' " he says. Smith adds that when teachers correct spelling, they waste valuable time they could be spending on bigger ideas. "

Should the English language be more flexible?

Check out the full article before you make your decision.

Opossum-Foot?

Bigfoot Update:

I imagine these Bigfoot hunters are just cooking up some kinda crazy promotional scam, but an opossum? I could have pulled a better prank in 4th grade.

"PALO ALTO, California (Reuters) - Bigfoot remains as elusive as ever. Results from tests on genetic material from alleged remains of one of the mythical half-ape and half-human creatures, made public at a news conference on Friday held after the claimed discovery swept the Internet, failed to prove its existence.

Its spread was fueled by a photograph of a hairy heap, bearing a close resemblance to a shaggy full-body gorilla costume, stuffed into a container resembling a refrigerator.

One of the two samples of DNA said to prove the existence of the Bigfoot came from a human and the other was 96 percent from an opossum, according to Curt Nelson, a scientist at the University of Minnesota who performed the DNA analysis.

Bigfoot creatures are said to live in the forests of the U.S. Pacific Northwest. An opossum is a marsupial about the size of a house cat."

I guess they are going to do an autopsy on the remains, but I bet they won't find anything to fuel my cryptozoology frenzy. Plus, even if they did, the government would just cover it up.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thats One Big Foot

It seems a couple of guys in Georgia have found Bigfoot. Well, actually. They are saying that they found the body of a Bigfoot.

" A clayton county Police officer says he and a friend have the body of a Bigfoot. The animal -- a legendary, hairy hominid that supposedly lives in remote forests -- is said to be dead, frozen, and "shocking." Matthew Whitton, a 28-year-old, who has been with the department for six years,and Rick Dyer, a 31-year-old former correctional officer, posted a video on youtube.com, last week, claiming to have the male Bigfoot corpse. Whitton and Dyer co-own
bigfoottracker.com, offering exploration expeditions in the North Georgia Mountains, On their web site Whitton and Dyer announced an alleged discovery: "We have located a family of Bigfoot, and besides the clear photos and video, we have something even more shocking, a BODY." Stay tuned... "

Our pal Bigfoot has been accused of a lot of crazy things over the years, but no one has ever had any proof of its existence. In this case, a lot of people (even believers) are skeptical about this find:


"The Bigfoot Field Research Organization, a California-based group claiming there have been 61 Bigfoot sightings in Georgia, officially described Whitton and Dyer as "idiots" and "clowns," and warned their claims are a scam to advertise their business."
The Bigfoot finders are holding a press conference on Friday to announce their discovery. But you can see some pictures here and read the groups full press release here. I'll let you know next week what the verdict is...

Wednesday Kitten Snack

These videos aren't new, but if you haven't seen them...you really should. If you have seen them, see them again!

Talking Cats:


Translation:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chance Noble - Sexist Punk

I've done a little reputation ruining blogging before for jerks who choose to publicly demonstrate their stupidity, and here's a little more:

Courtney, a blogger at my favorite site feministing.com, published an op-ed in Metro the other day about sexual misconduct on the New York City subways. Here is one email Courtney received in response and her completely appropriate comments as well (sorry, some language might be a little offensive):

Dear Courtney,

I read your opinions about the MTA raising awareness about sexual misconduct on the subways and found it very naive and written from a very white-middle-class-women-studies-privaleged perspective. You are correct that women have been dealing with this kind of stuff from guys for years, but what about how women dress in the subways? Today (after reading your opinion) while on the subway, I saw a woman sit near me with a very low cut shirt and very large tits...she looked hot! I totally stared at her tits any chance I could get...which is probably why she wore the shirt right? I also see scores of women with those cotton summer dresses on and just a thong underneath, so you see their asses bobbling around under the skirt. That sounds like blaming the victim right? Well when you leave almost nothing to the imagination, it doesn't take much for it to run wild. This is not to say you whip your cock out at any moment or press your boner on any tart that wears a hot outfit, but where they "asking for it"? I know you are probably fuming by now, but from the looks of your picture you probably don't get sexually harrassed much, so maybe you are jealous of all of the hot-ass bitches with the big titties, shaved snatches and round asses that get some action underground.

hells to the motherfuckin' yeah!!!!

Chance Noble

I wanted you to know his name and his email address--snhca@exit3.com--in case you'd like to chat with him about this idea, and/or avoid ever dating/hiring him.


I repost this garbage mainly in efforts to smear his name.

Check out Courtney's full post on this here.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Why I'm Voting Republican


'Nuff Said.

POTUS or ANTICHRIST?

This little McCain ad has become the subject of some serious controversy. Check it out:


The ad claims to be a making a joke about how Obama thinks himself to be the Messiah, but this awesome Time.com article stresses that the ad doesn't really come across as a joke, and for a few really good reasons:

"The ad was the creation of Fred Davis, one of McCain's top media gurus, as well as a close friend of former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed and the nephew of conservative Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. It first caught the attention of Democrats familiar with the Left Behind series, a fictionalized account of the end time that debuted in the 1990s and has sold nearly 70 million books worldwide. "The language in there is so similar to the language in the Left Behind books," says Tony Campolo, a leading progressive evangelical speaker and author.

As the ad begins, the words "It should be known that in 2008 the world shall be blessed. They will call him The One" flash across the screen. The Antichrist of the Left Behind books is a charismatic young political leader named Nicolae Carpathia who founds The One World religion (slogan: "We are God") and promises to heal the world after a time of deep division. One of several Obama clips in the ad features the senator saying, "A nation healed, a world repaired. We are the ones that we've been waiting for."

What is McCain trying to pull here? I'm not sure who said that politics and religion don't mix, but darn if its not true. Come on McCain, keep it off the pulpit, all right?

The best part of the whole thing is the hilariously low-brow comment left on the John McCain ad on youtube that said "John McCain is a desperate dinosaur." Haha.

McCain probably ran this ad as a favor to Moses. They went to grammar school together in their home town of Pangea.

For more great information about the venerable John McCain check out the Women For John McCain website.

Catastic!


Damn, I love me a good Cat Fashion Show:

"Earlier in the day, Matilda, a pedigreed ragdoll breed with long, silky, cream-colored hair, held court on a chaise lounge by the entrance."

You can see a few disappointing photographs here. I really hope that next months issue of Cat Fancy has a centerfold of this event. It would be almost as exciting as their annual "Kittens" issue. Sigh. I love cats and kittens, even when cruelly dressed in costume.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Who thought this one up?


I know I've blogged a lot about CNN and how they express ridiculous opinions and claim worthless things to be newsworthy, but this just goes one step further. Now you can order random T-shirts with CNN headlines on them--and I dont mean things like "Obama Wins Iowa" or "Peace in the Middle East" or whatever...I mean things like this. Yes. That t-shirt proclaims "Cerebral palsy boy mows lawns." Don't worry, there are plenty more everyday at $15 a pop, if the Cerebral Palsy headline doesn't tickle your fancy. What is also funny is that apparently the application is hackable. Jeffzilla shows us that you can just change the URL and make up your own headline.

I mean, Come on. What the hell is the purpose of this?
(Please don't comment with "making money" because I'm bright enough to get that. My question is slightly more rhetorical. Also, dont get too excited because the image above is no longer available...these shirts disappear pretty fast, creating collectors additions i would imagine.)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Future Me? Is that you? You look goooooood!

On October 8th 2003 I wrote a letter to myself. When it arrived, one year later, I was confused at my own handwriting on the envelope. Writing the letter had been assigned by a high school English teacher who had worked with me and several other education majors during the student teaching extravaganza of our senior year of college. Reading my words in October of 2004 I was delighted by how accurately I had predicted the year that had passed. I still carry the letter, almost 5 years after it was written, to remind myself of the goals I had then...goals that I am still slowly trying to accomplish.

About 6 months ago, I came across FutureMe.org, a website where you can write emails to yourself to be delivered in the future--the next day, week, month, year--whenever you are ready to look back on today.


I received my FutureMe email today from December of 2007. Sadly, I have bailed on one of the two goals I had made then, but the other one I am rockin'. I am inspired to write more FutureMe emails to congratulate myself for things I plan to accomplish, to remind me of incredible moments that may otherwise disappear in couch cushions, and to remind myself that I still want the same things for myself I always have (and at some point I'm going to have to find the gusto to actually get those things.)


Remind yourself, or thank yourself--or remind yourself to thank someone else. With the hundreds of emails we all write everyday, you'll forget in 30 seconds that you wrote it, but it will make a difference when your futureself sees that email...

I can't wait until they come out with PastMe.org so that I can maybe get an email from Future Me that's like:

"Hey Past Me, definitely take the job you offered on August 22, 2011...its going to make you rich and famous."

or

"Hey Past Me, you should totally invent HoverShoes before some a**hole does in 2022, because you could make some serious dough with how popular these things are."

Or, you know...whatever.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Being Healthy is Not Just a Trend


For a long time I think the majority of the population considered "being healthy" a fad.
Low fat, no fat, low carbs, etc., were looked at as short-lived games for folks trying to create some kind of counter culture. Then it was Yoga, Pilates, McDonald's Apple Dippers and Whole Foods stores. What? We are all supposed to run or bike or at least walk for 30 minutes 3 times a week?? But, at some point the trend grows from a small group of different-thinkers and just engulfs the majority because the undeniable truth of it completely overwhelms us.

Smoking is one of those things that I think happened exactly like that. Smoking was cool for about 2000 years. Well, at least in modern times, actors and politicians and your parents smoked. And then some people started whispering that smoking might kill you. But that was probably just some hippies out in California, right? But then people were protesting that restaurants separate smoking sections or that smokers should refrain from lighting up directly outside a building's entrance in every state. Of course there was tons of guffawing from both sides--some folks felt like non-smokers should just get over it, and then multiplying statistics about second hand smoke and deaths from lung cancer surfaced. At some point...we all just agreed that smoking wasn't good for us--that it wasn't just a health nut trend to quit. Its just plain smart.

Rita Rubin blogs about these truths everyday on the USA Today Health blog "A Better Life". This is the place where you can get straightforward news from a journalist who knows whats up in the world of health and who actually writes about topics of general interest (HIV, The Tomato scare, alcoholic energy drinks and birth control to name a few from the last week or so).

Getting healthy and knowing about health issues isn't trendy--its mandatory. Keep up the good work Rita.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekend Snapshot.

Blogger drinks margarita from sweet Slurpee Straw.
Blogger enjoys delightful iced coffee though killer metal hot pink Slurpee straw.
Blogger relaxes on Sunday night, revising articles, drafting a short form piece, sporting a Rosetta Stone T-shirt and sipping ice cold tap water from the most bitchin' straw on earth.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Theres No Politically Correct Way to Say This

Thank Chocolate there are Brits out there who truly respect tradition! I'm glad to see that the Doody family, at least as of 2003, were still enjoying one of the island nation's true delicacies:

"The nation knows that the Cornish pasty, Yorkshire pudding, haggis and fish and chips are great British dishes, but all too often the faggot is left off that list," said Janet Doody.

What?

Did she say "faggot"?

Yes, in this strange but true article from the BBC the Doody family from Wolverhampton was crowned The Faggot Family in a national competition. Doesn't the teen aged son look ELATED?

(Post Script: What could make this article better than the fact that their last name is Doody? Haha, I just can't stop typing Doody.)

Thanks to Lara for the link. A truly good find.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dupont Lives Up To its Reputation


Several times a week I pass through the Dupont Circle Metro station and NOT ONCE has anyone ever told me they could get someone to meet me for sex. Apparently it happens all the time:



WASHINGTON (Map, News) - A Metro station manager and a Metro custodian were arrested on prostitution charges after an undercover transit police investigation found they arranged sexual trysts for money from inside the Dupont Circle Metro station.

At one point the employees used the Metro loudspeaker system to facilitate an illicit sexual arrangement, according to police who arrested the pair last week. Sharon Waters, a Red Line station manager, told an undercover police officer at the Dupont Circle station June 4 that she could arrange meetings with local prostitutes for him, according to court documents. The officer returned to the station at 11:45 p.m. June 11 and met with Waters, who told him she was organizing a “sex” party in the Washington area for a $100 cover charge, court records show.


Yeah. Its happening. In Dupont. And I wasn't propositioned even once.


Whats wrong with me? (Feel free to answer in comments.)


Check out the full article here. Props to Life Student for the link.



The Summer of 400

Those of you who enjoy Thatmakesmenervous for its non sequiturs and completely arbitrary content know that it isn't a blog that displays (or is meant to display) any sort of literary writing. But you all may also know that I'm more than half way through an MA in writing, so I should have developed some skilz to show for it, right?

So, fans, here it will be: I'm teaming up with an old friend (the honorable K. Hula) to explore short form writing this summer, and because she's currently in Japan (and then I believe Chicago and Boston over the next 6-8 months) we have decided a deadline oriented blog might be the answer for us.

Look for some cross-genre short form writing (all pieces 400 word or less) on our new blog at wedoitin400.blogspot.com. We shall begin posting on Monday. Are you ready for this?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Old Kids on the Block (really creative, right?)

I love NKOTB, in fact this is a billboard I got all inappropriately excited about in Times Square last month. I had to take a picture.

But Lyrics like this: "I was like, 'Hey girl can I get your number?'" from one of their new songs "Summertime" kiiiiinda turn me off.

If you haven't seen it:


Can't we just go back to the old days?


Are these guys too old to be a Boy Band?

(Just FYI--these are the New Kids' birth years: Jonathan: 1968, Donnie: 1969 Danny: 1969, Jordan: 1970, Joey: 1972)


Thanks to Lara for the embedding help. I dont know why youtube hates me so much.

Hard Times for Cyclists (especially in SS)

Have you ever been out riding your bike and somehow lose a bike path or lane from right under your tires? Maybe it becomes a parking lane, or a sidewalk. Maybe it just flat out disappears. Its not just you, it happens all over the world, and some folks from The Slate got out there to document some of the stupid bike lanes cyclists encounter.

Come on local DOTs! You can't just placate cyclists by painting on some wonky lines hither and thither about a city! I always worried that it was just me who couldn't follow paths. Luckily this video (embeded below) shows one reason why I have a hard time riding in my (not-so-bike) friendly neighborhood of Silver Spring, MD.

Have you had any nasty bike lane experiences?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Cathy Alter Friday!

Have you all read Virgin Territory: Stories from the Road to Womanhood by Washington D.C. based writer Cathy Alter?

If you haven't gotten around to reading this collection of first person accounts about important moments in the lives of women you have less than two weeks to do so before her next book arrives on the scene!


Cathy's new book is a hilarious memoir called "Up For Renewal, What magazines taught me about love, sex and starting over." Visit her website http://www.cathyalter.com/ for more information about the book and to read an excerpt.

If you happen to reside in the D.C. area you can even pop by the Barnes and Noble Bookstore on M Street in Georgetown on July 8th where Cathy will be reading and doing a little Q &A. If you are lucky, you might even have a chance to meet your friendly neighborhood Nervous Blogger that night too.

Because you will be so in love with both Virgin Territory and Up For Renewal, and you will have been so enthralled by Cathy's ease and hilarity when you saw her speak at B&N, you can tune in on July 10th to The Today Show on NBC where Cathy will be appearing live from New York in full color!
Take my word for it. Read it. Seriously. Do it.

Full Disclosure: Cathy is not only a wonderful writer and a really groovy person, she also teaches in my writing program at Hopkins. I'm guilty of bias--but I would never recommend a bad read!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

DoubleBux

You all know that I'm a sucker for any new coffee related item. I love Starbucks because they keep coming out with new stuff even though my inner hippie me says "Damn the Man! Support Independent Coffee Houses!" But, hippie-self, do independent coffee houses have this???


I saw this beast the other day in a 7-11 and just had to have it. I had a lot of homework to do and i thought this giant energy drink would be the perfect tutor. Granted, it was kind of expensive (I think it came to 2.69 or something) but its 15 oz! and Its coffee AND energy! And, in fact, its quite good. You can find a comprehensive review here.


My only qualm is that SBux is seemingly copping a feel on its one branding by calling this a "doubleshot," when in fact they already make a smaller beverage that's meant to be espresso and cream and comes in 6.5 ounce cans (left). Kinda weird, right?


Has anyone else tried this new energy drink? Any thoughts about it?

Friday, June 13, 2008

How far is too far...when it comes to safety?

There is a joke that spans a few episodes of the short-lived Fox sitcom Arrested Development that involves a one armed man hired by the overbearing patriarch of the family to scare his kids into making the right decisions. The man's one-armedness comes into play when the kids are forced to see the results of their actions--forgetting to leave a note about where you are going, for instance, inexplicably results in the man's "arm" torn from his body in a gory display of squirting blood and the father's warning "That's What Happens When You Don't Leave a Note". Sure. Its hilarious. But is it true? Does fear cause us to make good decisions or change our ways?

In high school I took part in what was called a "Pre-Prom Assembly" where all the Juniors and Seniors (amounting to about 1800 kids) sat on the bleachers and watched a terrifying reenactment of a car-crash. In the scene, 4 students (including me) were placed in a mangled car before the "audience" arrived and then proceeded to act out the ultimate prom nightmare: in all our prom finery-tuxes and gowns- we have crashed our car into another car. Our 17 year old driver is drunk. All passengers are injured. One may be dead. The person in the other car is lifeless on the ground. The ambulances arrive and use the jaws of life. The driver is arrested...It was frightening. And maybe it got the message across about how dangerous it could be to get behind the wheel. How it REALLY could be YOU or your best friends.

Last month in California a high school in California went even one step farther to prevent drunk driving. Uniformed police officers entered 20 classrooms and notified students that classmates had been killed in a drive driving accident. Real students. The students were not present. The students were hysterical. As would be expected. It was a hoax--an attempt to scare these kids straight. But they weren't immediately notified of this. I don't know...it might be a little much for me. Do you think it was over the top?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Random Kitten (Miller) Snack

This is a kitten that was born to a a cat of a friend of a friend (of a friend, maybe) to a family of equally cute kittens. That's right. She's in some one's hand. Shes just that tiny.




This sleeping pup is the latest photo of my moms Miller dog. This is his latest accomplishment. Hes ridiculous.


MySpace Gangstas


I'm totally down with social networking websites for several reasons. To begin, I like posting pictures of my new hair cuts or my cats doing cat things on the Internet for all to see. Second, I like any situation where I can type-chat rather than actually have an interaction with real human beings. Finally, I like being a private investigator into other people's lives. Apparently everyone I knew in high school is married now, almost all the kids we thought were gay are, and many of those who are not married or gay are extremely happy with their fancy car, the Chicago White Sox, a significant other they call "My Baby" or "Babes" or even "bebe", and are apparently really happy about those things. I have nothing bad to say about all these folks--and in fact I'm super happy that they are happy. But, i digress, this post isn't about the 20-Something Southsider. Theres another MySpace subspecies that I have to mention. Sometimes, when I'm clicking through my friends on MySpace I find people, usually friends of friends, that think they are "Gangstas." For some reason Facebook doesn't have as many of these 'members'. I suspect this is because for a long time one had to have a school email address (usually college) in order to join-- and many "gangstas" have chosen to get their schoolin' on the street rather than in the classroom. Its funny for so many reasons, but mainly because a lot of these people live in suburbs where, I can imagine, its kind of a chore to really get any gang-action happening. I also think that many young people who live in suburbs live with their folks-another place that isn't too "bling" friendly. Either way, I love these folks for all their efforts to stand out in a playa-hatin' society. This awesome website I was just blessed with through a co-worker, I guess called "The Best Article Every Day," recently had a post on this phenomenal phenomenon called "5 MySpace Morons." Check it out for 5 prime examples. Seriously. Its awesome. If I had any cash or a "grill" I would try to change my MySpace profile to reflect this trend...PS: My Gangsta name would be John Cougar Bitch Ass. What would your Gangsta Name be?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Deceit at its best...

I just picked up this information from Feministing.com and it totally disgusts me: It seems that the website prochoice.com is actually an ANTI-CHOICE site. That's right, by masquerading as a safe place to visit by women who actually are seeking help it promotes its anti-choice stance with such helpful information such as:

"Abortion- How Much Will It Cost? The ultimate price, your baby's life, your self esteem and maybe your life.The financial cost can be very little to a lot. Rarely discussed is the hidden costs after the fact."

"Abortion- What Is it? Abortion is human intervention that does not allow a developing child to be born. It is the death of another less developed human being."

And one more winner:
"Imagine feeling safe and the next moment someone is killing you and you can't get away or cry for help."

For a lot of women, in different situations, abortion is an option. Its subversive, manipulative people like whoever put up this site that are trying to cheat women out of their own right to choose what they do with their bodies. Just disgusting.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Don't Leave Racy Pictures on Your Digital Camera...

...just in case you lose it, and some one is nice enough to help you find it.

I've talked about PostSecret before--the website and subsequent books of confessions/secrets folks write anonymously, but I just found a new pretty interesting site for Found Cameras and Orphan Photos. On this site people post photos from found digital cameras or memory sticks in hopes that someone will recognize a face from the picture and the camera/memory stick will be found! There are also a few posts of old photographs that have been found (moving into a new home, or from a second hand purchase) in hopes of getting the original back to the owner. I just that deserved a little shout out, especially for those of you who have lost a camera! In my own experience, I once picked up my high school prom photos from a drugstore photo counter and took them right home. When I got there, so-so-s0 excited to see the prom pictures, I found pictures of someones large family BBQ and camping trip. These were eventually swapped for the Prom pics, but it took a few days and put a lot of stress on my 17 year old self. I hope those folks got their camping pics back!

Friday, May 30, 2008

GO LINCOLN!


One of my favorite websites, mentalfloss.com, had a posting today on one of my favorite monuments that I thought everyone (DC locals or not) should check out. Apparently today is the anniversary of the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922. Check out the site to read all about it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Correction!

Sorry all! The big thing I missed in my "May Run-down" was the most fun part ever! LCs sister and nephew came to visit, too! That was the best week of my life (happy Lindz?). :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Missing Blogger

Sorry to all (3) of you who read this blog regularly--I've been out of school on my one month summer break since the beginning of May, but I've been busy:

LC's mom came to visit and so did my sister and brother in-law (who announced while they were here that they are happily pregnant with their first baby!) And we went to a Nationals Game at the brand new awesome stadium.

I traveled to Los Angeles for four days but I didnt see Jimmy Kimmel and it didn't really look like this:

It looked more like this:

I dont think I like LA.

Immediately after I returned from the West Coast, LC and I travelled to NYC, which is for sure in my top three favorite cities (Chicago, London, NYC). I saw Strawberry Fields (which I had been dreaming about my entire Beatles-loving life):














And the Statue of Liberty:

Honestly, I thought it would be bigger. I mean, at least 2 or 3 feet high.

And we drank beers outside for hours on end in Little Italy.

Good Times.

I've also just started blogging for a new site about Washington, DC's Green Movement. None of my pieces are up yet, but keep your eyes on Paint The District Green.

So, yeah...I've been a little busy. But I'll try to get back on track! Peace!