Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pool Party

Last weekend, it was extremely hot in Seattle. It seemed like a good idea to plan a pool party--my mom's condo has a pool--so some friends and I invited ourselves over this Saturday to swim in it and later have a Bar-B-Q.

Unfortunately for us, the weather changed. Now that Saturday is here, it's only dimly sunny with highs in the low 70s and a chance of rain. On the bright side, we'll probably have the whole pool to ourselves!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The IT Crowd

My new favorite TV show is a sitcom called The IT Crowd. It is currently a popular show in England--still airing--but you can buy the recently aired seasons here in the US in a DVD boxed set.

It's about two nerdy IT guys who work in the crummy basement of an otherwise posh office building that houses a company run by a crazy CEO. Because he's kind of crazy and random, he assigns newly-hired Jen to manage the IT guys, even though she knows nothing about computers.

The description on the back of the boxed set calls Jen a "go-getter" but I think that's inaccurate. While she desperately craves the outward appearance of success, she has little actual drive. She's more the type of person who sits around and complains and hopes that success will magically happen to her. In other words, she's very relateable. She doesn't manage the guys so much as she pretends to manage them when someone important walks in the door. For their part, they tolerate her with a mixture of affection and exasperation. They don't respect her very much, but they do like her.

It's a show about people who aren't really making it and who don't really have what it takes. Maurice Moss is the most lovable nerd to appear on television since Ed Grimley. Roy is less socially maladjusted than Moss, but being slightly cooler tends to mean that he just finds that many more ways to humiliate himself.

I wanted to post a scene from the show here, but of course the embedding was disabled on YouTube. Damn those computer nerds!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

60 Seconds

When the remake of this movie first came out, I kept accidentally calling it Gone In 60 Minutes...which would have been a much slower movie about much less impressive car thieves. Actually, that movie would probably have been more entertaining.

Anyway, I wanted to recommend the job interviewing book that I found most helpful when I was preparing for my job interviews (before I got my current job). It's called 60 Seconds and You're Hired! and it's by Robin Ryan. She includes a long list of potential questions that you might be asked, with suggestions about how to answer, and one thing that really helped me was reading through all the questions and thinking about what my answer would be. Once I knew that I had an answer for anything I might be asked, I felt a lot more confident about going into the interview (although I was still terrified).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jesus, Britney.

Oh, Britney, Britney. Sadly, this is still an improvement for her, compared to her lowest fashion moments.

I consider Britney to possess exceptional natural beauty, because even though she has no idea how to groom or dress herself, she looks beautiful most of the time anyway. But she really pushes it!

Hyperactive Delivery Guy

A fun part of my day today was when one of my co-workers remembered this skit from MAD TV. I used to watch MAD TV when it was on, but apparently not consistently enough, because I didn't remember this character. We gathered around her computer and watched the entire skit which is pretty long.

What I like about this skit--in addition to the funny character--is the nostalgia factor. Remember those innocent days of yesteryear, when recording a "clever" answering machine message was considered something of an art?

Blue Holes

From USA Today:

Only a few miles inland from the Bahamas' sparkling coral reefs, the islands' limestone boasts dozens of submerged caves, "blue holes," some of them hidden in what look like island swimming holes linked to the ocean.

But swimming holes they are not. The inland caves on five islands sport freshwater caps covering heavier saltwater layers, sometimes filled with clouds of poisonous hydrogen sulfide released by salt-eating microbes, acting to preserve whatever falls within. Others contain whirlpools powered by the tides.

"Cave diving is really about knowing your limits," Broad says. "But it provides one of the most amazing experiences in life, and the scientific opportunities are tremendous."

Says cave diver and geologist Patricia Beddows of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., who was not part of the expedition: "Each one of these cave diving expeditions, without fail, provides an enormous amount of information. Cave diving is an extraordinarily powerful tool to allow us to get into the heart of karst (cave) systems worldwide."

In submerged caves such as Stargate on Andros island in the Bahamas, the expedition team reports:

• Specialized "chemosynthetic" bacteria that live without oxygen and feast on chemical reactions possible only in the caves.

• Stalactite curtains, or "speleothems," that contain a record of past sea level and climate conditions locked in their structures.

• Fossils of Lucayan tribe members who lived on the islands until the 1500s.

"We've brought scientists from many disciplines together so our results inform each other's work," Broad says. "The initial exploration is just a proof of concept. We still have lots of work ahead."

Coastal regions of the Caribbean, such as Florida, Cuba and the Yucatán, and other regions worldwide contain limestone permeated with caves, Beddows notes, leading to such blue holes. In addition to their scientific value, they often serve as freshwater resources for increasing numbers of people in those regions, which makes investigation of them essential for public health.

Sea level about 20,000 years ago, during the height of an Ice Age, was hundreds of feet lower in the Bahamas. The transition has left its mark on the speleothems and geology of the caves, Broad says, making each one a laboratory for measuring the effects of past changes in climate.

Alongside the danger, the blue holes of the Bahamas have offered little allure for divers who in some cases could instead walk to beaches with access to some of the world's most beautiful coral reefs.

"Why dive into a muddy-looking hole when you can head for the beach?" Broad says. "But (the holes) are really fascinating places once you start looking."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I've been enjoying The Rockford Files a lot lately, and it got me to thinking about all the different 70s detective shows that I like, with all their various gimmicks. Here is my non-comprehensive list.

Barnaby Jones. He solves crime...and he's old!

Ironside. He solves crime...from a wheelchair!

Cannon. He solves crime...and he's fat!

Kojak. He's bald...and enjoys lollipops!

Mannix. He's a modern man...who hates computers. He prefers to rely instead on good old-fashioned footwork and sheer manliness.

Columbo. He looks like a bum, but he's really a lieutenant! Also, he drives a shitty car.

The Rockford Files. He has an answering machine.

Policewoman. Lady cop!

The Rookies. New cops.

The Mod Squad. Hippie cops.

Dragnet. Square cops. Make that extremely square cops.

Hawaii 5-0. Location, location, location.

The Streets of San Francisco. See Hawaii 5-0.

........................Am I forgetting anyone?

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I work in a hospital now. In looking up pictures of hospitals online today, I found this photo and accompanying story about a freaky restaurant in Latvia, started by a doctor, with a "hospital" theme. Latvia does seem like the kind of place where people might be a bit quirky:

"A BIZARRE hospital-themed restaurant in Latvia is serving food resembling body parts with surgical utensils.

"Decked out in a sterile, modern medical environment and boasting scantily clad nurses, the Hospitalis in Riga serves hearty Latvian dishes and a macabre cake topped with realistic-looking body parts such as fingers, noses and tongues.

"Served on gurneys and operating tables, the restaurant provides diners with cutlery such as syringes, tweezers and scalpels to devour their meals.

"Owned by a group of local doctors, Hospitalis also has a trendy cocktail bar where bartenders in white lab coats mix drinks into beakers and test tubes. Guests are treated to disturbing dinner entertainment including morbid tunes on violins, while deranged patients are escorted through the restaurant in straightjackets and wheelchairs."

You can find more photos at this link:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

True Love

From the Washington Post:

Which was more astonishing about Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston's big announcement on Wednesday:

  • That the most famous teenage parents in America were engaged again, after a year of scorched-earth public bitterness?

  • Or that Sarah Palin reportedly only learned about it from Us Weekly?

    The high school sweethearts, who broke up a few months after the December 2008 birth of their son, Tripp, were interviewed by Us on Saturday in Anchorage, where Bristol Palin now lives. They said they bonded anew when they met three months ago to work out a custody plan.

    "I really thought we were over," Johnston told the magazine. But feelings changed when they went for a walk with their son. Nothing romantic happened then, she told Us -- but later, he texted her saying that he missed her and wanted her back. "I was in shock," she says.

    The 19-year-old mom said that her own mother -- who traded insults with her grandson's father in the national media over the past year, as he posed for Playgirl and dished dirt about the family -- didn't yet know they were planning a wedding: "It is intimidating and scary just to think about what her reaction is going to be."

    But if Sarah Palin was truly left in the dark about this ... why? Melanie Bromley, the Us reporter who interviewed the couple, speculates that Bristol Palin wanted "to be in control" of the story. "I got the impression that Sarah had laid down the rules for Bristol -- that if she's back together with Levi, [Sarah] wants him to finish his education, and get a job. But she wants to be with Levi now."

    By telling her story "in her own words," as Bromley put it, "she's forcing her mother to hear her side of the story without interruption."

    Well, zing! Some other things about that story:

    Bromley would not say whether the couple was paid for the interview (conducted at a private home rented for the occasion). A reporter from rival People magazine, Sandra Sobieraj Westfall, spent the following day with Bristol and Tripp in Anchorage, for a story in this week's issue. In her interview, which Westfall says was unpaid, Palin did not reveal that she was engaged -- and Johnston declined to participate. Rex Butler, Johnston's attorney, did not return our calls.

  • Sunday, July 11, 2010

    A Journey Below the Photic Zone

    From Wikipedia:

    Deep sea fish is a term for fish that live below the photic zone of the ocean. The lanternfish is, by far, the most common deep sea fish. Other deep sea fish include the flashlight fish, cookiecutter shark, bristlemouths, anglerfish, and viperfish.

    Because the photic zone typically extends only a few hundred meters below the water, about 90% of the ocean volume is invisible to humans. The deep sea is also an extremely hostile environment, with pressures between 20 and 1,000 atmospheres (between 2 and 100 megapascals), temperatures between 3 and 10 degrees Celsius, and a lack of oxygen. Most fish that have evolved in this harsh environment are not capable of surviving in laboratory conditions, and attempts to keep them in captivity have led to their deaths. For this reason little is known about them, as there are limitations to the amount of fruitful research that can be carried out on a dead specimen and deep sea exploratory equipment is very expensive. As such, many species are known only to scientists and have therefore retained their scientific name.

    The fish of the deep sea are among the strangest and most elusive creatures on Earth. In this deep unknown lie many unusual creatures we still have yet to study. Since many of these fish live in regions where there is no natural illumination, they cannot rely solely on their eyesight for locating prey and mates and avoiding predators; deep sea fish have evolved appropriately to the extreme sub-photic region in which they live. Many deep sea fish are bioluminescent, with extremely large eyes adapted to the dark. Some have long feelers to help them locate prey or attract mates in the pitch black of the deep ocean. The deep sea angler fish in particular has a long fishing-rod-like adaptation protruding from its face, on the end of which is a bioluminescent piece of skin that wriggles like a worm to lure its prey. The lifecycle of deep sea fish can be exclusively deep water although some species are born in shallower water and sink on becoming adults.

    Due to the poor level of photosynthetic light reaching deep sea environments, most fish need to rely on organic matter sinking from higher levels, or, in rare cases, hydrothermal vents for nutrients. This makes the deep sea much poorer in productivity than shallower regions. Consequently many species of deep sea fish are noticeably smaller and have larger mouths and guts than those living at shallower depths. It has also been found that the deeper a fish lives, the more jelly-like its flesh and the more minimal its bone structure. This makes them slower and less agile than surface fish.

    Sampling via deep trawling indicates that lanternfish account for as much as 65% of all deep sea fish biomass.[1] Indeed, lanternfish are among the most widely distributed, populous, and diverse of all vertebrates, playing an important ecological role as prey for larger organisms. With an estimated global biomass of 550 - 660 million metric tonnes, several times the entire world fisheries catch, lanternfish also account for much of the biomass responsible for the deep scattering layer of the world's oceans. In the Southern Ocean, Myctophids provide an alternative food resource to krill for predators such as squid and the King Penguin. Although plentiful and prolific, currently only a few commercial lanternfish fisheries exist: These include limited operations off South Africa, in the sub-Antarctic, and in the Gulf of Oman.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010



    Money in the Bank? No, Sandwich in a Can

    DENVER — Is putting a sandwich in a can and calling it a “Candwich” the next can’t-miss billion-dollar idea?

    Even if it is, investors in Utah who put $145 million in the hands of a money manager named Travis L. Wright will still have thinner wallets. A lawsuit by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission says that Mr. Wright promised returns of up to 24 percent on real estate investments, but that he put the money instead into Candwich development and other equally untried ideas.

    Along with sales of canned sandwiches — Pepperoni Pizza Pocket and French Toast in a can were planned — Mr. Wright’s companies, under the banner of Waterford Funding, also invested in a company selling rose petals printed with greeting card sentiments and another selling watches over the Internet.

    Utah has long endured a reputation as a place where many people are naïve or trusting to the point of losing their shirts. And the erosion of retirement savings in the recession has only compounded the problem, said Michael E. Hines, the director of enforcement at the Utah Division of Securities.

    “A lot of 401(k)s have become 201(k)s,” Mr. Hines said.

    Some scammers do not even need expensive-looking offices as stage sets. About five years ago, for example, a scheme promising a $50 million payout for a $5,000 investment raked in about $144 million nationally. In Utah, the group successfully sought investors by putting fliers on car windshields. Much of the money ended up in Latvia, Mr. Hines said.

    Mr. Wright, who is 47 and lives in Draper, Utah, according to the suit, did not return telephone calls. Several listings for Waterford Funding were disconnected or not in service.

    Meanwhile, the Candwich concept perseveres. The president of Mark One Foods, Mark Kirkland, who said he patented the idea of putting solid food in a beverage container with the slogan, “Quick & Tasty, Ready to Eat,” said Mr. Wright promised full financial backing for Candwich production that never really materialized even as investors did. He said he believed that canned sandwiches would ultimately sell, and hoped to go into production later this year.

    The shelf life of a Candwich is excellent, Mr. Kirkland said.

    Deep Cover

    What a crazy story!:

    “Act naturally,” the Russians tell their espionage trainees before dispatching them to America.

    Boy, did she.

    Anna Chapman cut a wide swath in New York even before her arrest on charges of spying for Mother Russia, judging by the sultry shots and videos suddenly popping up everywhere, starting with her own Facebook page.

    Now, thanks to her penchant for seductive poses, she’s an international star. You’d hardly know her real pose, according to U.S. officials, was deadly serious: seducing government officials and businessmen into providing state secrets.

    That would be treason for an American, punishable by death. Chapman, a Russian, faces only five years in prison for her espionage-related charges.

    Even the lurid New York Post, though, caught the whiff of danger in Chapman's gambit.

    “Spy ring’s ‘femme fatale’” the tabloid's front page screamed. “Red hot beauty snared in Russian ‘espionage’ shock.”

    “The Soho Spy,” ABC News called her. “Stunning Anna Chapman Accused in Russia Spy Ring.”

    Stunning indeed. The San Francisco Chronicle's Web site ran a headline a carny barker would approve of: “Check Out Alleged Russian Spy Anna Chapman's Facebook Glamor Shots.”

    Of course, she was already on You Tube. A dozen videos appeared seemingly out of nowhere, some of them short and shaky jobs apparently shot by anonymous “friends.”

    But in another, professional video, whose origin is still unclear, Chapman gives an interview in Russian to an unidentified journalist. In it, she talks about how much easier it is to make business connections in New York than Moscow.

    “It’s very easy here,” she says.

    Her profile on LinkedIn, the social and business networking site, was less lurid but no less seductive.

    She lists herself as the chief executive officer of PropertyFinder Ltd., a Manhattan real estate firm.

    “Love launching innovative high-tech start-ups and building passionate teams to bring value into market!” she writes, under a professional-looking photo only slightly less lurid than the New York Post’s.

    As the Chronicle urged, people were no doubt checking out Chapman's photos in droves -- the clicks for the New York Post’s alone were mounting hourly by the hundreds.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    Oh, Linds

    She's like the George Bush of starlets. Remember how we all knew ahead of time that Dubya would screw up....but he screwed up waaaay more than any of us could have even imagined??

    Who else would even think to do this except Linds??? It's so crazy. Side note: I do like the colored airbrushing effect.

    From the Huffington Post:

    "Lindsay Lohan took to Twitter on Wednesday to explain why she had "F*** U" stenciled on her middle fingernail when she appeared in court Monday and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. She meant no contempt for the court, she said, but had just forgotten to remove the explicit manicure after getting it as a joke with friends"

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    We All Knew It Would End Like This

    From TMZ:

    Judge Marsha Revel sentenced LiLo after an incredulous prosecutor, Danette Meyers, told the judge that Lohan has been thumbing her nose at the court.

    The evidence was loud and clear today -- Lindsay violated probation by failing to attend her alcohol ed classes based on the schedule set by the judge. There were lots of excuses, but ultimately they didn't fly.

    The judge said there was a pattern of violations since Lindsay was placed on probation in 2007 following her plea bargain in her DUI case.

    Lindsay broke down as she addressed the court, telling the judge, "I did the best I could."

    Lindsay dissolved into tears when the judge imposed the sentence.

    Lohan must surrender on July 20 in Judge Revel's court.

    UPDATE: Sheriff's spokesperson Steve Whitmore just explained ... generally, a female inmate in Lindsay's situation only serves 25% of their sentence ... which means LiLo will most likely spend around 23 days behind bars.

    Monday, July 5, 2010


    Guy and I went to see Toy Story 3 yesterday. We made the mistake of seeing it in 3-D...totally not necessary for a Pixar movie, since they are awesome and don't really need it! It also made it darker and harder to see. Other than that, the movie was great. They introduced a lot of amazing new toys including Ken, who stole the show.

    Saturday, July 3, 2010

    Amy Doll

    Amy Winehouse Removing "Blake" Tattoo

    One of my favorite crazy celebrities is making a move in the right direction. It was an ugly tattoo anyway, Ames!:

    Amy Winehouse has started making plans to remove a tattoo dedicated to ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, according to a report.

    The singer currently has Blake's name inked on her right breast but has been using the internet to research laser removal clinics, the Daily Star claims.

    It is thought that the 26-year-old was spurred into action after new lover Reg Traviss told her that he was unhappy about the marking.

    Sources close to Winehouse have revealed that she is feeling nervous about the pain she might suffer due to the removal procedure. One insider said: "It could take about 15 laser treatments to remove. It could even leave scars or melt her boob implant."

    The star ended her relationship with Fielder-Civil earlier this year.