7.27.2006

Science, math, military, timeclock people, please explain this to me.

As we work on the geography thing (previous post), will someone please explain the following. I have never understood why we call the one second that is actually "midnight" as being "a.m."

Let us say it is Tuesday night.
at 10, it is 10 p.m., or 22:00 hours in military time.
it is 11 p.m., or 23:00 hours
it is 11:30 p.m., or 23:30 hours
it is 11:59 p.m., or 23:59 hours
even, in fact, 11:59:59 p.m., or 23:59:59 hours.
All those seconds belong to Tuesday and therefore are still p.m.

The next second is actually the midnight second. That is 24:00 hours, signifying that it is the last moment of the day. Midnight has always belonged to the dying day.

Yet when we say midnight, or write it, we say or write 12 a.m..

This cannot be correct.

Now, one second later, for instance 12:00:01, of course it is a.m. and it belongs to the new day.
But 12:00:00, or midnight, belongs to the dying dasy, and therefore should be p.m.

Which means, doesn't it follow, that the instant that is noon should be the last instant of the morning, i.e. 12 a.m.?

I need information, people.

Regarding the center of the Universe.

People. People. You need to get this.

The East Coast is not actually the center of the universe. I appreciate regional pride, but please.

Louisiana is NOT the West, as I heard from a weathercaster on television this morning.

Neither, actually, is Ohio. Or even Missouri.

No! Not the West! They are not!

Unless you live, in, say, Civil War times, perhaps, and honestly, I do understand that much of the East Coast does, still. (Have lived in D.C., Virginia, Atlanta. I am not making this up.) That is another blog entirely, which would be titled Get Over It, Already. Subset: The Confederate Flag. But let us not get right of center.

So. A brief, brief, geography lesson.

Geographic center of the mainland United States: Kansas. (Do the math. This is correct.)

This would mean that you can't get to the West, or even the Midwest, before you get past the CENTER.

In other words, this is just plain wrong:
West. Central. Midwest. East.

It would be, correctly,
West. Midwest. Central. Mideast. East.

So. California, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming. The West. Yes.

Kansas. Oklahoma. Nebraska. CENTRAL.

I realize that this creates a problem for the so-called "Midwestern" states, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, etc. They do not want to be called the Mideastern States, especially during these very confusing Homeland Security times.

Proposed solution: The vowel states. All those O's and I's and A's. (Digression: (Sorry. I have ADD.) What happened up there, anyway? A ban on consonants? Someone felt consonants were inferior? Scary? Economically not feasible? Did they focus-group it? Testmarket it? Did they ask people first?)

So. It would then be,

West. Midwest. Central. Vowel. East.

A plan we can live with.

7.26.2006

Baseball, apple pie, torture.

I hate that as much as you do.

It doesn't matter what you think about the war. You can be completely against it. You can be completely for it. You surely have very good reasons behind your position.

Because, you know, it's the United States. My dad, maybe your dad, maybe your mom, maybe your husband or wife, went to war to defend your right to have your own opinion. To be a free individual. To make your own choices in life. To be limited primarily only by your dreams and economics, not your government. To live in a country where we take the high road.

In fact, we like to think of ourselves as owning the high road. We are proud when we do. Aren't we? We are dismayed at those who violate human rights. We do not leave fallen soldiers behind. We believe children should be safe and well. We believe that democracy is good. That a peaceful transfer of power is crucial. That there is more to the American spirit than capitalism. That if you are an astronaunt stranded in space or a prisoner of war or just a child lost in the mall, we are coming for you.

Also, and this is the thing, Americans don't torture people. Ever.

Except, as it turns out, we freaking DO.

Don't take my word for it. Don't take the word of any Blogger for it. You don't even have to take the word of any media outlet if you don't care to. You live in a free country, where Freedom of Information Laws actually are yours to use as well. Read the documents. Buy the book where they are reprinted, word for word. You can read the memos. You can see who signed them. You can decide for yourself.

Explore the premise: The Geneva Convention doesn't apply to us in the war against terror because these are not traditional opponents. Explore the premise: The people we have held for two, three, four years are not prisoners of war. Explore the premise: The things that were approved to do to prisoners were not torture. Explore the premise: Colin Powell was the only person who objected; Colin Powell is the only one who is gone.

The memos will change you. They changed me. Sadly, this is not fiction.
------
Torture and Truth, America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror, by Mark Danner
http://www.markdanner.com/
(note: not only can you buy the book, he links to the actual documents.)

The Torture Papers, The Road to Abu Ghraib.
http://www.cambridge.org/uk/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521853249

Hall of Fame Attitude Problem No. 1

Frank Lloyd Wright.

“Early in life,” Wright himself once admitted, “I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I choose honest arrogance.”

“Trying to find the genius of a man like that, that you realize is a genius when you're talking to him, and more of a genius as you get to know his work, is one of those things that probably doesn’t go into words,” the architect Philip Johnson, sitting in his own modernist masterpiece, The Glass House, told us for our film. “It’s probably a matter of how moved you are by his words and by his personality. In this case, both,” he went on. “He—I hated him, of course,” Johnson admitted, “but that's only normal when a man is so great. It’s a combination of hatred, it’s a combination of envy, and contempt, and misunderstanding, all of which gets mixed up with his genius.”

"All building that is done, all building that is done, whether physical or creative, leaves much material unused, like the sculptor's pile of rubble when the statue is finished. It is the scaffolding and false work, the crude residue of intention and effort that remains, essential during construction, superfluous now, usually discarded at its end. It is the negative space of artistic endeavor, and it sits in striking contrast to the finished work; it is material untransformed, incapable of being returned to nature. Yet, the true artist always appreciates what is left behind, for it has been as essential to the process of creation as what finally endures, and in the end that “rubble” always speaks volumes. Without a doubt, Frank Lloyd Wright left a big mess." -- Ken Burns

A nation about to wet its pants.

I am glad that people in distress have medicine to turn to.

I do not wish overactive bladders or their "gotta go, gotta go, gotta go" lives on anyone, especially not those weird leaky-plumbing people in the commercials who have to run, anxiously, through sealed time tunnels to get to the (presumabily unisex, I'm thinking?) bathrooms, where Relief Awaits.

I do wonder if, just perhaps, the fact that we have all been made hyper-aware of needing to drink 8 gallons of water a day, combined with the fact that we are a nation of commuters and soccer/minivan parents, might have something to do with it.

That aside, in this time of worrisome national and global events, when our strength and credibility matter, when homeland security is uppermost, when we would hope that those with evil intentions do not find or attack our vulnerabilities, it just seems worrisome that any foreign visitor who can speak the language would immediately figure out that America's biggest problem is that we are about to pee ourselves, 24/7.

I'm just saying.

7.25.2006

I've fallen and I can't get up!

You remember it. The tacky-cult-genius commercial of my youth.

Actually, there may be disagreements about that. Which is better, I've Fallen And I Can't Get Up or The Clapper? Clap On! Clap Off!

And no, Where's The Beef goes nowhere with me. But you could make a case for Chia pets.

Clearly, the HeadOnApplyDirectlyToTheForehead commercial is the It girl of today. I first realized this last week, when at my brother-in-law's wedding his three (really smart, actually) kids walked around chanting the ad to one another just to get on each other's nerves.

Today, the uber-brilliant Slate tells me everything I wanted to know about it. ( http://www.slate.com/id/2146382/?nav=tap3 ) Yay for them, and Yay for HeadOn for proving to all those loud auto dealers that you can make a weird in-house commercial without standing in the parking lot yelling "BIG DAN WON'T DO YOU WRONG! WALK IN, DRIVE OUT TODAY! NO CREDIT SCORE TOO BAD FOR US!!! "

Now if Big Dan would just apply HeadOn DirectlyToHisForehead, I would be so so so happy.

7.24.2006

Is This Really Necessary, Version 1.1: --- Tide & Downy

None of the following are fictional.

1. Tide Powder, Original Scent.
2. Tide Powder, Clean Breeze Scent.
3. Tide Powder, Mountain Spring Scent.
4. Tide Powder, Tropical Clean Scent.
5. Tide Powder, Free
6. Tide Powder With Bleach, Original Scent
7. Tide Powder With Bleach, Clean Breeze Scent
8. Tide Powder with Bleach, Mountain Spring Scent
9. Tide Powder With A Touch of Downy, Clean Breeze Scent
10. Tide Powder With A Touch of Downy, April Fresh Scent
11. Tide Powder With A Touch of Downy, Soft Ocean Mist Scent
12. Tide Powder With Febreze, Spring & Renewal Scent
13. Tide Powder, Coldwater, Fresh Scent
14. Tide Powder, Coldwater, Glacier Scent (which by the way is floral, fruity, woody and citrus. who knew?)
15. Tide Powder HE (High Efficiency), Original Scent
16. Tide Liquid, Original Scent
17. Tide Liquid, Clean Breeze Scent
18. Tide Liquid, Mountain Spring Scent
19. Tide Liquid, Tropical Clean Scent
20. Tide Liquid, Free
21. Tide Liquid, HE, Original scent
22. Tide Liquid, HE, Clean Breeze Scent
23. Tide Liquid, HE, Free
24. Tide Liquid With Bleach Alternative, Original Scent
25. Tide Liquid With Bleach Alternative, Clean Breeze Scent
26. Tide Liquid With Bleach Alternative, Mountain Spring Scent
27. Tide Liquid, Coldwater, Fresh Scent
28. Tide Liquid, Coldwater, Glacier Scent
29. Tide Liquid with Febreze, Spring & Renewal Scent
30. Tide Liquid with Febreze, Meadows & Rain Scent
31. Tide Liquid with Febreze, Citurs & Light Scent
32. Tide Liquid With a Touch of Downy, Clean Breeze Scent
33. Tide Liquid With a Touch of Downy, April Fresh Scent
34. Tide Liquid With a Touch of Downy, Soft Ocean Mist.

35. Downy Ultra Liquid, April Fresh Scent
36. Downy Ultra Liquid, Mountain Spring Scent
37. Downy Ultra Liquid, Clean Breeze Scent
38. Downy Ultra Liquid, Soft Ocean Mist Scent
39. Downy Ultra Liquid, Free & Sensitive
40. Downy Ultra Liquid Refill, April Fresh Scent
41. Downy Ultra Liquid Refill, Mountain Spring Scent
42. Downy Ultra Liquid Refill, Clean Breeze Scent
43. Downy Liquid With Febreze Fresh Scent, Citrus & Light
44. Downy Liquid With Febreze Fresh Scent, Spring & Renewal Scent
45. Downy Liquid With Febreze Meadows & Rain Scent
46. Downy Liquid Plus Whitening Fresh Linen Scent
47. Downy Liquid Plus Whitening Clean Breeze Scent
48. Downy Simple Pleasures Liquid Vanilla & Lavender Scent
49. Downy Simple Pleasures Liquid Water Lily & Jasmine Scent
50. Downy Simple Pleasures Magnolia and Orange Blossom Scent
51. Downy Simple Pleasures Morning Glory and Honeysuckle Scent
52. Downy Non-Concentrated Liquid, April Fresh Scent
53. Downy Non-Concentrated Liquid, Clean Breeze Scent
54. Downy Non-Concentrated Liquid, Soft Ocean Mist Scent
55. Downy Non-Concentrated Liquid, Tropical Clean Scent
56. Downy Sheets, April Fresh Scent
57. Downy Sheets, Mountain Spring Scent
58. Downy Sheets, Clean Breeze Scent.
59. Downy Simple Pleasures Sheets, Vanilla & Lavendar Scent
60. Downy Simple Pleasures Sheets, Water Lily & Jasmine Scent
61. Downy Wrinkle Release Spray, Light Freshness Scent
62. Downy Wrinkle Release Spray, Vibrant Freshness Scent.

Questions this raises, among others:
1. Do we use Downy in the rinse when we used Tide With a Touch of Downy in the wash?
2. Why, why is there no Downy With A Touch of Tide?

7.23.2006

I wish I could see that Taylor Hicks commercial even more often

Don't you?
Doesn't it make you want to buy a Ford vehicle, seeing that commercial 17,000 times a week?
I didn't want to buy a Ford vehicle before, in fact I didn't want to buy one the first 16,500 times I saw the commercial, but I do now.
In fact, the more times I see it, the more expensive a vehicle I will probably buy.
You too?
I thought so!!!
Brilliant marketing strategy on Ford's part: Get the American Idol winner in a commercial even before his album is out and run it so often that you make everyone sick to death of him.
Good work! Good thinking!

7.21.2006

Story of my life.

Either I am digging my heels in.
Or, I have an attitude problem.
Or, I am not a team player.
Or, I am not with the program.
Or, the oldiebutgoodie, I am always bothering the other kids.

yeah baby!