Sep 27 2012

Sandra Tsing Loh Should Watch Bonanza

Tag: fiction,nostalgia,silliness,stupidityDonna B. @ 3:11 pm

Apparently she thinks her Mr. XYZQ ideal man is a new and original idea. Nope. Not only that, she’s a letter short.

The ideal man is Ben-Adam-Hoss-Little Joe-Hop Sing all rolled into one. It irritates me that everybody forgets Hop Sing. If he’s not included as part of the ideal man, then what is he — the wife? Of course, wife (or girlfriend) is rather a dangerous role to play in the Bonanza script.


Jul 18 2012

Hold The Lettuce

Tag: food & drink,stupidityDonna B. @ 9:49 pm

I don’t patronize Burger King much, but it’s been years since I’ve ordered or made (for myself) a sandwich of any kind with lettuce.  This story isn’t likely to change my mind about that.

“This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King,” wrote the unnamed employee on the evening of July 16. Guess he thought that was funny. Other users weren’t laughing: according to Hypervocal.com,Anonymous, the notorious vigilante hacking group, used GPS data embedded in the photo to locate the fast food restaurant’s address and reportedly contacted the franchise and FoxNews8. “Whoever this is is getting fired,” a morning shift manager named Andrea, told the Cleveland Scene.

If I were the owner of that franchise, I’d be looking closely at the rest of the crew that person worked with, including the manager. That sort of behavior doesn’t usually occur in isolation.

Hold the Lettuce


Feb 05 2012

Overheard

Tag: health,stupidity,wordsDonna B. @ 5:49 pm

Heard by my husband while he’s face down waiting for a lumbar puncture. As the radiologist approached him, she commented to the nurse: ”I didn’t want to do this  procedure today. I asked them to find someone else… I am so nervous.”

He was not reassured.


Jan 20 2012

Why Is SOPA or PIPA Needed?

Tag: economics,legislation,stupidity,technologyDonna B. @ 5:41 am

Instapundit links this story: US government hits Megaupload with mega piracy indictment.

Since that action was possible under existing criminal laws, why is legislation that layers obscuring civil penalties against entities not engaged in criminal activities needed to protect intellectual property?

One might be forgiven for wondering if the push for such legislation stems from something other than the desire to prevent theft of intellectual property. Maybe these Harvard Business Review bloggers have it right: it’s a legislative attempt by big companies with vested interests to protect their downside.

On the surface, SOPA and PIPA aim to make it difficult to steal intellectual property by making it difficult to use legal tools like the internet to “fence” their loot. I’ve got no problem with that idea.

I’ve not read SOPA, but I did read PIPA yesterday and cannot find where it makes it more difficult for the criminals. It makes it more difficult only on those producing the tools by shifting the burden of law enforcement to businesses.

It makes just about as much sense to charge International Paper with the responsibility of making sure that none of the paper it produces is ever used in a ransom note. Or regulating the sale of paper to only registered users.

UPDATE: Another reason why SOPA and PIPA are not needed is that the purveyors of intellectual property most often stolen — music and movies — are not hurting economically from piracy as much as you’d think from the publicity.

…bleeding revenue to piracy is going to be a problem to the extent that your product is a hit… (rtwt)

In short, piracy is certainly one problem in a world filled with problems. But politicians and journalists seem to have been persuaded to take it largely on faith that it’s a uniquely dire and pressing problem that demands dramatic remedies with little time for deliberation.  On the data available so far, though, reports of the death of the industry seem much exaggerated.


Aug 28 2011

Mortality And The Importance of Securing Cargo

Tag: stupidityDonna B. @ 12:26 am

More often than I’d like I’ve been reminded of mortality recently. Three cousins younger than me have died — two of them with physical problems I might also have inherited and the third of an accident.

Don’t think the accident doesn’t alarm me. I was recently involved in an interstate incident that narrowly escaped crunched metal at the least. Though I don’t know them, there are at least 3 other drivers who experienced the terror along with me. I’d love to think my skill as a driver along with theirs was responsible for no collisions or death… but I’m pretty sure that we were all just lucky.

Whoever you are that thought your mattress would not blow out of your pickup bed and that your body would protect it from being run over by myself and other innocent drivers… I hope you have learned… something. Surely you’ve learned that mattresses should be tied down!

You do know, don’t you, that we were NOT avoiding hitting your mattress. I’d have much rather collided with the mattress than be hit by the 18-wheeler barreling down the other lane. It was YOU that I swerved in front of that 18-wheeler to avoid.

Oh yes… I put my life and the life of my daughter in peril to avoid running over your selfish ass. The drivers of the two vehicles in front of me did the same. The driver of the 18-wheeler was fortunately skillful enough to avoid hitting any of us. Did you notice the massive plumes of smoke from his braking?

All of us were lucky. No one was injured or killed.


Dec 20 2010

I’ve Been Inspired

Tag: computers & internet,stupidityDonna B. @ 1:05 pm

Until pointed out to me by this wonderfully inciteful* person – Larry Sheldon - in comments at Classical Values, I had no idea that linking to or commenting on posts by other bloggers could lead to those other bloggers taking over my blog!

Since I periodically lose interest in posting and too often let this space sit idly unblogged, I think that would be a wonderful thing to happen here, so here are my links to Little Green Footballs (Charles Johnson) and Andrew Sullivan. Sullivan, it appears, has also lost interest in blogging on his blog, so maybe he’ll take it up here.

*not a misspelling :-)


Aug 29 2010

Only For People From Shreveport

Tag: politics,stupidityDonna B. @ 6:00 pm

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-08-28/bruce-majors-an-unlikely-tea-partier/

Sheesh.


Feb 28 2010

MSNBC Aims For The Hysteria Channel Niche

Tag: Science, Medicine, etc.,stupidityDonna B. @ 3:04 am

I saw the headline “Is nature out of control?” earlier today and read the story which now bears the headline, Big quake question: Are they getting worse?

I thought the following was seriously stupid, considering the age of the earth:

One scientist, however, says that relative to the time period from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, Earth has been more active over the past 15 years or so. 

Even if that “one scientist” is a YEC, that’s some extrapolation extraordinaire.

Even though I’m not a geologist, my BS detector pegged on that one. At least one geologist, Erik Klemetti, apparently agrees – calling this type of headline “irresponsible, reprehensible “journalism” that the worst hacks should be ashamed to print.”

And I certainly agree with Mr. Klemetti’s final point:

The point here is that the Earth is an active place – and we have very short experience with seeing events on a global scale. Reckless speculation the likes of which MSNBC (and LiveScience) partook in should be a warning of how the media still has a long way to come when it comes to reporting the facts rather than the hysteria of the natural world.

 

 


Feb 02 2010

I Made A Big Mistake

Tag: stupidity,whiningDonna B. @ 12:40 am

Yesterday evening, around 8pm, I decided to clean the stove. And the vent over the stove. And the side of the stove and the side of the cabinet it stands against. And behind the stove. And under the stove.

And now… it’s early this morning, my back hurts, my hands hurt, and I’ve noticed that the walls and cabinets also look a bit dingy and greasy.

Why, oh why didn’t I just turn out the lights and go to bed early?


Jan 14 2010

In Total Agreement

Tag: religion,stupidityDonna B. @ 2:43 pm

I am in total agreement with Robert Gibbs: Pat Robertson is utterly stupid.

“It never ceases to amaze, that in times of amazing human suffering, somebody says something that could be so utterly stupid,” Gibbs said. “But it, like clockwork, happens with some regularity.”

Robertson said:

Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. . . . They were under the heel of the French … and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’

…citing that as the reason for “God’s punishment” of Haiti by way of the devastating earthquake.

I’m with Eric of Classical Values:

IMHO, it’s a hell of a way to sell religion, but there must be people who want God to be like that (a sort of great terrorist in the sky, if you will) or else they wouldn’t be buying.

Frankly, I question the sanity — and the Christianity — of Pat Robertson, and his supporters.


Jan 04 2010

At My Convenience

Tag: pet peeves,stupidityDonna B. @ 9:17 pm

In what I hope is not a harbinger of the year to come, I spent a bit of time in customer service hell this afternoon. After 20 minutes or so of pressing 1 for the option I wanted and another 20 minutes or so of annoying music and commercials, I finally got to a real person.

He was nice and gave me the minimal amount of information available to him and said he’d transfer me to someone who could help me. He warned me that I’d probably get voice mail and to be sure an leave a message.

That in itself was disheartening, as it meant I’d be a slave to my phone waiting for a return call. But it was the way the promise to return my call was phrased that set me off.

The man stated he would return my call at his earliest convenience. That’s rather stating the obvious since I was the one leaving him a message, but it is an incredibly arrogant way to do it.

We all know that when we leave a message for someone to call us, they will call whenever they feel like it, and it’s rather nice to actually say ”please call me back when it is convenient for you.” 

But it’s not really not nice to tell someone upfront that you’ll call them back whenever it’s convenient for you. Really, can’t you just say “as soon as possible” even if you know it will be whenever you feel like it?

And he didn’t call back today. So, I’ll be taking phone to the bathroom with me tomorrow too, because I don’t want to inconvenience him by not being able to answer when it’s inconvenient for me.


Dec 22 2009

A Lump Of Coal

Tag: politics,stupidityDonna B. @ 7:12 pm

That’s what the Senate seems prepared to give the American public for Christmas this year. It’s as if they know we might need it to keep us warm next winter. Too bad about that global warming and all.


Dec 02 2009

High Pressure Sales Tactics

Tag: pet peeves,stupidityDonna B. @ 9:02 pm

Williams-Sonoma crossed the line from presenting their wares to high pressure sales last week. I’ve been getting their emails since one purchase from the site two years ago, and occasionally, if I’m bored, I’ll go to the site and browse.

Since I’m still looking for Christmas gifts for a few people, browsing is a great way to get ideas and I love it that Amazon and other online sites are so convenient for this.

After my last visit to the Williams Sonoma site, I got an email thanking me for “expressing interest” in a particular item. This struck me exactly the same way a pushy and overbearing salesperson would in person. Why, I’m not sure. It was a visceral reaction.

A visceral reaction that prompted me to opt out of further emails. Of course I know my visit was tracked — I’m not that naive. I don’t take all that many steps to hide who I am on the web, but this struck me as smarmy and intrusive.

I have an account at Amazon and it tracks what I look at and what I buy. It offers “you may interested” ideas which are often hilarious as only an artificially intelligent agent can be. I bought the Prime shipping option. I shop there a lot and I should be known and welcomed. I also have an associate account there, though I haven’t set it up on the sidebar of this blog yet. (I will eventually, mostly because I like recommending books.)

This has made me question why I am not bothered by similar tracking of my actions from Amazon. The best I can come up with is that it while Amazon personalizes, it doesn’t make it personal. It doesn’t feel intrusive, where Williams Sonoma’s action certainly did.

Amazon, no doubt, has much more information about me than Williams Sonoma ever had.  

Another company using intrusive and high pressure tactics I’ve had to tell not to contact me again is Omaha Steaks. While it was two purchases and I was quite happy with the way they handled my special shipping requests — the ongoing relationship has not been a happy one.

It’s likely I would have ordered from them again sometime in the future if they hadn’t bugged me with monthly phone calls from representatives trained not to take no for an answer. The fact they are calling my cell phone and the attempts to lengthen the call got way too annoying.

No doubt these high pressure and smarmy tactics work on a number of people, but not on me. They piss me off.


Nov 19 2009

A Complaint Free World?

Tag: political correctness,politics,stupidityDonna B. @ 12:31 am

Touted as a revenue neutral proposal, Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) is pushing for 1% of the world’s population (approx. 60 million people) to become ‘complaint free’. The day before Thanksgiving is to be the ‘Complaint Free’ Day.

Read it all here.

I am SO glad I got all the complaining out of my system earlier this week. But just in case something else comes up, I have a week left to complain.

Am I the only person who now feels compelled to complain about something through Nov. 25th?


May 01 2009

Average Jane Science Junkie

Tag: health,Science, Medicine, etc.,stupidityDonna B. @ 9:09 pm

I’m not a doctor or scientist, just a science junkie and have been ever since I picked up a Scientific American in 1983. As a result, I’m slightly better equipped than the average Jane when it comes recognizing woo.

About this same time, a co-worker gave me a book on homeopathy and well… you know at the time, parts of it almost made sense? A good background in English helped me out there as much as any knowledge of science. Bad writing often equals bad logic.

I was also influenced by my family doctor – John Ellis. Whether his research on B6 is worthy, I honestly don’t know, but he was a good GP. He didn’t prescribe B6 for anything I ever went to him for. He was basically a country doctor in a small town, who people called on for advice about their cattle as quickly as they did their children.

I wanted to believe that everyone promoting a vitamin or herbal remedy was the same kind of person — well-intentioned at the very least. That is simply not a workable everyday ideal. Some people are out to make a buck by selling you worthless concoctions or contraptions. Unfortunately some may even be harmful.

I have a nephew with severe autism and developmental disorders. He’s a beautiful boy and I was well aware of the anguish my brother-in-law and his wife were going through trying to help their daughter raise him. After seeing Jenny McCarthy on TV, I emailed them about her book. I didn’t research it, I was grasping at straws for them. While they may have read the book, they stuck with their doctors and never mentioned it to me. For that reprieve, I’m grateful.

Do you see how even a not really quite completely stupid person can be so easily taken in? I swear I’ve learned my lesson! I question everything now and try to apply what little learnin’ I’ve got. I thank Orac and PalMD (and others) for the lessons. In my defense, the episode about Jenny McCarthy I saw concerned restricting gluten, not blaming vaccines.

I remember waiting in line in the 50s for my polio vaccine. I remember older relatives who got the disease instead of the vaccine. No one has to convince me that vaccines are worthwhile. But gluten restriction? To a layman, that sounds like something sort of reasonable.

What do you do about people like me? I’m not an enemy of evidence-based medicine (though I am leery of government bureaucrats deciding what evidence is worthy) and I’m certainly not a believer in something as silly as crystals and pyramids. How do you get the word out to people who are basically like me, but not necessarily science junkies? Look how long, how much it took, for me to really learn to discern. (I must add that it’s anthropology that really grabs my interest.)

Most of the stuff on HuffPo that Orac and PalMd post about would not fool me. My goodness, these people are not only scientifically illiterate, but also logically illiterate to the point that anyone with a minimal understanding of the logic of language should be able to see through their non-valid arguments.

I should also point out that I don’t necessarily agree with scientists about everything. I often wonder how their superior abilities at logic lead them to lean strongly toward the left politically. This doesn’t mean I’m right wing (because their logic is also less than superior, IMHO). Basically, I can’t find a political ideology that fits my ideas. Perhaps I’m a centrist, if that can mean I find both “sides” equally unappealing.

This post is probably no help at all in the quest to find a way to present evidence-based science to the general public, but I hope that it will give the scientists some idea of how at least one small part of the public reasons.


Mar 22 2009

I’ve Been Incomputicado And Here’s What I Missed

Tag: computers & internet,photos,silliness,stupidityDonna B. @ 7:05 pm

An impending wedding! Congratulations to Althouse and Meade.

An impending birth! Congratulations to Talina and N. Do not worry about not having the perfect nursery setup. My father tells me that his youngest stepsister did fine with a dresser drawer as bassinet. It’s the love that matters.

Interpret the data for yourself, but to me it says that older folks who majored in the humanities know more about the fox and the grapes than anyone else. Now, before you start thinking that older folks who majored in the humanities are smarter than anyone else, consider that the grapes might have been sour.

I won’t even pluck my eyebrows.

Obviously, I have missed more, but this is where my attention span ends.


Feb 11 2009

Too Big Too Pass

Tag: legislation,stimulus,stupidityDonna B. @ 1:48 pm

Yesterday I downloaded the latest Senate revisions of the stimulus bill. It’s 778 pages long, costs $790 billion dollars — that’s only slightly less than $1 billion a page. And it covers almost every area of spending one can imagine.

I have not read the whole thing (duh!) and can’t help wondering if any of our Sens. or Reps. have. Or, if Pres. Obama has. How could any of them have had the time to do so? It took me an hour to read all the section titles!

This bill is too big not only in $$$ but in its sheer wordy bulk. I don’t think anybody has a clue as to how it will all work out, but it will take years for it to have any effect, IMHO. By then, I think the recession would be over anyway. I’m really disappointed in all our representation.

OH NO! I’ve just checked the latest version… it’s now 1434 pages! To be fair, this version includes all the deleted versions of each section. Page 678 is the first page with no strikethroughs. This version is labeled the “public print” version, but you’d have to a moron to print it.

The latest non-marked up Senate version is apparently this one: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Warning: large pdf file. But, it’s only 759 pages!!

Please feel free to apply any metaphor you wish to my post title.


Feb 01 2009

Why This Blog Is Not An Astounding Success

Tag: stupidity,wordsDonna B. @ 2:59 am

My talent (if there is such a thing) is in responding to others’ superior thoughts or astonishing stupidity.

One would think I’d at least be capable of generating the astonishing stupidity myself. Alas, I’m not even that talented.


Jan 30 2009

Agreeing With Maureen Dowd

Tag: economics,politics,Responsibility,stimulus,stupidityDonna B. @ 12:15 am

Well, almost agreeing anyway. She’s advocating putting the screws to Wall Street’s Socialist Jet-Setters and I have to admit I’d like to see that too. At least to the current crop of nincompoops. The problem is that stupidity is not a crime and that’s all they are guilty of. So far.

I want to see them suffer much more than humiliation and ridicule, though I’m disappointed that Ms. Dowd thinks these gentlemen would be trustworthy enough to fill an ATM with cash.

Nor would I trust most of the Representatives and Senators to do such a job either. And that’s where I’m in disagreement with Ms. Dowd. ”Let the show trials begin.” she writes. The show trials we have in this country are Congressional investigations and that’s like asking the Mafia to turn over one of its own. I’m not interested in sacrificial lambs, I’m interested in actual reform. Trials before juries of their peers, with the understanding that their peers are average Americans, whether they want to believe that or not

Let’s wish Andrew Cuomo, New York’s attorney general, good luck in his investigation of the $4 billion in bonuses paid as Merrill Lynch was failing.


Dec 09 2008

Blagojevich Makes Edwin Edwards Look Like An Amateur

Tag: 2008,humor,politics,stupidityDonna B. @ 4:35 pm

Blagojevich’s arrest was so startling that my husband woke me up to tell me about it. (Yes, I was sleeping, I am trying to get over a horrible cold and sinus infection.)

Let’s just say that while Edwards was greedy and corrupt, I don’t think he had the “fire in the belly” to really hurt people that these recordings of Blagojevich have shown.

I’m not a great political blogger and for the truly astounding depth of scumbagginess that the Governor of Illinois has fallen to, start with Althouse, here and here. Her commenters are having some fun with this.

Gateway Pundit - just keep scrolling.

Classical Values - just keep scrolling.

UPDATE: From the comments below, you’ve got to read this, it’s short and makes a valid point I’ve not seen elsewhere.


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