Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Worse Gum, Ever I Chewed Before

This past weekend I went to PTown. Along the way through the afternoon I had a hankering for fresh gum. I ambled into the local Mom and Pop pharmacy. Instead of buying breath freshening Dentyne I got all nostalgic and bought Fruit Stripes. ((After all the pack came with nifty lick-on zebra tattoos))
It should be have been advertised as:
Fruit Cardboard Strips, because I think dear Old Pop probably last stocked the gum in 1972.
My 'fruit' gum was dry, tasteless, & hard as a rock. Oh well.
That got me thinking about gum. Take my dumb-ass poll!

Monday, May 28, 2007

My Mother Loves Her Robot

My father best beware, least he be tossed aside for a robot.
I bought the iRobot Roomba for my mom for her birthday. This is a very cool gadget invented by MIT students that will sweep & vacuum your floor whilst you go about your blessed life. Mom was dubious at first. Women of her generation, who have tended to households for decades, can't believe some mindless creature can hunt out those nasty dustbunnies with equal female intuition.

However, "he" does. The little iRobot is now part of the household, winning Mom's respect. She gets a kick out of how iRobot will go under furniture, & busily ferret out unseen dust and dirt. He doesn't stop until he gets it right. (EXACTLY as she would have done)
Occasionally he gets stuck on something, but is quickly rescued by loving hands. Now my Aunt Janet in Texas has one (the queen of the clean), and my Mom's cousin Pat wants one too.
The i Robot isn't just for retired moms. Idle college students & harried middle-agers are equally as interested in leaving the sweeping & vacuuming to little robot man.

If your fixin on an iRobot, the little buggers are expensive. But they are well worth it. And has one featured today for sale. Act quickly! If not, Target or has them. Also here is the official iRobot website:

***By the way, Woot is a great website I recently discovered through a friend. One product is featured and sold per day. Usually various gadgets. Other than the low prices, the best part of the site is the hilarious product descriptions. Check it out.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tim or Bob or Sue or Alice?

I read an article the other day on MSN LiveScience which described a recent study: "Tims don't look anything like Bobs." See: . Apparently, cognitive scientist Robin Thomas of Miami University in Ohio found it's easier to recall a 'Bob' that looks like a 'Bob.' Additionally, according to some unknown rule of the universe, some people 'fit' their names and some names match certain types of faces. We've all had the experience of being at a party, where people comment: "Oh, she doesn't look like a Patricia."
Hence, on the right is a Bob, round and doughy.

Scientists don't know why these stereotypes exist, and burning questions remain. Thomas only included American white males in her study. Her conclusions will soon be published in the Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Here are my further questions:
Does this phenomenon transfer to women?
Does it transfer to other races?
Who is the 'Bob' of the French culture? Pierre? Henri?
What if you do not match your name? Are you socially doomed?
Do people gradually 'grow into' their names? Is this why owners & pets & old married couples start to resemble each other?
Is there ANY chance I might turn in to a Rachelle or a Bambi?
How does an Edgar or a Helga fare in the world?

Most importantly, which one of these Georges would make a good president????

A. or ...........................................B.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tunguska Event

I've been watching a lot of TV lately, because I just got hooked up to cable. Sometimes, there are thought provoking shows on television.

The other night on the
Discovery Channel there was a program about the Tunguska mystery. Have you heard of it? In 1908, at about 7:15 a.m. on the morning of June 30th, a gigantic meteoroid or comet exploded 3 miles above a remote area in Siberia near the Tunguska River. The blast had the force of 1000 nuclear bombs equaling Hiroshima, and felled millions of trees for 830 square miles. Seismic waves from the blast were detected as far away as Germany, and the explosion caused an earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale. For 3 days afterwards, cities in Europe experienced 'bright nights,' from the reflection of the sun on the ash cloud.

Needless to say, if this event had occurred above any populated city in 1908, millions of people would have died, and the history of the world would have been altered. For example, if the meteoroid had exploded over Europe, perhaps W.W. I would never have occurred. If the blast happened in America, perhaps further immigration to the US would have halted. Perhaps America never would have been a superpower, or defeated the Japanese and Germans in W.W.II (if there was a W.W.II)

Size of impact compared to size
of NYC or DC at the time

Because Tunguska is so remote and isolated, the world (except for a few reindeer herds & a trapper or two) survived the impact. In fact, scientists really didn't examine the Tunguska area until the 1920's. ((The Russian Revolution and W.W.I temporarily halted inquiry. ))

From that point on many expeditions have gone to study the area, but did not find a large crater (as expected) or traces of radiation. Findings have led to some controversy about what actually fell (comet; meteoroid; UFO; black hole; man-made nuclear explosion) Today most scientists would agree that the blast was due to a piece of a comet or a large meteoroid (that exploded above the ground)

Even after 91 years, the felled trees and landscape of the Tunguska area show effects of the blast.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Under the Sheets

Harper under the sheets. Willa trying to draw her out..... Seeking my approval... Very cute....

Another Personality Test
I'm a philosopher. Click on to find out your personality....


Supertramp! Remember them? Here's the Logical Song, 1979.

And "Breakfast in America..."

see the girls in California...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Ball and Chain

An Immodest Proposal
I say we bring back the ball and chain for punishment of petty, yet daily, perpetually irritating offenses. Until the 1920's inmates at Sing Sing prison actually wore a ball and chain to thwart their ability to escape. How about a ball and chain (okay, a small one) to punish evildoers with plain old inconvenience and embarrassment?
A list of Qualifying Offenses.
1. Construction workers saying rude things to teenage girls
2. SUV drivers cutting off smaller cars
3. selling stale bagels
4. taking two parking spots on a busy city street
5. telling white lies to significant other about whereabouts
6. letting dog poop on neighbor's lawn
7. running over a squirrel purposely
8. chewing gum loudly
9. too much (or too little) mustard on hot dog
10. double dipping

That'll learn em!
Just think of the daily activities, pursuits, or hobbies that would be awkward, inconvenient, deathly embarrassing, or even dangerous when shackled to a ball and chain......
1. riding a bike
2. taking a shower (the ball & chain might rust & stick to tub)
3. going up & down wooden stairs
4. running for the bus
5. skydiving
6. going to the bathroom in a public stall
7. bungy jumping
8. water aerobics
9. salsa dancing class
10. going on a first date

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Not So Simple Life

It's a sad day when we see our starlet (Paris Hilton) in jail. 45 days! It will be a trial for her. Here's what Paris can expect in the slammer.
--no cell phone
--1 hour recreation per day
--bland foods
--no make-up
--no manicures
--no sex with men
--no pedicures
--no sunbathing
--no blackberry
--5 minute cold showers
--no access to Bentley
--no hairdresser
--no designer clothes

Despite her wrongdoings, I still felt sympathy for Paris when I first heard the news. ((I think a lot of people feel they've got license to treat her very rudely.)) I still do feel a bit sorry for her (I'm such a softie), but then I realized Paris' life in jail (with a few exceptions) resembles my regular existence.

Oh well...
Still, I hope Paris the best. I hope she'll at leAST HAVE a spiritual awakening in jail, or find a nice girl.....

Monday, May 7, 2007

Hva Er Det Sheepfold?

In an urban environment, when we want to partake of nature, we take what we can get. I was very distraught this afternoon because a tree was cut down behind my apartment. A big, beautiful tree, always full of birds & squirrels, that seemed pretty healthy to me. Why???
As a result I needed to get out to
nature, quick.
In the Medford area, there's the Middlesex Fells, which is actually a fairly large expanse of land and water. Though surrounded by highway, you can actually hike quite a bit in the Fells. (I've even gotten lost a few times--thanks Julie) You can also experience some panoramic views of the Boston skyline.
This evening two friends and I went for a hike. We watched a spectacular sunset, walked around the reservoir, and scrambled over some rocks. We saw two goslings, which were very cute. We heard a woodpecker, and saw blue jays and robins.

Little goose, on the run
As we walked along the question arose--- one of the entrances to the Fells is called the Sheepfold. What is a sheepfold? Why is the field called the sheepfold?
My geeky 'internet queen' friend ran home after our hike & immediately researched the Middlesex Fells, Medford. If any of you are a-wondering, a sheepfold is a building where the sheep are kept. Apparently the Middlesex Fells was originally farm land from the 1700's until it became a reservoir.

Sheep very excited about the
I went a step further and researched the word 'fells.' Fell is an Old Norse word meaning 'treeless mountain landscape.' In Norwegian, it's 'Fjall.' That doesn't seem to make much sense, as the Middlesex Fells is hardly a mountain. But after the Vikings pillaged and overtook most of Northern England, in English a 'fell' was an 'area of uncultivated high ground used for grazing.' So there is the origin of the Middlesex Fells.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

My Favoritest Cartoonist

Roz Chast
My Favorite Cartoonist in the Whole Wide WORLD is a woman named Roz Chast. I discovered her in the mid-1980's, and during those tender years bought some of her first & now unpublished works: Parallel Universes, Unscientific Americans, & Mondo Boxo. Her cartoons are quirky, & capture the bizarre in the mundane world of household interiors and daily life. This brilliant woman is the funniest person on the planet, in my opinion.

For over 25 years Roz Chatz has rendered numerous cartoons (800 or so) for New Yorker, and has published numerous books. She's also illustrated album covers and children's books, etc... The New Yorker is where Roz Chast got her start in 1978. Her first published cartoon was called: "Little Things," a black & white line drawing of small, oddly shaped tiny objects named 'chent,' 'spak,' & 'tiv.' Like many inanimate objects in Roz's cartoons, the 'little things' seemed to have a life & voice of their own.

Roz Chast's latest book ----Theories of Everything----is a compilation, and a book that I must own at some point soon. I'm waiting for the paperback.

Perhaps you've heard of or seen Roz Chast? Below are several of her brilliant cartoons, (click on to view more closely) and a link to an interview she had with Steve Martin. Roz is just as quirky in person as her cartoons. She was way funnier than Steve Martin, hands down! (And he's funny!)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Group Ride

Last night I went on my first "group" scooter ride of the season. A few of us gals met in Davis Square, then headed out from there into Medford. We rode along the Mystic Valley Parkway through parts of Arlington, Woburn, Wakefield, & Cambridge, at times right along the water and woods. Riding along the Mystic Valley Parkway for a stretch was quite cool. There was hardly any traffic coming either way, so we were moving pretty fast. Because we had to ride staggered, it really felt like we "ruled the road." Ha. Ha. Despite the exhaust being thrown up in my face, & a few killer potholes, it really was great fun! Of course there was plenty of camaraderie and 'scooter talk.' Along the way we even got a few nods from motorcyclists. We only saw a few other scooterists, though this year I've seen many more fellow scoots than last year. Yeah!
Hail to Angie, Gail, Em, Jess, & Adrienne. Ride on!

the wayward route

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

You've Got to Hide Your Love Away

A surprisingly modernistic- looking music video by the Beatles. One of my favorites: "Hey! You've Got to Hide Your Love Away." Enjoy....