Friday, December 24, 2004

2004 Banished Words List

Lake Superior State University has been compiling the list since 1976, from submissions around the world. This year's list of banished words was compiled from 5,000 submissions. Here are a few more for 2005:

BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.

SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

MOUSE POTATO: The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

SITCOMS: Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.

STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiney.

SWIPEOUT: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.

XEROX SUBSIDY: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.

IRRITAINMENT: Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The O.J. trials were a prime example.

PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

ADMINISPHERE: The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file.Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

404: Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located

GENERICA: Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, and subdivisions.

OHNOSECOND: That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake.

WOOFS: Well Off Older Folks.

CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles.

PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

Thanks to Liz Burton for her 2005 list.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Guidelines for cats

A fun page for cat lovers. I particularly like the concept of Bed Mice and Bag Mice. I also like the last paragraph, which exemplifies the difference between cats and dogs:

"Humans:
Humans have three primary functions: to feed us, to play with and give attention to us, and to clean the litter box. It is important to maintain one's Dignity when around humans so that they will not forget who is the master of the house. Humans need to know basic rules. They can be taught if you start early and are consistent."

Cats rule.

Friday, December 17, 2004

The Killer Quiz

Ever wonder if you could spot a bad guy just by looking at his face? This quiz asks you to differentiate the serial killers from the Programming Language Inventors.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

One way to see money

When the government talks about deficit, and it's in the millions or billions, it's hard to picture what that means. We know what a dollar bill looks like --or in the case of Canadians, what a $5 bill looks like-- but what does $87 billion look like, one dollar on top of the other? $87 billion is what President Bush asked in additional funds to Congress in September 2003 in order to continue the fight in Afghanistan and Irak.

It's so large that it's almost impossible to imagine. Well, wonder no more. This is what $87,000,000,000,000.00 looks like.

And if you're interested in finding out the real costs of the war in Irak, go to to National Priorities Project Cost of War page. Now try to imagine that much money.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Pessimist's Paradise

When motivation doesn't work, why not tap into people's negativity? It's well known that people in general see black clouds much more easily than rainbows. (Dont' you hate these eternal optimists? They're not normal, I tell you) This site shows a series of posters that made me smile ruefully then laugh out loud at their truths. Stunning pictures as well.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Bravo for self-delusion

In a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, US students fared near the bottom of the countries surveyed in math knowledge, 28th out of 40 but "with the poorest showing relative to dollars spent on education". And as SciScoop goes on saying:

On the positive side (see chapter 3 of the report, "Students beliefs about themselves"), US students were reported to have the highest self-esteem, with 72% saying they were good at math. In Hong Kong, in contrast, only 25% said they did well - Hong Kong was ranked 4th of the 40 countries.

This is positive? I think these kids need a reality check. This is another example of the US attitude with which they may bring about their own demise.

In contrast, Canada was 13th. "Australia, Canada, Finland and Japan stand out for high standards of both quality and equity, with above-average mathematics performance and below-average impact of socio-economic background on student performance."

Good old Canada, safely in the middle as usual, sitting on the fence, happy about itself.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Miracle Foods

Religion can do strange things to people. Some come from genuine faith and have positive results. Some lead to exploit others or "see" things. There's the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese that sold on eBay for $28,000 and the Virgin Mary Holding Baby Jesus Corn Kernel. There's the Jesus Fish Stick, and the NutriGrain cereal that looks like ET (which sold for $1035). There's the Tennessee Nun Bun (a Mother Teresa lookalike) and the Miracle Tortilla of New Mexico, sporting the face of Jesus. Finally, there's the Aubergine Slice of India, which has been enshrined in a mosque because its seeds spell the word Allah in Urdu.

Is it only me, or do all these show a kind of desperation to feel the divine in their lives? Or maybe I'll just put my cynical hat on and say that these people are looking for their five minutes of fame.

(From Museum of Hoaxes)

Thursday, December 02, 2004

If you're reading this blog...

You absolutely must go to this page.

That's all I have to say for today.