Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I don't know how to use these things

Bicycle tire pumps (let all air out)
Pliers (why do they get stuck in this position - look left?)
Revolving Doors
The Greater Than/Less Than Symbol (and it's not just me, see this post from a parent on the Math Forum: http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/58433.html)

Greater Than and Less Than Symbols

Date: 05/30/2000 at 09:25:07
From: Angelo Gagliano
Subject: Greater/Less Than

I am assisting my Middle School Son with his Math Homework.

His teacher claims that '> 25' represents greater than 25. I was
taught that it meant less than. The number that the angle points to
was always less than and the wide angle was greater than... perhaps
his teacher erred?

Can you help?

Thank you.

Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Bleed Like There Was No Other Flood

Ad nonsense

Because four people follow this blog, and when I say follow, I mean four people came here once, felt sorry for me, and started following this blog, I decided I could make A LOT of money signing up for Google Adsense. I was approved for Google Adsense today (the announcement email from Google included a distinctly non-professional exclamation point after their "Congratulations!").

Curious to see what my meager postings to date would elicit as far as ads from the Adsense program, I logged on. Note that to date I have written about birds going to hell, humans being stupid, crusty old aprons, existential dread, old mattresses, living in nowwheresville, death, and larvae; and here is the first ad copy it picked to run: "Twitter Moms is where Smart Moms Connect." Guess it gave priority to the label: crusty old apron?

This doesn't say a lot for motherhood.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Existentially Dreaded

A shoe on the freeway
Larvae (look to your left)
Old Mattresses
The Greater Than/Less Than Symbol

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lies We Tell Ourselves #109

I'm going to take to screaming if I hear one more serious person say that humans are unique in that we are the only animals aware of our own death. I read this all the time. Come on people, that's just bullshit. Animals are aware of death every single second of every single day. Have you not seen the looks on their faces, how they react to movement, sound and smells? Their expression says: "I could die!"

Animals are frantically eating, so they don't die, running, scurrying and hiding so they don't die, drinking quickly and nervously so they don't die. They live every moment with death. We humans, at least modern western ones, are very nearly the opposite. We go out of our way to repress thoughts of death, and tell ourselves soothing stories about how we never "really die" so we don't freak out about the fact that we die.

I remember seeing a show that postulated this theory of humans being uniquely aware of death, and the proof was an ancient burial site on which they found flowers. Somehow this proved that we were "aware" of death in a way that animals were not because we had a ritual we performed around a dead person. Well, what do we call the pacing a deer does around her dead fawn? What about the rook that defends its dead mate from carrion eaters, or the elephants that slowly pass around the bones of their deceased kin? These are rituals as much as placing a flower on a grave is a ritual.

People are ridiculous in their presumptions - and perhaps it's this ridiculous presumptuousness that distinguishes us from all other animals, not our awareness of our own death.