Showing posts from August, 2011

There is No Known Cure for Earworm

There is No Known Cure for Earworm

Erik is out of the office this weeks, so we are reprinting a column from 2003.

The earworm is a fascinating creature. It shows up unexpectedly and burrows into your brain. No one knows how to get rid of it, or how it gets there in the first place. It seems to feed — even thrive — on your annoyance at its repetitive mating cries.

"It's a world of laughter; A world of tears; It's a world of hope; And a world of fears; There's so much that we share; That it's time we're aware; It's a small world after all."

Before you shriek in agony and race off, desperately looking for a neurologist or pest control professional, don't worry: "earworm" is a German word borrowed by Dr. James Kellaris, marketing professor at the University of Cincinnati. Also known as "Stuck Tune Syndrome" or the "Dear God, Please Kill Me Now Effect," an earworm is that annoying song that gets stuck in your head and won&#…

I May Not Know Much About Art

I May Not Know Much About ArtWe always think of the art world as being rather genteel and well-heeled. No sensational or controversial stories, unless someone stole a painting from a museum, snuck it back in with a forgery painted over it, and the thief slept with the attractive female insurance investigator trying to track down the missing painting.

Or is that the Thomas Crown Affair?

There's the occasional news story about how a famous painting was sold at auction for a kajillion dollars, making the rest of the world wish we had that much money to spend on a single painting. Or that we had as much money as was spent on the painting. Or that the buyer would adopt us.

Some of these objets d'art — which is French for "dart objects" — disappear from the public view, into some private (i.e. snooty) art collection, where the very wealthy study their newly-purchased paintings, cackling with glee and rubbing their hands together. At least that's what I tell myself to m…

Bloggers Needed for Indy Fringe Theatre Festival 2011

It's Indy Fringe Theatre Festival time again, and Smaller Indiana is looking for bloggers. This is the 7th year of the festival, and my 4th year to be involved as a reviewer and coordinator. Each year keeps getting better and better, and I'm hoping that we can play some small part in helping the festival grow.

This year, we'll have 56 shows, 288 shows on 6 stages over 10 days, and we've got a wide variety of shows: musical acts, magical acts, one-man and one-woman shows. If you don't like a show, don't worry, there are dozens more to choose from.

We're looking for bloggers to write about each show, and that could be you.

As a blogger, you get a chance to watch the shows you want to watch for free, as long as you write about the event. What we're looking for is that you write about your experience at the show. It can be about how much you enjoyed the show, what you liked and didn't like, the conversation that you had afterward, or even the hilarious…

Indiana Fever defeats New York Liberty, 82-71

We had a chance to watch our Indiana Fever take on the New York Liberty last night, and were in for a real treat. This was women's basketball at its finest — they played hard, scrambled for every ball, had some high-flying interceptions, and even a couple tackles. The final score was 82-71, which may seem like a big differential, but if you were at the game, you know different.

This was a far cry from the LA Sparks game we saw several days ago, which was more of a blowout. It was like watching a WNBA team trounce a high school basketball team. The LA Sparks didn't play like a team, everyone who got a rebound or inbound ball thought it was up to them to score, and there was one Sparks player — I won't name names — who was wide open on most drives, but no one would pass to her. She was the dorky kid on the playground that has to be included but is never involved. I felt embarrassed for the Sparks, and thought the Fever showed a lot of mercy by not scoring that 100th point. (…

The No BS Column

The No BS ColumnSome people have a real problem with cursing. I won't offer any examples, but you've no doubt heard them. You might not like them, but you know what words I'm talking about. If I say "the S-word," you know what I'm talking about.

The topic about cursing and the appropriateness or inappropriateness of it in the business world has been coming up in a lot of the discussions I've had with people. And as a professional word slinger interested in the power of language, and how it makes people react, including swear words.

I read a piece on by Johanna Gohmann, who grew up in the 70s and 80s here in Indiana. She wrote about the inapporpriateness of some words, and how they make her and her family extremely uncomfortable, even to the point that she grew up not being able to say them.

Words like butt and poo were replaced with "bo" and "boo."

It was so bad, that even at age 35, she is still uncomfortable using butt. It&…

Watch the Pilot for "Rehab for Rejects" on Laughing Stalk

I had promised Jake Cooney that I would share his pilot of Rehab for Rejects with Laughing Stalk readers. I've had this in my inbox for a while, but I finally had the time to put it up on the site.

As far as the pilot and the series itself, "Rehab for Rejects" is a dark comedy about a young man court ordered to attend a rehabilitation center that specializes in alternative healing and spirituality techniques in order to cure their patients' odd and unique addictions.

The cast, even though the budget was non-existent, is amazing and includes Adam Edgar (Pushing Twilight, MEANDHer, Witt's Daughter), April Billingsley (Hellphone, Andre the Butcher, Hallows), Evan Arnold (Garfield, The West Wing, Close to Home), Maury Sterling (A-Team, Smokin' Aces, In Plain Site), Richard Riehle (Office Space, Bridesmaids, Hatchet), Casey Williams (Band Slam), Nicole Saletta (7th Heaven) and Josh McDermitt (Last Comic Standing, Retired at 35).

I also told Jake I would review Reh…

Streetmatching: The Death of Romance [GUEST POST]

Streetmatching: The Death of Romance
I was asked if I would like to offer a guest post from another writer, something I've never done before. The author is Patricia Garza, from Online University Rankings. I thought I would give it a try to see how it goes.
I'd like to preface this post with the quick fact that I don't hate online dating services. While I've never tried one personally, I don't look down on those who do, and it definitely wouldn't stop me from dating anyone who has. But this app I'm about to ream takes online dating to an unprecedented low.
Most online dating services work in an interesting way that allows you to find people you would be compatible with based on how you both describe yourselves. The "problem" with this type of service is that people can exaggerate certain aspects of their profile and not turn out to be the person you expect them to be.
Streetmatching attempts to "solve" this problem by connecting people you bu…

Gone Fishin' - A One-Sided Conversation

Gone Fishin' - A One-Sided Conversation"Shhhh!!"

"Because you'll scare the fish away."


"Because they can hear us, and they'll swim away."

"No, they won't actually stay away. Who told you that?"

"That's an old wives tale. He doesn't know what he's talking about. They'll only swim away temporarily."

"A few minutes. They'll be right back."

"Look, I'll show you. Do you see those fish right there?"

"The little ones."

"No, the little ones by the thing."

"No, the other thing. It's next to the. . . right by the. . . just. . . *sigh*"

"Buddy, look where my finger is pointing."

"Okay, do you see that big rock underwater? That's what I'm pointing at."

"Now look to the left of the rock."

"No, your other left."

"Yes, the little blue ones."

"Good. Now, what wer…

Everybody's Got a Body [INFOGRAPHIC]

Everybody's got a body. . . but they can be kind of icky at times.

Created by: Online Nursing Schools

My book, Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself (affiliate link), is available on, as well as at Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores. I wrote it with my good friend, Kyle Lacy.

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