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Showing posts from July, 2012

Stay Out of the Attic!

Erik's oldest daughter turned 16 today, so we are republishing a column from 2001, when she was just 4 years old.

Ever since I was a small boy, and watched them on TV or in the theatre, I've always had strong feelings when it comes to horror and scary movies.

They scare the bejeezus out of me.

Whenever I make the stupid mistake of seeing a scary movie, I have nightmares, I jump at strange xsounds, and I'm convinced that all the monsters in every scary movie I've ever seen, including Jaws, are under my bed, on my side. They stay away from my wife's side, because they know she owns a shotgun and I do not.

It's weird, because I'm not afraid of psychological thrillers like Silence of the Lambs, Basic Instinct, or Copycat. In fact, I enjoy them, and have seen them several times, and not because Sharon Stone gets naked.

It doesn't matter whether I'm at home (the monsters are in my closet), at a friend's house (the monsters are in his closet), or at the mov…

My Short-Lived Career as a TV Futurist

It turns out I'm very bad at making predictions. For the longest time, when I was a young man filled with hubris and self-importance (as opposed to now, when I'm a middle-aged man filled with hubris and self-importance), I thought I could predict the future.

Not in a psychic, you-will-meet-a-tall-dark-stranger kind of way. But rather, I would look at a certain set of facts, spot a pattern that no one else had, and then predict with 100% certainty that a specific thing would happen, or not happen.

I thought I wanted to have a career as a futurist, which is a fancy way of saying I would get paid a lot of money to give speeches about what technology trends we could expect to see in the future.

In high school, I did play with the whole psychic prediction thing, and even took a little test. I scored 30%, which meant I was slightly better at guessing than the average guesser, but I did not have what the Gypsies call "the Second Sight." And I needed glasses for my First Sight.

Trust Means You Don't Spy On Your Spouse

Trust Means You Don't Spy On Your Spouse
Samantha Brick of London spies on her husband because she doesn't trust other women.

In a recent story she wrote in the London Daily Mail, Brick said her husband's business is not just his business, it's hers too. Every day, she snoops into his personal correspondence — checking his email, voicemail, snail mail, and text messages every single day — all under the guise of not trusting other women.

"It's not that I don't trust my husband, Pascal — I do. I just don't trust other women."

No, you don't trust your husband. If you really trusted your husband, you would trust him to be able to say no, and not get tricked into accidentally having sex with another woman.

"Oopsie, how did that get there? Oh, because my wife forgot to check my email today."

Brick's rationale for her lack of trust is Jools Oliver, wife of Jamie Oliver, host of the Naked Chef and Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Joo…

Lifeguard Fired for Saving a Man, Internet Saves Him

Lifeguard Fired for Saving a ManThomas Lopez was a lifeguard. He guarded lives. If someone's life was in danger, it was his job to save that person.

Except now he's been fired for saving a life.

Because he broke the rules to do it.

Lopez was working at Hallandale Beach, a city north of Miami, for Jeff Ellis Management, an aquatics company that hires lifeguards and stations them at beaches they have contracts with. Lopez was working at his station when he was summoned to save a man who was in danger of drowning in an "unprotected" area of the beach, where city officials have said visitors swim at their own risk.

Lopez ran 500 yards to the area, only to find that several other people had pulled the man from the water. So he and an off-duty nurse tended to the man until paramedics arrived.

On Monday, Lopez was fired for leaving his station to cover an area they were not contracted to cover.

Everyone who heard the story thought the company acted reasonably. After all, ru…

IndyCar Team Fresh Engine Status Update (Subtitle: Yeah, That's a Thing)

From the IndyCar Media Center:
INDYCAR provided an update today regarding the status of fresh engines remaining for each team for the remainder of the IZOD IndyCar Series season. Car — Entrant — Driver — Fresh Engine Status
No. 2 — Team Penske — Ryan Briscoe — 1 Engine Remaining
No. 3 — Team Penske — Helio Castroneves — 1 Engine Remaining
No. 4  — Panther Racing — JR Hildebrand — 2 Engines Remaining
No. 5 — KV Racing Technology — E.J. Viso — 2 Engines Remaining
No. 6/7 — Dragon Racing — Katherine Legge/Sebastien Bourdais — 2 Engines Remaining
No. 8  — KV Racing Technology — Rubens Barrichello — 1 Engine Remaining
No. 9 — Target Chip Ganassi Racing — Scott Dixon — On Engine 5
No. 10 — Target Chip Ganassi Racing — Dario Franchitti — 1 Engine Remaining 
No. 11 — KV Racing Technology w/SH  — Tony Kanaan — 1 Engine Remaining
No. 12 — Team Penske — Will Power — 1 Engine Remaining
No. 14 — A.J. Foyt Enterprises — Mike Conway — On Engine 5
No. 15 — Rahal Letterman Lanigan   — Takuma Sato — On …