Mon, 22 Oct 2012
RSS changed my life. Okay, not in an epiphany voice-of-God twelve-step way, but it did streamline my morning routine. My web browser's old start page was a big matrix of icons, laid out mostly in the order I usually viewed them. In the morning I'd brew up a pot of coffee or tea, open my browser, and start reading what was up in the world. News, the latest political scat, humor, comics, whatever I deemed worth reading of a day.
Now, I bring up my RSS reader instead, and just scroll through the list, checking headlines and discarding most of them, opening a browser for the ones that catch my eye. The reader I use, in case anyone cares, is liferea, an excellent and maddening program. Excellent, because it does almost everything I want in the way I want it done, maddening because it does almost everything, but not quite.
So a couple days ago I'm zipping through my feeds and there, in the middle of a cooking blog I like, is a bunch of vacation snapshots. Now, if it were a "general" blog, some sort of accounting of some person's life, I could understand. But day after day, post after post, it's just recipes. Until now. A few items later, and here are a bunch of vaycay snaps in the middle of a comic blog I read. Day after day, comics ... today, snapshots of what the author did over her summer.
Not that there's anything wrong with that—if you have a blog, it's yours to use as you wish. But it seems to me that, as cheap and easy as it is to start a blog, those with themed blogs might consider starting a personal blog to handle such life overspill. If I should start a themed blog, I hereby invite anyone reading it who comes across a batch of off-topic garbage to come here and shoot me straight in the head. Aim true, please: I don't want to spend the rest of my life with half a jaw, drooling into my oatmeal.
Wed, 02 Dec 2009
LSD and Whaaaaat?
Okay, I had intended to continue my TV review series (yes, it will be a series!) with my very next post, but I ran across this today and cannot let it pass without comment. I was reading an interestingly-titled article at The Huffington Post, "Soldiers On Acid: 1963 British VIDEO Shows Troops Under The Influence Of LSD", and of course I watched the associated video clip. It's an interesting fragment apparently taken from a documentary about an experiment the British Army did on the effects of LSD from a combat perspective. As in, if we gave it to our soldiers, would they become supermen? If we gave it to the enemy, would they lose combat effectiveness? They dosed what looked like a platoon of Tommies with acid, then noted, "After thirty-five minutes ... the efficiency of the rocket-launcher team was also very impaired."
Now, I don't know all the effects of LSD, but I do know that one thing you don't want to mix with acid is ... rocket launchers. In the clip, they had a dude actually playing with one, but I can only hope they didn't give him live ammo. Anybody who's ever done acid is well advised to watch the clip, but unless you want it to shoot out your nose, don't be drinking anything while you do.
"We gave a bunch of guys acid and rocket launchers. What could possibly go wrong?"
Wed, 13 May 2009
So I'm sitting watching the tube the other night (yeah yeah) and Fred, a pleasant-looking slob, comes on and tells me he was sad because his frequent heartburn kept him from eating the foods that he liked, as he gestures at something breaded in the frying pan. Let's overlook the fact that if Fred laid off the salt-fried lard snacks, he might have less heartburn, and that his (politically correct female) doctor should have told him that instead of lining him up with the latest trendy heartburn drug. But poor Fred's frequent heartburn turned out to be the dreaded Acid Reflux Disease, and anything that qualifies as a "disease" in today's society must be treated with one or more drugs, doncha know. It wouldn't do to have Fred lay off the KFC and fish fingers and chicken-fried steak; he might not be porky enough to get the next "middle-American schlub" commercial role to come along. Or, hope against hope, a lead role in the new Fox reality show, Porky Middle American Schlubs, an endearing yuck-fest which pits well-padded middle-aged men against various challenges like pits of alligators, hungry Bengal tigers, and suburban soccer moms on their way to a shoe sale.
And what's the deal with making it a prescription drug? Are kids going to be abusing heartburn medicine after school, mainlining it for the acid-relieving rush it brings them? Why must a doctor-priest control our usage of it?
But that's not what really caught my eye. Thing is, the drug Fred was prescribed is called "AciPhex", pronounced (I kid you not) "ass effects". Did no one in the confusing clutter of drug companies (Tokyo-based Eisai Inc. and the PriCara® Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a multi-national division of Johnson & Johnson) or whatever ad agency they hired to make the Fred commercial notice that their new drug has a name that's better suited for a designer hemorrhoid cream, or some sort of bizarre ass-hair dye treatment? Stylish buttocks tattoos, maybe?
I prefer to think that at least some of the smart boys'n'girls down in the creative department saw the connection right away, and sat snickering in the pitch meetings while some oblivious bastard of a pointy-haired boss smiled and nodded and rah-rah'ed and praised their new Fred ad. Presumably there's a Martha ad coming up, with a portly middle-aged woman complaining that her (probably male this time) doctor wanted her to go off the grilled stuft burritos and start eating veggies and yogurt, the America-hating commie. But I suppose I could be wrong about that.
Let me hasten to add that I do have sympathy for people who really suffer from acid reflux disease that needs to be treated by drugs, which I assume is the actual target market for AciPhex. And as drug ads go, this one wasn't bad. I hope they paid the Fred actor well, because he did a good job. I'm sure it's a fine drug, and when they came to the part where they listed the potential side effects, the list was astonishingly short: headache. Usually it's a set of conditions that are far worse than the initial disease, like insanity, blindness, sudden death, leprosy, and the always-popular anal leakage. Going by the list of side effects, AciPhex is actually better for you than broccoli, which in addition to making you susceptible to butter or cheese sauce addiction (take my word on this), can also give you a devastating case of the farts.
But c'mon, guys, change the name.