August 14, 2009
I don’t know about you all, but I am ready for the weekend! Here’s some fun beastie-related stuff that I hope will brighten your Friday and get you through ’til 5:00. Enjoy!
First, the latest report in the ongoing saga of the belljar atop one of Neil Gaiman’s beehives: “We’re individuals in the community…”
From the squirrel piece I came across this article: Bald penguin given wetsuit to prevent sunburn.
Finally, pictures of our dogs as puppies below the fold, just ’cause. Read the rest of this entry »
June 4, 2009
At the place where I work we get a monthly wellness newsletter. It’s published by the Wellness Council of America, and sometimes its advice strikes me as relevant and helpful, if not necessarily to me then to someone who has kids, is nearing retirement, etc. Other times, though… mmm, not so much. This month, though, pretty much took the cake. The back page features a pair of articles on “GenXers”: Working with Members of Generation X and The Life and Times of a GenXer. These caught my eye, being myself a member of Generation X, at least according to some measures (including the one used in these articles, which measure Gen X as folks born 1965-1980). And, um… wow.
First of all: o hai, welcome to the mid-nineties! Seriously — I’m pushing thirty here, and I’m on the very tail end of Gen X. If people haven’t yet figured out how to work with people my age and up to fifteen years older, then I think maybe they’re doing something wrong.
Second, I couldn’t help but feel sort of bemusedly insulted by some of these tips:
- GenXers are terrific multi-taskers and used to a lot of stimuli. Keep them motivated by providing an environment in which they are challenged, and have opportunities to grow, and projects and assignments to keep them interested.
- Avoid corporate jargon and buzzwords, and talk in short “sound bytes” to keep a GenXer’s attention. Compose e-mail messages using short, concise wording when you communicate with a GenXer. Share information with them often and especially after an important event. Ask for their feedback and then listen to them—you might learn something!
- Keep meetings on track and focused. GenXers may become bored in meetings in which too much discussion precedes final decisions.
- GenXers are independent and require space. Don’t micromanage, but instead, give basic directions and then allow them to figure out the best way to get results.
- Reminiscing about 60-hour work weeks and wondering why younger staffers hit the door at 5 p.m.? Keep in mind that GenXers value a healthy work-life balance, and won’t spend as many hours in the office. Don’t try to force feed your values onto members of another generation.
Don’t get me wrong: I do see some of myself, some of my friends, and some of my coworkers (especially, in fact, those from Gen Y/the Baby Boom Echo/whatever it is we’re calling it these days) in these tips. But, come on — we’re adults; this makes us sound like we’re grade schoolers with short attention spans! (And really, isn’t “keep meetings on track and focused” good advice for the workplace regardless of what generation one’s dealing with?) Also, overgeneralized much?
Ah well — it made me chuckle, anyway…
March 25, 2009
Evidently I’m not just the Lizard Queen, but also a Newt Regent — WordPress tells me I could make this blog iamanewtregent.com for just $15 per year! I have no inclination to claim that URL nor to spend money on a blog that five people read (waves at y’all!), but it’s always good to know what my other titles are…
December 23, 2008
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — In a study that challenges current ideas about the insect brain, researchers have found that honey bees on cocaine tend to exaggerate.
Normally, foraging honey bees alert their comrades to potential food sources only when they’ve found high quality nectar or pollen, and only when the hive is in need. They do this by performing a dance, called a “round” or “waggle” dance, on a specialized “dance floor” in the hive. The dance gives specific instructions that help the other bees find the food.
Foraging honey bees on cocaine are more likely to dance, regardless of the quality of the food they’ve found or the status of the hive, the authors of the study report.
HONOLULU (CNN) – Many Republicans already believe President-elect Barack Obama has gotten a free ride from the national media, so they may not be happy to learn the incoming Commander-in-Chief offered to buy a round of drinks for reporters covering his working vacation on the sands of Hawaii’s beaches and the greens of its lush golf courses.
. . . In a separate pool report for print journalists, Jeff Zeleny of The New York Times added helpfully: “He chatted for a moment, telling the pool to have a beer and put it on his tab. No one took him up on the offer.”
I definitely get where the commenters who are complaining that this isn’t news are coming from. However, there are other commenters complaining about the fact that Obama is taking a vacation at a time like this (conveniently forgetting that he’s not actually President yet), complaining that buying the journalists’ pool a round of beer constitutes a bribe, and so on and so forth. (Not to mention the fact that the article itself sounds pretty snarky, but I’m not familiar with the writer, so maybe he’s being tongue-in-cheek and I’m missing it.) And I’m just like, bees are on the what now? (Translation for those who aren’t constantly quoting the Simpsons the way Evil Bender and I do: huh?) I just thought it seemed like a nice gesture, personally. And being in Hawaii and having a beer on Obama’s dime sounds pretty damn sweet right now…
November 21, 2008
News from the lighter side for a Friday afternoon…
LOVELAND — The Thompson Valley High School band is missing a flock of pink flamingos, and band members suspect foul play.
It began about a month ago when the 80-member marching band started a fundraiser involving pink yard flamingos, said band director Robert Pippen.
Three teams of band students, each team wielding around 15 flamingos, were paid to cover a person’s yard with a flock of the fake birds.
The surprised recipient of the flock then had some options: pay $10 to have the flock removed; pay $25 to flock someone else’s house; or pay $35, which includes flock insurance.
The insurance ensured people would never be “flocked” again, Pippen said. He emphasized the “flocking” is all in good fun to raise about $10,000 for three new marching tubas. They’re up to $400.
“If someone is really upset about it and doesn’t want to pay, we won’t make them pay, of course.” Pippen said.
But one flamingo team got grounded two weeks ago after “flocking” a home. The day after the “flocking,” the birds were missing and it appears someone may have taken the flock for themselves, Pippen said.
I think this is a delightful fundraiser idea (and I am, of course, extra enthusiastic given the fact that they’re raising money for new tubas!), but I can see why it wouldn’t fly (pun fully intended) with some people. There was a man who lived down the street from the house I grew up in who took great pride in his putting-green-quality lawn, and who I imagine would be utterly livid to discover a flock of plastic flamingos marring it. (When I was fourteen he came to our front door with a shovel full of dirt and, ostensibly, cat shit (I was happy to take his word for it) and told me that if he ever caught our cats using his planters as a litter box again, he’d kill them. I’ve had indoor-only cats ever since.)
Even with that former neighbor in mind, though, what kind of Scrooge McGrinch steals a high school band’s flock of lawn flamingos? I hope they’re returned soon.
[Photo from GetFlocked.com, which proudly touts "flocking" as a fundraiser idea. ]
January 29, 2008
Not that I’m obsessed or anything…
|Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in with? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as Serenity (Firefly)You like to live your own way and don’t enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.
Also? I can kill you with my brain.
January 17, 2008
Because I have a great love for absurdity — here’s the Swiss Family Robinson:
and Robert Goulet:
January 16, 2008
Evil Bender and I got Chinese food this evening, and here’s what my fortune cookie said: “You and your wife will be happy in your life together.”
EB reaction #1: “Where does that leave me?”
EB reaction #2: “You should blog that.”
January 11, 2008
AP, via the Boston Globe: Twins unwittingly got married in Britain:
LONDON—Twins who were separated at birth got married without realizing they were brother and sister, a lawmaker said, urging more information be provided on birth certificates for adopted children.
A court annulled the British couple’s union after they discovered their true relationship, Lord David Alton said. . . .
“I was recently involved in a conversation with a High Court judge who was telling me of a case he had dealt with,” Alton said according to a transcript of the Dec. 10 debate. “It involved the normal birth of twins who were separated at birth and adopted by separate parents.
“They were never told that they were twins. They met later in life and felt an inevitable attraction, and the judge had to deal with the consequences of the marriage that they entered into and all the issues of their separation.”
I’m always intrigued by the bond between twins. More than that, though, I just can’t get over the title. First I read it as “twits” instead of “twins,” which then of course made me think of the Upper Class Twit of the Year competition; then there’s the fact that as it’s structured there, it sounds like the twins meant to get married, they just didn’t mean to get married in Britain.
Then, from the Globe itself: No Pants (on the T) 2K8!
Knobby knees. Hairy legs. You can see plenty on the beach in summer. You may also see them on the subway in Boston tomorrow.
Some riders may be participating then in No Pants 2K8, an event in which some people plan to ride the trains in their underwear.
Organizer Adam Sablich said that it’s a “large-scale improv event,” and that 400 to 500 people have said via Internet networking sites that they are interested in participating. He said it is a spinoff of an event that has been happening in New York City for a half-dozen years.
The New York events have been organized by Improv Everywhere, a group whose website says its pranks are intended to “bring excitement to otherwise unexciting locales.”
“We’re out to prove that a prank doesn’t have to involve humiliation or embarrassment; it can simply be about making someone laugh, smile, or stop to notice the world around them,” reads the website, improveverywhere.com.
Sablich, 25, of Haverhill, said the event calls for nothing illegal and that participants may wear coats over their boxer shorts or briefs.
I wish I were still in town so I could participate.
[I'm trying to get back into the swing of blogging after nearly a week of feeling pretty wretched. So, if anyone has anything they'd like to see me write about or has read any stories/blogs/etc. they think I'd be interested in, please feel free to leave me a note in the comments thread here!]
December 20, 2007
Last week, while our power was still out, EB and I were pondering at what point the power might come back on. Our ideas reflected our relative viewpoints, which led to the following:
“You know,” EB said, “I think it’s a good thing that you’re an optimist and I’m a pessimist. I’m like, ‘Oh great, the world is ending,’ and you’re like” — at this point he smiled, raised his eyebrows, and held out his hands as if presenting an offering — “‘Cheeseburger?’”
Sounds about right.