Thursday, March 22, 2007

Primrose Path

I'll admit it. I've never seen American Idol. I don't watch reality TV either. I did watch the first season of survivor because I erroneously believed that it would be educational. People learning to survive and live in harmony with nature -- what could be wrong with that? Yikes.

I logged on today and my Yahoo homepage had articles about American Idol, asking me if I was shocked. Nothing shocks me anymore. Yesterday it was an article about how Brittany Spears left rehab and wants privacy. I don't care about Brittany, ok? I don't care about celebrities in general. I don't care who is making a fool of themselves in public. I don't care what overpaid star does in his/her private time. But you just can't dodge this junk.

I've done marketing research on various products and services and I know that people make financial choices that mirror that of the stars. These people don't want to think their own thoughts or make choices based on principle. They want to believe in a fantasy lifestyle because that is what helps them sleep at night. Is some star adopting a baby from a foreign country? Then they want that too. These are life-altering decisions and they are based on emulating people who aren't public figures because of their contribution to the betterment of mankind but because of how they look in tight jeans.

I can see that I have ranted. Even the primrose path is looking battered.

Now I'm looking for a new homepage. I liked Yahoo because it allowed me to see big news stories and do a comprehensive search from their main page. But most of those stories aren't news. They are fluff or trash. What I want in a home page is categorized news, a major search engine on that page, and a customizable weather section. Maybe I should start exploring RSS feeds from my favorite places. I'd like real news though. I don't mean just the hard stuff. I like public interest stories but not the garbage that tells us what to think and newsflashes that equate to using basic common sense.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Pis Have It

Today is Pi Day. I am one of those crazy math people who will embrace just about anything mathematical. I just can't help it.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


Stephen Hawking is going on a Zero Gravity flight to experience weightlessness. I want to go too! Sure, sure, it would be great to step on the scales during that flight. ("I've experienced 100% weight loss!") But, truly, I'm thinking it would be an absolute blast to try out the experience shared only by astronauts, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Bacon. The Zero Gravity company who does these little jaunts is letting the other seats on Hawking's flight be occupied by the winners of charity auctions. So, I'm doomed.

I don't like charity auctions. I do like charities and I like them helping people, sure. But I prefer charity raffles. Most people can manage to afford a chance at something really spectacular but not everyone can afford to one-up someone with both the desire and the means to get it. When I do non-profit works, I always give a preference toward raffles for the really good stuff. It gives people the chance to dream instead of scoff at their position in life. If someone has the means, I suppose they could pull a Veruca Salt and likely get their way. In such cases, the winner is still always the charity.

So I guess I won't be making that flight with Hawking. This is quite alright, of course, because I couldn't find one of his books that I had checked out from the library for quite some time once. I'll consider this a penance for keeping it long past the due date.