- In 1991, the Linguistics and Philosophy Department at M.I.T. was suspended for three years for NCAA recruiting violations.
- Memorial Stadium at the University of Nebraska has more toilets than Guatemala.
- Since 1872, every commencement address at Vanderbilt University has ended with the phrase "in my pants."
- Gonzaga University was named for Bartholomew of Gonzaga, patron saint of soffit and fascia.
- "Princeton University" was a hoax created by Woodrow Wilson to pad out his resume. When he feared that the press would uncover the secret, he hastily assembled an actual university.
- At Johns Hopkins University, every January 31st is officially "Baby Talk Day".
- In 1969, two University of Missouri students were arrested for streaking through the men's showers.
- Columbia University was created as a front for laundering counterfeit-handbag profits.
- After a tough loss in the 1985 Big Ten championship tournament, Indiana coach Bobby Knight ate most of two tires off of the Purdue team bus.
- Incoming freshmen at Arizona State University are required to take a course in safe vomiting.
I spent the weekend in California for my wife's cousin's wedding. The ceremony was lovely, the bride was beautiful, and it was a lot of fun to hang out with my wife's family. I really lucked out when it comes to in-laws: they're all super fun and have welcomed me with open arms. But this isn't about any of that. This is about when my wife and I went to visit her friend Kelly (I'm changing names to protect anyone who might not want to be named) the day before the wedding.
Kelly has been one of Kat's (I've mentioned her name on here already, so she's screwed) best friends since they were little kids. They grew up next door to each other and spent nearly every weekend staying the night at one another's houses. Kelly made the trip to Hawaii, pregnant as all get out, to be Kat's bridesmaid in our wedding. They're super close, but life pulled us to Seattle and her to San Jose, they don't get to hang out as much as they'd like. Kelly's got two kids from her previous marriage with a third on the way courtesy of her sweetheart of a fiance, Tommy. They just moved into a new place, her mom's living with them to help with the kids, and things are a little stressful around the house. So as soon as Kelly's son Mike saw me, he was hellbent on playing with me...
Did you know it's illegal to have a pet falcon? Well, it is in the United States, anyway. You can only have falcons if you're a falconer, and actually using them for work like hauling tiny airborne plows through your field or something, we guess. Anyway, the point is Randall, one of the Woot Writers, was spending his workday Googling various ways to acquire a falcon when he discovered Royal Jordanian Airlines' policy on falcon transportation and initiated the following conversation in the Woot Writers' chat room:
Ah, Comicon! The annual ritual of geeks, nerds, and dweebs dressing up proudly as their favorite heroes, villains, and anti-heroes and come together en masse so various internet websites can take pictures of them and post them online for ridicule. But this isn't about that. I mean, it's probably why you came here so feel free to ignore this and peruse the pictures, but I'm not here to mock costumes. I'm here to talk about the kaleidoscope of personalities at Comicon.
There are several degrees of costume on display at events like these. The most notable are the professional-grade, "I-spent-the-entire-year-since-last-Comicon" types of outfits. The ones that inspire Ooohs and Aaaahs and crowds of onlookers snapping photographs. Suits like Spiderman here:
In a few hours Apple's gonna make a big announcement about what they'll be doing with their 100 billion in cash reserves.
- All the money goes to hiring an assassin to take out the coach of Lehigh University for trashing everyone's brackets
- Price on Mac Memory dropping, now to be only moderately insane
- Zimbabwe becoming the first privately owned nation, name changing to iMbabwe
- Best darn Superbowl commercial the world has ever seen!
- Full amount to be donated to the woefully underfunded research into fan death.
- Everyone in the country gets one free potato skin (add 35 cents for bacon)
- At long last creating a studio to develop a decent video game for OS X
- Everything on Black 35! Tim Cook's got a hunch!
- Finally gonna test Paul Weller's statement "I wouldn't get The Jam back together for a hundred billion dollars."
- Everything is going to a random Kickstarter campaign just to blow some Etsy designer's mind
- "Coming soon to the iTunes Store: Firefly, Season Two."
It takes some serious juice to get into one of those Apple announcements like the one they held today, which is why we're usually reduced to tweeting about it from afar. But when we dispatched our man Friedrich Nietzsche to the scene, Cupertino was only too happy to issue him a press pass. Here's what Freddy had to say:
"It is always consoling to think of suicide: in that way one gets through many a bad Apple announcement."
"The living being is only a species of the dead, and a very rare species. So what the hell, let's play some Fruit Ninja HD."
"The most common lie is that which one lies to himself; the second-most common is 'battery life up to 10 hours.'"
"We have iPads in order not to die of the truth."
"Once spirit was God, then it became man, and now it is available for $3.99 from the App Store."
"After coming into contact with a tech blogger I always feel I must wash my hands."
"We must not study ourselves while having an experience. That's what the front-facing camera is for."
"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think different than those who think differently."
"A great value of antiquity lies in the fact that its writings are the only ones that you can get for free from iBooks."
"Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?"
"Did you make a difference today?"
Under normal circumstances, a fit-looking older guy with a beaming white smile asking me this question might not even give me pause. Just some cheery, motivational type or maybe a street corner proselytizer hoping to lure me in. But this time is different because we are both drenched in sweat and naked, standing about two feet from each other.
Well, I at least have flip flops on.
Are you a Guru? Ninja? Rockstar, Wizard, Evangelist? Yeah, cool, if you're applying for a job in 2009. (Consider yourself zinged!) If you want to intimidate an employer into hiring you these days, you better step up your ridiculousness with one of these hot new variations on the theme.
- UX Matador
- Client Relations Führer
- Marketing Strangler
- PHP Geisha
- Social Media Conquistador
- .NET Cleric
- Database Architecture Sword Swallower
- Brand-Awareness Kamikaze
- QA Witch Doctor
- Software Design Engineer of the Heart
- Logistics Cosmonaut
- Inside Sales Gunman
- SQL Server Bearded Lady
- Front-End UI Mountie
- SEO Werewolf
"Oh, I know, I'll write a book! That should be easy and completely feasible within my current schedule and work load! HAR HAR HAR!" What an idiot I was, signing up for this NaNoWriMo challenge. If you're unfamiliar, the idea is you write a 50,000 word novel over the course of November. I chose to write a zombie novel I'd had kicking around my head for a few months that I decided to quit putting off. I figured zombie stuff is pretty easy to write, too: it's all "RRRaaaaagh!" and tearful mercy killings and looting. And really, that stuff just kind of runs through my head on a loop day in and day out anyway. I would just be jotting it down! I met my writing quota on the first three days and everything!
Then I went on vacation...
I hate flying. I don't mean I hate the idea of flying, like the people who need to slam down two bars of Xanax and chase it with a bourbon just to keep from freaking out about the possibility of a plane crash. Despite being a pretty high-anxiety kind of guy, the (minuscule) risks of flying don't get to me. What DOES get to me, is the nonstop barrage of idiocy you're forced to deal with every time you want to fly somewhere. First there's the TSA, and while I could churn out several hundred blog posts about how stupid, ineffective, offensive, and idiotic the TSA is, we'll leave it at that. Of course to even GET to the TSA, you have to wait for the morons in front of you to figure it out, and despite 10 years of this crap I still wind up behind the guy who has no idea that his belt buckle has metal in it and is shocked, SHOCKED, that he can't put his dog through the X-Ray machine. Then there's the long, slow wait to actually BOARD the plane while people rush to be the first on board (thereby winning the right to sit the longest?).
If you're an airline executive, here's a pro tip: stop charging people for checked bags and start charging them for carry-ons. A carry-on is more convenient: I don't have to deal with baggage claim, I can access my stuff right there, and I'm more likely to pay for the privilege. When you charge people to check a bag, you create a disincentive to use the space in the cargo hold and now suddenly every idiot in front of me is trying to cram a steamer trunk into the overhead bin while assuring the flight attendants, "It'll fit. It fit before." Then, surprise, the bins are full and we have to wait for the last 50 people on board to gate check their bags. Charging people for carry-ons means more people willing to pay the fee and less time waiting for people to wrangle their giant, oversized bags onboard. Don't worry about people hating you for the switcheroo: everyone already hates you...