What's Your Fortune?   



Find Tarot cards for a new age in target="_blank">Something Awful's href="http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=2062"
target="_Blank">Tarot Card Tango
.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, March 31, 2004
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Frapanamation?   


A giant octopus, some bunnies, a DDR pad and a mech suit; Pin-Pin must be seen to be belived (or understood). - [MF]

This movie is fairly safe for work. There is some language in the subtitles...and one brief, questionable scene with bunnies doing what bunnies do.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, March 31, 2004
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Hello, My Name is Sarcasmo, and I Am a Bibliophile   


I think it says a lot about me that the href="http://www.wimpkiller.com/howdy/archives/000824.php"
target="_blank">reading quirks
outlined on href="http://www.wimpkiller.com/howdy/" target="_blank">Howdy, Mr.
Nippon!
make me want to weep and cry out in pain.



In fact, I think it says and I a very strange woman indeed.



Can I see the wanton satisfaction one must feel tearing out each page they
finish from a long volume? Indubitably. Could I bring myself to do it?
Not on your life.



I understand that books are inanimate, disposable objects. They are
parcelled combinations of pen and ink; mere tools for transporting ideas and
dreams from one person's brain to another. Surely, it's the ideas, the
stories, the information that is important; not the object itself. A
book is a means to an end, a dust collector on an endtable. Books are not
holy relics of a bygone era. They are not sacrosanct.



But in my mind, they could be. They should be. href="http://www.funkbunny.com/datatype">Pop Culture Boy can tell you
(and will and at length if you let him), I can not let books go. I have
books from my childhood I still keep close to me, books stacking up on the
floor because (once again) all my bookshelves are full, book in piles by my
bed, on living room tables, on the kitchen sideboard. And I am forever
buying more. There is a limit to the volume of volumes a home can hold.
But I can not, absolutely can not throw them away to make room for more.

There is always charity, of course, or exciting projects like href="http://www.bookcrossing.com" target="_blank">Bookcrossing which
could allow me to release my beloved books into the wild to a good home, to
be enjoyed and shared by countless others. But I can't stop having them in
my life. I'll lend them out, certainly; books should be shared, enjoyed,
discovered. But boxing them and sending them away feels too much to me like
abandoning them to an uncertain fate. I might consider buying a new book to
send it out through Bookcrossing, it's spine un-cracked, it's pages
unsullied; but never one that I've already read.



Reading a book is like having a relationship; the passionate
up-all-night-unable-to-keep-my-hands-off-it-affair, the
casual-flirtation-between-bus-stops, the
bored-before-we-really-begin-insult-to-my-intelligence, the guilty-pleasure,
the charming world-wise wit;
I loved them all in my way. I can put them down, put them aside, even put
them on the shelf. But I can never really let them go.



I feel I owe them more than that.



The passion of reading, as with the passion in all great romances, is
largely in the mind. But, any true romantic will confirm that tactile
stimulation is an equally important element to romance. For me, books are
more than the stories and ideas in them, they are an essential part of a
reading experience. They have a comforting heft when you hold them, as
though it's the words and not their mass that gives them weight. Their
pages, gently rough against your fingertips, whisper as you turn them; a
quiet metronome punctuating your inner tension, your desire to know (dare
you look!) what happens next. And let us not forget their scent...whether
it's the crisp clean of newly pressed pages or the musty history of a
second-hand store purchase...there is something they way books smell that is
instantly calming, centering; it is an invitation to sit comfortably in your
own space, explore other worlds, explore your own mind.



The other day I read about the href="http://optics.org/articles/news/10/3/24/1" target="_blank">Sony
Libre
; an electronic-book reader that that can store up to 500 books
with a clarity said to "rivals the quality of newsprint", and that
is able to display up to 10,000 pages before wearing out the batteries.


I'm having real issues with this.


The tech-geek in me wants one, absolutely. It's compact, sexy, and space
saving; 500 books in the palm of my hand! Why, I could expand my library a
million-fold and not have to invest in new shelving. The weight of my Yak
Pak would decrease by several pounds as I would no longer need to carry a
few dense, weighty, paper volumes with me everywhere I went. The end of
pain and strain in my back and shoulders alone is well worth the purchase
price.


But as a bibliophile, the though of the Sony Libre makes me unhappy. My
brain would still be stimulated, but I would lose the celebration of my
other senses that reading normally brings. There is something cold,
sterile, and clinical about e-books. They are impersonal, inconsequential,
insubordinate, insubstantial.



PCB actually
summed it up perfectly. "For you," he said, " it's like the
difference between [a marital aide] and actual sex. It's gets the
job done, but the sensation isn't the same."


That's it exactly. And I have a voracious appetite.


For reading.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 30, 2004
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New Pictures!   


Well, old ones, really, but new to most of you.


I've been unbearably antsy since my camera has ceased functioning; but in a way, it has served good purpose. Several years ago, the sibs and I took at trek across Western Europe. This was in my pre-digital camera days, and after I came home and had my photos developed, I began an ambitious scrapbook process involving self-adhesive photo corners and colored pens.


It will come as a shock to no one, I think, that it has yet to be finished.


However, I realized if I put them in digital format I'd have more scrapbooking options (I've got my eye on these at the moment), so I gathered up my pictures and gave my trusty scanner a workout. Click your way over to the Photo Corner if you'd like to check it out.


Sadly, thanks to years of neglect (and moving), my well organized photos were mostly out of their envelopes...and my memory is not all it's cracked up to be. So if you see that I've named a building incorrectly or placed it inadvertantly in the wrong country, please let me know.


Also, if you are Sarcas-Sis or Sarcasmo Jr. and you have anything to add by way of commentary, drop me an email and I will append.



Enjoy.


Incidentally, (depending on the cost of repair for my camera, which is sadly out of warranty) I will most likely be purchasing a new digital camera. I would appreciate any recommendations.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, March 29, 2004
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Like Othello, But with Eyeballs   


So cute, so frustrating: Blob Wars - [MV]

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, March 29, 2004
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The Sweet Smell of Methane...   



...could mean we found href="http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/s
cience/nature/3577551.stm" target="_blank">life on Mars
.

They must fly very tiny spaceships.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, March 29, 2004
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Monday Link-o-Rama   


Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, March 28, 2004
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Why I Love My Neighborhood   


While >Pop Culture Boy and I were waiting outside a local eaterie for our traditional stay-at-home-movie-night feast (piles and piles of buffalo wings), a young woman came tearing across the street at top speed, chasing a UPS truck. The truck driver pulled up in front of us, and the young lady nearly tripped over herself trying to stop in front of the driver-side door.



"I think I just missed you," she explained breathlessly and eagerly produced her UPS delivery ticket. The driver asked her for her address...a location three blocks away. The driver nodded, and went to the back of the truck to get her parcel.



"You ran three blocks to get your package?" I asked.


She smiled, amused and embarrassed. "No," she deferred. I chased him in my car." With Pop Culture Boy and I grinning like bemused idiots, she explained "I really want this package."



"I hope it's something good," PCB mused.



"Just books," she said, taking her package. "I'm such a dork," she added quietly, disappering into the night.



Neighborhood girl...you rock.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, March 26, 2004
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If the Moon is Made of Cheese, Is Mars Made of Cocktail Sauce?   



You may have thought href="http://www.sarcasmoscorner.com/2004_01_01_archive.html#107513618496797
305" target="_blank">I was kidding
when I told you Long John Silver was
offering target="_blank">free giant shrimp to America in the event NASA found
water on Mars. Well, we kid here a lot on Sarcasmo's Corner.



But sometimes truth is stranger than fiction...and tastier too.



target="_blank">On Monday, May 10, between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.,
customers can stop by any participating Long John Silver's restaurant and
enjoy a free Giant Shrimp (one piece per customer).


I just hope we the Martians finally come out to greet us, they aren't shrimp
shaped. That would be terribly awkward.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, March 26, 2004
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And Now...the Links   




Man...do I have some severe Friday-itis.



Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, March 26, 2004
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How To Know You Visit Your Local Coffee Shop Too Often   



They hand you a greeting card with your change.

Maybe I should switch to tea...

Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, March 26, 2004
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Please Stand By   


Today's Friday Distraction-o-rama will be delayed, as I was out carrousing and touching base with an old friend last night instead of staying home and finding fun links.


I'm sorry, you'll just have to deal with it.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, March 26, 2004
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An Open Letter to Journalists and Fellow Bloggers   


Dear Journalists and Fellow Bloggers:


I understand that href="http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&edition=us&q=Richard+Clarke"
target="_blank">Richard Clarke
's recent statements daming the actions
(and inactions) of the Bush administration is important news. I'm not
surprised to see his name popping up in headlines everywhere. Even I, who
prefers watching The Simpsons to suffering through The State of the
Union plans to spend sometime watching video of the testimony tonight. I
don't begrudge you talking about him. Not one bit.



My request, however, is that you please stop referring to him as "href="http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&edition=us&q=Dick+Clarke"
target="_blank">Dick Clarke
" in your articles and headlines. Everyime I
see it spelled that way I find myself wondering why people are so interested
in the national security opinons of an href="http://www.dickclarkproductions.com/" target="_blank">ageless
robot/former host of American Bandstand
. It's making my head hurt.



Mind you, I'm not saying Dick Clark's opinions wouldn't be valid...but
let's face it, he's got enough href="http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&edition=us&q=Dick+Clark"
target="_blank">troubles of his own
without having to worry about facing
the 9/11 Commission.



Thank you.



Hugs and Kisses,

Sarcasmo

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, March 25, 2004
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Sheep 30 Dog 0   


Thanks to boynton for pointing me towards the eternal frustration that is sheep pool.


Funny, I didn't know sheep were explosive.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, March 25, 2004
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Interesting Multi-User Visual Chat Thingie   


I made a brief visit toCollab, and I must admit it was pretty nifty. I hung out for a while, finally putting my webcam to use. I may check in from time to time, just because the technology is cool. If you see me there, say hello!

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, March 25, 2004
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Shaolin Soccer    


I was devestated when I heard they were making an American version of Shaolin Soccer. I thought the original was a great movie, full of imagination and heart.



I've just watched the new trailer...and correct me if I'm wrong, but they seem to just be releasing the original for American audiences. Other than making the team "best friends" instead of brothers, there don't seem to be any changes. For which I say "woo-hoo!"



I suppose it's too much to hope that it will be sub-titled rather than voiced-over?

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, March 24, 2004
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Goofs, Games, and Other Things That Go Flash in the Night   




Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, March 24, 2004
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Language and the Way We See It   




Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, March 24, 2004
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We are all individuals!    


Lovely, dork-tastic news! Monty Python's Life of Brian is to be Re-Released in Theaters Next Month!


Monty Python Producer John Goldstone wrote us over the weekend with some wonderful news. “In view of the furore over Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ we think it important to offer an alternative view from Monty Python and are planning a theatrical re-release (or second coming) of Life of Brian.”


The only questions is do I go and see it in NYC, or wait for it to come here...

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, March 24, 2004
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In Which Sarcasmo, At Long Last, Shows You Her Booty   


My pirate booty, that is.



Behold my galleons, my dubloons, and my pieces of eight! Gifts from the generous PCB to get me started on my pirating career. Now all I need is a ship, a monkey, and 15 men and a dead men's chest to bury it in.



I apologize for the quality of the pictures, but when I pulled out my beloved Digital Camera it made some terrible grinding noises and presented me with an error message (Error E45). My webcam had to jump in and substitute.


Does anyone out there know about these things? Is my camera given up the ghost?


'Cause really, what's the fun in pirating if you can't take pictures of yer plunder? Yarrr.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, March 24, 2004
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Fun with Food   


Food is so versatile. You can eat it, assuage guilt with it, and blame it for all the problems with your life and waistline. OR you can use it for pranks - [JWB] and porn - [S].

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 23, 2004
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What's Good for the Goose...   


In a wonderfully, deliciously devious move, officials in Benton County,
Oregon have href="http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/front_page/10
80046579104020.xml" target="_blank"> stopped issuing marriage
licenses
to anyone until the Oregon Supreme Court rules on whether same-sex
marriages in are legal in Oregon. - [href="http://web.morons.org/article.jsp?id=4737§ionid=6"
target="_blank">M
]



[Benton County Commissioner Jay] Dixon said the attorney
general made it clear that the state would take legal action if Benton
County began issuing licenses [to same sex couples] Wednesday. He said
county commissioners thought the state could go as far as arresting county
employees who issued licenses, although Myers never spelled out such a
measure.



So to be fair, Dixon said, the three commissioners voted to stop issuing
licenses to anyone until courts resolve the matter.



"That treats everybody equally," he said. "It was a question of treating
everyone the same. It won't hurt anybody. They can still get licenses in
other counties."





How's that "separate but equal" policy looking now, folks? What's the
matter, didn't think it would have to apply to you?



I love you, Benton County.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 23, 2004
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Dying to Be an Actor?   


href="http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_23-3-2004_pg9_12"
target="_blank">This
could be your big break. - [href="http://www.thegofish.com/archives/003759.php"
target="_blank">GF
]


I have nothing to say about this, really. Well, maybe two things:

  1. Why?

  2. Who's going to pay to go and see this?


On the other hand, it might start a new trend where people pay for the high
cost funerals/burials by charging at the door. (Oh, leave me alone. I
told you I wasn't feeling well today.
)


Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 23, 2004
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Festival Schedule, The First   


Hooray for having friends willing to trap to strange and wonderful films
with me. (Sadly, Pop Culture
Boy
has opted out attending all my film choices. He prefers the
straight-ahead comedy to my more ecclectic film tastes).


For the time being, I have opted to purchase a href="http://www.phillyfests.com/pff/templates/tickets.cfm"
target="_blank">ten-film festival pass
for the following movies/times:


Movies I'm particularly keen to see but haven't yet confirmed
times/dates for:

(Sadly, I think I will have to skip
anything before 6:00PM during the week. It's just not feasible with
work.



Please let me know if you'd like to join me for any of the movies
listed above (or from my original href="http://www.sarcasmoscorner.com/#107993245032969846"
target="_blank">uber-list
).




Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 23, 2004
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Look At Me! Look At Me! (Are you Look-at-ing?)   


Something for your eyes to rest on while you slack:


Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 23, 2004
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Roboty-Goodness   


A few weeks ago, I wrote about href="http://www.sarcasmoscorner.com/2004_03_01_archive.html#107898354768632
711" target="_blank">the proliferation of robots in our society
. And
the robot-related news just keeps coming in:



Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 23, 2004
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I Hab Mayo-naise   


Actually, what I (and many of my co-workers) have is href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003089.htm"
target="_blank">malaise
, but when your sinuses are clogged, mayonaise is
the best pronunciation you are likely to get. Mostly I am unbearably tired,
and if I hadn't taken last Friday off I'd consider taking a sick day to
sleep for a full 24-hours.


Alas, duty calls. But hey--that's what coffee is for in the first
place.



What my hazy, congested state means for you:


So watch this space for updates.


And send tissues.


Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 23, 2004
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Alone Together in the Dark   


The Philadelphia Film Festival is almost upon us again. Every year I make grand plans to see dozens of movies.



My all time festival fim viewing record to date is two films. One, two.



Ah, well. Road to Hell, Good Intentions, etcetera.



This year, I've brought my hopes down to 5-10 films. Below you will find a list of festival films I am interested in seeing based on their short descriptions in the festival guide. (I'm trying to avoid the long descriptions in fear they will give too much away.) The ones marked with an * are particularly high on my list, but I am interested in all of them.



So, if any of you local type folks are interested in seeing any of the following films, please contact me to see if we can coordinate a viewing schedule. I figure (slacker that I am) that I am more likely to make firm plans to see some of these movies if I have to be responsible to other people as well.



As far as viewing times, I am willing to either take one of the weekdays off during that week or try and take a personal hour or two to rush home in time for the 5:00PM weekday showings.. However my new boss is starting that week, so I will have to balance cinematic-intakey-goodness with keeping-my-job-sensibility.






Although I am determined to see a variety of fim genres from a variety of countries over the festival stretch...the astute among you will note that (as always), the horror films dominate my "Wish to See" list. I just wanted to let folks know that if you attend these creepy films with me, I promise not to speak ill of that local director's film I saw many festivals past, as he has the unnerving ability to turn up at repetoire horror film showings I attend, just as I'm talking trash about his movie.



Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, March 22, 2004
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Shiny! Flashy! Wacky! (But Still Monday)   


Ever have one of those weekends where you strive to get all the necessary stuff done and still have time for yourself? Well, even with an extra day off I couldn't manage it. I'm exhausted, overwrought, and still dust clings to every household surface. Sigh.



So, if I owe you an email, a phone call, or a spot as a puppet leader in my new world order, be patient; I've not forgotten you. I am just running a little behind schedule.



However, one thing I did managed to do this weekend was to put together some lovely little diversions to help you beat the Monday Blahs:



Sigh. I have certainly learned my lesson. Next time I have a time crunch the time is all going to me. Me me me!! (*Note to self: get some housecleaning/errand running minions to make this possible.*)

Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, March 21, 2004
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Friday Link-o-Rama!   


Well..lucky for me I don't have the extra storage required to "put one's winter clothes away." If I had, I might have done so, what with all the lovely warm weather we've been having here in Philadelphia.



Until recentlyly that is. Mother Nature is apparently having a fit about something, and now they are promising 5-8" of snow on the morrow...a weather forcast made even more miserable by the fact that I already took tomorrow off to get some much needed errands run (the white streak in my hair in almost enough to rival Bonnie Raitt's!) Alas, it looks like there will be some slogging through the slush for me.


However, fear not, you folks huddled all warm and close to your monitors, I have not forgotten you. Here's a slew of links to keep you busy (although hopefully not too busy to send out the Saint Bernard with some whiskey if I don't return by evenfall.)


Enjoy. Stay Warm. Have a great weekend.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, March 18, 2004
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Creepy Cool Science Triumphs Again!   


NASA has developed new technology that falls somewhere between invasive
mind-reading and supercool, thought-powered remote control. - [target="_blank">DPH]


From the article:
"A person using the subvocal system thinks
of phrases and talks to himself so quietly it cannot be heard, but the
tongue and vocal cords do receive speech signals from the brain," said
developer Chuck Jorgensen, of NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field,
California.




Jorgensen's team found that sensors under the chin and one each side of the
Adam's apple pick up the brain's commands to the speech organs, allowing the
subauditory, or "silent speech" to be captured.


They even used it successfully to surf the web.



On one hand, I am totally creeped out that someone could potentially monitor
my unspoken thoughts (hello, Thought Police!) But on the other hand, I could
give my computer commands when stuck in a boring meeting somewhere..even
blog silently.




Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, March 18, 2004
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Wolves 30, Sheep 0   


A href="http://pages.eidosnet.co.uk/johnnymoped/funcorner/funcornergames/funcornerwolvesvssheep/funcorner_wolvesvssheep.html" target="_blank">little logic
puzzle
to frustrate the heck out of amuse you. - [href="http://www.libraryplanet.com/" target="_blank">LP]

Linked fixed. Thanks, Mithras!

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, March 18, 2004
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There's a New Girl In Town   


Many many thanks to Erin Mehlos for the new logos here on Sarcasmo's Corner (be sure to see the Quiz and Photo pages for more logo fun).



Keep Erin in mind if you need any artwork done. Her work is excellent, she's beyond prompt, and she's very cool to deal with. (Also, she is a girl gamer..something that gives her bonus points in my book).

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, March 17, 2004
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An Open Letter to the Month of March   


Dear March:


I am sure you are familiar with the aphorism " ... in like a lion it
goes out like a lamb.." Please be reminded that the nature of this
phrase is that March will begin with terrible winter weather, and transition
to the gentle warmness of spring.


It does not mean March will start warm and golden and end white and
fluffy.

So quit dropping the white stuff, would you?


Hugs and Kisses,

Sarcasmo

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, March 17, 2004
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The Family That Games Together   


Apparently, a 13-year old boy in Hong Kong href="http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/fun.games/03/16/boy.videogame.reut/index.
html" target="_blank">threatened his parents with a knife
after his
father turned off a video game. - [target="_blank">Er]



I'm not justifying his behavior--I think video game violence she stay firmly
planted in the video games, but I can see where he's coming from. As
a gamer I can tell you that there is a certain zen-like calm that comes to a
gamer deep in play--a sort of intense focus coupled with a disconnection
from the rest of the world; what atheletes sometime refer to as href="http://www.subdyn.com/athlete.html" target="-blank">being in the
zone
. To be brutishly removed from that state can be disconcerting.
Think of it like waking a sleepwalker; it should be done gradually...gently;
or the somnambulist may react with violence.



Also, it cannot be denied that when a goal is in view...the end of a quest,
the defeat of a boss, an all time high score....having this holy grail
plucked from one's grasp is likely to cause ire. Case in point, Sarcas-sis,
distraught with defeat, once pulled the Space Invaders cartridge
right out of our Atari 2600 (while the game was still on!) before I could
drag my parents in to see my high score--the highest score in the family to
date.


Granted, I didn't pull a knife on her. (At that age we were content to
heave social barbs on one another as vengement.) But to this day the memory
still leaves a bitter taste in my throat.


This, of course, is why if Pop Culture Boy and I ever decide to adopt, our
children will not be allowed to play video games. Not because I fear they
will pull a knife on me...but because I don't think the courts would be
understanding of my reactions should my child attempt to interrupt me
while I'm gaming.




Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, March 17, 2004
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Update   


Here's a link to the bill from the previous post. The original link seems
not to be working: gpoaccess. Search for 3920.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 16, 2004
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Wishing I Paid Closer Attention During Civics Class   


I read target="_blank">something on target="_blank">small.to this morning that is giving me the major heebie
jeebies. Problem is, I'm not sure I'm reading it right.


I mean, I can't be.


Because if I am understanding correctly, than href="http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_cong_bil
ls&docid=f:h3920ih.txt.pdf" target="_blank">this bill
, which is
before Congress, if passed, would allow Congress to overturn
any decision of the Supreme Court that applies to "the constitutionality of
an Act of Congress" (emphasis mine)


Help me out here, people, because what I am reading is that Congress
currently is given the opportunity to declare any legislation they pass
constitutional...whether or not our judicial system agrees. Please, I beg of
you, explain to me how I'm reading it wrong.


Because when I read it the way I have been reading it I hear this
overpowering whooshing sound. I can only assume it is our civil rights
flying out the window.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 16, 2004
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You've Got Questions, Sylloge's Got Answers   


June 2003: sylloge writes a post regarding instant messaging that contained
the words "question" and "answerer."


Now, thanks to the wonder of search engines, sylloge finds himself beset
with target="_blank">questions from all kinds of instant messager users
looking for answers.


Bless his heart, if sylloge is feeling helpful, href="http://sylloge.typepad.com/questions/2004/03/xjessygurlx143.html"
target="_blank">he answers them
.


And if he is feeling just a wee bit sarcasmo-y, he href="http://sylloge.typepad.com/questions/2004/01/littlemotivride_2.html"
target="_blank">answers them too
.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 16, 2004
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Lost in Time, Lost in Space, and Meaning   


Noticed several links in my "to blog about" queue were space related, so rather than make you wait for my well-planned, insighful, mind-shattering essays on these myriad space subjects, I thought I'd just drop them all into this handy-dandy, bite-sized link-dump clump.


I'm always thinking of you guys.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, March 15, 2004
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Because I Am as Easily Amused as I Am Annoyed   


Railroad Tycoon. - [M&C]

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, March 15, 2004
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Behold the Power of RSS:   


This is one of the best uses of site syndication I've seen yet: Feeds from
the Bush and Kerry camps target="_blank">side by side. It's a good way to compare which issues
are important to which side.


In other RSS news, Sarcasmo's Corner now has several feeds for your
aggregating/syndicating pleasure:




Looking for a good news reader? I recommend href="http://www.bloglines.com/" target="_blank">Bloglines, but you can
also try: target="_blank">AmphetaDesk, href="http://www.disobey.com/amphetadesk/" target="_blank">NewsMonster
or countless others. RSS recognition is even being built into desktop
widgets, like the target="_blank">Desktop Sidebar.


Enjoy!

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, March 15, 2004
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When TV Shows Collide   


I have a guilty pleasure.



Ok, ok. I have many, but I am only talking about one right now. And since
I am such a dissenter of Reality TV shows, this particular guilty pleasure
may come as a surprise to many of you: Home re-decoration shows. Give me
two designers, a (team of) carpenter(s), some hapless, helpless homeowners
and you've got my attention for an hour. Or several.


I'm not sure what the draw is for me. It's not as though I am watching to
learn new design techniques or to gather decoration inspiration; I rent
rather than own, and barely have the wherewithall to clean my apartment
regularly, let alone re-decorate it.


Perhaps it's the amazement of watching the potential of an architectural
space being realized. Maybe it's the recognition of how the whole look and
feel of a room can change simply by rearranging the furniture. It might
even be the jealous awareness that some people can creatively use a glue-gun
to improve a room and not just melt personal belongings while burning and
gluing one's fingers together.



Yes, I suppose it is all these things. But even more so....I think I watch
for the delicious thrill of href="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=define%3A+schad
enfreude" target="_blank">schadenfreude
that tingles through me
during the reveal; when hopeful homeowners find hay stapled to their wall,
their carpet replaced with black paint on cold concrete, and their antique
heirloom furniture destroyed by a sloppy sand and paint job.



Also, I love it when they cry. It doesn't matter to me if their tears stem
from elation or frustration...the crying reveals are my favorite. They
usually leave me somewhere between laughing and teary myself. (Hey, I never
said I was a well woman.)



However, despite my enjoyment of these shows, I can't help but notice they
are proliferating at breakneck speeds. href="http://tlc.discovery.com/fansites/tradingspaces/tradingspaces.html"
target="_blank">Trading Spaces
, the mother of all American home
redecoration programs (inspired by the British href="http://www.bbcamerica.com/genre/home_living/changing_rooms/changing_ro
oms.jsp" target="_blank">Changing Rooms
) now has several
incarnations; href="http://tlc.discovery.com/fansites/tradingspaces/tradingspaces.html"
target="_blank">Trading Spaces
,
target="_blank">Trading Spaces: Family, and href="http://kids.discovery.com/fansites/tradingspaceskids/tradingspaceskids
.html" target="_blank">Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls
. (I quite
like Boys vs. Girls actually. The href="http://kids.discovery.com/fansites/tradingspaceskids/beforeandafter/be
foreandafter.html#" target="_blank">finished rooms
tend to appeal to my
sense of whimsy and lack of adult instincts.) Does any show need that many
versions?



As if that weren't enough, the other night I saw an ad for href="http://homefree.tlc.discovery.com/fansites/homefree/homefree.html"
target="_blank">Trading Spaces: Home Free
; a competitive home
re-decoration show which allows the viewing audience to choose which couples
stay in the game, and which are voted off (presumably based on their design
ability, and not their personalities). Sort of a href="http://tlc.discovery.com/fansites/tradingspaces/tradingspaces.html"
target="_blank">Trading Spaces
meets href="http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor7/"
target="_blank">Survivor
and href="http://www.cbs.com/primetime/bigbrother4/" target="_blank">Big
Brother
.



It's a natural progression. href="http://tlc.discovery.com/fansites/tradingspaces/tradingspaces.html"
target="_blank">Trading Spaces
already dominates the home
re-decoration market. It's only reasonable that they try to parlay this
success into dominating Reality TV in its entirety.



Here are a few suggestions for the href="http://tlc.discovery.com/fansites/tradingspaces/tradingspaces.html"
target="_blank">Trading Spaces
costra nostra to consider
in their move to ensure and maintain their stranglehold on my TV:



Watch for these shows this fall!

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, March 15, 2004
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It's Not Exactly Sophie's Choice, But...    


I found this little list of questions on href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/librarygrrrl/"
target="_blank">librarygrrrl
, and thought it was an interesting exercise
in restraint.



I'm more of a "shades of gray" girl than a "the world is black & white"
woman. Even with choices these simple, I feel compelled to qualify and/or
explain my answers.



But that's against the rules:

"Out of each pair, chose one. Do not enter a write-in-vote. Do not vote
for none-of-the-above. Do not qualify your answer (Early X over Early Y, but
Late Y over Late X), or demand clarification. Justify your answer if you
absolutely feel you must. When you finish, add another
dichotomy."



So here are my answers..naked and unqualified:


Batman or Superman?

Clint Eastwood or John Wayne?

Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee?

Elvis or the Beatles?

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin?

Caveman or Astronaut?

Bill Clinton or George W Bush?

Cat or Dog?

Johnny Cash or Frank Sinatra?

Dracula or Frankenstein?

JRR Tolkien or CS Lewis?

Man or Woman?

Apples or Oranges?

Library or bookstore?

Coffee or tea?

Night or day?

UPDATES:

Dusk or Dawn? (thanks, Sam)

Nike or Doc Martens (thanks, Matt)



How do you fare? Answer in the comments...or if you post this to your own
site, do me a favor and ping me for a trackback so I can see what you've
added on. I plan to update my list with additional dichotomies as they are
added.



Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, March 15, 2004
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Friendly Reminder   


Today is the Ides of March.



Be wary of large groups of friends (or senators) waiting to waylay you
today.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, March 15, 2004
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Ugh. Monday.   


Sorry folks. It's been a busy weekend (replete with lack of sleep), SEPTA (which I rely on to get me to and from work) is likely striking in the morning...so I must get myself to sleep if I want to make alternate travel plans. This means, I'm afraid, a dearth of Monday Morning links. Here's what you get:



More to come as the fates allow.


Update: Good news for me...the strike appears to have been waylaid. Still I must sleep. No more linkage until later.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, March 14, 2004
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Holy Harryhausen, Batman!   


Behold: a shot-by-shot remake of Michael Jackson's Thriller...done with Legos. - [ER]


The transformation and dance sequences are pretty impressive. Funny...but impressive.


This makes me want the Lego Movie Maker Set. A lot.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Saturday, March 13, 2004
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Oh, the Sanctity of it All   


Not sure if this little tale about Dan Savage and friends is true, but I really hope it is.



An excerpt:
The clerk called over her manager, a nice older white man, who explained that Amy and Sonia couldn't have a marriage license. So I asked if Amy and I could have one--even though I'm gay and live with my boyfriend, and Amy's a lesbian and lives with her girlfriend. We emphasized to the clerk and her manager that Amy and I don't live together, we don't love each other, we don't plan to have kids together, and we're going to go on living and sleeping with our same-sex partners after we get married. So could we still get a marriage license?


"Sure," the license-department manager said, "If you've got $54, you can have a marriage license." ...

And...dare I hope...it might make some folks see the hypocrisy in what's been going on in this country?

Posted by Sarcasmo on Saturday, March 13, 2004
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Truly a Simian   



target="_blank">after my own heart.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, March 12, 2004
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Links to While the Friday Away   



Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, March 12, 2004
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I, For One, Welcome Our New Robot Overlords   


Oh sure. They start out innocently enough. Vacuuming our floors, amusing us with dance, even providing unconditional love. Those robots think they're pretty clever. But I see right through them and their master plan. Today they're cleaning and dancing. Tomorrow--taking over the world!


Already they have begun installing themselves in critical political positions: Policing the streets, serving in the armed forces, even conducting our orchestras!


And what do you think our new robot masters plan to do with us once they've taken over the world? Will the respect Asimov's Three Laws?


Don't count on it. I've seen the future..and it's all about assimilation.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, March 11, 2004
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Chocolate and Monkeys? Together? Hooray!   


Cutest recipe animation ever. And they look yummy to boot. - [PS]

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, March 11, 2004
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Custom Posters   


The Bush/Cheney campaign have a nifty little app on their website allowing users to make custom Bush/Cheney '04 posters. Users can include their city, state, and own personal message.


To the left is mine. What's yours?


Note: The Wonkette is having far too much fun with this!


Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, March 10, 2004
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What Does the Music You Listen To Say About You?   


Here's what I listen to apparently says about me. - [L&THC]

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, March 10, 2004
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It Is Dearness Only that Gives Everything Its Value*   


The English Language must have a weary soul. To the world she stands
tall...and why not? She is perceived as the International Language of
Business and studied the world over. I have no doubt that she parades her
wordly status before the French Language, a somewhat forgotten mistress of
the world who once wagged the tongues of courtiers and kings.



But the French Language has something the English Language does not...href="http://216.239.37.104/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&langpair=fr%
7Cen&u=http://www.academie-francaise.fr/role/index.html&prev=/language_tools
" target="_blank">lingusitic bodyguards
to protect her beauty and
integrity. English is entirely vulnerable. She is mercilessly bandied
about and roughly-handled. Abused and mangled; she is told her words are
too long, her grammar to clunky. She is clipped, nipped, tucked, pinched
and comprimised daily.



She no doubts remembers she was once a stately lady. But then...her clumsy
Americani-zation, the terrible rash of href="http://www.acronymfinder.com/" target="_blank">acronyms that
spread over her body, leaving her to cower shyly behind brutish capital
letters; and now href="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=what+is+SMS
" target="_blank">SMS
demands she be sharper, faster, and smaller; her
natural beauty lost in a whirl of social advancement.

Progress is a
bully with a very sharp knife.



I can only imagine the English Language goes home and night and weeps
silently into her pillow.



Why am I bemoaning the fate of English? Blame it on Shakespeare. Or, more
specifically, href="http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/0304/08shakespeare.html"
target="_blank">No Fear Shakespeare
, a modern translation of the
Bard's work some schools are using to teach his plays.



One student is quoted as saying: "It's nice because all those ancient
words aren't there...It is a cool story — what with people making plans to
kill one another. It can be difficult because everyone has strange names,
but at least it isn't using any of those old words anymore."



This news cuts me to my glossological quick. Yes, language is tool of
communication, and therefore needs to be fluid enough to change as a culture
changes. As a lover of the weight and wonder of words, this movement
towards extreme brevity in our daily discourse disappoints me; but I am not
so blind that I can not recognize it's validity and necessity.


But re-writing Shakespeare? Criminal!



Let me back up a moment. Yes, I am one of those rare fiends who actually
enjoys the works of Shakespeare; and not just because I am supposed to.
And yes, I know not everyone shares my feelings. Furthermore, I recognize
the language in Shakespeare's works is not easily accessible to
everyone.


But isn't the language in Shakespeare's works part of the point? The
passion? The poetry?

Let's face it....most of his stories were
"borrowed" and had plot holes large enough to drive a horse-drawn carriage
through. It is not so much what he said, but how he said it.
There is a world of difference between

"Did my heart love
till now? forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this
night."
-(Rom & Jul, Act i. Sc.5)
and
"Gosh,
she's hot. Really hot. I need to get her digits."


I don't object to the No Fear Shakespeare as a resource, per say. If
students have trouble with the language and they want to read the side by
side translation on their own to enhance their understanding, fine.
Fantastic. But to teach the translation? And to read it aloud in class?
Isn't the same as telling the students the original text is not worth the
work? That the language used in telling a story isn't as important as the
story itself? That art is best appreciated the easy way?


If they are going to go this far, why not just throw out the text altogether
and simply have students watch the movie versions? English 101, starring href="http://www.laurenceolivier.com/" target="_blank">Sir Laurence
Olivier
and target="_blank">Kenneth Branagh.



I realize my reaction to this is probably stronger than most...perhaps
needlessly so. But how it rankles me!


I mourn the diminishing of the English Language. One day she'll wake up and
not even recognize the face staring back from the mirror. And that will be a
sad day for us all.



*Thomas
Paine

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, March 10, 2004
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Adorable, and For the Very Easily Amused (Like Myself)   


Kitty - [What?]

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 09, 2004
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How Moral Are You?   



Personally, I don't hold with "morality." I think all the decisions we make
are situational...and therefore can't be held to a specific code of conduct.
In addition, because society is made up of a combination of historical,
religious, and cultural backgrounds, it's ridiculous to hold everyone to the
same standard of behavior.


For me, it's all about respect: respect me and my beliefs and I'll respect
you and yours - or at least your right to have them.


That being said, I couldn't resist taking The Morality Test.

Here's how I scored:


href="http://www.outofservice.com/morality/results/?morality=73&social=79&po
litical=75&o=59&c=13&e=22&a=27&n=43">73% liberal, 27%
conservative


Those of you who know me will likely not be surprised.



I disagree with many of my personality results...although I do admit I have
a messy desk.



How do you stack up? Are you href="http://www.outofservice.com/morality/" target="_blank">more moral than
I am
?


Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 09, 2004
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More Photoshopping Than You Can Shake a Stick At   



More pictures to tickle your funny bone:


Worth 1000 presents: href="http://www.worth1000.com/cache/contest/contestcache.asp?contest_id=247
9&display=photoshop#entries" target="_blank">Fun with Propaganda
. - [href="http://j-walkblog.com/blog/" target="_blank">JWB]

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 09, 2004
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Not Sure What Inspired This Bit of Madness   



But it is rather amusing:


Fark presents href="http://forums.fark.com/cgi/fark/comments.pl?IDLink=856303&mode=voteres
ults" target="_blank">Great Cattle of 80s Pop
. - [href="http://www.bloggerheads.com/" target="_blank">BH]

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, March 09, 2004
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Stop Me Before I Post Again   


One more quick one before I climb into bed with some Nyquil and the latest issue of Batman:



Live Action Badger Badger.
(Click here to see the inspiration, if you've been living under a rock or something.)


I don't know who amuses me more: the mushroom guy; the snake guy; or the kid in the red shirt who is clearly someone's younger brother, has no idea what's going on and thinks everyone else in the room is out of their minds.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, March 08, 2004
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67% Percent Chance of a Higher Power (Possible Fog Later This Evening)   


Forget Occam's Razor. If you interested in proving the existence (or non-exitence) of God, get out your spreadsheet.


Or call your local bookie.


"Dr Stephen Unwin has used a 200-year-old formula to calculate the probability of the existence of an omnipotent being....Dr Unwin said he was interested in bridging the gap between science and religion. He argues that rather than being a theological issue, the question of God's existence is simply a matter of statistics.

Well, phew. Now we can stop arguing science vs. theology and start arguing math vs. theology. That's good. I've gotten tired of hearing about creationism. Bring on the cubits!


Let's face it, those who have faith don't need proof, and those of us who want proof, lack faith. Random values assigned to earthquakes, goodness, evil, chocolate cake with white icing (surely several points in the pro column), bigotry and the enduring fame of Elvis will not change anyone's feeling either way. I don't see a fundamentalist saying "Ten points for cancer? Really? Maybe I was wrong," anymore than a devout atheist (you would think that was a contridiction in terms, but I know someone who would disagree) saying "Wow. Miracles! 100 points worth? I don't know what I was thinking. I best get prayin!"


And for those of us somewhere in the middle...we're hardly like to be moved by this in either direction. Especially me, as I can't stand statistics. When faced with this data I'd likely say "Ew! Numbers! Make them go away! Let's get some lovely chocolate cake with white icing instead." Then I'd go get some cake and let the faithful and the faithless sort themselves out.


If they took an particularly long time, I might eat their share of the cake too.


My favorite part of the article, though, is a quote from Graham Sharp, of William Hill:

"We do take bets on the second coming, whether that confirms the existence of God is up to the theologians to argue, most people wouldn't believe that, though."

Odds on the second coming currently stand 1,000/1, and would require a confirmation from the Archbishop of Cantebury.


I didn't know one of his duties was settling gambling disputes. Live and learn.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, March 08, 2004
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Busy Getting My Boogie On   


Dr. Michael Bull explores the sociology of wearing headphones, and how it affects our daily lives. - [/.]


While it is all well and good to use you personal music player to reclaim your personal space, avoid unwanted encounters, drown out the idiots around you and (heavens! could it be?) listen to music, be sure to avoid the lurking dangers involved with avid headphone use. As a regular user of a personal audio device, I offer you these warnings, based on personal experience:


  1. Volume Control: Personally, I play my personal music loud. Very loud. Too loud if you must know (I figure by the time the ear damage catches up with me, bionic ears will be the norm.) Tinnitus, Shinnitus. that's what I always say!

    No, the danger I warn of here is modulating the volume of your own voice. Your headphones protect the folks near your personal space from whatever you've got blaring...but not from your shouting to hear yourself over your music. Try speaking softly and succinctly and for the sake of monkeys, ennunciate. It will be good practice when your hearing in entirely gone. No one likes a screamer (at least not on the street).

  2. Singing Along in Public: It's so easy to forget that no one else around you can hear your music...but just like those voices in your head...it's only audible to you. And although you might feel like a rock n'roll god(ess) belting out Whole Lotta Love while being backed by the London Symphony Orchestra, the rest of the world will only here your nasal voice screeching in the wind. Do us all a favor and save it for the shower.*

  3. Lip-Synching Along in Public: Not as bad as Singing-Along in Public, since there is no noise pollution, but twice as damaging to your reputation as you will look like a terrific dork. A terrific dork that talks to oneself very, very quietly, but a dork nonetheless.


    Alas, if you lack control like I do, and regularly annoy friends and loved ones by singing along to every song you hear on the car radio on in stores (and especially by dancing along to the music in stores) Lip-Synching Along in Public to the music on your personal audio device may be the only thing stopping you from the dreaded Singing Along in Public**. Use if necessary, but sparingly, and with caution.

  4. "Do You Know What I Want to Do?": The music you listen to will affect your mood and the way you view the world around you. If the music makes you feel good you might stand tall, and find a spring in your step. You may feel like you own the world.


    CHECK THAT IMPULSE! or you're like to find yourself strutting down the street like Tony Manero at the end of Staying Alive when some funky 70s groove hits your playlist, and trust me, nobody wants that.

  5. Spontaneous Dance Numbers: More rare than the urge to strut is the urge to break out into an effortless, spectacular, & spontaneous dance number (that is clearly well-rehearsed) whenever your randomizer pops up a kitchy old tune full of big brass hits and a snappy beat.

    Just today Vic Damone's Little Girl came on just as I entered the lobby of the skyscraper that houses my bank. I felt the overwhelming need to come through the revolving doors singing, soft-shoe my way over to the ATM, and do a truly fabulous kick-ball change and shuffle out the door once my cash was in hand.

    It's a very lucky thing for the folks at PNC that I don't know how to tap-dance.


Heed these warnings well, audiophiles. Or we'll all be singing and dancing in the streets together. And that only works if we're all listening to the same song.


Or appearing in Les Miserables, or an episode of Fame.



And if that happens, I hereby announce I won't be the one to jump up and dance on the taxi. I'm just not that coordinated.


*Note: This instruction does not apply to Robert Plant, who can sing Whole Lotta Love wherever and whenever he likes.


**Note: This defense doesn't always work. Just today I caught myself singing It's a Sin while trying to cross the street. No doubt I was breaking rule No.1 then as well. Thankfully I caught myself before anyone threw stones.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, March 08, 2004
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