Thursday, August 31, 2006

From the Miscellanea Files: Things I've Learned on the Internet Lately

Why auto insurance rates in China are so damn expensive. And this could explain the property insurance rates.

If at first you don't succeed . . . . okay, maybe not.

How to make a glowing pickle-lamp
. In case you were wondering.

Finally, a 404 error page that explains how things really work. Based on Senator Ted Stevens', erm, interesting explanation of how the net supposedly works and why content neutrality is, according to him, a bad, bad thing. Apparently he and Al Gore need to have a little chat. . . . or maybe he can just consult with the folks at Myspace, who apparently believe they've found an unhackable method of proving identity. Don't worry, a short bus is being sent to ship them back to Computing 101.

How To Open A Beer Bottle With A Piece Of Paper (youtube link).

Time to stock up for Halloween?

Pointless quizzes are still popular.

Need something to fill that corner in the kitchen? How about a fast food table with unicycle wheels?
Timewaster of the week:
We consider this an online mystery, and a blogging experiment of sorts. Essentially, we have presented five seemingly unrelated clues (three images, one video, and the start of a novel) that should effectively converge to a solution we have in mind, and we've been inviting readers to postulate and hypothesize on what that answer could be.

What's interesting is that, so far, the conjecture produced has been pretty intriguing, with rational linkages that suggest the answer to be as varied as Jamaica's Independence Day, the year 1962, Minister Koizumi, the number 42, evolutionary theory, and James Joyce. This happened with our limited readership, so we were basically curious to see what would happen if 100s or even 1000s of folks participated. It could really boggle the mind to see such a collective response, or we suppose it could also fall flat -- but we are curious nevertheless.

In some respects, we've treated it as a blogging carnival, except that there is no theme, or rather the point is, to figure out the theme. This, we think, is a first, much like an experiment - being science types, we like experiments.


'Romantic boys' is not an oxymoron.

Too, too cool.

(ChiTrib - registration required. If you haven't got one, try the Bugmenot passwords.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


You have 72% Iowa in you!

Nice score! Are you embarrassed or proud of being so much Iowa? I would be proud, it's great being so closely tied to the Hawkeye State.

Do you have Iowa in you?

via Matt (who entitled his post "Dear God, I Can't Believe It." Neither can we.

The Purpose of Legal Writing Classes

For anyone in law school who wonders why they're forcing you to take a writing class when you've already acheived a four-year undergraduate degree, so you presumably know how to write, and how stupid do they think you are anyway . . .

I present Exhibit A, courtesy of Joe from the excellent Roth & Co. tax updates blog:
[f]or the claimant with the Federal Claim No.: _________________ is with the damage by the loss of the love and nurturing of the children and for the freedom for the use of his property for the pain of the body and mind for the loss.

Skewed Views

The Daily Iowan has another article up about the police ticketing student jaywalkers between classes at the Clinton/Burlington intersection. Originally, I deemed this rather non-bloggable, a topic that resonates with locals and students but only provokes a bored shrug from anyone outside the area. But with quotes like this, I can't resist:
Though police champion the endeavor, many students complained about the increased enforcement.

"It's hard enough for students to pay tuition, said UI junior Chris Pryor. "Now [the city] wants to charge people for a petty crime?"

UI senior Chris Agyeman said the jaywalking citations were another way for the city to take money from cash-strapped college students.

A city-wide anti-student conspiracy? Ooookaaay. That's a tad skewed, don't you think?

I was a student at UI for eight years. In that time, I'll admit I perfected a method of crossing half a street at a time, timing my steps to coincide with and circumvent traffic without ever having to wait for the "walk" signal. When used correctly, the method is highly efficient, getting everyone where they're going without slowing anyone down. But this is not the type of refined traffic-dodging we're discussing here.

The Clinton/Washington intersection problem involves a constant stream of students crossing without any regard to the light whatsoever, bringing automobile traffic to a dead halt for ten minutes at a time. Worse yet, by Iowa standards, not one person in the pack ever bothers to mouth a silent "sorry" or a sheepish wave, or otherwise acknowledge the imposition. To the students in the middle of the stream: please don't tell me you're not aware that, at that precise moment in time, you're being a perfect asshole.

Not to put to fine a point on it.

There isn't a motorist in the city tht hasn't been held hostage by the masses, and it is highly frustrating. I've known otherwise kind, gentle people spurred to the point of deliberately revving the engine or otherwise acting as though about to inflict intentional bodily harm with an automobile, just to try to clear a path. I've seen these scare tactics translate into near-misses as tempers flare on both sides. I've seen pedestrians struck by slow-moving cars, and cars struck by crossing motorists. It's the definitive "accident waiting to happen."

So, while I wish the tickets were unnecessary (and they really should be), I agree with the locals that this was a long time coming.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

An Aside

Somebody please explain to me how it can be sixty-three freaking degrees in Arkansas in August? I didn't pack anything but shorts and light skirts/dresses. At least I do have a couple of sweaters, but I think I'm going to need to cave and buy a pair of jeans. Dammit.

I'm just saying.

Oh, and I won't be around for poker again this week. But the week after looks good . . .

A Few New Rules

I received an email indicating Chief Justice Lavorato signed orders and legislative reports amending court rules.

A couple of items of interest:

1) A whole slew of new regulations take effect October 1st, governing court interpreters. No longer having the litigant's thirteen-year-old kid interpreting the details of his grandparent's will. No more pulling in the felony defendant from the hearing next door. Although there are provisions for an emergency in which the litigants waive these requirements . . . .

2) Effective immediately, there will be no more bar exams given in Iowa City. Polk County only, for whatever reason.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Last March, I did a Friday Fluff Post in which I noted the general cuteness of this dress:

That was before I saw this:

I sooooo stand corrected. . . .

Saturday, August 05, 2006

One Weekend Left!

The Music Man

by Meredith Wilson
Directed by Michael Stokes

July 28, 29, 30 and Aug 4, 5, 6
Fri/Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2:30

Englert Civic Theatre
Downtown Iowa City

The quintessential Iowa Musical, the only hit show written by and about
Iowans, The Music Man follows the adventures of a mythical Iowa town,
"River City," as its citizens are transformed by con-artist Harold Hill and his Boys Band.

Featuring the now-standard songs 76 Trombones, Til There Was You, Trouble, and My White Knight, this is the corridor musical event of the summer for the whole family!

It's an awesome show, Kate and Jason absolutely rock, as does everyone else. Listen for Nelle's "and a Double Boiler" during Wells Fargo Wagon, and keep your eye on little Michelle Lindhart, she's worth the price of admission alone.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Maybe not so much

Didn't get moving pictures - too busy. But we're done. Now I get to move myself. Anybody want to come help fill boxes? I've got four days . . . .

See the sidebar for Iowa news and stuff, I'm going to be drowning in packing materials for the foreseeable future.

In honor of this, I leave you with a few thoughts from the people at