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Posts from February 2013

Octopuses are so smart and beautiful

There be MonstersThere be Monsters by Erik Charlton (cc by)

once they know you and trust you, they will let you touch them, and will come to you and give you hundreds of loving kisses with their little suckers. And they look into your eyes and you look into theirs and you feel that a fragile golden thread of communication is connecting two of the most advanced and alien intelligences on earth, and that gives you hope for every little living thing.

by jessamyn

"Go Daddy is her chicken suit"

NASCARNASCAR by Pranavian (cc by)

While discussing Danica Patrick qualifying first in the upcoming Daytona 500, member dejah420 recounts the demands of car racing and what it's like moving up in the racing world as a young woman:

I am a woman. I drove my first drag race when I was barely big enough to reach the pedals. I won. A lot. The majority of that because the powerhouse I was holding on to was so insanely good; not because I was a prodigy. Drag racing is all about holding on to your ride. By 16 or so, I could hold my own on dirt tracks, and won regularly enough that someone was willing to chance me driving oval.

by mathowie

There have always been coffee nerds

Vintage Lion Coffee AdVintage Lion Coffee Ad by thegraphicaddict (cc by-sa)

In an AskMe trying to track down a coffee press from a screen shot MsMolly one of our local librarians, tracks down an amusing letter to the editor from an 1814 coffee nerd.

by jessamyn

On refereeing competitive Tetris

TetrisTetris by Gryphus R (cc by-nc-nd)

In a thread about competitive Tetris, tournament ref Chris Higgins drops in to answer some questions about the whole experience, in this and later comments:

So, yeah — being a ref in this case did not involve the kind of ref action you'd see in boxing or other physical sports. The players were well-behaved (no cheating that I saw, no pausing, etc.). But it's a real tournament, and the players are serious. They're also using thrift store equipment that could die at any time, so I was keeping track of scores in realtime in case we lost a console, TV, etc. and I had to call whoever was ahead. Keeping track of the two scores is actually pretty hard.

by cortex

"in certain situations, the failure to convey the actual documents may lead to incorrect outcomes. "

Credit card image: first attemptCredit card image: first attempt by Ross_Angus (cc by)

The [credit reporting agencies] get away with offenses to the proper management of personal data that Google or Facebook would be publicly flayed for.

A look behind the curtain from a MeFite who used to work with charged-off consumer loans.

by jessamyn

We've put together visual indicators of which podcasts have been transcribed, and we're almost halfway to transcribing all of them!

by jessamyn

Squirrels and their nuts

Little People 1Little People 1 by bdebaca (cc by)

"I am really good at sexing small mammals." and many other job-related superpowers that MeFites have obtained.

by jessamyn

Island foxes: incredibly shitty at mating

a pair of island foxes, from the National Park Service via Wikimedia Commonsa pair of island foxes, from the National Park Service via Wikimedia Commons

"[I]t turns out that fox genitalia is weird...."

by jessamyn

On journaling

GRCA 20819 Powell Expedition JournalGRCA 20819 Powell Expedition Journal by Grand Canyon NPS (cc by)

I am no longer simply the kid who wrote those things, did those things. I am that person with years, layers of experience and judgement added to the mix. Something like looking into the mirror, but your image doesn't behave the way you'd like it to behave. Anyhow, my memory needed to be tweaked, and I'm glad I did it.

Several things stand out. I was shocked to see things (written there) that I thought I'd never forget, but had. Also, some of the memories I carried never happened to me--they were things someone else told me, and I had internalized them. More subtle slippage, in that sometimes I wrote several page of bullshit--not lies, just circumscriptions, soldierly evasions, using standard war-story phrases--while trying to say something, and that something never quite made the trip from my mind to the paper. Yet thirty years later I could see between the lines. I know what I couldn't say then. It it truly wierd how we are able to store little packets of reality without knowing it, and when the right stimulus comes along, all the little itches and aromas, textures and sensations waft up to command the senses, like a fugue, if you please.

Mostly, though, when I read that journal I was surprised, as if I were seeing the kid who wrote it in person for the first time. All these years I'd thought him to be an asshole, but looking back at him now, he wasn't all that bad, just young, and without much of a perspective with which to deal with the impossible things he was witnessing. Doing. He was better at his job than I remember.

by jessamyn

How the homecoming mum thing works

chrysanthemumschrysanthemums by Muffet (cc by)

I used to grow the mums, and I'd sell them on game day. It took one hell of a lot of labor. We would contact the grower and tell them exactly when we needed to harvest the mums. They'd send a schedule and we'd check it, it had exact days when you had to plant, pinch, debud, and force them. Here's how it goes.....

by jessamyn

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