Friday, June 22, 2007

Question of the Day: Pets

What is your pet of choice?

Answers I've received already:
~ Dog, of course.
~ Cats, only cats, and never anything other than cats.
~ Snakes, particularly large ones that scare girls.

My answer:
If I must choose only one, dogs for sure. Aren't my lil' buddies adorable?

(Post your answer as a comment.)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I can't count to 1 million

I'm telling you, I couldn't. No, no, it's never going to happen, and don't try to convince me otherwise. It initially sounds like an easy task.

But just watch this guy. He's laying on his sofa and counting out loud in his southern twang. Today, Day Four, he's counted between 37,001 and almost 53,000 (as of my posting).

Honest! Who would make this up?! Go, take a look, and tell me you don't quickly lose faith in your own ability to lounge about, neglect your life and otherwise make an ass of yourself on the interwebs. Yeah, naw, I'm thinking I'd sooner claim the inability to count, like, at all - not even to 10.

I say this, of course, because it would be, for me, a lesser embarrassment than completing, or even attempting, this project. Now that I look at his site more closely, I realize the man has sponsors' banners draped around his living room and is selling T-shirts bearing his smirking mug and the beaming-with-pride phrase, "I helped this idiot count to 1 million." This means that not only does he have entirely too much time on his hands and a skewed picture of what might entertain people (you know, normal people, not bloggers like me). He also has high hopes, BIG dreams. This man is an entrepreneur.

Take that, critics. You and I work much, much harder for our money. Shame on us, and God speed to him.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Question of the Day: SCUBA

Have you ever been SCUBA diving?

Post your answer as a comment.
(Bonus points if you know what the acronym stands for.)

Answers I've received already:
~ No, but I've been snorkeling.
~ No, dern it! But I want to. Does that count?
~ No, I like to breathe. Thanks.
~ Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes! Oh, wait. SCUBA? I thought you said muff. OK, nevermind.

My answer:
Nope, snorkeling is more my speed.

(Post your answer as a comment.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Question of the Day: Socks

Where do you buy your socks?

Post your answer as a comment.

Answers I've received so far:
~ Athlete's Foot
~ Target (this was a popular one)
~ Who the eff knows? I don't remember the last time I bought socks.

My answer:
Target, usually (big surprise).

(Post your answer as a comment.)

Author to be knighted (if he isn't bombed first)

Salman Rushdie has accepted the offer of knighthood from the Queen of England. But BBC and NPR report that this announcement led Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq, Pakistan's religious affairs minister, to basically call suicide bombers to action. According to the British newspaper, The Guardian, he said, "The west is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism. If someone exploded a bomb on his body he would be right to do so unless the British government apologizes and withdraws the 'sir' title."

For a bit of background: Rushdie is an accomplished author, whose novel "Midnight Children" won him the prestigious Booker Prize in 1981. He was accused by his fellow Muslims of making blasphemous statements in his 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses," and the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwah (or call for assassination) against him. So, he lived pretty much in hiding for the next 10 years, until the fatwah was called off. Since then, he has been living the life of a much-loved and -respected author: book tours, speaking engagements and other intellectual pursuits.

The U.K.'s "knight committee" (I don't know its official name or if it even has one) is made up mostly of artistic types who then pass their list of candidates onto Tony Blair to "rubber stamp" before it makes its way to the Queen. When they placed Rushdie on their list of 2007 candidates, they say it didn't occur to them that it might spark international controversy or threats of violence; they say they figured "The Satanic Verses" issue was water under the bridge. Today, Duncan Campbell, senior correspondent for The Guardian, reported on NPR that Rushdie is celebrating his 60th birthday in London with his family and friends. What will come of this remains to be seen.

Barrie Hardymon wrote this on NPR's Blog of the Nation:

With all the hubbub, fatwas, and attractive chefs surrounding him, it's easy to forget that Salman Rushdie is a wonderful writer. Before he wrote a little book called The Satanic Verses in 1988, he had already won the Booker Prize (for one of my favorites, Midnight's Children... though I can't recommend his children's book Haroun and the Sea of Stories highly enough). Well, more hubbub, I'm afraid. Saturday's announcement that the Indian-born (but still British) writer is to be knighted in the UK has enraged Iran and Pakistan all over again. To some, it's an honor richly deserved; but the long held belief that The Satanic Verses contains blasphemous references to Islam, makes the politics of the knighthood pretty tricky. However, Rushdie may not care; my favorite quote of his (about poets, but you can read artists in general) is this: "A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep." Here's hoping we (with your help) can do all of that here at NPR as well: start arguments... shape the world.

I, too, love that quote by Rushdie and wonder if it isn't an answer to the issue. In the end, we all should feel free to write anything we want without fear of reprisal, let alone death.

What do you think?

Video is international

YouTube has just been launched in nine other countries, and you can bet I'm on the lookout for cool stuff. But on my very first visit, I found this video about Cupid looking for a love of his own in Ireland.

Who knew Cupid had it in him?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Question of the Day: Cartoons

What's the last cartoon you watched?

Post your answer as a comment.

Some answers I've already received:
~ Smurfs
~ Dragonball Z
~ A war propaganda cartoon featuring Donald Duck as a Nazi
~ Invader Zim
~ Samurai Champloo
(Seems my friends are quite diverse. Yay!)

My answer:
Shin Chan
(definitely not for the little ones)

(Post your answer as a comment.)

Flagpole Sitta

These folks totally improved upon this already great Harvey Danger song. If only everyone's cubemates were so cool!

Get a free HIV test

The CDC says that between 180,000 and 280,000 people have HIV but don't know it yet. There are many reasons people don't get tested, fear and inconvenience among them. The usually prohibitive cost will not be a reason on National HIV Testing Day (June 27), when many health centers will offer free HIV tests. Once someone knows he has HIV, he can take the steps to maintain a high quality of life and prevent spreading it to others.

Here in South Florida, Planned Parenthood is offering free rapid HIV tests from 1 to 5 p.m. at its five centers in Broward and Palm Beach counties, which rank among the top 3 Florida counties in number of HIV/AIDS cases. The agency claims to have identified five HIV-positive people at these centers on last year's National HIV Testing Day. For locations, visit Planned Parenthood of South Palm Beach & Broward Counties, Inc. at

To find a free HIV testing site in another area, visit HIV Test.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Question of the Day: Wakey wakey!

What time did you wake up today?

Post your answer as a comment.

Answers I've received already:
~ 10:30 a.m.
~ 8 a.m.
~ 2 (ish) p.m.

My answer:
I was up at 8 a.m. but went back to bed for a couple hours. (Hey, don't judge me! Sunday's my only day off!)

Some yogurt with your beetles, sir?

Vegans wouldn't eat yogurt, of course, but perhaps vegetarians should stay away from yogurt, too -- especially the strawberry kind. Apparently, the yummy pink stuff gets its color from crushed female cochineal beetles and their eggs.

See a crushed beetle, and the resulting red liquid, below. Yum.