Friday, June 27, 2008

i knew i was more there's proof!

after countless hours poring over scientific journals [READ: numbly scanning blogs], i've found the proof that i always knew was out there which substantiates my belief that i'm more evolved than most.

neurophysiologist katherine rankin at the university of california, SF, has recently discovered that sarcasm plays an important part in human social interaction. like we didn't already know that. according to the good doctor, those who can't readily discern sarcasm appear to have less functional/evolved parahippocampal gyrus regions in their right brain. that cortex of the brain not only controls certain memory recall functions and visual recollections, but registers social contexts. she notes that people with dementia, or head injuries in that area, often lose the ability to pick up on sarcasm, and so they don’t respond in a socially appropriate ways. (which makes me wonder if damn near ALL of my relatives weren't dropped on their heads as children).

we use sarcasm to form alliances with people with whom we are socially compatible and to pick out "enemies" who, to simplify, may represent a threat to our personal advancement. it is this mastery of "social intelligence" (which encompasses humor, conversational ability, friend/foe recognition, and sarcasm), anthropologists say, that has allowed the human race to thrive and evolve. (and i thought it was TV that brought us this far)



Thursday, June 26, 2008

who knew?

in my endeavor to buy locally as much as possible, i was discriminatingly scouring the bins at my local whole foods and discovered a new (to me) vegetable! these peculiar green tentacles were produced at a farm about half an hour south of here and are called garlic scapes. the scape is the green flower stem that the garlic bulb shoots skyward as it matures. these shoots are delicate and pliable and will curl into the little tendrils you see here. i promptly googled them and discovered lots of recipes and other facts about them. though i haven't eaten them yet, the literature i've found suggests they have a crispy texture similar to asparagus with a mild garlic flavor without the acrid garlic bite. i gather that they are most readily found at local farmers markets and whole/natural/organic food stores. if you're inclined to find scapes or discover other new and unusual local produce, check HERE to find a local farmers market or a farm near you.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

unplug yourself: part one

**disclaimer: if you've never seen any of the Matrix movies, you'll be a bit out of the loop but i think you'll be ok.**

the Matrix movies tell the story of a future in which the reality perceived by humans is actually a simulated reality created by sentient machines in order to pacify and subdue the human population so that those sentient machines can harness the energy from human body heat and neural activity for their own sustenance.

enter...the Meatrix! the founders of Sustainable Table, an organization dedicated to the furtherance of sustainable food sources, created a series of spoof videos whose aim is to educate people about the perils of factory farming. the analogy is genius.

i don't preach and i don't judge others for what they eat but i feel like i'm being remiss if i don't do my part to at least expose others (all 4 of you that read this blog) to the atrocities being committed to fulfill the nation's demand for meat, eggs, and dairy. i'll spare you the blood and guts (the facts are readily available if you want them) but animals are grossly mistreated and sanitation standards are blatantly disregarded in the name of speed and profit. these shortcuts have meant increases in the occurrence of disease in both the animals and the humans that consume the byproducts and more artificial compounds like hormones and antibiotics being added [READ: injected] to increase productivity.

i'm not saying that you should stop eating meat. that's a big choice to make and requires a commitment for one's own reasons. what i am saying is that you should be cognizant of where your meat/eggs/dairy comes from and how it was treated before reaching your grocery cart.

buy local and/or organic as frequently as you can. ask questions about where your groceries come from. use the eat well guide to find sustainable food sources in your area. oh...and if at all possible, don't patronize fast food restaurants. they are the most heinous offenders when it comes to fueling "the Meatrix." do it for yourself too...the "food" they produce is terrible for you. eating that shit'll catch up with you. in short, be responsible for what you put in your body.

although i am an unparalleled fount of knowledge, check your library for books, magazines, and movies about sustainable food, the food industry, and green issues in general. some resources that have really opened my eyes:
Slaughterhouse - Gail Eisnitz
Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser (also a movie for those who don't want to read)
Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating - Erik Marcus
The Food Revolution - John Robbins
Skinny Bitch - Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

i'm not advocating that you all go out and become long-haired, tree-hugging, hemp-necklaced vegans. i just urge you to look past the blinders and refuse to buy into the Meatrix. educate yourself, dig a little deeper, and invest in your health instead.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

math worse than mine

as those that know me are well aware, i was absent the day they taught math. numbers just don't work inside my head. i don't like math, i don't do well with math, and as long as i can continue to make words work for me, i'll continue to be arithmetically challenged. last night, however, my computational prowess soared as i found someone worse at math than me.
i encountered a man who had committed a minor violation for which my discretion could be used in whether to enforce by citation or exercise my jedi-mind-trick "this never happened" powers. as we conversed, the man begged me to be merciful and pleaded, "c'mon man, don't give me a ticket....i just got out of jail on the 38th of last month."

with math like that, i think he deserved the break :-)


Monday, June 9, 2008

a free coffin, a moose, and the vagina couch

we've spoken before about the instances of "circumstantial voyeurism" when, by some serendipitous alignment of forces, we're allowed a glimpse into someone else's life. my buddy just put me onto an unlikely catalog of these wonderful portals...the BEST OF!
i use craigslist fairly regularly and i'm frankly surprised that i've never noticed this awesome feature of the site. see, with every posted ad on craigslist, there's a way to flag that post as miscategorized, prohibited, spam, or best of craigslist. i knew about the flags for the other stuff but the best of craigslist option is new to me....and it's freakin' fantastic!

i'm sure some of these ads are contrived but i'm also sure that some are completely legit. either way, they bear frittering away at least a little bit of time that could be better spent doing something productive. some of my favorites are the chattanooga ladies man, kissing lessons, a husband's terms, the exhibitionist's apology, the vagina couch, and one person's box of precious memories.

you won't be sorry :-)


Saturday, June 7, 2008

channeling chaucer

i'd said to myself that i was going to try to steer clear of using the people and situations i encounter at work as fodder for my blog but sometimes it's just too much to resist. *smiling incredulously and shaking head side to side*

you see, recently, i had the pleasure of meeting a former presidential candidate. while checking a park area in a local canyon, i saw a vehicle parked just ahead of me on the side of the road (in violation of park regulations). as i pulled in behind the vehicle, this is what i saw: (camera phone picture)

now i took psychology 101 in college so i'm pretty good at cluing in on classic attention-seeking behavior so i felt like it was the responsible thing to do to indulge this apparent holy man and see if there was perhaps some divine reason he was parked alone in a park at 2 in the morning. the encounter that ensued can only be described as deeply uplifting. *smiling incredulously and shaking head side to side again*

just so you get a full idea of what i observed, i searched the internet for others who have been blessed by a similar experience and here are some other angles of our reverend's political pot-mobile. (click the pictures for close-ups)

i politely informed our man of god...sorry...God...that he was in violation of park reg's and he apologized. i then gingerly asked him to tell me about the message he was trying to spread via his car/billboard. the good reverend told me that he'd been a write-in presidential candidate in 2004 and was encouraging people to help his campaign now in 2008. he also informed me that the election process is biased towards the rich and THAT was the reason his campaign had lost strength in 2004 and cost him the presidency. this becomes an infintely funnier concept when you watch his video. in the brief conversation we had, he told me that he didn't have any marijuana with him but said, "If one will look at the medical facts, one will find that there are many blessings associated with the plant." who can argue?

i wished our reverend well, sent him on his way, and promptly googled him to learn more. as it turns out, he was (at least partially) telling the truth. he apparently has a cult following, a website, a video, and, of course, a myspace page. go ahead, check them out....i'll wait....

if chaucer was writing his canterbury tales for 2008, i'm sure the parson's tale would be pretty much a verbatim transcription of this.

again...who can argue? *smiles and shakes head incredulously*