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20 posts from February 2007

Search and Ye Shall Find, Vol. 2

Search engines like Google and Yahoo are extremely powerful, and I am exaggerating only the teensiest bit when I say that I am able to literally save my life at least once a day using information I find via Google.

However, despite their strengths, these search engines are not perfect.  Sometimes they point us in the wrong direction.  I know this is true because I am able to view a log of the search terms that bring visitors to LMNOP, and in viewing these terms I have come to the sad conclusion that sometimes people come to my website and are not able to find what they were looking for.  For example, the question, "What do I put in my purse" may lead a searcher to this post, which is really only useful in determining what you should not put in your purse, which is 22 lip glosses.

In this feature (which originated here), I attempt to belatedly address some of the questions that I fear LMNOP was not able to answer on the first go around for some of the Internet searchers out there.  Hopefully I can help more people the second time around.

"Meaning of the saying its a dog eat dog world"
Ah, I can definitely help you out here.  This is a charming idiomatic expression highlighting humans' tendency to serve only their own interests and do ruthless things to get them ahead of other people. Thus, humans are like dogs who eat other dogs.  Frankly though, I do not currently know of any examples of dogs actually eating each other, but I guess it must happen a lot for it to have become such a cliche. Maybe someone could explain that part to me.

Goosepimp "what is? goose pimps"
Goose pimps are geese that manage a group of female prostitute geese.

"How do black kids look?"
Good God, where do you live?

"types of people that hate each other"
republicans and democrats
cat people and dog people
contestants on the reality show flavor of love
hybrid car drivers and SUV drivers
really, SUV drivers and anyone else
israelis and palestinians
good guys and bad guys
vegans and normal people
athletic trainers and hilarious super-bloggers
those who say potato and those who say po-tah-to

"getting rid of the stuff that holds you down"
Whether you mean this literally or figuratively, the answer is the same: let go of it.
"how much time do i devote to a hobby"
Ideally, your hobby will be something you find remotely enjoyable and you won't have to set up time quotas for it.

"sacagawea chuck-e-cheese"
I can only assume you were doing some research here to validate your idea that making a sacagawea-themed chuck e. cheese-type facility would indeed be the best idea ever in the history of Earth.  Whoever you are, I would just like you to know that I am interested in investing in this.  There is a man in Namibia who manages my account and I would be glad to give you his contact info.

"story of a old man, who's dropping a letter to a mailbox"
Once there was a very old man.  Where our story picks up, this very old man was dropping a letter into the mailbox on his street corner.  It was a letter to his daughter.

Six weeks later, he died.

"world's tackiest vending machine"
That would be the Japanese vending machine .

"remembering the metric system"
Trust me when I say that you should not waste your time with this.

"bee propaganda"
Say no more.  Obviously you are looking for propaganda that can be used to make bees more productive.  I have designed two options for you:

should i handwrite bar mitzvah invitations or have them printed

Though I am not Jewish and have attended fewer than five bar mitzvahs in my life, I feel fairly confident in asserting that one of the main purposes of the bar mitzvah is to look like you spent a shitload of money.  To that end, I would go with having them printed.

i want my basement like an italian basement
From what I understand, that means you want your son to live in it until he turns 50.  Go for it!

big enough to wear the hat of his grandfather
Ehhh--I'd wait another six months or so.

Your D3 Women's Basketball Update

Today is the first day of Zoo Week over at The Bathtub, and my post is all about animals.  On LMNOP today I'd like to spotlight one animal in particular: bears.  These Bears:


That would be the Ursinus College Women's Basketball Team, pictured here after winning the Centennial Conference championship in a tremendous upset.  (That's my sister Kate, kneeling in the front to the left of the gal with the net around her neck.)  After just squeaking into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth, the Bears then handed monumental defeats to Gettysburg, No. 1-ranked McDaniel, and No. 2-ranked Dickinson.  And they had me and my posse of superfans there to support them along the way:


Read more about yesterday's championship game here, and go look at my pictures here.

Still Not Impressed With T9 Word Prediction Technology

I mean come on, you'd think even the simplest of programs would have realized by now that I'm constantly typing "oh snap" into my cell phone, not "oh soap."  And yet it's always the latter that my phone helpfully suggests to autocomplete for me.  "Oh snap" makes sense!  "Oh soap" does not!  An abacus could have figured that out by now!  Come on, phone, get with it.

How Flannel Preserved the Innocence of a Generation

The other day I was standing in line at Starbucks, and the girl in front of me was on top of her shit.  She had the shoes I've been wanting, the purse I've been wanting, and a phone that I coveted.  Her hair had been perfectly ironed that morning and her leggings/tunic combo had been artfully selected to reflect the current trend du jour.  She ordered her latte in a bored tone that made it clear she'd ordered that drink a million times before.

And then she turned to her mom for some money to pay. 

Because she was 12.

This is surely not the first you've heard of this phenomenon; anecdotal evidence abounds, and it was in the spotlight even more than usual today due to the Monday release of the American Psychological Association's Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls and the subsequent trend pieces in the major papers.  Reading the Washington Post's take, " Goodbye to Girlhood," cemented two thoughts that I've been mulling over for the past few months.

1. Thank GOD for grunge.
If I had gone through middle school during anything like the current cultural moment, I would have had a nervous breakdown tryng to keep up with the level of sexuality involved in being a preteen right now. Fortunately, though, it seems like mid-90s society was basically scientifically engineered to camoflage my awkwardness.

When I was in middle school (1995-1997), the reigning trend in both music and fashion was grunge.  As a result of lyrics like "I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me," our parents may have worried about our self-esteem, but they certainly did not worry about us getting pregnant.  Angst poetry and self-loathing do not exactly breed hypersexuality.  Middle School Lauren had a much better shot at fitting in than she ever could have had today.

Mid90s_copy First, there were the clothes.  My body type at 13 could best be described as "not applicable."  Although I suppose the flatness of my chest would have made it much easier for people to read "Your boyfriend thinks I'm hot" off of it, that would have only really served to expedite complete strangers' ability to laugh at the irony of mywearing such a tee. Fortunately for me, though, the formula for a great outfit in 1996 comprised some very forgiving elements (see graphic).

Do I need to explain why baggy jeans do a lot more for the walking 180-degree angle that serves as the body of most preteens than tight tank tops and low cut jeans ever will?  Didn't think so.

Mid90sdance_copy The grunge mentality also saved me on the dance floor.  Whereas the partcular body movements that currently qualify as "dancing" require coordination, confidence, and large amounts of bumping and grinding, when I was in middle school dancing was simple: it amounted to standing in a crowd and jumping up and down.  I could handle that.

Bear in mind that I'm not saying that I was able to master even the simple trends of the mid-90s; no, I was still frightfully awkward.  But by God, at least I had a chance to try and keep up.  At least I could comprehend what it was that separated me from the cooler kids.  These days it would just be pointless.

2. Dear sweet Lord, don't give me no daughters.
In my limited experience as an 'adult,' I have found that the single most effective way to actually make me feel old is to present me with a preteen or teenaged child.  Seeing how much more advanced these young women are than I was at their age is intimidating, depressing, and confusing.  But here's the thing: it's only been a decade.  By the time I have kids, things will probably have progressed to the point where female babies are just taken from the delivery room straight onto the set of a rap video to be raised there.  Or something.  My limited, un-hip mind is incapable of even envisioning it.  I'm just hoping for boys.

The Five Worst Blogs That Don't Exist

Nobody knows the exact formula for making a good blog, but is it possible to derive the formula for a guaranteed-to-be bad one?  Today I've taken five of the highest-ranked blogs and envisioned what their complete polar opposite blogs would be like.  (Because, you know, there totally aren't enough bad blogs on the Internet, so someone should probably be making up imaginary ones.)  Here they are:


THE BLOG: NotSecret
BASED ON: PostSecret
THE IDEA: PostSecret is "an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard." This is great for people with tortured pasts, pent-up fears, and private wishes, but what about those people you meet every day who want the whole world to know their entire life story and their "awesome" ideas?  That's who NotSecret is for.  NotSecret collects postcards from people who want attention!




THE BLOG: PlopPlop
BASED ON: BoingBoing
THE IDEA: Perpetually on the short list of Best. Blogs. Ever., BoingBoing bills itself as "a directory of wonderful things."  PlopPlop would take BoingBoing's format and use it to catalogue extremely unremarkable things.
Library Conference Should Be Pretty Boring
The Association of College and Research Libraries is hosting its 13th National Conference this March.  Should be a real yawner!

Library1952 Keep pace with hot library issues such as advocacy, assessment, collections, digital initiatives, information literacy, and scholarly communication.  Choose from more than 250 peer-reviewed programs focusing on issues to help you stay ahead in an ever-changing profession. Link


THE BLOG: un-Cute Overload
BASED ON: Cute Overload
THE IDEA: Cute Overload has risen to the top of the blogosphere on the wings of a very simple premise: people like cute things, and they want to see pictures of them.  It should follow, then, that a website consisting of ugly, deformed, or just plain average animal specimens (all captioned in a cutesy voice) would surely find its way to the bottom of the blogosphere.
Oh my gosh, peeps, I am so undie-whelmed by this submishe.  This cat's all like, "Hey, guys!  Isn't my neck yucky?  And aren't my ears big and weird?  Be apathetic to me!"


Thanks, sender-inner Karen, for sharing your lame cat Norman with us!


THE BLOG: Thengadget
BASED ON: Engadget
THE IDEA: Keeping up with technology, gadgets and gizmos is tough, exhausting work.  It's way easier to review products that have been around for a few years. 
Product Review: The Nokia 3560 Cell Phone
121 Outdated and clunky, the the Nokia 3560 is no longer available for sale from retailers (you could try eBay, though!)  That's a good thing, because it's basically obsolete in today's world of blossoming mobile multimedia capabilities.  The 3560 will hold you back in pretty much anything you do, from texting with friends to checking your e-mail. Additionally, you'd have a hell of a time trying to find accessories compatible with this product.  The bottom line: don't buy this phone.


THE BLOG: I like celebrities!
BASED ON: Any snarky celebrity blog you can think of
THE IDEA: People run to Perez Hilton, Pink is the New Blog, The Superficial, etc., etc., because they give them their celeb news fix with a twist of nasty humor.  I like celebrities! would turn this model on its head and offer celebrities genuine, earnest compliments on their work and best wishes for their personal life.
Britney Spears has shaved her head!  We don't have permission to run the images here, and we would never violate a copyright law :-) so let's just say that she looks GREAT and leave it to your imagination.  Brit can rock any look, and this crop is no exception.  We're gonna cut it short today though, because Brit also released a statement asking for a little respect because she's going through some rough personal times. We totally understand, Britney!  We're just gonna back off for a while until you let us know you're ready to be in the spotlight again.  Best wishes!  Take care!

Take a Moment to Honor the Men Responsible for So Many Great Car Sales Today

Off work for President's Day?  Great!  Then you have ample time to check out my post in The Bathtub today, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Presidents But Couldn't, Because It Wasn't True."  Find out what President invented Oreos and why James Buchanan never took off his T-shirt at the beach, and then find out why I am so bitter on this hallowed-est of hallowed days.

Then, if you still have time to burn, rejoice!  MacNamerica is back!!!

This Week In Internet: Chairs, and Other Pairs

It's always interesting to see what trends pop up among the links I gather in the course of a week.  For example, two of this week's links have to do with chairs.  One is this YouTube video (via Kottke) of a creation that will--please read this in your best movie-man voice--change the way you think of the phrase "folding chair," forever!   Another is this gallery of chairs made from champagne corks.

Another trend was 90s Teen Stars Hooking Up With Reality TV People.  Spearheaded by Jodie Sweetin/Jason Wahler and Matthew Lawrence/Cheryl Burke, this trend is one that I'm guessing won't really have legs past this week.  But that folding chair didn't really have legs either, and it was pretty cool.

Heads were also big in the Internet this week.  Teens are using theirs to harm themselves and commit vandalism at the same time , which is actually a very admirable consolidation of the two main teen hobbies.  It's much more productive than how this full-grown adult chose to use his head this week.  It remains to be seen what will be the more expensive medical procedure: reversing brain damage from jumping into a fence, or having the eggs and sausage removed from your head with lasers.

The fourth Internet trend I uncovered this week was Dubious Branding Choices.  While I totally love how Google does special holiday logos, I think their Valentine's Day choice was weak, weak, weak.  At first it looks like they omitted the "l" entirely, like you used to do in grade school when you were focusing so hard on writing your name in block letters that you left out a key letter; upon closer examination, though, it seems like that strawberry stem is supposed to pass for an "l."  Um, LAME.  And while we're on the subject, please check out the new UN sign for radiation.  It appears to have been designed on the principle that people in danger of radiation exposure have ample time to solve a rebus.

Also, some 2000 year-old coins have researchers speculating that Antony and Cleopatra were ugly .  After viewing the picture of said coins, I can confirm this.

Because I Love Celebrating Milestones

After uploading and lazily captioning a new set of photos last night, I noticed that my Flickr stats said I had 1,004 photos.  That would make this my 1000th Flickr photo:

mah gurrrrrrls
Kelly, Emily, congratulations.  You win a free year of groceries!  (And by "free year of groceries," I actually mean a free year of me continuing to post ridiculous photos of you on the Internet.)

Check out the whole set, but beware: it jumps from the TiVo party to the Blogjam party to the Caps game with no warning whatsoever, and the captions are pretty half-assed.