Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Fun With Lists

If you need to stop work and catch a breath of fresh air check out:

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/lists/

It's fun and non-educational. A perfect blend of Peanut Butter and Chocolate.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Baby Pedestal

I'm getting to the point in my life where my friends are having babies and keep me waiting for appointments because their babysitter was late. Therefore I have diligently worked on a solution and come up with The Baby Pedestal, patent pending. I figured sense we have been advertising Cat Furniture, and I think most recently Adult toys, why not this wonderful new product.

The basic concept is simple. You have a baby or toddler. You wish to go to the movies or have an important meeting which you desperately need to be on time for. However, your care provider has called to say that he or she will be a little late. Ordinarily this would also make you late.

Not anymore, not when you have The Baby Pedestal. It's now easy and safe to leave your stupid baby unattended. Before you would have to worry about it; scolding itself on the oven or with an iron, electrocuting itself with the outlet or locking itself in the refridgerator. With Baby Pedestal, no worries.

The three foot pole can be bolted to any even floor surface, in a corner or near furniture. Baby sits comfortably a top the pedestal strapped in tight with padded titanium belts. Wrap it up, hand it a bag full of Cheerio's and turn on the TV. You can walk out that door on time and worry free. When your care provider arrives Baby is where you left it; safe, sound and fit as a fiddle; ready to play and learn.

Baby Pedestal can also come in handy when a child throws a tantrum. Quickly tie them in, place the Baby Bird Cage (patent pending) over the pedestal and throw Baby Sack (patent pending) on top. Slowly, like a bird, baby will stop skwaking and calm down, ready to listen, without your need to raise your hand in anger.

Coming soon, Geriatric Pedestal for guilt free Elder Care, toilet not included.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Changing Greenwich Mean Time

I found the following article in Saturday's Guardian (12.11.05) by Kate Ravilious. The title cought my eye and reminded me of a time when I too was a young timekeeper, aspiring to change Greenwich Mean Time, though on a much more absurd level. I added some comments in brackets.

Why do Americans want to get rid of Greenwich Mean Time?

No one seems to know. Perhaps it's because Greenwich is in the UK and not the US (Is their a better reason?). At a time-keeping meeting (The only meeting in the world that nobody is late for) being held in Geneva this week, scientists from the US proposed changing the current system to make the meridian line become irrelevant.

The idea has some valid reasoning. As the Earth gets older its rotation keeps slowing down slightly. To keep our clocks in sync with the rest of the solar system, timekeepers add a second every 18 months or so (How does one become a timekeeper? Does every country have one?). The next "leap" second will be added at midnight on New Years Eve this year. This means that our clocks are regulated to the pace of the spinning Earth and the Sun always rises in the morning and sets in the evening. The Americans suggest that we drop the leap seconds and just let time tick away (But what will happen to all the timekeepers?!).

"The US haven't given a specific reason (They don't have to, they're the US! ), but it may be because it is difficult to add leap seconds to some computer systems," says Stuart Pollitt, from the National Physical Laboritory. Computer programmers probably see it easier to get rid of the leap second (I knew Bill Gates was behind this). For astronomers tracking distant galaxies this would be disastrous. They rely on extremely precise clocks to cooridinate signals from telescopes all over the world. Day and night might take on a different meaning for future generations. "Over many many years time would lose sync with Earth, meaning that the Sun would not necessarily be highest in the sky at noon," says Pollitt. (Except for people arranging duels, fights and shootouts at high noon, how disastrous could this be?)

As Ever,
Ross

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Long Way to Go for a Relaxing Time

A few months ago I took a trip to Russia to visit with my wife's family. One of the stops we made was to her home town of Angarsk. The town is in Syberia about 13 time zones from New York City.

Her cousin Pavil runs a unique spa there which, if you ever find yourself in Angarsk, you should check out. You're lead into a room full of beds were you place your clothes and put on a robe. From there you are brought to a barrel sauna. They are large wooden barrels, hooked up to giant vats of water with herbs cooking on a stove. You sit in the barrel, with your head sticking out, for fifteen minutes. Your body sweats a lot during this. You should sweat though, you're encased in this kind of hot, sweet smelling herb vapor.

When your done sweating they bring you back to the room with the beds and are presented with a special tea, which is quite good. Then you get a Swedish massage with more herbs and oils. Then you rest for another fifteen minutes.

The whole thing was totally weird but I did feel really relaxed afterward. They say that after a few months of the process your system will have been cleaned out.

Good times.