Thursday, September 24, 2009

Surprise Vs. Saturation

Above: the greatest endgame play ever

In last night's episode of Glee, our heroic football team is scoreless and on the verge of defeat with scant seconds ticking down. The quarterback Finn Hudson gets the genius idea to pull off one heck of a surprise which is just enough to score a game-winning touchdown. Inspired by this show of creativity, the coach sends in Kurt Hummel, Finn's fellow Glee Clubber and flamboyantly unlikely teammate for the field goal kick. Our heroes win the game, Finn is congratulated for his unconventional strategy, and Kurt has won so much of his father's approval that he becomes confident enough to confess a secret to him.

I know all this because of Facebook. I fetched the video from Huffington Post (yes, I'm a leftist moderate. Deal with it). Rest assured, the team dancing to Single Ladies is hilarious enough. But I had quite a number of friends who just couldn't stop talking about the scene (and rightfully so). I've heard tales of friends with goosebumps that their favorite song was used to unique and full effect, whereas I was on duty and couldn't watch it.

I haven't seen the full episode yet. I don't know if there was foreshadowing for the audacious play, but if there was, then expecting the routine would be a credit and reward for the audience figuring it out. If there was no foreshadowing, then just the unexpected explosion of music would cement the warm absurdity. Both forms of surprise would be great. I wonder just what the surprise would have felt like had I watched the show and become engrossed with it. It's one thing to read about something that's already happened, but to see something special unfold before your very eyes? That's the magic of TV, film, theatre, etc.

Of course, it's hard to be surprised these days in an age of spoilers and rapid information thanks to Twitter and 24 hour news and Facebook. For me, that's not too much of a problem. Rather, my problem isn't so much that there's too much information, but that there's enough information to rob the initial joy of finding something out for yourself. If there's a show that only you watch, or if you investigate something and only you find the conclusion, there's a certain pride in telling others about it, so that they might learn or take part in what makes you enjoy what you found. On some metatextual level, reading about it on Facebook doesn't seem like your friend told you, it seems like Facebook told you. It's a layer that removes part of the fun, I think. In some strange twist, because of that removed layer, I can't really fault anyone for the spoiler, either. These days how do you tell people anymore and retain that sense of discovery?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ode to Spot

(image from DeviantArt)
Felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature,
An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature;
Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
Contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses.

I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations,
A singular development of cat communications
That obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection.

A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents;
You would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance.
And when not being utilized to aid in locomotion,
It often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.

O Spot, the complex levels of behavior you display
Connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.
-- Lt. Cmdr. Data

Thursday, August 20, 2009

And Now, Parking Tickets!

(Hey, why not?)

The following excerpt is from Time Out Chicago (week of 8/20/09). I've given tips (or rather, venting sessions) about rules of the highway and proper driving procedure. As a change of pace, this article provides some insider tips about parking tickets. This should be especially useful since the city's much aligned (and, let's face it, horribly run) privatized parking deal with LAZ. Also of note, parking by the lake won't be free anymore by the end of the summer, which makes the article even more helpful.


Former City Parking-Enforcement Officer

About 2.6 million parking tickets are written annually in Chicago, and only 10 percent are contested. That’s a shame, says Sheldon Zeiger, the former city hearing officer who wrote and published Stick it to your ticket (12.95), a guide to demystifying the battle against tyrannical parking fines. “All the citizen needs to do in his defense is reduce the case to 50/50, and the hearing officer should dismiss it, “Zeiger says.

As soon as you spot the orange slip on your car, don’t toss it into your glove compartment. Zeiger suggests a little crime-scene investigating. “Was the ticket written properly? Did the officer write down the right location? The right plate number? The right make? Did he put the right time? Let’s say there’s a real problem with the location – the officer wrote down the 200 block of Halsted but you were parked on the 300 block of Halsted. Right there you can contest the ticket and say, ‘Look, the ticket wasn’t written correctly on its face.’ A lot of tickets are dismissed for that reason.”

If all the basic ID information is correct, look at the explanation for the ticket. You might realize you’re being ticketed for a sign violation but there aren’t any signs there or they’re obscured, “ Zeiger says. Now, you can begin forming your defense—gathering evidence and witnesses. “Take photos with your cell phone and ask members of your party to sign a notarized statement.”

Your defense should not be based on excuses. In deciding more than 100,000 parking-ticket cases over 15 years, Zeiger says he’s heard of everying from variations on the Good Samaritan (“I was reading to the blind. How could you ticket me?”) to claims of sexual blackmail (“The officer tried to pick me up and when I said no, he gave me a ticket”). “Excuses never work,” Zeiger says, “but proof does.”


Bad Luck Trends Help Us All

Just looking over the 8/20 edition of the Sun-Times, we have:

-a 20 year old suspect randomly attacking Tom Barrett, who just happens to be mayor of Milwaukee

-two men attacking firefighter Matt Jones in a spot right on a CPD patrol route

-a man scarfing down a sandwich and sloppily licking his fingers after each bite, perhaps unknowingly conversing with nationally-syndicated columnist and critic Richard Roeper

Three stories and three chance encounters. In each instance, the anonymous perpetrator had no idea that he was basically committing these acts while around public (actual or eventual) figures. While it's true that one should pretty much be on good behavior everytime they're out and about, it's doubly more important when you realize that you never know who you'll meet some day. Beating up a mayor and a firefighter could bring about extra charges that wouldn't normally come from attacking a regular joe, but then again, you don't really know who's a regular joe and who's not. The solution to this problem is simple: treat everyone as if they're not.

As for the finger-licking man by Roeper? That's just gross, man. It may not be a crime, but it's annoying and sick, and getting publicized like that is punishment that fits the crime. *blech!*

Friday, August 14, 2009

Downe and Very Out

Above: Bruno, clearly happy that I'm reviewing his film

Three out of four stars

I didn’t know quite what to expect when I walked into the theater to watch Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest endeavor Bruno. The film starts out innocently enough: the audience gets a quick setup of trendy Austrian fashion reporter Bruno (he repeatedly claims he is 19 years old, but is played by 37 year old Cohen) as well as a sodomy-filled montage with his boyfriend Diesel (Clifford Bañagale), which wisely yet disturbingly sets the tone for the film’s wildly preposterous characters and equally ridiculous segments. As one of the elite names of the Austrian fashion scene, we get to see just a taste of his fame until scandal erupts and he loses everything he values – money, Diesel, and most importantly, fame.

With this temporary setback, Bruno embarks on a quest to become big in Hollywood with his faithful and somewhat smitten assistant’s assistant Lutz (Gustaf Hammarsten). We see many attempts of Bruno being earnestly resourceful and creative but committing one faux pas after another. From acting to talk show hosting to adopting a modern accessory, his lack of scale and comprehension constantly get him into trouble when he interviews real people, and his leaps of logic repeatedly get him into situations that would be dangerous only for a person like Bruno.

Remarkably, for all of Bruno’s personal failings, there is no shortage of Hollywood cameos. With the amount of pain and effort Bruno puts into his ill-conceived plans, it would be heartbreaking to see him not encounter these names. Though things never go according to plan, the cameos bring about an air of legitimacy to his quest and help endear Bruno to the audience.

The film is 82 minutes long, but there are definitely no boring spots. There are a few segments that are downright painful to watch, but much of the film’s humor derives from Bruno’s fake antics and his victims’ very-real reactions, in classic Borat-style, for a dynamic one-two punch. Sacha Baron Cohen does an admirable job of adlibbing in order to elicit certain responses from those on screen, and something must be said of just how gutsy a performer he is. Cohen as Bruno is met with hostility and Cohen gives you something of a dual surprise: how at times he manages to stand his ground for the sake of the joke and, in other times, just how quickly he can run for dear life. Apparently, Cohen employs a relentless philosophy in which it is better for the film to keep the audience’s attention at all times, no matter the cost. No one watching this film will catch their breath.

Cohen’s previous film Borat was about exposing America’s latent xenophobia and anti-immigration attitudes, and Bruno seeks to question America’s homophobia in the same style. Had the story in Bruno been stronger, I would have considered it a detriment as it follows roughly the same formula as Borat, right down to the conflict with the loyal sidekick. However, since there is not much of a story and the true charm of the film comes from the segments themselves, I am willing to let the similarities slide. Rather, while Bruno admirably seeks to push the envelope in order to further explore the homophobic attitudes and/or self-absorbed naiveté of America’s citizens, some segments accomplish this goal while others seem to do nothing else but to provoke whatever victim had the misfortune of running into Cohen. Bruno’s agent, for example, doesn’t come across as malicious or anti-Gay, but just as an object for Cohen to antagonize. Compare that interaction with the gay conversion preachers, who would be the ideal target for the subject matter, and the film comes across as uneven in that regard.

Despite the lack of consistency, the jokes and gags flow from within the context of the segments because the punch lines come from the victims themselves, with Cohen only providing the push. The old adage of “You can’t make this stuff up” certainly rings true, and these displays of honesty cut through plenty of false sincerity that only actors could give. While seeking the truth is always a hazard in some way, Bruno just barely gets away by the skin of his teeth. If there’s one thing everybody loves in a film, it’s a harrowing escape.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One Cent Per Fired Synapse

(or rather, a penny for your thoughts)

From the Archive of Knowledge:

-A penny costs 1.4 cents to mint
-The Bible is the most shoplifted book in the world
-Glenn Beck and Bill Maher both identify as Libertarians

How much thought is given these days?

“This is a wonderful capital to cover things in because there’s an awful lot of information available despite the growth of secrecy and so on. For example, when I had the Weekly and there would be an explosion in a country I didn’t know a damn thing about, and I had to go to press in two days. I had to write an article for a weekly – that’s a little more reflective than a daily story. You can have room to move and a little extra time to give it depth. So what do you do? If it’s a country that depends on, say, copper, you go to the Bureau of Mines in the Interior Department and you get the latest report on copper. And the report on the copper industry will give you a sense of the basic social-economic factors that are working in that country, and you’ll understand it better. If it’s soybeans, you go to the agriculture department and get the latest few crop reports. I got a good hell of a news story before the Korean War when I discovered that the Kuomintang in China were buying soybean futures as if they knew something was coming, and then there was a Senate investigation, and they did know something.”

--I.F. Stone, discussing the merits of true investigative journalism

And I post it because I came across that paragraph right before Laura Ling and Euna Lee were released from North Korea, after they were captured doing what any good journalist is supposed to do.

More driving tips:

-When driving on the left lane, don’t dive through the middle lane to the right lane in order to get to your exit. Not only is that extraordinarily dangerous, but it considerably slows down traffic as well. If you must go across an entire highway, move one lane at a time, keeping careful watch of your speed.

-Seat belts, Seat belts, Seat belts.

-Look in the rear view mirror once in a while. It won’t kill you, and it might actually save you and people around you some aggravation.

Awful Terrible & Troublesome (AT&T)

After a prolonged absence, I'm back, baby.

AT&T kept yanking our chains about our internet connection and pulled off one unprofessional move after another. Blogging without it was impossible (I refuse to blog at work, and going online at the library or other wifi spot makes me feel as if I need to do more important things, which I did), but fear not, I still wrote despite the downtime. I'll post up what I have over the next few days.

In the meantime, however, I'm going to post a letter that I'm sending to the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Communications Commission, the Fixer at the Sun-Times, and perhaps some people at AT&T (Ahem, Mister Stephenson? Yes, I found your email address). Yes, this is venting session, but after a week of bad service, it's very much warranted.


Hello, I had fine service with other companies (Comcast, RCN) before we changed to AT&T two years ago for cost and service availability issues. We requested to modify our AT&T services, but instead we were been without promised internet services for seven days straight. Having no service is fine, but customer service had repeatedly issued false promises and shady practices.

This is my experience with Comcast and RCN compared to AT&T's customer service:
-Unlike AT&T, most connection problems were solved remotely
-Unlike AT&T, service would be restored within customer service's promised time (which usually took 5 minutes)
-Unlike AT&T, should a technician come by, he/she would always stay until service resumed
-Unlike AT&T, no problem lasted beyond a day (we are now on day 4, going into day 5)
-Unlike AT&T, customer service email addresses were readily available online
-Unlike AT&T, customer service extended beyond the regular business day, for at least six days a week.
-Unlike AT&T, both Comcast and RCN only had to send one technician to handle problems both inside and outside the house

Additionally, AT&T's screen announcing that there is a problem with our connection says that there are technical service agents available to speak on the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The technician, at around 3pm on August 6, said service would be restored by 8pm. Obviously that didn't happen, and when we called the number given to us, the recorded voice said the tech assistance offices were closed for the night. This was the very same number the screen told us to call, the screen that said agents would be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even the text designed to reassure customers is a blatant lie. One customer service rep assured my sister that the problem was with their central office, not our local service. Another customer service rep told my sister the opposite. Which is it?

Lastly, even looking for contact email for AT&T customer service reps is much more complicated than it needs to be. Posting it only seems to escape company grasp. AT&T is supposedly a communications company, but there are no agents available by phone (again, the supposed 24 hours, 7 days promise) and email addresses are hidden.

On Monday, August 10, the second technician came by (if you'll recall, after the first technician on Friday assured us that we would have service again). This second technician this time spent a half hour to talk to us and look over the problem. He deduced that representative over the phone had issued us a fake phone number that did not exist anywhere, which is why we were having a problem for so long. Nowhere was this noted in any system, no one was notified, and worse yet, even the technician seemed baffled as to this representative's actions. Sadly, we have little way in tracking down who this representative was and why he/she messed our account so badly.

AT&T is sorely inefficient and frankly, this kind of "customer service" is unacceptable. I will also ask for a refund or discount to compensate for the time without service, since clearly we are not using them. Additionally, being without service would be fine had AT&T's customer service dept. and technicians not falsely raising our hopes and repeatedly give us empty promises and deadlines. At the very least, honesty is needed. At the very worst, a complete overhaul in service protocol from top to bottom will be required.

Sincerely Irate,


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Golden Rule? What Golden Rule?

(Warning: This isn't meant to be an overly religious post. I'm not debating the merits of religion, but rather the extent that people will go to use religion for their own means. I'm far from a theologian and I consider myself more of a person of faith than a person of religion.)

A few weeks ago, I got into a "debate" with an unnamed relative over the merits of her online comments. She posted something along the lines of Obama being an evil man for celebrating June as LGBT Pride Month. And I quote:

"U.S. President Barack Obama declared JUNE 2009 "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month for the United States... The people of America (and the same goes for any other nation) will surely rue the day they "call evil good, and good evil" Isaiah 5:20 (Source: White House presidential proclamation, June 1, 2009"

Yep, that's what my relative posted. The same relative who just a few months earlier vowed to protect any family member should he/she ever come out of the closet. Naturally, this relative and I came to a somewhat civilized but still disconcerting back-and-forth exchange, both citing different examples of the Bible as well as modern topics as debate ammunition. It came down to me citing Leviticus as condoning slavery, since Leviticus is the same book that "forbids" homosexuality. I thought I had my ace in a hole.

Then the second of three horrifying things happened: This relative said slavery was justified since the oppressed wouldn't believe in God. Nevermind that Jews were slaves (what happened to sharing the same text?), just the sheer thought of slavery being justified seemed to be wholly against any form of truly good-hearted organized religion. Suddenly any positive lessons were subject to be perverted in order to pass a belief.

The third of three horrifying things eventually came: soon after our debate, another unnamed relative chimed in and added the following:

"what a shame and America wonders about all these bad things hapenning :("

Suddenly all of America's problems weren't the compounding fault of decades of politicians, a weakening financial system, stretched resources and crumbling educational and social reform systems. No, it was all because of those LGBT folks. Just their mere existance was forcing America down this horrible path that will eventually take down the country.

Going back to point #2, Jews and others were slaves and somehow that was okay. But the second relative's point was extremely damning and very reminiscient. I bit my virtual tongue (and lips) and resisted the urge to counter that post for fear of erupting a familial civil war. Now I regret that I did. Apparently, it never occurred to this second relative that Nazi Germany used that exact kind of logic to start the Holocaust (missed joke: "'Scuze me while I sneeze... ah AH AHH AUSCHWITZ!" I'm a genius), or that Pol Pot used it to "cleanse" Cambodia with the Khmer Rouge. No sense of perspective or history. Why, everytime any leader blamed one minority for the faults of the entire country, the entire country went down in flames from the leader's own actions. Often the minority is blamed in the name of God, and I can believe that He is tired of it.

During the debate with the first relative, I brought up the point that there were many, many LGBTers who serve humanity honorably and with distinction. Firefighters, soldiers, teachers, medical professionals, politicians, and yes, even clergy. Naturally the relative disagreed with me. Today, I talked with an acquaintance of mine, who is a Reverend but who also happens to be gay and has a long-term partner.

The Reverend greeted me with such bouncy enthusiasm. I asked him what's right and he replied that a series of happy coincidences seemed to make his congregation happier and more gung-ho about participating with the Church. He mentioned that three members volunteered to talk about what their personal definitions of grace and faith were. And while he was explaining what was said at his service with big bright eyes and a sense that everything was going his way, I just stood there and thought to myself, "This can't possibly be a bad thing, can it? How can something so uplifting and positive and hopeful ever be called evil? How can tolerance, equality, and goodwill damn this nation?"

To that, I've no answer. People are free to believe what they want, if they don't twist original intentions or take texts too literally without consideration of elasticity.

I'll always remember the lessons of my 7th grade Catholic School teacher, Miss Szczepanik. Though strict and short-tempered, she did help forge my current hopes and dreams for myself. Part of that included one crucial lesson: when reading the Bible, remember to put things into context and to use critical analysis to see how it could help your life. This coming from a former nun, who one would think would be a near-fundamentalist with the Bible. I don't read the Bible anymore, as now I'm thinking that many who do aren't much different than my relatives who will bend it to their will. But one thing is very much needed: the ability to put things into perspective so that you can think for yourself. And that is a God-given ability.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Time To Think

As I sit here at the computer, my brain is trying to figure out which keys my fingers should press. Normally that's a good thing, as typing something out is better than nothing. And yet, as I reflect back at my blog, it's rather haphazard, as if each article was an excuse to type.

Really, that's a good thing. An unfocused mind gains focus through activity, after all. If a blog reflects a person's thought patterns, interests, and personality, then let it be known that this blog shows a somewhat varied array of curiosities. I feel like sharing them with the world. If the world won't have them, then at least my thoughts are there for someone to take.

Speaking of unfocused, did you know that Ancient Greek has four words for the word "freedom?" According to IF Stone, the time of old philosophers in Athens was the true height of the First Amendment.

I use this time as a means of procrastinating on a personal project that I've been hammering at for weeks now. Since January, I've made leaps and bounds both professionally and personally. These six months included the completion of a leadership training course, occasional performances (at the most biweekly, but at the least monthly), networking like never before, and an academic paper. These accomplishments may pale compared to someone more organized than I, but it also means something crucial for my ego: if that company saw fit to give my old self a try, then companies that would be a better match are now worth going after.

So when I say it's a time to think, it's a reflection of what I was and where I am in the here and now. More importantly, it's a time to think of where I'll be soon. Not to sound cliche, but you never know what's in store in the day ahead of you, and whatever happens, you owe it to yourself to make the most of it. Lately I've come to realize how lucky I am to know some very intelligent people, as well as meeting new and bright faces across all backgrounds. They set examples for me to reach as well as the opportunity to expand my mind. Ultimately, what is the mind good for? Why, to think, of course.

Ah-thank you.

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's A Televised World

From the Archive of Knowledge

-There are more TVs than Americans in the United States.
-One in every four people in the United States has been on TV.
-Shakespeare's family was illiterate, but no TVs were involved.

Further Road Thoughts
-People need at least one, but preferably two, hands to steer. Knees or elbows will not suffice.
-Ever notice that Lexus makes great cars but are owned by people who can't drive? Maybe that's just me.
-If there are ever clogged exit lanes on the highway, please do NOT try to cut people off deep into the lane. Not only is it very rude to all those who waited, but more often than not, you end up blocking traffic anyway. You become a very unsafe and very dickish road hazard.
-A few light, sporadic drops of water on your windshield will not mean you will skid out of control. Don't slow down by twenty miles out of panic!
-People need to use their turn signals. It's quite literally a flick of the wrist!
-If you're in the left or middle lanes and you see everyone swerving around you, maybe you're the road hazard.
-I still hate minivans.
-For the love of God, either use a headset/bluetooth or hang the phone up.

A Thought
When someone says, "You can't talk like that to me, I'm a full-grown adult," then perhaps they're not. Especially if they're watching TV while driving.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An Ode to Rice


Oh rice, how I love thee
Let me count the ways
By the bowlful, not the grain
That would take too long
Though one grain is good
Dozens or hundred (or thousands)
Of grains clumped together
In a nice steaming batch
Work much better for the buds

Pilaf, fried, spicy, sweet
Peas, Curry, Chicken, Beef,
White, Brown, Red Beans
Saffron, Sushi, Krispie, Condi,
Chinese, Greek, Cajun, Thai
Mexican, African, Puerto Rican
Jamaican me crazy

In clumps, stews, or pudding
You make everyone better
Meals more fit, tummies complete
In all its simplicity
All it takes is access
So tiny, so minute, so crucial
The world would be a better place
If we all had a bowl of rice.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rocket Man

In honor of the 40th Anniversary of the first Lunar Landing on July 20, I present to you the Apollo 11 Edition:

Da Eagle Has Liz-zanded
The Times: To commemorate the anniversary, Buzz Aldrin has teamed with Quincy Jones, Snoop Dogg, Talib Kweli, and Soulja Boy to create a rap single and video.

Don't worry, all proceeds are going to Aldrin's non-profit foundation ShareSpace.

The CIA, eight years to the day after Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, revealed documents showing that the Agency had conducted mind-control experiments.

In the Apollo 11 Command Module, Michael Collins lost radio contact with Earth 30 times with a length of 48 minutes each for a total length of 1,440 minutes of isolation.

Something to keep in mind the next time you feel slightly claustrophobic on the CTA.

Trickle-On Economics Update, Space Edition
According to current inflation rates, the Apollo 11 mission cost $578,000,000, give or take a couple tens-of-thousands.

One Giant Leap for Mankind
Notable events to happen after the landing but on July 20:
-The Viking 1 Lander reaches the surface of Mars
-Hank Aaron hits his 755th and final home run
-Gisele Bündchen is born
-Canada becomes the fourth nation in the world to legalize same-sex marriage

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Driving Pet Peeves

I've been meaning to write this for a while now, ever since my dear Sofia (aka 2006 Nissan Sentra) was the victim of a hit and run. Of course, such a violation is much more than a pet peeve, but today, I saw a rather sweet Lexus SUV swerving in and out of lanes very erratically with its gas tank cap hang and dragging in the wind, only to see the driver with one hand on the wheel and another hand around his girl.

For now, I'm only focused on highway drivers, since the vast majority of my driving time is such. City driving I'll leave for others or for another day with more observations.

Let's get started. I don't like:
-People (not "drivers") who insist on driving 20 miles below the speed limit
-People who don't know the difference between the fast and slow lanes (yes, there are two guilty parties here)
-People who can't maintain their speed but maintain their cell phone conversations (head sets are okay)
-People who break for emergency vehicles in the opposite flow of traffic but are separated by a 6 inch wide cement barrier
-People who insist on driving 20 miles below the speed limit, but then increase by 40 miles when they see you trying to overtake them
-People who assume that a highway patrol car already tending to another speeder/driver-in-need/accident will immediately stop what they're doing and go after them for driving 5 over the limit
-People in the left or middle lanes who don't realize that cars (and even giant semi trucks) are outpacing them
-People on motorcycles (especially in squadrons) zipping between cars at 125 mph
-People who overtake you but then slow down, thereby defeating the purpose of switching to a faster lane in the first place

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Let's Hear it for Citizen Journalism

Because it allows me to continue the practice of/homage to QT:

We Have Seen the Present, And It Does Not Work
Alex Astilean has created a human powered treadmill on wheels called the Speedfit. Very convenient when you don't want your feet to touch the ground yet have the audacity to jog outside.

Trickle-On Economics Update
Several people have been charged (approx.) $23,148,855,308,184,500 on their Visa BUXX prepaid credit cards.

Modern Education + The Criminal Mind =
A Portage man was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing over $2,000 from his Dunken Donuts workplace after his boss denied him a loan in an attempt to stop himself from doing something "stupid."

What Recession?
News item: "A $43 million estate in Aspen, Colo. is the largest single-family residence to be sold in the United States so far this year...The 25,000-square-foot mansion has 11 bedrooms (including the guest house), 15 bathrooms, a gym, four powder rooms, a wine cellar, and a pool."
The buyer was not named, but what are the odds that he bought it with a Visa BUXX card?

A little bit of an explanation: Dave Chappelle made a "secret" appearance last night, expecting to perform for about two hundred people. However, due to Twitter, Facebook, and trusty word-of-mouth, Chappelle attracted in his estimate four-to-five thousand people. He did not bring the necessary equipment to handle that many fans (nor did he bring security or an entourage), so the surprise show fizzled. Still, it was something of a treat for fans, and I have to extend some kudos to Chappelle for thoughtfully and sincerely keeping the crowd largely under control.

Dave Chappelle at Pioneer Square