Bits & Pieces 2012-10-18

Links and things that I’ve run across recently.

NOTE: I’ve been light on the posts, because I’m working feverishly on the next novel, Ardor Point #2… which I need to come up with a proper name for. Currently, the two top contenders are A Reason to Live and Finding Light.

Race Relations on the Internet

Seen on Facebook…

Is it bad to hate a certain race?

… cuz I like running the 5k…but the 10k really takes a lot out of me…

But Maybe Margaret is Right about the Hair Dye

It really hit me the weekend the girls came back from camp, and I asked my Little One to help me out with a new profile photo. While they were gone, my Beloved and I did a little small-scale clothes shopping. And I thought it might be time to try to update the photo.

The old photo my brother (who is a professional photographer) had taken back in the day, almost a decade ago, after I got laid off on April fools. I was much younger then, and lighter, and better looking, and I didn’t realize it.

Truthfully, I’ve lost over 10 pounds and several inches, mostly just by taking better care of my physical self. I’ve been noticing that my tighter shirts fit again, which was part of the inspiration for that mini shopping trip. (The other, more major, part being that all my old jeans have unsightly rips in strange places, and I was down to so few presentable summer shirts that I would wear each for days on end, to avoid running out before the next laundry day.)

I can even (almost) fit (kinda) back into that jacket (if I suck in my gut).

And I’ve lightened my attitude, a lot. When I took that old photo, I was looking for a corporate job, hence the jacket and tie. But even though I have refined my sense of style, I never really dressed like that. Even less so now. I don’t believe I want to be seen as quite that stuffy, and so why should my profile picture reflect that?

Q&A with “America’s Worst Mom” Lenore Skenazy

A cool interview with “America’s Worst Mom” (and my hero) Lenore Skenazy, who refuses to freak out at every boogeyman hiding under every bed.

Ironically, because we have it so good, we have gravitated toward worst-first thinking, which is warping our perspective. Breathe deeply. Take a step back, and realize that we are in the safest time in the history of the world. And just a few simple rules is all that’s necessary to preserve that safety.

Or as Douglas Adams so succinctly put it: Don’t panic!

What’s That Rumbling?

Apparently, the New England area experienced a magnitude 4.6 earthquake this week, centered in southern Maine. I did not notice it. But apparently it was felt as far south as Rhode Island. A friend messaged me that the wave rippled from one side of his house to the other as it headed south. And then sent me a link to following comic:

Then I felt the tremor (as I wrote up this blog snippet).

Do You Forget Rakat Counts in Namaz?

I received the coolest spam email this week.

(I believe the spam was sent by an illegitimate affiliate of some reseller of the company that makes this product. So I do not blame the company itself for the spam. Which I why I don’t feel bad about posting about it here.)

The spam was cool for two reasons. First of all, it was actually designed like an effective marketing email! Most spam email represents the worst of the worst of marketing communications. Because they figure, if we were real marketers, we’d have to be selective, in order to send our emails only to people who are likely to be interested in the product or service we’re offering. (For real and true.)

So most spam email has bad grammar, incorrect spelling, no real marketing message that appeals to any given audience. Much of it in fact is spoof email, designed to make you think that Facebook is changing its terms of service or something, in order to trick you to click on a link, which will then take you to an ad site. Shady and stupid.

But this email actually had a real message, targeted at a real audience.

The second reason it was cool was because the product itself is cool. It uses technology to address a very specific problem encountered by a very specific target market. I’m not part of this market, as you know. But I’m still blown away by the coolness of the solution.

Today’s Quote

Rationalizing impulse purchases is a life-skill everyone should develop… especially if you’re married.

(Charlotte Abel)