01 January 2015

2015 — Year In Review

Didn't get around to posting a year in review for 2014, and my 2015 resolution is to be more on top of these things. So, with the first day of 2015 quickly ending, here's a list of the fifteen most memorable parts of the year!

  1. New Minimum Wage Laws— Lots of the nation's hourly workers saw an increase in their wages today. What'll they spend it on next year? Who knows?!
  2. North Korea— Blamed for a vicious, movie-canceling cyber attack last year, and military aggression in years pervious, the only thing out of North Korea this year has been an offer of talks with democratic South Korea.
  3. Celebrities Survive— We haven't lost a single famous comedian, actor, or musician this year. Phew! Our pop cultural greatness endures!
  4. No Lost Planes— Seriously, how did we as a species lose so many planes last year? The good news is, we've lost none this year. Double Phew!!
  5. No Ebola Outbreaks— Deadly ebola virus outbreaks? SO 2014.
  6. Black Eyed Peas— The Black Eyed Peas released no new music in 2015, to the delight and/or relief of music fans worldwide.
  7. Terrorism Still Alive— Unfortunately, with a shooting in Calgary and a bombing in Nigeria, people still haven't learned how not to kill each other. Tragic.
  8. LinkedIn Opt-Out— After years of trying to stop the flood of LinkedIn emails, I haven't receive a single one!
  9. Ice Age 2.0?— For the Northern Hemisphere, at least, it's been winter for all of 2015. A result of climate change, perhaps, or something more sinister (rethinking #2 above)?
  10. Economic Stagnation— Reeling from the effects of a 2014 hangover, many consumers avoided any purchases in 2015, with many businesses opting to close for all or a large percentage of the year.
  11. Political Stagnation— As predicted by think tanks and pundits alike, the US Congress did absolutely nothing this year.
  12. Personal Successes— On a happier note, a huge number of people have been able to keep their 2015 resolutions!
  13. No More Post Office?— Did anyone even see a mail carrier today? I sure didn't!
  14. We Don't Need No Education— Schools across the US remained closed in 2015. I guess the real Common Core is intellectual stuntedness.
  15. Number 6 Again— Seriously, I'm just so glad I didn't have to listen to the Black Eyed Peas this year.
Did I miss anything? What were YOUR favorite memories from 2015?

04 November 2014

18 Habits of Highly Suggestible People

If you're like most Americans, you probably wish you were more suggestible. After all, suggestible people enjoy a great deal of success. Consider Nancy Grace, or the Ancient Aliens guy. Hell, even George W. Bush became president, just by being suggestible. So, here are a few tips to help you achieve the success your parents always told you you should have.

1. You are getting sleepy.
2. Focus on your breathing.
3. Feeling relaxed? Good.
4. Believe everything you read on the internet, in newspapers, on TV, or that crazy Uncle Don says.
5. Don't do research. The Nazis did research.
6. Share on social media. If someone offers reasoned arguments against your point, get belligerent.
7. Nothing you think is ever wrong
8. Partisan radio is your friend. Doesn't matter which side, just go with it.
9. ALWAYS bow to the prevailing cultural taste consensus.
10. Charismatic non-experts are better than boring "actual" experts.
11. Believe your friends when they tell you there's nothing wrong with you. Problems are somebody else's fault.
12. It's better to be the individual people expect you too be than the one you really are.
13. Don't pick at that, it'll get infected, and remember, no more vaccines.
14. Try every new diet fad. Tell everyone about your self-diagnosed gluten insensitivity and how you're allergic to something made up.
15. I still think that one guy who definitely didn't bomb the Boston Marathon and had his life disrupted with false accusations probably sort of did it, don't you?
16. Hey, wake up. Not THAT sleepy.
17. A punchy headline trumps years of thorough scientific research. You don't even need to read the article!
18. It's not enough to merely believe whatever you're told, you need CONVICTION.

24 September 2014

How Not to Be a Grammar Nazi

Grammaz nazis. We've all met them. We've all suffered their pointed glares and spiny corrections. If we look deep enough inside and pretend this kind of pseudo-intellectual crap works on us, we're all a little bit grammar nazi. But, before we get to the how-to-not bit, let's talk about what a grammar nazi is and isn't.

  • Grammar nazis are not the worst. Actual Nazis are the worst.
  • Grammar nazis are still OK with having "nazi" be part of their sobriquet, so, yeah, not the best.
  • Grammar nazis are crusaders of dubious holiness for the right and proper use of English and like to be sure everybody knows it in the most prickly and self-righteous way possible.
Good! Now we all know about grammar nazis! But what if someone's grammar needs correcting FOR REAL? Here are some tips on non-grammar nazi ways to handle the situation.

  • Does the mistake considerably alter the meaning? Correct away!
  • Be nice about it. Nobody likes a nag!
  • Try assuming they meant what you and everybody else is sure they must've meant!
  • You could even try a private message to alert the person to their mistake so they can correct it without the distracting public ridicule!
Now, finally, if you encounter a situation wherein a minor grammatical flub raises your blood pressure to unhealthy levels, how do you avoid being a grammar nazi? How do you stay your hand against the ever-rising and apparently historically unprecedented tide of linguistic abusers?

  • Take a chill pill. Xanax, Vicodin, or even just straight alcohol are all good.
  • Put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it every time you feel the need to correct grammar, especially online. Pretty soon, you'll have a hell of a welt!
  • Stop being a pedantic dick. Cold turkey.
  • Be aware you could be committing a number of logical fallacies, include ad hominem, equivocation, tu quoque, missing the point, red herring, and, ad hominem again because it's so commonplace.
  • Try being supportive. if you're not sure what that is, try asking a mom or a friend. Doesn't have to be yours.
  • Oh dear, the mom or friend made a grammar sin, didn't they?
  • Did you try any of the above?
  • You say they didn't work at all and you're filled with the fiery rage of ten thousand hells?
  • How about a cold shower?
  • Well, fine! Just strangle them, then! See if I care! You can be a grammar nazi from behind bars!
  • Your last sentence contained a split infinitive AND you ended it with a preposition to avoid awkward phrasing. QED, asshole!