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Satellite radio Tue, Dec 18, 2007
A friend who has satellite radio recently told me the reason he's no longer enthralled with the service:  It's still just radio, which means you have to accept whatever's being broadcast at any given time.  You have no control over what you listen to.  Everything in our society is moving towards on-demand content, what with on-demand movies, on-demand music via mp3 players, and on-demand everything else through the internet.  Satellite radio needs to keep up.  We grudgingly adhere to the schedules put in place for our TV shows, but radio?  We only listen to the radio when we're driving.  And even if radio became on-demand, we'd just use mp3 players.  It's a dead-end business in my opinion. #entertainment

Trying new things Tue, Dec 18, 2007
I've written about this a few times in the past, but I'll go ahead and say it again:  I'm opposed to trying new things, and this comes as a direct result of past experiences.  Past bad experiences. 

The topic of food comes to mind.  I had some Indian friends in college.  They would say, "Hey white boy, try this weird food with a foreign name, made of ingredients we can't remember."  I'd try it.  And gag.  If I can't identify what kingdom of food I'm eating, things can't turn out well.  And they didn't.  I did this a few times, each time telling myself to stop trying Indian food as it was always a disappointment (my apologies to Indian people and Indian-food-sympathizers worldwide; if it works for you, go for it). 

The same thing would happen with [insert nationality] food.  Some friends would say, "Hey let's go to that Thai place."  We went.  It was awful.  It was the same with Korean food (what exactly is a dumpling anyway?).  It's not that these were the worst experiences of my life, but I can say with a pretty high degree of finality that I have no desire to eat any foods from any of these countries again.  That goes for most other countries as well.  Why would I take the risk of being disappointed for the small chance that I'll be absolutely blown away by something new?  Reward/risk = very small number. 

I think it has something to do with the difference between yearning for experience and being satisfied.  Some people feel the need to be experienced, and there's nothing wrong with that.  They try new things, and even if they don't like them, at the new things were tried.  Experiences are notches in the belt, adding wisdom and information to the rest of life's situations.  Plus, they provide excellent fodder for conversation. 

Other people are perfectly ok with the status quo.  They're satisfied.  In fact, they're so satisfied, they actually don't want a new experience to come in and disrupt things.  This is a little naive and close-minded.  But it is what it is.  These people won't be changed by pointing out their shortfalls. 

Obviously, I'm the latter.  I've tried enough new things to know that I don't like trying new things.  Even if there's a potential for some sort of immeasurable yet non-zero gain, it's just not worth it for me.  This probably has something to do with being extremely negative and how the chemicals in my brain cause me to remember negative experiences more vividly and for longer than positive experiences, thereby instilling in me an intense dislike for things that cause negative experiences, i.e. trying new things.  But whatever.  That's too deep for a Tuesday morning. 

In conclusion, if I'm consistently disappointed by trying new things, how could the solution possibly be to try more new things (as some people suggest, "You just haven't tried the right new things.")?  As someone famous once said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. #psychology

Pandas (1) Tue, Dec 18, 2007
From watching Planet Earth, I learned a few things about giant pandas which make me question how the animal is still in existence: 
  1. A panda's diet consists almost entirely of bamboo shoots, which provide little nutritional benefit.  For that reason, pandas don't hibernate; they wouldn't survive long without a belly full of nutrition-less bamboo.
  2. "Because of the synchronous flowering, death, and regeneration of all bamboo within a species, pandas must have at least two different species available in their range to avoid starvation." (from wiki)
  3. Because of increased temperatures in their normal habitat, pandas have moved to higher elevations, where less species of bamboo are available, thus further limiting their food sources.
  4. Baby pandas are born completely helpless and defenseless, so they require the mother's undivided attention.  If a mother gives birth to more than one baby, she only has time to care for one, so she'll let the other one(s) die.
  5. "Breeders and biologists often experience difficulty in inducing captive pandas to mate." (from wiki)
All in all, pandas seem to lack any type of "survival of the fittest" instinct.  Poor pandas. #nature

Cracking body parts Tue, Dec 18, 2007
Parts of my body that don't seem like they should crack or pop, but do, and on a regular basis: 
  1. Sternum
  2. Collar bone
  3. Tail bone
  4. Eyeball (kidding)