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Social Security Ponzi scheme Tue, Dec 30, 2008
A Ponzi scheme is a type of pyramid scheme where investors are paid returns from the enlistment of new investors, instead of from profits.  Bernard Madoff, former chairman of the NASDAQ, just got in trouble for this.  Neatorama makes the case that Social Security is essentially a Ponzi scheme as well because it provides investors (retirees) returns from the enlistment of new investors (taxpayers).  But those returns also include a little bit of profit because they're invested in government bonds.  However, the number of retirees will likely eventually outgrow the number of taxpayers, which will make the whole system implode.  Don't worry; I'm sure somebody will fix it eventually. #money

See you next year Tue, Dec 30, 2008
I remember being in about third or fourth grade when I first heard someone say, "See you next year!" in reference to the arbitrary calendar event of December becoming January.  It boggled my mind.  What do you mean "next year"?  Are you moving to a different school?  Is school closed for the rest of the year?  What other explanation could there be for why you won't be seeing me until next year?  I don't underst--oh.  I get it.  That's funny. 

Like any kid, I used the saying a few times myself, joining in on the fun that is exposing other people's ignorance of calendar-based wordplays.  Oh the fun. 

Things changed sometime around, oh I don't, the age of 12, when the saying lost its affect on me.  See you nex--yeah yeah I understand.  It's funny.  Look how we're all laughing. 

For the life of me, I can't figure out why grown adults still say this to other grown adults.  "See you next year" should be "See you in one to two days, or whenever you come back from your work-sponsored vacation." #language

Book content ratings Tue, Dec 30, 2008
Why aren't books rated for content?  The MPAA rates movies.  The RIAA rates music.  The FCC and TV networks rate TV shows.  The ESRB rates video games.  Why are books exempt from this?  Not that I think the world needs more censorship, but it just seems a little unbalanced. #entertainment

Giving up on pets Mon, Dec 29, 2008
I've heard a few stories in my time about pet owners deciding they were "done" with their pets, as if the animals came with a specific lifetime of usability, and that lifetime had been reached.  That's why there are so many older pets in adoption centers.  It's really ridiculous if you think about it.  Pets aren't cell phones.  You don't just get one for a few years then give it to your neighbor when you're done with it. #nature

Christmas vs. Easter (2) Mon, Dec 29, 2008
I've always felt that Christmas is an overdone holiday.  Sure there's the consumerism and selfishness and all that stuff.  But in religious terms, the death of Jesus Christ (Easter) is far more important than the birth (Christmas).  Of course, without the birth, there would have been no death.  But that's circular logic.  The point is that the death of Jesus Christ allowed for the salvation of all mankind.  That's the event we should be celebrating.  Not some inaccurate estimation of his birth date. #religion

Gift excitement Mon, Dec 29, 2008
Different people show their excitement in different ways.  This becomes apparent at gift-giving occasions.  Some of us jump up and down and scream and play with our toys immediately.  Others say, "Hey cool," then calmly put it aside and continue drinking their coffee.  Sometimes we'll look back on a gift-giving occasion and wonder why the receiver wasn't as excited as the giver, or we'll think back to a gift-receiving occasion and think, "I wish I showed more excitement for this gift because I want the giver to understand that the gift is significant and I'm really happy with it."  But I think we all need to understand that gift-giving means different things for different people, and the excitement or lack there of is often ill-communicated and misunderstood. #sociology

Snowflake shapes Mon, Dec 29, 2008
Today I learned that snowflakes form in specific, named shapes, all explained in detail on this website

[Image: snowflakes.jpg]

(via WebEcoist) #nature

Christmas music on the radio Fri, Dec 26, 2008
What's the deal with Christmas music on the radio?  It either starts the day after Thanksgiving or it's impossible to find.  On Christmas day, I want to be able to turn on the radio and hear Christmas music.  Is that too much to ask?  Why do I need to search through every God-blessed channel, only to come up with three different stations playing the same stupid Bruce Springsteen Christmas song? #entertainment

Working during vacation Wed, Dec 24, 2008
Several of my co-workers have the inane habit of coming in to work during their vacation.  These are coincidentally the same people who tend to remain single until much later in life and who often call people's personal cell phones for matters regarding work.  I can't say I have any respect for people who can't even stop working when they're being paid to do so.  I promise I'll never end up like this. #business

Undoing cooking Tue, Dec 23, 2008
At work we had a potluck holiday lunch, and my wonderful wife Wendy (wow w-alliteration!) made some turkey chili.  People liked it, but several people complained that it wasn't spicy enough.  In fact, it wasn't spicy at all, largely because Wendy doesn't like spicy things.  But also, once you make something spicy, you can't make it un-spicy.  Sure I guess you could add more un-spicy stuff to the spicy stuff so it'll even out, but that means you'd need to make more un-spicy stuff after you over-spiced the original, which is ridiculous.  It's the same with a lot of things:  You can't un-sugar your coffee after you add sugar; you can't un-cook a steak after you cook it for too long; you can't un-butter a piece of buttered bread.  In hindsight, I should've brought in some red pepper or some hot sauce as an option for the people who like spicy chili.  But for the one guy who complained a little bit too much:  Too bad, loser.  If Wendy made it spicy enough for you and the two other people who like spicy things, none of the other 20 people would've eaten it.  Way to be selfish. #food

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