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Strummit From The Summit (1) Mon, Nov 30, 2009
Strummit From The Summit is an album by two Alaskan mountain climbers named Vernon Tejas and Marty Raney.  It was passed along to me by a friend in Montana who claimed its weird mixture of comic folk tunes improves the quality of long car rides, especially through places like Montana.  It includes such lyrical gems as,
I really caribou you
I'm a loon when you're away
It's hard for me to bear, because I love you so deer
I really caribou you

You're salmon special to me
You give porpoise to my life
I dolphin thinking of you, I wolf forget I love you
You're salmon special to me
and
If you like your nose and all your toes
Listen to the Eskimos
There's things you can and things you can't expose

Jack and Jill went up the hill
Jack got cold, now Jack is Jill
The pail of water's just a pail of ice
When you're driving through miles and miles of big sky country and the nearest radio station is broadcasting from Canada, this music is an excellent choice.  It's also great if you happen to require an overabundance of puns. #entertainment

Touch lamp Mon, Nov 30, 2009
Wendy's mom has a lamp in her house that lacks a standard on/off switch.  Instead, it magically turns on when you touch any part of its metal base.  This baffled me for many years, even when I recently proved that a sock doesn't work, though a metal object does.  It turns out it's kind of like the lamp's metal structure is a circuit with very low current going through it at all times.  When something (i.e. a human or a metal object) does something to interrupt this circuit, it responds appropriately.  I didn't get a chance to test this, but apparently these lamps are tuned in such a way that a cat's touch won't set it off; it only recognizes the electrical capacitance of a human, which is based on mass and volume and alcohol content (kidding).  Next time I visit:  Does Prairie the Cat make the lamp turn on? #science

Don't touch sea life Mon, Nov 30, 2009
Whenever you go snorkeling or scuba diving, the tour guides and instructors will tell you not to touch the coral, both because it'll kill the coral and because it'll hurt the person (the former of course being more important than the latter).  Then there are sea urchins, whose black spiky things will break off in your skin and require you to pee on yourself to disinfect.  And be careful of lionfish because their stings are poisonous.  And of course watch out for fireworms whose bristles can cause skin irritation.  Yet stupid people get tired from swimming, so they rest by standing on coral.  As Wendy says, I hope they not only get scratched by coral, but that they sit on a sea urchin. 

I wish we could skip all the little rules and caveats and just agree that when you're in the ocean, don't touch anything.  That pretty much sums it up. #nature