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Donated human tissue Tue, May 31, 2011
I was at the airport recently waiting for my luggage at the baggage claim, when I saw a cardboard box on the carousel with a sticker that said, "Donated human tissue not suitable for transplant".  This was puzzling.  Why would someone donate human tissue, presumably an organ or an eyeball, for a reason other than transplanting?  What else would it be for?  Food?  Party trick?  And what would make such human tissue "not suitable" for transplant?  Contagious disease?  Wrong size?  This isn't the kind of problem you want to be solving after spending all day in airports and on planes. 

Turns out some commenters on a website say donated human tissue can be used for research, college demonstrations, and long term storage (i.e. saving umbilical cord cells for future use).  Weird.  And gross.  Puts that "items in overhead bins may shift during takeoff and landing" thing in a whole new light. #health

Causal indifference Tue, May 31, 2011
Every time I read/hear about some behavior (coffee, alcohol, breathing) having some effect (dementia, instant death, long life), I react one of two ways: 
  1. If it's negative (e.g. sporadic limb loss, uncontrollable eyeball swelling, horrific death), I say, "Oh well; everybody dies from something."
  2. If it's positive (e.g. x-ray vision, superhuman strength, non-horrific death), I say, "Sweet; another reason to continue doing X."
In conclusion, even if threatened with death, I'd still drink coffee. #psychology

Animal products Tue, May 31, 2011
It occurred to me recently that several animal products (not by-products) play a fairly significant role in nature: 
  1. Honey is bee puke.
  2. Dirt is at least partially worm poop.
  3. Sand is at least partially fish poop.
I trust scientists for the honey and dirt knowledge, but I've seen sand formation with my own eyes.  It's quite ... mesmerizing. #nature

True soldier Wed, May 25, 2011
Writer and philosopher GK Chesterton:
"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him."
#sociology

Irregardless Wed, May 25, 2011
Can we all please agree to stop using the word "irregardless", if not simply because it's such an ugly word, then at least because we already have a perfectly good word with the exact same definition:  "regardless". #language

Clothing gender Tue, May 24, 2011
I was at a mall recently, and as I walked past certain stores, I honestly couldn't tell if they sold men's clothes or not.  The mannequins looked male, and the posters on the wall had a bunch of smiling guys, but the clothes were all pastel-colored and v-necked.  I've mentioned my aversion to the things young people tend to wear these days (that statement makes me sound old), but honestly what does it say about our society if there's no discernible difference between men's and women's clothing? #lifestyle

Online age verification Fri, May 20, 2011
Websites with information about alcohol, tobacco, or "other" often have an age verification system that asks the user to either confirm they're of legal age or input their birthday so the system can determine whether or not to allow access.  This is one of the stupider things on the internet.  Anyone with half a brain knows how to lie, and there's some doubt as to whether anyone has ever clicked "I Am Under 18".  At this point in my life, it's been a while since many things were illegal for me, so I take offense to being asked to verify I'm of legal age.  And as with any time I take offense at something, I lash out by entering the most unrealistic age or birthday possible, like "37.5" or "1/1/1200".  Some people think the system should be made easier so that people have less of an incentive to lie.  I think protecting people from accessing information by filtering out those who are unable or unwilling to lie is a flawed system. #technology

Wallpaper and paneling Tue, May 17, 2011
One thing pretty much everyone with two eyeballs can agree on is the fact that wallpaper and wood paneling make your house look ugly, which is why one of the first things new home buyers discover is how very wretched the inventor of both wall treatments was in creating such difficult to remove atrocities.  An interesting thing my mom told me recently was that when they moved into their old house almost 30 years ago, the wallpaper and wood paneling looked ugly and were some of the first things to go.  So in other words, this isn't a new problem.  So my question is twofold:  (1) Who the hell are these people who install wallpaper and wood paneling, and (2) if your house has these "features," is it safe to assume it's been about 30 years since it was last remodeled? #lifestyle

Growing grass Mon, May 16, 2011
Every spring, I attempt to muster the energy to persuade my small yard to grow grass.  I have mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, I want my lawn to look nice, because I like how nice lawns look.  I realize that's circular logic, but I can't seem to convince myself it's wrong.  On the other hand, when the grass grows, it means I'll need to cut it.  That makes about as much sense as putting snow on my driveway so I can shovel it.  Finally, there's the issue of where grass actually grows.  It seems to have no problem growing in the cracks in my sidewalk, or in the garden, or in the part of my driveway that's covered in stones.  I have no doubt it would grow on my deck or my roof if I put some seeds there.  But getting it to grow in my lawn is still an issue.  And I'm kind of ok with that. #lifestyle

Flood victims (1) Mon, May 16, 2011
This might sound mean, but I sometimes have a hard time sympathizing with flood victims.  I can understand the grief that goes along with loss of life, loss of memories, and loss of living space.  I'm not a sociopath.  But part of me wants to point out the simple fact that if you live near water, especially on flat ground, you will undoubtedly deal with flooding.  If you'd rather avoid that problem, live somewhere else. #nature

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