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Stone pillows (2) Mon, Nov 27, 2006
This French company makes these things called Livingstones, which are rock-shaped, rock-colored pillows.  The best part about the product is this picture that shows a wild-haired caveman-like person dressed only in underwear, diving on these rock-like pillows like they're giant sugar cookies waiting to be eaten.  Where'd they find that freak?  (via Neatorama)


Minimum purchase Mon, Nov 27, 2006
It turns out that requiring a minimum purchase amount when using a credit card is against Visa's and MasterCard's stated policy.  Specifically, Visa's policy says, "Always honor valid Visa cards, in your acceptance category, regardless of the dollar amount of the purchase.  Imposing minimum or maximum purchase amounts is a violation."  MasterCard's policy says, "A merchant must not require, or post signs indicating that it requires, a minimum or maximum transaction amount to accept a valid MasterCard card."  MasterCard has a website where you can report a merchant violation; Visa recommends contacting the company that issues your card.  (via Mental Floss) #business

Uninteresting (2) Mon, Nov 27, 2006
Adding to my current list of social problems, I have a pretty good feeling I'm uninteresting.  Whenever people ask me how I'm doing or what I've been up to, I struggle to come up with a good answer.  In an effort to make my peanut-counting job functions sound worthy of compensation, or to sugarcoat my interest in violent and aggressive activities in order to make me sound slightly less maniacal, I usually end up fumbling out an explanation that doesn't even begin to address the truth.  It's not that I'm compulsively lying, it's that I can't find the proper words in the right amount of time to successfully answer the question.  Sometimes, the issue is with my perception of the audience.  Will they understand my rocket science computer simulations?  If so, are they interested enough to pay attention to what I'm saying, or will they get distracted by the cat walking by?  So here's what ends up happening:  I squint my eyes, furrow my brow, put on a pained thinking face, and eventually settle on the words "not much" or "pretty good".  Where normal people would follow that thought fragment with meaningful conversation, I open my mouth slightly, hoping words will magically fall out and form rational sentences, and when they don't, I frantically search my mental encyclopedia of human social interaction for guidance on a meaningful question to ask or an interesting event to recount.  So maybe it's not a question of being uninteresting or not as much as it's a communication breakdown.  I think I used to be able to function somewhat normally in social situations.  I used to be able to meet new people and talk to them intelligently.  Somewhere along the line, I devolved into a bumbling interaction invalid.  I'm not sure what happened. #psychology