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Highest-grossing movies Thu, Jul 30, 2009
Box Office Mojo has lots of lists concerning the economics of movies, including worldwide highest-grossing and domestic highest-grossing, adjusted for ticket price inflation.  It's sad to look at things like this because it says that we humans think movies like Titanic and Pirates of the Caribbean 3 are some of the best movies ever.  But at the same time, I don't think movie earnings are directly related to movie quality.  I think it has a lot to do with weather, boredom, buzz, what else is going on in the world at the time, and what other movies are playing at the time.  For example, summer movies tend to make more money because kids are out of school and families are on vacation.  The Dark Knight was particularly popular because Heath Ledger died a few months before its release.  So it depends on the circumstances.  But it's still unfortunate that so many Johnny Depp movies are in the top ten. #entertainment

Adjustable straps Thu, Jul 30, 2009
One summer during college, I had an important job that required me to dress well.  I went out and bought a "nice" watch, i.e. a Timex with a metal-link band.  It was nicer than my old, scratched, ugly watch that had been living on my arm uninterrupted for several years.  I wore my nice watch to work every day and figured I'd get used to its habit of forcefully removing my arm hairs.  I didn't.  I would switch watches as soon as I got home (I can't be watchless).  After a few weeks, I just gave up on the idea of a nice watch.  Looking professional isn't worth the cost of lost arm hairs.  Ever since then, I've been wearing a watch with a velcro band.  It doesn't pull out my arm hairs, and it doesn't make me choose a specific size that ends up being either too tight or too loose.  If my arm is fat one day, the strap can be adjusted.  If it's skinny the next day, I can adjust it again. 

Just recently, I bought a cloth belt that has the same benefit.  Traditional leather belts are always either a little too loose or a little too tight, and up until now I've just kind of dealt with it.  The fact of the matter is that the circumference of my waist, like that of my wrist, changes throughout the day, depending on food intake and temperature.  And the holes in a standard belt aren't specific enough to fit my luscious, changing figure.  Adjustable straps are the way to go. #products

Skipping voicemail greetings Thu, Jul 30, 2009
How to skip voicemail greetings
  1. Press 1.  If it says, "One is not a valid option," go to step 3.
  2. Press *.  Leave your message.
  3. Press #.  Leave your message.
(via Consumerist) #technology

Ocean faceplant Wed, Jul 29, 2009
I was at the beach this past weekend, boogie boarding amongst some fairly large waves, when I happened to catch the wrong wave at the wrong moment.  This particular wave was about five feet tall, and it happened to hit me full force on the head and drive me down a few feet to the ocean floor where I landed directly on my face.  It all happened pretty fast, but I remember thinking, "Oh crap, I snapped my neck and now I'm gonna drown."  I quickly hopped to my feet and stood in the waste-deep water trying to figure out if my body was still intact.  I decided that since I was standing, my neck probably wasn't broken.  I couldn't hear for a few seconds, which allowed me some time to check out my arms and legs to see if there were any exposed bones.  I asked Wendy if I still had all my teeth.  I was pretty sure I permanently disabled myself because of how hard I faceplanted, but aside from some cuts on my face and some blood-spitting, I was fine.  My neck was sore for a day or two, and the cuts are finally starting to heal.  The worst injury is probably the abrasion on the inside of my bottom lip caused by rubbing my face in the sand.  Inner mouth cuts take forever to heal. 

I couldn't help replaying the experience in my mind later that night, and I'm surprised how close I was to dying.  I essentially did the drunk-person-dives-into-shallow-water thing, except instead of diving I was propelled by a wave.  But really it was the same motion, thankfully with different results.  The thing is, I'm not new to the ocean.  I understand how waves work, and I've been tossed around before and not been able to figure out which way was up.  This was like that, except quite a bit worse.  And the other thing is, I had been boogie boarding for hours up to that point.  The waves had actually calmed down a little because it was low tide.  So I don't know if it was the perfect combination of time and place, or if I just happened to get hit by the most powerful wave in the ocean.  But I'm thankful to have all my teeth and not need a wheelchair for the rest of my life. #sports

Backup purchase Wed, Jul 29, 2009
One time I found the perfect pair of sneakers, so I went back to the store a few weeks later and bought a second pair as backup.  Last summer I found the best sandals I've ever worn, so I bought a backup pair of them as well.  I do this with jeans and shirts and a few other things because I have peculiar and picky tastes and am often disappointed by the newer version of something I already own.  I'm obviously not in the running for any fashion awards, but at least I can satisfy my silly little need for regularity. #lifestyle

Recorded voice Wed, Jul 29, 2009
Popular Science answers the question of why you don't like the sound of your recorded voice
"When you speak, the vocal folds in your throat vibrate, which causes your skin, skull and oral cavities to also vibrate, and we perceive this as sound," explains Ben Hornsby, a professor of audiology at Vanderbilt University. The vibrations mix with the sound waves traveling from your mouth to your eardrum, giving your voice a quality -- generally a deeper, more dignified sound -- that no one else hears. Through a loudspeaker or recording device, you pick up sound only through air conduction.
Entertainers and public speakers have a knack for getting over this. #science

Couple name order (2) Tue, Jul 28, 2009
My name is Dave.  I married Wendy.  We're "Dave and Wendy," or "Wendy and Dave," depending on who you ask.  I think "Dave and Wendy" sounds the most natural; it rolls off the tongue.  "Wendy and Dave" isn't horrible, but it sounds a little forced.  However, most people refer to us as the latter, likely because everyone hates me. 

I always think about how I should refer to couples.  Which name comes first?  Usually it's the person I knew first.  There's "Dana and Dave" (my sister and brother-in-law) and "Stacy and Nick" (my other sister and brother-in-law).  There's "Mom and Dad" which oddly fits the pattern, and there's "Dave and Wendy," because I met myself before I met Wendy. 

But what about when you meet both people at the same time?  As a rule of thumb, I typically put the man's name first.  It's sexist and self-centered and offensive, but honestly, I just needed a reliable way to list couples in my email address book. 

But also, I'm sexist.  The man is typically the original owner of the last name, so putting the woman's name first makes it sound like she might've kept her last name or might not even be married to the guy (which isn't terrible, but certainly makes my little system more complicated).  And that's even how the new couple is announced at their wedding.  (On a related note, the bride-to-be's name should be placed before the groom-to-be's on the invitations, a fact I stupidly ignored and feel slightly bad about to this day.)  Also, there's that whole Christian "man is the head of the household" thing, which doesn't necessarily mean he's in charge, but that he gets blamed when things go wrong. 

When all else fails, I go by height order.  Since most men are taller than their mates, it usually fits into my existing system.  And yes, I'm taller than Wendy.  Double win. #psychology

Oh-no (3) Tue, Jul 28, 2009
It makes sense to refer to dates in the past few years as oh-[single digit], as in, "I graduated in oh-four and bought a house in oh-five."  Since we're in oh-nine right now, what will happen next year?  Will we of the future start referring to dates using four digits (two thousand ten)?  Or will we finally start doing what our forefathers predicted and call it twenty-ten?  Or even better, will we come up with some stupid slang thing that eventually becomes accepted as common language, like oh-ten?  Oh the suspense! #technology

Workout music Tue, Jul 28, 2009
It's interesting how strongly music affects mood, specifically in regards to working out.  Certain songs can make me push my body past its comfort level, though I'll usually feel the effects later or the next day.  But what's most interesting is that once a song becomes a workout song, it can't be undone.  That song is forever a workout song.  Even if I hear it in a non-workout setting, it'll increase my heart rate and make me start sweating a little.  And since I dabble in kickboxing, pretty much all my workouts involve hitting things.  So watch out. #entertainment

Rooming house Fri, Jul 24, 2009
There's a new building being built in Seattle that will serve as a "rooming house," offering single-person dwellings about the size of a parking space for about $500 per month. 
The rooms are small -- about the size of a parking space -- but the project's developers say they fit the budget and lifestyle of young adults who might be working as baristas or $12-an-hour clerks in big-box stores.
It's pretty much like a college dorm, except that the rooms will have private bathrooms and the residents will have jobs.  All utilities and broadband internet are included in the price, which makes it perfect for the un-wealthy young adults it's geared towards.  I personally think it's genius and, if I worked in the city and wasn't already married and didn't already live in a normal-sized house, wouldn't mind using it as a cheap place to crash while living close to a job. 

(via Obscure Store) #lifestyle

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