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Archive for the ‘Left Field’ Category

Pattern Interrupt!

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My old friend Quentin Grady sent me this. Do you know where phones go when we put them out to pasture?

Jean-Luc Cornec\'s sheep

A quick Googling showed they were created by artist Jean-Luc Cornec for the Museum of Telecommunication in Frankfurt, Germany.

Written by Michael DeBusk

August 15th, 2008 at 1:11 am

Posted in Left Field

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I’m not sure how to feel about this…

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I’ll let you check it out for yourself:

I’m Jen. I am a mommy. It’s what I love. It’s my job to make owies go away. Whether it’s a kiss or a big hug, the magic happens immediately. This is the power of placebo. I have a baby girl and two sons. One of them always needs my comfort and the knowledge that I will make them feel better. I invented Obecalp when I realized that children might need a little more than a kiss to make it go away. Obecalp fills the gap when medicine is not needed but my children need something more to make them feel better. You’ll know when Obecalp is necessary.

Obecalp – The original placebo

Written by Michael DeBusk

May 30th, 2008 at 2:51 am

Posted in Left Field

When I first realized I was old

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From my old friend Chad’s blog comes When I first realized I was old. Funny stuff. 🙂

Written by Michael DeBusk

May 10th, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Posted in Left Field

Lovest thou English?

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I dost.

For some time, the idea of learning to read Old English has been on my “someday maybe” list. To be able to enjoy Beowulf or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the original language, the way it was spoken a thousand years ago, would be amazing.

I recently borrowed from the public library a course of lectures titled “History of the English Language” by Michael D.C. Drout, the Prentice Associate Professor of English at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. (Do you know why we use “apostrophe+s” to indicate possession? I do!) I was so impressed by his ability to make a potentially dry subject a lot of fun that I went to his home page. There I found gold:

If you’re an English wonk like I am, I’m sure you’ll enjoy these.

[edit 2008-04-26: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was in a particular dialect of Middle English, not in Old English. Sorry about that.]

Written by Michael DeBusk

April 21st, 2008 at 11:40 pm

World Clock

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And now for a lesson in perspective: the World Clock.

Thanks to my friend Alan for sending me the link.

Written by Michael DeBusk

April 15th, 2008 at 11:26 pm

Posted in Left Field

I learned something new today

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I found out that stifle is practically the only word which is an anagram of itself.

I’m enjoying the Calligraphic Button Catalog. 🙂

Written by Michael DeBusk

April 8th, 2008 at 3:24 am

It’s Document Freedom Day

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Document Freedom Day 2008

Happy Document Freedom Day, everyone!

Today is Document Freedom Day: Roughly 200 teams from more than 60 countries worldwide are organising local activities to raise awareness for Document Freedom and Open Standards. To support the initiatives surrounding the first day to celebrate document liberation, DFD starter packs containing a DFD flag, t-shirts and leaflets have been sent to the first 100 registered teams over the past weeks.

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 26th, 2008 at 5:15 pm

Posted in Left Field

Thought for Today

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“The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action.” — Frank Herbert (Author of Dune and its sequels)

Written by Michael DeBusk

February 3rd, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Left Field

The Hit Song You Wrote

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Scott Adams, over in The Dilbert Blog, recently asked his readers for nonsense. He considered the idea that most song lyrics today are nonsense, and he wanted his readers to write a hit song.

Looks like it worked.

Next time you’re creating an induction, remember this.

Written by Michael DeBusk

January 24th, 2008 at 7:13 pm

If you build it, they will… uh…

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One of the most important economic lessons I learned in college was that of the law of supply and demand. The professor used porn as a great example. During a lecture on business ethics, she posed questions to the class: Should it be legal? Is it ethical to produce it? Opinions varied widely, but she closed the discussion with, “If there were no demand, there would be no supply.”

That law (among others) figures in to the world’s oldest profession, too. Why does she sell her body? Well, because people buy it, that’s why.

Now there’s a brothel in Prague that’s combined the two and leveraged modern technology to meat the kneads (sorry, I had to do it) of both markets at the same time:

…Big Sister, a Prague brothel where customers peruse a touch-screen menu of blondes, brunettes and redheads available for free. The catch is clients have to let their exploits be filmed and posted on the Internet.

OK, OK… free sex in Prague. Are you wondering what this has to do with us in the context of NLP? Not a whole lot, but one thing caught my attention:

Visitors to Big Sister start at the electronic menu, which provides each woman’s age, height, working name and the languages she speaks.

The cops in my area tell me that most of the Johns around here only want to know how much she costs and if she still has most of her teeth. The guys in Prague actually sort hookers based on the languages they speak.

Written by Michael DeBusk

January 15th, 2008 at 2:14 am