Laundry rainbow

The lady next door to the office always hangs her clothes to dry in order of color, starting with the whites, then working her way through the rainbow to the dark blues at the end. With the sun shining on the clothes line, it makes for a nice mosaic on my window.

laundry rainbow

It almost makes up for her yappy dogs.


Blogging is weird

While I mostly write this for friends and family, this being a public blog, there is of course a potential broader audience that can come in at any time to see what I’ve been talking about.  It’s fun to get likes and followers from other bloggers I’ve never met, but it’s pretty obvious that the vast majority of them are just trying to generate traffic for their own blogs.

I guess we all want to be travel writers.

I don’t mind so much, and it’s been pretty small up to this point. (Not to alienate any of you strangers who actually like my blog, but I’ve not gotten any comments from you guys, so sorry if I don’t believe that you’re really reading it.)

But then I looked at my Spam Folder today, and there are 97 spammed comments mostly in response to my throwaway “Mmm” post from a couple of days ago.  Just as a point of reference, normally I get about 2 spam comments a month.  I noticed a while ago that anything with the tag “travel” got more attention than anything else, but I’m seriously stumped on this one.  Most spam comments are a variation on “I’ve read your work and it is unique and wonderful. I hope to learn more about you, please click on this sketchy link so we can speak of the complexities of human existence.”  I’m not sure if wordpress has recently been inundated, or if I’ve just been here long enough to attract a large amount of spammers.  In any case, here is my favorite spam message from “Mmm.”

The solution is to listen to them. How to will i ever get a girlfriend Actually you don’t. She was a darkness i need to hide your feelings” or” I’d really love it! But it’s not at the intensity you think it will help you understand the reason why things didn’t work out with one another, so it seems like every road leads will i ever get a girlfriend you to a dead end.

I mean this is like AOL chat room spam-poetry bullshit from 1996.  Fortunately, wordpress deals with this stuff well, and I only saw it because I clicked on the Spam folder, but still. Are we really still in Nigerian Prince territory?


This is fantastic.

Karen James@kejames We repeated the experiment because the first time I forgot to use an ethanol resistant pen to label the tubes. #overlyhonestmethods

Unix tool tip@UnixToolTip RT @trekkinglemon we implemented our algorithm in C because we don’t have a Matlab license #overlyhonestmethods

Rob Ford@robfordmancs We used Bayesian latent variable multilevel regression because only flashy new methods get published in this journal #overlyhonestmethods

Sylvain Deville@devillesylvain we didn’t read half of the papers we cite because they are behind a paywall #overlyhonestmethods #OA

Matt@droenn I cited this paper because everyone else has cited it, though noone has ever seen an actual copy #overlyhonestmethods

Atif Kukaswadia@MrEpid We don’t know how the results were obtained. The postdoc who did all the work has since left to start a bakery. #overlyhonestmethods

Ben Seymour@benosaka Blood samples were spun at 1500rpm because the centrifuge made a scary noise at higher speeds. #overlyhonestmethods

Ok, last one, I promise.

dr leigh@dr_leigh incubation lasted three days because this is how long the undergrad forgot the experiment in the fridge #overlyhonestmethods


One of my favorite This American Life episodes starts with people (adults) admitting to false things that they believed in childhood that they somehow didn’t figure out until a somewhat embarrassingly late age.  One involved a person who thought that “quesadilla” meant “what’s the deal” in Spanish (Simon and I use that in conversation whenever we can), and another was a woman who thought that unicorns were real until she was at a college party and asked if they were endangered or extinct.

One of the blogs I follow had a similar story, and opened it up for comments. I have to post some of my favorites.

“I thought Alaska was an island until about a year ago (at the embarrassing age of 32) because it is portrayed on most US maps much like Hawaii is – like a phantom limb of the continent, floating around unattached, surrounded by water. I wish I had paid more attention to geography, or for that matter, globes, as a kid. My fiance was the one to inform me when I made a “very funny” comment after he mentioned that he would like to drive to Alaska.”

“I was in high school when a boyfriend informed me that Hawaii is not “off the coast of Florida, somewhere.””

“Until I was an early teenager, I thought persecuted and prosecuted were the same word. So when there were signs in stores that said ‘shoplifters will be prosecuted,’ I thought it was like they would be treated like the Jews during WWII.”

“When I was a kid, my parents would refer to the baby “they lost”. For the longest time, I believed they lost the baby when it fell out of the car.”

I know I had some of these, mostly involving pronunciations since I was a bookish kid, but I can’t really come up with any funny ones.  I still spell it “grey” instead of “gray” because I guess I read a lot of British books(?), and it wasn’t until college that I stopped spelling it “develope.”  See, it just looks more correct, develop seems naked.  Oh, and I’m pretty sure I pronounced it “im PO tent” instead of “IM po tent” for a long time. In my head, I mean, it’s not like I went around saying impotent all the time.