As Found in Nature

The other day  we picked up a new bottle of chewable multivitamins for the kids. It was a different brand than we’ve bought in the past, and it happened to be on half-price clearance, which is almost always a win in my books.  While I’m not entirely convinced that these, or really, any vitamin pills, make a significant difference in the kids’ health, a few more vitamins and minerals are probably better than less. In the middle of winter, with the quality and availability of fresh fruit and vegetables being somewhat less than optimal, a little bit of nutritional supplement is a  help. Continue reading As Found in Nature

How to Write Reference Letters

Originally published March 31, 2002

I recently wrote a reference letter for someone I supervise. When writing one of these, it can be somewhat difficult to know what to say in the letter. You want to write a good letter (unless you don’t like the person who the letter is for, in which case they were stupid to ask you) so the person gets what they are applying for, but you don’t want to go overboard and sound ridiculous.

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More Confusing Song Titles

Treble ClefOriginally Published 20 November 2004

Some time ago we ran a Good/Bad/Ugly article called Confusing Song Titles, which naturally rated songs that have titles that don’t make sense, songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Rainy Day Women #12 and 35.” As it happens only six such songs were rated in that article. That’s more items than the typical G/B/U rating includes, but in this case, it’s not nearly enough. There are so many more misnamed songs out there just waiting for the G/B/U treatment. It’s time for more.

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Confusing Song Titles

Treble ClefOriginally posted 11 April 2001

It should have been decreed at the advent of pop music back in the 50s that songs would have titles that made sense, but apparently this was never done. Granted, most songs do have logical titles, usually being the most repeated lyric in the song, or a word that is used in the song a lot, or someone’s name that the song is about. Most songs when you hear them for the first time you can listen and have a fairly good idea what the title is. This rule doesn’t apply to instrumental stuff (you just have to remember that it’s called “Classical Gas”) but if it has lyrics, the title should be fairly obvious. But that’s not always the case. Today I’m rating the titles of some songs that don’t comply with this convention. Note that I’m not rating the songs themselves, just the titles and their appropriateness. Are we clear on that?
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A Thousand Words, Volume I

Dennis Miller used to have a feature on his show called The Big Picture where he commented on photos from the news. This is a rather low effort thing to do, and it was generally very funny for him, so I’m going to rip off all sorts of intellectual property here and do it myself. This is for parody, so don’t get upset if you don’t find my comments funny.

"I don't care if this is heavy, I'm dragging it down to the pawn shop to get cash for a Game Cube."
“I don’t care if this is heavy, I’m dragging it down to the pawn shop to get cash for a Game Cube.”

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Androgynous Names

Hello My Name Is StickerI’ve always found that names which can be applied to either gender are a bit troubling. Maybe I like the reassurance that when someone mentions a John or a Mary I can form a simple picture of said person based simply on the name. With non gender specific names this becomes impossible. That, said, some androgynous names are certainly better than others. I should mention that I won’t be rating names that have alternate spellings for male and female, such as Aaron/Erin or Rene/Renee. If I happen to rate your name badly, that doesn’t mean I don’t like you, so don’t email me complaining about it. Continue reading Androgynous Names

Here we go again

This site has been sitting largely idle for far too long. It’s been well Ship launchover a year now since new content was added. And while there have long been plans to revamp the design, and start adding content regularly again, that hasn’t actually happened.

So with the start of a new year, it’s time for a relaunch. A lot of old content might get rehashed and reposted, and hopefully a lot of new content will be added. This site might look like a bit of a mess for the next while. And it will likely be more like a blog than before, and less of a magazine.