All posts by Marko Peric

Marko Peric is a husband, father, product designer, and writer. He's been the editor-in-chief of Don't Mind Me since 2001.

Magnetism, Diplomacy, and Disclaimers

Ever since I was a child, I have enjoyed geography. I studied maps, learned from maps, and even drew my own maps of imaginary worlds.  Globes were another thing altogether. While a map is useful for gathering information, and figuring out how to get from point A to point B, there’s nothing like a globe to get a true picture of the shape of the world.

It might be a coincidence that my wife majored in geography at school. It probably is, in fact, but knowing that, I bought her a geography-related gift the first Christmas we were together.  It was a magnetic floating globe. It’s a globe that hangs in the air, suspended by magnetic force. A mere four inches in diameter, it’s the sort of thing that can only be a gift, because it serves no practical purpose, apart from looking nifty.

My wife was mildly amused by the globe, and as she was teaching at the time, she set it up in her classroom for the rest of the year. But before long it ended up packed away, as it doesn’t really serve much purpose, and it takes up desk space.

Right now, it spends most of its time on top of the bookshelf in my office. We take it down every so often to amuse the kids, as they are of course fascinated by something that works seemingly by magic.

We don’t take it down for geography purposes, though. While a globe is far superior than a map for looking at how the earth is actually shaped, and how the continents and oceans actually relate to each other in terms of size and position, this one is not. It’s only four inches across, and there are metal caps covering both of the poles. The scale is 1:120,000,000. It’s a novelty more than anything.

But it does feature the best disclaimer anyone has ever seen on any product.  Here is a closeup of the text in question.floating-globe-disclaimer-cThat’s right, it says “Not for Disputing the Boundaries” right under the explanation that it’s only for toy and Ornament only.  Can’t have someone showing up to the United Nations armed with a four-inch magnetic globe to argue about where Russia begins and Ukraine ends.

Of course, given some of what takes place at the UN, it would hardly be the most ridiculous speech ever delivered to the general assembly.

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

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.

Continue reading More Confusing Song Titles

Let’s Do the Timewarp

Sometimes best laid plans go awry. Other times they just take a lot longer to implement than originally expected. The original plan was to move all the old content from this website to this new wordpress based format, but that will take entirely too long. So while stuff will still be migrating across to the new site (which still needs some design work and a header graphic and other improvements), you can still access the old content here.

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?
Continue reading Confusing Song Titles

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.”

Continue reading A Thousand Words, Volume I

Androgynous Names

I’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