Friday, August 19, 2005

Real-Life School of Rock (from BCBeat)

Real-Life School of Rock | BCBeat

Remember the recent movie "School of Rock" with Jack Black? Well, VH1 thought it would be a cool idea to see if they could take it the next step. So they've enlisted the help of rocker Gene Simmons (the long-tongued dude from Kiss) to turn a classroom of kids into a rock band. Hilarity ensues.

Ken Jennings Gets His Own Column

Jennings Hits the Newsstands | BCBeat:

"Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings will write a column for Mental Floss magazine, a publication that claims to 'take the chore out of learning by presenting information in a way that's quick, simple, quirky and fun.'"

Looks like Ken Jennings has scored again. The column he will be writing for Mental Floss magazine will be like playing the Kevin Bacon game. Give Ken two disparate items, and he will try to link them in six steps or less.

There was a series of TV programs a couple of years back called "Connections" that did this same kind of thing on a bigger scale. This might be a fun gig for ol' Ken, and might prove amusing.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I Want My Air Back

This post is likely to piss off smokers. Unfortunately, there are a few in my family. Sorry folks, I've gotten fed up.

At what point do we finally get it through everyone's head that non-smokers shouldn't have to endure the smoke of others? Dana Reeve, Christopher Reeve's wife, and a lifetime non-smoker was diagnosed this week with lung cancer. LUNG CANCER. She has never smoked.

Sure, the argument will be made that there were other possible factors, that second-hand smoke can't be blamed for it, etc. It's all crap.

I know it's tough to quit smoking, and many smokers have gotten relatively considerate about their habit around non-smokers (this includes the majority of my family).

No, where I get hacked off is places like in my car. I don't smoke. So why whould I have to smell someone else's smoke in my car!?!? I'm not talking about a smoker in my car. I'm talking about the jerk in front of me who is hanging the butt out the window and blowing his smoke out. Why, you may ask? So that the smoke doesn't stink up their car. So that their clothes don't smell like smoke.

The tacit implication is that smoke smells like crap. They don't want it in their car or their clothes. So instead, they'll force me to breathe it.

Here's an idea - roll up the freakin' window and inhale deeply. It's your smoke - enjoy it. But leave it in your car. You say it'll reduce the resale value of your car? How about the future value of my lungs? I frankly don't care how much it depreciates your car.

I see the same thing at work. Everyone knows that casinos are generally a smoker's paradise. But our poker room, like many, is non-smoking. Of course, there are no special ventilation systems, no hard walls to keep out the smoke. But the area is pretty clearly delineated. So what do the smokers do? Stand by the delineating wall, smoke their cigarettes, and blow the smoke back into the room. When you ask them to stand back to smoke their cigarrettes, explaining that it is a non-smoking room, after all, they look at you like you just told them their baby is ugly.

I'm not advocating eliminating your ability to smoke. You want to kill yourself quicker while makng tobacco companies richer, be my guest. But that's not my choice. And you have no right to make it my choice. It wasn't Dana Reeve's choice either.