Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, Finale

Rubber duck Nativity:

Rubber Duck Nativity


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas, Part III

My Christmas tree at work this year (those are Swarovski ornaments):

My work Christmas tree


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Keeping the "Christian" in Christmas

We were in a restaurant, and at a nearby table the waiter was wrapping up serving a party. Overheard:
Waiter: Happy Holidays!

Patron: Where I come from, we say "Merry Christmas."

Waiter: We're supposed to say "Happy Holidays," so we include people who don't celebrate Christmas.

Patron: First we were entertained by your stupidity, and now we're being entertained by your bulls**t.
Except this obviously pious Christian didn't censor himself with asterisks.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas, Part II

Judi's Christmas tree!

Judi's Christmas Tree


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas!

This was produced by a company in England, Alphabet Photography, as a Christmas gift for their customers, and was originally sent to about 5,000 people. Since it has now, already, had tens of millions of views, you've probably already seen it, but in case you haven't, grab a tissue, and Merry Christmas:

I think the expression on the face of the guy at 3:24, by itself, made the whole thing worthwhile.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Recently overheard....

A young man speaking:
My grandma is kinda mostly sane. Sometimes.

The color commentator on a broadcast team covering a college football game:
The kid's got a good imagination. When he graduates, he wants to be a fictional writer.

I guess if you go around telling people you're a writer, but you don't write a word, then that would make you a "fictional writer." No?

Finally, a woman speaking with a young man who appears to be in a relationship with her son:
Woman: Does your mother smoke?
Young Man: No, she never has.
W: Does she drink?
YM: No, she never drank. But once when I was little I ate some of her brownies and... they weren't right.


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Reality Deficits

A couple of months ago, on Morning Edition, there was a professor who specialized in Pakistani history talking about why so many Pakistanis have such crazy ideas about the United States (for example, that the U.S. funds the Taliban). She said it was due to a "reality deficit."

Reality deficit! The term struck me immediately. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Now, I don't want to imply that every boneheaded belief is due to ignorance. For example, I suspect that most Young Earthers are well aware of the preponderance of evidence regarding the true age of the Earth. They aren't boneheaded because of a deficit of reality. They're just boneheaded because they choose to be.

On the other hand, I think there's a constant stream of evidence that the boneheaded ideas of many so-called Tea Party members and many religious conservatives can be chalked up to reality deficits. Some good examples are the many so-called Tea Partiers that I've heard claiming that Obama should be impeached for violating the Constitution, or that the Constitution states that Christianity is the official religion of the U.S., but who, when questioned, admit that they have never actually read the Constitution. This ignorance creates a knowledge vacuum -- aka a reality deficit -- that can be filled in or made up by any talking head or radio jockey saying pretty much whatever he wants. You see, the real value of the idea of reality deficits, as expressed by that Pakistani professor, isn't just that people are ignorant. No, the real insight goes a step further: It's how this missing reality leaves a gap into which obviously wrong ideas can be easily poured.

So much attention these days is being directed at budget deficits. In my humble opinion, those aren't the deficits that should really be scaring us.

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Toys For Tots

Last weekend, we made our annual Toys For Tots drop off at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the beach:

Toy For Tots Drop Box

Judi's mother joined us this year for the first time. The box was empty when we started, and Judi packed it... well, the way Judi packs things.

Happy Christmas Season!

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