Sunday, July 7, 2013

Question Marks

Question marks do not belong at the end of statements. I can live with it if there's an implied question and you'd naturally do the voice inflection, like "I assume you're coming tonight?" - even though that's technically wrong. But it's totally inexcusable to throw a question mark into a statement just because it's somewhere near a question.

  • "Any feedback would be appreciated?"
  • "I can't figure out how to do this?"
  • "Seems like this should work?"

Failed Junk Food

I have been forced to accept the realization that I do not like plain M&Ms. Or Krispy Kreme donuts.

I do not make this statement lightly. I have fond memories of consuming significant amounts of M&Ms, enjoying the perpetual "chonk" that comes from biting down on each one. And peanut M&Ms seemed inferior, since the peanut just pushed aside the chocolate, which was ostensibly the whole point. But lately, my taste seems to have reversed. When I eat plain M&Ms, I seem to taste the shell at least as much as the chocolate. It's an empty feeling, a waste of calories. This might not even be such a huge deal, but M&Ms are everywhere. Blizzards. Bowls outside of people's offices. Halloween candy. There are so many situations that invite me to enjoy them, and I have repeatedly tried to put aside past disappointments and take them up on the offer. But I have been disappointed consistently enough and often enough that I think I need to just put plain M&Ms behind me forever.

Except maybe in cookies, if there's no better alternative. (The peanut kind seem to avoid the issue, I guess due to the balance of the extra flavor and texture.)

Krispy Kremes are a similar problem. I like donuts. Non-sticky glazed donuts are among the best. But Krispy Kreme donuts (which, again, show up all the time) leave this coating of shortening on my tongue. (Thanks to my wife for showing me how to articulate this.) And the flavor is almost lemony. Again, a consistent disappointment and a waste of calories. And if it's got frosting on top of the glaze, it's even worse, because the glaze acts as a barrier that makes the frosting seem like a totally different experience.

So there, I've said it. Hopefully having done so will help me stay strong and resist these evil traps in the future so I can save my calorie quota for more deserving forms of junk food.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Equal Opportunity Dinosaur Status

Paleontologists are picky about what they call a “dinosaur.” To an extent, I get it. I don’t really care if Dimetrodon’s hips pointed out or down, but if it was cold-blooded, then it’s a different thing. Fine. But excluding pterosaurs and swimming non-fish, egg-laying vertebrates seems unreasonable. From the old-style books I read back in the day, I gathered that at least one reason for the distinction was that they figured that those things would have to be warm-blooded, while the consensus was that dinosaurs were cold-blooded. You know, reptiles. But even then I was skeptical of that. I mean, brachiosaurus having to stay in a lake just to keep themselves up?

So now that we know that dinosaurs were warm blooded, and keeping in mind that we’re okay saying that bats and whales are mammals, I think it’s time to include flying and swimming creatures in the definition of “dinosaurs.” It’s fair, it’s intuitive, and it’s probably how most people use the word anyway.

Let’s all agree to just do the right thing.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The WHAT Apocalypse?!?

In the last while, the theme of “zombies” has become a ubiquitous cultural phenomenon, and it drives me crazy. It goes beyond the matter of yuckiness, too. The whole premise feels immoral for several reasons. Mind you, this is just a personal rant, and I’m not trying to pass judgment on anyone. But seriously, this stuff is messed up.

Reason #1: It’s a mockery of the human body, which is created in the image of God. When this kind of thing pops up (internet image search, movie listings, etc.) it’s immediately revolting. I can only imagine that it’s intended that way, although presumably people become desensitized to it after a while. But this kind of imagery is not just unpleasant; it’s irreverent and drives away the Holy Ghost very quickly. The image of the human face is sacred, and disfiguring it to trigger disgust is sacrilege.

Reason #2: It glorifies murder. Mind you, zombies are generally portrayed as bad guys, but people become fascinated with them, the way you’d have a favorite Mario enemy or Decepticon – the theme is meant to entertain. But murdering and mutilating people should not be an entertaining theme.

Reason #3: It glorifies a loss of agency. I’m not sure whether zombies are supposed to be evil spirits in people’s bodies or the people themselves turned evil. Either way it is a demonic concept, and the second option (which I gather is the most common) is an outright denial of the divine gift of being able to choose good and evil, and a suggestion that everyone will or could end up as a murderer no matter how they live. Could the gospel be distorted any further than that?

So there you have it. I find zombie-related fiction offensive, whether they’re attacking humanity at large or garden vegetables on your phone. Just the latest in a long list of reasons the world is going downhill, I guess.

Have a nice day! :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Reject Words

“Series” is a terrible word. It already sounds like a plural, there's no way to differentiate it from its plural, and trying to make it possessive just makes the matter worse. Same with “species”. “It’s hard to pronounce those species’ names.” Quick – how many species are we talking about? Would “specieses’” be any better?