Monday, July 24, 2006

The Miss Universe Travesty

I watched Miss Universe on Sunday night, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Well, maybe a little embarrassed, but anyway.

I feel strongly that Miss Japan was robbed! She was beautiful, had great presence, and by far had the best responses to her questions of the night, answering in Japanese, French, and English - a language she doesn't even claim to speak! She was natural, accessible, and likeable.

Miss Puerto Rico, on the other hand, seemed to be a beauty pageant pro. She had poise and the costumes you'd expect. but her evening gown was so out there. The pageant regulars - like Carson from the Fab 5 - loved it, but it didn't come close to Japan's stunning black piece.

I made sure to review the swimsuit competition closely. I watched it about 5 times just to make sure I remembered each contestant. Japan went from sweet to sultry in an instant, while Puerto Rico's personality button was stuck on 'sassy' with less poise and less character. I thought Japan won, with Switzerland a close second. But I might need to watch it again...

Also, the Japanese translator was terrible!! She barely communicated Miss Japan's answer to the second question. Compare that with Miss Puerto Rico's translator who did a fantastic job, even cutting her off when he felt the time was right. With the question section of the evening playing such a vital role in the judging, that must have had an impact on the judges' decision.

In conclusion, I thought the choice for Miss Universe 2006 was a poor one. I am surprised at how artificial she looks (check out the Michael Jackson nose - eww!!). In these competitions, which seem so fake, it is important to reward 'natural' beauty. Un-augmented breasts and 'the nose God gave you' should be encouraged. Miss Puerto Rico is very plastic to me, while Miss Japan had a natural elegance and intelligence that deserved the win.

This entry in no way reflects the author's opinions and views of Puerto Rico or its people, which happens to be a country that makes beautiful sisters-in-law.

My Converstion with The Intern

me: "You're summer's almost over isn't it? You going back to school soon, right?"
intern: "Yeah."
me: "Which school do you go to?"
intern: "Ursinus."
me: "Oh. I once had an Ursinus infection."
intern: "You used that joke on me twice already."
me: "Have a wonderful day."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The 'Tipping' Rant

I think we should start tipping BEFORE we get the service. That way, the server will understand the urgency behind the recipient.

I pick up the car at the parking lot next to the Empire State Building, where I work. I wait 10 minutes in 110 degree garage until the guy comes down with my car. But, there's a car in front of him so it's another 10 minutes until I finally get some air conditioning. By then, I'm sweaty and stinkin' before I drive to meet new clients.

I decide not to tip. I had an awful experience and don't want to reward this service monetarily. I usually hate tipping (because I'm cheap), but I try to be a good one. I was a waiter and synpathize. These people's jobs depend on the generosity of their customers. If they help me, I want to reward that.

But this guy was terrible. I don't want to tip to communicate that the service was poor. But then I run the risk that the next time I go there, the guy will remember me as a badf tipper and again give me poor service. Pre-tipping offers more control, though social standards dictate that I tip even though the service wasn't deserving.

Alternately, the guy working the cab stand at JFK on Friday evening was amazing. He handed out ice cold water while we were waiting in the garage area. Made the 10 minute wait that much nicer.

I immediately pull out a dollar to thank him. After all, good deeds should be rewarded (besides, I can expense it back to work), but he won't accept it. He smiles, tells me the water is free and goes on to the next person.

The guy who deserves the tip refuses to take it. This world makes no sense to me.

Positive Proof of Global Warming

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Where the Term 'Southpaw' Comes From

A baseball field built in Chicago 1890 was designed to protect batters from the late-afternoon sun (which is in the West). That meant the pitcher would face west and his picthing arm would be on the north side. Those picthing left handed became known as "southpaws," a term that has extended to lefties in general.

I love my Uncle John's Bathroom Reader calender!!

646-lb Catfish Caught in Thailand

Fishermen in Thailand caught what might have been the largest freshwater fish known to man - a 646-lb whopper of a catfish.

When wildlife officials caught wind of the catch they urged the villagers to release the adult male so that it could spawn, but it later died and was eaten. They did not say when the massive fish was caught.

AOL’s Tips to Not Get Fired

Not that I need them...

11. Tailor your job description to your strengths.
10. Focus on your employer's priorities. Don't be distracted by responding to unimportant e-mails or marginal requests.
9. Cultivate relationships. Employees who are better liked are often kept on, even if they're less competent at their work.
8. Know your boss's MO. Does he or she like to be asked questions? Be kept apprised of what you're up to?
7. Solicit ongoing feedback. Ask them what they like and dislike about your work, and request an informal evaluation.
6. Pick your battles. Discretion demands that you know when to press your point and when to back off.
5. Practice damage control. Apologize for a mistake immediately and forthrightly, but without protracted self-flagellation.
4. Neutralize your enemies. Take them out to lunch and try to find common interests, or let people know that the two of you have issues that can't be resolved.
3. Promote yourself. Prepare a five-second "elevator speech" that you can use when someone asks how you're doing. Make sure you get credit for your own ideas.
2. Work hard.
1. Learn the right stuff. Read articles, attend workshops and cultivate mentors in your field. If you are let go, you'll have cutting-edge skills that future employers will value.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Choose The Sex of Your Baby

Move over, the-patented-Phyllis-Heller-method! A company called GenSelect sells an "all-natural, patented preconception gender selection (PGS) System influences the gender of your child before conception [with] 96% effectiveness."

"The GenSelect System prepares a mother's body to produce a child of the desired sex, much as we exercise and take dietary supplements to make us healthier and live longer. The GenSelect Method influences several naturally occuring factors that determine whether the X or Y sperm reaches and inseminates the female's egg. These factors include: diet, nutrition, acidity of vaginal environment and intercourse timing relative to ovulation."

Kits cost around between $200 for a 1-month supply and $430 for a 3-month. Now, I love my unborn child more than anything But this is nice to know for the future.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Skyscrapers of the Word Unite!

This is awesome. Good thing I found it.

(Brian Heller did not send me this link nor in any way influenced this entry. I found this image all by myself. Brian is a loser.)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ben & Jerry Go Republican

Partnering with the White House, Ben & Jerry's will be releasing a line of new products dedicated to the Bush administration. Here are some flavors in development:

- Condi Rice Crispy Treats
- 'Heck of a Job' Brownie
- Glazed Donut Rumsfeld
- Walnuts of Mass Destruction
- Al Queda Caramel
- The Sunni Swirl
- Bring It On, Butter Pecan
- "Last Throws" Pistachios

- Sugar Surge Insurgency

- Scooter Libby Lemon

and of course...

- Holy Shi'ite, That's Good Vanilla!

Wikihow - My New Favorite Website

A new addition to the long line of "wiki-" websites is, a one-stop resource to know how to do anything. Here are some examples of what I found interesting:

1. How to Deliver a Baby
2. How to Deal with Being in Prison
3. How to Date a Stoner

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Websites About 'Alive'

-National Geographic article about a group that recreated the expedition out of the mountains. Lots of cool interactive graphics bring the story to life in a new, vivid way.

- A new website created by the Survivors, with lots of previously unpublished photos and a detailed timeline of the 72 days on the mountain.

- Nando Parrado's website. This guy is amazing.

- Carlitos Paez's website. One of the youngest survivors. (The link is translated through Google, the original site is here.)

Brian, these are for you... congrats, douchebag.