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Archive for March, 2010

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Ballplayer a ‘hit’ with his mother…

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

In the preseason game between the Yankees and the Twins today, Twins’ leadoff hitter Denard Span hit a foul ball in the first inning, which made it into the stands just past the third-base dugout, and hit his mother in the shoulder. Paramedics treated her at the scene, and she returned to her seat (a different seat this time) by the next inning. From today’s New York Post:

Wanda Wilson was wearing a Span jersey and sitting with about 20 family members and friends near the third-base dugout. Span took a defensive swing in the first inning and sent a liner into the low box seats, hitting her near the shoulder.

A stunned Span sprinted into the stands and stayed with his mother while she got treatment. The split-squad game was delayed for a few minutes as she walked to first aid, and the Twins said she was sore but OK.

And if you think that’s strange, check out the Peanuts cartoon that appeared in today’s papers:

How’s that for a coincidence?!?

(Hat tip: Lee Salz and Mike Starr for putting these two items together) 

Categories: Sports Talk, The World Wide Weird | No Comments »

How People Found Me – January-March, 2010

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

And now, another installment of the irrationally popular, “How People Found Me,” in which I highlight some of the Google queries that resulted in people clicking through to I Should Be Sleeping. In today’s epside, we begin with:

1) Bizarre Billy Joel Queries

I’ve written about Billy Joel a fair amount in these pages, so I attract an eclectic array of search strings. For example:

QueryComments
billy joel doesn’t like to clean kitchen Well, for a guy who doesn’t like to clean up, he sure has a knack for ensuring that he lives alone, huh? I guess he could always hire a cleaning service…
david rosenthal with his wife billy joel David Rosenthal obviously has poor taste in women (that or a rather bizarre crush on Billy Joel)
supreme macaroni billy joel Supreme Macaroni? I guess you get that at The Italian Restaurant?

From a famous New Yorker to queries about the city itself:

2) New York, New York

QueryComments
citi field singers They may look like singers, but they’re actually trying to play baseball. An easy mistake to make…
death of window washers since 1960 nyc Just goes to show – whatever topic you can dream up, someone’s researching it on the Internet.
rockefeller family tree This one’s funny because they were probably looking for Nelson and his ancestors, and what they got was pictures of the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center.

…and if you thought New York was big enough to generate some strange queries, wait ’till you see what happens when we expand to Life, The Universe, and Everything:

3) Seeking a Higher Power…

QueryComments
getgrogger.com A purim-related query? You don’t see that everyday…
ryan seacrest ordained OK, I realize he’s omnipresent these days, and that lots of (typically teenage) people worship him, but they didn’t go and ordain him, did they?
history.com/earth History of the earth? That oughta be a long download…
name some events Any events? Maybe this was the “history of the earth” guy again…
philosophical questions thoughts Attention, those seeking the ultimate truths of the universe: start with Google. That search engine has all the answers, dude….
ways to increase life expectancy url:gov Proof that we’ve come to depend on the government for entirely too much these days…

Bringing it down a few (hundred) notches now, let’s look at some more personal queries (as in, queries about me):

4) Getting Personal

QueryComments
brian greenberg died GAAAHHH!!!! I really think someone should have informed me…
book about the greenberg family I’m not sure my accomplishments warrant such an honor. Of course, the last guy who expressed that sentiment got the Nobel Peace Prize…

..and now, some fun with technology:

5) Technically Speaking…

QueryComments
mac osx 10.4.11 porn bugs Yes, hello? My pornography isn’t working. What’s that? Yes, I am running 10.4.11, why do you ask? Ah, the problem is fixed in 10.4.12? OK, I’ll go download the upgrade. Thanks…
webkinz world is getting to old Sounds like a kid who’s ready to move on to Club Penguin.

With a list like this, some items are just too bizarre to categorize. Enjoy…

6) Funny You Should Ask…

QueryComments
pet and celebrity look a like If you look like your pet and a celebrity, you better hope you’ve got an exceptionally handsome dog, or that the celebrity is Spuds MacKenzie.
does Ikea use slave labor? Well, given that the customers do most of the work, and they have to pay for the privilege, I’d say yes – yes, they do.
i need quarters for laundry …and you thought maybe Google would give them to you?
“uncle conan, you went to harvard?” I’m guessing this was unintentional social commentary during the NBC late-night debacle. No one in that story exhibited Harvard-level smarts…
how to know if your username or password is incorrect on webkinz.com Well, if the site doesn’t let you login, that’s a pretty good sign…
how to attract cows I seriously do not want to know why someone was Googling this…
imagine how weird phones would look if your mouth was nowhere near your ears I guess it depends where else your mouth would be….
ben franklin harvard endowment ice cream I can’t decide what’s funnier here – that Ben Franklin (founder of the University of Pennsylvania) would endow Harvard University, or that he would endow them with ice cream?
family guy look alikes OK, maybe the pet/celebrity from above was the Family Guy dog, Brian?

…and finally, what installment of How People Found Me would be complete without the “adults only” section (the faint of heart should stop reading here):

7) A Dirty Mind…

QueryComments
skimpy swimsuits This one’s not that dirty, but I chuckle when I think of someone Googling for skimpy swimsuits and winding up at my site. Sorry to disappoint!
nudecamps I’ve heard of baseball camps, soccer camps, even sleep-away camps, but this has got to be an (ahem) interesting way to spend a summer…
we’re the ones you should be sleeping with Brought to you by the OMOA (Overconfident Men of America).
letting someone f*** my sleeping wife No, the original queries did not have the asterisks. I’m not judging anyone, but if that’s what you’re into, why Google it? And again, sorry you wound up at my site – definitely not what you were looking for…

Well, folks, this concludes another edition of How People Found Me. I hope you had a good time. See you again in a few months. Until then, keep those queries coming!

Categories: Tech Talk | 3 Comments »

The Best of TED: Music and Passion

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

I’ve tried “regular features” on I Should Be Sleeping before, only to rack up considerable guilt for not keeping them up to date, and then abandoning them unless they’re brought back by popular demand. So I won’t promise any regularity here, but I have built up a considerable list of these videos, and my current plan is to share one every once in a while.

For those who aren’t familiar with TED, it’s the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference, in which experts and luminaries of various stripes come to speak with other experts and luminaries who are willing to shell out a few thousand dollars to listen. Speakers have ranged from well-known folks like Al Gore and Bill Gates to virtually unknown college professors, researchers, artists and the like. The conference organizers cull what they believe are the best presentations and post them on TED.com, which means that just about every one of them is mildly interesting, and I’ve been jotting down the URL’s of the ones I’ve found particularly insightful for quite some time now.

The first talk that made me jot down the URL was this one by conductor and classical music enthusiast, Benjamin Zander:

In it, he talks about the lack of interest most people have toward classical music and his personal quest to change all of that. He starts by playing a short Prelude by Frederic Chopin on the piano, and acknowledging that by the second phrase, most people have begun thinking about their plans for their next vacation, and by the end, some have even nodded off to sleep.

But then, he explains the mechanics of the piece, sets the right emotional tone, and plays it again. Even if you’re not fond of classical music (especially if you’re not fond of it), I highly recommend you watch the video. I was amazed at how effective his explanation was. I’ve been a musician for most of my life, and while I’ve always had a great respect for classical music and the musicians who play it well, I’ve never been able to make it hold my interest for very long. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Zander’s second playing of Chopin’s piece.

All of that said, I hasten to point out that when I hear this…

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.
When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May.
I guess you’ll say, ‘What can make me feel this way?’
My Girl.

…no one has to tell me what the author meant or how I should feel about it. Maybe that’s the advantage that popular music has over classical music right there. Or maybe the former has supplanted those qualities in the latter. Maybe Chopin’s audiences were able to understand his meaning without Mr. Zander’s explanation, in the same way that I understand Smokey Robinson? If so, it felt strangely satisfying to experience Chopin as it was originally intended.

Kind of like Frederic Chopin – Behind the Music. Or maybe that’s a bit much…

Categories: The Best of TED | No Comments »

Should You Buy an iPad?

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

The folks over at GeekDad have a helpful flowchart to help you decide:

Now that’s some solid logic. ;-)

Categories: Tech Talk | 3 Comments »

Headlines

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

This obviously isn’t funny (although, in this case, no one got hurt), but the Associated Press deserves recognition for this gem of a headline:

Nano car bursts into flames, raising safety fears

Gee – ya think?!?

Categories: News and/or Media | 2 Comments »

President Obama’s NCAA Bracket – 2010 Edition

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

In the last three days, the post I put up a year ago showing President Obama’s 2009 NCAA Bracket received 565 pageviews (in the previous three days, it received seventeen). Since there’s so much apparent interest, here’s the 2010 version:


(click to enlarge)

Have at it, folks…

Categories: Political Rantings, Sports Talk | No Comments »

If you’re going to do it, do it right…

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Dear spammer,

If you’re going to send me fake e-mail claiming to be from Citibank’s customer service department, you may want to note that Citibank doesn’t capitalize the “b” in their name. Also, you may want to spell words like “security” and “upon” correctly.

Sincerely,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Spam Recipient

It’s hard to imagine that people open these files at all (even though I know they do), but if you think your bank misspelled its own name and the word “security” in their security e-mail and you still open the file? Well, then, enjoy your virus. You are beyond help…

Categories: Tech Talk | 1 Comment »

It’s that time of decade again…

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

That’s right, boys & girls – it’s CENSUS time! I’ve seen all the ads telling me how important it is that I fill out the census, but I didn’t know this until I got the envelope:

Required by law? Really? I wonder what the penalty is. And given that the letter is addressed to “Resident,” I wonder how they find me if I don’t fill it out. I mean, isn’t identifying me and the members of my household the whole point? If they show up to arrest me, haven’t they conclusively proven that they don’t need me to fill it out?

You heard it here first, folks – We need Census Law Reform!

Categories: Random Acts of Blogging | 5 Comments »

Things You Find While Packing

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

OK, this post is about eighteen months late, but as they say, better late than never…

When we packed up our house to vacate before the renovation, I had to go through my basement and put everything in boxes. Along the way, I discovered some of those “oh, wow – I can’t believe I still have this” items, and decided to photograph them for posterity (i.e., for posting on Flickr).

The entire set is here, but here’s one to whet your appetite:

Yeah, that’s right. 45 rpm records. Not only that, but Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees, and I Write the Songs by Barry Manilow. The late 70′s were an innocent time, indeed.

If that piques your interest, click through to the whole set. We’re talking Mickey Mouse Club membership buttons, Star Wars trading cards, floppy disk write-protect tabs, and much, much more.

Consider it my personal contribution to the ephemera that is the Internet…

Categories: Random Acts of Blogging | 5 Comments »

The 119 words WGN reporters can’t say on television

Friday, March 12th, 2010

The CEO of the Tribune Company has posted a list of 119 broadcast news cliches that he doesn’t want his anchors or reporters to use anymore on the air.

But what’s even stranger is that Ian Chillag of National Public Radio has put them all in a single sentence:

In other news, stay tuned, because in our top story tonight, some really good (or bad) news: as expected, in a surprise move yesterday, informed sources say, a world class icon, diva, mother of all motorists, and famed undocumented alien, lauded for putting area residents at risk and in harm’s way, but at this point in time behind bars for allegations that — according to sketchy details that, to be fair, have officials and authorities under fire for speaking out — he reportedly engaged in shower activity with all of you folks at 5 am in the morning, underwent surgery, utilized an undisclosed vehicle in torrential rain in a near miss manhunt when it was time for a break, literally fled on foot, completely surprised his mother with a clash with bare naked police behind closed doors, definitely possibly completely destroyed a medical hospital under false pretenses, and is lucky to be alive after, the fact of the matter is, he lent a helping hand to a legendary incarcerated pedestrian lone gunman (the perpetrator who over in a neighboring state, perished in a perfect storm of no brainers and things that went terribly wrong, and was plagued by killing sprees in which he gave 110% only to have his senseless murders marred by the untimely deaths of guys and folks whose fatal deaths came in the wake of auto accidents, and while it may be a mute point, let’s everybody touch base on the fact that he was under seige in the wake of unrest after shots rang out in close proximity of the best kept secret on the campaign trail which had authorities reeling up in one place and down in another, and going forward, the alleged aftermath of the death toll for youths behind the podium exceeds those out there, down there, and out in that other place by a two to one margin), is seeking white stuff for those of you that want it, and thus, we’ll explain what he did when we’ll be back — we’ll be right back, after the break and after these commercial messages, and we say “we’re back,” “welcome back,” or “welcome back everybody.”

For more on this story, film at eleven…

Categories: News and/or Media, The World Wide Weird | No Comments »

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