Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Annoying phrases series post 1 - "It is what it is"

I thought about starting a series about annoying phrases we say/hear day to day. The purpose would be twofold: namely to determine whether these phrases have value or not, then if not to come up with an alternative phrase to take its place. There are several other advantages as well besides the wonderful opportunity for me to bitch, which should not be overlooked :) You can also suggest particular phrases that annoy you as well and we can bring those to the discussion. Yay! So before I begin let me first say that my intentions are not to single anyone out here. There is no "It is what it is" person that I am referring to specifically. All of these phrases are pervasive enough that they go beyond any particular person.

Alright so lets get started. I am sure everyone is familiar with this one, but let me lay out an example of how I typically hear it used. After all this is my blog. It is what it is! Oops, I jumped the gun there. Sorry about that. Anyhow, the times I most often hear "It is what it is" (lets go with iiwii from here out) are when someone is discussing a less than ideal situation that must be accepted in its current state. There is no opportunity to change things for the better. iiwii signifies the proverbial throwing in of the towel. For example, say you are a sports fan and your team is doing terrible this season (if its football, please read the MG article comparing it with dogfighting 2 posts ago). Your team keeps playing poorly and losing game after game, even with teams they usually beat. There is no chance they will make it to the playoffs or whatever the appropriate Harry Potter-esque final showdown is. IIWII!!!!!!! Theres always next season. I am sure you could think of countless other examples as well where iiwii would be appropriate.

My observation is that nothing is added to the discussion by dropping the iiwii. You have to set some context with someone before you pull an iiwii on them. If you just walked up to your best friend and iiwii-ed them, they would probably be like, "What the hell are you talking about?" or "Thanks buddy, it most certainly is what it is. Unless of course one of the "it's" is the shadow-self of the other "it" and is actually the evil it" A situation must be laid out clearly first. iiwii is grammatically correct but actually meaningless. I think it would be more effective to lay out the situation. Then, replace the iiwii conclusion with "We/I just have to accept it/this." At least then you are taking it a step further in terms of content and also communicating more effectively. Unfortunately that is more characters and words than iiwii. Hey, It is what it is...

What do you think? Convince me to end this annoying phrase series, haha.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I have learned a few things from the following NPR story:
  1. If you have a hedgehog, its important to get it health insurance.
  2. You will ALWAYS need the anti-psychotics more than your hedgehog ever will.
  3. If you do get insurance for your hedgehog, please make sure that Tails is covered as well.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Malcolm Gladwell: How different are dogfighting and football?

Pete Disclaimer:
Sports are not my cup of tea to put it lightly. Especially football. I can not understand how people can be so fascinated by watching people run/throw a football around on TV, maybe they have money on the game? They are just sitting there NOT playing. Whatever. People like different things, I get it. So along that line of thinking, when I saw the MG article below, I must say that he kind of just became my personal hero. Comparing football to dogfighting is genius.

Malcolm Gladwell: How different are dogfighting and football?
: "One evening in August, Kyle Turley was at a bar in Nashville with his wife and some friends. It was one of the countless little places in the city that play live music. He’d ordered a beer, but was just sipping it, because he was driving home. He . . ."

Friday, October 9, 2009

Books : Z.E.O. - A Zombie Guide to Business

Books : Z.E.O. - A Zombie Guide to Business: " Learn how to govern your workforce the zombie way.A guide for any CEO or even us regular folk on how to be a better leader in business. Using tried and true zombie teachings and philosophy, you'll become the ZEO your company has needed. And then you'll get a(head)! $11.99"

Perhaps AIG or Citi were using this model??????

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Weird Wonders: 15 of the World’s Strangest Animals

These are insane! Check them out.

Weird Wonders: 15 of the World’s Strangest Animals: "


They may not win any beauty contests anytime soon, but the weird wonders of the animal world are infinitely more interesting than any mundane and adorable little creature. The Earth is full of rare and bizarre fish, amphibians, mammals and more that shock us with gigantic teeth, creepy gelatinous skin, retractable claws and parasitic mating habits. From the dark depths of the sea to the treetops of Madagascar, these 15 strange animals are quite a sight to behold.



(images via: Courier Post, Duke University)

The depths of the ocean are literally swimming with creatures straight out of your weirdest nightmares, and the Viper Fish is among the scariest. This grotesque-looking creature has teeth so large, they don’t fit in its mouth. It swims at high speed toward its victims and impales them upon its sharp teeth

Sea Pig


(images via:

With its pallid pink flesh, the scotoplane – known as a sea pig – resembles some kind of tumorous growth that was just excised from somebody’s abdomen. But, this strange creature is actually a type of sea cucumber. Sea pigs look and act sort of like slugs, feeding on organic materials that settle on the ocean floor.



(images via: The Telegraph)

Few mammals are as weird looking as the endangered Aye-Aye, a lemur found only on the island of Madagascar, but – surprise! It’s actually a close relative of humans. With big protruding eyes, super-skinny fingers and a huge bushy tail, Aye-Ayes are pretty unique. Their bat-like ears allow them to detect insect larvae squirming inside trees, and they’ve also got a sweet tooth for coconut and sugar cane, which gets them in trouble with farmers.

Horror Frog


(images via: New Scientist)

It’s called a ‘horror frog’, but this amphibian isn’t the star of a b-movie. It’s so named because of its ability to actively break its own bones to produce claws. Hairy and bizarre, the horror frog – also nicknamed the wolverine frog, after the comic book character – can break its bones so that they puncture its toe pads, producing extendable claws on demand when threatened. This Cameroon native, which is often roasted and eaten, was discovered in 2008.

Giant Isopod


(images via: Wikipedia)

If you’re afraid of bugs, you’re really not going to like the Giant Isopod. It resembles nothing so much as a cockroach the size of a guinea pig, but it’s actually a crustacean related to shrimp and crabs. These scavengers roam the cold, dark sea floor from 560ft to 7,000ft below the surface of the ocean, eating mostly dead whales, fish, and squid.

Yeti Crab


(image via: National Geographic)

With its long, furry appendages, the newly-discovered Yeti Crab looks like some kind of sea sloth. It was discovered on the floor of the Pacific Ocean during a deep-sea diving expedition in 2006 and is so unusual that a new taxonomic family had to be invented for it. The Yeti Crab is blind and white, with fur that supports colonies of bacteria. It lives near hydrothermal vents 7,540 feet under the surface.

Spanish Ribbed Newt


(images via: National Geographic)

Another creature that intentionally injures itself to produce weapons is the Spanish Ribbed Newt. It looks pretty unremarkable until it’s threatened, and then it does something pretty wild: it punctures its skin with its own sharp rib bones to create spines, which are coated with toxic skin secretions. These poison spears do not emerge from permanent openings; they must rip holes in the skin each time they’re deployed.



(Images via: Wikipedia, EarthGuide, OceanExplorer and Nat.Geographic)

The anglerfish’s appearance is scary enough, but its mating habits truly set it apart as among the weirdest of the weird sea creatures. The male anglerfish bites into a female’s skin, releases an enzyme that digests the skin of his mouth and her body to fuse them together, and then atrophies into nothing but a pair of gonads, becoming a parasitic sperm factory.

Dumbo Octopus


(image via: The New York Times)

Strange as the Dumbo Octopus may be, some people actually think it’s pretty cute – hence the Disney-inspired name, given for its two fins which resemble ears. ‘Dumbo’ can be found in the dark depths of any ocean on Earth and grows up to 20cm in length. It swallows its prey, made up of mostly worms and crustaceans, whole.

Gulper Eel


(image via: National Geographic)

Where the gulper eel lives – way down at the bottom of the ocean – there isn’t exactly a buffet of meal choices. Luckily, this creepy creature has a gigantic jaw that allows it to eat pretty much anything it comes across, regardless of size. At the end of its very long, whip-like tail, there’s a light-producing organ called a photophore that it uses as a fishing lure to attract prey.

Long-eared Jerboa


(images via: The Telegraph, Science Blogs, Metro UK)

Shaped somewhat like a tiny kangaroo, the nocturnal mouse-like Long-eared Jerboa uses its elongated tail and hind legs for jumping. The endangered rodent, found in the Gobi desert of Mongolia, has ears that are about a third larger than its head and eats mostly insects. It’s so extraordinary that it’s the only species of its genus.

Indian Gharial


(image via:

Most of us have grown accustomed to the prehistoric appearance of alligators and crocodiles, but for those unused to looking at it, the Indian gharial seems like something transported straight from the age of dinosaurs. This severely threatened native of Indian rivers has a very long, thin snout fitted with a row of sharp teeth. Scientists suspect that heavy metal pollution in the rivers is causing debilitating gout and making gharials susceptible to infection.

Long-beaked Echidna


(image via:

Is it a porcupine or an anteater? Neither, actually. The long-beaked echidna is a rare egg-laying mammal found in Papua New Guinea. This nocturnal critter is a relative of the platypus, but lives underground where it uses its tube-like snout to search for invertebrate prey like insect larvae and worms. It has to eat soft foods, because it doesn’t have any teeth. Hatchlings are known as ‘puggles’, and they reside in a sticky pouch to receive milk from mammary patches on the mother’s body.



(images via:

When you pull up your fishing net to inspect its contents, the last thing you want to see is a gelatinous mass of pale flesh peering up at you with dull bluish eyes. But, fear not – catching a blobfish is extremely rare. These bizarre fish live in the depths off the coasts of Tasmania and Australia. They don’t have any muscles, but since have a lower density than the water, so they just sort of float around.

Naked Mole Rat


(image via: National Geographic)

Its wrinkled pink skin, piggish nose and protruding teeth don’t exactly make the naked mole rat the cutest animal around. Colonies of these hairless rodents live in underground “palaces” led by one dominant rat – the queen, which is the only female to breed and bear young. As with bees, naked mole rats have roles in the colony, including workers that dig the tunnels and gather food. Most naked mole rats are found in the sandy deserts of sub-Saharan Africa.