What not to wear, say, do, etc.

Some advice for avoiding cultural faux pas — if you’re lucky enough to travel to need that advice.

Never refuse a lei — it’s considered highly disrespectful — or whip it off in the giver’s presence.

I didn’t know that – could have used this article last year.

A bright spot that we all need

Politics, the stock market, never ending war in Iraq. If you need a break from all that, try the Tomato Nation Fall Contest and give to DonorsChoose.org. You pick the cause and your money goes right to the project which needs it. It’s already raised $40K – can it reach $100K? $200K?

Isn’t he dead?

Aren’t sure? Just ask the Internet: Who’s Alive and Who’s Dead?

Clearing up misconceptions

Top 15 Misconceptions about Evolution – 14 is a biggie for me — evolution is not about realizing some kind of organic master plan. Either you can survive in your own environment, or someone else does it better. That’s it.

What Social Media Isn’t – 10 Misconceptions: It’s not easy, fast, a substitute for a website, something your interns should be doing, or a system for achieving instant popularity.


Top 5 Misconceptions about Dungeons & Dragons:

You learn about as much about “real life” magic from a D&D game as you do about aquatic life from watching Spongebob Squarepants.

I think I’ve been watching Spongebob for all the wrong reasons.

Dispelling 8 Misconceptions of Organization: or, “good luck with that!” Even correct conceptions about organization are difficult to implement.

Six misconceptions that appear in literature about vaccination: and let’s add “vaccines lead to high rates of autism” to this.

Seven Common Misconceptions About Atheism. I kind of agree with “Atheism implies life is absurd.” Life is often pretty absurd (especially with 4 cats and a toddler) but that’s okay. Absurd keeps us on our toes.

Our yearly dose of really, really bad fiction writing

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2005 Results:

Not the winner:

Patricia wrote out the phrase ‘It was a dark and stormy night’ exactly seventy-two times, which was the same number of times she stabbed her now quickly-rotting husband, and the same number of pages she ripped out of ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ by Greg Behrendt to scatter around the room — not because she was obsessive compulsive, or had any sentimental attachment to the number seventy-two, but because she’d always wanted to give those quacks at CSI a hard time.

Is a kiss just a kiss?

What, exactly, is a kiss?

A kiss can be given in private or in public, by men to men, men to women, women to women, adults to children or children to each other. They can be unilateral or reciprocated. They can be on the lips, on the cheek or on any other part of the body. They can be blown in the air. A kiss can express deference, obedience, respect, agreement, reverence, adoration, friendliness, affection, tenderness, love, superiority, inferiority, even insult. There is no such thing as a straightforward kiss.

The Times has an excerpt from The Kiss in History, edited by Karen Harvey.

That’s a lot of Pi

Man recites pi to over 83K digits. That’s… dedicated.

Is it a problem?

Microsoft is sponsoring Thought Thieves, a contest that asks you to make a film about “How would you feel if you saw your hard work being passed off as the property of someone else? What would you do?”

Mostly, I’d think, “Hey, cool, someone liked my stuff enough to use it.” It’s always sad when MS tries to be hip.

One thing I’ll give them — it looks like the entrants get to keep the copyright for their work. Of course, MS has reserved the right to modify this rule at any time…

From Chris

Today’s random links

Some places I visited today:

Article 10: Power Struggle: Do we read comics for the power fantasy or the soap opera?

Up and Onward…: Yet another superhero blog

Divorce Rate: It’s Not as High as You Think: You mean the sky isn’t falling on family values? I’m shocked, shocked to find marriage going on here.

Howl’s Moving Castle: The latest Miyazaki will be out in June! Yay!

Draw a pig personality test: Not much of a personality test, but still kind of fun. It’s hard to draw with a mouse.

Orange Tangerine: An interesting feminist blog, but truth is, I clicked the link because the blog’s name reminded me of my cat.

Jessica Stover Dot Com: She felt sorry for the nerds futilely waiting at a theater where Episode III will never play, so she brought them pizza.

Bitch. Ph.D.: Do you trust women?: Abortion as a matter of trust.

Links I need to explore at some point

Let me know if they are at all interesting:

Pi experiments How close can you get to pi?

10 Emerging Technologies A quick glance suggests some are ones we don’t want to emerge, like cell phone viruses.


The origins of reasonable doubt