Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Mood elevator

Taking a break from the serious stuff to bring you something sure to make you smile, no matter how bad your day is. Feel free to laugh out loud, even if your co-workers think you're loony. Cats always look like they either hate the world or they were caught in the act of doing something silly (which, despite all efforts, they couldn't stop themselves from doing, as if they were temporarily possessed.) It's really quite hilarious.

The only thing better than this is Planet's Funniest Animals on Animal Planet.

Monday, January 16, 2006

And you thought DMV lines were long

Laurie Goering, foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, has her job cut out for her in South Africa. Her latest report exposes the horrendous bureaucracy of South Africa's Home Affairs Department. Take a printout of this article with you anytime you go to the DMV. It will remind you to appreciate the mere 3 hour wait. At least you know you'll walk out of there with a correct ID card or driver's license in hand, which is more than most South Africans can say.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Interesting Southern culture

I thought this story was truly fascinating: Descendants of slaves help transcribe the Bible into the language of their ancestors
We Northerners tend to think of the South as just one big backwards Red State, but there is some truly fascinating culture that doesn't make it into the news usually. One of my friends told me about her family's Southern roots and what it was like for them to be Southern Jews. Ancestors of slaves are embracing their familys' roots and the traditions they passed on. The book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil features voodoo beliefs and rituals that are still practiced today as Santeria and other Caribbean religions. I'm sure there's more out there, too, but I haven't spent really any time in the South to learn more about the things you don't hear about in the Midwest.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Morning Radio

So, the only good thing about driving to work instead of taking public transportation is getting to listen to Morning Edition on NPR. Last Thursday, I heard a really interesting story about how people look to other things besides housing as economic indicators. I don't know much about the economy, but I guess that housing prices around the country are general indicators of how the economy is doing. If prices are high, it means people feel confident about the economy and are willing to invest more money in real estate (that whole supply and demand thing). According to the NPR story, people are now looking at other prices, like those of horses (a big investment that doesn't pay off right away) and also that of dry cleaning and men's underwear. Obviously the economy isn't an exact science. But doesn't increased demand in dry cleaning and men's underwear indicate that people are soiling their clothing more due to increased stress? Just a thought...

(click on the post title to go to the NPR story)