common sense

  • How I Became a Doctor in 23 Seconds

    A few months back, I was setting up a new iPad, and had to create an account in order to complete the setup.  They didn’t ask for terribly much information, but they did ask for one piece of information that I was not able to provide.

    They asked for my “title”.  It was a required field, my choices were

    Mr.
    Mrs.
    Ms.
    Dr.

    and it would not let me continue setting up the account until I had selected one of those.  Which, for me, was a problem.
    read more

  • How Not to Sell Vibrators

    A few days ago, I received a Carol Wright Gifts catalog in the mail.  If you’re not familiar with them, they are one of the many Random Occasionally Useful Crap companies that sell everything from dog shoes to paisley-framed reading glasses to novelty kitchen gadgets.  And I admit that, when I receive these publications, I flip through them before placing them in the recycle bin because once in a great while there is something that actually interests me.

    In this case, it was Fleece-Lined Leggings.  I’m very sad that I can’t in good conscience order those.  Because they sound super comfy and ideal for working-at-home winter days.  But I will not give Carol Wright a dime of my money until they change one very important thing.

    The leggings were on the first page of this seemingly innocuous gift catalog and, encouraged, I continued flipping pages.  The Removable Instant Eyebrows on page 7 were definitely pause-worthy.  But it was pages 20 & 21 that made me stop dead in my flipping tracks. read more

  • Stop Lying to Yourselves

    The fabulous George Takei this morning posted this photo on his Facebook page

    Unicorn

    words of advice I have been hearing for about 30 years, but funny nonetheless.  And while I didn’t have time to read all of the 276798364 comments that his posts routinely receive because he is all the awesome, the ones I did read were unanimously in agreement with the sentiment.

    However, I submit to you the following: read more

  • Those Are Not “Free” Magazines

    Anyone familiar with this blog knows that I have extremely mixed feelings about the print-on-demand magazine industry.  On the one hand, it provides an outlet for creative people to do some amazing work with no financial outlay.  On the other hand, that very lack of required financial commitment has created some rather callous attitudes among people who now claim the title of “editor”.

    One recurring statement from these editors drives me particularly crazy, that they do not give “free” magazines to contributors.  And yes, they usually do put the word ‘free’ in quotes, whether for emphasis or irony I’m not sure.  In one distinctly memorable case, a magazine’s submission guidelines stated quite emphatically “we do NOT give out free magazines, so DON’T ASK”.  This is the attitude I have a problem with. read more

  • The Large-Breasted Geek Phenomenon: Some Theories

    I have a dear friend who is, hands down, the most dedicated geek I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  She loves Star Wars, Doctor Who, Comic-Con, WoW, you name it, she’s into it to a degree I find not only endearing but fascinating in its dedication.

    She also has really large breasts.  And apparently, there are women who believe these things cannot exist simultaneously in a single being, so they insist either the breasts are fake or the geekery must be.

    I know for a fact both of these things are genuine in this particular woman, and I also know there are others like her in the world.  Which begs the question, where does the large-breasted geek come from?  How is she formed, in what environment does she thrive?  After careful thought, I have come up with three possible theories to explain her. read more

  • What I Learned from Helen Gurley Brown

    I have never purchased a copy of Cosmopolitan in my life.  In fact, it has rarely done anything other than annoy me with its covers featuring too-perfect women, too good to be true “lifestyle tips”, too far beyond the average budget “must haves”, its constant subtle implications that, happy though I may think myself, I could be doing better.  Nay, I should be doing better.

    However, it must be said that the work of Helen Gurley Brown has had a profound impact on me and the way I live my life, an impact that has so far spanned 25+ years and will no doubt continue as long as I do.  I first read Sex and the Single Girl as a teenager, back in the 80’s.  I have reread it several times since then.  And not a day goes by that I don’t apply something I learned from that book to something I am doing that day.  I’m not single, and I’m no longer really a “girl” in the youthful sense of the word, but the lessons still apply, some even more so now than they did when I was younger and on my own. read more

  • A Niche is Supposed to be a Good Thing

    Once upon a while back, I read and refrained from joining in on a conversation about required sizes of digital images for quality print.  One individual insisted that 300 dpi and 72 dpi are exactly the same thing and anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    Yeah.  I’ll let you absorb that for a moment.

    Party B said “um… no” and proceeded to explain why.  Party A refused to listen, and Party C, on whose page this conversation was taking place, finally said “hey, let’s just cite artistic difference and end this”.  Wise party, that C.  C was wrong, of course, but at least the conversation ended.

    It has recently been brought to my attention that someone of the Party A school is starting a magazine.  And their “niche” will be not requiring high-resolution images. read more