This Page

has been moved to new address

Wide White

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Wide White: January 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Kids need to play at school

You mean they needed researchers to tell them this?
U.S. school children need less work, more play: study

CHICAGO (Reuters) – All work and no play may be a hazard for some U.S. school children.

Researchers reported on Monday that a growing trend of curbing free time at school may lead to unruly classrooms and rob youngsters of needed exercise and an important chance to socialize.

A look at more than 10,000 children aged 8 and 9 found better classroom behavior among those who had at least a 15-minute break during the school day compared to those who did not, Dr. Romina Barros and colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York reported.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Singing around the world

The lyrics are heavy with peacenik universalism, but whatever your thoughts on that, this is a cool idea.

License plate in front of my wife right now


(On a Mercedes)

Payback for your wakeup call

Unless you're a morning person, I'm pretty sure you feel like shooting something when you wake up.

With Gun O'clock, now you can!

Monday, January 19, 2009

How to get a free Whopper

I read a news story about a new Burger King ad campaign and had to try it out.  They created a Facebook application called Whopper Sacrifice.  When you remove 10 friends through this application, you are mailed a coupon for a free Whopper.

Here's a step-by-step:

First, choose a friend to remove.

Confirm you really want to remove this friend.

Watch the picture of your friend burn.
Here's what the application looks like:
Once completed, fill out a form and claim your free Whopper.

A few days later (they say it takes a few weeks, but it didn't for me), you'll receive this in the mail:
It's that easy.

If you're like most people (apparently I'm one of them), you have 10 friends that range from your wife's friend's aunt who wanted to see your wedding pictures on Facebook to your friend's cat (yes, our friends created a Facebook account for their cat).

In other words, you're really not sacrificing anything for this Whopper...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Facebook birthday experiment

A friend and I were wondering how many people would notice if you changed your birthday on your Facebook profile within a month of your actual birthday.

Since my birthday was last month, I got to be the guinea pig.

Total birthday wishes in December: 18
Total birthday wishes in January: 18
Total people who wished me "Happy Birthday" twice: 5
Total people who figured out something was up: 9

I was really surprised there weren't more duplicates. It also showed me who does and doesn't know my real birthday (ironically, I know the birthdays of 3 of the 18 people from January).

Our original experiment involved switching the birthday each month or every other week to see how long it would take some of those people to figure it out, but after doing it once, there's no way you'd get me to do it again! There's attention you get on your birthday that you should ONLY get on your birthday, and if you get it on any other day, it just feels wrong - sort of like you're violating the attention people give to such an occasion.

But there you go Mitch, we now know what happens when you lie about your birthday on Facebook.

It's warmer at the South Pole

I didn't know this was possible.

South Pole, Antarctica: -18

Minneapolis, MN: -21

Other regions of Antarctica are above freezing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


It's 9:00 AM.

It's -20 degrees.

I often say I have nothing to complain about in life. My inner complainer is being sorely tested.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Explaining 2008

You could argue this is childish or clever (or probably some other things).

I'm going with clever.

(Note: if you don't pay attention to current events, it may not make much sense.)

Friday, January 09, 2009

City ordinances

Much debate exists around these, particularly regarding private property rights.

Two local stories are perfect examples.

Chickens, dogs on Burnsville's agenda

Stefan Remund, 11, has given away three of his chickens as he waits to learn whether the Burnsville City Council will let him keep the rest.
Last fall, City Council members began scrutinizing the city's animal ordinance after a neighborhood complaint about the chickens. Council members realized that not only are chickens a problem, but so are dogs. Residents are allowed only two dogs with individual dog licenses. For three or more, they need a kennel license, too, at a cost of $50.

Council member Dan Gustafson knows firsthand the dilemma many Burnsville residents face: He's violating the current law.
Burnsville homeowner feels the heat over outdoor wood boiler

On a clear day, driving down Williams Drive near Judicial Road in northern Burnsville, you can't miss the smoke.

It billows from the chimney of a little building that contains an outdoor wood furnace Chris Giles uses to heat his home. His family has heated the home this way for decades, but that may soon change.

A neighbor has complained, and the Burnsville City Council likely will pass a ban Jan. 20 on outdoor wood boilers, which is what the heater Giles uses is commonly called.

Giles, 41, said he is amazed the city would pass an ordinance aimed at just one property.

"Where does it stop?" Giles asked. "Are they going to ban fireplaces or fire pits?"
My thoughts:

First, it's too bad these neighbors complained to city council rather than to their neighbor. Is there anything wrong with knocking on a door and talking? More often than not, people will do what they can to keep the peace without needing authorities.

Second, if you live in a government-run place - which most people in the world do - you will have rules to abide by. Noise ordinances exist for a reason and most people don't have a problem with them. These two ordinances exist for the same purpose - courtesy for neighbors who may not appreciate what you do.

You don't have to like all of the rules put in place, but rules by definition are not anti-private property.

And as always, if you want to change them, run for office.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

World air traffic patterns

Who thought they could be so cool?

(And notice how they fluctuate based on the time of day.)

If you've ever wondered where the world's wealth lies...

"I'll buy almost anything if it's shiny and made by Apple."

You'll especially appreciate the humor here if you follow the tech industry at all.

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Hello sister!

This is crazy.
A brother and sister in England spent 40 years trying to find each other — then discovered they lived only 300 yards apart.

Ken Whitty, 64, walked past 62-year-old Yvonne’s house countless times and even saw her in the garden, but did not recognize her.

They were reunited only after Whitty wrote to his local paper appealing for help in his search.

Soon after his letter was published, he got a phone call saying: "Hello, this is Yvonne."

The pair spent their early years in Ordsall, Greater Manchester.

They were still kids when their parents died and were cared for by a family friend.

They lost touch after leaving home and starting their own families.

Later, they tried to trace each other — then Whitty, wrote to the paper last month.

When Yvonne called, it turned out she was living 300 yards from him in Reddish, Greater Manchester.

Ken, who moved to Reddish in 2002, said: "I couldn’t believe it. I shot round to see her."

Yvonne said: "It’s so nice to see Ken again. It’s overwhelming."