The Best of April Fools

A head honcho at my current place of employment asked me if I had the ‘bandwidth’ to do some editing for him, to which I verbally replied “Yes”.  Secretly, however, I was thinking ‘I urgently need to write down some stuff about April 1 (today) on my blog’.  So, here it is.

1) Custom Time on Gmail (Thank you, Corina) – While the ability to send mail as if it had been sent hours or even days ago is one I imperatively need to beat my lifetime curse as forgetful Jones, thus far the real world has been unable to provide me with the ability.  todd-j.jpgIn the meantime, I’ll have to make due with the funnies of this page.  Classics such as ‘Gmail utilizes an e-flux capacitor to resolve issues of causality’ and ‘If we were to let you send an email from Gmail before Gmail existed, well, that would be like hanging out with your parents before you were born — crazy talk.’ really make this particular prank a class act.  However, my ultimate favorite is the ‘do from Todd J., Investment Banker, on this page.  With the finger-pointing, I can tell he’s a class act.

1-b) Google books has NEW! Scratch-and Sniff varieties.  Yay!  Oh wait, it’s not real.

2) Wikipedia’s ‘Featured Article‘ (Props to Josue) – While ‘Ima Hogg’ is the true name of a famous Texan lady (only in Texas) she did not, in fact, have sisters named Ura and Hoosa.  She was neither a circus emcee nor an ostrich jockey, and she was brought up to wealth, rather than in government housing.  However, it is most unfortunate that her father, one of Texas’s governors, was nicknamed ‘Big Jim’.

3) Google’s (/Virgin’s) Virgle Pioneer test – while the actual documentation on said exploration was somewhat less than titter-worthy, I completely enjoyed the online test, titled ‘The Adventure of Many Lifetimes’.  Here’s my results: ‘Well, you’re distressingly normal and could conceivably adjust to life as a deep space pioneer, though we recommend instead that you leave the Mars missions to the serious whack jobs who scored over 130 and instead finish year 3 of law school, tuck your toddler into bed, design Web 2.0 applications, run for Congress or do whatever other normal, healthy, middle-of-the-road thing you’re currently doing with your normal, healthy, middle-of-the-road life. ‘ Also notable was the Virgle is real link under the FAQs.

I’m guessing that there are others…please, keep me from boredom!

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A Day in the Life of a Lion

There are days when my hair is just a bit kinky and curly.  There are days (especially dry winter ones) when it hangs limp and flaccid like an old man in a wheelchair.  Then there are days like today, when the weather has finally warmed up, the air is wet, springy, and oh-so-humid, and my hair decides to take on a Medusa-like life of its own.  It is days like these that makes me ask myself why I don’t have calming hair ointments on hand at work.  Or at least a headband, or something.

It also makes me wonder how male lions can put up with it, day after day.  I know the mane is supposed to be a sign of sexual prowess for attraction females, but really.  Peacocks can attract without a bunch of fuzz in their eyes.  It also makes me wonder if lions have really gotten a bad wrap as opposed to lionesses.  Sure, they always seem sleepy in the daytime, but you would squint too if you had hair in your eyes.   And of course they don’t hunt as much as the lionesses – a bigger, stumbling tawny mass that can’t really see is bound to be a detriment to the hunt.

Also of note on the stupidity side of our impressions of lions, let’s turn to kid lit., specifically Aslan of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Possible religious references aside, when they shave his mane, I don’t think that detracts very much from the fact that the bad guys have a giant lion in their midst.  And now, without all that hair in his eyes, he can see you.  Maybe not a good time to be mocking.

It stands to reason that I should really shave my head and be done with the poof.  But despite the current annoyance of the humidity fro, I fear I would be less than appealing as a bald, somewhat lumpy, egg.

Your Brain on Autism

While the recent news spotlight has primarily focused on the legal implications of the Poling case, Fortune recently published this article detailing some of the current research in the area of autism and autism spectrum disorders, such as Aspergers. While it’s important to note that the implications of autism are far-reaching enough to merit publication in a business magazine dedicated to matters of finance, even more significant is the online rating of the article – after just five hours of publication, the article has been listed on the front web page of CNN. Perhaps it’s not surprising, as childhood cases continue to rise yearly.

Studies continue to attempt to link autism to its causes. Genetic predisposition is seen as a probable cause. Environmental factors are continually linked to various types of autism. New research shows that there are links to the rapidly mutating genes that allowed apes to cognitively develop into us over a short period of time. And throughout all this, those with high-functioning autism and Aspergers cry out for recognition as differently-thinking people, perhaps no more or less than neurotypicals.

What the studies and legalities that are developing fail to address are the true questions of life, the philosophies that remain largely unpondered in our daily lives. Who are we? Despite and perhaps because of our heritage and evolution, are we more or less than the sum of our genetics? What is autism, really, in the context of these questions? Do we gain or lose from them, and if so, how? If autism is often characterized by a lack or difference of language understanding and communication, do we lose from this lack, or can those with autism show us something outside of language and everyday communication that we have forgotten? If so, how do we best access this resource?