While an Aquaball might sound like what Sebastian starts in “Under the Sea”, the reality is slightly less impressive.  It’s a laundry product.  Yay!  I love laundry!  It’s almost as fun as getting hit with two koosh balls at the same time!  Still, it does have redeeming factors.  It has a spiky, neon appearance, which is fun.  And I guess modern or ‘retro’.  It’s supposedly less harmful than other laundry detergents that use more abrasives and chemicals.  Still, I’m not entirely convinced I want to go out and buy one.  Or two.

Several of my issues come from not knowing about the product.  Does it really get your whites whiter?  What are the ionic compounds being released into my wash, and how do they work, exactly?  How does the whole process imbue my clothes with a lemon-fresh scent?  How much, exactly, is 14.95 British pounds, and how much will it cost to get shipped here?  Finally, I was able to find few reviews at all, and only one user review here.

But there are advantages too.  If you have severe laundry chemical allergies, as my neighbor does, this ball thing is probably even better than the dye-free products we currently use.  Also, I’m not polluting by keeping my clothes clean.  I couldn’t figure out the cost issue, but I’m guessing it’s going to work out to pretty much the same as what I already use.  So the change would have to be for other reasons but still.  I am intrigued.  Maybe when we get low on our current round, I’ll see if anyone is making this stuff in the US of A.

Got 2 B Elmered

Recently, I was a superhero.  I know that some of you are familiar with my life experience in the superhero world as Anti-Danger, but it is not my only superhero persona.  For Corina’s birthday extended celebration, I took on a new one – White Lightning.

With both the powers of backwoods Bacchus and electric charge on my side, I was ready to have a riotous good time.  Only one thing was in my way – how best to make my hair stand up as if I’d dropped a toaster in the bathwater?  Gel or hairspray weren’t going to cut it for the spiked-out ‘do I wanted to achieve.  I turned to a product called got 2 B glued, which promised ‘ultimate screaming hold’ on its package.  I could use ultimate screaming hold.  Since I’m going for something higher than bride of Frankenstein, hair that screams seemed to be exactly what I needed.

However, I failed to take into account the ‘glue’ nature of the product.  I assumed styling glue to be some new type of product I had failed to notice before.  Heck, I barely even know you want ceramic plates in your straightening iron.  How am I going to know all the names for different types of product?  So i ended up sculpting myself with something of a consistency between Elmer’s and Tacky Glue.  My hands were so stickily slimed that I had to have Gina blowdry for me.  It was great!

Of course, I came out with rock-hard hair that took over an hour to wash out of my short hair, but that’s what comes of pouring glue all over your head and then blow drying it.  And what i really got for $5 was a multi-use product.  Even if i never sculpt my hair with it again, I can count on its super-strong hold for model building or paper mache.

Salty bananas

I was unaware, but evidently there have always been old wives’ tales about what foods you eat during conception and what sex your infant will become.  Recent scientific studies have shown that there may, in fact be a correlation.  If you eat foods high in potassium (such as bananas) or sodium, it probably increases your chances of having a boy, the study says and old wives agree.  So I guess all the young newlyweds in China are going to start eating salty bananas before bed.  Or just eating more – the study also showed those with a higher calorie intake had a higher chance of birthing boys.

For the moment, I have my doubts.  While the results are not conclusive as to the percent increased chance of having boys or girls, the study itself makes me wonder.  Of course diet has a significant effect.  Sunlight, mood, chemical balances, and organ function probably all have an effect.  I have not reviewed the data or methods myself, and the calorie intake portion of results seems verifiable.  Other sections don’t necessarily give me the same assurance.  When surveying different nutrient intakes, what determines your results?  It is unclear to me whether a specific substance, like salt, could truly be found to disposition the female body to favor one type of sperm, due to the complications of other factors of diet.  I suppose more research will be done, and maybe then we’ll know something.  Maybe.

It’s a balloooooon!

When I was in high school, my world history teacher had an odd pronunciation of certain words, coupled with dramatic overemphasis. His eyes would get big; his hands would move expansively, and ‘balloooon’ would press out between his lips. Maybe it was his Greek heritage, which may also be responsible for his black Teva sandals worn with navy gold-toed socks. Still, this drama and pronunciation was oddly fascinating, even when the subject matter was not.

I can’t quite remember when in class he had the opportunity to even use the word balloon. Was it some odd tangential discussion of Louis XVIs reign and the first official hot-air balloon flight? Was it some reference to the expansion of the Mongol Empire, like a balloon? Was it the offhand mention of some current event? No matter how hard I try, I can’t quite recall the specifics of the situation, though I still have a perfect picture in my head of him saying the word ‘balloon’ as if he himself was filling with an unnamed gas.

If he is teaching class today, I hope he will do his special balloon impression in honor of the balloon priest lost at sea. While I typically am not a fan of fundraising that involves ridiculous stunts, world records, or a waste of time and resources, I must admit, I think this particular idea is brilliant. Let’s take off attached to hundreds of helium-filled balloons and see how far it gets us. Even just for fun, I think it’s a pretty awesome idea. And this is awesome plus, because not only is it ridiculous in a most delightful way, but the end result will also benefit truckers. And who doesn’t like truckers?

While plenty of preparations were taken for this somewhat risky publicity and fundraising stunt, the loss of the priest does serve to illuminate the dangers of the fun. Hopefully he will be found safe – regardless, let’s hope the additional publicity generates enough interest and support to open TWO spiritual trucker rest stops.