Archive for September 16th, 2008

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Phone Fingers

September 16, 2008

These are Phone Fingers. They’re meant to be worn while using touchscreen products like the Apple iPhone or the Samsung Instinct. The basic idea is you buy a package of them – they look like little condoms, all rolled up – put them on your fingers and go about your business. This is apparently meant to protect your phone from smudges and yourself from STDs. Really. Because you don’t know where your iPhone has been.

They cost about $10 US for a 25-pack and come in several sizes. They’re probably available at a stupid store near you but I couldn’t be bothered to look that up. If you’re smart enough to find them, you’re too smart for Phone Fingers. Probably too smart for Weather Station 1, too.

Finger-covers have been around forever. They’re used by people who count money or handle paper products. The inserters here at the paper use them, as their job involves sliding thousands of newsprint flyers between sections of the paper. This makes sense.

But anyone who’s ever had a touchscreen – anyone who’s ever used an Apple clickwheel, for that matter – knows they just don’t work if something other than your bare finger is used. Try it right now. Wrap a tissue around a finger and try to call me on your iPhone (or similar-but-just-different-enough) product. I’ll wait.

Here’s a joke: Did you hear about the stupid cow
who drank a whole bottle of ink and mood indigo?

Okay, nobody called me, so clearly I am right and the Phone Fingers people are wrong.

I just know I’ll get a set for my birthday.

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Today’s Moron

September 16, 2008

I like kids. I love my own, and I get along well with other kids. And kids like me. Once in a while, though, I run into a real stinker.

A couple of weeks ago a brat on a bike came shooting out of a parking lot alongside me as I turned right. I didn’t hit him, but he stopped and started to berate me with a mouth like a drunk Alabama biker. This kid was about eight, a skinny little guy. I had to wonder what his home life was like.

I try to teach my kids basic manners and to obey rules. As they get older, they will learn to obey the law. That’s a big thing for me. I don’t even drive over the speed limit. The last thing I ever want to get is a call from the cops to come bail one of them out.

Not all parents, though, are like me. A lot of them give their kids too much free reign, then act surprised when they break into cars. Others just don’t care what their kids do. But most rotten kids learned by example. I have no doubt that at least some of the parents of the boys I’m about to talk about were no strangers to the courts.

This happened in Allentown, Pennsylvania, earlier this summer. According to The Morning Call, four boys, the youngest nine, the oldest 14, stole a donation box from a park. Now, this is an important detail: the box was used to solicit donations for the charity that runs the port-a-potties in the park.

But the little bandits were spotted, and chased. They dove into a nearby forest and scattered. Within minutes, three of them were captured and the locked donation box recovered.

The fourth kid … well, the fourth kid strayed off course and fell, face-first, into a deep pit. The pit had been dug in the forest by the residents of a nearby homeless encampment. It’s where they dumped their human waste.

Yeah, the rotten little thief fell headfirst into poo.

He’ll probably get six months probation and a sealed record, so when he’s in front of a judge a decade from now he’ll get a light ride for his latest robbery because the court won’t realize he’s a veteran crook.

Or maybe he learned his stinky lesson.

NOTE: I hold the parents responsible here as much as I blame the stupid kid, and they deserve the title of Today’s Morons too.

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Magic in the Night Sky

September 16, 2008

It’s been a while since I saw a good occultation.

Ooh, I love that word. It’s an astronomical term that means something along the lines of an eclipse, just not involving the sun.

The next one happens Friday night when the moon will pass in front of the Pleiades star cluster, creating a cosmic light show to mark the end of the week.

If you’re lucky enough to live near a public observatory, you should definitely take advantage. But you can watch it with your own telescope, or binoculars (you might want to rig a tripod or some kind of stabilizer). Or you can just watch with the naked eye; this is the kind of thing you’ll be able to see.

Anyway, the full story is here.

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