Monthly Archives: November 2010

Air-born in ’71

By | Ads | No Comments

As Southwest Airlines ascends to the peak of that metaphorical “hill” adults dread, (they turn 40 next year), here’s a look back at one of their early TV ads. This ad was referenced in a recent article about the low-fare airline published in The New York Times.

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Luckily, Charmed

By | Peeks | No Comments

If you eat all the marshmallows out of a box of Lucky Charms, do you get Lucky? or Charms? Neither. You get a sugar high and a box of tasteless shapes reminiscent of Alpha-Bits. Chew on that. What do Lucky Charms have to do with my post? Not a damn thing, so I’ll do my best to wrap up quickly. This is my first Thanksgiving sans family. My travel budget is invested in my end-of-the-year trip to South America. Instead of spending my day surrounded with family and close, Kansas-City friends, I’ll be giving thanks with an Austin-based friend’s family. I’m thankful for so much this Thanksgiving – a successful year, my health, my family, new friends, old and expired ‘ships. Thankful for expired friendships? Maybe not thankful, but I’m ok with it. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Smile Wrinkles

By | Peeks | No Comments

Happiness is healthy. Parenthesizing your mouth doesn’t cause cancer, promote hair-loss and doesn’t cause obesity. I smile a lot. The concave creases on either side of my mouth are evidence. Even when others may convey different emotions, I try to remain amused. Being upset requires too much energy and holding onto those things only hinders your ability to remember the good stuff. So…this morning, the hot, brown liquid our office provides, had an interesting smell radiating from a brand new Mr. Coffee. I leaned in closer to get a whiff. Hmmm…cinnamon. Notice the inquisitive and curious “Hmmm” instead of the delightful and savory “Mmmm”. I poured a cup, added cream and sugar, (creating hot, light-brown liquid), and took a sip. It tasted like shit. But, I still smiled.

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Eyes Finally See

By | Neat-o | No Comments

Human senses are very powerful and [most of] what they enable you to see, feel, hear, smell and taste is incredible, and unfortunately, often taken for granted. I’ve often pondered which sense I could likely live without, and, as much as I enjoy food, I would have to say taste would be the first to go. The remaining senses would rank: smell, touch, hear and finally sight. I don’t know if I could ever live without being able to see. I would miss so many things; however the same can be said about the other four. Advances in technology using gene therapy, stem cells and tiny electrons, have enabled us to give sight to the blind. In fact, there is more than one way to restore vision to those without. Cut the head off a snowman…there are eight! An implanted micro telescope can combat macular degeneration In male squirrel monkeys, color-blindness has been reversed using a harmless virus to transport…

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Simplify Life

By | Items to Ponder, Peeks | One Comment

Being sick has its benefits. For one, I’m confined. The extent of my entertainment includes a peppy black cat, a half-full fridge and my computer(s). I have also been avoiding my phone, because I sound like I have an upper respiratory infection…because I do. Hence, I have plenty of time to read, think and write, which if you don’t know me, writing is one thing I love to do. Last night I read something a little bit inspiring. In it, the author listed sixty ways to make life simple again. Sixty suggestions + copious amounts of nighttime cough syrup + Advil PM + a recent critique of my demeanor, got me thinking about my life (and had me feeling pretty damn good). I’m a realist. I can’t immediately instate all sixty simplifications. Instead, here are the manageable few I’m going to try: Live below your means. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Organize your living space and working space. Get…

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Scientists Target Little Pricks

By | FYI | No Comments

Mosquitoes suck. They are the most deadly creature on the planet. They fly around, sharing diseases like dengue fever, malaria and yellow fever, infecting 700 million people a year, and killing over 2 million. In an effort to reduce their negative effects on our population, scientists have begun fighting back. Some of the methods scientists have researched for waging war against mosquitoes, include: Infecting them with parasites which reduce cut their life span by almost half Splicing their genes in a way that will render the females wingless and unable to fly. (Female mosquitoes are the sex that suck blood and infect people.) Giving mosquitoes the vaccine for malaria, so they infect and provide the cure simultaneously Making mosquitoes immune to malaria, thus preventing them from contracting the disease Infecting them in the larval stage by weakening their exoskeleton, making them more susceptible to pesticides Reducing their lifespan with anti-mosquito bacteria Targeting and destroying them using a photonic fence (“laser”)…

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Friend: Defined

By | Peeks | One Comment

Something terrible happened. Within moments, you’ve got a handful of your closest sharing a bottle of something and your favorite tunes fill the space between. You are the priority. You are the reason they are all here. Laughing, smiling, reminiscing. You are the reason they are singing along to Rocket Man, messing up the words. “ROCKET MAN! Ba-nah-ana-ana sky out there…” These are the defining moments in your otherwise basic existence. The times when friends show up at your beck and call. When life overwhelms and you just need to unthink your day. That’s when real friends come through and say, “talk to me.” And actually listen.

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Chicken Soup For The Cell

By | FYI | No Comments

Prior to a recent study done at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, scientists believed they only way to kill a virus, once it enters a cell, was to kill the entire cell. No longer the case for some viruses – including the common cold. On a molecular level, this is huge. I’ll give you a second to process my previous sentence. Viruses are the biggest threat to humans, claiming twice as many deaths as cancer. How does it all work? A virus enters our body through one of many means. Our immune system sends out antibodies in response to deal with the invading virus. These antibodies seek out the virus and attach themselves, actually entering the cell with the virus, like a really good wingman…but not Goose. Goose dies. These antibodies attract a protein in the cell, called TRIM21, and TRIM21 activates powerful antivirus killers inside the cell, (think something like an antivirus Top Gun squad). These antivirus…

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Sneezing Command

By | Humor | No Comments

The tone of your voice usually dictates your attitude; however, it can be the result of something else. Cold water, a pinch/poke/punch, sudden loss of air to the lungs, these are all things capable of adjusting your speech. This morning, I accidentally combined a sneeze with a request, thus turning a kind gesture into a yelled command. Shortly after, laughter ensued. A coworker and I were gathering samples from one of our conference rooms. I felt a sneeze coming on and tried to warn her to keep her distance, (so I didn’t shower her with sneezy particles). The sneeze hit early and I yelled/sneezed, “Stay back!” I made an un-PC comment about having Tourette’s syndrome and we continued working. A few minutes later, she stopped laughing at me. Welcome to a day at my office.

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Don’t Get Too Close

By | Ads, Neat-o | No Comments

Activision’s GoldenEye007 was recently released for Nintendo Wii and I can’t wait to play what some are calling “the best first-person shooter for Wii.” In an effort to market the game online, Activision launched a website enabling visitors to input a URL, plant proximity mines on it, drive traffic to the URL (now with mines), and…boom. See it in action. Blow something up.

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