This Makes Me Happy

January 31, 2008

Even philosophers can be funny

January 30, 2008

From Hilary Putnam’s Mind, Language and Reality:

“Nontechnically, the trouble with this ‘definition’ is that it is slightly crazy.”

Saul Kripke in Naming and Necessity:

“It really is a nice theory.  The only defect I think it has is probably common to all philosophical theories: it’s wrong.”

Elevator tutorial courtesy of Chris Miller

January 29, 2008

One of my buddies wrote this and it was featured in the Best of section on Craigslist:

So you want to ride me?

Hi, I’m your elevator. Before you ride me I’d like to give you a brief tutorial to ensure maximum enjoyment.

First, let’s talk about how to get on me.

Button Pressing:
When waiting for an elevator precisely none or all of the soon-to-be riders should press the button to call for the elevator. Any number in between is unacceptable.

Holding the Door:
Upon entering/exiting the elevator there shall be an understood, but unspoken, competition between male riders to see who can go to the greatest length to hold the door open. This will often result both doors being held open for an excessive period of time. The competition shall not end until a minimum of three “Go ahead”s, accompanied by head motions, have been exchanged.

Exception: If an unsavory rider (Fat, homeless, from a rival firm etc.) is attempting to board the elevator all passengers may claim to have not seen them. In the event eye contact with the undesirable rider-to-be has been made, passengers should claim to have not been able to locate the ‘Open Door’ button in time.

Congratulations, you’ve made it on me! Now let’s discuss the correct configuration for X number of riders.

There are two of you? Person A goes in the near corner, person B goes in the opposite corner, furthest from person A. This is similar to the distribution of men at public urinals.

If two people know each other and the third is a stranger, the former should stand next to each other at a spot of their choosing and the latter should stand at the spot furthest from the pairing. If all thee persons are unknown to each other then they shall form an equilateral triangle with all parties as far from each other as space permits. This shall also apply to groups of three where all parties are known to each other.

For groups of four each person shall stand in one corner of the elevator, regardless of relationship between the riders. In the event of a round or other oddly shaped elevator the geometric shape providing the most distance between riders shall be used. This may be a square, rectangle, parallelogram, rhombus, or trapezoid. Consult the nerdiest looking person on the elevator for guidance.

For five or more people the rules are simple. The configuration of passengers is not important. All that matters is the number of people mentioning how crowded the elevator is. See Exception 4 of ‘Talking on the Elevator’

Now that we’ve got that squared away, let’s discuss situations that may arise while riding me.

Foul Odors:
In the event it becomes clear that someone has passed gas or any other undesirable human generated smell is present it shall not be mentioned until all parties have exited the elevator.


  1. In situations where the passengers are comprised of both parties known to each other and strangers, it shall be acceptable for discussion to commence once all strangers have exited the elevator. The discussion shall be limited to blaming the strangers.
  2. In social situations where all parties are male and well known to each other it shall be acceptable to fart as loudly as possible. Silent but deadly farts are not permitted.

Disabled Riders:
In the event a handicapped (wheelchair bound, retarded, blind etc.) attempts to get on the elevator all parties, regardless of relationship, shall immediately cram as far back as possible. Immediate offers of assistance shall be made. After elevator riding is concluded one or more parties shall mention how noble it is of the disabled person to continue working despite their affliction. This will be done out of earshot of the person in question. (Note: One joke about the blind guy driving to work, the deaf guy answering the phone, the wheelchair guy getting the best parking spot etc. shall be permitted provided the person proffering the joke precedes it with a statement about how “he is going to hell for this”)

Talking on the Elevator:
There will be no talking on the elevator, even amongst persons known to each other.


  1. A head nod coupled with a short, but firm, “hi” is acceptable. Please note this also is similar to men’s bathroom etiquette.
  2. If you are an asshole carrying a Blackberry please continue your conversation once boarding the elevator. You should be sure to double the volume of your voice. Also, sales figures should be needlessly mentioned and automatically rounded up to the nearest billion, regardless of accuracy.
  3. Conversations about how there is never any conversation on elevators are permitted. Discussing the irony therein is not permitted.
  4. When five or more riders are present it is mandatory to make mention of this. At least one reference to the weight/passenger limit of the elevator should be made.

Floor Requirements: Making prolonged eye contact on the elevator is strictly forbidden. If a rider finds himself meeting eyes with another rider both shall immediately cast their gaze upon the floor. The rider who can correctly identify the shoes of all the other riders wins.


  1. When two or more male passengers are known to each other, brief eye contact and a knowing smile are acceptable after an attractive female, which they have both obviously eye-fucked, exits the elevator. One of the male parties is also allowed, but not required, to proclaim “Daaamn” after the doors have fully shut. The length of the ‘aaa’ shall correspond to the hotness of the female. A vulgar explanation of “what I’d do to that ass” is also acceptable.
  2. Provided there are no other passengers on the elevator, a rider is allowed to stare down the blind guy, just for shits and grins. If, through some form of extrasensory perception, the blind guy notices, he is allowed to hit the other rider with his cane or allow his dog one free bite on a body part of his choosing.
  3. See ‘Floor Requirements’

Getting off: Once the rider has reached his chosen floor he should promptly exit the elevator before allowing other passengers on. It may be necessary to use elbows and/or briefcases to fend off overanxious riders-to-be. Use force liberally.

Exception: If the hot girl from marketing is getting on the elevator it is permissible to delay exiting long enough to ‘accidentally’ brush up against her.

I hope you enjoyed riding me as much as I enjoyed being taken for a ride!


Your Elevator”

The original post can be found here.

Senior High Sports goes live in seven days and next week can’t come soon enough

January 27, 2008

Next Monday, February 4 the current password page will be removed from and after reading this article, that day can’t come soon enough.

Michelle Stiles, a volunteer coach for McKinley’s (NY) girls basketball team was unjustly terminated. Now Jayvonna Kincannon, the team captain and honor roll student, has been suspended for a total of seven weeks and kicked off of the team (in her senior year) for defending her coach.

There’s obviously a lot more to the story and I strongly urge you to read the aforementioned article from the Buffalo News, which explains the situation in detail.

As stated on our About page, the mission of Senior High Sports is “to provide a platform for the voices of passionate high school sports followers and participants to be heard.”

High school athletes are horribly underrepresented in the media and generally have very little recourse when treated unfairly by a coach, principle, or school board. I want this to end, and hopefully Senior High Sports will be one step in the right direction.

To the religious zealot denouncing evolution in Santa Monica

January 27, 2008


If you haven’t been to Santa Monica there is an area called the Third Street Promenade where some people go to shop and others try to make a few bucks by “performing” on the street.

Last night I was on the promenade and a few guys had a microphone and projector set up, challenging anyone to “refute evolution.” I saw a teenage boy give it a shot. He noted the similarities between chimpanzees and humans (opposable thumbs, etc.) and asked the presenter to give an alternate explanation if evolution wasn’t responsible for the resemblance.

The head whackjob said something like “That is a complete non sequitur, have you ever taken a logic class? That doesn’t even make sense. One does not follow from the other. Next!”

Don’t get me wrong, I hate evolution just as much as the next ethnocentric, illiterate, imbecile but there’s a pretty big problem with what Mr. straight-from-god-himself was doing.

The theory of evolution is an empirical theory, meaning it is a system of belief based on physical evidence. It is not a logical or a priori truth which can be proven independently of sense experience like 1+1=2. The fact that the theory of evolution is not a logical truth has nothing to do with whether it is actually right or wrong.

Now, our anti-evolution friend was asking for a logical proof for evolution. There is no logical proof for evolution because there is no logical proof for any empirical theory. It is a matter of definition. Asking for a logical proof of evolution is akin to challenging someone to draw a square circle. It is impossible to draw a square circle but that doesn’t mean squares and circles don’t exist. Douche bag

Update: after writing this post I saw this picture on and thought it was rather appropriate


Only in Canada

January 26, 2008

A 37 yr old man was arrested Wednesday for high sticking at the City Centre Mall in Edmonton. He assaulted 6.5 people – 3 shoppers, 2 security guards, and one pregnant woman (they were all ok) – before being escorted to the penalty box a.k.a. mental hospital.

That’s right, an adult Canadian male walked into a shopping mall with a hockey stick and proceeded to hit random people with it, proving once again that hockey is Canada’s sport.

Update: A person who actually met one of the victims after the attack stops by in the comments section and I’ve included a link to his post on the incident

If you haven’t seen this yet…

January 25, 2008

Here’s a video of what’s already being called the goal of the year. Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets against the Phoenix Coyotes on January 17, 2008. Enjoy

If only more employees were as dedicated as she

January 25, 2008

Nataliya Nikolaychik, a 45 yr old woman from Cedarburg, WI was pulled over around midnight last week because her high beams were on. Turns out she had a .27 blood alcohol level (more than three times the legal limit).

The best/worst part: she is employed by a group home and told the police officer she needed to go to work.

Bill Gates on capitalism’s philanthropic arm “Creative Capitalism”

January 25, 2008

In the four minute clip below from a recent WSJ interview, Gates talks about creative capitalism – “using market forces to better address the needs of the poor” and how it can be used to combat poverty.

The key phrase is market incentive, as in “there’s not a market incentive for a lot of [aid for] the neediest and yet the values that people have, whether it’s your employees or the society that you work in, there’s an increasing interest in saying ‘let’s look at an advance and not feel totally good about it if it’s just for the best off’.”

Gates is right that a lot of people do feel this way but there is a big difference between feeling and doing. If we’re speaking within the boundaries of capitalism, no real change is going to occur without incentive in some form or another.

I believe it is possible to realize Gates’ vision but that the internet will ultimately provide the necessary market incentive. With the ease at which information is shared and accessed on a global scale it is much more difficult for companies to hide their dirty secrets. If a business uses unjust practices, I’m exponentially more likely to know about it today and equally more likely to let others know. The same is true for positive actions.

The internet allows companies who “do the right thing” to actually get the recognition they deserve and one day that kind of public reputation on a global scale could very possibly become a legitimate market incentive. The ultimate consequence would be for businesses to invest a larger amount of their resources in charitable causes (e.g. investing in serving the community instead of purchasing television ads) as Gates calls for in the interview.