Sunday, March 22, 2009

What do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

I recently spoke on a panel at a career options conference at a local college. The reason I was invited at all was because I'm conflicted when it come to my career. I studied illustration in school, became a librarian full time, but also love to write novels. In other words I never did figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. They wanted someone who could speak about keeping your options open. Speaking to college students who are just beginning their own careers got me thinking about why we choose to pursue the careers we do. The jobs we've worked for years aren't necessarily our first choice. I started asking around work what people would be if education, family or money were not an obstacle. The answers people gave surprised me. Among the dream jobs listed were things like criminal profiler, poet, private detective, author, artist, astronaut, women's rights activist, and actor. All of these are a far cry from working in a library. Call me curious, but I'm interested in knowing what you guys in cyberland would be if you could have your dream job. Make sure to list what you are now so we can compare and contrast. Feel free to leave it as an anonymous comment if you want.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Random Weirdness to Brighten Your Day

Screaming frogs. What more can I say? I didn't even know there was such a thing in the universe until I saw this. Had to share.

Toad that likes to be scratched.

Chatty frog responds to his owner's croaking. Cute.

Enormous wild hog. Glad I didn't meet THAT while out taking a walk one day. Even if I had been armed with a gun.

Things that make you go--hmmm. Like minature dancing robots. Doing a fan dance. In unison. Hmmmm. You could end world hunger with the amount of money they probably spent on making these things. But then I wouldn't have such a great video to post on my blog.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What Your Mother Doesn't Know

One of my coworkers recently told me the story of how she broke her arm as a child. Right in the middle of telling me what it was she was doing when she fell, my coworker stopped and laughed. “You know, I lied to my mother that day about what I was doing when I broke my arm so I wouldn’t get in trouble. She still doesn’t know the truth. Maybe I should tell her one of these days.”

This incident got me thinking about secrets I’ve kept to myself over the years and why I felt I had to keep them a secret. My secrets tended to fall into one of three categories: 1) secrets that would have gotten me into trouble if anyone found out, 2) secrets that were too embarrassing to share, or 3) secrets that might hurt someone if they found out. Everyone has secrets. We never want our own to be found out, but we love to find out what other people are hiding.

Here are some fascinating secrets I’ve uncovered.

1) Disneyland has a problem with people trying to scatter the ashes of their loved ones on the haunted mansion ride. Every time it happens they have to close the ride down and call in a hazmat team to clean it up. I only have one question, for these people. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

2) Apples in the supermarket are dipped in wax before being put out on display so they will look more shiny and appetizing. If you don’t believe me, scrape the blade of a knife against the surface of the apple’s skin and watch as some of the wax comes off. Not very appetizing, eh?

3) The ancient Mayan culture believed chocolate came directly from the gods and considered it sacred. Later on they used cocoa beans (the main ingredient in chocolate) as money. There was a time when it was illegal for anyone but royalty to eat chocolate in Europe. For a short period in history eating chocolate was also officially considered a moral sin. Strangest of all, microwave ovens owe their existence to chocolate. A scientist first got the idea for cooking with microwaves when he discovered a chocolate bar in his pocket had melted when he walked through an experimental machine.

4) When you see those really stupid safety labels on products it is because someone, somewhere actually tried it and the company is legally covering themselves.

Real Examples:
“Remove infant before folding for storage.” – Warning label found on a portable stroller.
"Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly." – On a label found on a child sized Superman costume.
"Do not put in mouth." -- On a box of bottle rockets.
"Not dishwasher safe." -- On a remote control for a TV.
"Do not iron clothes on body." -- On packaging for an iron.
"Do not use as ear plugs." -- On a package of silly putty.

5) Superstores like Shopko and Walmart have a problem with grown people getting rowdy while playing games such as hide and seek and tag in their store. Sounds like fun actually.

Want to hear one of my secrets? My sister, brother and I almost died in a near head-on collision with a semi-truck while on a road trip together. We didn’t tell our mother about it until ten years after the fact. She still got upset.

Feel the need to unburden yourself of a few secrets? Feel free to do so in the comments below.



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