Here’s My Law: Pointing Out Flaws

Here’s the situation:

You’re out with your friend, and you’re about to meet up with a bunch of other people. Your friend leans over to you and whispers “you forgot to shave a part of your cheek.” Ta-da! You’re now self conscious for the rest of the day.

I’m not about to suggest that you should never point out flaws on your friends in order to prevent them from embarrassment, because that would actually be helpful.

Here’s my law:

NEVER point out a flaw on someone unless there is some way of fixing the problem at that moment. If the person has no way of fixing the problem, you’re not being helpful, you’re being mean (whether you intend to or not).

For example, in the above situation, you can’t whip out a razor and suddenly shave the spot you missed. Instead, you just spend the night trying to talk to people on the opposite side of the spot, or you hold a drink up to that cheek to cover it. If your friend never mentioned it to you, chances are most people didn’t notice it and you could have enjoyed your day.

So please, think about if your little comments fit this requirement before you make that brain-to-mouth transition. That is all.

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Here’s My Law: The Day Begins at Sunrise

There always seems to be a confusion after midnight over which day it is. Most people will say it is still the same day it was when they woke up that morning, but some people always need to point out the fact that it’s passed midnight, so it’s the next day.

You’ll typically hear something like this:

“Tomorrow? You mean today!” As if this person is the first to figure out the technicality that you can still be awake when the day officially changes, so they need to point it out to everyone else, partly to be funny (which it never is) and partly to sound smart (which they never do). These are the same people who say “See you next year!” on New Year’s Eve, and “I haven’t showered since last week!” on Sundays.

The way I have always thought of it is the next day doesn’t really start until sunrise. If it’s 2:00AM on a Saturday, in my book, it’s still Friday night. This is the way the whole world thinks of it, because nothing feels any different from 11:59 to 12:00.

Let’s agree as a community to keep the day the same until the sun rises, at least in social situations. The next time you hear a comment that resembles “Yesterday? You mean two days go.”, just slap them and explain when the day really begins.

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Here’s My Law: Dead End Signs

You’re driving somewhere, and you decide to turn down a side road. As you’re finishing up the turn, you see the annoying yellow sign that says “Dead End” and you smack the wheel as you pick out a spot to turn around.

Dead End Sign

Is this really the best warning we can come up with for a dead end street? What good is a warning sign that only warns you after it’s already too late? It’s really just a bad news sign, and it barely serves any purpose at all. Actually, if you look closely, at the bottom of every Dead End sign, it says “HAAAAAAAAAAA!”

All of these signs should be taken down, and the street sign for that particular street should be turned yellow (instead of green) and have a dead end warning on the end of the sign. This way, you would know that street is a dead end before you make the turn, and there will be half as many signs on the road.

Better Dead End Sign

Update: Thanks Kwazzi for sharing these pictures. Apparently somewhere out there people have the luxury of enjoying these signs already!

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Video Games and Immortality

I’ve touched on this subject before, but I believe this analogy is worth having its own post. The idea of immortality, although intriguing, would actually be a terrible thing to have. Humans naturally love the idea of living forever because evolution has given us a survival instinct, but actually having it isn’t all its cracked up to be.

How do I know? Video games. If you’ve ever had a tough time playing a game, chances are, at some point, you’ve resorted to using an invincibility code (not to be confused with “infinite lives”). When you become invincible in a game, you simply can’t lose (unless you can’t solve some sort of puzzle, but you get the idea). With infinite lives, you can lose and just keep repeating the level until you beat it.

When you can’t lose in a video game, it becomes completely boring real quick. At this point, you’re just going through the motions until the game is over. What’s the fun in that? If I wanted to follow instructions, I’d build something.

I noticed this when I downloaded The Simpsons arcade game on my computer. In the arcade it was fun because you only had a few quarters and beating it was practically impossible. When downloaded, all you have to do is hit a key to “insert a quarter’” and you keep playing endlessly. At first this seemed amazing because I could finally play the whole game and see the later levels, but I got really bored, quickly, with just pressing the same couple of buttons over and over as I walked to the right side of the screen.

I thought to myself “Maybe the game was just more fun when I was a kid.” But that’s not the case at all. It was fun when I could lose, when I could die. Life has no meaning without death. The only thing that gives life its value, is its time limit. If you had forever to do everything, you would feel like you were going through the motions just like in the video game.

The expression “time is money” is completely true. Time is very valuable to us because we have a finite amount of it. How we spend that time is very important to us because we can’t get that time back. That’s why everyone gets paid based on time, it’s a trade. If you make your time infinite, your time loses all value and so does your life. The same applies to money because if you had an endless amount of money (different from just a lot of money), you wouldn’t enjoy anything you spent it on because it all loses its value.

As always, agree or disagree, that’s my take on the matter.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Well it’s that time of year again, the anniversary of my birth. That means everyone wishes me a happy birthday and some give cards and gifts.

For what though? Yes, we’re all plenty used to this idea, but why all the praise for simply surviving a certain amount of years?

If birthdays should be dedicated to anyone, it should be the mother of the person who’s birthday it is. She’s the only one who actually accomplished something, and now it’s the anniversary of that accomplishment.

So I’ll conclude by saying from now on, if it’s your birthday, thank your mom and maybe even get her a gift. Enough with the egocentric birthdays, give credit where it’s due.

Balloons: The Child’s Introduction to Death

To a child, a balloon full of helium is one of the most fun things imaginable. It’s the only thing they can have which defies gravity. Kids get more excited over balloons than adults do over free money.

Now that the child has a balloon, one of three things will happen:

  1. The balloon pops.
  2. The balloon gradually deflates.
  3. The balloon floats away.

If the balloon pops, it will scare the kid, but it’s so quick that it doesn’t do much more after the initial shock. If the baloon deflates, it’s even less of a big deal. What I’m talking about his option three.

A balloon floating away from a child is a traumatic experience. Imagine getting attached to something that puts a seemingly perpetual smile on your face. All you have to do is hold on to the string and it will stay with you. Now, because you haven’t learned this yet, you let go of the string. What happens next is a terrible event. The balloon slowly starts floating away to the sky. You can see the balloon floating away from you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. It doesn’t matter how much you cry to your parents, they can’t help you, that balloon is gone forever.

This is really a child’s first lesson in death. The regret of not doing everything possibly to hold on, the feeling of helplessness, and the sight of it growing smaller and smaller until it is gone from sight forever. It brings about a lot of new emotions to a child.

There are plenty of other examples that are similar, such as losing a toy or stuffed animal, but to me the balloon just seems to be a very unique situation. I personally remember the first time I lost a balloon and wondered if it hit could hit an airplane and how far the sky went on. Although I also just wanted me damned balloon back.

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The 80’s Were The Future

In the 1980’s, everyone suddenly got confused and thought it was the future. That might sound like it doesn’t make any sense, but let me first define what I mean by “the future”.

Throughout the twentieth century, people had this idea of the future world having flying cars, computers everywhere, humanoid robots, and for some reason bright flashing lights and colors. This was really the idea everyone had for what the 21st century would be like. So when I say “the future”, I’m referring to this idea.

The very beginnings of this concept started coming out in the 1980’s. We had computers, video games, synthesizers; new technology. I guess everyone got ahead of themselves and lost their patience, because suddenly the 80’s became a really cheesy version of the future. The problem was that none of this new technology was really developed yet. That didn’t stop the excitement that shaped the culture though.

I use music as a way of really getting an idea of what pop culture is like in a given era. In the 80’s every song had a synthesizer in it, a dance called “the robot” was invented, Michael Jackson did “the moonwalk”, and everyone dressed in bright big clothes with teased up hair. Also, almost every song was ridiculously happy as if to celebrate how awesome it was to be living in the future.

Then the 90’s came along and everyone kind of realized that it hadn’t been the future for the past ten years and life was pretty much the same the whole time. The result was the grunge era, where everyone was kind of depressing. Nirvana, Calvin Klein commercials, flannel shirts – these are the images that come to mind.

When I think back to the 80’s, it just seems like everyone lost their minds. It’s also funny how one of the most popular movies in the 80’s was called Back to the Future – how symbolic.

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A Few Moments?

Moment (ˈmō-mənt): a minute portion or point of time.

This is an extremely vague measurement of time. It is also a very popular amount of time given when someone keeps someone else waiting.

Example: The doctor will be in to see you in just a moment.

Few (ˈfyü): not many persons or things.

This is slightly vaguer than the moment, because it doesn’t even specify what “thing” there will be a small amount of. The moment at least specifies that it is measuring time.

Here’s my point:

There have been too many times where I’ve been told that something will take “just a few moments”. What does that statement even mean? If I’m on the phone and waiting to speak to someone, a recording that tells me that it will be a few moments is really telling me absolutely nothing.

A moment is not an exact amount of time, and a few is not an exact amount of anything. So how is it that something can take a vague amount of something that is in itself a vague amount? If a moment lasts 2 minutes, does ‘a few moments’ mean 10 minutes? If so, why can’t it just be a 10-minute-long moment?

It’s really just a safe loophole that gives someone a fictitious amount of time so that they can’t be held responsible if it takes longer than usual. Enough with this moments nonsense, just tell me you have no idea how long it’s going to take or give an estimate.

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Here’s My Law: The Tooth-Cleavage Ratio

There are plenty of norms in society, but there are always a few people who are outliers who just don’t follow these norms. For this reason, there need to be some social laws, because some people just need to be told things that most of us already understand.

First, there needs to be a law to regulate cleavage. The rule I’ve come up with is that the number of teeth you are missing determines the amount of cleavage you’re allowed to show in public.

The diagram shows that if you aren’t missing any teeth, you can show all the cleavage you want. If you are missing a tooth or two, you can still show a little bit of cleavage. However, if you are missing any more than that, you need to just wear higher-cut shirts.

This law is important mainly because the amount of real teeth in your mouth and your age tend to be negatively correlated. The bottom line is that if you are an old woman, please remember that people stare for two reasons: Either they like what they see, or they can’t believe what they are seeing. If you find that you are breaking this law, the stares are coming from the second reason only.

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The Letter “C” is Obsolete

I’m sure I will receive a million reasons for why I’m wrong about this, but quite frankly, I don’t really care. The fact is, as far as the English language is concerned, the letter “C” is currently obsolete.

“C” is multi-functional.

  • It can make the “S” sound, as in the word “face”.
  • It can make the “K” sound, as in the word “cape”.
  • It can join an “H” and make a new sound, as in the word “cheese”.

In some other languages, such as Italian, the “CH” sound is the only sound that “C” makes when it is by itself. In this case, the letters “CH” make the “K” sound because there is no letter “K” in the Italian alphabet.

So in its current English usage, the only time a “C” is necessary, is when it is paired up with an “H”. Any other time, it can easily be replaced by either an “S” or a “K”. Why not just replace every “C” with an “S” or a “K”, depending on the usage, and replace every “CH” with the letter “C”?

In this system, the letter “C” would have its Italian usage, and since the English language has the letter “K”, there would be no need for the pairing of “CH”.

  • “Face” will be spelled “fase”.
  • “Cape” will be spelled “kape”.
  • “Cheese” will be spelled “Ceese”.

Sure it looks funny, since you’re not used to it, and anyone who really studies language will know there have to be reasons for the current state of the English language (such as Latin and Greek roots); but as it stands now, I can see no instance where this system will not hold up.

This is one of the many reasons English is such a confusing language to learn. There are far too many inconsistent rules and exceptions, and I feel bad for any logical person who tries to learn it as a second language. Just look at the exception of the words “chaos” and “chrome” where the “CH” combination makes the “K” sound. It’s almost like English is a secret club purposely trying to keep people from learning it.

Also, just a side note, I find it ridiculous that there are different forms of sign language, just as there are different forms of spoken languages. This could have been the one, true universal language, and somehow someone blew it.

Anyway, the point is that C’s current function in the English language is too replaceable, and it needs to drop it’s friend “H” and learn how to be in the word “cheese” without it. Quit copying your friends “S” and “K” and learn to be a little independent.

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