Dispatches from Outland
A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants. Copyright © 2003 Roy M. Jacobsen.

Friday, June 13, 2003  

Amazing Grace Department: Sometimes God calls us to do things that appear to make no sense. That appearance is completely wrong. We absolutely have to get this into our heads: God knows what he's doing! Trust him. Just ask Rick Santorum about the C-SPAN miracle.

". . . faithfulness to what you believe in can lead to wonderful acts and wonderful miracles."

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:38 AM

Gift Giving Advice Department: In the few shopping days prior to Father's Day, I thought a bit of advice might be in order. Getting gifts for a man is an entirely different proposition from buying for a woman. Dave Berry explains it well:

Let's consider two possible gifts for women, both of which, theoretically, perform the same function:

GIFT ONE: A state-of-the-art gasoline-powered lantern, with electronic ignition and dual mantles capable of generating 1,200 lumens of light for ten hours on a single tank of fuel.

GIFT TWO: A scented beeswax candle, containing visible particles of bee poop and providing roughly the same illumination as a lukewarm corn dog.

Now, to a guy, Gift One is clearly superior, because you could use it to see in the dark. Whereas to a woman, Gift Two is MUCH better, because women love to sit around in the gloom with reeking, sputtering candles, and don't ask ME why.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 7:56 AM

Thursday, June 12, 2003  

This is just a test of the new Blogger.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:44 AM

Everything You Know Is Wrong Department: If you put in lots of time using a computer as part of your occupation, or as recreation, you're increasing your risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome, right?

Maybe not, according to a new Danish study.

"Can keyboard use then be considered an occupational risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome? From our data it seems unlikely," the study said.
"But based on other studies, we cannot exclude the possibility that very intensive and repetitive keyboard use could be a risk factor ... however our opinion is that it is not an important one," the study concluded.
The researchers said they did find an association between use of a mouse for more than 20 hours a week and a slightly elevated risk of a possible problem but no statistically significant association with keyboard use.

That more or less jives with my experience. I find that my wrist gets sore if I have to spend much time using the mouse. (My family doctor says my symptoms seem more like tendinitis at this point.) Because of that, I've come to dislike user interfaces that don't give me keyboard shortcuts for mouse actions.

I also had some trouble with standard keyboards, especially where they put the Ctrl and Alt keys. I use my left hand to do the Ctrl+C (Copy) and Ctrl+V (Paste), and there are times I'm doing a lot of that. My left pinkie would get very sore from the unnatural stretch to hit both keys at the same time. I now use a Kinesis contoured keyboard and I never have that problem anymore.

Link via Slashdot.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:42 AM

Wednesday, June 11, 2003  

Handy Definitions Department: From No Watermelons Allowed we learn that a liberal is . . .

...someone who has no problem with explicit sex scenes in movies kids watch, but has a problem if the movie shows the participants smoking afterwards.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:49 AM

Monday, June 09, 2003  

Litigation Department: I'm a bit surprised that it took this long. From today's B.C. comic:

Peter: "I see they've outlawed the game 'kick the can.'"
Clumsy: "What on earth for?"
Peter: "Some moron broke his toe on an outhouse."

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:08 AM
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