31.5.13

The One Where Da-da Creates a Whole New Reality

The face of the Rene Descartes Group Being (RDGB).

It's Existential Friday! And since Rene Descartes was really saying, "I think, therefore I am Rene Descartes," that makes us ALL Rene Descartes.

We are, in fact, a Rene Descartes Group Being, or RDGB. The next RDGB support group will start Friday at 7:00 pm. Everyone with the initials RD, please bring donuts and a blank white t-shirt.

Yours Descartian,

-Da-da Rene Descartes

27.5.13

Da-da is the Worst... er, Best Intern Ever

-- "Psst, someone upstairs said that Da-da guy would make a great intern."
-- "Stoned again."

Here is Da-da's response to an inquiry from an organization that Da-da will refrain from naming. They wanted Da-da on their staff, for whatever reason, as an unpaid intern. Yes, Da-da couldn't quite believe it either.

To Whom It May Concern:
 

Dear Whom,

Da-da is both flattered and bemused by your kind invitation to make Da-da your intern. This would make him, arguably, the oldest intern ever.

Da-da would love to hates to contradict your kind sentiments, but... well, Da-da is NOT perky. Factually, he is its antithesis: Da-da is the Anti-Perky. Ok, maybe he's perky in a Monday morning cold gray deck wet fish slap lemon juice papercutty NON-PERKY kinda way, but this would require more coffee than you could ever possibly squeeze into your offices.

You are correct in one thing: he is creative, to a fault. And his art direction, design and writing-y skills are nonpareil -- in a non kinda way. And YES, he is decidedly outgoing when it comes to bending small children and school administrators and unsuspecting executives to his rather subdued, aging Mandarin will, while inducing a false sense of agape and joie de vivre in his victims. But, alas, he's detail-oriented only in making sure he gets all the little pieces of broken glass picked up so they don't end up in little feet; Da-da is a scale model of entropy.

Oh, and YES, he SO WANTS to work in a fast-paced, fun and friendly environment. You have no idea. None, whatsoever. However, it should be noted upfront that Da-da is expert at sabotaging the fast-paced, the fun, the environmentally friendly, usually by asking questions no one seems to want to answer. Ever. Why is that?

And while this may be a great opportunity for someone who wants to learn rudimentary weasel polishing, or tumbleweed exfoliation, or oral marshmallow presentation, unfortunately, yours is an UNPAID internship, and Da-da's DDG (Designated Domestic Goddess) has fixed his minimum hourly indentured servitude fee for animal and vegetable cruelty, massage and somatic maintenance fee at the $25/hr mark, as that's how much it would cost to replace childcare, transport, cooking, shopping, errand running, volunteering, errant bitching, and rather meager chief bottle washing duties, combined, in Da-da's backwoods burg.

However, if you're willing to pay and you'd still like to have Da-da be your intern... well, you have been warned. To get Da-da away from Ma-ma's clutches (and Bronko's and Nagurski's), Da-da would suggest abduction. You'll need a powerful horse and some seige equipment. And a Mothership.

Looking forward to That Special Repunzel Moment (you bring the hair).

All the best,

A Man Called Da-da
Nowheresville


Da-da is the best of interns, the worst of interns.

20.5.13

The School Board is, of Course, Receptive to Your Ludicrous Ideas on Education

"Perhaps you feel The District is treating you unfairly?"

Monday's Child Is In Your Face

#amancalleddada
                                                                                                                            [Is this your image? Let Da-da know.]
Monday's Child Is In Your Face 

by A Man Called Da-da

Monday's Child is in your face,
Tuesday's Child is off in space,
Wednesday's Child is full of WHOA
Thursday's Child won't say hello,
Friday's Child can't wait for Thanksgiving,
Saturday's Child is marginally forgiving,
And the Child who is born on the Sabbath Day...
is pretty much the same, but in a different way.

Saturday's child needs big pants.

19.5.13

Before & After Kids: A Brief Pictorial Essay of Very Mild Horror


Before kids...

...after kids. (Hm. A significant improvement -- ACROSS THE BOARD.)

The Giant Nose of May

Spring can really hang your giant nose up the most. Is it over, yet?
Most people don't realize why allergies are so bad these days. It's because lame city managers see a list of trees online/in a catalog and buy (in bulk) the cheapest ones for various landscaping projects. Male trees are cheaper, so they get bought more. Male trees also produce 10X pollen than their female counterparts. Who knew that there were male and female trees? It's a world gone mad. Where's Da-da's hanky?

18.5.13

Why Da-da Wears Bandages

Once you've reproduced, you start to slowly vanish -- some more than others.
(Yet another reason Da-da wears bandages.)

16.5.13

"Accents of the British Isles"?

Know how to match a blog post with the perfect pic? UNDERPANTS.
Wait... no, it's PLANNING. Why did Da-da just ululate, "UNDERPANTS?"

Hi. Would any of you happen to have Peter Seller's LP, "Accents of the British Isles"? Da-da foolishly failed to buy it for $49.99 in 1982 (that was a British metric tonne back then). He would pay for a rip!

NOTE: FYI, Da-da was interested in the entire album, not merely the snippets you find here and there on YouTube and on "Best Of" albums. He has his doubts that he'll be able to secure a copy.

The Cunning Linguist at Table

Da-da's always been interested in languages: what shapes 'em, what rules can be bent, how languages influence mindsets where they're spoken (language as software), etc. In one of Da-da's Russian language and literature classes, Da-da asked his Russian professor -- Professor V, a wonderful old Lithuanian man -- why Russian has no infinitives (e.g., "the"). For example, in English, one might point at a table and say:

"There is the table."

In Russian, you'd point at that same table and say:

"Table."

When asked why this was, Professor V looked at Da-da and said, very seriously: "It's too cold to mince words."



14.5.13

Tuesday's Child is Full of WHOA


This type of Small Being pronouncement invariably means
a "Da-da-clean-up-on-aisle-nine" situation.

12.5.13

Happy Hallmark Day, Ma-ma

As usual, Bronko and Nagurski have eaten Ma-ma's Mother's Day present.

9.5.13

This Post is Infested...

...but friendly! Hi, we're back! Anybody wanna hear a tune?

FOOD 101: Showering With Vegetables



Despite the promise of enticing images of wet and naked hominids strategically occluded by broccoli -- or Da-da showering with relatives -- this post isn't meant to be fun. NO FUN! Instead, it will strive to be what Da-da tries to be every day: practical, yet entertaining. Sorta like Ben Franklin. Ben was nothing if not practical, and highly entertaining. He also was naked a lot, taking air baths in France, which is tangentially related to the lead sentence, but takes us somewhere no one wants to go, not even Da-da. Onward.

Actually, let's go backward, about eight years.

Da-da used to work for a food science and safety organization that certified whether something was organic or not, whether it was sustainably harvested, whether it was stolen from the Brazilian rainforest, whether it could be accidentally sprayed on the cat and make it minty fresh, etc. Once inside the building, you couldn't swing a minty cat without hitting a food scientist or an award-winning chemist.

After he'd started working for said company, and with an eye toward Ma-ma's pre-pregnancy body (mmm, Ma-ma's pre-pregnancy body) and Da-da's future children, Da-da went to one of their best food scientists and asked how he personaly prepared his raw fruits and vegetables.

"Like organic broccoli, for example," Da-da offered.

The food scientist... let's call him, MARIAH. No, that's the wind. Howbout, BOB? Yeah. BOB. Bob looked Da-da in the eye. He was a serious guy and seemed purturbed that so many people knew so little about how to deal with negotiating the modern foodchain. Or maybe he was purturbed by Da-da's woefully low IQ. Either way, to Bob, food safety was as serious a subject as there was on earth.

"Organic broccoli," Bob mused. "You don't have to wash that, right?"

"Right," Da-da said.

"WRONG!"

"You said organic..."

"The certification, 'organic,'" Bob explained, "pertains only to what goes into the soil. Nothing else. Organic vegetables and fruit still have pesticides and fungicides and herbicides and waxes sprayed all over them, repeatedly, coated with a chemical sludge studded with bugs and dirt and microorganisms, e-Coli bacteria... everything is coated with this stuff, even organic produce. I won't even begin to talk about NON-organic stuff. Horrible. For you, and for the soil. No one should buy non-organic produce. Needless to say, all fresh produce should be washed well prior to ingestion."

All the pretty broccoli.

"How? Say for organic broccoli? What do you do at home?"

"I put the broccoli in a large bowl, fill it with water, and add a drop of detergent to break the surface tension."

"Detergent? Like Dawn?"

"NO! Dawn is horrible. Buy a food-grade soap at a local foodie market, like Whole Foods or Trader Joes. I used Biokleen and Trader Joe's Fruit and Veggie Wash for all produce, and Ecover for dishes and hands.

"Like I said, for food cleaning, place whatever it is you're washing into a bowl, fill it with water, and add a teaspoon of food-grade detergent to the water. Swish the fruit or veggies around. It'll foam a little, but that's ok. Let what you're washing sit for five to ten minutes and pull it from the water, then drop it into a colander and rinse well.

"Be sure to look at the leftover wash-water in the bowl you just washed the produce in: it's eye-opening. That wash should remove most of the pesticides, waxes, dirt and beasties living in there."

"Five to ten minutes," Da-da mused.

"Yup. Then rinse. Do this with everything."

"Even oranges?"

"Even oranges. And especially apples. Anything you're going to handle and eat, peel or cut. Or anything that's going to touch a food preparation surface."

"Same for lettuce?"

"ESPECIALLY lettuce. Bugs adore lettuce. Farmers spray the crap out of it. I wash my lettuce twice: first in the one bowl of detergent, then in another bowl filled with clean water, then rinsed in a colander, then into the salad spinner. Uh, I never eat salads in restaurants." He shuddered.

"Even wash that box-O-lettuce in the store that says it's been cleaned three times?"

"Don't trust any corporation when your family's health and safety are at stake. Only takes five to ten minutes. Like I said, wash and soak and rinse everything. It helps to buy some tools to make the job easier. That food soap I mentioned helps; it washes out cleanly, as it's just grapefruit seed and lime peel extract. I use two large metal bowls, like those used in restaurants. They're about $10 each, but you can use any plastic bowl, too. I keep them on one side of the sink, along with a colander. Seems like a bit of work, at first, but you can taste the difference. And the health benefits of not eating poison all the time will be pretty obvious when your children grow up strong and healthy and intelligent. You'll see what I mean when you look at the water in the soak bowl."

An intern who'd been eavesdropping poked her head over the edge of Bob's cubicle. "What about watermelons and cantaloupe?"

Bob shrugged. "You still need to wash 'em. You have to use a knife to open 'em up. If the skin is contaminated, the knife will just spread the contamination to the flesh inside. You gotta clean everything."

Bob's phone started ringing. "WASH EVERYTHING. And only eat at restaurants that are responsible enough to wash everything. Many don't, especially chains. When in doubt, ask. And don't eat ANYTHING processed. Nothing. You'd run screaming into the night if you saw what went into that stuff."

Bob answered the phone and Da-da went home to wash everything four times. Even the cat.

In case you still think the term, "organic" is bunk (indeed it is for Monsanto- and ConAgra-owned brands of processed food), check out this latest finding by a Middle Schooler who's going places: Is Organic Better? Ask a Fruit Fly.

It's a little bit more, but you're worth it.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Da-da received NO compensation of any kind for the above product mentions. It wouldn't make much difference, as Da-da makes fun of pretty much everything -- except broccoli, which is inherently funny.

In case you're interested, here's a handy list of GMO frankenfood brands to avoid. And a comprehensive black list of other GMO brands to avoid. Again, Da-da gets nothing for doing this. He just wants to help. He's just that way.

7.5.13

Scientists Discover a Brain Region That Controls Scientists



This just in...

-------------------------------------------------------
Breakthrough

Scientists Discover a Brain Region That Controls Scientists

Turns out that the elusive Scientist Control Switch may exist after all … in our heads.


Scientists at the Jed Einstein School of SCIENCE and Donut Disambiguation say they’ve discovered a brain region that may control scientists throughout the entire universe. By manipulating that region, they were able to make scientists agree with other scientists by more than 90 percent. The remarkable finding, detailed in a paper published in Crature on May 1, may lead to new ways of warding off SCIENCE-y announcements refuting past SCIENCE-y announcements.

The hypothalamus, an almond-size area of the brain, controls growth, reproduction, donut craving and metabolism, but also initiates SCIENCE, according to the study. LongDuk Pai, a physiologist at Jed Einstein College of Medicine-y SCIENCE in Hitchings-Floe East, together with unsuspecting colleagues, realized this by tracking BFD-κB, an unassuming molecule that controls the SCIENCE compulsion and is involved in general ontological inflammation and moot annoyance of the general populus. They found that in mice, BFD-κB yields a pompous hexafluorobenzene blancmange that cannot pilot a bicycle or play a trombone at high speeds.

Mice that were injected with a substance that inhibits BFD-κB’s activity not only lived longer—up to 20 percent longer—they also donned smoking jackets and made crepe suzette in half the time of their science-y counterparts without affectation.

What’s more, the inhibitor seems to block the lamentable physical decline and lack of rhythm that occurs with SCIENCE. Six months after the initial experiment, mice that had been injected with inhibitors performed better than controls on picking up a cricket bat without dropping it, and moving through a mall without having to consult a map. “They also showed less SCIENCE-y related decline in muscle strength, skin thickness, bone mass, and toe-tapping/tail-tendon integrity,” according to the article in Crature.

Blocking BFD-κB had similar effects on male and female scientists, injected without their knowledge and tracked throughout a hotel brunch in Little Ruppings, and produced anti-SCIENCE-y effects even in aged scientists with more than two elbow patches on their jackets.

Babaloo Sinclair, a molecular barrista at Morvalia University in Upstate New York, called the study, “a major breakthrough in SCIENCE.” He says it will likely benefit SCIENCE research into SCIENCE-y-ness, "And that right soon," he added.


Tuesday's Child Lacks a Clear Interface

After 37 straight hours of Twitter and Facebook...

Tuesday's Child is Pissing Off the Cat

Awright, prepare to piss off the cat... WAITFORIT... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... GO.

6.5.13

Da-da's Rules of Shoe-Tying Club

Before you start, you might want to FIND your shoes.

DA-DA'S RULES OF SHOE-TYING CLUB

1st RULE: You do not scream during SHOE-TYING CLUB.

2nd RULE: You DO NOT SCREAM during SHOE-TYING CLUB. (Except when you're screaming.)

3rd RULE: FIND YOUR OWN DAMN SHOES.

4th RULE: If someone says "&%$*!", or their shoe hits the wall, the exercise is over.

5th RULE: Only two shoes to a person.

6th RULE: One shoe at a time, unless you're tying them together.

7th RULE: Double-knotting is mandatory.

8th RULE: Shoe-tying will go on as long as it has to.

9th RULE: If you angrily say, "I CAN DO IT!", then you will. Alone.

10th RULE: Slow down and tie your shoes like a reasonably sane, rabid animal.

11th RULE: If you're going to tie your shoes, your mouth need not be involved.

12th RULE: No shoe-technology experiments -- or YOU clean it up.

13th RULE: If your shoes glow blue, you are allowed to defy gravity -- BUT NOT IN THE HOUSE.



[See Da-da's Rules of Food Club.]

Do Not Disturb Till Doomsday


1.5.13

Is That YOUR Kid?

"OMIGOD. That's your kid's Facebook page??"  "Is that a chicken up there, or just the way he's holding the grapefruit?"

Bronko and Nagurski Strike Back

Ow. Hey, you boys, you're only hurting yourselves with this rambunctious behavior.
(Is it any wonder Da-da wears bandages and eye protection?)

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