Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What I would do with a pouch...

Mammals : all that lactating and live birth stuff doesn't really do it for me. I guess monotremes are pretty cool since they're the non-conformists of the group and have remained a throw-back to our egg-laying peeps. So the next logical question is: what about marsupials? And that got me thinking...I would LOVE to have a pouch.

Just think of all the things I could do with a pouch. I would definitely keep snacks in there...and a cooler full of beer. I wonder if I could insulate it to keep it cool rather than warm, then my pouch would just be a cooler. I'd be like Duff Man (oh yeah!), but without the spandex and awkward belt. I'd keep the cape, though. If I had a pouch-cooler, I would deserve a cape.

Today I lost my keys. Ok, I didn't really lose them, I left them on the bench where I had lunch. But if they had not been on the bench, then I would have lost them. And if I had a pouch, that never would have happened. And thinking about getting mugged - I dare someone to try to stick their hand in my pouch and grab my wallet.

And if you're not convinced yet that a pouch would be awesome - if you had a pouch, you could always have water balloons on hand to throw at people. Then, say, someone tried to blame you for it...well you don't even have a bag in which you could have been hiding the balloons. Don't you thinks someone would have noticed if you'd been walking around with you hands full of water balloons? They must have made a mistake.

I would have made an awesome marsupial.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Holy March Madness Batman!

Yes, its March - normally an outrageously busy month (at least from an academic standpoint) and one spent being constantly teased by the weather. Here in Boulder, its sunny one day, snowing the next. Somebody please return Percephone to Demeter!

However, the light at the end of the tunnel is in the form of March Madness. Now, I don't like basketball and don't watch it during the rest of the year - in fact I don't think I'd ever seen a whole game until last year. I'm actually not saying that March Madness is a high point to portray the crappiness of the Month, but rather out of true excitement for the NCAA tournament. Any reason to get excited about sports is good for me. This is now my second year I've put in a bracket, and since I won my pool last year, I have high expectations of myself.

One may ask, how do you put together a bracket AND win when you don't follow basketball? Well, there are may ways to do this, and I assure you I'm not the first non-basketball person to win a bracket that includes some hardcore basketball followers. Diane from Cheers would chose teams based on team colors and mascots. On, Bill Simmons' wife picks based on multiple criteria from personal association with schools or states and what she overhears from Bill and others. In fact, everyone should check out

So I have one bracket in a pool this year. This bracket is built off of critera similar to the Sports Gal (see link above) with whether I like the school or not. I don't know what makes me like one school that I've never been to or known anyone who has gone there over another, but there is an inner stirring for one school over another anyways. And, yes, I do look at the team rankings if I really just don't know anything about the school's reputation in athletics. There is no research or prior basketball watching at all. And like I said, I won my pool last year with this method (yes, shameless self-promotion) - largely because I changed my champion from Georgetown to Florida at the last minute because I wanted an SEC team to win - I like the SEC, damnit. Unfortunately, because I won last year, I feel like I have a reputation to uphold and expectations. That's the shitty thing about doing well - people have expectations. Its the same way with tests in school - lets say you get a 96% on the first test...well shit. Both you and your professor have expectations of your performance on the next exam - if you don't get an A, you're just a disappointment. Giving a shit is a bitch. Starting now I don't believe in expectations, I think its a crap deal.

Anyways, I have been thinking on new ways to pick brackets for those who don't anything about the teams playing, and have come up with two solutions: Fighting and Eating. And honestly, fighting and eating have got to be the most important things in life - especially from an evolutionary biology point of view. What drives evolution? Eating and sex. You have to be able to FIGHT to EAT, and to FIGHT to MATE. There it is, natural selection and sexual selection in a nutshell.

Back to basketball. I'm setting up an experiment on the best "alternative" method for setting up a bracket: (1) personal associations and gut feelings about teams (2) which mascot would win in a fight and (3) which mascot would taste better. So I have three brackets filled out in each method.

Association and Instinct:

Who would win in a fight:

This one got tough when it came down to the Delta Devils versus the Blue Devils. I did want to pick Duke because they're ranked higher and likely a much better team, but "blue" makes me think sad, and Southerners can be tough, so I had to go with Mississippi Valley. But, honestly, I think a Badger could take on the devil.

Which is tastier:

It's really hard to pick between pig and cow to eat. But I'm thinking about Nachos with beef right now, so Texas is going to beat Arkansas.

And just for the record, teams with the mascots like "Big Red" and "Golden Flashes" and the "Hoyas" (which no one really knows what it is) should automatically be eliminated from the bracket.

Let March Madness Begin!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

If I were plankton: Ode to productivity

Plankton is a primary producer in marine (and lacustrine) environments. Plankton uses energy from the sun to metabolize O2 from CO2, not only serving the important yet often overlooked position as the bottom of the food chain dog-pile, but also sustaining an oxygen-rich atmosphere. High productivity in the oceans results from blooms of these primary producers that then stimulates a chain reaction of increased energy flow that cascades up the food chain. Bless the little buggers for all their hard work.

After plankton do their job making the atmosphere awesome, they die. Well, they spawn and then they die. When they die, their carcasses are eaten, dissolved, or sink to the bottom of the ocean (or lake) and get buried. The first option means that their death went to the nourishment of another organism that was hopefully either tasty or eaten by something tasty or eaten by something that was eaten by something tasty. The second option allows for the minerals that made up the planktonic organism to be transferred back into the nutrient cycle. Carbon from dead plankton, for example, can be dissolved back into the seawater as the organism sinks to the seafloor and decays. That carbon then reenters the carbon cycle to potentially be used by other organisms. Again, one can only hope that this feeds something tasty. Other organisms buried in the seafloor sediments can also utilize minerals and nutrients from planktonic remains that reach the ocean bottom.

If I were plankton, I would have been spawned, failed to ever photosynthesize, immediately die (without actually producing anything), sink to the seafloor without being eaten or dissolved, be deposited under anoxic conditions, immediately be buried by other sediment, and never even reenter the carbon cycle. Somehow this seems more pathetic than the plankton short bus…

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How does one become a trophy wife?

I have spent much time thinking on this "how does one become a trophy wife" question. For years I have been toting the "first marriage is for money, second marriage is for love" mantra, and so am always on the look out for rich old men. I have found that the man-luring techniques are going to change for both the age class and tax bracket you're aiming for, so there's no clear, easy answer.

There are three general classes of men who are looking for trophy wifes:

(1) For some men a significantly younger woman is all they need. Unfortunately these men can be hard to live with and put up with as they have very low expectations for themselves. They also fall along the tax bracket continuum, rather than being pooled at either the high or the low end of the wealth scale, so make sure you see their portfolio and bank statements before pre-nups are signed. These men are recommended for women with confidence issues and/or a dire and immediate financial situation; and as a warning, they can sometimes be scared off by strong personalities. However, if you're willing to go there, I suggest finding someone quite old with a pre-existing medical condition.

(2) On the other end of the spectrum, some men will take only outrageously young and ridiculous attractive women with a D-cup minimum. These guys are usually high-maintenance and aren't that desperately lonely because they have high expectations and know they can be filled. Because they fall in the top tier of rich old men, they have the financial security to be picky. Education level can be a limiting factor with these men. If you're in grad school, for example, one would assume you can at least read 3-syllable words, so these guys might not go for you. I'm not trying to be insulting to you and/or your physical appearance, but it's just not going to work based on your intelligence. They will fear your reading ability and the likelihood of you tricking them up somewhere in the pre-nup.

(3) The last general category of man are those just looking for a young, decently attractive companion and is willing to invest in a good personality. These men can be rather nice and doting as they don't have as high expectations, but can form respect. General observations indicate that these are often self-made men with a bit more respect for where they came from, but have developed a trophy-wife fetish over the decades from hanging out with men with trophy wife fetishes. Apparently its a communicable disease. However, these last men are usually pushing the bottom limits of the "trophy wife tax bracket".

(4) I know I said there were three general classes, but this class of man is not rich, he's the dirty old man. Many trophy wife hunters will be dirty old men, to be sure, but they are rich dirty old man. This is a huge distinction as many things in life are more tolerable with wealth. These men will disguise themselves in expensive suits (pay attention to their attire, because often they will rewear the same suit or two suites and just changes shirts and ties - a dead give-away), surround themselves by other rich men to whom they can be snobbish, and try to woo you with bank credit. This is why it is so important to get personal, visual confirmation of their financial assets before entering into any legal agreements. Just one of these men could lead to the down-fall of a perfectly acceptable future trophy wife.

So, its really going to depend on what you're looking for in an old man. As for me, I'm not really attractive enough to really be a trophy wife, so I figure I need to find a really old and visually impaired man - let me know if you can set me up with anyone, and I'll return the favor.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I need more tight pants in my life

It's March. What does this mean? No damned football. No college football for 2 months now. No pro football for one month now. No football for 5 more frickin' months. I'm dying already. Le pout.

I was in a bar, waiting for a friend to meet me for a few games of pool, and was getting teased on the T.V. by some soundless commentary on Ben Roethlisberger (and upon googling to figure out how to spell his name, I found that he just signed an 8-year contract with the Steelers). It hit me then and there how much I miss my legions of tight-pantsed men. Don't be fooled - those quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs don't spend hours a day in the gym because they enjoy it - they spent their time there because I enjoy it. I enjoy them in their tight, shiny pants. Football combines two of my favorite things: men and shiny objects. Actually three of my favorite things: men, shiny objects, and beer (which makes objects even shinier). This could go on and on, because I also love wings, nachos, sports bars, redheaded sluts.... But at this point in the doldrums of the year with no westerlies in sight, I'll take an offensive line man at this point. Maybe I'll start running again just so I can jog by the CU practice field and listen to the loud speakers calling out plays. I'm obviously desperate here.

On a side note: Shit. Pete just died.

And this bring me to my next revelation. I know its spring when I start watching Rudy because I miss the constant entertainment of football. Usually my Rudy fetish is confined to hungover Saturday morning movie watching escapades. So many times I would actually put in Shrek to watch as I dozed on the couch with my head pulsating in beat with my heart. But then the "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron" trailer would come on (yes, its a VCR, and fast-forwarding is too much effort), and it uses the theme to Rudy (guess Jerry Goldsmith needed the royalties). So, I would instantly pull Shrek out and put Rudy in. Pure contentment. But apparently I've moved on to Monday evening post-pool PBR-induced escapades. I like to think that this means I'm moving up in the world.

Basketball then came on at the bar. Speaking of doldrums, basketball is the albatross around my neck. West Virigina was playing someone, hell if I know whom, hell if I care. Typically I enjoy watching WVU play football, but basketball (any team, any level) just doesn't do it for me. I don't think even tight pants would change this for me. March Madness entertains me to some degree, especially when I put in a bracket and it does well. And the fact that Bill Simmon's live blog on is one of the highlights of my life. I highly recommend that you check it out. But otherwise - nahh. At least I guess I only have a month until baseball season. I do love peanuts....

But for now, I have to get back to my tight-pantsed men standing in for my tight-pantsed men. As if Rudy didn't kick ass enough, remember that he was not only a Goonie (and Goonies never say die), but he was Samwise Gamge, as well. And Sam's everything I've always wanted in a hobbit.

In conclusion, I would like to quote Pete quoting Pete's dad: "It's like my dad always said 'Having dreams is what makes life tolerable'. " May I dream of football...and shiny objects.