Thursday, July 17, 2008

McHeadline is kind of McMean

McMansion flame-broiled; 2 cars fried; shakes up neighborhood

Clever headline, but kind of inappropriate for a tragedy when a house burns down and the story includes this:
"She ran out the house screaming that her father was in the house," said a witness standing on Zaitz Farm Road near the wrecked household. "The father came out a little confused. Windows were popping, and people were screaming."

I think this would be a time to be a little more McTactful and not give the impression you're McRibbing the family during a time when many of their possessions probably flamed out like a McDLT.

The Human Trebuchet Launcher

I haven't watched the summer reality TV filler I Survived a Japanese Game Show, but if it has anything like the video below, use of the word "survived" is appropriate.

The Human Trebuchet:

Source: Weird Asia News

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Miss Universe 2008: Thoughts from the final hour

On Monday night, I discovered that there is still a Miss Universe. This probably shows how out of the loop I am concerning the all-important industry of Pageants and Prettiness, but I'll admit it.

Anyway, thanks to having a strange curiosity for the pageant and a wife who watched the whole thing, I watched the final hour or so. That was enough time to show me that a beauty-pageant contestant falling is sad, and yet very funny, and also that the Miss Universe Pageant is just plain weird.

I guess there is no more talent competition, or at least that isn't shown on television. Perhaps it's because finding talent is getting more difficult, as shown by the show "America's Got a lot of Time to Fill and Very Little Talent" that airs on NBC. Or maybe it's because the Miss Universe contenders are busy with their other interests. One of the contestants listed her interests as shopping and spending time with family. Holy cow! At least make something up that gives you more depth than anything hosted by Jerry Springer.

And then there was the interview segment, which included contestants trying to speak English. I felt really bad for them. If I were under pressure and trying to speak a second language, I would probably answer every question with something like, "Donde esta el bano cabeza?" (Where is the bathroom head?)

The winner, Miss Venezuela, was asked a question about who she thought has it tougher in life, men or women. Her answer:

"God made us to share and have differences. ... Men think that the faster way to go to a point is to go straight. Women know that the faster way to go to a point is to go to the curves."

So true. Well, maybe. I don't get it. Maybe it lost something in the translation.

Anyway, she was the winner. She is MISS UNIVERSE, a pretty presumptive title for a contest that only includes earthlings. Who knows what good-looking aliens might be out there. But at least the judges were very worthy:

Donald Trump Jr., Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization
Nadine Velazquez, from NBC’s “My Name Is Earl”
Jennifer Hawkins, Miss Universe 2004
Louis Licari, celebrity colorist
Joe Cinque, President of the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences
Nguyen Cong Khe, Editor in Chief of Thanh Nien newspaper
Taryn Rose, international shoe designer

Oh yeah, and there was fashion designer and entrepreneur Roberto Cavalli, who was the old guy on the show who thought asking a question for the interview round meant he was supposed to try to hit on the contestant in a creepy way. "When is a woman truly satisfied?" he asked slowly, in a way he probably thought was very charming but actually seemed pulled from a European ad for Cialis.

Anyway, I admit it. It was actually entertaining watching the Miss Universe train wreck. But I think it would've been better if Donny Osmond had hosted. I hear, however, that he's not allowed to host beauty pageants because his teeth are whiter than the contestants.

The product somebody has been searching for

I give credit to Dave Barry's blog for finding this. Mainly because I don't want anyone to think I was looking for it.

After finding out about this product, I found some others talking about it:

Leonardo's Notebook

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wait! I recognize that burglar

This is one of the weirdest robberies ever. Imagine this:

You're a woman working at a restaurant, a man comes in to rob you in a disguise. Your co-worker attacks the burglar, knocks off his wig and then you scream,

"Wait! Stop! That's my dad!"

Even more strange for the woman ... her husband was driving the getaway car. And her mom was in the car.

Here are some more details for the family scrapbooks.

The first haircut

My son Nathan, although only 5 months old, already has more hair than I've had in about 10 years. The hair is so long on top that he was starting to get the Cosmo Kramer look.

I kind of liked that look, but my wife decided it was time for Nate's first haircut. We thought this could be a very traumatic experience for him, but as you can see from the photo, he liked it. He might actually be laughing to taunt me because he has such nice -- and so much -- hair.
Actually, Nate seems to like just about everything these days. He really likes it when his older brothers talk to him, or anyone for that matter. But even staring at the ceiling fan for 15 minutes is wildly entertaining for him.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Humor Me: An appointment men hate

(Note: This is my column from a special section on men's health in The Dallas Morning News.)

The Dallas Morning News

A Harris Interactive survey last year revealed that many American men don’t go to the doctor for preventive care.

Maybe “revealed” isn’t the best way to describe the survey’s results. It seems more of a confirmation of common knowledge, such as “babies are cute” and “cancer is bad.”

We know most guys don’t go to the doctor. If it’s an emergency, sure. And if it involves sexual dysfunction, well, that qualifies as an emergency darn near Code Blue. But for other health matters, ignorance is bliss and doesn’t involve sitting in a waiting room reading a Reader’s Digest from 2006.

Ignorance isn’t always healthy, however. Here’s a good example:

Colon cancer to is expected to kill nearly 50,000 Americans this year. But the Center for Disease Control estimates that 60 percent of colon cancer deaths could be prevented if all men and women age 50 and over were screened for it.

I won’t hit 50 anytime soon, but I’m guilty of health indifference. Men my age – 36 and toeing the line between “dude” and “sir” – are encouraged to have a physical exam every few years. But I can’t remember my last one.

I think it was in high school, when I was required to have a physical before trying out for the basketball team. Since then, my main barometers of wellness have been the bathroom scale and the blood bank telling me I’m healthy enough to donate.

One day, I fear, I’ll get seriously injured or ill. Then I’ll be asked, “Who is your primary care physician?”

Uh … I guess it’s my wife. She doesn’t have a medical degree, but she knows where we keep the Tylenol and the first-aid kit.

Makes me feel foolish when I think about it. But I’m not alone, and I know one reason why.

To men, going to the doctor is a sign of weakness. It doesn’t fit with what we were taught as boys -- to tough it out, be strong and independent. We hate asking for help, whether we’re struggling with a home repair, financial matter or pain in our chest.

That’s why men love maps and GPS navigation systems. They provide help without having to ask for it. Perhaps the greatest medical breakthrough for men would be a GPS that points to exactly what is wrong with our health. In high-definition, of course, with a cool remote control.

For now, men need to see a doctor to navigate toward better health. And maybe more men would do that if a doctor’s office made a few changes.

You know the haircut places that target men as customers? They have a sports-themed environment, televisions tuned to sports and not one Ladies Home Journal in the magazine racks.

The same could be done at a “just for men” doctor’s office. Put a game on the TV, give the waiting room a masculine feel and have the receptionist say, “Please sign in and tell me about how you were a great high school athlete.” Maybe electrocardiogram results could be printed out like a baseball box score.

It’s crazy, I know. But for guys who neglect their health, it might be a home run. It could get more of us to the doctor, and that way, we would reduce the risk of our health striking out early.

At the very least, we’d know the next pitch coming our way.

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