31 October 2006

Rabies and Bats

A public service announcement:
Some people that know me know how I feel about bats and rabies.
I heard a piece on NPR's This American Life show which told the story of a woman who was attacked by a rabid raccoon. In it, he mentioned the fact that bats can carry rabies and that if you sleep in the same room with a bat, you need to consult a doctor about getting a rabies shot. One thing I did not know is that you don't even have that long to get a rabies shot, only seventy-two hours. I did know that if you wait for rabies symptoms to occur, it's too late and you will likely die. The discussion of rabies in bats starts at 14:40. The discussion of the rabid raccoon starts at 6:10.
If you use iTunes, this is a link that will allow you to subscribe to the This American Life podcast.
If you just want to download the episode as an MP3 file, this is a link.

My Foolishness on a Halloween Past

So, I don't usually blog about personal stuff, but I figure that since this incident happened eleven years ago, it's ancient history.
The Halloween that I was in grade nine I went trick or treating with three of my friends from high school. We went around the neighbourhood and collected candy from the various different houses. One house had a box of candy out front that said "help yourself" Surprisingly, there was still candy left in this box, and we each took a snack bag of M & Ms. That's not the main part of the story.
After this, we continued to trick or treat in the neighbourhood until we eventually came to a house, knocked on a door and a man answered it. I do not think any of us knew him. He then told us that he had crystal figurines that he wanted to show us and that we should come in and look at them. Foolishly, the three of us went in. The crystal figurines were pretty neat, and he did have a lot of them. I don't remember that much of them because as soon as I went inside I realized that I probably should not be going inside. There were four of us and one of him, but he could have pulled a gun on us and held us for ransom if he had wanted to. Nothing happened, and perhaps this man just wanted to show us his crystal figurines.
Entering the house was probably an error in judgment on my part.

29 October 2006

MySpace vs. Facebook

I've been using MySpace and Facebook for awhile now. As some people know, I have only been on MySpace for a little while.
I can say that, as of right now, I like Facebook much better. It doesn't have garish advertisements, and also works more reliably. I've had a number of instances where various parts of MySpace did not work properly. I also get spam on MySpace. The only thing I get on Facebook is requests to join groups, but these appear to be legitimate groups and not webcam groups. The webcam group emails are really annoying. Lately MySpace has been assassinating the accounts of people who have been sending out spam, so that's good.
The other thing that I don't like about Myspace is how people use it as a subsititute for email. It's hard for me to keep track of MySpace emails because they don't stare me in the face like emails do. Plus, I sometimes like to flag messages for follow-up, and Myspace doesn't let me do that.

27 October 2006

Despite René's post...

(I obtained permission prior to posting this conversation)
A conversation that I just had with Thomas on AIM:
Me: just so you know, you're on rene's blog
Me: [Link to René's blog]
Thomas: haha.
Thomas: You don't call me Tom though.
Thomas: So tell her to give you a break.
Me: do you mind that i don't call you Tom?
Thomas: No.
Thomas: It would be weird if you did.

So there.

19 October 2006

Finding contacts by phone number

One of the features that I liked on my Virgin Mobile phone was a feature that you could use to find a phone number's associated contact that you had called if you wondered why you spent half an hour on the phone with that number. My Verizon Wireless Nokia did not have that feature and I missed it. However, I just discovered that my new (Samsung) Verizon Wireless phone has it and thought I would post instructions on using it. These instructions should work on a lot of Verizon Wireless phones because Verizon uses the same operating system (if it can be called that) for a lot of its phones.
To do this:
From the main screen of your phone:

  1. Type in phone number you are searching for.
  2. Press the options soft-key.
  3. Select search and press ok.
  4. It will list the numbers that it found.
  5. Press ok to view the contact information for the phone number.
You can also see all of your contacts in a given area code by typing in only the first three digits.

16 October 2006

L.L. Bean in Hagerstown

I went to the L.L. Bean outlet in Hagerstown yesterday. It is hard to find clothes there that actually have the L.L. Bean logo on them. If I'm going to be buying clothes from L.L. Bean, I'd like to have my jacket/fleece/whatever actually have the logo on it, so that it is not some non-descript jacket. I did not buy anything because nearly nothing fit me, and as far as stuff that did, it did not have a logo on it.

12 October 2006

I added (to the sidebar) a listing of blog posts that I think are interesting. I had done this before, but when I had to redo my template, I lost this. Now I have it set up again, though.

09 October 2006

Puff the Magic Dragon and Pachelbel's Canon

Did you know what Puff the Magic Dragon (besides talking about marijuana) also is based on the same chord progression as Pachelbel's Canon? Neither did I. Up until I heard the story on NPR, I could not sing Pachelbel's Canon if you asked me too, even though I had heard it before (as you probably have too). It's neat how music is interconnected.

Googlers Use Flickr

I was surfing the Google Reader Blog today and discovered a picture of them launching the newest version of Google Reader. They used Flickr to post the picture. Flickr is a competitor to Picasa Web Albums. Flickr is much better than Picasa Web Albums, so I am glad to see that the Google Reader Team is willing to use a competitor's product. I also like how the phone has the Google primary colours on it.

05 October 2006

More monarch butterflies

There was an article in Tuesday's Times about Monarch butterflies. They are pretty neat, because they migrate across the country, and are the only animal (other than humans) who can navigate by both longitude and latitude. Bees, incidentally, can navigate based on the sun, they do a dance when they return to the honeycomb to indicate where good flowers are. The butterflies are even neater, I think, because they are able to navigate across the country. If you move them (say, from Kansas to Washington, DC), they are still able to reorient themselves and figure out where they are and fly off in the right direction.