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Things I've Found 20 (a.k.a. I-D-I-O-T; yeah, that's me!) An Extra-Special Long Version Since I've Been Outside Your Inboxes Lately—5/28/2002

by Mark Rose

Obligatory Whine: For the 20th edition of the Things I’ve Found e-mail zine I wanted to come out with something special, something so cool and amazing, readers would be looking forward with great anticipation to each subsequent issue, hoping that a new TIF would grace their Inboxes, delighting in each Found Thing, encouraged by the possibilities of what is out there that remains hidden. But I couldn’t come up with anything. And so I didn’t send out TIF #20, and then I procrastinated and delayed and stalled and got distracted and then I got embarrassed because I hadn’t sent one of these things out in weeks! So then I had to come up with a Top Five List of Reasons Why This Issue of Things I’ve Found Is So Lame:

5. The Israeli/Palestinian staredown. It’s so bad that the impasse to begin the Mexican standoff before the start of the stalemate had to be postponed. Chance of peace: less than zero.

4. Watching the soul of Rubens Barrichello die. In the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix, Barrichello who had led all the way in preparation for only his second win, was ordered to pull aside so teammate Michael Schumacher could win the race and improve his chances for the championship. Rubens slowed about fifty feet from the start finish line and we got to watch his racer’s edge die with him. Schumacher did all the right things afterwards, but it was a terrible, uncomfortable thing to watch Rubens attempt to explain why his team did what they did, and how he had to accept it (because he had just signed a two-year contract extension). Sigh. I long for the days of independent entries and competitive grids.

3. eBay bidding frenzy caused me to lose distribution rights of this e-zine only to get it back in a confusing 3-for trade on ubid.com.

2. Jack Daniels is my friend.

1. Angered by Washington State Patrol taking my choice for the new name of this e-zine, “Click It or Ticket!

OK, sorry about all that hoohah. On to a few unusual things left lying around.

Dogs: Those of you who know us know we are thinking about adopting a dog, and a greyhound is at the top of the list. The three greyhounds I’ve known have been wonderful, sweet animals. Of course, other people don’t want to adopt them, they want to race them. Why? Because they’re frickin’ sick bastards? That would be my guess.

http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/05/22/dead.greyhounds.ap/index.html [Well, the link’s down. From the tone of this intro, you wouldn’t want to read about it anyway.]

Stop racing animals, start racing machines! Anything, carts, lawnmowers, autos, etc.

Music: Check out The Hives! Speedpunk, ala Me First & The Gimme Gimmes, but with a lot more anger, ala Godsmack. People keep comparing them to The Strokes but they’re their own band. The Subject line of this e-mail is courtesy of their Barely Legal CD. Take a listen to some of the samples from:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000066F6H/qid=1022175465/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/104-0323300-9132706

They’re the only band I know that can put a line break in the middle of the word “I’m” (as in their song “Die, All Right!”). Recommended.

Stanislaw Lem: I love Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem. His works are consistently the most hilarious, brilliant, spot-on bits of scientific cleverness that make you alternate between “ooh-aah” science wonder and outright snickering at the human race. Sadly, the one movie that was made from Lem’s masterpiece Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris) is a horribly dull and incomprehensible mass of enigmatic Russian upblorscht. They’re remaking Solaris:

http://www.k26.com/solaris/About_Solaris/welcome_with_layers.htm

Why don’t they make Pirx the Pilot, The Star Diaries, or Memoirs Found in a Bathtub (all books you should read, by the way)? [The link is down but heck, they remade the movie anyway, and I talk about it in a later TIF, so just go read that review]

Tricks: Do you have a Zippo lighter? Do you have lots of time on your hands? Do you enjoy playing with fire? Yes, yes, yes, I hear everyone shout. Then go to this site to find out how to do improbable tricks with your Zippo lighter.

http://www.zippotricks.com/ [This link is now at: http://lightertricks.com/index.php, due to complaints from Zippo and from numerous people who said the site was “insensitive” to burned people. Burned people shouldn’t be playing with lighters in the first place.]

From my unintentional friend (just like you are all unintentional subscribers!) at Not My Desk (http://www.notmydesk.com/) [now at: http://notmydesk.blogspot.com/] comes this most amusing tale of a Social Security Number, and the gullibility of those who were just getting used to the system. Remember, Social Security Numbers weren’t instituted until the mid 1930s. You probably all know your Social Security Number, but do you know where your actual card is located?

http://www.ssa.gov/history/ssn/misused.html

Remarkably, the Social Security Administration has a decent Web site. They’ve even kept track of 2001’s most popular baby names. Interestingly, we seem to be returning to Biblical names, though I note that Mark is conspicuously not at the top of the most popular list.

http://www.ssa.gov/pressoffice/babies.htm

What’s interesting is that Timmy is the 1,010th most popular name during all of the 1990s. Man, even Mark ranks 49th in that list:

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/