A new use for Japan’s defunct theme parks

So I was talking with someone about the many failed theme parks in Japan (a topic about which I know way more than anybody needs to), and she asked “What do you do with a failed theme park?” I realized at that moment that the only thing to do is use it as a location for filming a Scooby Doo episode.

Disclaimers discredit intelligence

So there’s a TV ad for the anti-depressant drug Zoloft, and it shows a little cartoon animation of chemical activity at a synaptic connection. Below that is the crucial disclaimer, “dramatization.”

Is there anyone out there who thought they were showing an actual photographic record or something? Oy.

Big rain bigger than I knew

You know the saying “God loves fools”? Guess it suits me. Turns out that while I was dropping Sage off at I-35 and 38th, a funnel cloud was touching down nearby, at I-35 and MLK (and was headed towards us). No wonder the driving seemed so dicey. I don’t know of anyone who got hurt, though a lot of people lost power.

Big rain

Man, what a rainstorm we are having! I was dropping Sage off at an appointment less than a mile away, and actually thought about pulling over because driving was so dicey. Lightning striking very close by. Wild.

Binary day

Hey, I just noticed it’s a binary day. So is tomorrow. That’ll be the last one for 1001 (expressed in binary) years. I am such a geek.

Car theft as a public service

This is a provocative title, which may be the reason you are reading this. I am not saying that all car theft is a public service. Only when the car in question has a noisy car alarm.

Why? a few reasons:

  1. Most of the occasions when we hear a car alarm, it is not because the car is being stolen–it is because the car was inadvertently jostled. So most of the time, the car alarm is nothing but a public nuisance. Stealing the car removes this nuisance from a neighborhood that has probably heard the car alarm too many times.
  2. Since car alarms rarely signal a car actually being stolen, people (including owners of alarmed cars) generally don’t take them seriously. If a car is stolen despite having an alarm, there is a chance (a slim one) that the owner will realize the futility of using a car alarm and choose not to install one in the future.
  3. Thanks to lobbying by the car-alarm industry, insurers are required to offer lower rates to owners of alarmed cars. Seriously. But if the rate of theft for alarmed cars were to exceed non-alarmed cars, the insurance industry could probably get this reversed on an actuarial basis, removing an incentive for car alarms.