Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Odd Lots

  • My installation of Thunderbird 3 has correlated with a lot of weirdness, not only in system performance but in taskbar “stalls” in response to clicked links in messages. I’ve heard a lot of people having trouble with it as well, and we are apparently not in the minority.
  • How can I have lived the last ten years as an SF writer and never heard of John Titor, Time Traveler?
  • Stephen Hawking has told us that we must abandon Earth or die. Agreed. Now, Dr. Hawking, would you please invent us a hyperdrive already?
  • No, bichons are not groomed this way. (That’s for miniature poodles.) Thanks to Jim Strickland for the link.
  • Microsoft is working on a tablet prototype with keys on the back surface, opposite the display, so you can type with the fingers that you’re using to grip the device. (Thumbs remain on the front.) This looks better than it tells; do follow the link. Will it work? No opinion until I try it.
  • If anyone here has not yet been to, Go. There. Right. Now. (Via Make.)
  • Many people have sent me a link to this item from City Journal , which may indicate that some sense is finally creeping into the nutrition world. Sugar and grains may be killing you. Meat, eggs, dairy, and animal fat are probably not. I’ve known this from my research for a long time. Now, to get the government to admit that they’ve been slowly killing their citizens for over 30 years…
  • Not convinced? Fructose seems to be the preferred sugar of cancer cells.
  • Still not convinced? The inventor of Cheese Doodles just died at age 90. So much for salt and fat being deadly. (The food dyes worry me more than either.)
  • Pete Albrecht points out that LA coffee shops are beginning to unplug their Wi-Fi access points and plaster over all their wall outlets. They’ve found that people buy more coffee and snacks when they actually talk to one another. No shirt, Sherlock!
  • Formufit: PVC pipe fittings for when you’re not using PVC pipe for plumbing. Fine stuff!
  • I think that what we’ll miss most about our deathwish-afflicted newspapers are all the silly headlines.
  • And anyone who has ever scratched his or her head over that famous if gappy Latin expression “Et in Arcadia ego” should look at the variations here. (I find myself thinking of a paraphrase of another classic expression from junk mail: “You may already be in Arcadia!”)
  • Heh. As long as Carol’s beside me, I am.


  1. Scott says:

    Another great batch, Jeff!

    So is Atkins the way to go again for those of us who need to slim down? South Beach? I find that these articles keep me procrastinating from starting Weight Watchers, which probably allows too many carbs.

    1. Atkins is as close as comes to what I do, which is pretty simple, really:

      1. Get rid of sugar. All of it. Period. ESPECIALLY HFCS. (Ok, I have ice cream now and then.)
      2. Avoid carbs like cereal in the morning, even if they’re not sweetened. Fry/scramble an egg in butter instead.
      3. Drink whole milk, the wholer the better. Avoid margarine.
      4. Snack on cheese and nuts (peanuts, almonds, whatever) when you get hungry between meals.
      5. Eat meat and leave the fat on it if you can stand it. Fat is OK; in fact, eating fat with carbs buffers the carbs and slows their absorption into your system so you don’t blow your insulin level up onto the beach.
      6. Eat all the green vegetables you can stand. (For me, that isn’t much.) Fry them in butter. Everything tastes better in butter, even though broccoli didn’t taste quite better enough to keep me from gagging.
      7. Eat brown rice and rough bread, like Orowheat Master’s Best Winter Wheat bread. One slice of that’ll do ya. If it gets stale, you can sand wood with it.
      6. Stay out of restaurants entirely the first month. This is harder for some people than others. Unless we’re traveling, we rarely go to restaurants anyway so it was no great sacrifice, but the goal here is to train yourself for smaller portions, which is something that you can’t do over at Macaroni Grill.

      With all that in mind, don’t count calories, don’t stress over sodium unless you already have a blood pressure problem, get some exercise, get your sleep, and do your best to avoid vexatious people, which on a lot of online forums would be most of them.

      And that’s pretty much how I went from 170 to 150 and stayed there. Your mileage may vary, but I’d lay odds it won’t vary all that much.

      1. Scott says:

        Many thanks for this, Jeff! Now I just need to decide to actually make some changes. I wish the various authorities would get their act together about what they officially know and recommend regarding nutrition.

  2. Andy Kowalczyk says:

    I didn’t see much difference between the pictures and the pictures of the Microsoft “RearType” protoype (now there’s a marketeer’s dream name!)

    Although it might be fertile ground to resurrect the chorded keyboard concept

  3. Brook Monroe says:

    I’m on Thunderbird 3.1.2 and didn’t notice any performance issues at all. Weird.

  4. Brook Monroe says:

    And on the topic of dietary intake: I have eaten bacon every day for the last three years. I have nothing to show for it but an insane craving for more bacon.

    I’m okay with that.

  5. Erbo says: is actually run by the same people that bring you sites like I Can Has Cheezburger? (the LOLcat site) and FailBlog (popularizer of the term “FAIL”). They actually have a few dozen different picture sites devoted to different amusing pictures; another one you might like is (automotive wackiness).

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