Like popping bubblewrap?

June 16, 2006

If so, you’ll love this site (try it in Manic Mode—it’s even more fun. Or you can try to draw pictures in busted bubbles. Excellent time waster all around.)


What you see isn’t always what’s really there. Want proof? Check out this very cool optical illusion.

And think about it the next time you sit down to negotiate a contract 😉

This satire piece, Terror Suspects to Receive Frequent Flier Miles from is, well, funny in a sad sort of way:

    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today acknowledged that the United States often flies terror suspects to foreign countries to be interrogated by means not allowed in the U.S., but said that the government was instituting a new program by which the suspects would receive frequent flier miles for their journeys.

    Insiders say that the government’s new Terror Rewards™ program may be intended to make the practice of rendering – by which suspects are shuttled from country to country for the purpose of interrogation and torture – more palatable to the international community.

    “With Terror Rewards™, an innocent terror suspect can say, ‘I’ve just been held without being charged for the last two years of my life, but now I’m going to Disneyland,’” Secretary Rice said today.

Unfortunate names

May 25, 2006

It would never have occurred to me, but leave it to media guy Rex Hammock to point out the unfortunateness of this guide’s title (as he says, “If this confuses you, do a Google search of the acronym.”)


Lesson learned: Ask a 16-year-old if your association, meeting, whatever, acronym might mean something you didn’t intend in IM/chat-speak, or check out this list.

No, I’m not talking about Homeland Security and spying—we frequent hotel guests are a pretty demanding bunch when it comes to being free from unwanted visitors to our rooms, noise from the ice machine next door, and all that. Larry Mundy is always funny, but he outdoes himself in this editorial on the very topic of guest privacy in hotels. This is an especially hot button for me right now, seeing as I just got back from staying at an otherwise fabulous hotel whose housekeeping staff kept bursting in on me (or trying to—I learned pretty quick to throw the deadbolt even if I was just in the room for a few minutes). I especially liked this bit:

    And hanging inside the lock is the Ultimate Weapon: the little plastic hang-tag that on one side says “Privacy, Please, We Are Newlyweds” and on the other side says “Please Make Up This Room, We Had Our First Fight And Threw Things.” The “Privacy, Please” tag will repel even the most determined housekeeper for days, until the adjoining guest who swears she heard gunshots begins to complain about odd smells. Newlyweds can be so volatile.

Feeling insecure?

May 19, 2006

Terri Hardin over at MISoapbox asks if anyone’s heard any jokes about Homeland Security lately. Well, Terri, not exactly. But I did find this site to be pretty funny. Called “The National Scrutiny Agency” and topped with a quasi-official-looking logo, it asks readers to send in their burning questions. Like:

    Q: Where’s Waldo?
    A: We’re still looking, but you can trust that we’re following up on many excellent leads.
    Q: Where did I leave my keys?
    A: Inside pocket of your gray jacket (it’s hanging in the front closet).

It won’t help with all the travel restrictions and requirements that make participants sometimes loathe to fly to meetings, but it gave me a laugh, anyway.
What’s not so funny is this article in Wired:

    Newly released government documents show that even having a high-level security clearance won’t keep you off the Transportation Security Administration’s Kafkaesque terrorist watch list, where you’ll suffer missed flights and bureaucratic nightmares.

    According to logs from the TSA’s call center from late 2004 — which black out the names of individuals to protect their privacy — the watch list has snagged:

  • A State Department diplomat who protested that “I fly 100,00 miles a year and am tired of getting hassled at Dulles airport — and airports worldwide — because my name apparently closely resembles that of a terrorist suspect.”
  • A person with an Energy Department security clearance.
  • An 82-year-old veteran who says he’s never even had a traffic ticket.
  • A technical director at a science and technology company who has been working with the Pentagon on chemical and biological weapons defense.
  • A U.S. Navy officer who has been enlisted since 1984.
  • A high-ranking government employee with a better-than-top-secret clearance who is also a U.S. Army Reserve major.
  • A federal employee traveling on government business who says the watch list matching “has resulted in ridiculous delays at the airports, despite my travel order, federal ID and even my federal passport.”
  • A high-level civil servant at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
  • An active-duty Army officer who had served four combat tours (including one in Afghanistan) and who holds a top-secret clearance.
  • A retired U.S. Army officer and antiterrorism/force-protection officer with expertise on weapons of mass destruction who was snared when he was put back on active-duty status while flying on a ticket paid for by the Army.
  • A former Pentagon employee and current security-cleared U.S. Postal Service contractor.
  • Also held up was a Continental Airlines flight-crew member traveling as a passenger, who complained to TSA, “If I am safe enough to work on a plane then I should be fine to be a passenger sleeping.”