Create Your Own Notebook With The PocketMod

I love this: PocketModThe PocketMod

Nothing beats a folded up piece of paper.
The PocketMod is a small book with guides on each page. These guides or templates, combined with a unique folding style, enable a normal piece of paper to become the ultimate note card.

They have offline and online tools to walk you through the easy process of creating these small, convenient notebooks, although the online version crashed Firefox whenever I dragged around the pieces a few times.

I carry a pocket-size notebook with me everywhere, using it to maintain my To Do list, to jot down stupid ideas for blog posts, etc. I can’t see myself replacing my notebook with the PocketMod, but I still think it’s cool.

I Thought My Son Was Dead

Our 18 month old son sleeps in our bed. It’s easier to put him back to sleep when he’s with us, after he wakes up from his crib during the night. We have the bed against a wall so he won’t fall off; that’s the side he usually sleeps; however, he’s an active sleeper, sitting up in his sleep, crawling over his mom to get near me.

Four photos of Jody and Iain

Last night I woke up and it was too quiet in the room. I could sense my son sleeping beside me, but couldn’t hear him, couldn’t feel any movement – no breathing. A sense of urgency gripped me and I blindly reached around to locate him, feeling for his chest to detect the expected up-and-down rhythm: there was none. I shook him, and he stirred and started crying. After *I* started breathing again, I consoled him back to sleep. I then had to get up and distract myself to get the hellish what-ifs out of my head. I think in my groggy state I didn’t give myself enough time to detect his movement nor to listen to him breathing; I must’ve woken from a bad dream that disoriented me.

That’s the second time that’s happened. I’m going to start sleeping on the couch. I never worried about this shit with our daughter.

Riding In The Rain

I used to decide on whether to ride my motorcycle to work if the chance of rain was less than 40%; I wouldn’t take it if it was higher. Unfortunately, we’ve had a wet spring, resulting in a lot of false alarms; there have been many days where it hasn’t rained even though the weather gods indicated it would, and I fucking hate that, knowing I could’ve ridden the bike.

So, I’ve decided to ride my motorcycle to work ALL THE TIME, unless it’s raining when I leave in the morning. Fuck the weather gods.

Riding in the rain can be hazardous to your health: traction decreases a lot, visibility is a lot worse, drivers in cages (i.e. cars) can’t hear you as well, and getting cold from being wet is a miserable feeling. Despite all that, the fact that you’re on your bike is all that matters; however, there ARE some precautions a rider should take, as described in the excellent article Motorcycling in the Rain:

The standard advice is to try to cross railroad or other metal tracks at a right angle, even in the dry. When they are wet, this is imperative. Otherwise, you risk having the tire slip into the groove alongside the track, which will immediately ruin your whole day.

I like the author’s humour:

Places where the oil doesn’t get washed away by rain falling on it can be thrilling.

“Thrilling” meaning about to die.

Baseball Stats (What do they mean?)

Okay, it’s coming back to me. Someone who bats .500 hits the ball and gets on base half the time. Babe Ruth has a lifetime batting average of .355 (I know this, because I saw City Slickers). So he got on base 35.5% of the time. Why don’t they just say he has a batting average of 35.5%? Anyway, when a team finishes below .500, does that mean they lost more than half their games?

And can someone explain how they came up with a pitcher’s ERA? How does that make any sense? And what does ERA mean?

(These thoughts are brought to you via J-Walk’s Blog.)

A Systematic Way To Get Rid Of Religion

A serious, yet hilarious controversial (to some) post by Scott Adams: Could Science Eliminate Religion? (Link no longer works so I removed it – jc).

As readers of my blog know, I believe that given the right conditions, anyone can be made to believe any damned thing. That’s why there are so many different religions.
I wonder if a team of well-funded atheists could devise a legal and ethical method of reducing people’s religious faith.
The first thing I would test is context. If you expose highly religious people to the history of other religions, they will make the connection that prophets come and go all the time. And it would be obvious that (other) people are easily fooled. At first, the believer would think he was lucky that all those others got fooled and he didn’t, because his prophet is real. But this is just the start of the process.

And the pièce de résistance:

Eventually you could create a book that is the sum of the best methods. Then all we need to do is air drop about a billion of them on the Middle East, close all of our embassies, pull out and wait a generation.
The book would immediately be banned by the authorities, but that would make them all the more popular with the young.

It’s worked for others.

Update (Feb 21, 2008): The above link no longer works. Bummer.