Utterly Meaningless » 2011 » December

    Filed on December 31, 2011 at 4:37 pm under by dcobranchi

    This one has to be among the dumbest laws in the country. Via Hell’s leading daily we learn that starting tomorrow in Illinois you will have to show a gov’t issued ID in order to buy Drano. And a couple thousand other regular household items.

    A new Illinois law may require you to spend more time in the checkout line and provide personal information. Starting January 1, residents must provide a photo ID and other information when purchasing products that contain caustic materials. That means everything from drain openers, to pool chemicals, to toilet bowl cleaners will become harder to buy.


    After the New Year, not only is it a Class 4 felony to carry around caustic chemicals like drain opener or toilet cleaner, but businesses who sell it must be shown a government issued ID and fill out a form with a host of information about the customer. Batteries are exempt from the registration log requirement.

    “I’d say it’d probably take a minute and a half approximately,” McInturff says about taking down the information.

    The law originated after two women reported sulfuric acid being thrown in their face. One attack was deemed a hoax after the women admitted doing it to herself.

    I swear that sounds like it should come from The Onion. How the hell did this make it through the legislature?


    Filed on at 12:02 pm under by dcobranchi

    The wackos at OneNewsNow just sent me an email with their year in review. Here it is in its entirety:

    ArgDelimiterArgDelimiterEmailAddressSHORTUNSUBSCRIBETAGSubscriberId SHORTCLICKTAGArgDelimiterArgDelimiterArgDelimiter

    Yes, I think that pretty much sums up everything of “value” about ONN.


    Filed on December 22, 2011 at 8:10 am under by dcobranchi


    I’m in an email exchange with someone who is arguing philosophy and theocracy. I’m accused of being intolerant, materialistic, and fideistic.

    I’ll proudly wear the crown of materialistic. And I’ll admit that I have no tolerance for voodoo. But fideist? I take umbrage at that one.

    EDIT: But perhaps I’m being unfair. Here’s the post that the author sent me to comment upon. Now y’all get to comment, too.


    Filed on December 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm under by dcobranchi

    But only if membership includes a light saber.


    Filed on December 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm under by dcobranchi

    I think I could really drive DFS nuts (pun intended) with this.


    Filed on December 19, 2011 at 8:43 am under by dcobranchi

    I’m looking for a lamp for our living room. The table it will sit on doesn’t have access to an outlet, so it really will have to be an oil lamp. The best ones available are Aladdin. New ones tend to run in the $200-$300 range. I’d prefer an antique but I think this one might be a bit over-priced.

    UPDATE: Yesterday he was asking $24,400.


    Filed on December 18, 2011 at 1:12 pm under by dcobranchi

    The Chicago Trib today discovered the old-fashioned shave. Pretty cool. Their price info is way off, though. The cheapest stainless blades run about 8 cents delivered. The most expensive double edge blades that I’ve seen run around 30 cents in lots of 100. But they don’t last that long. Maybe 4-7 days.


    Filed on at 6:04 am under by dcobranchi

    Here’s a short piece on folks in religiously-mixed marriages. No mention of atheists marrying religious folks, of course. I’m sure raising kids in a faith outside your own can be tough, but I really didn’t grok this bit:

    Deborah Wiener wasn’t particularly attached to her Catholic upbringing. So the Alamo mother of three didn’t mind raising her sons in her husband’s Jewish faith. Over the years, she learned the Passover traditions and perfected matzo ball soup. However, Christmas was always hard for her.

    “I would start getting depressed because I missed having a Christmas tree and not going back to Minnesota to celebrate with my siblings,” says Wiener, 60. She also was sad that she wasn’t passing on those Christmas traditions to her children.

    Just because they didn’t celebrate Christmas meant they couldn’t go see her family? I really hope her husband isn’t that much of an ogre.


    Filed on at 5:52 am under by dcobranchi

    Do we have to keep on beating this poor dead horse? Really?

    Gene V. Glass, a research professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, referred to both series as he spoke disdainfully about for-profit online education companies, which he has done extensive research on…

    But don’t misunderstand. He worries about nonprofit online education systems, too, he said.

    “Some of this started a long, long time ago in two ways, for disabled kids who were home-bound and for kids in remote, rural areas that don’t have access to certain courses,” Glass said. “Most of those were sort of admirable efforts.”

    That online learning population started to get replaced over the past decade or more by home schoolers, he said.

    “An 8-year-old kid on the kitchen table with a laptop,” Glass said. “That’s their schooling. It’s ridiculous. This is not a way to improve education.”


    Filed on December 12, 2011 at 5:33 am under by dcobranchi

    Until they learn to stand up to bigots.


    Filed on December 5, 2011 at 12:03 pm under by dcobranchi

    Just a quick update to this post. In the interim, I’ve inherited my grandfather’s shaving gear (including a very nice badger brush). I’ve also purchased a couple of old Gillette razors. And all of the other stuff (soaps, creams, aftershaves, etc.) that go along with these. But all of this double edge safety razor stuff just seems to modern. So I just ordered a straight.

    This particular straight uses disposable blades. I don’t know if I’m going to enjoy straight-razor shaving enough to want to spend the hundreds of dollars on a classic blade, hones, and strop. This one was only $10 shipped.


    Filed on at 11:43 am under by dcobranchi

    Hi Fellow Education Blogger,

    My name is Sarah Camiscoli and I’m a part of the Outreach Team for the documentary Brooklyn Castle (ex-Chess Movie). It’s a great film about a low-income junior high school in Brooklyn, New York (65% of students are from homes living under the poverty level), that has the highest rated chess team in the whole country (the trailer is here — I hope you’ll watch: www.brooklyncastle.com). To cut to the chase, we’re very near finishing the film (in fact, we’ve just started to submit to film festivals) and rolling out our outreach campaign (which will focus on getting more chess programs in schools throughout the country). To pay for these things, we’re using Kickstarter. And I’m reaching out in the very humble hope that you – via your education blog — will help us let people know about our project, and spread the word.

    Our project page is here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rescuedmedia/finishing-brooklyn-castle-formerly-chess-movie
    I know you are immensely busy and there’s a lot of other chess news to cover, but if you might even give us and our project a mention, and we can get more eyes on it, I really think we can meet our goal. And, of course, we’d be immensely thankful.

    Thanks so much for your time, and best to you.


    Filed on December 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm under by dcobranchi

    The end is near. Really.