Stuff from February, 2010

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on February, 2010.


Everyday, I want to become better, but I don’t mean that in a small way. I want to be wholly… Faster. Smarter. Nicer. Stronger. More imaginative. Pursuing these ideals drives me, like the fire drives the steam engine, from the inside. This all worked for me, back when I showed up to a job and then went home at peace… I pursued my own goals and reached for the gold rings that I put in front of me.


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TV News is Broken

Charlie Brooker, in “How To Report The News” helps us realize that the news produced all around the world everyday is just a parody of a tired format:

“He unfortunately was boring, so to wake you up: this is an animated chart, this is a silhouette representing the average family, and this is a lighthouse keeper being beheaded by a laser beam.”


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Puppet bike

Felix of avoision writes about the Puppet Bike in downtown Chicago. Essentially, a guy pedals to an intersection, where he then sets up a puppet booth with many different characters and music.

Choreographed cats



I checked out a blog I haven’t looked at in a while, and… dooce still has it. Here’s a paragraph from her letter to her daughter on the occasion of her daughter’s 6th birthday:

I remember the last exam I took in the last class I had in college and the feeling afterward being unlike anything I could describe, like I’d just been let out of a prison I had been in since I was five years old. Welcome to that prison. Only it’s worse! You have to take tests and earn good grades! At least in prison you can write on the walls and hit people!

Piano and Neurons

Keith Jarrett and neuroscience. Sympathetically innervated sweat glands are the exception when it comes to neurotransmitters — their transmitter is acetylcholine, but you would expect norepinephrine! Whoah!

It’s the Köln Concert.

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Attempting wisdom

In subtlety — that you’ve seen this thing 300 times before, but not quite like this — lies expertise.


Almost forgot to mention: National Dental Board Examination, Part 1 = PASS! Honestly didn’t expect that one, since illness and burn-out severely curtailed my winter break studying efforts. Nevertheless, PASS it is. EXCELLENT! And since I’m not looking to specialize, I needn’t stress out about the score itself.


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Path wisdom

Words of wisdom, from Dr. Rohrer (during Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology studying):

Don’t ever throw tissue away
You’ll have trouble explaining to your kids why you can’t afford to send them to college.


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Changing course

Using this website, I can tell you that 7 years, 4 months, 26 days have passed since I got stung by a bee during a power outage at my high school.

These types of posts are not exactly what I had in mind for tumbledry. I’d like to look back on old posts and see how I was feeling, not necessarily what exactly happened. A journal primarily of emotions and secondarily of events is going to be much more fun to look through in 10 years.

Amalgam preps

Once you learn what is expected of you, the tooth cutting strategy for placing silver fillings actually makes sense. All lines should be crisp, smooth, and flowing. You must cut in such a way that you prevent the tooth from cracking and avoid drilling into the bloody and full-of-nerves pulp. You must also cut in such a way that the silver you place does not crack when your patient bites food. Finally, you must make sure that the silver stays put in the tooth.


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Roger Ebert

Have you ever seen anyone without a lower jaw? Roger Ebert: The Essential Man:

Roger Ebert can’t remember the last thing he ate. He can’t remember the last thing he drank, either, or the last thing he said. Of course, those things existed; those lasts happened. They just didn’t happen with enough warning for him to have bothered committing them to memory — it wasn’t as though he sat down, knowingly, to his last supper or last cup of coffee or to whisper a last word into Chaz’s ear. The doctors told him they were going to give him back his ability to eat, drink, and talk. But the doctors were wrong, weren’t they? On some morning or afternoon or evening, sometime in 2006, Ebert took his last bite and sip, and he spoke his last word.


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If all the roads were paved with ice that wouldn’t thaw or crack / I could skate from Maine to Nebraska then on to Alaska… and back.

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5 steps to taming materialism, from an accidental expert:

In hindsight, I realize it felt safe to live somewhere I could afford if my company went bankrupt. Which it did.

Long-Term Unemployment

The New Poor - Despite Signs of Recovery, Long-Term Unemployment Rises:

Warm, outgoing and prone to the positive, Ms. Eisen has worked much of her life. Now, she is one of 6.3 million Americans who have been unemployed for six months or longer, the largest number since the government began keeping track in 1948. That is more than double the toll in the next-worst period, in the early 1980s.


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William Fitzsimmons

NPR’s Guy Raz interviewed William Fitzsimmons a week after I got married… William Fitzsimmons: A Songwriter With Vision:

RAZ: You were a counselor and you dealt with all kinds of grief, people who were dealing with it. I mean, you are writing about a divorce, and you’re essentially revisiting it over and over and over again, as you tour through the country.

Do you think as a counselor, you would give somebody this kind of advice, in a sense, to sort of revisit what they’ve been through?

Mr. FITZSIMMONS: No, I don’t think I would.

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Fruit Salad

HOWTO make the perfect fruit salad and get laid:

Wash your hands with soap. Do this in the kitchen, not in the bathroom, even if you just came out of the bathroom. Even if you spend your entire day submerging your hands in a sterile bubble, wash your hands in front of your sweetheart. Do it now.


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Chlorine trifluoride

First, last, and only time I’ll ever laugh while reading about chlorine trifluoride… Sand Won’t Save You This Time:

There’s a report from the early 1950s of a one-ton spill of the stuff. It burned its way through a foot of concrete floor and chewed up another meter of sand and gravel beneath, completing a day that I’m sure no one involved ever forgot. That process, I should add, would necessarily have been accompanied by copious amounts of horribly toxic and corrosive by-products: it’s bad enough when your reagent ignites wet sand, but the clouds of hot hydrofluoric acid are your special door prize if you’re foolhardy enough to hang around and watch the fireworks.


Conformity at PsyBlog:

As soon as there’s someone who disagrees, or even just dithers or can’t decide, conformity is reduced. Some studies have found conformity can be reduced from highs of 97% on a visual judgement task down to only 36% when there is a competent dissenter in the ranks (Allen & Levine, 1971).

Occupational therapy


In Manhattan, the brutally competitive nursery and kindergarten admissions process is leading many parents to sign up their toddlers for therapy. “Preschool admissions tests loom large,” said Margie Becker-Lewin, an occupational therapist on the Upper West Side. “In many cases, parents know there is nothing wrong with their child, but they feel caught in the middle.”


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Mykala and I left the St. Louis Park Costco at sunset this evening. I got 110 servings (10 pounds) of Old Fashioned Quaker Oatmeal for $6.89. With horse-sized servings of cereal in the trunk, we set out for home. As you head into Minneapolis from the west, past the mansions on their faux bluffs just south of 394, your view opens up. Thanks to fortuitous timing, I had a perfect view of hundreds of little birds dotting the sky, on their way to roost. Skeleton trees, not yet pushing nascent leaves into the cold world, looked as though they’d jumped the gun and sprouted big berries: extended families of birds were waiting for sunset in the shelter of the branches.