Friday, April 27, 2012

Don't Be Happy...Worry

According to Marta Zaraska, of the Washington Post, in an article as printed in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, "Studies show that there is a darker side to feeling good and that the pursuit of happiness can sometimes make you...well, less happy. Too much cheerfulness can make you gullible, selfish, less successful....Research indicates that very high levels of positive feelings predict risk-taking behaviors, excess alcohol and drug consumption, binge eating, and may lead us to neglect threats."

In other words, happiness is bad for your health.

I want to know who did this research and who was paying them? And why can't they just leave well-enough alone?

What's next? Broccoli causes cancer? Exercise leads to weight gain? Sleeping induces insomnia?

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Dance Team, By Any Other Name

Saturday, April 7, 2012's StarTribune ran an article by Kim McGuire with the headline, "Name Change Stirs Up a Nest of Hornettes." The first two paragraphs will give you the gist of the piece:

When Edina High School administrators changed the dance team's name from the Hornettes to just plain Hornets - the school's sports nickname - they thought it would instill a sense of unity among students who spend autumn Friday nights cheering for their favorite football team.

But the move has stung hundreds of community members who think the school is kicking a 53-year-old tradition to the curb for no good reason.

The article goes on to talk about petitions and hearings and threats of gathering some feathers and warming up some tar.

Two things:

One...yes, I noticed the phrase "the move has stung hundreds" in a story about the Hornets. Cute.

Two...I would think the dance team would be glad to change their name away from something that makes them sound like a group of sexually-excited little people.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Observed Absurdities™ 5 - Duck!

When last we met (, the subject at hand was a duck threesome I had seen on a stroll through the neighborhood. Included in that post was a short discussion of how everyone in the world refers to a particular game as "Duck, Duck, Goose," while native Minnesotans almost exclusively insist the game is "Duck, Duck, Grey Duck".

Two observations that are equally absurd:

All the comments on that post related to the game name controversy, even though that wasn't really the emphasis intended.

The Minnesotan bent toward defending and exalting all things Minnesotan comes into stark contrast with normal social behavior. When talking about the whole is-it-goose-or-grey-duck discussion, Minnesotans will insist they are right and the rest of the known universe is wrong. It's almost always "Goose?!!? That's wrong! It's Grey Duck! Don't you know anything?"'s not "Hmm, that's interesting," or even, "Wow, that's weird," but an adamant "That's wrong!"

Not that I'm judging or anything...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Duck, Duck, What?

Having been neither born nor raised in Minnesota, I grew up calling the game wherein people sit in a circle, one person stands, walks around the outside of the circle, tapping each person saying, "Duck" until they decide to say "Goose," and the person tapped in synchronization with the saying of "Goose" stands and chases the first person around the circle, hoping to tag the Gooser before they reach the spot just vacated by the Goosee "Duck, Duck, Goose."

[Wait a sec...let me catch my breath.]

I even have empirical evidence that the proper name for that game is "Duck, Duck, Goose" because that was the correct answer to a question posed by Regis Philbin on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? several years ago.

None of this matters to native Minnesotans, who insist that the rest of the country...nay...the rest of the world is wrong and needs to fall in line with the aberration to nature that is "Duck, Duck, Gray Duck."

Now...I told you all of that so I could tell you this...

I was walking through the neighborhood earlier this evening, and up ahead I could see some activity in someone's front yard. It looked like a small dog had found something particularly odorous in which to wallow and was thoroughly enjoying flopping around in it. I thought, "Ah! He looks like he's having a really good time!"

As I got closer, I could see a small green head and a periodically-flailing wing and realized that it wasn't a dog, but a duck. I thought, "Oh! Is it hurt? Did a dog get hold of it?"

A few more steps, and I realized that it was actually two ducks behaving in a decidedly twitterpated manner, with no regard for the public nature of their display of affection. I thought, "Eww! Get a room!"

Closer still, and it became clear that the commotion was actually three ducks: two colorful drakes and one plain hen.

It was at that moment that my mind realized the true meaning of Duck, Duck, Grey Duck.

Sunday, April 1, 2012