Archive for May 2012
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LONDON (AP) – Scientists at the University of Cambridge have concluded an up-to-the-minute survey of your online habits and have concluded that you are wasting your time right now. An article about the study will appear in next month’s British Journal of Medicine.
By examining where your eyes and screen have navigated on the web, and by weighing that data against your known obligations and productivity, the researchers have stated conclusively that your time would be better spent on work, chores, meeting financial and bureaucratic obligations, or just catching up on much-needed sleep. They also suggested pursuing romantic involvement, but cautioned that there as yet remained no direct evidence that you in fact are capable of accomplishing that.
Dr. Anthony Debevoise led a team of post-doctoral researchers in reaching the conclusion that you lack time management skills and any sense of priorities. “We wanted to see if you could correctly and consistently choose to engage in productive pursuits or basically killing brain cells, and in every case we observed, both options were always available. In every case, as well, you chose to read Mightier than the Pen instead of paying bills, working or answering important e-mails.” He added that the results of the study are still valid at this moment, and will be as long as you’re sitting on your duff and not doing something useful.
This is not the first time you have shown a marked tendency to engage in irresponsible uses of time. Since age 8, when you first discovered the books about human reproduction at your local library, not a day has passed when you have not engaged in some sort of time wastage.
The wastage continued apace until you landed your first office job, in 1997. That job required you to use a computer, which for the first time allowed you to waste time in multiple ways simultaneously, and the rate has held steady since then.
“This is an important study, as it confirms the working hypothesis among scientists who study you,” said Professor Michelle Lester of the University of North Carolina, and who was not involved in the research. “The consensus among researchers for the least several years has been that you have no clue and aren’t worth hiring – but it’s good to have formal, peer-reviewed evidence for the hypothesis nonetheless. And you’re still sitting there reading this blog. Amazing.”
This research also comes on the heels of a survey conducted among your household members pointing to an acute lack of discipline around bedtime, meal times, diet, exercise and bathroom needs. That study cited multiple instances in the last week of your sitting in your chair squirming as you finished reading an article, rather than getting up and just going to the bathroom already, for crying out loud. The researches added that it’s not like the thing would disappear if you left for a minute to take a whiz.
Dr. Debevoise was cautious. “But first we have to make sure you have a head. But we’ll see what happens when you finish this sentence.”
“I didn’t think so.”
Please Like this page on Facebook. Or I’ll be even more pathetically loserish. And that’s not even a word. See how bad it’s gotten? You know what to do.
Please also “Like” Mightier than the Pen on Facebook.
For decades now, you’ve been touting Wheaties as the “breakfast of champions.” As a champion, I appreciate the elite status that Wheaties has earned in our culture. Which is why I find it necessary to write this letter; I regret that it has become necessary.
If, indeed, Wheaties is the breakfast of champions, what business do non-champions have partaking of it? It would dilute the phrase to utter meaninglessness. It would be like awarding a gold medal just for showing up. Calgary Flames fans might find that idea comforting, but I, for one, protest the misuse of the Wheaties brand as anything other than the breakfast of bona fide champions.
I could understand certain people – ignorant, or perhaps mischievous people – eating Wheaties even though they never earned the title of Champion. I can comprehend an incentive program, where people with demonstrated champion potential are given a taste of the breakfast of champions, to provide an idea of what they can achieve. I can even see an actual champion deigning to share some of his or her Wheaties with others at the table, much in the way an Olympic medalist might allow others to handle and appreciate the token of achievement. What I cannot fathom, however, is the apparent marketing strategy of your company regarding this breakfast of champions: promote it to absolutely everyone. Everyone, as you no doubt know, includes non-champions – in fact, as you probably also know, the vast, vast majority of people in the category of “everyone” are decidedly not of champion caliber. Let’s call them what they are: losers.
It disturbs me to no end that General Mills, a company I otherwise respect, would cheapen the breakfast of champions by allowing – nay, encouraging - losers to buy a product patently incompatible with their status. Would you also market high-performance sports cars to people sitting in jail on drunk driving convictions? Leather-bound special editions of classic works of literature to drooling toddlers? I no longer have the confidence that you would answer the way you ought.
It is with continuing bewilderment that I therefore ask – no, demand - that General Mills cease this tawdry strategy of pushing patently inappropriate breakfast cereal to those who do not deserve it, and probably never will. We champions know all too well the pull of filthy lucre, of false achievement, but know how to rise above that base temptation.
At gunpoint, if necessary. Because you deserve it. And since you do, so do they.
New York (AP) – In an unprecedented admission for an elite professional athlete, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez announced that despite the statistics documenting his hall-of-fame-caliber achievements, in fact he sucks at baseball.
At a press conference at Yankee Stadium Wednesday afternoon Rodriguez told reporters that although he recently passed Willie Mays to sole possession of seventh place on the all-time Runs Batted In list, that bit of data is “a fluke.”
“I’ve just been lucky, or cheated, or both, basically my entire life. In high school I wasn’t even the best on the team, let alone in the league – and once I got to Seattle, I was basically swinging with my eyes closed.” He called his multiple Gold Glove Awards “a travesty,” and that they should have been given to someone more deserving, such as Boston Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis.
Steroid use allegations have dogged Rodriguez since his days with the Texas Rangers in 2001-2003, and he has admitted using performance-enhancing drugs during that portion of his career. Critics and other skeptics have charged that the steroid use continued into his current stint with the Yankees, a charge Rodriguez has denied.
Long regarded as the only currently active player with a realistic shot at Hank Aaron’s all-time record of 755 home runs, Rodriguez, who has 633, again brushed off the steroid allegations at the press conference, only this time by dismissing it as “irrelevant, since I suck anyway.” As to whether he intends to finish his current contract with the Yankees, which runs through 2017, the third baseman shrugged. “If they want me to, and it’s a binding contract. Who else is going to pay me a hundred million dollars just to keep sucking at baseball?”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi also appeared at the conference to back up his all-star third baseman. “Al has worked hard his whole career, and we know that. Some athletes are just luckier than others. There’s really no earthly reason Carl Yastrzemski shouldn’t have held a World Series trophy in his arms, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Same with Al, just in the other direction – he was the beneficiary of an extraordinary run of really, really good fortune.”
Boston Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy says Rodriguez was simply acknowledging what Red Sox fans have known ever since A-Rod came to New York in 2004. “You can hear it plainly every time A-Rod steps into the batter’s box at Fenway,” he wrote in his column. “The baseball experts of Red Sox Nation have been literally been shouting it for more than seven years. It’s about time someone listened.”
The revelations come on the heels of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning conceding that the New England Patriots should have won this year’s Super Bowl, since Tom Brady is and always will be ten times the quarterback he is. As for the actual performance of the two teams in the game, which the Giants won, 21-17, Manning merely made vague references to “dumb luck” and “the Belichik method,” which most commentators have understood as an admission of cheating.
It remains to be seen how Rodriguez’s admission will affect his career and New York’s prospects. Shortstop Derek Jeter clearly feels apprehensive about the implications of his teammate’s move, as Jeter dove into the seats at the press conference to prevent Rodriguez from approaching the podium. Jeter injured his face but emerged otherwise unscathed.
Based on a sincere, heartfelt request in a comment from this post.