Monday, June 16, 2008

The Woman with the 14 Stone Tumor

Five is a television channel in Britain. They aired a documentary titled "The Boy with the Incredible Brain", which is the story of Daniel Tammet, a savant who has incredible math and language abilities. Tammet made the talk show rounds in the US a year or two back when he was promoting his book.

Google has the episode. The documentary is fascinating, but the best part comes at the very end, when the teaser for the next show to air appears. The show is called "The Woman with the 14 Stone Tumor". Brilliant (British usage) name.

"I guess we could title it 'The Woman with the 14 Stone Tumor'."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Worst Ever Best Of

Msnbc.com claims to have "merged" the rankings from 5 well known "best places" lists. The result is the most ridiculous "best places" list I've ever seen.

10. Des Moines, Iowa - I have been to Des Moines and was pleasantly surprised by it. I wouldn't want to live there, but I can understand its appeal.

9. Charlotte, North Carolina - I have only driven through Charlotte. The fact that the only good thing the article even bothers to mention about the city is that jobs are plentiful makes me suspicious.

8. Austin, Texas - No surprise with this one. Austin has been widely recognized as a great place to live. I find it interesting that all of the reasons people give for loving Austin explain how unlike the rest of Texas it is.

7. San Antonio, Texas - Reading this made me want to blog. The first time I went to San Antonio was with my sister, and I had a great time. We were there for a couple of hours. The next time I went was for a business trip. I was surprised by how completely wrong my first impression of the city was. It was a hideous mess of roads, traffic and strip malls with a healthy dose of awful weather.

6. Fort Collins, Colorado - Small mountain cities always rank well.

5. Omaha, Nebraska - The best way I can describe Omaha is "combine Indianapolis and Des Moines and then remove the fun and excitement".

4. Houston, Texas - Reading this made me have to blog. If I gave 10 random Houstonians the option of moving away I bet all 10 would take me up on the offer. People in Dallas make fun of Houston. By the time I read this entry I was fully expecting to learn that Detroit is the "best place" in the US to live.

3. Colorado Springs, Colorado - Wasn't this city the #6 pick?

2. Boise, Idaho - The northwest is great, and while I've only driven through Boise, it is a city I hope to visit some day. The picture that was used in the article makes the area look ugly. My recollection is that it is quite beautiful.

1. Raleigh, North Carolina - Did these people venture outside of Texas, Colorado and North Carolina?

Ok, so Raleigh is supposed to be a great place to live, but seriously: nowhere in the northeast? Not one city along the entire west coast? At least no city in Florida was selected. That spared msnbc.com's admittedly "unscientific analysis" from losing its credibility completely.