Eureka! And other things…

To decompress after a long couple of days, I went for a three-mile jog around the lake near my house. I typically run there on Saturday mornings, and there’s usually another runner or two, but it’s never crowded. Tonight, right after work, my little trail was packed! It felt so nice and neighborly. I’ve become a real sucker for suburban life… I love the little Leave It To Beaver moments I get every now and then in my happy little neighborhood. –sigh–

While running tonight I had one of those Eureka moments… actually several, but just one that I’ll talk about. After several weeks of stressing about what to do my final project on (to finish  my master’s I have to do a final project this fall, similar to a thesis, with a committee of professors, I’ll have to defend it, and it will be horribly long). The whole thing gives me a stomach ache whenever I think about it, mainly because it sounds like another boring task that will suck away all my spare time as I compile 50 pages of useless information that nobody will ever read or care about.
And I have to pick that useless topic ASAP. Like yesterday, if I want to graduate in December.
But tonight as I ran, it hit me! I know exactly what my project will be, and this one will be fun and interesting and might even involve a few celebrity encounters. Plus I’ll be able to use some of the research I’ve already done (thank you God!) which should save me from starting from scratch. I’ve still got to work out a few details, but as soon as I get the needed permission from the necessary folks, you all will be the first to know! 
In the meantime, here’s some stuff that I got a kick out of today… maybe you will too!
Who says research can’t be fun? While working on that blogging ethics paper, I stumbled across this hilariously hateful exchange between the editor of a major-market newspaper and a very disgruntled journalism college professor, who accused the paper of plagiarizing its code of ethics… oh the irony! Anyway, it’s quite entertaining to watch the exchange get more and more heated. I like to picture their little red faces, veins popping out of their necks, sweat collecting on their strained foreheads, as they conjure up an appropriate comeback to one-up the other. It’s pure gold, my friends. In case it helps, Steve Smith is the editor.
Did you know AIG is going to change its name? Like maybe we won’t notice and suddenly think, “Whatever happened to that AIG anyway?” Slick, AIG, very slick.
And finally, because you know I can’t stand him… A-Fraud is involved in yet another scandal. Apparently Madonna may not have been his first indiscretion. Imagine that.


I titled my blog Surreptitiously because until today I didn’t know what that word meant. But thanks to my good friends at, I now know that it means secretive. It was one of my many discoveries today as I read 16 academic journal articles about blogging ethics for a research paper. 

Whew. I never knew blogging could be so complex. Honestly, all I do is crank up the old computer and start writing. I have several blogging friends who mull over their entries for days. I don’t bother with that– I just spit the words out onto the page, give it a few fast proof-reads, and then off it launches into the blogging universe, for better or worse. Occasionally I catch a mistake (as I’m sure you do too, although you’re much too kind to tell me) and I’ll sneak back and correct it. And apparently that’s a highly unethical blogging move. I apologize to you, my 15 daily readers. I will try to be better. Although when weighing my ethical responsibilities against my hatred of type-o’s, I may just have to choose to be unethical for once in my life. A girl only lives once, right?
I’m going to try to do better at linking you to cool things I read online. I’m a hard-core news junky who follows three daily newspapers, 100 blogs, all of the major television news Web sites, plus a bunch of other random stuff that comes across my desk. It’s all part of the job, and one that I’m surreptitiously grateful for. I finally found a job that pays me to monitor the media. Eureka!
As I scour the news for work-related stuff, I come across all sorts of weird news stories. I’ll try to let you know what those are, so you can impress your friends and win at Trivial Pursuit.
Here’s my latest discoveries:
Here’s a gal’s ethnographic account of the 9/11 attacks in New York. She tells a good story, and I like her writing style.  
Ever wondered what a trillion dollars looks like?
If I could be a super hero, I think I would choose to be Grammar Girl. I would wear a leotard, a cape, and carry my A.P. Stylebook and a red pen. 
I love celebrity news. It makes me feel so much better about myself. Our local paper has a pretty fun entertainment blog, be it a tad snarky. But sometimes I like snarky.
I would write more, but I just discovered a renegade mosquito buzzing around my bedroom. I’m highly allergic to mosquitos–not enough to make me sick, but enough to grow giant red welps all over my skin if one pays me a visit. I’m determined to kill this sucker before it has a chance to leave me love notes all over my face while I sleep. I’m scheduled to attend a wedding tomorrow, and I would prefer not to come looking like a pepperoni pizza!
Please leave me a comment with some of your favorite sites too! I’d love to add to my collection.


I’ve known some girls who were bitter after a break-up before, but this may be the winner…

Police: Woman Fatally Stabs Ex in Groin


A woman is behind bars after police said she fatally stabbed her ex-husband in the groin, Dallas police said.

At about 10:30 a.m. Sunday, police and medical personnel arrived at a residence on the 10800 block of Rockingham Street where they found the injured man, 46-year-old Ruben Valladarez.

Valladarez was transported to Baylor Medical Center in Dallas where he was pronounced dead.

Police arrested 40-year-old Maria DeLaRosa, Valladarez’s ex-wife, in connection with his death.

Investigators said an argument between the two led to the stabbin

Over the Hill at Just 28

According to this, I’m already in trouble…

Old Age Begins at 27: Study suggests we decline right after college


Celebrate now kids. Once you finish college, your brains start losin’ 

it, according to a new study.

When you hear the world “elderly” what age comes to mind? If your answer was 90, you definitely don’t want to hear about this new study.

“Old age begins at 27” the headline reads. And no, that isn’t a typo.

Those senior moments we’ve heard about actually start happening shortly after the brain’s abilities peak at 22, according to researchers at theUniversity of Virginia.

The study was recently published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging. (We’d love to link to the full research, but the journal charges for its articles.)

Two thousand men and women between the ages of 18 and 60 were studied over seven years, and researchers found top performance in the puzzles and other problems the participants were asked to solve occurred in those at 22 years old.

The first age at which scores for things like reasoning, speed of thought and spatial visualization started to drop, was 27 according to the Daily Mail.

Time to build a bunker

I find this story to be incredibly disturbing… anytime folks talk about over-throwing the government and creating a new rule of law, I get a bit nervous. Maybe I’m overreacting…

by Shelby Endman / CNN

(CNN) — A floating city off the coast of San Francisco may sound like science fiction, but it could be reality in the not-too-distant future.

The Seasteading Institute has drawn up plans for a floating city off the coast of San Francisco.

The Seasteading Institute has drawn up plans for a floating city off the coast of San Francisco.

The Seasteading Institute already has drawn up plans for the construction of a homestead on the Pacific Ocean.

One project engineer described the prototype as similar to a cruise ship, but from a distance the cities might look like oil-drilling platforms.

According to the plans, the floating cities would not only look different from their land-based counterparts, but they might operate differently, too.

Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer who now works for the Seasteading Institute, said floating cities are the perfect places to experiment with new forms of government.

Some of the new political ideas the group is tossing around include legalizing marijuana and making intellectual property communal — so that everyone would take ownership in art produced on the city at sea.

“The idea isn’t just about getting away from rules or getting rid of rules. It’s about a system that encourages experimentation with different political systems,” he said.

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Friedman said the floating city may be built in modular pieces so that city blocks and neighborhoods can be recombined to create new urban layouts.

The idea of building cities on the sea is not new, he said, but the Seasteading Institute has come closer to realizing the goal than others.

“A lot of people over the past hundred plus years have had this idea and even specifically building cities on the ocean to try out new forms of government,” he said. “But they’ve pretty much been totally imagined and if they did try, they totally failed.”

There are several unknowns about future attempts to create floating cities, said Christian Cermelli, an engineer and architect with Marine Innovation and Technology, based in San Francisco.

Cermelli, who is part of a team of designers creating a blueprint for the first seastead, said it’s unclear if construction is possible — or what it would cost.

Still, a prototype for the idea may be finished in as little as three years, he said.

Friedman said seasteads are loosely based on oil rigs, but with important modifications.

“We care more about sunlight and open space, so the specifications are different,” he said. “Also, oil platforms are fixed in place. We think it’s important to have more modular cities. So you would build a city out of buildings that can actually be separated and rearranged.”

Cermelli said the ocean cities may use technology from suspension bridges “to expand the space at sea and basically get a roomier platform.”

Friedman says the idea of seasteading has met a range of reactions.

“Some people think we’re crazy. A lot of people think we’re crazy,” he said. “Some people think terrible things could happen, others think it would be great.”

About 600 people have joined the Seasteading Institute.

Some of them, like Gayle Young, say the idea is exciting partly because it’s so different.

“I love the idea because it’s audacious. It’s big,” she said. “It’s about pushing frontiers.” 

All that work for nothing…

Sometimes, there just aren’t enough words to describe the irony. This lady had the world record for longest nails, which she hadn’t cut in 30 years… and in a twist of fate, she was thrown from a car in an accident, and survived near death. But her nails didn’t.

I can’t tell you how utterly grossed out I am by this photo. I keep thinking of all of my daily, mundane tasks, and how I would manage to do them if I had lassos for fingernails. Not to mention how difficult it must be for her to find mittens that fit.