Saturday, January 31, 2009

Outrageous News of the week

This first one is unbelievable.

So, Cash4Gold, that skeevy company that you can just send in your old gold to and get money back, was reviewed on a blog called This blog told how Cash4Gold will offer you way less than the gold is worth (though I was surprised, because I always assumed it was a complete and total scam, but I guess it's only a ripoff). Anyway, Consumerist picked up the story, so it was one of the top Google results for Cash4Gold. Recently, Cash4Gold decided to hire a marketing company to clean up its image. This led to the blogger being offered $3,000 to take down the blog post! Incredible.

via Consumerist

The other story is also outrageous. Outrageously adorable!

A mailman in the UK is just doing his rounds on a cold day when he spots an apparently abandoned otter pup on the side of the road. So he picks it up and carries it around in his mailbag, taking it to a car rally. He fed the little girl kitten milk through a pen tube. There are adorable pictures here.

via mental floss

Friday, January 30, 2009


It's my first Flat Hat article!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

let's talk about reading

I was going through my RSS feed this morning, as I do to keep up with world events waste time looking at silly blogs, and Boing Boing had posted a study that confirmed something I have known for a long time. It's a study about reading that says that your brain simulates the action that you read about while you're reading it. This is nothing new for me, but it's fun that they studied it. It also means I'm not that unique when it comes to how I read. You see, I've long had trouble, when recalling something I've read, at distinguishing it from a movie. This never happens with movies: I often barely remember the plots of movies, but when I do I always know it was a movie. But if something reminds me of a book I read, I often think, 'oh, like that movie I saw. No wait! Or was it a book?' This is because while I'm reading a book, it's playing like a movie in my head. It's a very active endeavour. Which is why books are much more influential to me - movies, on the other hand, are quite passive. I suppose, though, passive movie watching allows for more analytical analysis of the themes and subject matter, since while reading my mind is entirely taken up by running my private screening of the movie adaptation according to me.

Help! I can't stop thinking about New Zealand!

So today I was checking to see what companies will be at Friday's job fair, which I plan to attend to search for internships. Randomly, AustraLearn will be there. In the description on the site with the companies, it mentioned they took students for study abroad (obvious) but also for internships in Australia and New Zealand. And suddenly I started daydreaming about having a summer internship in NZ, most likely in Welly (do I just want to avoid summer or something?). It sounds incredibly amazing. Expensive, but it would be amazing. It's not even really an option, but... is it healthy for a girl to have a dream? I mean, not only do I know I love New Zealand, but I even have friends there! I could go visit Jane in QT (or maybe she'd be coming up), Jenn and possibly Jenny and Brandon in Auckland, and down to Dunners maybe... I don't know where Tim and Sarah would be, but I could potentially see them. And if I'm there for winter holidays, maybe Liam would even be coming to Welly! So you can see this wasn't just a fleeting wish, but a distinctly detailed fantasy. Some New Zealand internships, I discovered, even pay! Which would help offset the cost of going over there. It might even be possible to get an extra job on the side. If only, I'm thinking, I could afford it. Oh what a wonderful summer/winter that would be! Another possibility my mind ran to was this, and it involves a lot of ifs: say I get the EPA job this summer, and save up a decent amount of cash. Say I also manage to graduate one semester early. What do I do that final semester? How about a summer (slash fall) internship in NZ! Through my 4:30 to 6 class I couldn't stop daydreaming about NZ. I miss it. I miss Dunners. I miss Amy. I miss all the beauty and all the awesomeness. Dear lord, I need to go back. And the sooner the better.

But there was also that brief thought about working in London for a while. Could that be accomplished this summer? Basically I've got the wanderlust thing going on all the time. I'm doomed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

wow... this guy really likes seafood...

Some guy in Amsterdam returned a lobster to the seafood store, claiming it was bad. They gave him a bag of king crab legs instead. Suddenly it's realised that the lobster is just a shell...

" Store workers were about to allow Tessier to trade the $10.99 lobster for a bag of king crab legs when they discovered the lobster was all shell. Tessier had eaten it and put the shell parts back together, deputies said.

When confronted, the man with a passion for seafood ran from the store with the bag of crab legs in hand, they said.

Deputies said they caught up with him at his home only to discover that he had already eaten the crab legs." - Bob Gardinier, via Times Union.


Friday, January 16, 2009

my foray into loving wine

Before quite recently, I wasn't really a big fan of wine. I had only really tried it with dinner in Italy, and I didn't really like it, even though I was drinking what is probably considered wonderful Chianti. What I definitely found out was that I slightly preferred red wines (meaning I really didn't like white). Champagne, I thought, was okay. But that was in 2004. My tastes have certainly changed since then. And in New Zealand, I certainly got a little more fond of alcohol (it was such a big part of the culture, it was hard to not drink, and I got tired of the weird looks when I said I didn't drink much. So I gave in, which is certainly giving into peer pressure, but I didn't drink to excess). On a two week trip around the country, I found myself eating dinner with two fine gentlemen, one from Spain and one from Wales. The Spanish man bought us a bottle of wine, a New Zealand red. It was fruity and somewhat spicy, and I actually thought it was good. Now, I have just turned 21. For my birthday my mom got me a bowl containing wine, cheese, and other goodies. Tonight we had a wine and cheese tasting. The cheeses were manchego and double gloucester with chives and onions. The wine was a 2005 Clouds Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, from Stellenbosch, South Africa. That's, as you probably know, a white wine. And... I thought it was really good! It was quite fruity, and yummy. So, I think I like wine now. Maybe a good addition to fancy dinners.