April 11, 2008

Random Friday: Lose weight, make $, and have your husband do the housework

[By Merry]

[Warning: Introductory paragraph contains potentially harmful levels of frivolous levity as well as trace elements such as irony. If you have been advised by your doctor or other health professional to take life seriously at all costs, avoid the first paragraph. You might want to only lightly skim the whole post for that matter.]

I asked Crabby if she wanted to stop undergoing de-box (a necessary part of re-Crab) long enough to do a Random Friday post, and her response... well, let's just say it was something like this:

So I figured I'd throw out a collection of oddities and leave her to unpack in peace. Much safer that way.

Protect your brain... or give it a workout and burn calories?

In the Good News department, drinking coffee protects your brain. I'll drink to that. They recommend you drink a cup of coffee a day. Well, if I must. No word yet on the health benefits of drinking frappacinos.

Did you know that hitting your head against the wall burns 150 calories an hour? Yeah, I didn't know that either. Sounds like it might be true, but I kinda hope that they didn't test that one too strenuously.

With this ring, I do solemnly swear... no more sweeping?

Today's husband creates an extra 7 hours of housework each week? Really? Women spend an average of one hour a day (see, I can too do that math stuff) cleaning up after their man? I'm trying to figure out how the husbands manage to create that much extra work each day. It must be that the men simply stop doing any housework once they marry. Huh. Now there's an argument for getting a sex change.

Pop quiz! How good is your memory?

Of course, you all took the video test at the end of that Random Friday post a couple weeks ago, right?
Ahem, I said, Right?
Anyway, in case you've forgotten it was a test about your powers of observation. Last I checked, everyone who took the test had the same result the first time around, and several of us bombed the second time as well. Or was it a failure? This link explains the condition of change blindness, where you 'see, but do not observe.' I liked this explanation, since it made me feel that I wasn't unobservant, I was merely a normally evolved human. Nice to be normal some times, y'know?

Lose weight, make more money, have a successful life

Apparently the skills needed to lose weight and keep it off are also the skills you need to make more money and be successful in your work: motivation and discipline.

A researcher from the University of Chicago claims that "after controlling for cognitive ability, general equivalency diploma (GED) recipients earn less than other high school dropouts." According to the study, people who took the GED to get out of high school didn't have the drive to succeed that other people who dropped out did.

Does that make sense? I knew highly intelligent people who took the GED to get out of high school early, and they certainly didn't make what's usually considered a success of their lives. On the other hand, I wonder if they wanted to. People who take an unconventional path aren't always unhappy with their choices.

Internet Weirdness

The Internet is a weird place. I mean, why have a website devoted to passing a little red ball from one person to another? Am I missing something here? I know it looks like an iPod advert, but what is the point? Is it supposed to be teaching me mouse-eye coordination or something? (Am I being especially foolish to expect that there be a point?)

And I'm all for stopping people from smoking, but an e-cigarette? This battery-powered device lets you "inhale nicotine without the tobacco smoke and tar" and other "nasty stuff."

I'm glad that people can smoke this thing indoors and get their nicotine fix without annoying the people around them -- but when did nicotine become something that wasn't "nasty"? I wonder who sponsored that research.

I don't know if the following video counts as porn for women or not. Strikes me as more silly than salacious, but I thought it was only fair to include it to refute the claim that men don't like to do housework. (They just apparently want to do housework in ways that are new and damn strange innovative.)

I mean, if men are so leery about doing housework, how do you explain the popularity of extreme ironing... underwater?

Have a great weekend!


  1. Hey, if the Internet wasn't an interesting place, we wouldn't have Cranky Fitness to come to. :-)

    Listen, I need to do a bit of a promo here... next week is Ergonomic week at www.helpmyhurt.com. If you want to do anything weird, um, I meant, interesting, about ergonomics, I'll link it at the end of the week when I do a round up of ergonomic stuff.

    (plus, you can win a REALLY COOL mousepad. Ok, not really cool,I bought it at staples, but um, well. Ok. You can win a mousepad. But REALLY COOL mousepad sounds so much better, don't you think?)

  2. Hi Marijke! Weird, interesting and ergonomics seem like they would combine well together. And hey, I love the sound of a REALLY COOL mousepad :)

  3. Mraoww! Hiss! (Don't worry, it's just me poking my head in for a moment...)

    Merry, I do believe that is the first photo of me I've ever seen to truly capture my likeness.

    So I would REALLY like to know how they found research subjects compliant enough to test the calorie burn-rate of head banging. We could use use some slaves... er, some "volunteers" at our house to assist in, um, "experiments" involving carry boxes of crap up and down stairs, sweeping, doing taxes, running errands, doing yardwork and bringing breakfast in bed to the "scientists" in order to test out the calorie burn rate of those activities. Just think of the contributions one could make to science!

    And hooray for more coffee-is-good-for-you news!

    Thanks for an excellent RF, Merry.

    Oh, and Marijke, will look for the ergonomics coverage on your blog, sounds intriguing. Perhaps we can think of something along those lines to contribute, if only to whine about how our desk chairs always hurt our backs.

  4. Interesting point about the GED- a lot of the time, someones idea of "success" is simply one perspective and success can come in all forms. One of my friends dropped out of university and ended up becoming an amazingly athlete; he's participated in multiple marathons and triathlons. And after a while he came back to school to finish his degree.

    Love the e-cigarette! The Internet is weird indeed.

  5. Extreme Ironing is my go-to example for how the Internet has changed our lives for the better.

  6. I didn't know that Crab's had fur and so pretty! That clip was pretty weird, the things people will do!

  7. I applaud your dedication to rounding up all the Internet absurdity and summarizing it for us! I was trying to think how much time it would take to find all this stuff and... it boggles. Just like that movie.

    And the GED study is fascinating.

    Crabby - In college I worked as a research assistant and I can tell you that people will do ANYTHING for a few bucks. Throw in some donuts or free methadone and they'll be lining up around the block;) Oh the experiments I sat in on!

  8. My brain must be perfectly preserved from all the coffee I inhale.
    I too want to know how they worked out th whole head bang thing. You'd have to pay me a lot to bang my head on a wall for a few hours...(maybe they monitored people at an ACDC concert?? :) )

    I do believe the bit about discipline carrying over to all areas of your life. It makes sense.
    Have a good weekend. Thanks for the randomness :)

  9. Cooperative research, anyone? Did the headbangers get caffeine to protect their brains?

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  10. I'm not overly surprised about the GED phenomenon.

    In my experience as a high school teacher, I've seen the GED used as an easy way out for many students who can't handle the restrictions of general high school life. They take the GED and then suddenly it's a surprise they lack skills to succeed in higher ed.

    Of course you can't do college algebra; you missed 47 days of high school algebra and slept through the rest. I'm betting on success in that just like I'm thinking 100 years from now George Bush will be considered responsible for an era of world peace in the 21st century.

    Not bloody likely, my friends.

    On the flip side I know a gal who got a GED, went to junior college for a semester, transferred to Smith and now has a Ph.D.

    That's the only positive GED situation I can remember. I can name you at least twenty slackers who ended up as junior college dropouts, though.


  11. The Bag Lady can attest to the extra housework caused by one lone, rather skinny Cowboy. (Are they sure it's only 7 hours/week? Feels like more...)

  12. Bag Lady, I'm still puzzled by that extra 7 hours a week. Do husbands leave that many dirty dishes? Socks on the floor? That adds up to an hour a day?

    Penelope/Karen, thanks for the H.S. teacher insight. I guess I'd assumed that people who drop out of high school in any case were not disciplined or motivated, but I suppose people drop out due to having to go to work and support families, things like that.

    MaryAnne in K, I can only hope the headbangers got /some/ form of compensation. Hopefully in the form of aspirin!

    Geosomin, your brain always seems sharp. Must be all those cooking-with-beer experiments you have on your blog :)

    Charlotte, that sounds like a fascinating experience -- certainly a good chapter for your memoirs. I think it would be interesting to learn of all the things people would do for donuts and methadone.

    Reb, we have an /exceptional/ crab, that's why she has fur and looks so pretty.

    Red, I figure anything that encourages someone /else/ to do the ironing is a good thing :)

    Sagan, I agree. Some people can break with convention and blaze new trails. Sounds like they have to be more together than the average student.

    Crabby, /supposedly/ that picture was of a cat who was yawning. I don't know. Looks like Vampire Cat to me. Good luck with finding research subjects to test the rigors of undergoing de-box!

  13. All I can say about the "fact" that men cost women an hour a day housework-wise is:

    He's gotta be something of a neat freak.



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