Category Archives: General

Relax, the chances of getting hit by that asteroid were actually slim

There was shocking news about a near-miss of an asteroid a couple days back. But how much danger were we really in? According to the linked article, the asteroid passed within 230,000 km. That’s closer than the moon! But for … Continue reading

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Yes, reading on a Kindle is still “reading.” What you don’t get on a Kindle is “typography.”

I’m a fairly regular reader of Slate, and if there’s one thing you should never do on Slate, it’s mistake what’s in the headline for what’s in the article. Obviously the headline writers are playing a different game from the … Continue reading

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Do loyalty cards really hurt poor people?

sciseekclaimtoken-506c621adf619 Kevin Drum doesn’t like loyalty cards. I agree, I don’t either. Obviously the only reason stores want you to have loyalty cards is so they can track your purchases and figure out additional ways to make money off of … Continue reading

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Our health care system is broken, part 3758373

This week I underwent a minor outpatient surgery procedure. I have insurance, so the procedure was covered. But I found the breakdown of costs quite illuminating [these are approximations, given me over the phone, but they are close to the … Continue reading

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If a bad person believes something, it must be false!

I learned something new today: The Unabomber believes in global warming. Therefore, since the Unabomber is a bad person, the theory of global warming must be false. sciseekclaimtoken-4fbf7c404ec3a Lots of other fun facts follow from this line of reasoning. For … Continue reading

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Word Munger 8 years in: What’s the use of blogging?

Well, that went by fast. Today Word Munger turns eight. Eight years ago, blogging was still a relatively new thing. I had had a livejournal blog before that, and a static web page with regular updates before that, but Word … Continue reading

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Marketing Moab

June 11, 2011. I’m here in Moab, Utah, enjoying some quality adventure travel with my daughter Nora, who’s the only member of the family other than me who’s even remotely interested in anything with “adventure” in its description. We spent … Continue reading

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I went to a marathon and all I brought back was this blog post

I don’t usually discuss my running exploits here on Word Munger, but I figure that running my first-ever marathon is a Word-Munger-worthy event, so follow the link and enjoy. Race Report: The Big Sur International Marathon

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Happy anniversary, Word Munger!

Today Word Munger turns seven! That’s right, I’ve been filling this space with my musings for seven full years—or even longer if you count the original Word Munger, a hand-coded satire site I started wayyyy back in the year 2000. … Continue reading

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Top Ten Reasons I Hate Top-Ten Lists

10. Ten? Why ten? Don’t some topics merit, say a top-20 list? Or on the other hand, sometimes there are only a few deserving items, so the list ends up getting padded with pointless choices. 9. Like this one. 8. … Continue reading

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What it takes to lose it

As of this morning, I weighed 200 pounds. That’s the least I’ve weighed since the early 1990s. At one point in the late 90s, with the stress of running a business and two small children, I weighed as much as … Continue reading

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How much does the weather affect my running?

For the past two months I’ve been running with a new toy, a GPS trainer that tracks (almost) exactly where I’ve run and how fast I ran. Lately I’ve been improving a whole lot, which has been extremely gratifying. But … Continue reading

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Meme o’ the day: How plebe are you?

I’m not feeling very inspired today, so how about a meme, courtesy of Kevin Drum. The higher you score, the more non-elitist you are. 1. Can you talk about “Mad Men?” No. 2. Can you talk about the “The Sopranos?” … Continue reading

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WordPress has upgraded. Why is it that every time I “upgrade,” my old theme no longer works? Now I’m using the standard, generic theme. Nothing wrong with that. But I wish there was some way to get the upgrade process … Continue reading

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Leaving ScienceBlogs: What next?

In case you’re not up on the goings-on in the science blogosphere, let me bring you up to date. About two weeks ago, ScienceBlogs made a disastrous decision to sell Pepsi a “nutrition” blog with equal standing to all its … Continue reading

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Can we use social networking to build better textbooks?

About 7 years ago, I attempted to start a non-profit organization dedicated to producing peer-reviewed open-source textbooks. While the organization received considerable support (and several submissions) from like-minded academics, in the end the project fizzled due to logistics. I had … Continue reading

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Today’s Infographic: The Uncanny Valley of Bathroom Activities

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iPad — First impressions

Hmmm… I wonder how many blog posts with this headline will be written today? The iPad has to be one of the most-anticipated launches in Apple history, and with the possible exception of the iPhone, it’s a device that may … Continue reading

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How I’d fix Kachingle for $110,000

I think Kachingle is a really great idea. In fact, I’m a paying subscriber and my blog The Daily Monthly is a member. Basically, the way their site works is this: Readers pay a $5/month subscription fee that is distributed … Continue reading

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The problem with “literacy”

I’ve always been a little annoyed with people appropriating the word “literacy” for things that have nothing to do with literacy. Literacy derives from the Latin word for “letter,” and refers specifically to the ability to read. The problem I … Continue reading

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