What Do You Want, a Medal or a Cookie?

Monday, November 12th, 2018

I’ve ripped on Potbelly’s before, but I still enjoy both good sandwiches and a good deal. As such, I remain on their mailing list, and so it was that I received this absurd mailing yesterday:

A free cookie for military veterans seems like an alright promotion, and that’s a nice big cookie too. But they really spoiled the whole thing with that subject line:

  • Vets, we can’t repay you, but how about a free cookie?

“We know you sacrificed years of your life for the good of the country, and that you may be suffering from wounds both visible and invisible. Hey, have a cookie, on us!”

It’s as if they realized they needed to acknowledge how utterly insufficient this gesture is, but only wound up making the whole thing worse. Maybe next time, just skip it entirely.

It’s Hard to Figure 

Friday, November 9th, 2018

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why Woody Harrelson would be the celebrity “ceremonial starter” at the World Chess Championship. It went about as well as you’d expect.


Thursday, November 8th, 2018

In his not-as-short-as-the-numbers-indicate-it-should-be NFL career, Nathan Peterman has thrown three touchdown passes. He has also thrown three pick-six interceptions, that is, interceptions where the defense caught the ball and ran it back for a touchdown. In total, he’s thrown the ball 130 times, and 12 times, his opponents have caught it. In short, he is not doing well, but the Buffalo Bills keep running him out there. Perhaps it’s inspiring?

Under Pressure 

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

I recently stumbled on an article from a few months back detailing the fascinating lives of saturation divers. This job seems intriguing and also completely terrible.

Who Wants Children on Demand? 

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

For several years now, “Uber for X” has been a shorthand way to describe many different nascent companies which provide on-demand services. Instacart is like “Uber for groceries”. Wag is like “Uber for dogwalking”. Given that, this recent Boston Globe headline is a bit confusing:

  • These new companies are like Uber or Lyft for kids

Sheprd is1 actually a service providing ride-sharing services to children (Uber requires passengers traveling alone to be at least 18), but you might not know it from that headline.


  1. Was, actually. Unfortunately, whether you want safe rides for your children, or children brought to you on-demand, you’re out of luck. Sheprd is no more. ↩︎

Rat Lungworm Sounds Like a Bad Way to Go 

Monday, November 5th, 2018

Add slugs to the list of things in Australia that’ll kill you.

Fake Moons Are Also Probably Real Dumb 

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

I see no way in which launching an artificial moon into space to replace streetlights on Earth could lead to terrible things.

Previously in dumb things in space: Fake Meteor Showers Are Real Dumb

The Influencer Who Did Not Influence 

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

“Social media influencer” is a really stupid job title, and this is part of the really stupid reality we’re living in.

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Bad People? 

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Charles Gasko is no more, as Whitey Bulger was apparently killed in a West Virginia federal prison on Tuesday.

4chan Is Good for Something 

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

Bizarrely, anime and the anonymous message board 4chan have helped mathematicians with a difficult problem. In the future, there may be a research paper featuring lead author “Anonymous 4chan poster”.