Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Toilet Seat Communism

I wrote this on July 7, 2007. I've made a few formatting changes and added a postscript, but haven't made any other changes. Enjoy!

Of all the philosophical debates that the great minds contemplate, the one that has the most immediate impact on our society is the Toilet Seat Position debate. I have a new solution which may finally end the debate once and for all. A refresher: should the toilet seat go up or down after use?

Usually, the argument is divided along gender lines with women taking the position that the toilet seat should always be in the down position when leaving the bathroom. Men generally argue that the toilet seat should remain up, or in the position most useful to the person who last used it.

To this day, the men have been losing this argument.

Today, I trump both positions with a new position in which toilet seat inconvenience will be shared evenly amongst all affected parties.

My solution is this: since residential toilets have a lid, the lid should be put down on the toilet after each use. Men will have to lift the seat while using the toilet, and then put it down after they are finished. Women will have to lift the lid and put it back down after they are finished.

I call this position “Toilet Seat Communism.”

I have been subtlety practicing this doctrine for a few weeks in my own house, and no one seems to have noticed the difference. I should add that the “seat down” position had been the previous victor in the Toilet Seat Position debate in this house prior to my campaign. Now, everyone has to lift something in order to use the toilet, and no one has to look at the ugly innards of the toilet.

To further bolster my position, I suggest that the lid and seat combination be made air-tight to cut down on the amount of toilet water lost to evaporation. Toilet Seat Communism is not only the most equitable solution to the issue, it is also the environmentally friendly position.

Despite my tongue-in-cheek manner, I am totally serious.

P.S. Sort of.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Tactical Highlighter

I get a fair number of requests for information about the podcast fiction I like. This will highlight that and anything else I find interesting.

The stuff I'm linking here is a bit on the older side. This is partly because I should have been linking these things before so I'm a bit behind, and partly because you might miss these stories if I just told you about the websites.

  • The Stars My Brothers by Edmond Hamilton (read by Gregg Margarite). This 1962 story is about the first man to be frozen in space, and then unfrozen. It plays with the cliché of finding human life on other planets, and is a bit more forward thinking than a film that would come six years after it: The Planet of the Apes. And, as I mentioned, Gregg Margarite is the reader, and that's always a treat.
  • Decoder Ring Theatre's Shinkei and Thinking in Ternary. DRT does their work like old school radio dramas. There's a lot of love in these productions and even if you're not nostalgic for the good old days of crowding around the family radio to listen to a story, I think you'll love these. Shinkei is a story about the last hacker on Earth, and Thinking in Ternary is about the first viable artificial intelligence.
  • Will McIntosh's One Paper Airplane Graffito Love Note, presented by PodCastle. Ever thought a book, movie, or TV show ‘stole’ one of your ideas? Well, at least they weren't stealing the story of your life one treasured event at a time. One of the things I enjoy about PodCastle's selection choice is that even though the stories are Fantasy, they are generally not stereotypical Fantasy. This one is technically Urban Fantasy, but no one is running around casting magic and the story is the most important thing.
  • Nancy Kress's Patent Infringement, presented by Escape Pod. Did you know that pharmas are allowed to patent genes you were born with? This story centers on a man whose genes were used to cure a cold ... and the trouble he gets in when he asks the pharma for compensation.
  • SFFaudio put up a post with Chris Anderson's Free: The Future of a Radical Price. This is a non-fiction book (and audiobook) on the economic dynamics of providing goods and services without charge. The third paragraph of SFFaudio's post has a link to a zipped, unabridged, DRM-free copy of the audio book. If you work in business, own a business, or are thinking about starting one, you seriously need to listen to this book.
  • Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. D.B. Grady's review introduced me to this book. I actually didn't read that far into the review because I was intrigued enough to know I wanted to read the book and didn't want any spoilers. I finished reading the book in two sittings, and this is the first book in years that I've sacrificed sleep over. Very light science fiction elements. For a more in-depth review, check out my guest review on Dear Editor.
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Friday, September 25, 2009

Bedtime Stories for the ADD: #3

Nostalgia Tea (aka Missouri Iced Tea or Mississipi Mud)

Buy “Orange Pekoe and Pekoe Cut Black Tea.”

Bring tea pot full of water to boil. Allow water to cool for 10 minutes.

Steep 3 family size bags for 15 minutes. Discard bags. Don't use sugar.

When cool, pour tea into a glass with ice in it.

Best enjoyed at 2PM on a summer day spent outdoors under oak trees. Do not substitute pine unless impossible to avoid.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Bedtime Stories for the ADD: #2

Stranger Photos

She smiled only when getting her picture taken. Her children never recognized her face in photos. (Read more!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bedtime Stories for the ADD: #1

Living Dangerously

We were going to be immortal, but it sounded boring.

I'm going to be making this blog a little more posty for the times when I can't release anything because I'm a) not finished with anything, b) going to try to publish what I am working on, or c) not being particularly productive with regards to writing. One of the things I do regularly is write crazy ultra-short stories. I usually end up posting these on twitter or facebook (or both). Usually, the first time I post them up, they've got mistakes in them.

I've found all the ones I posted on Facebook and I'm editing them for awesomesauce. Then they'll be posted here. I won't be promoting this feature because the originals showed up in all of the places I would normally promote. If you feel a strong desire to promote them, go ahead. Otherwise, enjoy and so on.

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