25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years

by Dave Barry

  1. The badness of a movie is directly proportional to the number of helicopters in it.
  2. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight-saving time.
  3. People who feel the need to tell you that they have an excellent sense of humor are telling you that they have no sense of humor.
  4. The most valuable function performed by the federal government is entertainment.
  5. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
  6. A penny saved is worthless.
  7. They can hold all the peace talks they want, but there will never be peace in the Middle East. Billions of years from now, when Earth is hurtling toward the Sun and there is nothing left alive on the planet except a few microorganisms, the microorganisms living in the Middle East will be bitter enemies.
  8. The most powerful force in the universe is gossip.
  9. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers.
  10. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age 11.
  11. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
  12. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
  13. There apparently exists, somewhere in Los Angeles, a computer that generates concepts for television sitcoms. When TV executives need a new concept, they turn on this computer; after sorting through millions of possible plot premises, it spits out, "THREE QUIRKY BUT ATTRACTIVE YOUNG PEOPLE LIVING IN AN APARTMENT," and the executives turn this concept into a show. The next time they need an idea, the computer spits out, "SIX QUIRKY BUT ATTRACTIVE YOUNG PEOPLE LIVING IN AN APARTMENT." Then the next time, it spits out, "FOUR QUIRKY BUT ATTRACTIVE YOUNG PEOPLE LIVING IN AN APARTMENT." And so on. We need to locate this computer and destroy it with hammers.
  14. Nobody is normal.
  15. At least once per year, some group of scientists will become very excited and announce that:
    • The universe is even bigger than they thought!
    • There are even more subatomic particles than they thought!
    • Whatever they announced last year about global warming is wrong.
  16. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."
  17. The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.
  18. The value of advertising is that it tells you the exact opposite of what the advertiser actually thinks. For example:
    • If the advertisement says "This is not your father’s Oldsmobile," the advertiser is desperately concerned that this Oldsmobile, like all other Oldsmobiles, appeals primarily to old farts like your father.
    • If Coke and Pepsi spend billions of dollars to convince you that there are significant differences between these two products, both companies realize that Pepsi and Coke are virtually identical.
    • If the advertisement strongly suggests that Nike shoes enable athletes to perform amazing feats, Nike wants you to disregard the fact that shoe brand is unrelated to athletic ability.
    • If Budweiser runs an elaborate advertising campaign stressing the critical importance of a beer’s "born-on" date, Budweiser knows this factor has virtually nothing to do with how good a beer tastes.
  19. If there really is a God who created the entire universe with all of its glories, and He decides to deliver a message to humanity, He will not use, as His messenger, a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle.
  20. You should not confuse your career with your life.
  21. A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
  22. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.
  23. When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.
  24. Your friends love you anyway.
  25. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

Advice to high school graduates

With high school graduation just around the corner I thought I would post one of my favorite list of rules for post-graduate life. This list was part of a speech given by Microsoft’s Bill Gates to Mt. Whitney High School.

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping – they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This
doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

Who was in Jacob’s Cabin?

After watching the premier episode for Season 4 of Lost, The Beginning of the End, I was left with a few questions. Not surprising I guess since they have been doing that to me for 3 seasons now.

My biggest question was, “Who was in Jacob’s Cabin”.

The scene in question has Hurley getting lost in the jungle and he stumbles upon Jacob’s cabin. Seeing a light on through a window Hurley thinks, “Hmm…why don’t I go up there and peek in the window?”. Probably not a good choice on his part but if he didn’t how would we know.

As Hurley scans the room through his peep hole into the dimly lit cabin, he sees a picture of a dog hanging on the wall and then almost a silhouette of a person in a rocking chair.

I have been pausing my DVR trying to look for clues and the best I could figure is that it looked like Jack’s dad. I dug around on some fan sites and found this photo which helped me confirm my suspicions. But, this photo contradicts another photo from the episode where John Locke is introduced to Jacob by Ben. In this second photo, Jacob (if that’s who it is) seems to have a colonial style hairdo.

So far I have found nothing to tell me who the other person was that peeked back through the window and scared the crap out of Hurley.

Life and a Can of Beer

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in
a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar…….and the beer.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front
of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and
empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then
asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the
jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas
between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was
full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of
course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar
was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes “.

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and
poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty
space between the sand. The students laughed.
“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to
recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the
important things–your family, your children, your health, your friends,
your favorite passions–things that if everything else was lost and only
they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your
car. The sand is everything else–the small stuff”.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room
for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend
all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for
the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are
critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get
medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18 holes.
There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the disposal. Take
care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your
priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.
The professor smiled “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no
matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of
beers”.