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What a week! The excitement in the air was elevating. But I don’t need to remind you that last week, Nov 8th -14th, was National Elevator Escalator Safety Awarenesses Week! Who could forget? It’s always the second full week of November!

This is a promotion of public safety awareness for the industry’s equipment. Everyone is invited to make this special week a huge success in cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Safety Week provides a focal point for the industry, on a local and national level, to join together as individuals, companies and organizations and spread the word about public safety in the elevator industry. At the same time, Safety Week is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions made by the industry to the quality of life. Volunteers reach millions of riders with important safety messages in many locations during this celebration. – Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (founded 1991)

Personally, I made this year’s Nat Double-E Safetay Week (as we say in certain circles) a huge success, by volunteering at my local subway station, with the aid -of course- of my $350 Safety Week Kit (What a steal! These are still available!). I set up camp at the bottom of the escalator, and spread the good word to my fellow Boston T Riders! It felt great to reach out to my community, knowing I was joining together with individuals everywhere, doing our part to spread escalator and elevator safety across this great nation, and parts of Canada.

escalator elevator safety kit

$350 Safety Week Kit: Planning Guide, a table cloth customized with the EESF Safety Week logo, an EESF display banner, 2 Safe-T Rider DVDs, 5 Safe-T Rider posters, 500 Safe-T Rider Activity Books and 500 Safe-T Rider stickers. (EESF.org)

However, Kinko’s refused to sponsor the cause, charging me in full for my custom ‘Safe-T ‘ emergency flow charts (still available). Some people just can’t get into the true spirit of Escalator & Elevator Safety. And that troubles me on a deep patriotic level.

If it were up to me, every week would be National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week. Instead, the national calendar focuses on trivial pursuits. African American’s get the whole month of February, for history! And Flag Day?! That’s an inanimate object! I think, as a nation, we need to step back and re-prioritize our national days of respect. Maybe even do some calendar re-arrangements.

The nation’s safety is at stake, and the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation has to share its single week with Veteran’s day! They already have monuments! I think I speak for the entire EESF when I say, get your own day, Veterans! It’s just one stupid day. I’m sure you can squeeze it in somewhere else. In the meantime, the EESF is trying to make the nation safer. Maybe you should stop shining your purple hearts, and help!

I’m proposing year-round Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness. “According to industry experts, elevators and escalators are the safest form of transportation in the world,” reports Ashley H. Rains, EESF Public Relations director, in her 5 page article, Riding Elevators and Escalators Safely. Yet injuries still occur! People simply are not aware of the danger. Just yesterday, my right shoe lace came lose on an escalator and crept uncomfortably close to the end of the stairwell. Fortunately, I had the quick wit to slip my foot out before the event-horizon, and I abandoned the shoe altogether.

That is the readiness the American public needs to adopt. Why? Let me drop some data on you:

  • Fact: Dozens of Americans deal with elevator/escalator related injuries or sickness on a monthly basis.
  • Fact: In case of fire, use stairs.
  • Fact: Elevators and Escalators are on the rise.

The threat is real. The solution is simple. Write to your local congressmen, make them aware of this important issue’s prominence, and ask them to promote year round safety awareness initiatives.

Ride safely.

And remember: when approaching a closing elevator door, leave it alone. Wait for the next one. If you’re on an elevator with violators of this rule, calmly step off, and report them to the EESF.

Space Rum

Jet pack broke? Slowly digested by a sarlacc? Father decapitated? After a long day, Boba Fett reaches for Boba Fett Original Space Rum: Cold as Hoth. Hits like a thermal detonator. And melts away the haunting image of your father’s disembodied head.

Boba FettHe’s got a little bounty hunter in him.
(Picture by Justin)

Unnecessary Acronyms

I can’t get behind unnecessary acronyms (UA’s). In fact, UA’s are one of the most extreme ‘Things I Can’t Get Behind‘ (TICGB). The purpose of an acronym is to shorten an otherwise long and complex title, so it can be quickly interpreted in its coming iterations. To make an arbitrary rule of thumb (RT); you need at least 10 iterations of a wordy title to merit an acronym.

Here’s another RT; Acronyms are like babies. Just because it’s possible to create one, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

The acronym feature of our language is abused. Many people assign acronyms willy-nilly (WN) just to create a heightened level of officialness (HLO), like they paid a registration fee, and filled out the necessary paperwork with the Acronym Registry (AR). These people just tack an acronym onto any old thing (AOT), as if we’re all taking notes. But we’re not. If I threw TICGB at you, right now, would you remember what it stands for?

It’s okay. It was a UA anyway.

'Extraordinary' now starts with an 'X' btw.Hollywood is a repeat offender of acronym abuse. A particularly unforgivable incident was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a movie Sean Connery would like to forget, but the worst part is the acronym designated to it: LXG. Does the title of a movie need an acronym? Ever? Maybe if you’re talking about the movie with your friends in the theatre parking lot, but not in the movie. The title screen makes one appearance, at the beginning. The audience can endure the heavy reading.

Kitchy acronyms that spell out words aren’t off the hook either: acronyms like YES, NOW, and STARS. Call these Vanity Acronyms (VA’s). Remember ‘DARE to keep kids off drugs?’ Of course you remember (unless you’re on drugs). Remember what DARE stands for? Neither do I (Drugs Are Really… Exhausting?). VA’s are often backward engineered acronyms. That is, the acronym was created before the words it represents were chosen. Backward Engineered Acronyms (BEA’s) are abominations against the very thing acronyms stand for: words.

I get it. We’re lazy and acronyms make writing easier. But acronyms aren’t for making writing easier. They’re for making reading easier. Acronym abuse befuddles that purpose, and actually makes reading harder. And it’s obnoxious.

Fact: An unnecessary acronym is born every 3 minutes.

I can’t get behind that kind of wasteful acronym production, when there are only 26 letters. Pretty soon, every combination will be taken. Conserve your acronyms. Let’s make it an RT.


Related reading:
Uncyclopedia: International Association For Important Unnecessary Acronyms (IAIUA)

What did you people do?

Rounding out the number 70 spot on botd.wordpress.com‘s growing blogs of the day, The Man Shark! Right under Wilfred Mworia. Not bad, but we can do not badder.

Watch it, Milfred. There’s man shark in these waters.

Forgotten moments from the epic saga, not in any particular order.
(Click for full size images)

so lame deathstar

choked

exhaust port

deathstar

mos eisley

I can’t get behind cases for iPods and cell phones. They cover the very shininess you’re trying to maintain.

spiky+hairI can’t get behind spike ball hair dues. Since when does this look good? Did I miss a vote, or is everyone drunk?

I can’t get behind taking the bus to the gym.

I can’t get behind password “quality.” I’ll decide whether my password works, not homogenize it to fit an arbitrary standard, making it easier to guess.

I can’t get behind wearing a watch. Really, there’s hardly a need to wear a watch, these days. There’s a clock on everything.

I can’t get behind regional professional sports fanaticism. A little enthusiasm is fine, but it’s not like the players are actually from your local region. It’s just printed on their uniforms.

I can’t get behind poor, impromptu photographs of prominent landmarks. It’s been photographed already, by professionals. The world doesn’t need your blurry, tour bus drive-by, version with a huge lens flare from the flash reflecting off the window. Enjoy the view. Google it when you get home.

I can’t get behind a movie trailer that starts with “from the director of Spy Kids.”

I can’t get behind chemotherapy for pets.

I can’t get behind more than one shower per day, tops. You’re not that dirty.

I can’t get behind the Bravo television network, and its multitude of reality shows about any old thing. Midgets? It’s a show. So you wear clothes? It’s a show. People living in a town? It’s a show.

I can’t get behind forensic science television shows. There’s about fifty of them, most of which are as predictable as Scooby Doo (Hint: It’s always the first person they meet, or the sleazeball nobody likes), and Discovery channel’s The New Detectives is all you need, for your dose of real forensic science stories.

I can’t get behind bags of Tostitos labeled, “20% MORE FREE FUN.” Air is already free.

I can’t get behind a beverage with the selling point “drinkability.” Edible is a requirement, not “the difference.”

I can’t get behind the iPod Shuffle. What’s the point of an iPod missing all its functions (except shuffle)? iPods can already shuffle, plus more. If Apple made the iPod Loop, suckers would still buy it.

I can’t get behind overdraft fees. Bank: “You have no money. Let me help. Now you have even more no money.”

I can’t get behind credit ratings. Credit Rater: “You haven’t superfluously billed yourself thousands of dollars on credit, or lived beyond your means. You’re not financially responsible.” (Alright, there’s a little sense to this system. But it still bites.)

I can’t get behind gym membership. It’s like checking yourself into a laziness rehab clinic. But they don’t keep you there, and charge you anyway.

And that’s what I can’t get behind, at the moment. This list is ongoing.

Evolushark, a proponent organization for Darwin’s Theory of Evolution has chosen to use a shark as their mascot.

Evolushark Logo

Evolushark, a blue shark uniquely formed by the word “evolution”, is a science mascot specifically designed to discourage conservative Christians from trying to inject creationism into public school science curriculum. By intimidating their mascot Ichthys, Evolushark symbolically warns conservative Christians that attempts to impose their sectarian beliefs on America’s secular society face strong opposition.

That’s great for Evolushark, but they overlooked the Man Shark. While it’s true that sharks are evolutionarily perfect, the Man Shark is the natural selection for an evolution mascot. Even flying shark was considered. How did the Man Shark slip through the cracks? I suppose it just happens.

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