Vid's Space

Hello! You are visitor number 88397! I may be a bit narcissistic, but I don't quite want to talk about myself for pages and pages on my website anymore.  I could, but that might be a bit depressing.  Meh, at least I have a job.

Suffice it to say I'm a pansexual nudist roadgeek with issues including but not limited to depression, selective eating disorder, and possibly Asperger's syndrome.  But again, this page isn't about me.  Instead, it's my space for random thoughts which I hope you'll find interesting or amusing. 

By the way, if you don't like the fonts or colors on my website, now you can override them using the Style Chooser!  As for other improvements to this site, I really need to redo the guestbook, get the counter/greeter system to work how I originally intended, and oh yeah, get in the habit of adding content more often…

Random Quotes

I hope you'll find the following quote amusing and/or thought-provoking.

“I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can't stop eating peanuts.”

— Orson Welles, New York Herald Tribune, (Oct.12, 1956)

A new quote is randomly selected three times each day. For your convenience, here's a permanent link to this quote.

Cool Story, Bro!

Here you'll find brief anecdotes which usually are worth the time spent reading them.

New items will be selected in 1.7 days.

Lost & Found

When I lived on campus, I used to carry a comb from a barber shop in a small town near my parents' house. The name of the barber shop was printed on the comb. One day I noticed it was missing. A few days later, a short distance away from my dorm building, I found a comb with the name of the small town barber shop printed on it sitting on the ground. I suppose there's a chance it wasn't the same comb as the one I lost, but I claimed it as my own anyway.

We Got Lost

When I was a lot younger and somewhat more hormonal, I once brought my girlfriend to a LAN party with some friends. She had to be home by a certain time, so before too long we had to leave. On the way back to her house, I took the scenic route, and we enjoyed some mellow music that went well with the wintry night.

When we finally reached my girlfriend's house, we were late by the better part of an hour. Our excuse was, we got lost. Most people who know me would be quite surprised by that excuse. To this day I'm not sure if her dad believed us.

When I returned to the LAN party, my friends noted that I couldn't stop grinning. They quickly lept to a conclusion — the very conclusion that we didn't want my girlfriend's dad to reach when we told him we got lost.

So what really happened? All I'm going to say is, don't jump to conclusions.

Freudian Spoonerism

This one time, during a discussion about how much damage would occur at different distances from a nuclear blast in downtown Columbus, I meant to say West Broad Street, but the sounds got a little mixed up in my head, and I would have said Breast Wad Street had I not caught myself halfway through the first word.

More Cool Story, Bro!

Passing Thoughts

This is the opinion section of my site. If I have something to say to a general audience that won't fit in a tweet, it'll probably end up here.

New items will be selected in 5.6 hours.

Movies Should Be In 3D Because Life Is In 3D

Obviously, 3D is the hottest trend in movies. Some people like it, and some people don't. Honestly, there are some things not to like about 3D movies. For one thing, it usually adds a couple of bucks to the price of the ticket. And then there are those “gimmicky” 3D shots where something is poked or stabbed at the audience's collective face; some people might still like that, but for me it got old years ago. There have been instances when someone heard a movie is going to be made in 3D and reacted, “I hope not.”

Now I'm going to draw parallels with previous advancements in movie technology. First, sound. That one's pretty obvious, as the inclusion of sound adds an entirely new sense into the mix. Was there any early dislike of talkies? Maybe from the deaf community. But for the most part, adding sound to movies was and has been considered a very good thing. Of course, there continues to be the occasional instance of sound used to startle the audience, like in many horror movies and every IMAX film I've ever seen at the Air Force Museum. But for the most part, sound in movies is just a realistic portrayal of the story… and some music that comes from nowhere. Moving on…

Soon after sound came color. Not adding a new sense to the experience, but certainly improving the primary sense. Again, I don't think there was much complaint about it. The Wizard of Oz stands out as a “gimmicky” color movie, but then filmmakers and audiences got used to color. Since then, color has been used simply as a means to more realistically convey the story as the filmmakers envisioned it. Some dramatic tinting may still be used, but I think “gratuitous color” in films has become extremely rare since cocaine surpassed LSD in popularity.

Filmmakers have been trying 3D almost since color movies became practical. Part of the reason for that is because early 3D films depended on color to deliver a separate image to the audience's left and right eyes. Now that full-color stereoscopic presentations have become practical, it's really catching on. Of course, the whole reason 3D has been pursued from the beginning is because it enables a more realistic reproduction of the world around us. Life is in 3D, so why not movies?

I just hope filmmakers get beyond the “gratuitous 3D” phase quickly. In time they'll realize that the best view of a pointy object is not on-end. In the mean time, I'll enjoy 3D movies while avoiding the ones that depend on 3D as the main selling point.

Gender-Neutral Pronouns

Everyone likes pronouns. Those are the short little words that fill in for longer names or other ways of referring to people — like ‘he’, ‘them’, ‘her’. There's also non-person pronouns like ‘it’, but this post is about the personal ones. In English, there are male pronouns, female pronouns, and plural pronouns. But there aren't any singular, non-gendered pronouns. At least, not officially. Many people have invented some, and generally they fail to catch on. That's what I'm doing here. Except maybe mine have a better chance of catching on because they're systematic and therefore easy to remember, and also the Internet is great at spreading ideas people like.

So, why do we need singular gender-neutral personal pronouns? Sometimes we don't know, or for some reason don't want to reveal, the gender of the specific person to whom we're referring. Sometimes we need to refer to a non-specific person in a specific role, and that could be filled by either a male person or a female person. Sometimes we're referring to a specific person who would prefer not to be categorized as male or female. Or maybe we just want to make a point that gender is a non-issue in the current context — or almost every context, depending on whom you ask.

There have traditionally been three approaches to this problem. One is to assign arbitrary new words as the missing pronouns. One is to try to combine male and female singular pronouns to find a middle ground. Perhaps the most popular approach is to simply use the plural pronouns and pretend they can be singular as well. My approach is to apply a common simple modification to each plural pronoun:

Singular
Male
Singular
Female
Plural Singular
Neutral
He She They Phey
Him Her Them Phem
His Her Their Pheir
His Hers Theirs Pheirs
Himself Herself Theirselves Pheirself
see also phey on pronoun.is

Simple, right? Well of course I think so. Maybe now that I've put this online, it can gain some popularity.

Update

I've recently become aware of the sets e and ey, which are just about as logical and memorable as the set I've described above. As far as I can tell, they are (like ‘phey’) meant to be truly gender-neutral, rather than referring to a specific non-binary gender identity. Maybe the more confusing ones with exes and zees were created with a similar intention, but when one genderqueer person says “my pronouns are xe/xem” and another says “my pronouns are zie/zir”, it's hard not to get the impression that those have a more specific meaning.

More Passing Thoughts

Cool People

Cool Famous People

Here are, in no particular order, some of my favorite people from movies and TV:

Cool Obscure People

Here are, in no particular order, some of my favorite people of whom you may not have heard:

Best of my LJ

You know how radio shows often run "best of" shows during the weekends or when the stars are on vacation?  Well, I haven't posted to my LiveJournal much recently, but there are some good nuggets from the past I thought I might share here.