It’s been a while since the last Brain Bubbles post. There remains something undefined in my mind about the Brain Bubbles category, and it’s lately been a way of posting about a bunch of topics too short to be worthy of a post. (I just can’t seem to get into short-form blogging.)
This post is no exception, and I’ll warn you some rants lie ahead — I’m still annoyed by various spammers, but more and more I’m fed up with certain kinds of clickbait I see in my newsfeed. I’ve blocked a few platforms for being sick of their crap.
On a more positive note, I finally bought a humidifier.
When the outside air temps drop enough below freezing, say +20° or lower (especially lower), it freezes the moisture out of the air. In the dead of winter, the air is bone dry.
Our houses, of course, are not hermetically sealed (that would actually be a bad thing), so the inside air is just as dry. Worse, warm air can contain more water than cold air, so the heated dry air inside has an even lower relative humidity.
The dryness is bad enough. It’s the static shocks that annoy me most. Winter is the Season of the Spark around here.
Sometimes I carry a small screwdriver or other metal tool in my pocket. I use that to touch a metal object to ground the charge I collect just walking around in stocking feet. (Despite wearing all cotton.)
Sometimes I can draw a spark that’s over a quarter of an inch long!
(Using a metal tool means I may feel the muscle jolt of the shock, but don’t feel the hot plasma of the spark itself. It’s that hot plasma that puts the sting into a static shock.)
The main issue with all this is possible damage to electronics gear. In general, such gear is designed, at least somewhat, with static in mind, but when dealing with the tens of thousands of volts involved, there are no guarantees. Even the electric field that the discharge generates can affect electronics.
So every winter it occurs to me that I really ought to buy a humidifier. And every winter, having no clue about humidifiers leads to putting it off, winter passes, and it becomes a moot point. (Our summers compensate for the dry winters by being very muggy. No need for a humidifier then.)
This year I decided “enough” procrastinating, just go to Amazon and buy something. Which I did, and I kinda love it.
It’s an ultrasonic model that uses an ultrasound transducer to blast water into vapor. There’s no warmup time, it’s instant on. Turn the switch and cool water mist starts pouring out.
There’s a control for adjusting the “volume” (so to speak) of the transducer. At max, the thing looks like a little volcano, just blasting away.
There’s a small fan in it (and an LED night light!), but it’s very quiet. (With my damaged ears, I can’t hear any noise from it at all.)
Amazing device, and it puts a fair amount of water in the air. It’s a small model good for a room, so it hasn’t reduced the shocks to zero, but it has reduced them considerably. I might buy a second one for better coverage.
I did get a kick out of one line from their documentation. It’s from the Quick Start guide, the sixth and final item on a list of things not to do. The first five all make perfect sense (3. DO NOT add essential oils…).
But that last one: 6. To prevent dry burn, all the humidifying base will occur the phenomenon of accumulated water. Please feel free to use it.
What? Use it how? And shades of “All your base…”
I really hate that most of the snail mail I get is spam, and that pretty much all the phone calls I get, likewise. (I never answer my phone anymore, because it’s never actually for me.)
And while WordPress is excellent at siphoning off spam comments, I do see them in my Spam folder. (I guess some just ignore them, but I’m not prone to ignoring stuff.)
What kind of cracks me up is that I’ve been seeing the same seemingly earnest “comments” since I started blogging in 2011. When the umpteenth person makes nearly the exact same comment, often from “different” people at the same time…
It’s just all so incredibly stupid, is the thing. How is anyone fooled? How can these be productive endeavors at all? (But then I realize just how stupid some people are, so I guess it must sometimes work.)
I just wish spam was a social scourge we devoted some time to eliminating.
But kind of along those lines, I’m getting seriously fed up with obvious clickbait headlines in my news feed. Here are some samples:
If you have these popular potato chips chuck the bag immediately!
If you have this vegetable in your refrigerator throw it away immediately!
If you take this common medication contact your doctor immediately!
This fucked up shit makes me want to hurt people. Long headlines that tease and terrify. Of course they don’t mention what potato chip brand or what vegetable or what medication. Then readers wouldn’t have to click in and be subjected to your damn ads.
Well, fuck you, I refuse to read your shit, and it sometimes leads to me filtering out your platform from my feed, so you lose, assholes. (If only everyone would get on board with this, we might actually change things.)
Less enraging to me are headlines like this:
Firefly: Why Joss Whedon’s beloved sci-fi classic was cancelled.
Seriously? Ancient history, and anyone who cares already knows. Talk about an utterly pointless article. We need a new acronym: TP:DR — Too Pointless; Didn’t Read.
The Star Trek episode Gene Roddenberry hated.
Wow, even more ancient history. TP;DR Why would anyone care what a long dead man thought about a TV show that aired over 50 years ago? Are your minds really so utterly empty that this is interesting?
I am truly astonished at the degree to which some people live in the past. I guess some really need their security blanket.
You need to watch the most underrated gritty dystopian movie on Netflix ASAP!
You need to watch the best SF thriller on Hulu before it leaves this week!
These typically come from one source, INVERSE, and, realizing I’ve never seen anything of value from them, I think they, too, are headed for the filter.
I really hate being told what I need to do. Let me be very clear about this: Go. Fuck. Yourself.
The worst thing is, the recommendations are often really lame. The last one, “best SF thriller” referred to Nolan’s The Prestige, which, yes, is a pretty good film, but “best SF thriller” — no, that’s just bullshit. (I’m not sure I’d even classify the film as a thriller.)
Screen Rant is another platform that I’m tempted to filter for never presenting any interesting. Except every once in a while, which is why they’ve escaped the filter. (I unsubscribed from their YT channel years ago.)
Every once in a while they’ll do a thoughtful piece I appreciate, but I’ve clicked into a lot more articles that gave me zip and made me regret wasting the time.
As with the spammers, the problem seems to be an over-crowded field.
So many platforms cranking out content daily — of course most of it is utter pointless crap. The signal-to-noise ratio has gotten way out of wack.
There’s just too much of everything. We need a new approach.
In particular, I wish we could have some accountability for the nonsense. Why can’t we make robo-calls and spam highly illegal with severe punishments? Who wouldn’t benefit from that? (The spammers, obviously, but they deserve only to perish from this Earth.)
What is the matter with us? Why do we put up with it?
Back in college, a friend of mine had a great idea about bad drivers. She thought there ought to be standard equipment in cars where you could push a button in your car, and a little arm would come out of the car in front of you and tap that driver on the shoulder.
It was a way to say, “Pay attention! Drive better!”
I wish for some mechanism that would allow us to make ourselves known to spammers. A way to crawl down the line and slap their faces. “Cut this shit out, asshole!” A way for there to be some accountability for making the world a shittier place.
Stay humid, my friends! Go forth and spread beauty and light.