Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bulk Bears

Albertsons has a series of shelves near the produce/cheese/lunchmeat area that is specifically for bulk foods.  I see all sorts of dried fruits, and grains, and leafy things.  All of which are either dark or tannish, right?  But as I'm looking through the shelves, not really identifying most of the items, I see a splash of bright color.  Multiple bright colors, actually.  I look back, and I see a bag of gummi bears.  Among fruit and grain and healthy leafy things.  I see no other sweet, candy-like, preservative-laden things on the shelf - so why gummi bears?  And who buys gummi bears in bulk?  People with more than one kid, I guess.  Kids that like gummi bears.

This reminded me - somewhere in the world, there is a chandelier made out of gummi bears.  Really, it's pretty clever.  It gets soft in the summer, but doesn't melt, it's brightly colored, and bugs don't like it.  I guess bugs like natural food.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jif Jazz

There was peanut butter in the lost and found today.  In jazz band here, anything in the lost and found is fair game.  A few years ago, someone bought a PlayStation 3 game and put it, brand new, into that lost & found as a prank.  And today, there was a jar of peanut butter in there.  Unopened.  It must have been there all summer, because it's only the second day of school and the jar smelled terrible.  The peanut butter must have gone bad, and it can't have gone bad in one day.  I can't imagine how someone could get a jar of Jif into the classroom without someone noticing.  It was likely a prank, like the PS3 game.  Why else would someone have peanut butter in jazz band?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New and Improved

New and improved.  Every time you go to a grocery store, it’s somewhere.  But is it new? Or is it improved?  They can’t really go together, can they?  New implies never before seen.  But improved means there must have been a version before that.  The phrase “new and improved” creates a paradox.  And if it’s improved, what was wrong with the old version?  Anyway, what’s new isn’t always improved.  There are so many examples of this, but the most obvious to me is a washcloth.  When you have an old washcloth, it’s soft from being used so many times.  But if it’s new, and only been used perhaps once, then it’s rough and scratchy.  You probably won’t want to use it until it’s soft, unless it’s the only one you have.  This creates a second paradox.  It involves getting what you want in short-term versus getting what you want in the long-term.  But I digress.  “What’s new isn’t always improved” is illustrated in the TV show Ben 10, in the episode titled “Ben Four Good Buddy."  When highway robbers steal the Rustbucket, they add tons of gizmos to do their dirty work.  But on the inside, the RV still has quirks that help Ben defeat the robbers from inside - literally!  I won't spoil it, but it involves the fridge and the ice maker.
How easily can you pull up a sapling? What about an old tree?  With trees, when someone refers to one as old, he/she is saying that it's very big and strong.  How does that fit with the view of "new and improved"?
What else have you seen that is better old than new?  Or something new that hasn't improved?
So if you see “New and Improved!” somewhere, question:  Which one is really it?