It’s coming… better fill the stash

I can’t go more than a week before someone I know tries to convince me the world is coming to an end. Usually it’s the result of poorly informed speculation on the orbit of the asteroid Apophis and its impact hazard, imaginary planets by people who know nothing of orbital mechanics or someone misreading (and miscalculating) dates in holy texts.

The other day, I think I finally came face to face with the evidence of doomsday it and I can’t ignore it any longer.

WTF, Merriam-Webster?!

I can understand parkour being in there, since the phenomenon has been around in one incarnation or another for a very long time. I can also accept “tweet” since these little excepts of our psyche have influenced world events, but “fist bump”? Boomerang child? Helicopter parent?!

You know, the Goths — the term originally defined lack of sophistication, culture and an abundance of vulgarity — attacked Rome (after being invaded first) and it’s said that with this begin the of the fall of the Roman Empire. Well, here’s the proof as I came across it at Walmart. I was convinced this chain will be at least partly responsible for the apocalypse somehow.

But that’s not what I wanted to write about…

Soap, even in Walmart, is starting to get pricey like everywhere else and I didn’t feel like spending $8+ on a bottle of laundry detergent even though I use very little of it. Which got me thinking… can I make my own laundry detergent? Turns out, other people have asked the same question years ago, and lo and behold, they’ve been doing something about it for just as long.

P.S.

You may notice the Anger Management Ring has switched hands in the pic above. Since it was on the right index finger, it was becoming a problem when I open doorknobs and such.

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The corporate bulls@%&! reference

It seems that people have tough time wading through every new term that comes up in the “Web 2.0” world, so I have tried to be helpful here in your effort to navigate the cyber waters. Hopefully you will see that the terms themselves are perfectly harmless, but those who come up with them and use them at every opportunity are a different matter entirely.  Without further ado…

  • Web 2.0

    Sadly, it doesn’t exist. This is a contrived term used to introduce such human-contact-removing devices, as social bookmarking sites, video sites such, and other user generated content sites. These places are nothing more than public sink-holes (despite the occasional nugget of gold) that have somehow become fashionable due to the use of over-sized text in buttons, redundant and/or inappropriate JavaScript and Flash® usage, conflicting and malformed CSS, unusable “Tag Clouds” as well as the graphic overuse of the Georgia font.

  • AJAX

    Otherwise known as JavaScript. This has been the bane of disabled users and accessibility experts on the Internet since the 90’s. The idea is that certain content can be dynamically loaded or modified without refreshing the whole page. While this may seem like a good idea, it actually breaks the “Back” button on your browser. In short, it’s a poor-man’s Flash®, but more fashionable since it was hobbled together with dozens of script libraries that increase your page download size by about 50% – 70%.  (As we all know, clothing that looks like it’s about to fall apart is very fashionable. If you don’t believe me, take a look at any award show.) A great substitute for “real” content. I’ve designed multiple sites for disabled individuals and it almost makes me cry to think how poorly an AJAX infected site would perform on a screen-reader.

  • Evangelism

    Another brilliant idea contrived by this guy. It’s an “art”, therefore, it has arbitrary constructs here and there which would fit right in that “Philosophy” class you took as a business major to fulfill your requirements. Go ahead and take a read, it follows just like a step-by-step guide on how to create your very own cult. After all, who needs substance in a “cause” if you’re passionate about its hype. The unfortunate side-effect is that some people use “Evangelism” as a free license to spam everywhere. They don’t consider it to be spam because they “engage” (very thinly) in conversation before plugging their product. How is this different from spam? They do it personally and it’s content targeted. Since no automation is involved, it’s perfectly OK… Makes sense to me!

  • SPAM

    See : “Evangelism”

  • Promotion

    See “SPAM”

  • Experience

    Are you familiar with Usenet or IRC? I’m not kidding… This is what some people consider to be part of their “experience”: Your time spent wading through spam and chatrooms.  Actual experience in practical problem solving may be optional. It’s not like you’ll never have a point-by-point list of troubleshooting tips on your lap, right? What’s next? People putting “blogging” as part of their “experience”?

  • PDF

    Portable Document Format. Almost guaranteed to be followed by a link to the Adobe® Reader since it was put together by people with “Experience” who weren’t aware of the alternatives. This format was originally intended to make sure that presentational text and images are properly displayed on any platform. But just like “Evangelism”, everyone with a lot to say decided it was a good idea to cram plain text that would otherwise have been fine as HTML. Nothing says, “we care as a company” like alienating your disabled customers.

  • Mashup

    See “SPAM”

  • Rich Internet Application

    The holy grail of unemployed college graduates. It is essentially the combination of “Web 2.0”, “AJAX” and “Experience” on the part of the content authors, so you can look forward to brilliant eye-candy with 100% style, 100% inaccessibility and 0% substance.

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Well, that’s all I can define for today with my limited patience. Once I recover from the trauma of having to, in a somewhat dignified manner, define these terms in far more detail (without the double-talk and space-filling BS) than the creators of said terms bothered to do, I will try and post more.