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Has Anybody Won The Lottery From A Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie LotteryFortune Cookies are probably my second favorite Chinese food, right after Egg Rolls. They are a fun way to finish a meal, and hey, free dessert. I had some Chinese this week, and after pondering my happy-happy fortune, I found myself staring at the numbers on the back, wondering if they could be winners.

I found that at least one set of fortune cookie numbers has won in the past. But something I hadn’t thought of is that the numbers on the fortunes aren’t unique. If you were to actually win the jackpot, you’d have to share it with all the other cookie players out there. Powerball officials were forced to launch an investigation back in 2005 after a whopping 110 people all won big bucks playing the same numbers. The reason? You guessed it. LOST. Just kidding. Fortune cookies. But seriously, the same thing happened with the LOST numbers.

On a fun personal note, when I was a kid I used to eat the fortunes after I’d read them. I told people that eating them made them come true, but really it was just an excuse to eat paper. Yep. I was one of those.

CategoryCulture, Food Tagged , , ,
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Why Do I Always Wake Up At 3

Slimer Wakes Me Up at NightWhenever I fall asleep before I’m ready for bed I’ll get up and brush my teeth whenever I wake up. Strangely, this always seems to happen around 3AM.

Why 3AM? I was surprised how many people were asking this exact same question. There are lots of fun explanations, with the most common being that 3AM is the most active time for ghosts. This seemed a fairly logical explanation, but I dug a bit deeper just in case.

Depression was a suggestion, but I don’t think I have that.

Circadian Rhythms” seemed like a legit answer once I learned they aren’t dependent on what time you go to sleep. It also seemed to coincide with the most interesting bit of info I found…

According to some historians, sleeping through the night is a relatively recent practice in human history. Before the invention of the light bulb, people generally went to bed much earlier, and slept through the night in two four-hour chunks, with a short period (1–2 hours) of wakefulness in the middle of the night. It’s called Segmented Sleep.

So, waking up in the middle of the night might be part of our DNA. Most likely though, I just have a high sensitivity to ghosts. Mmm, I suddenly have a craving for Ecto Cooler.

CategoryWhy it Works Tagged , ,
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If you Google this,
avoid the first search result.
Eww Eww Eww Eww Eww

Stuff I Haiku-gle:
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Invest In Forever Stamps

50 cent Forever StampsI saw in the news that postage stamps are going up to 50¢ a piece, and I immediately heard, “ChaChing!” Buy a bunch at 45¢ Forever stamps the day before the increase and then sell them for 50¢ the next day. That’s an 11% ROI in one day. Pretty incredible.

When I researched it though, I was less enthused. First of all, by law, stamp prices are not allowed to increase faster than inflation (though they are this time somehow), which means they can only work as a short term investment… and then, only if you can sell them. There will likely be hundreds of thousands of stamps for sale online the day after the price hike. I’m certainly not the only one that heard the retro cash-register-bell.

I realized a few other problems with my plan too:

  1. Nobody needs 15,000 stamps, if they even need 1.
  2. Anyone who does need a bunch will also have purchased them ahead of time.
  3. eBay isn’t an option because it has a 9% fee, which practically destroys the profit margin.
  4. Competition will drive the selling price below 50¢/stamp.

I’m still kind of toying with the idea, but selling them without eBay would be hard, and when I die one day and they’re reading my Will, I’d hate for my kids to have to argue over who gets Dad’s bucket of postage.

CategoryLiving Tagged , , , ,
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Tree Made More Acorns This Year

We bought our house three years ago and it sits directly under an enormous Oak tree. Up until late this fall, I’d hardly even noticed that it drops acorns. This year was exceptional. It sounded like their was hail beating down on our roof practically non-stop for a month. There was a two inch thick layer of acorns in our front yard, and squirrels seemed to flock from miles to spend the afternoon in our tree.

I researched it online and found that Oaks have what is called a mast year every so often (many plants have mast years, also called bumper crops). It’s a year of extreme acorn production followed by several mild years. Some biologists believe mast years are weather related. Others think it’s an evolutionary survival trait. Low production keeps the squirrel population down. Then one year the trees produce so many nuts the squirrels can’t collect them all. This increases the chance that some of those nuts will become new trees. It also increases the chances that we’ll need a new roof this year.

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Fusilli: One of 600 types of pasta that taste the same

I did some grocery shopping last weekend, and Fusilli was on the list. I spent 15 minutes reading the boxes in the pasta aisle before I realized they didn’t have it, so I referred to an image search for a descent substitute. It’s a spiral pasta so rotini would work fine, in fact, any pasta would work fine. It’s pasta. Why do we need so many kinds?

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How Many Shapes of Pasta

600! 600 shapes. Now, I understand – and enjoy – variety of texture in my food, but every pasta technically tastes the same. The fact that we can say, “I’m feeling like Penne instead of Ziti tonight,” makes me feel like we’re a bunch of youngins, unable to eat our grilled cheese sandwiches because Mom hasn’t cut them into tiny little triangles. Cutting it doesn’t change the taste lil’ guy.

Are there any other foods where they reshape the exact same ingredients and sell them under different names? Let me know in the comments. I’d google that myself, but I’m not sure how.

CategoryFood Tagged ,
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Average Cost of Baby

Where’d our money go?
Perhaps baby is to blame?
Yep. 10k per year.

Stuff I Haiku-gle:
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Best Cinemagrams

Jamie Beck & Kevin Burg cinemagraph
I absolutely love these things. For starters, they’re pretty creepy, which is almost always a good thing… unless it’s the combover / shirt-pocket full of lollipops type of creepy. I think what really enchants me about them though, is how they break some sort of reality barrier in my mind. I get the feeling like these are real people trapped in photos… and I can’t stop staring.

I found out this art-form is actually called a cinemagraph, but there’s an iphone app called cinemagram, which is why I was searching to begin with. I was tipped off to the app by a tweet from Zadi Diaz, who used to be the host of my favorite web show, Epic Fu, before they just mysteriously stopped creating new content without offering any warning or explanation. I’m not bitter.

There are plenty of people making cinemagraphs, but not many doing it well. When I did this search I found dozens of best-of lists, but they all had the same pictures… almost all ripped from the same website. The site belongs to Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg. They were actually the ones to coin the term cinemagraph when they started trapping people’s souls inside photographs in 2011.

CategoryCulture, Images Tagged , , , , , ,
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Does Gum Really Take 7 Years To Digest?

I sometimes pop some gum before I go for my morning run.  It doesn’t make MUCH sense, but for some reason, I like to banish my morning breath before I strap on my sneaks and work up a sweat.  After my run, as many people do, I take a shower (this story is about to come together, I swear!).

This past Thursday, I somehow swallowed my gum while I was shampooing my hair.  I threw my head forward, eyes wide, and made a sound deep in my throat like “GRAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!”  Try as I might, I couldn’t coax the wintergreen wad out of my esophagus, and so I was forced to face the terrifying reality: that little shit was going to be in my system for 7 YEARS!

Or wait, was that a…?  Wasn’t that a myth?  Maybe not… It’s ridiculous!  7 years! Ha!  Right?  There’s no way… Right?

To Google!

The practical answer is: Yeah, load of garbage.

The technical answer is: Well, gum IS made up mostly of stuff that flat out isn’t digestible.  Which sounds scary, but actually isn’t.  As Snopes.Com’s Mrs. Mikkelson so eloquently puts it:

“Gum is eliminated as human waste in the same way, and at the same rate, as any other swallowed matter.  Granted, it comes out the far end relatively unchanged by the trip, but it does come out on schedule.”  (

(see also: corn kernels)

Speaking of scary, my search also turned up this great question:

“Does gum really take 7 years to SWALLOW?!?” (caps mine)

Just think about it.  That would be hell, right?  Should be a Harry Potter curse.  Septus Tridentus!

CategoryFood, How it Works Tagged , , ,
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What’s In Chicken McNuggets

“See if you can handle the 20 piece nugget,” I suggest to my coworker Troy as he tries to decide what to get from McDonalds. But he tells me he can’t eat them anymore after seeing a picture online of what they are made from. He says if I can find the picture he saw, I’d never touch them again either.

It wasn’t hard to find, and let’s admit, yes, that looks heinously disgusting… but if that goop tastes half as good as the finished product, give me a straw and some honey mustard. Those nuggets are too delicious to boycott on account of being made from some chemical-laden animal by-pudding. So keep squirting that crap into your 4-shape mold, Ronald. I’m partial to the one that looks like a boot.

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When Does Netflix Lose Starz?

WHA! The Twenty-Ninth?
But that’s half my Instant Queue!
Movie Marathon.
Huge list of movies Netflix will lose on February 29th

Stuff I Haiku-gle:
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Why Did Mark Wahlberg Go To Jail?

Marky Mark was on Anderson Cooper’s talk show recently for a special on gang violence. He talked in few details about his tumultuous past and involvement in gang activity as a kid. He now involves himself in youth outreach programs to help prevent others from making the same mistakes.

As I was watching The Fighter this weekend, I was reminded of the interview, and decided to find out what it was that he did, and perhaps get some insight into why he is such a bad-ass.

I didn’t have to go any further than Wikipedia for this one, so I won’t rehash all the details here, but he was in a gang and participated in several racial hate crimes; one so bad as to be ruled attempted murder. Pretty heavy stuff. Fortunately, through his faith, and involvement in the Catholic Church he was able to turn his life around… but I still wouldn’t want to piss him off.

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Last Minute Valentine Gifts

Portable Bath Tub Fail

I do this search practically every year, because unlike Christmas, the commercials don’t give me the three month ramp up time I need to start thinking about what to get. There was actually one year I didn’t need to do this search. That was the year I told Melissa I thought Valentines day was silly. Mmm… Not her favorite “gift.”

Unfortunately, searching for ideas rarely returns any useful results. The recommendations are either too generic or the writers have a very different idea of what I mean by “last-minute.” However, sometimes you can take the generic ideas and use them as inspiration for more personal ones:

  1. Generic Idea: Chocolates… Better Idea: Instead of just picking up a box of Russell Stover’s, buy several boxes until you can fill one of them with just the chocolates that taste like toothpaste (assuming that’s her favorite).
  2. Generic Idea: Movie Night… Better Idea: Instead of going out, try to recreate the theater at home. Pick up some sour patch kids and huge Cokes from the gas station; break out the lawn chairs with the cupholders; pop some popcorn; and turn the volume up unreasonably loud.
  3. Generic Idea: Spa Day… Better Idea: A gift certificate is nice, but what if your house was the spa! Don’t have a bathtub? No problem. Run to Target and pick up a kiddy pool. What? They don’t have a bathtub sized one? Get the one that holds 12 people. Oh, it needs 220 gallons of water? No problem, that’s only 44 trips with a bucket. Hot water heater can’t handle it? That’s what the tea kettle is for. You’re worried the floor might cave in? Don’t be. You’re all set!
CategoryLiving Tagged , , ,
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Your Mom Joke History

“Your mom.”

Though it has probably been several years for you, I hear it at least twice a day at work. It became the go to joke around the office about six months ago with the arrival of our traffic manager Eliza. Ever since, I’ve learned things about my mom I’d never thought possible, such as: she’s what’s wrong with the printer; and she’s what got caught in my spam filter.

I was curious where this joke originated, so I did some research. I found that the official term for a “your mom joke” is a “maternal insult,” and that Shakespeare is often credited with the first zing. I would contest though, that “son of a bitch” is the first mom joke, and Wikipedia says that phrase dates back to 1330. The joke as we know it however, was popularized in the 90’s by the show “In Living Color,” and today lives on through a small office in Midtown Atlanta.

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Slang GTA

On my way home from work, an old neon green Impala with enormous wheels catches my eye. “I wonder if that’s a six-fo'” says my brain. And then the song comes. It’s an acoustic cover of NWA’s Boyz in the Hood. It’s a song that I haven’t listened to since high-school, but it came back as if Seacrest had just announced it on American Top 40.

As I belt the tune out at the top of my lungs, in my most exaggerated country accent – because my ’97 Civic is completely soundproof, and surely nobody outside the car can hear me – I’m fascinated by how effortlessly the lyrics flow from my mouth; yet trying to recall seven words of high school Spanish still comes as a fun challenge.

I get to the part where the dude pulls up in a fresh El Camino and says, “It’s all about makin’ that GTA,” and I realize I don’t know what that means. For anyone that’s a Grand Theft Auto fan, you already know the answer, but I haven’t played since college, and I guess it didn’t make as lasting an impression as this song. And for those of you that aren’t Grand Theft Auto fans, it means Grand Theft Auto.

CategoryWhat it Means Tagged , , ,