Tag Archives: Good Folks

Too Much Time On Their Hands

Autocomplete can be a boon or a burden.

A boon when you can’t remember the whole words, but do remember the first couple of letters. A burden when you don’t pay attention and just click away and find you’ve clicked on something appalling by not checking, or sent someone a message about smelling delicious farts instead of smelling delicious tarts.

You know the sort of thing.

Well, anyway, the good folks at io9, motto: We Come From The Future, reposted an interesting little piece from The Land of Maps, a tumblr site devoted to — wait for it — maps.

What the map-loving pervs folks over at The Land of Maps did was type in “Why is [state] so. . . ” to a Google search box and then let the autocomplete gremlins take over from there.

What Google does, in its infinite wisdom (all hail our future overlords), is to complete the sentence with what its algorithms deem to be the most likely next word.

Renee Montoya let's you know that's a good Question as a DC Comics character.

So, for instance, when I type in “Why is  [North Carolina} so. . . ” to  the Google search bar, I get back the sentence “Why is North Carolina so cheap?”

Which makes pretty good sense, actually. Good question.

According to io9, there are only 19 states with unique autocomplete descriptions courtesy of Google. North Carolina is one of them.

These are the others.

Nevada: Empty

Wyoming: Windy

Utah: Mormon

Colorado: Fit

Kansas: Flat

Texas: Big

Iowa: Democratic

Missouri: Conservative

Illinois: Corrupt

Georgia: Backwards

Ohio: Important

Maine: White

Massachusetts: Smart

Rhode Island: Small

New Jersey: Bad

Maryland: Rich

Virginia: Strict

That's the USA I'm talking about, dudes, the United States of Autocomplete. Google does some funny things.Not all of them make perfect sense, but they certainly do feed into the sense of each state.

Didn’t know autocomplete did stuff like that? Well, welcome to the future, dude. We’re glad to have you here.

Or, according to Google autocomplete: “We’re glad to. . . be of assistance. Although, I’m not sure we really are.

It looks like we might have to consider making a new book because Google only gave us “A Dude’s Guide to. . . ” babies as the second choice. The first autocomplete choice? “A Dude’s Guide to. . .” manhood.

Aw, yeah. I can feel the manly manliness of my manhood already.

And you?

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This Just In: Howard Stern Is Still Dead: We’re Still The New Kings Of All Media

Yep, we’re doing it again, dudes. We’re doing it again.

Barry and I have conquered yet another media with our takeover of the long-running local talk show called Charlotte Talks, on WFAE 90.7 FM. I feel like Click and Clack, the Tap-it brothers, who always say that NPR cringes when they say they’re on NPR.

WFAE is our local NPR station. And they had us on it. I think we lowered the collective IQ around the station by several points. Whoops. Sorry about that.

Once again, dudes, technology came to our rescue.

See, Barry is on an extensive marketing trip down south in Florida. That is, he and his family are in Florida on vacation and visiting more extended families and Barry’s planning on stopping people in the streets and telling them about the book. Still, he took the time away from his family so he could phone in to the radio show and not leave me hanging.

That’s a nice dude there.

Strange thing, really. Normally I have to do my best to persuade people to sit still and listen to me. In school, I have to often raise my voice and threaten bodily harm to the students if they don’t start listening.

And now, twice in the span of a week, someone has actually asked Barry and me to come to their house/place of business/used coffin store and talk about the stuff that actually interests us. We couldn’t be happier.

The only concern came when the show ended and it was time for me to go. My hands had a hard time letting go of the microphone. It was like they’d turned into Heston Hands and they weren’t letting go until they were cold and dead. Maybe I really do like being behind a microphone and not just behind a keyboard.

Have to think about that one. I know I’ve been told more than once by many people that I have the perfect face voice for radio. Maybe they were right.

Now we’re moving on, again. We’d like to thank the good folks at WCNC and Charlotte Today, Colleen Odegaard and Ramona Holloway and Bob and Kelly, and the fine people at WFAE 90.7 FM and Charlotte Talks, Mike Collins and producer Tim Ross. We appreciate your asking us on the air.

It was a blast.

And, remember, we’re always available to be called back if you ever want to listen to the dulcet tones of our appalling voices again.

For now, we’re going to be concentrating on the book signings. The first one up is on April 7 at Park Road Books at 2 pm. Come on by and make fun of my headshine or Barry’s, well, um, Barry. Sound good?

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Giving Away Cool Information And Even Cooler Prizes

You can’t have a baby without having a pregnancy at least somewhere along the line. It might not be in the immediate family, but somewhere, somehow, there is a woman who is carrying the little dude about to enter your life.

Back in the dark ages when my wife, known to me then as She Who Must Be Handled With Extreme Delicacy, and I were pregnant with our first son, there wasn’t nearly the type of information, support or ability to understand what was going on with our growing, gestating spawn.

We had to read a very, very long book, and rely on a certain someone’s medical school training, to know what was going on with the little dude as he was growing. Heck, we didn’t even know if he was a little dude or a little dudette. Although we can’t blame that one on primitive technology as I didn’t want to know until the delivery.

Good thing we’ve moved out of those dark ages. These days, there’s a slab of the future we carry around in our purses or pockets. Sure we could go all out to start looking up stuff about pregnancy and when certain milestones occur, all that stuff. Or you could drive yourself crazy wondering if that cough is the symptom of some horrible disease pregnant women can get and it’s just waiting to pounce.

Or you could get smart. Not the TV show.

Earlier this week, I talked with someone who knows a little bit about offering pregnant couples a way to lessen the anxiety, while also upping the emotional connection between them and the gestating spawn.

Dr. Hansa Bhargava is the lead pediatrician for the WebMD online medical group.  She oversees the team of medical experts responsible for ensuring the accuracy, credibility, and timeliness of all content on WebMD FIT and Raising FIT Kids, and she blogs for these sites as well.

And the good folks at WebMD have a fantastic new iPhone app that you can download for free that tells you just about everything you need to know, all in one place, about being pregnant or dealing with someone who is.

“I’m very excited about it because I really feel like this app gives you not only the information you might want, but all the information a mom might need, all in one place,” she said.

Before the technos at WebMD started putting the app together, Bhargava said, the company surveyed more than 800 women and found that the number one thing they wanted was that the information about pregnancy needed to be mobile, that it needed to be as wrapped together as much as possible. In short, they wanted a doc in a phone.

“This app really delivers on those two counts as well as many others,” she said. “It’s trusted information. You know it’s doctor approved. It’s personalized so it can serve up information you might not know you need, depending on what week you are in your pregnancy.”

Okay, dudes. I’ve got a lot more good stuff to give you with Dr. Bhargava, but I’m going to have to ask you to come back for that tomorrow. For now, we’re at that point in the post when I give you stuff.

Gift Bag

The fine folks at WebMD have sent me a whole bunch of stuff and they want me to give it to one of you lucky readers. This is some prime baby stuff. There’s swaddling blankets:  SwaddleDesign Ultimate Receiving Blanket, a digital thermometer:  Vick’s Baby Rectal Thermometer, towel & washcloth:  Aden & Anais La Mer Towel & Washcloth, the most recent issue of the WebMD magazine, and more stuff from WebMD on pregnancy.

This, my friends, is a good deal. And, to win this lovely prize, along with a special treat direct from the heart of aDudesGuide.com, can be yours. All you have to do is send me an e-mail detailing — in 100 words or less — what you said when you first learned you were going to be a parent. On purpose. I’ll pick out a winner randomly and send along the goodies — and the special, secret treat from Barry and me, Richard. You need to get the e-mail to me no later than midnight March 27. That gives you dudes a good week to get working.

Back tomorrow with more from the good doctor and more on the giveaway.



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