Dude’s News

The quantity of information available these days is amazing.

A short 10 – 15 years ago, the biggest source of information was TV and radio. We are now inundated with information almost constantly. We are riding the information superhighway after all.

I think it’s about as rad as rad can be. I love finding new sources of information, learning something new, starting a new hobby, teaching myself how to do something I’ve never done. The pace of learning has exploded.

I’m sure it’s a double-edged sword. I’m sure negatives can be argued, but I dig the plethora of information at our finger tips. The drawback I find is having the time to consume all of the ideas that I’m interested in.

I have so much great information coming at me through my RSS feeds (If you’re not familiar with RSS feeds, it’s worth the read – awesome way to collect info you’re into without having to go find it.) that it’s impossible to follow every idea down the rabbit hole, and even content that I dig is often pushed aside or forgotten.

I’ve been collecting a few nuggets of greatness in my email for a week or two. My goal has been to write separate posts for each, but time keeps passing, and the content keeps coming. So, rather than try to get individual posts out, I figure I’ll share them all at once under the amazingly clever name of “Dude’s News”…I know, you love it.

Let’s start with some Local News

Local News
The Boy is a lunatic, and the lunacy grows everyday. Running, screaming, throwing, kicking, and a whole bunch of eating along the way.

Words are coming slowly but surely. He is always moving and exploring, and he’s becoming much more sure-footed. It’s fun to set him loose in the yard and follow him around. A great way to slow down and enjoy some everyday exploring.

The Princess is crushing first grade. Reading like a champ, loving piano lessons, and being a fantastic big sister.

The local news is all unicorns, gummie bears, and rainbows.

Here’s a very cool video from TED (as in “Ideas worth spreading,” TED) about the complex experimenting and decision making that babies and toddlers use to figure out the world around them. I get the impression that the collective “we” views babies as lacking in some of the cognitive muscle that we flex as we get older. But maybe “we” have it wrong.

Judging by Little Dude’s constant exploring mentioned above, I’m inclined to think that psychologist Alison Gopnik may be onto something here. She says something in the video about toddlers not having ADD but rather lacking the ability NOT to pay concentrated attention to all of the amazing things around them, and that seems to fit Little Dude to a T.

Here’s the video description: “Babies and young children are like the R&D division of the human species,” says psychologist Alison Gopnik. Her research explores the sophisticated intelligence-gathering and decision-making that babies are really doing when they play.”


In other science news, here’s an article from Discover titled: 100,000-Year-Old Paint Factory Suggests Early Humans Knew Chemistry.

As in one hundred thousand, 100k, one hundo thousundo! That’s craziness!

As a culture, how can we feel comfortable with the idea that we have any clue about what is going on? We know of a blink in time of history.

Jesus was around two thousand years ago. We have written history for something like ten thousand years. That still leaves 90,000 years between our knowledge and people sophisticated enough to craft paint.  That’s “20,000-30,000 years before archaeologists had previously thought such complex thought processes possible.”

That’s a huge amount of time. Wild.

Lastly in the science department, this is what the Universe looks like. Insane, right? The Universe. You’re looking at it. A second ago I implied we don’t know anything, and now we have an example of us mapping out the entire Universe. Life is full of paradoxes.


As described on Kotke.com: “Richard Feynman talking about the beauty of science and of the natural world over a bunch of video footage taken from NASA, Microcosmos, and BBC nature docs like Planet Earth.”

This video is super cool. Got a special place in your heart for Mother Nature? You will after you watch.


In a similar nature-loving vain, here’s a great video of a dude following mountain climbers for National Geographic. The Dude is becoming increasingly intrigued by mountain climbing.

If you have a chance (especially if you have Netflix), check out 180° South. It’s a surfing/mountain climbing “documentary,” and it’s pretty rad…with a rad soundtrack. It gave me a new outlook on mountain climbing. A completely isolated and useless act, but you come back with a new perspective. Anyway, onto the feature presentation.


Amazingly Cool
In the amazingly cool department, ABC News is reporting that the DeLorean is coming back! Back to the Future…Present.

And, it’s coming back as an electric car.

Nice work making electric cars cool. Didn’t think it could be done.

And to round out the Dude’s News coverage, let’s take a quick look at a report from Bloomberg stating that DC now outpaces Silicon Valley for the highest household income in the country.

As Don King is fond of saying, “Only in America.” How is the region that houses the government and all of the cronies that go along with it the highest paid area of the country? How is that possible?

Federal workers earn an average of $126,000 in total compensation!

Our tax money pays them, correct? Do we see the shitstorm going on in country/world right now? Are they really worth an average salary of $126,000? Things are waaaaayyyyy out of whack these days.

Amazingly Cool Part Deux
To end on a positive note, let’s showcase what could be one of the greatest father/son bonding experiences of all time – and absolutely the greatest Hotwheels track the Dude has every laid eyes on (hats off to TheKidShouldSeeThis.com for another gnarly video)…


Dove Man!

Dove Man

Dove Man

Well, the Dude is officially for sale.

After a year and a half and138 posts, the corporate sponsors are finally flocking to the land of the Dude.

Flocking?…perhaps a bit of an exaggeration. I got some free soap.

Mrs. Dude estimates the value of the package at $65. Not bad. So, a big thanks to Dove soap.

Dove contacted me asking if I would review their new men’s line of soap, and I’m not one to pass up some free soap.

A week or so later a box arrives addressed to “Dude,” and I was pleasantly surprised to find a great gift package. Two types of soap, deodorant, a scrubbing thing, and a sweet bag. Already exceeding expectations!

I’m a dude, so to a large degree soap is soap, but after two weeks of using the goods, I’m pleased.

All of the products smell like a dude, in a good way. But keep in mind, that means they are strong…which has pros and cons.

Taking a shower with the soap followed by applying the deodorant and a squeeze to the Mrs. can lead to choking on the strength of the dude smell, but hours later, a squeeze at the end of the day still elicits oohs and ahhs about how good you smell.

So, overall a score for Dove soap. It’s Dude Approved!

And let this be a tri-fold lesson to all of you corporate sponsors:

  1. The Dude can be bought,
  2. Exceed expectations, and
  3. The bar (sweet “soap” pun) has know been raised to free soap AND a bag.

Thanks again to Dove. It is now the Dude’s soap of choice.

You can find Dove Men + Care Facebook page here, where you can buy all the Dude Approved goods for yourself. Tell the Dude sent ya.

On a side note, we would need cable in order to actually watch TV, but the Dude has seen TV, and I’ve always been a big Simpsons fan. Great writing. So, when I accepted this lucrative offer from Dove, I immediately began referring to myself as Dove Man and in the classic Duff Man voice.

I don’t think Mrs. Dude has ever watched the Simpsons, but it’s been making me laugh for the last week.

Signing off, Dove Man…oh yeah!



The Dukes

Let me start by professing the Dude’s love for the Dukes of Hazard.

I was a HUGE Dukes fan as a young lad.

I can still recall the classic Sears picture hanging on the wall by the stairs in my childhood home of me in my “Sunday best.” Obviously my sky blue iron-on Dukes of Hazard t-shirt! Bo and Luke sitting on the hood of the General Lee. Classic 1980’s.

Not to mention my amazing General Lee replica with the roof that lifted so I could stuff Bo and Luke in their proper seats…it was just the right size for G.I. Joe’s by the way.

I bring this up because A. the Dude loves the Dukes, and B. Little Dude loves to put anything and everything in his mouth.

What do these have in common you wonder? The fantastic “Questionable Skills” blog I mentioned last week. Ted McCagg has done it again; he’s tickled my funny bone.

The Dukes of Choking Hazards

Dukes of Choking Hazards

Dukes of Choking Hazards

Say It Ain’t So: War on Drugs?

Over the past week or two, I noticed a couple national news headlines that made me scratch my head. They are unrelated stories, but the topics are most certainly related.

1. Drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in U.S., data show – L.A. Times

  • So, drugs now kill more people annually than car accidents?! Well, a “War on Drugs,” definitely seems in order. Wait, what, the main culprit is legal, prescription drugs?…oh.
  • “While most major causes of preventable death are declining, drugs are an exception. The death toll has doubled in the last decade.”
  • “By contrast, traffic accidents have been dropping for decades.”
  • Prescription “drugs now cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.”

Hmmm. Well, The Man must know what he’s doing. Even if legal, prescribed drugs are dangerous killers, at least the drugs we spend billions of dollars fighting, locking up non-violent criminals, and watching our “war” spill over to thousands of deaths in Mexico (and the US) must be immensely dangerous and worth the extreme sacrifice, right?

Enter headline #2…

2. ‘Magic Mushroom’ Drug May Improve Personality Long Term – USA Today,Discover MagazineMedPageToday.com, etc.

  • “Many individuals who took a single dose of psilocybin — the active ingredient in what the drug culture calls “magic mushrooms” — showed alterations in personality characteristics, largely for the better, that persisted for more than a year.”
  • Participants “tended to show increases in the personality dimension known as openness.”
  • “Openness is generally considered a positive characteristic and includes such traits as aesthetic appreciation and sensitivity, imagination, intellectual engagement, and awareness of feelings in themselves and others.”

For real?! This is the culture we live in?!

What’s the goal of the “War on Drugs”? Promote dangerous, addictive drugs created in a laboratory and sold for insane profits that limit our ability to think and act for ourselves, while at the same time locking people up and ruining lives for any interest in naturally occurring plants that have been used for thousands of years and create a sense of well-being and “openness”?

Seems logical. Par for the course for The Man.

I’ll skip the long drawn-out rant. There are a lot of much more qualified ranters on this subject, but I will leave you with this graph. Does something seem wrong with the way we’re currently operating?

American Incarceration Timeline

American Incarceration Timeline