Texting while driving: It's pretty much an accident waiting to happen. I can barely text and walk at the same time, let alone do it while trying to avoid bicycles, crazy Oregon drivers and yelling at my dogs to shut up while they bark at the the bikes and drivers foolish enough to glance towards my car.

As of next year, it will be illegal in Oregon to chat or text on the cell phone without a hands-free device. (Note: I'm totally down with this new law, BUT someone needs to invent a cheap hands-free device that actually works. I've had no luck so far with the ones I've purchased. The conversation consists of the other party and I yelling "What?" and "Tell me again!" until one of us gets frustrated and either hangs up for uses the phone the old-fashioned dangerous way, with one hand on the phone and the other steering).

In an effort to show you the dangers of driving while intexticated, the New York Times has created an interactive distracted driving game

The goal is to show you that "New studies show that drivers overestimate their ability to multitask behind the wheel."

Essentially, you drive down a virtual freeway, changing lanes using your keyboard to go through tollbooth like things while texting with a friend (the NYT).

My first time at the game, I was pretty good at it. So I don't know what happens if you mess up — do you crash the car?

The game warns you "As with all games, intense level of concentration or repetition can lead to more successful outcomes." Which leads me to wonder if rather than demonstrating the dangers of texting while driving, the game actually teaches that if you text a lot while driving, you'll get really good at it.

Kind of hilarious, kind of horrifying story in The New York Times today.

Fave bits (and they're not made of some newfangled ceramics, either):

Now, tens of thousands of ceramic hips later — from Stryker and other makers that entered the field — many patients say their squeaking hips are interfering with daily life. ... It can interrupt sex when my wife starts laughing,” said one man, who discussed the matter on the condition that he not be named.

Hey, artificial hips can be like birth control (for those who need it). Who woulda thunk?

Also, the article links to this YouTube moment:

Back to grading and writing for the paper now. Thinking about the knee replacements I need. Sometimes my shoes squeak at the gym, but I'm not sure I need a few knee squeaks every time I take a step! Hmmmmmmm.

Oh, lord. I wrote a whole blog. And then I hit preview. And then I forgot to post. I'm too tired. In short:

1. Ninkasi now comes in bottles! And the Mercury blogged it first. Good for them. I thoroughly enjoyed drinking some Believer while watching the Ducks squeak past OSU on Sunday. And I wondered aloud whether they might be among the first breweries to include their MySpace page on their labels...

2. Last week, Suzi sent me a link to a story in The New York Times about a memoir by a writer who lives in Eugene. This was interesting, but annoying, because while I'd gotten the book, neither the book flap nor the press materials had mentioned this fact. Well, as it turns out, it was sort of irrelevant, because "none of it is true":

Margaret B. Jones is a pseudonym for Margaret Seltzer, who is all white and grew up in the well-to-do Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley, with her biological family. She graduated from the Campbell Hall School, a private Episcopal day school in the North Hollywood neighborhood. She has never lived with a foster family, nor did she run drugs for any gang members. Nor did she graduate from the University of Oregon, as she had claimed.

All I can do here is sigh.

3. Someone will doubtless think I'm gloating, but I seriously think it's awesome that my counterpart (and friend) over at the R-G wound up in the New Yorker's Correction of the Week. I love it even more because when I read the press release in question, I saw it the same way. As Randy Stapilus notes in his quote from the magazine,

< blockquote >An item about a Thursday event at Diablo’s featuring four women DJs on Page 8 of Friday’s edition incorrectly identified DJ KaatScratch as transgendered. She describes herself musically as ‘transgenred.’”

Three cheers to the most entertaining misreads being noticed by the whole world out there.

Now? Sleep.

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