July 22, 2006
So yesterday morning I'm in my company's kitchen/pantry where they have lots of free junkfood. Actually I was there with the guy who had just restocked it from a run to BJ's Wholesale Club. And the amazing thing was, I had already accidentally memorized the calorie count of pretty much every snack in there, from the Poptarts (400 for a pack) to Pretzels (110 for 3) to Pringles (140 for the snacksize) to Swedish Fish (200) to the supermarket bakery cookies (amazingly, 250, like around a Snickers bar!) to the "breakfast bars" (130). And about 4 or 5 other snack types besides.

Yeah, I might be a little obsessed. That's why calorie monitoring is so important to me these days, so I can balance my pathological interest in these foods with my weight loss goals. The other day I got sick of thinking about Poptarts so I had a pack. They, ok, but I get more enjoyment out of my Lean Cuisines.

Hero of the Moment
This is Samus Aran of the Metroid series, cribbed from this Wikipedia graphic, which includes the various powered up modes, including when she loses her armor. The armorless version is slated to be a character in the new Smash Bros. game, a bit to the dismay of gamers who would like to have her as evidence that you can have a tough video game heroine without it being about her looks. Of course, even the first game had a (rather non-titillating) "Samus in a bathing suit" reward for completing the game... but back then, part of it was the turnabout of realizing that the character you'd been controlling the entire time was a woman.

Manners of the Moment
Slate presents the Marine Corps' Quick Reference to Iraqi Etiquette. Eight pages are listed, but you can see all 16 in the large PDF download. (Including interesting bits like how the color of the male headcovering encodes if the man has made the hajj, and then if his country is ruled by a president or king.) I always dig this kind of high level analysis, I've always had an interest in the small (and sometimes large) differences among various cultures.