Monthly Archives: October 2006

Revelant is not a word

Revelant
Main Entry: rev-e-lant
Pronunciation: re-vuh-luhnt
Function: Nothing, aside from making you sound dumb.
1a. I think you mean to say “relevant” especially since that’s what I just said to you, and it is the topic we’re discussing… 1b. Idiot
2. Oh no, you’re continuing to say “revelant” over and over again in this conversation, going on for 20 minutes. Does it sound correct to you? How are you not noticing? 2b. OK, I just said the correct word again. Maybe you noticed.
3. I give up.

The word you want is: relevant. It has some interesting etymology too. From the Latin relevare, related to “relieve” and “lever” meaning, “to raise up”.

A possible imaginary definition for “revelant” might be something like:
Adj. 1. Posessing the qualities of reveling or merriment

But that’s a stretch. 1 million Google results for “revelant” at least indicates that’s it’s a somewhat common mistake.

The More You Know You Betcha Don’t Know

Remember those awesome NBC Public Service Announcements between Saturday morning cartoons, or the after school kids shows? The ones that always had that upbeat jingle at the end and the flying star trailing a rainbow. 30 second gems of wisdom, summed up with, “The More You Know”. Well, thanks to the wonders of the Internet tubes (and YouTube users who must have some very old videotapes lying around) you can relive some of those moments. Here’s what I found…

You can also view NBC’s current lineup of PSA’s on their official site. The one most worth mentioning is Donald Trump.

Of course YouTube is full of parodies too. I wasn’t impressed with too many and got tired quick, but I’m sure there are some good ones out there. I still think The Office did it all too well with their round of PSAs for the workplace.

Lastly, I came across two more clips from the even older-school NBC. Before “The More You Know” there was “Betcha Don’t Know”. These took a more scientific education angle than the life lessons we got later. I give you: Betcha Don’t Know Why the Sky is blue, and Betcha Don’t Know Zits.

Have you found any other classic “The More You Know” PSAs out there?

Personal Finance and Money Blogs

I’ve never been great at saving or managing my money. But in the past couple years I’ve finally settled into a decent job where I’m no longer living month to month, and I have a bit of money to set aside. Last Christmas my father gave me a book titled, The Lazy Person’s Guide to Investing. As I opened it, even before I could say anything, my father says, “It’s not that I think you’re lazy…” I laughed it off.

I read the book in the next month and it really does give some solid starting advice for saving and investing. It’s by no means a “how to play the stock market” book. It’s quite the opposite. It clearly lays out a smart, sensible approach to saving, focusing on a well-diversified portfolio. As I read it, I thought, “Woah! Wait a minute. I’ve got nothing that could even resemble a ‘portfolio’ let alone enough money to start a well-diversified one.” But it was simple to start thinking in those terms. It doesn’t take much to move some of your 1.5% yearly interest bank savings to a Vanguard fund that’ll earn you anywhere from a 5% to 10% annualized return over a number of years. It’s a lot less intimidating than it seems.

As a result of some of these new learnings, I’ve started reading some more personal finance and money weblogs. Some good starting points:

  • Paul B. Farrell’s columns on MarketWatch.com. The author of the Lazy Person’s Guide writes regularly with a lot of the same good advice.
  • Get Rich Slowly also gives a lot of great advice on saving, and finding places to cut costs in your life. Frugality isn’t always fun, but seeing the results of savings sure is.
  • Wheaties For Your Wallet is a blog for the upcoming Wesabe.com. It provides some good advice for consumers, investors and the money-conscious, in advance of whatever service Wesabe.com is going to offer in that area.
  • Mutual Improvement is a blog from the 43 Things creators, and is a little more focused on personal improvement along the lines of the classic Lifehacker.com, and has had a number of interesting posts lately.
  • StopBuyingCrap.com is, oddly enough, about crap, that companies try to make you buy. Stop buying it.

And if that’s not enough, Get Rich Slowly just posted this roundup of personal development sites with plenty more options.

Start with the little things. Save a little money. Plan for the future. Yadda, yadda. Turns out there’s some truth to all those things our parents told us when we were younger.

A few changes around the old site

I decided it was time for a few changes (hopefully improvements) around here. I figured a persistent navigation was a novel idea and might actually add some continuity to the rest of the site. I know there are some bugs. I forgot how much I loved tracking down weird CSS inconsistencies on seemingly-identical pages and code. I’ve still got some pages to build out for the different sections too, so that will be next.

I also took the blog to 2 columns with a wider content column and bumped up the font size a notch. There was also a lot to clean up work to do in the WordPress templates I had hacked together over the years. There’s still a bunch more I’ll get around to, but I think this was a good start. Let me know if you see anything weird as I continue to work out the kinks.

King of the Strings

It’s time for a search string roundup from the past 3 months. There’s some exciting news to report. Starting in August, I officially have a new string at the top of my list, bringing folk to my site from search engines across the world. The “King of the Strings” is no longer “incredibles porn” but now, “bowling team names“. I mentioned it back in April, when it first started climbing and it kept going. In September I had more than 600 hits for the new string. And of course there’s the usual batch of puzzles, silliness, and amusement…

bear beach – So that’s where they go in the winter
ed rondthaler – I’m getting quite a few hits each month for this great uncle of mine. I need to write him a letter.
can a keytar and keyboard be in the same band – Heck yeah!
good and bad things about eating yogurt
imhotep is invisible problem – Darn pesky Imhotep
snot guns
area code coolness comparison – My area code is better than yours
self-amputation
close-up breast video -xxx -adult -disease -scar -infest -cancer – So, what kind of close-up breast video are you looking for?
emotional design in restaurants restaurants emotional design – Search engines appreciate a little repetition to help them along.
flashing lights on school buses bug me – More than running over little kids?
kid with a fork – Perhaps you’re looking for the Urban Matador
jokes mourning
the most resonation shooting in a school – Huh? Not only is it an insensitive question, but your grammar’s broke.
reptiles and amphetamines – What a great string. It’s actually the name of a nearby climbing route.