Wednesday, March 09, 2005

On Balding

I think it was Lewis Grizzard who wrote an article lamenting that rednecks are the last minority left unprotected by the politically correct movement. It's still okay to make fun of them without getting anyone too riled up.

I've been thinking lately, as I lose more of my hair, that baldness is another area where we as a society are comfortable saying things we'd never say about some other "defect" in physical appearance. You'd never say, "Oooh, that mole looks a lot bigger than it did last Christmas," but we don't bat an eye about telling Uncle Jim his hair's rapidly leaving the premises. And it's not like the comment catches Uncle Jim unaware. "Really? My hair's falling out? Boy, am I glad you said something! I certainly don't spend the first and last five minutes of each waking day assessing the relative sparsity of my coiffure."

At a wedding reception a couple of years ago, an old family friend approached me and said, "You've lost a lot of hair since I saw you last." I wanted to reply with, "You're a lot uglier than I remember you," but that's exactly my point -- it's socially acceptable to embarrass me about my hair but my hands are tied when it comes to pointing out that you're not aging so well yourself.

I'm off to listen to Top Of My Head by David Wilcox.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Google Maps

Check out the beta of Google Maps. I particularly like that you can click and drag the whole map so you can follow a road without having to relocate it at each refresh. Excellent for figuring out where that railroad track next to my house ends up. Surprisingly, the search intelligence doesn't seem to be that great yet -- if you type in a street without a number it can't find the street.

Update April 5, 2005 - they recently added satellite images, too.