Monday, July 9, 2007

On Stupidity

A. Half the world is in the bottom 50% of intelligence.

I was watching "1 vs. 100" the other day -- that NBC show in which... well, because I'm too lazy to type the description out, I will paste in what Wikipedia has to say about it: "a single player (the 1) goes up against 100 other contestants (the mob). The 1 gains money for each mob member eliminated, but loses all winnings with an incorrect answer at any point. The host is actor-comedian Bob Saget, and the top prize is $1,000,000 US."

Okay. So the first question in these types of shows is always insanely easy, and the broadcast I was watching was no exception. The question was: "Which of these life forms has the fewest number of cells?" The choices:

1. Eastern Grey Squirrel
2. Calista Flockhart
3. Amoeba

Now, any reasonably intelligent person would laugh at how ludicrously easy that question is. An amoeba is, after all, a one-celled organism. We all learned that back in elementary school. Imagine my shock, then, when the "1" had to use one of her lifelines (or "helps," or whatever it is the kids are calling it these days), in this case choosing to "Poll the Mob." Of course, the most popular answer was the amoeba.

But that's not all: they revealed how many people got the question right versus wrong... and of the 100 people, 89 got it right.

This means ELEVEN GOT IT WRONG. You read that correctly: 11 people out of 100 did not know that an amoeba has fewer cells than a squirrel or a skinny actress. Granted, said actress only has 100 cells, but that's still an order two orders of magnitude greater than one. I just wanted to strangle them all, but I contented myself with the knowledge that they will soon likely weed their genes out of existence through natural selection.

B. The District of Columbia Street Signage Department

Parking around my building is usually quite plentiful, except late at night. As I am a veritable Party Animal, routinely rocking the house in Adams Morgan until the wee hours of the morning, I often have to search for an open space. I recently discovered a treasure trove of spaces just half a block down the street, with a street that indicated Zone 3 parking from 7 am - 8:30 pm! Awesome! But then I noticed the sign just above:


Which is it?! And can someone please tell me which Civil Sadist gave the go ahead to install these two contradictory signs right next to each other? And what do I do? One friend told me I should park there and, if I get ticketed, show them this picture. Another said that I can't park there because the negative sign supersedes the positive sign. Yet another said that I can't park there because red signs are legally superior to blue signs.

Someone please help. I cannot cope with all the idiocy.


Jay Goodman Tamboli said...

I'd guess the reason for the contradictory signs is that it's cheaper to use contradictory signs than it is to make special signs for places where the policies overlap.

That said, the no-parking sign looks like a rush hour section, which means that not only will the fine be $100, but they'll tow your car. I wouldn't risk it.

I'm actually really lucky: I live a block from a school, where it's illegal to park between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM on school days. Legal all other times. During the day, I can usually find a spot on my block. Late at night, I just park by the school, where there's always room, and I just have to move my car by 8, at which time other spots have usually opened up.

the fish said...

that's pretty easy. park at will from 9:30 am to 8:30pm with a zone 3 permit, and from 8:30pm to 7:00am without one.

unless there's an emergency.