The Illusion of Multitasking

• “Multi-taskers often think they are like gym rats, bulking up their ability to juggle tasks, when in fact they are like alcoholics, degrading their abilities through over-consumption.” —Clay Shirky

• “Fucking two things up at the same time isn't multitasking” —Dick Masterson

• “The heaviest multitaskers — those who invariably said they could focus like laser beams whenever they wanted — were terrible at various cognitive chores such as organizing information, switching between tasks and discerning significance.” —Clifford Nass, Stanford Univ.

 New Yorker image

New Yorker image

• (Multitaskers are) “suckers for irrelevancy. Everything distracts them. They’re living and writing in a staccato world.” —Clifford Nass

• “We could essentially be undermining the thinking ability of our society. We could essentially be dumbing down the world.” —Clifford Nass

• (Researchers) “demonstrated that drivers using cell phones—even hands-free devices—were at just as high a risk of accidents as intoxicated ones.” —Maria Konnikova, The New Yorker

• “There is a tiny but persistent subset of the population—about two per cent—whose performance does not deteriorate, and can even improve, when multiple demands are placed on their attention. The supertaskers are true outliers.” —David Strayer paraphrased by Maria Konnilova

• "The flip side, of course, is that, for the ninety-seven and a half per cent of us who don’t share the requisite genetic predisposition, no amount of practice will make us into supertasking stars." —David Strayer paraphrased by Maria Konnilova

• "I can't do anything at once." —R. Chimes

• “Juggling is an illusion. ... In reality, the balls are being independently caught and thrown in rapid succession. ... It is actually task switching.” —Gary Keller

• “When we think we're multitasking we're actually multiswitching. That is what the brain is very good at doing - quickly diverting its attention from one place to the next. We think we're being productive. We are, indeed, being busy. But in reality we're simply giving ourselves extra work.” —Michael Harris

• “Do three things well, not ten things badly.” —David Segrove

 • Above: Typical corporate overachiever in full multitasking mode  Art by Heroes of Might and Magic V

• Above: Typical corporate overachiever in full multitasking mode

Art by Heroes of Might and Magic V

C.S.I. Thanksgiving

 www.grimescartoons.com

www.grimescartoons.com

• “If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.” —W. Clement Stone

• “My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor.” —Phyllis Diller

 www.grimescartoons.com   

www.grimescartoons.com

 

• “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” —Willie Nelson

• “We seldom think of what we have but always of what we lack." —Arthur Schopenhauer

• “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” —William Arthur Ward

 www.grimescartoons.com

www.grimescartoons.com

• “I say we all take the pledge and stay home. Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for what you have, not to save a few dollars to get more.” —Regina Brett

• “I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.” —Jon Stewart

• Below: Time-lapse of American seizure of indigenous land, 1776-1887. Betweeen 1776 and 1887, the U.S. seized over 1.5 billion acres, an eighth of the world, from America’s indigenous people by treaty and executive order.  Video concludes with a map of current Indian reservations. (Previously featured in Fizzdom, July 4, 2014.)

 Bruce McCall

Bruce McCall

Why Be Normal?

 • Richard, to his imaginatively-dysfunctional family: "Oh my God. I'm getting pulled over. Everyone, just ...   pretend to be normal. "

• Richard, to his imaginatively-dysfunctional family:
"Oh my God. I'm getting pulled over. Everyone, just ... 
pretend to be normal."

• “Normal is in the eye of the beholder.” —Whoopi Goldberg

• “Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” —Albert Camus

• “Maybe your weird is my normal. Who's to say?” —Nicki Minaj

• “I don’t think anyone has a normal family.” —Edward Furlong

• “The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well.” —Alfred Adler

• “How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being?” —Oscar Wilde

• “I feel 80% of my life is completely normal.” —J. K. Rowling

• “Every normal person, in fact, is only normal on the average. His ego approximates to that of the psychotic in some part or other and to a greater or lesser extent.” —Sigmund Freud
    
• “Sometimes I think, 'Why couldn't I have been normal?’” —Demi Lovato

• “You use your money to buy privacy because during most of your life you aren't allowed to be normal.” —Johnny Depp
    
• “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” —H. L. Mencken

• “I’m just another douche-bag with a job and three pairs of Dockers.” —Saul Goodman, Walter White’s lawyer in “Breaking Bad”

• “Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.” —Ellen Goodman

Normal is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.” —Jodie Foster

• “What is normal? That's just a story that we tell ourselves.” —Matthew Quick

 • Actual quote from “Mother’s Night”: "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."

• Actual quote from “Mother’s Night”: "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."

• Below: Trailer for "Little Miss Sunshine" 
2:29; Writer: Michael Arndt; Co-Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

• Fans of "Little Miss Sunshine" may be interested this study of the film's characters and dysfunctional roles by a Swedish film student (gets interesting at page 17+): http://www.academia.edu/1934223/_Everyone_Just_Pretend_to_be_Normal_A_Sociological_Analysis_of_Little_Miss_Sunshine

Calvin, Hobbes & Mitch McConnell

     Mitch McConnell (R-KY)  Senate Majority Leader  as of January 2015     Washington Post 11.4.14

    Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Senate Majority Leader as of January 2015     Washington Post 11.4.14

 Calvin and Hobbes ©Bill Watterson

Calvin and Hobbes ©Bill Watterson

• "Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance."  —H.L. Mencken

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

• “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” —George Carlin

• “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” —wall poster by Despair, inc. 

 Calvin and Hobbes ©Bill Watterson

Calvin and Hobbes ©Bill Watterson

• “Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?” —Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Watterson

• “Stupidity has a knack of getting its way.” —Albert Camus

Political Warning Signs

 fizzdom.com political warning signs politics boehner mcdonnell election republicans

Mid-term prognostications courtesy of Andy Borowitz/The Borowitz Report/New Yorker 10.29.14:

• With just one week to go until the midterm elections, a new poll indicates that billionaires are likely to retain control of the United States government.

• Davis Logsdon, who supervised the poll for the University of Minnesota, said that next Tuesday should be “a big night for oligarchs” and that both houses of Congress can be expected to grovel at the feet of their money-gushing paymasters for at least the next two years.

• Calling the billionaires’ upcoming electoral romp “historic,” Logsdon said, “We have not seen the super-rich maintain such a vise-like grip on the government since the days immediately preceding the French Revolution.”


Mid-term prognostications courtesy of www.vox.com 10.26.14

"What will the GOP Senate do?

  • According to forecasts, the Republicans have about a 68 percent chance of retaking the Senate.
    [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • The case that it'll amount to absolutely nothing: "The political roadblocks that have made legislating all but impossible during Obama’s second term aren’t going away. The 114th Congress will probably look a lot like the 113th."
    [New Republic / Danny Vinik]
  • The case that it'll amount to something: "There's one big thing that changes the moment Republicans win Senate: nominations."
    [Vox / Ezra Klein]
  • The House's #2 Republican, Kevin McCarthy, wants to start before the GOP Senate's even in office: "He would like to use the lame-duck session to pass a long-term government-funding bill, so Washington can begin focusing on big-picture legislating, instead of just trying to keep government’s doors open."
    [Politico / Jake Sherman]
  • But Ramesh Ponnuru thinks that's nuts: "McCarthy will be asking Republicans to give up some of their control over the budget in that period by working with a Democratic Senate that's on its way out. Does that sound like something that conservatives in Congress will meekly accept?"
    [Bloomberg / Ramesh Ponnuru]
  • Jon Chait is doubtful: "As the Senate majority leader in 2005, McConnell himself threatened to eliminate the judicial filibuster when Democrats started blocking George W. Bush’s federal court picks."
    [NY Mag / Jonathan Chait]

  •  Meanwhile, anonymous Democrats are worried the GOP will lock up the House for the rest of the decade: "if the Republicans pick up 10 seats or more, then we will have no chance of getting the House back in 2016, and that means we are done until 2020."[Financial Times / Richard McGregor]"

(Thx Jim Palam for "Enough Already" no-bull signage)

Scary-As-Hell Creatures

 Above: “Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park” (1962) by Diane Arbus. In 2005 an original print of the photograph sold for $408,000.

Above: “Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park” (1962) by Diane Arbus. In 2005 an original print of the photograph sold for $408,000.

 www.marcjohns.com/

www.marcjohns.com/

 Source: TheFunnyPlace.net

Source: TheFunnyPlace.net

• Below: For Trick or Treaters who fail to wear an actual costume, are over 16, or fail to say "Thank you" or "No problem."

 Source: unknown from tumblr

Source: unknown from tumblr

  Atlantic.com photo by Reuters/Brian Snyder

Atlantic.com photo by Reuters/Brian Snyder

What Dog Lovers Know

 Above: Poster by Keep Britain Tidy mashed up by Fizzdom

Above: Poster by Keep Britain Tidy mashed up by Fizzdom

• “Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?” —Jerry Seinfeld

 grimescartoons.com

grimescartoons.com

 DoodyCalls.com

DoodyCalls.com

 grimescartoons.com

grimescartoons.com

  source: DoodyCalls.com

“Just give me a comfortable couch, a dog, a good book, and a woman. Then if you can get the dog to go somewhere and read the book, I might have a little fun.” —Groucho Marx

  DoodyCalls.com

DoodyCalls.com

• “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” —Josh Billings

Your One Wild and Precious Life

 Screen shots from Harold Lloyd's 1923 film, "Safety Last"

Screen shots from Harold Lloyd's 1923 film, "Safety Last"

• “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you’re still a rat.” —William Sloane Coffin (later quoted by Lily Tomlin)

 Art attributed to Banksy

Art attributed to Banksy

• “23 and 69 Are the Happiest Ages”  —headline from London School of Economics 2013

• “The individual's right to pursue his own vision of the best ratio of pleasure to pain (is) utterly sacrosanct.” —David Foster Wallace

 Cartoon by Ian Stevenson

Cartoon by Ian Stevenson

 grimescartoons.com

grimescartoons.com

• “Just choose a dead-end and chill out till you die.” —Homer Simpson’s career advice to Lisa on "The Simpsons" by Matt Groening

• Below: Mary Oliver reads her short poem that includes the animated phrase above:

Celebrating Labor - Out Our Window

 All photos taken from inside Fizzdom's San Francisco studio 

All photos taken from inside Fizzdom's San Francisco studio 

• “If all the cars in the U.S. were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend.” —Doug Larson

• “If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar. If any man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool.” —Abraham Lincoln 

  Film crew  sets up a chase scene around our block.

Film crew sets up a chase scene around our block.

• “I think organized labor is a necessary part of democracy. Organized labor is the only way to have fair distribution of wealth.” —Dolores Huerta

• “Of all the American educational system's problems, none is more severe than the academic year beginning before Labor Day.” —P. J. O'Rourke

  Emergency responders  deal with a grounded cabin cruiser on SF's Ocean Beach highjacked by drunk man celebrating his 35th birthday. He travelled over 20 miles through the Bay and the Golden Gate before calling it a night. 

Emergency responders deal with a grounded cabin cruiser on SF's Ocean Beach highjacked by drunk man celebrating his 35th birthday. He travelled over 20 miles through the Bay and the Golden Gate before calling it a night. 

• “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” —Ovid  

 Source: The Century Foundation tcf.org

Source: The Century Foundation tcf.org