Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Discovery News' The Secret of Spook Hill

That's one small step for Grandma...

I love grandmas. Especially my friend Erin's grandma when she's political...

From Erin: So my grandma just emailed me and she has NEVER voted for a democrat because of the abortion issue, but she hates mccain and is voting for obama and THIS is her big issue this year:

"And - - - - Sarah Palin is against Beluga Whales. She is against their protection in certain bays in Alaska by curtailing the speed of ships entering these bays. I recall that when you were just a little tyke you used to sing a cute song about Baby Beluga - do you still know it?"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Scary Synchronized Debating

Presenting another awesome work email forward that will give you chills...

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

Thank you, Andrew Sullivan. Your interns are fantastic.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I just got served

(02:39:42 PM) Me: btw

(02:39:48 PM) Coworker: yes?

(02:40:33 PM) Me: last night i made pulled pork honey bbq sandwiches and rosemary and garlic sweet potatos chips for dinner and i really wanted to call you up and say "BOO YAH!"

(02:42:06 PM) Coworker: well, last night mindy and I had rotisserie chicken in slow-cooked portobello mushrooms, chicken stock and arborio rice. and then I turned 5 lbs of fresh-picked orchard apples into apple crisp. so you can take your boo yah and shove it elsewhere :)

(02:44:26 PM) Me: :( touche.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's hard having a "famous" brother

Actual email exchange between my brother and me...

To: Zach Effron
From: Lauren Effron
Subject: stop being so famous
Oct. 27, 2008 3:23 PM

I was at a leadership alumni tailgate for Maryland's homecoming this weekend because I'm a big dork like that and I was, of course, wearing a name tag that said "Lauren Effron." However, forgetting I was wearing said name tag, I made a complete ass out of myself when some random guy said to me, "You must be really proud of your brother with all his recent success." Being confused and awkward because I thought, "maybe I should know who this person is?" I fumbled out a "yeah, thanks, I didn't know you knew my brother!" He looked at me strangely and then went back to serving food.

He meant this guy - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27363875/

===========================================

To: Lauren Effron
From: Zach Effron
Subject: stop being so famous
Oct. 27, 2008 4:01 PM

ha! that's a pretty funny story. I was buying clothes friday night, and the woman behind the counter asked for my name. When I gave it to her, she looked very confused and suspicious. When I finally asked her if everything was ok, she told me she thought I was making my name up!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Work Quote of the Day

"Can you hear that noise? It sounds like a large bunny eating a metal carrot."

Erin and Lauren's New "Visual" Blog is Live!

So Erin and I decided to go through with our photo blog project, and the first post is live! Erin did a beautiful job with the framing too!

Check it out HERE!

The blog is called "3 p.m. on Sunday" because with our crazy schedules and time difference constraints, we thought we would just each take a picture of whatever we were doing at 3 p.m. every Sunday. Other than that, the idea is basically the same as 3191, where we don't tell each other what we're going to take a photo of and we don't discuss or see it until we email each other.

I had to laugh out loud because Erin posted the location of where our photos were taken. Hers is beautiful fall foliage in an exotic park in the heart of South Korea. Mine is what I had left over after I ate an ice cream cone in a mall in across the Potomac. I have a feeling that's going to happen a lot this year.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obama-McCain Dance Off

Everyone from my team is working from home this week because Discovery is moving all our stuff to the new office space. Naturally, this results in lots of IMing random hilarious videos and political commentary, including this amazing messed-up one of an Obama-McCain dance off. The cinematography is just beautiful.

Also, anyone else hear that Sarah Palin might have to pay income tax on the $150,000 she spent on "borrowing" clothes from the RNC? I don't understand how any of that is legal. Or how that even works. Can I barrow clothes from Dior if I just promise to pay income tax on it?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Today's Mini-Rant on Hipster College Kids

Kasey and I were on Maryland's campus today doing a story for Discovery, and while I was in the middle of shooting, this kid rides up next to me on his 10-speed.

He was lanky and pale. His greasy curls looked like they hadn't been cut or brushed in years. He was wearing ripped skinny jeans, converses, a black hoodie and some garage band t-shirt.

He jumped the curb to come right next to me to say, "Hey! Stop stealing people's souls!"

At first I thought he was being funny so I replied, "Eh. You know how it is. It's for Discovery Channel."

He gasps and yells at me, "So you're stealing people's souls and you're making money off of it?"

Now I'm annoyed. "Yep! Sure am! Now, don't you have someone else you can bother?"

Kid: "Yeaaahhhh, I do." He rides off.

"What a jerk." I said to Kasey, as I kept filming random shots. "Oh man, I thought you knew him!" she replied.

No. In fact, hipster kids who have nothing better to do than to get up all in my grill for no better reason than to feel their heart beat because their skinny jeans are too tight rank right up there with nails on a chalk board. "What does it all mean, man?" It means, if you hate the way I pay my bills, go tell it to your livejournal blog like everyone else.

Work Quote of the Day

"eh. i love accents...but preferably spanish or gangster"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Is This Spam Mail Legal?

It looks like a real, vital-to-my-life, government document, but it is in fact not. Scary though right? Shame on these spammers, making me believe I could finally afford that trip to California. Judge for yourself...

Here's the front:


The back:

(in case you can't read it, it has a stamp on it that says: "Document of Importance. Deliver Immediately."

The inside, page 1 - the airplane ticket voucher, two flights good anywhere in the continental U.S.:


and finally, page 2 - the award explanation:


I am curious what would happen if I pretended to be poor and crazy and took this up to a ticket counter at Dullas...

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Crave Sugar After I Workout

I met my friend Ruth in Bethesda yesterday and when she came bounding out of her building in her cute walking outfit, we were off. We walked from Bethesda to the National Zoo in Woodley Park - around six miles.

Feeling really good and working up a sweat, we met up with two of Ruth's friends and sat down at the zoo cafe for lunch. Afterwards, we walked around the zoo - a place I hadn't been since the first grade.

One of the girls with us, Michelle, had worked in Africa and at a zoo in Florida she had a lot to teach us, which was realy fun. She told us how she raised a baby hippo and knew all sort of hippo facts - like how they'll charge you at 35 mph in the water if you scare them. Of course, we saw the pandas. Estimated walking distance - 7 miles.



After that, the four of us walked to Cleveland Park and cheated a bit by metroing back to Bethesda. Bethesda had shut down their downtown for the Bethesda Row Arts Festival so we did a very adorable Sunday thing and went scrolling through the artisan booths. It my heart swell to see one local photographer's booth full of photos from markets in Aux-de-Provence, Nice, Aveyron and other small French villages that I miss so much (I spent two weeks touring Paris and Southern France the summer before college, plus I'm a huge sucker for food photos).

It shocks me how artists can sell prints of their work - not originals - for $200+, but then again I'm not an artist. As you can imagine, I was talked out of buying the prints - gotta pay the bills, the girls reminded me. Estimated walking distance - 8.8 miles.

(not actual photo I almost bought, but you get the idea.)

After finally getting home around 5:30 p.m., to exhausted and wind burnt to cook anything, I changed into sweats and caved into pulling the cheesecake sampler out of the freezer. And then leftover ravoli with meat sauce. And then a bowl of ice cream. And then some pretzels. I hope after all that and painfully sore calves, I only set myself back 2-3 miles at most.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Work Quote of the Day

"i'd honestly rather have you."

Yet Another Feedbag Appearance

I filled in on the Discovery News Friday News Feedbag podcast again this week because James is out. I think I came off as sounding a little bratty this week, certainly not my best radio personality appearance. Oh, how I do miss my days at WCEI sometimes....

But don't listen for me, listen to the Friday News Feedbag for the crazy science...HERE

Things we covered:
- is glow-in-the-dark stuff radioactive?
- there's a link between a brain chemical and being obese
- finding the origins of Antarctic mountain ranges
- plotting light pollution around the world
- electron-treated seeds
- reconstructing vocal cords
- finding a quantum mechanic hurricane

Enjoy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

3191

My friend Erin had this website in her Facebook profile and I LOVED it so I thought I'd share. It's a much happier topic than taking a hatchet, scalpel, butter knife, what have you, to last night's debate. (To read my brief comments on it, you can read my Twitter feed).

The website is called 3191 because thats how many miles these two professional photographer friends are apart from each other. One lives in Portland, Maine, the other in Portland, Oregon. Their entire project is each taking one photo, every evening, M-F, for a year, without telling each other what they're shooting (using a Nikon d50 for all you camera nerds out there), and then they post it on their "visual" blog.

It's such a simple yet incredible idea, and their photos are gorgeous. Most amazing is when they shoot the same subject.

The two women, Stephanie and Mav, have already published a book called, "A Year of Mornings."

If you're friends with Erin and I on Facebook, then you already know that I've asked her to help me hijack this idea while she's in Korea for the next year. I have two ideas on how to make it our own...

1.) Well, she's in Korea and I'm in D.C. so we're covered there and I was thinking we'd take a photo on Sundays. Sundays are our lazy days unless Erin has to work. Also we're too busy to do this on a regular basis.

2.) Since she's 13 hours ahead of me - so when I'm getting into work, she's going to bed - we could take morning and night photos at the same time. Probably on Sunday.

I'll keep you posted if we go through with it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Facebook Stalking The Ex's


It doesn't matter if you've just got back out on the dating scene or been married for 20+ years. If you have a Facebook account, you have "stalked" an ex-boy/girlfriend, summer fling or random x person you may or may not have made out with at Cornerstone.

I'm guilty of it. You probably are too.

Why do we do this? Maybe it's to see if your former significant other is now fat or in jail. Maybe it's because you miss them and just want to check in and make sure they're miserable too. Maybe it's out of boredom or you just happened to see their face while friend-jumping from profile to profile.

I don't go seeking out my ex-boyfriends on Facebook - or at all for that matter - sometimes it just happens that I'll catch one of them tagged in a picture and think, "oh god, you know so-and-so too?" or I'll hear snippets of their lives at parties and get curious.

From high school to college, I have three ex's: a high school lacrosse/football player who thought about medical school, a Maryland state student council president who thought Ehrlich was God and an aero-space engineering major who had design grants from the U.S. military.

Two of them went to UMBC. Two of them had a five-year plans to marry me. Two got dumped. One dumped me, but I was ready to end it anyway. One wore bow ties to everything. One wanted to constantly take my picture. All three were no more than two years older than me. All three gave me heart pendants for Christmas ("I-Own-You" necklaces as my former roommate dubbed them). All three were very intense individuals and there are multiple, painful reasons why they and I didn't work out. And why we're all much better off.

In seeing one tagged in a photo of another friend of mine, one thing led to another and here's what I found out...

Player - His profile is blocked, but judging by a sloppy drunken profile photo of him playing air-guitar, I guess he's doing well for himself.

President - Got accepted at a law school in Baltimore, so I suppose he's continuing his stern campaign of how he must attend Maryland schools to support Maryland education and Maryland education only.

Engineer - Engaged to a Towson alum. Glad to see his five-year plan worked out for him after all, just equally glad to see it was not with me.

My search is not to be misconstrued as pining - far from it, for I have an amazing life with Tad and wouldn't trade it for anything - it's the same curiosity that led me to catch up with friends from camp or elementary school through Facebook.

But this opens up a new question - have the ex's been FB stalking me? And if they have, I'm not fat, in jail, or miserable so they're probably disappointed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Getting Ugly Out There"

That was ABC's Jake Tapper's quick response to how outlandish the McCain/Palin campaign has become.

It's been caught on camera, the shouts of Palin supporters yelling "Terrorist" and "Kill him" when she or McCain mention Obama's name. Reports began surfacing Monday after Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank broke the story and now the Secret Service are considering the shouts a serious threat against the Democratic candidate and are investigating.

Also scary - McCain/Palin supporters have started verbally attacking reporters and cameramen covering the rallies - with racial slurs no less - after Palin targeted Katie Couric and the evil mainstream media at a rally.

The Huffington Post did a nice round-up of the coverage thus far, complete with video. Read it and watch it here.

Democrat or Republican, this is just sick to me and it's holding our country back.

You Mean "Genius Googles"

One tequila sunrise, you're feeling better. Two tequila sunrises, you're feeling good. Three tequilas, four... and you could be texting your ex saying you still love 'em, absolutely hate 'em, and "what are you doing after?" while your friends giggle and order you another.

Does this happen to you? No worries, Google can be your Mama Bear. For your email account anyways.

ABC News had a story via the Associated Press that reported Google has developed a new feature in their beloved mailing system that can stop you from sending emails while plastered.

The feature, "Mail Googles," automatically kicks on late weekend nights and it forces you to solve basic math problems before it allows you to click send. To quote the AP, "If you can't multiply two times five, you'll probably thank Google in the morning."

GENIUS.

The creator Jon Perlow said he made the application after he sent his ex-girlfriend a drunk email asking to get back together. Hmm, I guess even Google engineers are human. Read the full article here.

As most of us do, I happen to have a friend who is guilty of drunk dialing/texting/IMing/emailing, etc. and of course I passed this along to her with a note saying, "You must read this! This is your life!"

Her response... "Now why can't they do that for Gchatting? If they could do THAT, I'd be impressed. Speaking of which, I have a funny story about drunk Gchatting involving an aids test. Remind me to tell you."

Because this is what resulted...

My Friend: on my way back from dinner (where i stole silverware from the restaurant), a bunch of my coworkers were drinking and hanging out on the landing under my floor and made me drink this shit.
11:07 PM

Her Ex: mhmmm. i like where this is going

My Friend: i like where i'm at. drunk.
11:08 PM

Her Ex: nice. don't you have work tomorrow?

My Friend: well. sorta? i think its more orientation stuff and then i have to go to the hospital to get tested for aids and drug use
11:09 PM

Her Ex: hot
11:10 PM

My Friend: yeah so uh, i guess i'll let you know if i have aids or anything? haha.

Her Ex: very nice.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Work Quote of the Day

"Shut up! Trash is too a setting!"

Monday, October 6, 2008

Biking Germany

Speaking of wishing to be out of America... I have another friend, Thea, who is in Germany now to get her masters in agricultural studies and just sent me the biggest email ever. She just moved there a few weeks ago and she literally set down her boxes after getting off the plane and jumped on a bike with her dad.

And then they biked southern Germany. Even did 110 km in one day!

Below is an image she sent me that maps out their path...


Thanks Google Maps!

She mentions the wind was really cold and they got lost in a few apple fields, but I think I wouldn't mind that either.

Her next adventure was hiking through Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland for four days. I just crack up at Thea's description: "We saw lots of great scenery : snow caped mountains, 25 waterfalls (there are 75 in the valley area), lots of mushrooms, moss and big valleys." Hahaha.

Sigh, yes, another friend to live vicariously through :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Poor Traveler's Big Vacation

Two of my best friends, Erin and Melissa, have begun the next chapter in their lives - teaching english in South Korea. I couldn't be more happy for and jealous of them.

Their blogs are now filled with colorful pictures and stories of food markets, incredible architecture and their first hilarious impressions of the schools they'll be teaching in. As I scroll through Insadong, I can't help but remember a time when they asked me to go with them. At the time, I thought they were crazy. It seemed like such a close your eyes and spin the globe-type idea. Plus, the thought of moving half way around the world away from my niche terrified me. Now it excites me. Crap.

I'm comfortable in my little niche and completed the "go to school. get a job. get a stable living environment" plan in perfect succession. Even moved in with the boyfriend and LOVE my job, which is a rare find right out of school. But it's almost boring you to tears, no?

Yes, I'm pretty settled, but seeing Erin and Melissa's adventures unfold pulls at my restless, wide side that wishes to dive into the new, different and unknown. I'm determined to fullfill these cravings by visiting them, hopefully in January (work willing) so Tad can come too over winter break. There's just one obvious problem. Flying to the other side of the world is hella-expensive.

Cheapest flights I've found range (including taxes+fees) $1125-$5000+ and that's booking four months in advance! And yet, a roundtrip nonstop flight plus three nights hotel stay only costs $404 in Nassau? Not fair!

If any of you out in cyber space have tips for finding something cheaper, please share your wisdom. Other wise, my big vacation will be buying us a new couch.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Work Quote of the Day

Let's just keep with the theme here since our minds are already in the gutter today...

"Tracy's looks ok. The size of mine is a bit below average."

Space Porn? Not On a Whitehorn Ship!

Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn, who is funding space flights to tourists who can pony-up the cash, said that he has rejected an offer to allow a space porn be made on his ship.

Several people asked Whitehorn if he would allow a camera crew to tape people having sex in space and said one offer, "was $1 million, up front, for a sex-in-space movie. That was money we had to refuse, I'm afraid."

One of my coworkers (different than the one from the previous post) sent me the article and this is the conversation that followed...

Me: lol wow
Coworker: if they agreed, I would buy it. Just to own the first-ever space porn. It's too funny of an idea no to.
Me: hahaha I think it would be too awkward for them to do anything.
Coworker: They'd probably be sick. Zero-g screws with you pretty badly, for days sometimes.
Me: hahahaha EW.

For the full article, click here.

Creepist. Thing. Ever.

The coloring, the hair, the eyes, the fingers... looks scary real but it's a DOLL! And I'm not lying to you, there's one in the slideshow called "Baby Lauren."

CBS's Today Show did a feature on these baby dolls made by Reborn Baby (Interesting. When I tried to link to their website, it said their account has been suspended). They're made to look so life-like that TV shows have started using them on set and they're being sold on the market to target people with empty nest syndrome.

Here! Check out my fake baby!



My coworker was talking about how much fun you could have freaking out people with one of those. Imagine all the punk'ds with throwing one of these in front of a car or rolling one down the hill... not my ideas!

Either way, they terrify me. Click here to check out the full gallery.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We're Work Moving Again

Admin is moving my team and I to a new desk area again - second time we've moved since I've been at discovery and i've only been here for four months.

Currently, we are on the luxurious 4th floor with big windows looking out over a construction site, meeting rooms, sky lights, high ceilings and snack machines. We're being moved to the 2nd floor which is actually a lie because the "2nd floor" is really a big loft above the cafe on the 1st floor.

My coworker and I just went to check it out. It's like a cemetery. You can only get to it via Staircase To Nowhere, meaning no elevator, it was dead quiet (we only saw two people working), no meeting rooms, no machines - not even a coffee pot, and the ceilings are about three feet above the top of the cube.

I will hear by call it the cave. The cave sucks.