I’m Inextricably Afraid of Insects and Arachnids

I’m not allergic to the stings of bees, but they petrify me. I guess my mother’s fear carried over to me as I was growing up, so I never had a chance. I understand the size difference between the insect and myself, and that the worst that’s going to happen is I have an itchy bump on my body for a few days…

I also know that they don’t attack unless provoked. I’m not sure why I can’t get over it. I’m not going to sign up for some aversion therapy and stick my arm in a box full of bees either. I accept this as a downfall in my makeup, and I live with it. Besides, it’s pretty funny when I go darting off to the side because a bee or a housefly buzzed past me, though, so I’ll keep it around as comedic relief for my friends.

Imagine, if you will, the sheer amount of discomfort I had looking at this photoset on The Atlantic.

She Ping, a 34 year-old beekeeper, covered with a swarm of bees on a small hill in southwest China's Chongqing municipality on April 9, 2014. Ping released more than 460,000 bees, using queen bees to attract them to his body, and made himself a suit of bees that weighed 45.65kg (100 pounds) within 40 minutes. (AFP/Getty Images)
She Ping, a 34 year-old beekeeper, covered with a swarm of bees on a small hill in southwest China’s Chongqing municipality on April 9, 2014. Ping released more than 460,000 bees, using queen bees to attract them to his body, and made himself a suit of bees that weighed 45.65kg (100 pounds) within 40 minutes. (AFP/Getty Images)

Nope.

So I’m flipping through my guide, and I come across this…

Worst show ever?

Can you imagine the person pitching this show to a network? Can you imagine a network picking it up and airing it? Can you imagine anyone sitting there and watching it? Does anything about this synopsis, title of show, or name of the episode scream “comedy” to you?

If if does, we probably shouldn’t be friends.

 

Google Reader’s Going Away, but Why?

I know free services can go by the wayside from time to time, but Google made a very strange decision today. On July, Reader will be shutting down. We’ve got three months to find an alternative that works just as well, and I’m wondering if we’ll just have to settle for a knock-off clone.

The blurb in the spring cleaning post reads:

We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.

What’s great about this, is that one of two things is true: 1) They’ve gravely underestimated the userbase (which is unlikely because it’s fucking Google), or 2) the diminishing userbase is so large that it can simultaneously rape the servers of the main five comparative services so I can’t test drive any of them to see where I’m going to wind up. Yeah, I know it’s the first day the news is out there, and the traffic will subside, it’s just an overall annoying inconvenience to make this change.

I’ve curated a list of feeds that caters to my interests, ranging from local news, to thirteen different baseball-related feeds, to friend’s blogs, to new music releases on Bandcamp. It’s more than just a really streamlined interface through which I can browse and read my aggregated feeds, though. It’s an entire API for syncing that data across five different devices that I use throughout the day, and that’s the crucial part I’ll be missing.

At a first glance, the Reader interface is scarce; it lacks large gradiated buttons and gloss. It’s dependent upon the feed, and if the author includes images of course, but there’s a lot of text in every view. There’s no unnecessary animations as you flip between each article… There’s no blurry images because its trying to stretch thumbnails to make magazine style layouts… It’s focused purely on the full content of each feed’s data, and it’s what I’m trying desperately to find in its replacement.

The question I’m left with is, “Why do I need to find a replacement to begin with?” I’m assuming the service requires little to no maintenance, and it’s a solid data collection utility for Google. Is this part of a shift to centralize social interactions on every level on G+? Good luck with that, bros. There’s no less than three apps on my phone and tablet that will become completely useless without the Reader API, and one desktop app is gone too. Oh well, guess we’ll have to suck it up and move on. Good thing Brazil and Pakistan still have access to Orkut, though!

I’m probably a lightweight in comparison to others, but here’s the basic stats from my Reader:

From your 58 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 3,392 itemsclicked 328 itemsstarred 28 items, and emailed 0 items.