July 6th, 2006


Focus groups are cool

I got paid $75 dollars today for sitting in a room talking about computer games for two hours!

And they had a drawing for everyone who showed up early to give out another check! And I won the drawing! That's the most valuable thing I've ever won in my life.

I have forms you can fill out if you'd like to register for other focus groups.

Bay Area Tourist Reviews: San Francisco Pride Parade and California Academy of Sciences

So way back on June 25, which seems like a long time ago now, we went to watch the San Francisco Pride Parade. It was neat! There were costumes!

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There were many interesting signs as well, and quite a variety of groups participating. I particularly liked "Old Lesbians for Change" (not sure why; something about the name just tickles me) and the sign reading "My kid can beat up your constitutional amendment."

After the parade, we popped in to see the California Academy of Sciences, since we were in the vicinity. The aquarium part is quite nice (electric eel, elephant-nose fish, several enormous alligator snapping turtles), but the museum part is a bit random. There's no particular organizing structure, and all the labels seemed to be rather hastily written. Not only were they missing important information, but they were also poorly copyedited. I kept having Grammar Nazi moments of argh.

The museum has many local plants and animals, a reasonably comprehensive selection of volcanic rocks, and a video/photo display on the theme of "Is there life on other planets?" which basically goes "Extremophiles are cool! Look at the extremophiles! These particular extremophiles inhabit conditions not too far from conditions on Mars/Europa/Enceladus, so there could be life there and that would be really cool!" My personal favorite exhibit was the little refrigerated habitat full of carnivorous, glacier-dwelling, nocturnal beetles, complete with their own little piles of snow on which to skitter about. There was also, unconnected to anything else in the museum, a monitor showing the BBC's "Walking with Prehistoric Beasts." We were glad to have the chance to sit down for a while. The part of the show we saw was pretty neat, so we duly added it to the Netflix queue when we got home.