Happy Birthday, Nikola Tesla!

447px-Tesla_circa_1890Today is Nikola Tesla’s birthday. He would have been 158 years old today. But he died in 1943 (or so he would have us believe).

If you don’t know who Tesla is, he’s the handsome chap in the photo and he was an inventor. In fact, there’s an 99% chance that you have interacted with one of his inventions within the last three minutes. And even though I just pulled that figure out of my posterior, it’s probably true.

Best known for his work with Alternating Current (as opposed to Direct Current), Tesla also made breakthroughs in x-rays, radio, and even a death ray weapon. Seriously.

Given his contributions to science and his understanding of technology decades in advance of its realization, I think it is entirely likely that Tesla is out there somewhere right now and that his “death” was a ruse.

But honestly, I could never do as good of a job of telling you who Tesla was as this comic created by The Oatmeal. For those sensitive to foul language, browse with care.

5 Life Lessons from Bruce Willis

800px-Bruce_Willis_Walk_of_Fame

One this day in 1955, Bruce Willis entered the world in the normal way, guns blazing. Yippee Ki Yay!

And so, on this day, I’d like to look at a few of the lesser known details of Bruce’s life and share a few things that I think we can learn from him.

young_bruce_willisHe had a stutter as a kid. Do you know how he overcame that stutter? By acting on stage. As he grew more confident through his acting, he lost the stutter. I don’t know about you, but if I had a stutter, the last place you’d find me would be in front of a group of people who were there to hear me speak.

Lesson #1 – Do the hard things.

He was nicknamed Buck Buck by the other kids in school. I’m guessing it was related to the stutter, but Buck Buck is a tough name to take. It certainly wouldn’t give me any reasons to call attention to myself by trying out for the school plays and musicals.

Lesson #2 – Ignore mean people.

BruceWillis_-_ReturnOfBrunoHe had a song hit #2 on the British Top 40. It was from his album, The Return of Bruno, and was a remake of the Drifter’s classic, “Under the Boardwalk.” For those of you who have only ever known Bruce Willis to be an actor in action films, it may surprise you that the man can sing. Well, he can.

Lesson #3 – Surprise people.

Bruce_Willis_-_1987Before playing one on Moonlighting, he worked as a real private eye. Moonlighting, of course, was the television show on which Willis won an Emmy for Best Actor. Why was he a good actor for this role? In addition to his obvious acting abilities, he had experience.

Lesson #4 – Learn from your past experiences.

He has modeled jeans, acted on stage, television, and film, and recorded music albums. Before looking up his extensive career, I never would have thought of Bruce Willis as a renaissance man. He totally is though. And while he may not be recording many albums now or modeling jeans for Levi anymore, he wasn’t afraid to try something new to further his career.

Lesson #5 – Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Happy Birthday Bruce! May you continue to try new things and see success in efforts.

Interview with an Almost-Three-Year-Old

I took a few days off this week to spend with my girls while their normal daycare provider is on vacation. I love spending time with my girls. My youngest is all smiles and snuggles. My oldest is full of surprises.

oldest_daughterAnyway, I decided to do an interview with them. I’m only going to post the interview with my eldest here though, since my youngest is still working on building her vocabulary (at the moment, her favorite word is “bubble”, which, admittedly, is a fine word). The following is our interview.

ME: Your birthday is coming up soon. How old will you be?

HER: Umm, free. Free. Free. Free.

ME: What do you want for your birthday?

HER: Cupcakes with polka dots that matches my socks with polka dots. (She doesn’t actually own any socks with polka dots)

ME: Anything else?

HER: Cupcakes and muffins.

ME: Do you want any toys?

HER: Yup. I do want toys… and blocks. I do want blocks. I want to live in a house for my birthday (We do actually live in a house). I want to live in a tall house for my birthday with a lot of toys. A lot of toys.

ME: What is your favorite color?

HER: Red. Red is my favorite color.

ME: Why?

HER: I don’t know, but I remember that it is my favorite color. I have to remember that my birthday is coming up. Why is my birthday coming up? (She likes to question the motives of everything, including calendar events)

PAUSE INTERVIEW TO LOOK AT THE SQUIRREL FEEDER OUT THE FRONT WINDOW WHERE A SQUIRREL HAS JUST DISCOVERED THAT I PUT UP FRESH CORN

HER: Where are the baby squirrels? And the mama squirrels? And the daddy squirrels?

BACK TO ME

ME: Tell me about your family.

HER: Mommy. Mommy.

ME: What about Mommy?

HER: A horsey.

ME: Is Mommy a horsey?

HER: No.

ME: What is Mommy?

HER: A person.

ME: Good.

HER: Please, I want to color.

ME: Okay.

END OF INTERVIEW

I  was pretty happy with how it turned out. And I’m glad that she doesn’t think her mom is a horse. Because that wouldn’t be a very nice thing to say about someone. Unless that someone is the amazing Mr. Ed (who actually was a horse).

Happy Birthday from Me! | For Everyone Else

Today is my 30th birthday. And instead of expecting a gift from each of you, I’ve decided to give you a gift.

Some people may know that before I was a blogger, before I would even have considered myself a fiction writer, I was a song writer.

One of my songs may still be played on the local radio station in Dillon, Montana. It was a song called “Carny Girl”.

And for my birthday, I have decided to give this song to you. The lyrics are written below.

Carny Girl by Josh Mosey

chorus

she’s my carny girl, queen of my world,

works the tilt-o-whirl, my carny girl.

she’s my carny girl

she’s my carny girl

v1

she looks like a princess, but only from a distance

that’s why I try to keep her out of sight.

the smell of her hair is like my underwear

after eating pork and beans all night.

v2

her teeth, I’m glad she’s got em’, two on top and one on bottom,

it’s hard to use the straw at Dairy Queen.

to kiss her feels real weird, and I really love her beard,

but to look at her real close just turns me green.

v3

to look into her eyes, it’s not a big surprise

that only one is looking back at me.

my girl she’s got the gout, but I love to take her out,

and leave her…

Check it out here.

If you work for a radio station, feel free to play it. It is a gift. I only ask that you refer people back to me, Josh Mosey, as this may well be the thing for which I will become famous. And I could use the publicity to sell my books. Just saying.

Happy Birthday from Me! | For Writers

Today is my 30th birthday. And instead of expecting a gift from each of you, I’ve decided to give you a gift.

For any students or writers out there, this is a tool that I have developed for my bag of writing tricks. It has a page of prepositions, pages of boys and girls names, a page of weapons, and a list of different ways to say “said”.

Download the ABC’s of writing tools here.

This could also be a tool for parents-to-be to browse name choices. Just an idea.

Anyway, I’ve found it to be a handy resource and I hope you do too.

Happy Birthday Gary Larson!

Today is Gary Larson’s 62nd birthday. Gary, if you are reading this, many happy returns of the day to you.

For the rest of you, I want to talk about something amazing that involves Gary Larson, his comic strip “The Far Side”, and paleontology.

If you are a Far Side fan like me, you’ll remember this comic:

The comic reads, “Now this end is called the thagomizer… after the late Thag Simmons.”

I’m not going to explain why this is funny (it is), but I am going to tell you something funny that happened after this comic was published.

By chance, paleontologist, Ken Carpenter, of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, saw the comic and used the term “Thagomizer” when describing a fossil at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting in 1993.

Since then, Thagomizer has become the informal anatomical term referring to the arrangement of four spikes on the tail of a dinosaur and has been used by other illustrious sources, like the BBC.

The thing that amazes me in all of this is that Larson, a cartoonist, has influenced the study of paleontology by doing nothing more than pulling a twisted idea out of his head and putting it down on the page.

I can think of few things more amazing than having something that I have created influence someone else. I can only aspire to follow in such footsteps.

My hat goes off to you Mr. Larson. Thank you for your contributions to the multiple worlds of comics, books, and paleontology.

Happy Birthday!

 

I am about to turn 30. | My Birthday List

I’m turning 30 in just over a month.

In my head, I stopped aging at 23. Maybe that’s because I was married just days after 23. Maybe marriage was the mark of being a grown-up, so I just don’t feel substantially different with each passing birthday.

Sure, I have kids now, but I don’t really feel older than when I got married. The fact that I have kids just means that I am a virile 23-year-old.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ll be 30 next month.

Medically speaking, this is a mixed bag. According to a CNN report, people have the greatest cognitive abilities between 30 and 40. But also, our major organs start to break down at 30.

Anyway, aging is better than the alternative. Plus, there are usually presents.

So for those of you who would like to give me something, here’s my list:

Books

CDs

Lego Sets (Any of these would be fine)

Gift Cards

Clothes

  • Humorous T-shirts (Size L usually)

Other

That’s a pretty good list. I may add to it if I see something else that looks good. Mostly, this list is for people like close family members, but if you want to buy something for me, that’s cool too. Maybe you could have it delivered to my work and I’ll get it there (that way I don’t reveal my actual address on the interweb). Ship any gifts to Josh Mosey c/o Baker Book House, 2768 E Paris Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Unless it is a mean or deadly gift. Don’t bother to mail those to me.

Hey, only five more years until I can run for President, right?