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Archive for the ‘The More You Know’ Category

The most important news of the day has nothing to do with the economy or Obama’s newest appointment, but one of the biggest academic breakthroughs in years.  No, nobody has cured a disease or (re-)discovered the meaning of life (apparently “42” is not a widely accepted theory,) but there is now an equation that explains procrastination! [Link]


  • U = utility (desire to complete a task)
  • E = expectation of success
  • V = value of completion
  • I = immediacy of the task
  • D = personal sensitivity to delay

This actually makes sense if you think about it.  Rewards over urgency is desire.  At least I can now justify the need to get to the next level in Super Paper Mario instead of mopping the kitchen floor.


Dear People that Read my Blog,
You know those roll things that hold the toilet paper in the toilet paper holder? What are they even called?  Where do you buy one of those?
Love, Rachel

I went to my new apartment this morning, and while it is furnished (can anyone suggest what to do with four end tables?) it does not have a thing to hold the toilet paper in the dispenser.  Time for another google hunt.  This time, the topic is toilet paper.

1. The iCarta iPod Toilet Paper Holder. For the low price of $69.95 I can replace the metal brackets in my wall with a four speaker system that plays music and dispenses paper.  Uhh…

2. I found some snarkily passive-aggressive directions for how to put toilet paper on the roll.  Fascinating.  I can send this to a few of my former roommates. Except I’m looking for a roll to put my toilet paper on, but still a funny find.

3. The Great Toilet Paper Debate. (Warning, this site makes noise.)  There are some people with way too much time on their hands.  Personally, I’m a front, but it’s not a deal-breaker.

Ok, we’re going nowhere.  Sometimes Google is not the best answer.  Sometimes, you need to call your mom.  Apparently they sell these things at the grocery store.  What a lame answer.  I’ll check it out later and update you on the ongoing saga.  Maybe I’ll even find out what they’re actually called.

One of my life goals is to learn something new every day.  Seeing as I read newspapers, magazines, blogs, cereal boxes and more on a daily basis, this is not hard to accomplish.

Coolest thing I’ve learned today: the same guy invented both the Atari and Chuck E. Cheese.  That’s like two of the best things ever, all by one guy.  I’m impressed.

Two things before I start:

  • This post is about pregnancy tests.
  • I am not pregnant. And I did not need a test to tell me that. Stop worrying mom.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, we can discuss the following question. Can you send a (used) pregnancy test through the mail? To another country? The reasons for doing this are probably not as funny as anything you can come up with, so I’ll let you come up with your own explanation. Let’s just say a friend asked me to investigate this for her, so I am embarking on a google quest for knowledge.

Stop #1: The United States Post Office Website

The good old USPS seemed like a good place to start looking for information. I know there must be information about what is allowed. I remember finding a website linking to the outrageous list. I’m sure once I find it I’ll feel the need to share with you some of the crazier restrictions, but until I find that list, I will ramble here. I can view the different rates, fill out a customs form, but there is no link to a page about sending urine sticks. Let me look harder.

Stop #2: A List of Postal Restrictions by Country

Bingo. This should be what I’m looking for. The country in question is Australia, which is pretty close to the top. I can read and spell! I clicked on Australia, and there is a page that lists prohibitions and restrictions, as well as some more useful information, such as maximum package girth. I’ll pause so you can laugh.

Unsurprisingly, pregnancy tests are not one of the items listed on this page. But I’m not sure if that’s because pregnancy tests are ok to be mailed, or just because there are certain rules that apply everywhere. For example, it does not say that you can’t send live animals (but it does say you can’t send dead ones) because nobody tries to send a live animal through the mail. Do normal people try to send pregnancy tests?

Stop #3: The Domestic Mail Manual

This document must be where the term “going postal” came from. It must be thousands of pages long. It lists every single rule and regulation about the United States Postal Service. It also has a search feature! “Pregnancy” returned one hit, in section 601L Mailability:

“Typically, exempt human specimens are specimens for which there is a low probability that the sample is infectious, such as specimens for drug or alcohol testing; cholesterol testing; blood glucose level testing; prostate-specific antigens (PSA) testing; testing to monitor heart, kidney, or liver function; pregnancy testing;…”

So it looks like pregnancy testing fluids (such as urine on a stick) are ok to send through the mail domestically. And if something is allowed domestically, and it is not specifically prohibited internationally, I therefore conclude that you can send a used pregnancy test through the mail to Australia.

Now we need to find a pregnant woman to pee on a stick for us. Any takers?

PS:A few interesting links I ran across in my search:

How do you make a homemade pregnancy test?
Am I pregnant if I’m bleeding?
Some mail order products not allowed in the mail


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