Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Not unexpected

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

I’ve taken vocabulary tests before, and seen similar results to this one:

Vocabsize

Found at Feral Irishman.

Bad English from the Department of Extra Superfluous Comparatives

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Driving home this evening, I heard a radio advertisement for an art exhibition this weekend. The advertisement promised “thousands of pieces of art from more than a hundred forty plus artists!”

Pardon me for micro-aggressing with my command of the English language, but either the “more than” or the “plus” is redundant. “A hundred forty plus” is, by definition, more than 140. Therefore, the advertisement claimed that there would be more than more than 140 artists represented. Since “more than” does not imply an upper limit, you really can’t get more than “more than,” unless you’re going to get into infinities.

Miscellany 24

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Big roundup here of things that have been hanging around (non-political version).

It’s war! The ants are coming for our chocolate. The article is actually much wider-ranging, and quite interesting.

A Faberge egg not seen (and known for what it is) since 1902 was purchased a decade ago at a Midwestern antique fair.

Need a handy reference for musical intervals? This may help.

Planning to record some audio at home? This may help.

How to take excellent notes and be productive with paper. I can always use the help.

This looks like an interesting resource for computer science.

I’ll want to spend some time reminiscing at this site.

Two scary economic charts, billed as documenting the demise of the American Dream.

An interesting list of Google Easter eggs.

I like these thoughts on the Starship Troopers movie. I didn’t much care for it myself; I’ve usually referred to it as “Paul Verhoeven’s rebuttal to Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers.”

Google makes an emulator in Chrome for the Amiga 500. I still have two Amiga 2000s in my basement, although I’ve only got one monitor for them, and the hard drive on one needs to be reformatted. It’s too bad there was never a widely-available Ethernet board for them.

Men’s Health says these are the best over-the-counter medications.

The Smithsonian says these vitamins and supplements are worth taking.

Continuing on the subject of health, how old is your heart?

Here are photos of various famous locations. There are two photos of each location: one showing the normally-presented view, and one showing surroundings that aren’t normally seen unless you’re there. I’ve been to the pyramids of Giza, and it’s startling how close development has come to them.

Wanna learn something? Try here.

You can find over 22,000 comics that are out of copyright here. Via.

Man sublets his apartment, comes home to find a plus-sized orgy going on. Then he loses his apartment, because his lease doesn’t allow him to sublet.

Do incorrect and inappropriate use’s of quotes (like that one) bother you? Best stay away from this site, then.

I’ve seen the movie Head, but it was many years ago. There’s a link to the movie in this article.

It looks like there’s some good information in this gardening thread at Ace of Spades HQ.

They’ve found more Dead Sea scrolls.

Interesting art. I’ve seen similar things, but it’s still cool. Now, imagine the following in a Cockney accent: “That’s not a bird, that’s a bird! Via.

Speaking of birds, but not really

And not speaking of birds, but really! Rogue Chihuahuas overrunning a town?

I like this guy’s obituary. He’d have been fun to know.

What if the Winter Olympics had been held on Hoth?

I’m not surprised that this happened in Japan.

In 1731, King Frederick I of Sweden gave a lion to a taxidermist who had never seen one. Some of the comments are hilarious, also. I particularly like the first reply to this one.

Information you can use: 7 Myths About Storing Beer.

More Information you can use: Picking a lock with a hairpin.

Some people believe that this is the best newspaper correction ever. I’m not so certain of that, but I don’t have any other suggestions handy.

As a European, this is how I imagine Americans have breakfast. Via Protein Wisdom. The comments at both locations are good, too.

Looking for back issues of Starlog magazine?

Why do we do some of the things we do at weddings?

An interesting clock presentation.

These are impressive tattoos. Not that I’d ever get one, but …

Some carbon fiber musical instruments. I’ve played a Blackbird tenor ukulele and liked it, and I have a friend who is trying to set himself up producing carbon fiber soprano ukes.

I knew people drank more in the past, but damn! That’s a lot of booze!

How to make a sling from woven paracord. The site is often NSFW, but this post isn’t (unless your company employs extreme hoplophobes).

On the same website: If you ever feel stupid

Remember the warehouse scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark? It might not have been too unbelievable.

Figure skaters caught in mid-spin. They look much more graceful and elegant when you don’t catch all the details.

When it goes, it all goes at once.

Giant desert art project in Egypt.

Sarah Hoyt is a local science fiction author. I met her at a party at a mutual friend’s place a couple years ago. This post on her history with SFWA is absolutely hilarious.

There may still be time to apply for this job – it’s got to be hard work. Then again, a lot of people like swords.

Ever seen a ship break apart?

Were you aware that France was still conduction executions by guillotine as recently as 1977? Were you aware that the actor Christopher Lee attended the last one?

I wasn’t able to find an update on his recovery, but the fact that he survived going through a wood chipper is amazing. When I was in the Navy, if you were going to work on anything that could be dangerous if it were turned on during the process, you’d attach a red tag to the power switch. I wonder if they’ll implement a system like that for the wood chipper?

Boy, the Aussies don’t hold back with their PSAs, do they?

I have a friend who photographs most of his restaurant meals. I should send him to this site.

I think that’s about enough for now. I may do another one (with older accumulated links) later.

Miscellany 22

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

I see by the clock on the clubhouse wall that I haven’t posted in a month. Sorry.

Then again, nobody’s been complaining … about that, anyway.

Be that as it may, I’m going to clean out some tabs and saved links.

Back around 1985, my boss brought in a summer intern and told me to get some use out of him. Four days later, we sent him back to his professor – I’d spent about 10 hours over those four days explaining to him in detail how to write a program that would have taken me somewhere around an hour to write. The problem was that he had only written Pascal programs on VAX hardware, and had no conception of how a program could actually deal with the underlying hardware itself. I was reminded of that when I ran across Real Programmers Don’t Use Pascal. I remember that from when it first appeared – I didn’t get Datamation, but I had coworkers who did. Don’t skip the linked “Story of Mel,” which also is pretty good.

I have a hand-cranked radio, but this is something else: a wind-up AA battery.

This article on medical school acceptance rates by race is pretty horrifying. It reminds me of an article I read some time ago that made the case that affirmative action was reducing the number of minority (specifically, black) attorneys. The mechanism proposed was that blacks would be admitted to law schools that their scores wouldn’t get them into if they were white, which made it harder to keep up with the rest of the student body, so they’d drop out. It is likely they’d have been able to graduate from a less-prestigious (and less difficult) school, so affirmative action had the exact opposite of the purported effect.

This is cool – do-it-yourself eye exams on a smartphone.

This is also cool – electric currents passing through the brain can induce a state more conducive to learning. Be careful if you do it yourself, though. More here.

I wish this had been available when I broke my ankle last year.

Some kids are smart. Ten-year-old Clara Lazen is going to have plenty of geek cred for coming up with a previously-unknown molecule that’s likely to be explosive.

A one-stroke penalty if a bomb goes off during your swing? That seems harsh.

This is one of those articles that’s worth it just for the headline. So is this one.

I’m amazed that someone could call the first score of the Super Bowl correctly.

To solve a problem, you need to define it correctly. Even without committing a category error, it could be that you are solving the wrong problem.

This is another of those computer toys that let you get an idea of the scale of the universe. I wish things like this had been available when I was a child. We had to make do with the movie “Powers of Ten.” Of course, I was in high school when that came out, so it’s still not a childhood memory, per se.

Speaking of films, I’ve seen two of these. I suspect my daughter has seen more of them than I have. If not, she probably will after checking out the list.

Several years ago, my doctor told me to start taking a daily aspirin. I had to give it up a few months later, because I was getting frequent nosebleeds. If only I had known the healing power of bacon! I fear my cats may have caused problems, though.

Slightly related to that, there’s good news about eating fried foods. It doesn’t match up with Satchel Paige’s advice not to eat fried food because “it angrifies the blood,” but I suspect the food he was familiar with was fried in different oils.

Attractions, flotation devices, or airbags. I’m glad her breasts helped, but I consider her misshapen. I remember the news stories when she acquired the infection that caused her to get reduction surgery – she’d had to go to Brazil because doctors in the US wouldn’t expand her breasts any more.

Speaking of breasts, I’ve seen a few protests here and there, but I’ve yet to witness one like this. (NSFW, unless topless women are allowed by your office dress code.)

How to distract your enemy. I particularly enjoy the third panel.

Lots of older periodicals available here.

Speaking of reading, I’m going to be waiting for this e-book app to become available. I just hope that it doesn’t require a new proprietary DRM’d format.

Some nice music here. I listened to several of the young lady’s other videos, and they were nice. A bit too similar for listening to in a block, but they’d be very nice in a shuffle.

If your taste runs to psychedelic music, try this. I have the Nuggets LP in a box in my garage. If I’m remembering correctly, I’ve got the 1976 release, not the earlier one.

Here’s an interesting music game.

Besides seeming a bit tacky, is a Titanic Memorial Cruise a good idea? Some people don’t think so. Having been on one cruise myself (which I quite enjoyed, actually), I’ll admit to some misgivings. It makes me wonder how I ever managed when I was in the Navy.

I do fairly well with English grammar. Many of the things I read would irk me less if their authors took this advice to heart.

I could add more to this post, but I think I’ll finish with this tweet that expresses an awe that I’ve experienced when reading code.

Miscellany 18

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Just some things that have been hanging around.

This is a useful site for learning to play the ukulele. If you want to start from the beginning, here’s the first post. Unfortunately, the site doesn’t have an easy way to access the archives.

Tired of people who don’t know how to spell or which homophone to use? Here’s a potential solution.

Want a guess as to how long you’ll live? This site tells me I can expect about another 27 years.

Can spiraling help you run faster? I don’t have the knees to run for exercise anymore (and I’m still coming back from my broken ankle, besides), but this sounds interesting.

Sometimes, science fiction can be eerily prophetic. A couple more by Heinlein that they could have mentioned are his prediction of the waterbed in Stranger in a Strange Land (which was actually referenced as prior art to invalidate a patent application), and his prediction in the story Waldo that telephone answering machines would be used to screen incoming calls.

I’m not terribly familiar with it yet, but I’m becoming quite taken with the music of Flanders and Swann. It’s certainly more interesting than this concert.

Scientist trading cards. The people behind these also pulled off a neat guerilla art prank.

Oh, wow, man! The colors!

I can’t believe it! (via Theo Spark – the site is possibly NSFW, YMMV)

The rarely-seen arborial moose. Must have been trying to visit Rocky.

And, to finish up, a list of the ten deadliest toys of all time. I’m not sure I agree with all of their choices, particularly with the “of all time” qualifier, but it’s probably a pretty good starting point for the years since about 1950.

Yesterday in history

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

I saw a program on this on the Science Channel, and saved it on my DVR so I could write about it on the correct date, but missed it. On June 29th, 3123 BC, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

I also find it interesting that they note that it’s possible that this is also the source of the myth of Phaeton losing control of his father’s chariot.

Miscellany 14

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Just a collection of assorted things.

First, I’ve heard beautiful women described as “hot,” and I’ve heard of “hot sex,” but even given that, I’m surprised to find out that someone caught fire while watching porn.

Staying with the subject of sex for a moment, this is a wonderful practical joke.

Now for a couple of recipes. Before he joined Pajamas Media, Stephen Green used to do something he called the Friday Recipe. He’s just posted the first one in a while, and it’s a good one.

He doesn’t include a dessert, though. If you’ve a sweet tooth, this may fit the bill.

Looking for somewhere to live, and not enamored with anything on the market in your area? Try looking in Italy.

How do you know when someone’s trying to guide your thoughts? Here’s some good information.

Government surplus items available here.

And, finally, regular expressions are often incredibly useful. Unfortunately, they are also sometimes incredibly hard to generate correctly. This site can help.

I’ve been seeing these graphs a lot, lately

Friday, October 1st, 2010

They’re as severe a criticism of the current state of the American educational establishment as the report, A Nation at Risk, was in 1983, when it famously stated (in 1983!), “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”

The graphs are a lot quicker and easier to understand than the report. It’s instructive to see where we were on the graphs when A Nation at Risk was released, and to see just how effective adding money to the education system has been in improving results.

The next big show: Dancing with the …

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Doctoral Candidates?

Via Dyspepsia Generation.

It’s Constitution Day

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Senator Orrin Hatch and Joseph Stuart both have things to say about it that I think should be widely read.

Of course, I’m not sure how many people will go to the articles from here who wouldn’t have already seen them.