Friday, September 27, 2013

Compendium of Links #46

I've just finished a week that felt like it passed me by in a day. That must be what adulthood feels like.

When an adult took a standardized test intended for children... and failed miserably. I'm sorry, but if I'm to judge by the questions offered in the mini-tests that accompany that blog post, this person who's ostensibly an education expert should be required to retake basic grade-school math. Seriously. I may not agree myself that standardized testing is the optimal way to gauge students' learning, but this is not the argument I'd use against it!

17 problems only book lovers will understand. Like: "1. When someone asks you what your favorite book is and expects you to pick just one."

Why David McCullough still types all his books on a typewriter (or, at least, did in 1991):
People say, But with a computer you could go so much faster. Well, I don’t want to go faster. If anything, I should go slower. I don’t think all that fast.'

Can smart economics turn us into better parents? The Atlantic magazine suggests that in-home visits, rather than programs designed to minimize the home's influence (i.e. early childhood education, longer school days, after-school programs), would be a better way to improve the lot of disadvantaged children. Kind of like teaching the parent to fish rather than giving the kid all the fish they need (and bypassing the parent in the process).

Where America came from: The Daily Mail in the U.K. presents a map showing the predominant ancestry of residents in every county in these great United States. It's pretty interesting to see.

There's a family that shuns technologies introduced after 1986, which in some respects sounds like a good idea; however I prefer the maxim, "everything in moderation," and would rather retain some of the habits of 1986 (such as playing outside) rather than holding onto the physical technologies of the era.

A writer condensed everything you need to know about personal finances onto a 4x6 index card!
How about that? But it does require understanding some terminology.

Every sci-fi starship ever (almost) put into ONE size-comparison chart!

Why do we say "God told me..."? From the post on Gospel Coalition (the whole is worth the read):
Sometimes if we dig deep we realize we speak this way because we want to impresses others with our close connection to God and make sure they know we've consulted with him on the matter at hand. Another reason may be that to say, "God told me . . ." can prove useful to us. If you've asked me to teach children's Sunday school this fall, it sounds far more spiritual and makes it far more difficult for you to challenge me if I say that God told me I need to sit in adult Sunday school with my husband than if I simply say that I don't want to or have decided not to teach.
And for your musical and nerdy enjoyment: I present an earworm, of the good kind!

"I shall be a geek when I am utterly antique..."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Life on my own #44: Appliances

Some days, I don't think twice about going to the laundromat. I've basically relied one laundromat or another since I was almost 18. Old habits are hard to break.

On the other hand, wouldn't it be nice to do laundry in your pajamas? (For me, laundromats and wearing pajamas are mutually exclusive. Yes, I know the People of Walmart beg to disagree.)

So once I bought my house, I realized, Sarah, it's time for you to grow up and get a clothes washer. I mean, it's the logical next step. (After a mower, of course.)

Thing was, I actually had to find a decent second-hand washer. And a dryer. I hate letting towels drip-dry. They get all scratchy and weird. Anyway, even if I found suitable appliances, I had to figure out how to get them from point A to point B.

Subcompact cars aren't the best for that.

Enter: The Cousin. This Cousin, a construction worker, is quite adept at lifting heavy things. In addition, he owns a Truck.

In a very convenient twist of fate, Cousin absolutely loves Pizza and will do anything for me if I give him Pizza.

So we got a Pizza from the best Pizza place in town (or so I've heard; I'm not a Pizza aficionado myself), and on the road we went, squeezing another cousin in between the two of us in the cab of Cousin's Truck.

Cousin made me drive because he doesn't like driving in the city. This "city" is about seven miles end to end and doesn't even have any four-lane roads on the route we were taking.

But Cousin proved his worth (or his dedication to Pizza) when we arrived at Point A. The machines were quickly loaded onto the bed of the Truck and strapped in with a ratchet strap (or whatever you call those fancy thingummies that Cousin carries in the toolbox on his Truck).

And, doing an easy 60 mph on the way back, we (I) drove straight home, meeting an uncle at the house to help tote the machines downstairs to the basement, where the appliance hookups were (not so) conveniently located.

Fortunately, I didn't have to lift a finger to get the appliances downstairs. Cousin and my uncle took care of that heavy duty. All they left to me was buying a new O-ring for one of the washer hoses. At the cost of a mere 25 cents!
Aren't they so pwetty?? :D

Saturday, September 07, 2013

New additions to the personal library

Yes.... I lost myself in Half Price Books again.  :-)

And two of them were on the dollar shelf!

Monday, September 02, 2013

This is how nerdy I am (Word invention edition)

A friend asked his more mathematically or English-inclined friends for suggestions on inventing a word for this circumstance:
I'm writing a paper that frequently references regions on a string, and these regions often intersect. I need to succinctly describe regions that almost completely intersect.
That is, say there's a string of numbers....


And I say, ok, one section I'll name flippity-bop and that'll cover 2 through 7, and another section I'll name bing-bang-bong and that will cover 3 through 8. Flippity-bop and bing-bang-bong almost completely match up with each other, except they're shifted one number off from each other, as if you were looking at it cross-eyed.

My friend wants an easy way to refer to this circumstance: one word, preferably fairly short and relatively quickly comprehended. If you read the link fully, you'll see he is temporarily using "mislapped" (a variation on overlap) and isn't satisified.

I saw this and thought, "a word game!!"

The inner nerd came out big time. Here are the suggestions I inundated my friend with:
It seems to me that it's almost like when you go cross-eyed -- the things almost line up but not quite. The technical word for that condition is strabismus, adjectival form strabismic. And it sounds cool. comes to me that strings like that would also resemble the foundation of a stairstep... so stairstepped could work (as adjective). Or, there's always the combination of Latins co + minor (for subtraction) + currere (a root of concur), which any way I try it becomes unwieldy or obtuse.

Another term related to going cross-eyed is diplopia, double vision. However it carries the connotation of "two" which doesn't seem to be the main force of what you're going for.

What about lone + eaves? Single overhang, which seems to get at the idea that's emphasized. Something like lone-eaved as adjective, or saying one string is lone eaves with another, or two strings are (have?) lone eaves. (Both words are from middle English. I'm pretty proud of this one, as I stayed within one root language rather than mixing Germanic with Latin roots, which can be considered a no-no!)
Yes, I'm a word nerd. I get it legitimately. (Here's looking at you, Mom!)