Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

S-Town (podcast)

Chris recommended that I listen to S-Town, a true crime podcast–at least that’s my understanding. I’m going to write some thoughts/notes about it here. I listened to the first episode, and I think Mitchell would find this interesting, and Don could, too.

In the first episode, a reporter, Brian Reed, tells about an email he got from a guy named John from a small town in Alabama (what John refers to as “Shit town”). John’s writing to talk about crimes committed and covered up in his town. He’s fed up with it. Anyway, this correspondence goes on for a while, and eventually the reporter talks on the phone with John. Here are some thoughts on John and Episode 1: Continue reading ‘S-Town (podcast)’

Design Thread

A thread for designs and art that you like. For example,

What the Layperson or Outsider Doesn’t Get About Your Field

I was recently having a discussion about the NFL draft with another person. This person made a remark that even though GMs and head coaches know more than fans (generally speaking), the former still makes decisions that are obviously dumb. I didn’t really agree with this, or at least I wasn’t really comfortable taking this position, and I felt that way because what seems obvious to layperson or non-expert is often not as obvious as it seems. Often, ignorance is what makes a situation seem obvious or simple. I think this is true in any other field. Outsiders have perceptions or draw conclusions that are just wrong because they don’t know what insiders know. If they did, their perceptions and views would change.

Here’s what I want I do. I want to hear two or three misperceptions that people outside of your field have and an explanation as to why this is a misperception. If you’re game, you could talk about your profession or just an area of interest. For example, Mitchell could talk about schools and teaching, or he could talk about young adult literature. You could choose a hobby you that you’re really into. You don’t have to be an expert, but just have an “inside perspective” on a subject.

I’ll respond to this later, either in this thread, or a separate one.

The Difference Between Inductive and Deductive Reasoning

Despite hearing definitions of the two concepts over the years, I’ve never arrived at definitions I was comfortable with. Over time, I’ve periodically attempted to rectify this, but to no avail. Recently, I tried once again, and I’m wondering if I finally understand the difference. In this post, I’ll chronicle the various websites I visited to try and answer this question, and then explain my current understanding of the two terms at the end of the post.

Let’s start with my understanding of the terms before I began searching for clarity. I’ve always been told that induction is simply moving from specific details to arrive at a broader or more general conclusion. Deduction is the opposite–moving from more general principles to specifics. Here’s what would make this immediately confusing to me. When I hear the word “deduction” or “deduce,” I instantly think of Continue reading ‘The Difference Between Inductive and Deductive Reasoning’

Has Andy Bumatai Found His Niche?

Growing up I was a big fan of Andy Bumatai–so much so, that as a sixth-grader, I briefly thought of being a stand-up comic. I’m pretty sure my attraction to Bumatai came about from his High School Daze show, and that later lead to me purchasing his I Am Captain Cook album. I heard bits by Rap Replinger, Frank DeLima and even Professor Fun, but through the years, the best moments of Andy Bumatai have been my favorite. (One exception: Rap Replinger’s “if you wen go stay come” bit.)

At some point, Andy tried other things–like a talk show or his interviews in cars videos. There were some good moments, but not enough to win me over. I was disappointed because I wanted him to succeed. Recently, he’s been doing this youtube videos involving pidgin and local culture, and I think he might have found his sweet spot. I’m going to post one of the videos, with some comments following it. (There’s one aspect of the video that I like the most; see if you can guess which part that is.) Continue reading ‘Has Andy Bumatai Found His Niche?’

Umbrella Man (2011)–a Short Film by Erroll Morris

Umbrella Man is a six minute film playing on the New York Times website. It’s about a suspicious man holding an umbrella in Dealey Plaza (Dallas) the day President Kennedy was shot. Yes, the film appeals to conspiracy buffs, but like many other Morris films, it’s really so much more than what you think.  I’ll go into that in the next section, but watch the piece first. Continue reading ‘Umbrella Man (2011)–a Short Film by Erroll Morris’

Math Corner

I’ve been starting to help my neice with math homework, and there are a million questions popping up. I thought this would be good place to pose my questions–which will not just be about solving specific problems, but also exploring math concepts and terms more deeply. (The posts may be sort of sprawling and stream of consciousness, so please bear with me.)

What Do Teenagers Want More Than Anything?

Recently, I’ve had a teenager share with me some of his struggles with loneliness–specifically the desire to have a girlfriend. I really felt for him as I think the desire for having girlfriend/boyfriend is probably the strongest desire that teenagers have. I was talking to Larri about this, and she wasn’t sure if she agree. I’m curious to hear what you idiots think. Given the following choices, and only choosing one at the exclusion of the others, which choice would most teenagers choose?

A. Having a girlfriend/boyfriend
B. Being rich
C. Being popular
D. Being talented in sports
E. Other (insert something you think teens would choose that I haven’t written)

Time to throw this cliche under the bus?

I’ve been unable to find my mp3 player for about six weeks now, and have relegated myself to listening to NPR and sports radio.  It seems as if a show doesn’t go by where someone doesn’t say something about throwing somebody under the bus.  While this often used cliché clearly gets one’s point across, is it time to throw “throw __________ under the bus,” under the bus, and what would be some good alternatives?

Lenten Journey

Today being the first Sunday in Lent, I thought it might be interesting to share some of our lenten stories.  We can use the following topics for guidance, or add your own Lenten thoughts:

Are you giving up somthing during Lent–how has it been going?

What is the meaning of Lent?

Is there anything you hope to accomplish in this season of Lent?

Five Qs: Firsts

Answer as vaguely or as specifically as you wish, but take a moment to share with us your responses to these questions about firsts!

  1. What was your first car?
  2. Who was the recipient (or deliverer) of your first romantic kiss?
  3. Who was your first celebrity crush?
  4. Besides hitting the alarm clock, what’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
  5. What was the first thing you learned to cook?

Recent Articles You’ve Read or Heard

A sister thread to the “What Books Are You Reading” thread. Share some of the interesting articles you’ve been reading from magazines, online sites, newspapers, etc. This includes short articles you may have listened to on the radio.

Why Can’t I Post



The Oakland Athletics have won forty of their last fifty games! Holy moly!

Test Post — Please ignore!

If I did this right, here’s Clint Eastwood!

Clint Eastwood!

Left on a Jet Plane

Hi Everyone! Just wanted to let you guys know that I arrived safely in Yangon and it is very hot here. It’s not super humid, but it’s not like desert dry heat either. Let’s just say that I am happy our current hotel has an air conditioner. The hotel is okay, but I heard when we go to Mandalay Bay, the hotel is much worse. Okay. It’s all for God, right?

I have been meeting the Lautu Baptist church members and the orphans and everyone is very nice. The boys are amazing ping pong players and the girls are very giggly and are always concerned for others. All the kids are sweet. They have these huge smiles! Of course, everyone’s English here is waaaayy better than my paltry Burmese. Can you say “ugly American?”

I have been eating a lot. Burmese food is a lot like Chinese food. It will be interesting to see what Cambodian cuisine is like. Last night, we were adventurous and tried “chicken tauk tauk.” It was pieces of breaded chicken in this sauce with stewed tomatos in it. It was quite good!

We have encountered beggars here at the open market. It is all quite sad. I know it is going to take some time for me to really process it all.

Well, I’m off to do a children’s session soon. I will be telling a story to the kids. I hope they don’t get bored!

We don’t have ready internet access, so this may be the only time I get to post while I’m here. If so, I will post more when I get back. In Myanmar, yahoo is banned, so I can’t access my e-mail account while I’m here. Hope everyone is doing well!

This Month’s Spectator

I just picked up the June issue of The American Spectator, that wonderfully written journal of conservative thinking. The Spectator went under a year or so ago, for a short time, and is back with a heftier cover price (just south of eight bucks!) and the same old Ben Stein’s Journal, which is, honestly, worth the price of the magazine all by itself.

I’m not posting this because I particularly want to hear your comments; I just thought I’d share what the Other Side is sometimes thinking.
Continue reading ‘This Month’s Spectator