Archive for the 'Whatever' Category

5Qs: Halloween Edition

I thought we might have done one of these, but I did a search and nothing turned up. So…

1. Favorite trick-or-treat candy?
2. Best costume you ever wore?
3. Best costume you’ve seen?
4. Scariest real-life story you’ve been involved in (on Halloween or not)?
5. Scariest movie

Thoughts on the Passage of Time

As you get older, doesn’t it feel like time seems to speed up–i.e., time seems to go by faster? If this is true, why is that? I’ve had some theories about this, but I wanted to jot some of recent observations I’ve had. While the rate at which time passes seems to have been speeding up for me, right now, especially following U.S. politics, the passage of time seems to have slowed down considerably. Why is that? Continue reading ‘Thoughts on the Passage of Time’

80’s Neo-Rock n’ Roll

Let’s talk about 80’s music that either had that retro 50’s rock n’ roll sound (e.g., Stray Cats) or had some quality that made you think of 50’s rock n’ roll, while also sounding pretty different, too (e.g., Huey Lewis and News’s “Heart of Rock and Roll”–or maybe that’s too close to the 50’s?) Hopefully, you get the idea. Here’s a few more (and we’re talking musicians as well as individual songs): Continue reading ’80’s Neo-Rock n’ Roll’

The Pitfalls of Narratives and Thoughts on How to Avoid Them

I believe humans use narratives to organize information and to shape perceptions to help us make sense of the world. The great world religions are prime examples of this. Religious narratives not only provide moral teachings and insights, but they do so within a compelling narrative framework, making the teachings compelling, almost irresistible, while also offering a way from their adherents to view and understand the world and one’s place in it.

But not all narratives are this elaborate and grand. Every person creates more modest narrative frameworks in order to organize information and perception–narratives relating to relationships, work, their life, or even trivial matters. For example, sports fans often create narrative frameworks when watching a game, which also creates a lasting way they remember the game. The Seahawks pass rush dominated the Bronco offense in the Super Bowl. That’s a way fans understand what happened in the game, and it’s the way they will remember it (whether the narrative is actually accurate or not). People will create mini-narratives involving conflicts with their significant other or with co-workers as well.

I find this way of organizing information and shaping perceptions interesting, but I believe significant pitfalls exist as well. In this thread, I want to explore some of the pitfalls and also discuss ways to avoid them. Continue reading ‘The Pitfalls of Narratives and Thoughts on How to Avoid Them’

Design Thread

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

Poem of the Day

Poem of the Day is something I used to do with the English teachers I’ve shared classrooms with over the years, and there have been many.  It wasn’t a daily thing, but every so often I’d pull an anthology off the shelf and pick something to read aloud, just for my classroom partner, on days when I thought we needed reminding that there were beautiful things in the work we did.  We taught young men and women how to read, write, and think.  But we also taught them — and it’s the reason we chose the subject we chose — that there is beauty in this world.  You’d be surprised (maybe) at how easy it is to forget that when you’re in the middle of doing that job.

Feel free to share your own poems of the day if you wish, but if you don’t, that’s cool.  I’m mostly posting this because I’m tired of seeing that other post at the top of our website every time I load the page.

Chaucer
by Ted Hughes

‘Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote…’
At the top of your voice, where you swayed on the top of a stile,
Your arms raised – somewhat for balance, somewhat
To hold the reins of the straining attention
Of your imagined audience – you declaimed Chaucer
To a field of cows. And the Spring sky had done it
With its flying laundry, and the new emerald
Of the thorns, the hawthorn, the blackthorn,
And one of those bumpers of champagne
You snatched unpredictably from pure spirit.
Your voice went over the fields towards Granchester.
It must have sounded lost. But the cows
Watched, then approached: they appreciated Chaucer.
You went on and on. Here were reasons
To recite Chaucer. Then came the Wyf of Bath,
Your favourite character in all literature.
You were rapt. And the cows were enthralled.
They shoved and jostled shoulders, making a ring,
To gaze into your face, with occasional snorts
Of exclamation, renewed their astounded attention,
Ears angling to catch every inflection,
Keeping their awed six feet of reverence
Away from you. You just could not believe it.
And you could not stop. What would happen
If you were to stop? Would they attack you,
Scared by the shock of silence, or wanting more –?
So you had to go on. You went on –
And twenty cows stayed with you hypnotized.
How did you stop? I can’t remember
You stopping. I imagine they reeled away –
Rolling eyes, as if driven from their fodder.
I imagine I shooed them away. But
Your sostenuto rendering of Chaucer
Was already perpetual. What followed
Found my attention too full
And had to go back into oblivion.

NBA 2016-2017

The trend in the NBA seems to be moving back to the 80s where almost all the teams are scoring in the hundreds. The average probably is nowhere near the 80s when teams used to score in the 120s regularly.  However, this trend is making some amazing stat lines for players like Westbrook, who’s averaging almost 38 a game whilst averaging a triple double.  I doubt he can sustain this pace (but with Westbrook, who knows), but I’m guessing he will be somewhere in the range of 34 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists per game by the end of the year.  That would be unbelievable.

 

Mitchell, are you playing fantasy basketball again this year? Who’s your best guys?

Check This Out (Post-2015)

I’m having a hard time loading the current CTO thread, so, if it’s OK, I’m starting a new one.

Young Guns

On the Dan Patrick Show (Dan is off at the Olympics so they have a guest host), the topic was which QB under 30 would you take. Prior to last year I think I would have had Luck very slightly over Wilson, but I would flip flop that now.  Here is what my list would look like:

Wilson, Luck, Cam, Carr (Although, I didn’t think he had a great year last year.), Tannehill (I know Reid’s not as big a fan as I am, but I think he’s good.), Bortles (I don’t think he’s great, but a little more ready then the next few guys.), Winston (I didn’t see him play a lot, and Reid thinks he’s not as good as Mariota, but I think most think Winston was the better of the two last year), Mariota, Tyrod Tyler, Bridgewater (Not a fan, definitely not the way other pundits think of him), Cousins (Definitely not a fan like other pundits. I’ll be surprised if he does well next year.), Ostweiler

My list is based on play just for this upcoming year. If it was for the next four years, my list would probably be similar, but I would move Winston and Mariota up behind Carr over Tannehill and Bortles.  I probably would take Tyrod over Tannehill and Bortles as well.  Oh and I didn’t really look up a list, so I may be missing some guys.

Another Way of Looking at Elites vs. the Masses

I’m not sure if what I’m about to propose has been discussed before, but it’s something that has come to mind as I’ve been reading some comments about Brexit. Normally, when I hear discussions about the elite versus the masses, I assume that, by “elite,” most people mean a small group of individuals that have special status, knowledge or abilities that puts them above the vast majority of people in a society. In the context of governing, the elites would be those who supposedly are more intelligent, knowledgeable and skilled than the typical citizen. Meanwhile, the “masses” not only refer to the typical citizen, but the terms has a pejorative connotation, especially in relation to the elites–pejorative in the sense of being ignorant, stupid and clueless to the main issues. In short, the elite are superior, while the masses are inferior.

I’m wondering if there is a slightly different way of looking at these two groups. Here’s what I have in mind. Continue reading ‘Another Way of Looking at Elites vs. the Masses’

Ten Best

I’ve been wasting incredible amounts of time lately working on lists. I’ve wasted incredible amounts of time on lists since I was in elementary school, but for some reason I’ve been consumed by them in recent weeks.

I’m going to share a few here. Feel free to comment, argue, post your own, or ignore.

Notes on George Marshall: Soldier-Statesman of the American Century by Mark Stoler

Random thoughts, comments as they come to me on this book. The goal is to help me get a better understanding of the book. Also, I want this to be a repository for these notes, ideas and any discussion on the book. Continue reading ‘Notes on George Marshall: Soldier-Statesman of the American Century by Mark Stoler’

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’

Are There Celebrities Whose Death Would Really Affect You?

I was surprised to learn about Prince’s death today. I like Prince’s music, but not enough, I guess, to really be affected by this. By “affected,” I mean feeling a real sense of sadness versus disappointment on a more cerebral level. It’s rare that a celebrities death would really affect me like this (or at least I’m having trouble come up with names off the top of my head). So, I’m wondering who are some famous or prominent people–movie start, musicians, sports figures, etc.– whose death would really affect you?

Here are some of mine off the top of my head: Continue reading ‘Are There Celebrities Whose Death Would Really Affect You?’

What Did You Learn Today?

Something new every day, right? What is it?

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?’

NBA 2015-2016

Kristaps Porzingis has been one of the talks of the NBA this year. He’s a rookie from Latvia. He’s 7-1, 233 pounds and 20 years old. He hasn’t been consistently good, but he’s only a rookie. He can shoot the three and is good in the post (not great, but I saw a highlight where he did a Hakeem-shake). He needs to get stronger, but I’m amazed at how well he moves for seven-footer. He’s like Dirk, but way more mobile and fluid (but not as good a shooter). Youtube him.

 

Steph Curry has been on fire this year so far. He’s today’s Isiah Thomas. Isiah was shorter, but I think everyone in the league is a little taller so Curry can be today’s Isiah. Comparing the two, I would give the edge to Isiah in heart and getting to the basket and maybe vision or floor leadership. I would give Curry the edge in ball handling and scoring.

 

Mitchell, you playing fantasy again this year? I know you like the Pistons. Did you get Drummond who is rebounding like a maniac?

NFL 2015-2016: Week 5

Thursday
Colts-Texans Continue reading ‘NFL 2015-2016: Week 5’

The Same-Same Equilibrium and Hawai’i’s Inferiority Complex

I recently heard Glenn Furuya, a local business consultant, talk about the impact of Hawai’i’s culture on the workplace. He brought up the sense of inferiority that Hawai’i people have, especially compared to mainlanders. For the most part, I believe there is something to this inferiority complex, and I wanted to discuss possible reasons for this. I think one factor involves the lack of Hawai’i people in the media, including movies, TV and books. I think this can create a powerful sense that Hawai’i people just don’t matter. Even relatively smaller subcultures on the mainland (e.g., cajun) have space in the TV, films and books and in process receive a kind of validation. Another possible factor involves Hawai’i’s colonial-like relationship to the U.S. Hawai’i was a separate country with a history and culture that was very different from the mainland. The U.S. essentially overthrew Hawai’i as well. At the very least, I think this can create a slight disconnect with the mainland. The people on the mainland, particularly those of European decent, can feel a sense of connection to historically important figures in ways that non-European Hawai’i people can’t. I would think all of this could contribute to an inferiority complex.

But Furuya also mentioned another concept–the “same-same equilibrium”– that I think might be related to this sense of inferiority, and I want to spend the majority of this post on that concept. Basically, the same-same equilibrium is Continue reading ‘The Same-Same Equilibrium and Hawai’i’s Inferiority Complex’