8:44 PM — New Blog!
I now have a new blog
that I've just started. Star Stories
will be a (copyright protected) work-in-progress towards a collection of multi-cultural constellation myths.
6:45 PM — Cheeks of a Snow-Country Child
Kasugai Gummy-s, found in your neighborhood Asian Food Store (such as Hong Kong Supermarket in Flushing), have the BEST slogans on them EVAR!!! I'll post them here as I finish the bags of them. They also come in the most unusual and intriguing flavors. You have to try lychee (a Chinese fruit). Not quite Engrish
, as they're mostly super flowery text, rather than poorly-translated, but still entertaining. Apple is J Sue
's fave slogan.
- Grape: Enjoy the softness of gentle breeze that sweeps through the vineyard spread vast on the hill in each soft and juicy Kasugai Grape Gummy.
- Muscat (green grape): Its translucent color so alluring and taste and aroma so gentle and mellow offer admiring feelings of a graceful lady. Enjoy soft and juicy Kasugai Muscat Gummy.
- Pineapple: The gorgeous taste of fully ripened pineapple, imposing as a southern island king crowned in glory, is yours to enjoy in every soft and juicy Kasugai Pineapple Gummy.
- Apple: Every drop of fresh apple juice, carefully pressed from the reddest apples, shining in colors of the cheeks of a snow-country child, is yours to enjoy in each soft and juicy Kasugai Apple Gummy.
- Kasugai homepage (in Japanese)
- Pictures (coming soon to here too!). I have yet to see the Prune or Blueberry varieties.
- Amazon.com has everything!
- Also available from AsiaFoods.com in single flavor and mixed flavor crates in case you just can't get enough.
10:56 PM — More Monkeys
RE: Infinite Monkeys throw Infinite Shit at Infinite Computers
points out to me that "the probability of one monkey typing Hamlet is not 0, it is roughly 1/50^200,000, where 50 is the number of allowed characters and 200,000 is the number of characters in Hamlet." The probability that any single monkey types all A's is the same. The infinite monkeys could theoretically ALL type all A's. Or all B's, or any other combination that isn't Hamlet. It's possible
. However, the probability of it is zero.
We will ignore any characters before or after the script of Hamlet. Let x=50^200,000, that is, the number of possible documents the length of Hamlet. In 200,000 characters, there are x possible documents. Looking at one specific monkey's output, the chance of that particular document being Hamlet itself is 1/x.
- The chance of that single document being anything BUT Hamlet is y=1-(1/x)=(x-1)/x<1.
- The chance of TWO documents being non-Hamlet is y^2=1-2/x+(1/x)^2~1-2/x.
- The chance of 3 documents being non-Hamlet is y^3=1-3/x+...
- The chance of infinity-many documents being non-Hamlet is y^infinity=1-infinity/x+... =0.
My brain hurts.
For more laughs, check out the Brunching Shuttlecocks'
article on other things the monkeys might type
1:15 AM — Character Stats
The first three are PCs, and the rest are NPCs. Yeah, I'm a geek. Two individuals have a parenthetical Charisma; these individuals have a modifier dependent upon the number of people present, and whether the character is familiar with them.
||Human Bard ?
8:25 PM — Update!
Hopefully you're more observant than my students and noticed the changes around here. I went with a cleaner style that also allowed names of recent posts to be listed. Also, for the first time I figured out how to allow people to leave comments! Not sure if it wasn't available for free before, or I just didn't see it, but here it is now. :) I'm starting to like how this all works, especially since I know a little bit about .css style sheets.
8:05 PM — Voting?
Well, I got my PA absentee ballot on Friday, filled it out Monday, but I couldn't mail it today and WHY? Because I don't have any stamps. @#*&. Nader was listed as a presidential candidate, but there was an extra "warning" sheet of paper saying that as of when the ballot was sent, they hadn't yet decided his eligibility (none). I voted for Pres and Senator (drats, I can't vote out Senator Santorum
until 2006, which's also when I get to approve gay marriage back in MA). For the other positions I don't like making an uninformed vote, so I would normally leave them blank. This year, upon somebody's
suggestion (I forget who, let me know if it was you), I wrote in Ralph Nader for all the unimportant positions. I figured perhaps I'd make a pollster chuckle.
11:55 PM — Soap Box
Jon Stewart (of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
) appeared on CNN's Crossfire lately
. As you watch, note how Stewart attacks the Crossfire format, and how they attack him
personally. Also see if you can count how many jabs he makes that no one in the audience catches.
9:12 AM — Balancing Act and Seatbelts
I started writing a comment on the blog of my friend "Unofischal
," when I realied I wanted to write a whole post about it here.
For myself, I'm finding these days that I GLADLY put nearly all my time into prep for teaching. If I didn't do the best job I could, I wouldn't be happy enough to enjoy my personal life. If I didn't take time to relax now and then, I wouldn't be effective enough to do a good job. I know I'm in the right place now because these balance properly on their own, and I don't need to worry about which should get more time.
I may not become internationally recognized, but I know I'm making a big difference in some student's life.
When I was in college, school was my life. Everything revolved around what classes I was taking, what my homework was, and so on. For my students, college is just a small piece of the puzzle, and not always a high priority. The same student whom complains that she can't afford the textbook wears the latest fashions and is on the cellphone as soon as I dismiss class. One of my good students asked a week ahead for a make-up exam date. The reason: she had to take her former boyfriend to court because he wasn't pay child support claiming the kid wasn't his. Another good student missed her test without telling me in advance, and just yesterday told me the reason was she's been having violent morning sickness. Not to be cold hearted but to uphold my standards, I asked for a doctor's note and she showed me the result of her pregnancy test.
Which brings me to a whole 'nother rant. CONDOMS! The first girl (woman?) had lost health insurance for a semester, so she stopped taking the Pill. (But didn't stop fucking.) I've chanted this one to many of my friends, so if you've already heard it, you can stop reading this post: without health insurance, the Pill is $27-30/month. WITH health insurance it's still $10-20/month. Condoms sold individually are less than a dollar. If you fucked daily, that'd also be about $30/month. A cellphone bill is $30-60. This woman chose her cellphone over a healthy, sane, and happy baby.
I compare educating people about condoms, and using condoms, to using a seatbelt in a car. You don't plan to get in a car accident, but you should wear a seatbelt anyway. Abstinence-only people don't plan to have sex, but they should know about condoms anyway. For a long while I was on the Pill while abstinent. I didn't plan to have sex on any given day, but I wanted to not have to worry about that when I did decide that I would. When I'm driving my car, I don't plan on getting in an accident, but I still buy a safe car. Maybe abstinence would be equivalent to using the breaks in the car: avoiding sex entirely, avoiding accidents entirely. Is being rear-ended like date-rape?
says that so-called "emergency contraception" would be like an air bag, but my personal favorites are withdrawl and the calendar method. Withdrawl is where you're having sex, and the guy pulls out before he comes. Not that effective as there's still sperm in "pre-come" (pre-ejaculatory fluid). That's like bailing out of the car as it's hitting the brick wall. Tuck and roll!
The calendar method is a remarkably ineffective version of the "rhythm method" (natural family planning). Done properly, a woman using natural family planning will take her vaginal temperature and record her vaginal mucus consistency daily. The calendar method means just keeping track of when you last had your period and abstaining when you think you're most fertile (approximately 2 weeks before). That would be if you only drove on the wrong side of the street when it's not rush hour.
9:24 PM — T-Shirts 1.1
Additional wacky T-shirt sources:
- Non-Zero Chance: includes the Status Quo Now shirt: "What do we want? What we have! When do we want it? Now!"
- Questionable Content Store: currently off-line b/c of ordering backlog, but this store for a cute webcomic (based out of The Happy Valley) contains a "Music+Science=Sexy" shirt that I'm trying to convince T$ we should buy his'n'hers of.
- Think Geek: Megatokyo recently took their store off this site, but they're full of geek-oriented gear.
And while I'm plugging webcomics, Schlock Mercenary
is going full time and asked readers to plug it.
Ooh, and buy tickets for my chorus! Our upcoming concert
is being held on Sat Nov 6, 8pm, in Worcester MA and will feature two 20th century classical pieces from British composers. Price is $24 general, $18 students, and we're damned good so it's worth it!
9:32 AM — Commercialism in the Name of Anti-Commercialism
I finally found a "Straight But Not Narrow" pin through ProgressiveCatalog.com
. They've got all sorts of good pins and bumper stickers.
10:43 PM — Veep Deb
Tonight I listened to the Vice Presidential debate with half an ear. Some of the highlights:
- Attack of the clones. (10/16: Unfortunately since I made this post, CNN has change the picture, and you no longer can see Cheney and Edwards side-by-side in identical black suits, light blue button down shirts, red ties, American flag lapel pins, facial expressions, and hand at chin height, fingers pursed to make a point.)
- Moderator (Gwen Ifill): "Without naming them at all, explain why you are different from your opponent."
Cheney: "Why I am different from John Edwards..."
- Flip-flopping moderator
Moderator: "The next question goes to Vice Pres... I'm sorry, Senator Edwards you have 30 seconds."
Edwards: (starts talking) "...and you just realized that you made a mistake."
Moderator: "Yes, I'm sorry. The next question goes to Vice President Cheney..."
- On gay marriage:
Cheney: "People should be free but I do everything Bush tells me."
Edwards: "I want the rights of gay marriage not called marriage but I can't say that or I'll loose the swing votes."
Unfortunately, I haven't had much luck finding good drinking games for these. Anyone have a link?
10:53 PM — Election forthcoming
On my last day in Pennsylvania this summer my voter's registration card arrived. I recently sent in my absentee ballot request and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. Perhaps I shall call the Lancaster County Voter's Registration office to make sure they got my request.
Meanwhile, I realized there's an even BIGGER question. In 2006, do I vote out Senator Santorum
, or do I approve gay marriage?