Archive for January, 2009

Churches, Non-Profit Organizations, and Whaling

January 28, 2009

Whilst researching deductions of “Charitable Contributions” on the IRS website I came across this little gem of a tax break:

Whaling Expenses

Last I heard, whaling was decreasing whale populations to dangerous levels.  This is weird.


The Power of Imperative

January 27, 2009

Last night Christine went on a  date to the laundromat.  We enjoyed lugging our laundry to a new-fangled laundry to try to fit our king-sized bed covers in the the over-sized machines. I enjoyed losing repeatedly to Christine at backgammon. We enjoyed paying way to much to cleanse our newly-purchased bed covers.  (Seriously though, great date.  I love my wife.)

And for some reason the “Cha Cha Slide” was stuck in both of our heads.  This brought us to discuss the power of imperative sentences.  Bear with me:

  • Nike pioneered imperative marketing when in 1988 they launched the “Just do it” campaign.  People have been happily doing it ever since.
  • Coca Cola took a hint and started the “Enjoy” campaign in 2000.
  • Classroom management is often fixed by changing your speech from a mitigated “Would you please…?” to a threatening, authoritative command.
  • The Cha Cha slide hit the 1996 UK singles chart.  The voice of DJ Casper has commanded whiteys in every wedding reception ever.  (Except for Christine and my wedding.)
  • The black-eyed peas have hit the top 100 charts with characteristic, threatening titles such as “Don’t Phunk With My Heart,” “Pump It,” and “Don’t Lie.”

I’ll leave you now with a word from DJ Casper.

Now it’s time to get funky
To the right now, to the left
Take it back now ya’ll
1 hop this time, 1 hop this time
Right foot 2 stomps, left foot 2 stomps
Slide to the left, slide to the right
Criscross, criscross
Cha Cha real smooth

Let’s go to work…

Our new cat is smarter than a your monkey

January 23, 2009

Are you familiar with the old “monkeys in a room typing forever would eventually give you a work of Shakespeare” adage?  Well, while lesson planning a time back I came across this article in Wikipedia that details the infinite monkey theorem and describes its origins, mathematics, and experiments related to the concept.  The highlight of this article I will reproduce below, but, before you read it, keep in mind that this is the kind of monkey that was involved in the experiment:

In 2003, lecturers and students from the University of Plymouth MediaLab Arts course used a £2,000 grant from the Arts Council to study the literary output of real monkeys. They left a computer keyboard in the enclosure of six Celebes Crested Macaques in Paignton Zoo in Devon in England for a month, with a radio link to broadcast the results on a website. One researcher, Mike Phillips, defended the expenditure as being cheaper than reality TV and still “very stimulating and fascinating viewing”.

Not only did the monkeys produce nothing but five pages consisting largely of the letter S, the lead male began by bashing the keyboard with a stone, and the monkeys continued by urinating and defecating on it. The zoo’s scientific officer remarked that the experiment had “little scientific value, except to show that the ‘infinite monkey’ theory is flawed”…  (From “Infinite Monkey Theorm” on Wikipedia.)

In comparison, MY CAt, as I am writing this, is straTEGICALLY PRESSING THE CAPS on and oFF TO HIS AMMUSEMENT. ALSO, HE IS MUTING AND umuting my music to get a rise out of me.

Now he’s ACCEssing my system files and attempting to fORMAT MY HARD DRIVE.


Thank goodness for the SPRAY BOTtle, huh?