Archive for February, 2014

Seating Configuration

A recent department meeting was held in a conference room with dozens of folding chairs. I ended up near the back, and I found myself staring at the back of the head of the person sitting in front of me. There was no comfortable way for me to sit so that I could see the speaker at the front of the room.

That got me to thinking about how the seats could be arranged to improve sight lines.


diagram of a bad arrangement of folding chairs for listening to a speaker

If the audience were somewhat transparent, it would be okay because you could see through them in order to see the speaker. Like this:

diagram of a bad arrangement of folding chairs for listening to a speaker

But they’re not, so sitting directly behind people is a problem.

One that can be easily solved though.

All you need to do is offset each row by half a chair.
Solution A:

diagram of a bad arrangement of folding chairs for listening to a speaker

Maybe it would be better to offset each row by a third of a chair.
Solution B:

diagram of a good arrangement of folding chairs for listening to a speaker

If you’re ever in charge of setting up a conference room for an audience, be sure to stagger the chairs a bit. Thanks.

They sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties.

Mark 6:40

Olympic Winners, 2014

Since there is some debate about the best way to measure who won the Olympics (correct answer: “We all did”), I thought I would prepare the results using several different methods so that various countries could claim to be the winners.

Usually, there is some sort of debate as to whether the winner should be the country with the most gold medals or the country with the most total medals. In keeping with Soviet tradition, these Olympics removed the options and give you only one choice: Russia. No debate necessary.

Since there are too much data to put into one post, I’ll summarize the results in this post and also point to another page that contains the unsummarized data.

Summary: The Netherlands won the 2014 Olympic games.

I prefer to normalize the Olympic rankings by athletes or, as they are sometimes called, delegates. How many contestants did a country send to win medals? And how many medals did they win? It’s more of an efficiency rating, but I think it is better than comparing medals to the general population.

Country Athletes / Point Rank
Netherlands 0.59 1
Belarus 0.92 2
Slovakia 1.60 3

When one adjusts the points total by number of athletes sent to the Winter Olympics, The Netherlands is the winner. They and Belarus were the only countries to earn more than one point per athlete or, as I ranked them, less than one athlete per point.

For the complete data, please view the charts on the 2014 Olympics Results page.

Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold.

Genesis 13:2

Dash Cam Review

My Christmas present this year was a dash cam. I was inspired by last year’s Russian meteor footage, captured by hundreds of dash cams.

After reading a few reviews, I settled on the G1W. I didn’t want the fanciest of cameras, and at around $50, the G1W offered the best compromise between features and price.


I ordered it off eBay, and it came shipped from China.

photo of the shipping label for the G1W dash cam

I was a little concerned that they called it a toy, but I chalked that up to translation nuances. Upon further inspection, I chalked it up to export duties.

Opening up the shipping envelope, I found this box:

Slogan Update

image of just duet slogan and logo instead of just do it

Then Israel sang this song: “Spring up, O well! Sing to it!

Numbers 21:17

Cake Server

This is what’s called a cake server.

image of a cake server

It cuts the cake and puts the slice on your plate.

If you’re hungry, or if it’s a small cake, you could cut the cake in half and get a big piece.

But that’s only part of the job – you also need something to get the cake from the plate to your mouth.

This is what’s called a fork.

image of a fork

It finishes the job.

To get cake from the pan/tray to your mouth, you need two utensils – a server and a fork.

I propose this: combine a fork with a cake server.

image of a fork combined with a cake server

Then you could get that very large slice of cake and consume it, while using only one piece of cutlery.

In other words, it lets you halve your cake and eat it too.

Then you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with it; two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake.

Leviticus 24:5

Animal Names

I like to have unusual names for various animals. See if you can match our name for the animal with the animal.

1. Ellayembee


silhouette of a dog

2. Beeyugee


silhouette of a cat

3. Deeogee


silhouette of a goat

4. Deeovee’ee


silhouette of a lamb

5. Arratee


silhouette of a dove

6. Geeoaytee


silhouette of a bug

7. Seeaytee


silhouette of a rat

Answers below.

1 D
2 F
3 A
4 E
5 G
6 C
7 B

Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.

Genesis 2:19

Fowl Play

For those of you not familiar with the story of the indirect conversation between Richard Sherman and Peyton Manning, please read this article about how Peyton Manning throws ducks.

As you may have heard, Peyton Manning admitted he throws ducks. I found it odd there was no footage of this, so I went about my blogging business and got some footage.

image of Peyton Manning throwing a duck instead of a football for an interception to Malcolm Smith

It could use some more frames, to make the animation smoother, but I don’t have that much free time. Someone else can improve it.

When He rained meat upon them like the dust,
Even winged fowl like the sand of the seas,

Psalm 78:27