Archive for April, 2014

NFL in April 2014

In the last week, we had the announcement of the 2014 NFL schedule. Now that we know who will play whom and when, we can start predicting wins and losses.

I keep my predictions over at Some Fun Site. View results of previous football seasons.

2013 Summary

Last year, I predicted that

  • Arizona Cardinals = 3-13
  • Dallas Cowboys = 7-9
  • Oakland Raiders = 4-12
  • San Francisco 49ers = 14-2

How they actually did was

  • Arizona Cardinals = 10-6
  • Dallas Cowboys = 8-8
  • Oakland Raiders = 4-12
  • San Francisco 49ers = 12-4

Pretty good, except for the Cardinals.


Three-Point Turns

One of the basic things you learn during driver’s ed is how to make a 3-point turn.

I have a problem with the 3-point turn.

Not doing the turn – the problem is with the name.

First off, here is a little video is made showing how a 3-point turn works. I did an cursory internet search for an animated diagram of 3-point turn, but didn’t find any. So I made one myself. It is not a very polished animation, because I drew the frames individually and pieced them together. I bet the better-looking videos out there use animation-rendering software, which I don’t have because I’m not planning on doing much animation.

animation of a 3-point turn driving maneuver

Now, having watched the video, you can see my problem with the name. Specifically, the number given to the maneuver.
Point #1 is obvious – it’s where the car stops and reverses direction.
Point #2 is also obvious – it’s where the car stops and reverses direction again.
Point #3 – I just made it up. I had to put a third point in there somewhere to make it a 3-point turn, but there is no place it fits.

Where is the third point in a 3-point turn?

Fire Exit

image of sign saying the fire exit for the second floor is on the first floor

If there’s a fire on the first floor, too bad. Stay on the second floor.

And don’t use the elevator if there’s a fire.

You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day.

Exodus 35:3

NBA Lottery

I don’t follow basketball much, but I hear a little bit about it as I listen to the news, traffic, weather, and sports during my commute. Every year, some people have complaints about the NBA lottery pick system. Why their draft can’t be like everyone else’s, I’m not sure.

But people were proposing changes to the lottery draft format. Most proposals are intended to curb the motivation for teams to lose on purpose in order to get a better draft. One proposal that I remember was to give more ping-pong balls to the non-playoff teams with the better records. That would decrease the incentive to lose, but that would be counter to the purpose of the draft – to help bad teams.

That whole sports-talk radio bit got me thinking as to other ways the NBA could run its draft. Here are my proposals, if they are intent on ignoring the simplest process of just basing it on record:

  • Plinko
    It would make as much sense as the current system, but be more entertaining. Make it a giant Plinko board, with the names of all the available draft picks at the bottom. They would have to have all the number combinations as separate ping-pong balls, instead of just 14 balls like they have currently. But then the commissioner just dumps all the balls at once and then it’s a race to the bottom!
  • Silent Auction
    Not as entertaining as Plinko, but perhaps some more drama possible. Instead of a certain number of ping-pong ball combinations, each team would get a certain number of Draft Bucks they could spend. Worse teams would get more Draft Bucks. I think this would work better if it applied to the whole draft, not just the first part. Then teams could overspend for one player if they wanted, at the expense of their second round. On second thought, this might be too much like a salary cap, and fans might want something different.
  • White Elephant-Style
    That’s right – stealing. The draft would occur with the best team going first and the worst team last. A team could draft anyone off the board, or steal a player who was drafted by an earlier team. The NBA would set limits on how many steals are allowed and such. Possibly confusing, but definitely more exciting.

Any other ideas for how to improve (or at least change) the NBA draft?

Saul said, “Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was taken.

1 Samuel 14:42

Random Numbers

If you ever need a random-number generator for values between 0-100, don’t bother with any of the standard libraries or websites to provide them.

Just look at the weather forecast for Michigan.

image of weather forecast for Detroit showing changing temperatures

Thus I was: by day the heat consumed me and the frost by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes.

Genesis 31:40

New Headphones

cartoon of someone wearing nose-cancelling headphones instead of noise-canceling headphones

Evan thought it was a typo
but it turns out
they really were
nose-cancelling headphones

They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell;

Psalm 115:6

Family Conversations, Part 20

Gamma: You know what I do to Delta when I tell him “I’ll give you something to cry about?”
Some Guy (suspiciously) : No, what?
Gamma: I tell him that he lost his favorite ball in the summer!

I couldn’t help but smile at that one.

And no, he didn’t get that phrase from me.

The Scene: Delta runs to me, crying
Some Guy: What’s wrong?
Delta: Daddy, Gamma smacked me!
Some Guy: I’m sorry. Where?
Delta: In the living room.

If he weren’t two years old, I would have thought he had been watching old comedy sketches somewhere.

Gamma: I’m practicing air hockey so I can win more than Beta.
Some Guy : That’s right – if you want to be good at something you need to practice, to work at it.
Gamma: Like if I don’t like eating vegetables, I need to practice eating more of them?
Some Guy : Sure.

The Scene: informal Bible lesson
Some Guy: The Roman soldiers used a piece of armor called the breastplate to protect their vital organs.
Beta: Yeah, if they didn’t, then their Little Einsteins would come gooshing out!
Alpha: Not Little Einsteins! Little intestines!
Some Guy: Small intestines, but yes, that could happen.

The Scene: leaving the doctor office after a blood draw
Gamma: Why did they take my blood?
Some Guy : They are going to test it to see what allergies you have.
Gamma: When are they going to put it back?
Some Guy : Oh, they’re not.

Gamma: If your nose is bleeding you use a Kleenex because with a Band-Aid you couldn’t breathe.

The Scene: I’m pretending to eat a pig
Gamma: No, you don’t eat pigs! You need to wait for them to lay bacon.

But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

1 Thessalonians 5:8