Archive for January, 2018

All-Haiku Bowl Results, 2017

Okay, okay, it is 2018 at this point, but the results are headlines as 2017 because they match with the 2017 predictions made in 2016 for the 2017 season. Also, the results are not all-haiku, just the predictions were. A more accurate title would be “Results for the All-Haiku Predictions made in 2017”.

Before the bowl games commenced for this past college football season, I made some predictions. Here, for your reading enjoyment, is the tally of those predictions. Note that the results are not in haiku form, in contrast to the predictions.
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Ticket Monster

My wife saw that the Harlem Globetrotters would be in our arena soon, and she thought it would be fun to take the kids. Tickets were about $20 apiece, so that seemed reasonable for a fun break from the winter weather.

image of expected ticket prices from Ticketmaster

My wife was looking at the tickets and picking out a good section, but I stopped her when I noticed it was through Ticketmaster. They were a major reason I left my last email address – could not get them to stop sending me email, so I abandoned that email address. They’re probably still spamming it. I wanted to setup a temporary email for this transaction, so we could delete it and be free from Ticketmaster spam after our event.

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Internet Learning

My wife showed me a video that she found via social media. It was a plea for internet access for all students, something like bridging the digital divide. It’s a good intent, but a bad way to reach the goal.

The goal, I presume, is better education for lower-income children. Their plan (whoever “they” was) is more computers and internet. Before I get into that, though, let me describe the video.

There were two tables of several students each. The tables were separated by a sheet or screen so the two groups couldn’t see each other. One moderator read a question aloud and the first table to answer correctly would get a point.

One table had laptops and internet, whereas the other table had encyclopedias. The results were, of course, dramatic. The moderator would read a question, and a couple of seconds later the laptop table would shout their answer. The video would then show the annoyed faces of the encyclopedia table. Another question, and another answer from the laptop table, followed by dismay from the encyclopedia table. Question, answer, frustration.

Then they removed the screen from between the two tables and the encyclopedia table was relieved to see it was a setup with the other table being given an advantage.

The video then had someone give an impassioned speech on how students can’t learn if they don’t have the internet.

My response: they’re going down the wrong road.

Sure, the internet lets you look up things quicker. But the goal of the people behind this video is presumably not quicker answers to trivia. I’m also going to presume their goal is not simply more funding either. Rather, I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say their goal is better education, with the goal of better education being to improve the lives of disadvantaged kids.

The kids who got the questions right – what did they learn? How much processing did their brains do? It seemed to me like they were plugging in a question and spitting out an answer. I did not see how the learning was happening.

If this were a homework assignment, and one group had encyclopedias at home and one group had the internet, the encyclopedia group would have taken longer to complete the assignment, but their education would have advanced by that amount.

Learning is like most everything else in life – you get out of it what you put into it. If there is little effort required to produce the answers needed, then there was little learning involved. No pain, no gain – only we are talking about mental muscles instead of physical muscles.

That is not to say that we should make homework more difficult than necessary, but if the goal is learning then the process should involve thinking. Plus some memorization, but that’s another topic.

A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none, But knowledge is easy to one who has understanding.

Proverbs 14:6

Movie Ratings

It’s fun being a dad – I get to answer all sorts of questions about life from those little growing minds.

For instance, my grade-schoolers asked about movie ratings. What does PG mean?
My answer: that means the movie is Pretty Good.

What about rated G?
That means it’s a Great movie.

What about R?
That’s a Rotten movie – it’s bad for you.

How about PG-13?
It’s Pretty Good if you’re at least 13 years old.


I still don’t like the discontinuity among the ratings. Why does one have an age associated with it and the others do not? Either they should all have ages, or none. Make it consistent.

Example:

Current / Non-Age / Age
G G 1+
PG PG 6+
PG-13 T 13+
R R 18+

The T there is for Teen, in case you were wondering.

I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me.

Psalm 101:3

Football Winner Guesser Results – 2017

It is time once again to update Some Blog Site readers on the results of my Some Fun Site project to create a more accurate football prediction method.

The 2017 NFL season is over, and here are the most accurate methods for predicting regular-season game results (wins-losses):

  • MPW: 66%
  • MPWHFA: 63%
  • MYW: 61%

No new prediction methods this year. Either no one could find a better method, or they did but they have moved to Vegas instead of commenting on this blog.

And if you think you have a formula that can predict the winner of an NFL game better than 63.3% of the time, let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

(For the ideas behind the methods, please visit the Some Fun Site page.)

You are wearied with your many counsels; Let now the astrologers, Those who prophesy by the stars, Those who predict by the new moons, Stand up and save you from what will come upon you.

Isaiah 47:13

Battleships

If you’re playing a game of Battleship with younger kids, be sure they know the rules. Otherwise you may end up with this:

image of a Battleship game with the pieces stacked

Note: for the red peg on the right, he called out “hit, miss, hit, hit” and his brother was confused.

Then Sihon with all his people came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz.

Deuteronomy 2:32