On Bola

Today, I will be demonstrating how to pluralize the word bola:

image showing bola, pair o' bola, and parabola

Now you’ll be tempted to switch the emphasized syllable the next time you see the word parabola. Remember, it’s paraBOla, not paRAbola.

You’re welcome.

Like one who binds a stone in a sling, So is he who gives honor to a fool.

Proverbs 26:8

Opposite Day

“Today is opposite day!”

That’s what Alpha told me a while back.

I forget to what he was responding. Whatever it was, he said something and then said it was opposite day, in order to let me know that his answer was the opposite of what he said. I’m sure he heard that somewhere at school, because I know we had never used that phrase here before that point.

I decided to use his declaration as a teaching point, both in logic and in truth. “Truth” being to mean what you say and “logic” being to have your words make sense.

The truth part of the lesson is obvious, and I didn’t dwell on that. Mainly because that wasn’t the fun part. The fun part was the logic part.

“If today really is Opposite Day, then what you said is false, which means that today is not opposite day,” I countered. I then went on to explain that opposite day can never happen. Or, more specifically, if a day really were opposite day, you could never tell anyone.

The phrase “today is opposite day” is always false.

  • If it were opposite day, saying “today is opposite day” would mean that it is not opposite day.
  • If it were not opposite day, then the statement is false right off the bat.

And the phrase “today is not opposite day” is always true.

  • If it were opposite day, you would have to say “today is not opposite day” to convey that information.
  • If it were not opposite day, then the statement is true right off the bat.

So if the only phrase that is ever correct is “today is not opposite day”, how can you tell the difference between a normal day and opposite day?

According to the internet, most people seem to think that January 25th is National Opposite Day. However, that makes no sense. My vote is for 12/21. Although 11/11 would qualify, it isn’t as obvious and it is already taken, as far as national days go.

Maybe, if those 1/25 guys as too entrenched for opposite day, I could start lobbying for 12/21 to be National Palindrome Day every year.

Now the sons of Gad lived opposite them in the land of Bashan as far as Salecah.

1 Chronicles 5:11

H&R Font

H&R Block has a simple, recognizable logo.

I would dare say it’s in need of updating, mainly to appeal to those of us who like fonts.

To those who aren’t as well-versed in fonts: let me start by saying that block is a style of font. Sans-serif. Probably all caps.

So I updated H&R Block to use other styles of fonts:

updated H&R Block logo to show serif, script, blackletter, handwritten, and H&R Circle

That last one is not a font update, but rather a nod to those people who don’t like sharp corners. You never know – maybe there is a market for H&R Circle.

He said to His disciples, “ It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come!

Luke 17:1

Cable and a Polite Society

A problem with society today is impatience. Cable TV (a generic term that includes satellite and internet TV also) is part of that problem.

No, not the shows on television, although I’m sure they aren’t helping any.

The main problem is the name of their services:

On Demand

You want this show? Demand it!
You want that show? Demand it!
You want anything from your TV? Demand it!

And the problem is that you get what you demand, immediately.

It’s tough enough to teach children to wait their turn and ask politely. We don’t need another influence to teach impatience and rudeness.

If I ever own a TV or video service, I’m instituting an On Request service.

And you would have to say “please”.

And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted.

Luke 23:24

The Five Hows

In the business world, there’s a quality-control technique called “The Five Whys”. It involves asking “Why?” to solve problems. I am tempted to mock the concept (e.g. “my 3-year-old came up with that on his own”), but that is not the point of this post.

Rather, I’ve adapted the concept for learning how to play a new game. This was inspired by my attempt to play Seven Wonders recently. The guy who brought the game did a valiant effort of trying to explain how to play, but I didn’t really understand it until after we played.

I call my technique “The Five Hows”. Other people may want to learn a game differently, but I have found this is how my mind wants to work. When attempting to learn how to play a game that is new to you, ask “How?” five times:

  1. How do you win the game?
  2. How do you that?
  3. How do you that?
  4. How do you that?
  5. How do you that?

Just adapt questions 2-5 to refer to the answer given in the previous question, and that’s all there is to it.

I’ll give an example, using the card game Hearts.

How do you win the game?
By scoring the fewest points

How do you score points?
By winning cards of the heart suit (or the queen of spades)

How do you win heart cards?
By playing the highest ranking card of the suit that was lead. You take all the cards that were played that hand and count any points.

How do you play a card?
By laying it face-up on the table, following suit if possible. If you are supposed to lead the hand, you decide the suit.

How do you end the game?
When someone reaches at least 100 points, the game is over. That person is the loser.

More complicated games might require more hows, but you get the idea.

But in case you don’t get the idea: the idea is to start with the big picture and work down. Don’t start with the details of how to play, start with the reason of why to play.

If all else fails, just play a practice round.

A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,

Proverbs 1:5

Sequel to Mortal Kombat

The original Mortal Kombat was a video game.

Then in 1995 they made a movie out of it.

Rumor has it that in 2013 they will release a remake of the movie.

Here’s how the Mortal Kombat logo would look if it were re-done out of Australia.

mortal wombat - an image of the mortal kombat logo but with a wombat instead of a dragon

Mortal Wombat could be interesting, if they could get the little fur-balls to look fierce.

On a slightly-related note: anyone else think that the word “marsupial” is best read in a Larry the Cucumber voice?

You’re welcome.

Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.

Psalm 146:3

All-Haiku Bowl Results, 2011

Okay, okay, it is 2012 at this point, but the results are headlines as 2011 because they match with the 2011 predictions made in 2011 for the 2011 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 2011”.

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.

Results

Here is the list (correct predictions in green, incorrect in red):

Wyoming over Temple

Utah St. over Ohio

San Diego St. over Louisiana-Lafayette

Florida International over Marshall

TCU over Louisiana Tech

Boise St. over Arizona St.

Southern Miss. over Nevada

Missouri over North Carolina

Purdue over Western Michigan

NC State over Louisville

Air Force over Toledo

Texas over Cal

Notre Dame over Florida St.

Baylor over Washington

Tulsa over Brigham Young

Rutgers over Iowa St.

Miss. St. over Wake Forest

Oklahoma over Iowa

Northwestern over Texas A&M

Utah over Georgia Tech

Cincinnati over Vanderbilt

UCLA over Illinois

Virginia over Auburn

Houston over Penn St.

Michigan State over Georgia

Nebraska over South Carolina

Florida over Ohio St.

Oregon over Wisconsin

Stanford over Oklahoma St.

Michigan over Virginia Tech.

West Virginia over Clemson

Arkansas over Kansas St.

Pittsburgh over Southern Methodist

Northern Illinois over Arkansas St.

Louisiana St. over Alabama

And here are the results of the various forecasting methodologies (see the first year for description of the methodologies) (also, use the word methodologies if you want to sound important; methods would work just as well and is shorter) :

  • Some Blog Site picks were 21-14 (better than last year!)
  • CBS120 picks were 22-13
  • HTW was 18-17 for the official Home Team Wins (HTW)
  • HTW was 20-15 for the Geographical Home Team (GHT)
  • Isaacson-Tarbell Postulate (ITP) was 21-14 if using HTW
  • ITP was 22-13 if using GHT

I won’t analyze the results as much as I did last year, mainly because I had more time and more sleep last year. But it was a good year all predictors – every method was over 50%. And my predictions keep getting better. At this rate, I’ll be 100% correct by the year 2018.

Thoughts on the season’s results

  1. That was a nice playoff round. Now let’s have the championship game between Alabama and OK State.
  2. The B1G is going to have another championship game next year. We don’t know who will be in it, but we do know who won’t be in it…
  3. You know what? – we should just skip the national championship game and give the title to the winner of the SEC again. I predicted as much last year, so let’s keep the streak going.

Conferences

Since the strength of the conference has something to do with the results, I thought I would tally each conference’s bowl game record for the 2011 (and the first bit of 2012) season.

  • ACC: 2-6
  • Big 10: 4-6
  • Big 12: 6-2
  • Big East: 3-2
  • Independent: 1-1
  • MAC: 4-1
  • MW: 2-3
  • PAC12: 2-5
  • SEC: 6-3
  • Sun Belt: 1-2
  • USA: 4-1
  • WAC: 0-3

So the best conference was the MAC or Conference USA (they won 80% of their bowl games) and the worst was the WAC because they didn’t win any of their bowl games.

The WAC sent the fewest teams to bowl games again this year (tied with Sun Belt). So maybe those two conferences were the worst.

Perhaps you could say that the B1G was the best because they had ten teams go to bowls. Or you could say the B1G was just the most popular conference.

Perhaps you could say that the SEC was the best because they won the championship (again). Or maybe the SEC is tied with the Big 12 for the best conference because they both won the most bowls (at 6).

I don’t know what happened to the MWC. They used to win their bowl games, and Boise St. was supposed to strengthen the conference. They ended below 0.500 in bowls this year though.

Since the conferences are going to change slightly for next football season, who knows which the strong bowl conferences will be? But if I must predict, I’m saying Conf. USA won’t win 80% of its bowl games again. I’ll also throw in the standard prediction that the SEC will win the BCS again.

In his place a despicable person will arise, on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred, but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue.

Daniel 11:21