Top Names of the Decade

Some of you may recall the adjusted (by combining alternate spellings) baby name lists that I put together not too long ago.

I have added another section to that site – Top Names of the Decade, for each decade from 1900 until now.

Go there and click on a decade (e.g. The 1930s) for the top 25 most popular names, as well as which names gained or lost the most ground over the decade.

Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.

Luke 10:20

New Power Generation

I have a plan to save you money on electricity, and it was inspired by a faucet.

It was one of them fancy turn-it-on-by-waving-your-hands-in-front-of-it faucets. But most of those faucets take batteries. This one does not require batteries, nor does it plug into the wall outlet.

Did I mention that the faucet costs $711? Not $7.11, but $711.00! And that’s the cheap one! The expensive one is $1480!

That’s because there is a generator inside each faucet – a miniature generator that produces the electricity that the faucet needs to run. And the generator gets its power from the water pressure at the faucet.

I am here to propose a home-based power generation plan. People these days are talking about adding solar panels to their roofs or building windmills to generate electricity. But that’s a waste of money. The problem with those is that you don’t always have sunshine and you don’t always have wind blowing.

But you do always have water pressure from the local municipality. Water originates from the main line at point A and ends up at your sink, point B

Normal Water Lines

diagram of using normal house water pressure

If you want to cut your electric bills, then the most cost-effective method is to install a water-turbine generator in your house.

Water Lines with One Generator

diagram of using house water pressure to generate electricity

If you want to cut your bills even further, then you can install two generators and a water tank. Put the water tank as high as you can (accounting for losses from the first turbine). Now re-route the water lines so that the incoming water goes through the first turbine and into the tank. Install the second turbine between the tank and the faucets. Now you get double the electricity! At the cost of lower water pressure, of course.

Water Lines with Two Generators

diagram of using house water pressure to generate electricity

In case you’re wondering when I am going to implement this: I am on well and septic. If I did this, I would be using electricity to pump water to generate electricity. Maybe someone else can let me know how it goes.

Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet from it;

Exodus 30:19

Guest Post at Ricky Anderson

Not much here today – I used up my blogging quote for the week by writing something for Ricky Anderson. Go visit his blog and read my guest post over there.

And while you’re there, be sure to browse through some other things that he has written. Oh, and leave comments too (on his other posts, not necessarily my guest post).

Today’s verse will make more sense after you’ve read the guest post.

If I look for Sheol as my home,I make my bed in the darkness;

Job 17:13

Winter Road Signs

picture of a child pulling a snow shovelMy kids like to play in the snow. Most of the time that involves either sledding (which ends only when I announce “Time for hot chocolate!”) or snowball fights (them against me, which ends when someone starts crying).

The other week, though, I was busy clearing the driveway so they came up with some other way to amuse themselves. They cleared paths in the lawn to make roads and then Alpha wrote appropriate signage in the snow so you could tell where to go.

First up – the roads, being made by Alpha and Beta:

picture of roads drawn in the snow on the lawn

Read the rest of this entry »

Actual Size

picture of a box of Post Toasties cerealI tried a new cereal the other day: Post Toasties. I forget where I picked it up, but I haven’t tried to find it again.

This isn’t a review of the cereal itself (think “inflated grape nuts”), but rather of something I noticed on the box.

In the US, all food products are required to list the nutrition information. I believe that a corollary to that law is that all cereal boxes are required to show a bowl of the cereal with milk (fruit garnish optional).

Let’s zoom in on the standard disclaimer:

photo of the disclaimer on a box of cereal that the picture has been enlarged to show texture

No big deal, right? Every box of cereal says “enlarged to show texture”.

Wrong! Well, every box may say that, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right.

I started eating the cereal and discovered that the cereal’s claims were incorrect. The photo on the box was not enlarged to show texture. In fact, the picture showed the cereal smaller than it actually was.

photo of piece of Post Toasties compared to its picture on the box

photo of piece of Post Toasties compared to its picture on the box

Unfortunately for me, I now know that I won’t be able to win any money for deceptive advertising because it may be an obvious unilateral mistake. Plus I wasn’t really affected by it.

Oh well.

It’s actual size, but it seems much bigger to me.

saying, “When will the new moon be over, So that we may sell grain, And the sabbath, that we may open the wheat market, To make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, And to cheat with dishonest scales,

Amos 8:5

Real Mexican Food

The handy-dandy pack of coupons and phamphlets that is mailed to everyone on our postal route about once a month arrived recently. In it was an advertisement for a local Mexican restaurant:

picture of flyer from Mexican restaurant

If you are like me, you immediately noticed the headline:

picture of flyer from Mexican restaurant

I know there are blogs dedicated to the misuse of quotation marks, and I’m not trying to compete with them. But it appears they will not be running out of material anytime soon.

Why is it “real” and not just real?

If I had to put quotes around one word, I would have chosen Mexican. Because we have never seen any Mexicans in that restaurant, either working or eating.

Real “Mexican” Food sounds better, and is closer to the truth, than “Real” Mexican Food.

Worst of all is Real Mexican “Food”. Do not eat at that place.

And He said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him,

Mark 7:18

All-Haiku Bowl Results, 2010

Okay, okay, it is 2011 at this point, but the results are headlines as 2010 because they match with the 2010 predictions made in 2010 for the 2010 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 2010″.

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.


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


Northern Illinois over Fresno State

Ohio over Troy

Louisville over Southern Miss

Boise St. over Utah

San Diego State over Navy

Hawaii over Tulsa

Toledo over Florida International

Air Force over Georgia Tech

N.C. State over West Virginia

Missouri over Iowa

Maryland over East Carolina

Baylor over Illinois

Oklahoma State over Arizona

SMU over Army

Kansas State over Syracuse

North Carolina over Tennessee

Nebraska over Washington

South Florida over Clemson

Notre Dame over Miami (F)

Georgia over UCF

South Carolina over Florida State

Northwestern over Texas Tech

Penn State over Florida

Michigan State over Alabama

Mississippi State over Michigan

Wisconsin over TCU

Oklahoma over Connecticut

Stanford over Virginia Tech

Arkansas over Ohio State

Miami (O) over Middle Tenn. State

LSU over Texas A&M

Pittsburgh over Kentucky

Nevada over Boston College

Oregon over Auburn

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 19-16 (better than last year!)
  • CBS120 picks were 21-14
  • HTW was 16-19 for the official Home Team Wins (HTW)
  • HTW was 15-20 for the Geographical Home Team (GHT)
  • Isaacson-Tarbell Postulate (ITP) was 21-14 if using HTW
  • ITP was 23-12 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 bad year again for GHT. 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 TCU and Auburn.
  2. The B1G TEN is going to have a championship game next year, so we’ll know who their best team will be. Not that they’ll be playing for the national title, but it is a step in the right direction.
  3. On the other hand, the Big 12 had better hope for a clear winner of its conference.
  4. You know what? – we should just skip the national championship game and give the title to the winner of the SEC.


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 2010 (and the first bit of 2011) season.

  • ACC: 3-5
  • Big 10: 3-5
  • Big 12: 3-5
  • Big East: 4-2
  • Independent: 2-1
  • MAC: 2-2
  • MW: 4-1
  • PAC10: 2-2
  • SEC: 5-5
  • Sun Belt: 2-1
  • USA: 3-4
  • WAC: 2-2

So the best conference was the Mt. West (they won 80% of their bowl games again) and the worst was the ACC or Big Ten or Big 12 because they won only 38% of their bowl games.

Or maybe the worst was the MAC or the WAC or the PAC. If your conference ended in “AC”, then you had a bad year because you didn’t qualify very many teams.

Perhaps you could say that the SEC was the best because they had ten teams go to bowls (again) and won the championship (again). Or you could say the SEC was just the most popular conference.

My vote is for the Mountain West, especially next year when Boise St. joins them. If a MWC team goes to a bowl game, they usually win.

Then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.

1 Samuel 17:4