December 18, 2014: 1:26 pm: humour, internet, Technology

A: 132 divided by 26 is about 5.

B: How do you know.

A: Because that’s how division works.

B: Doesn’t make sense that you can just say that. I mean I think we should investigate all sides of the issue. Who benefits from 132 being divided into 26 parts? Why does it have to be 5?

A: But when you divide 132 by 26 that’s the answer you get.

B: OK OK. Explain to me like I’m 5.

A: We don’t teach division to 5-year-olds.

B: So you can’t explain it. :)

A: Fine. So in this case let’s say you want to separate 132 things into 26 groups.

B: What things?

A: Doesn’t matter.

B: I think it could but let’s see where you go with this.

A: The idea is to find out how many things would be in each group.

B: So gather 26 twist ties say. And I spread them out until I have 26 groups. But not every group will have the same number. That doesn’t give you one answer.

A: Well you can keep shifting the groups around until they all have the same amount but there’s an easier way if you know how to multiply. Which as a five year old you would’t.

B: So this is all sounding like a runaround. The simple truth is you don’t know what 132 divided by 26 really is. You can’t prove it to an average person.

A: Multiply 26 times 5. You can teach a five year old to use a calculator.

B: If you trust calculators. But OK, for the sake of argument. Hold on. 26 times 5 is 130 according to my caluclator NOT 132.

A: Right there’s a remainder.

B: WAIT. So you’re trying to convince me that 132 divided by 26 is 5 but when I use MY OWN CALCULATOR It shows that is demonstrabvly NOT the case.

A: I was rounding. It’s actually 5.08

B: (PAUSES) NO! 132.08

A: Well yeah there’s a decimal but we usually round that off.

B: So your “SCIENCE” isn’t so precise after all. If you can just round things off why can’t I round things off. Why can’t I say 132 divided by 26 os 6. I’m just rounding off!

A: You do that.

B: See? You can’t win a fair logical argument can you? WHY CAN”T YOU HANDLE THE SIMPLE TRUTH? Stop trying to ruin this country!

December 5, 2013: 11:01 am: history, humour

The origins of the medicine ball are shrouded in the mists of the history of the tribes of North America. Some have speculated that it refers to shamanistic practices, others to some sort of traditional healing ceremony. The story is rather more prosaic. In the 1500s explorer Vasco De Gama reported tribesmen using a “weighty spheroid in ceremonial activity” which may lend to the confusion about shamanism.

While no more detail exists from De Gama, a later journal of the explorer Franklin Seagraves describes a conversation with a chieftain about the unusual healthiness of its members. Seagraves writes, “The chieftain then explained that his people use a ceremonial ball with divers markings on it and totems in an activity called by some untranslatable word. He showed me this ball and while its appearance was normal, it was strange heavy. He then caused his sons to demonstrate all manner of passings and liftings and other odd comportations with the thing such like I have never seen fore or since. It was made a gift to me with the recommendation that its proper use was ‘great medicine’ and I should add years to my time in its application.”

References are scattered after this but sometime in the late 1600s some medical men are found to refer to “Seagraves Lifting Ball” and “Seagraves Great Medicine”. These intermittent usages finally settle into the usage “medicine ball” by the mid 1700s and the rest, as they say, is history.

August 8, 2012: 10:04 pm: history, humour

The other day I saw some old footage with athletes wearing CCCP on their uniform, the Cyrillic letters for USSR. It got me wondering how the old Soviet Union would be doing in the medal count if it was still together. So I did a quick count and posted it on Twitter.

The inevitable literalnet responded that not all the medals would have been won, because of team restrictions etc. But a few more interesting people replied with curiosity of how the Roman empire would do, or perhaps the British Empire.

Granted, an exhaustive survey would find out the origins of every athlete that medaled and then account for the team restrictions and who might have won if certain atheletes had been barred from medaling because of that. What I did took me too much time as it is, so this is not that and it’s not perfect.

However it is an amusing, at least to me, look at the medal count with old-timey empires put in for fun.

Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
European Union 67 88 75 230
British empire 51 41 54 146
Roman empire (ca. 117) 39 52 49 140
USSR 25 26 45 96
USA 34 22 25 81
People’s Republic of China 36 22 19 77
Holy Roman Empire (ca. 1600) 20 28 24 72
Russian Federation 11 19 22 52
Great Britain 22 13 13 48

Notes: I counted half the US medals in the British Empire since more than half of the US population lives in the old colonies. I also counted half of Italy for the Holy Roman Empire since only northern Italy was part of the time period I used. I also only used half of Great Britain’s medal count for the Roman Empire, since I really didn’t feel like digging up which of the medal winners were from Scotland and Northern Ireland (and possibly Wales and Cornwall etc. etc. if you *really* want to get sticky about it).

December 25, 2008: 7:06 pm: humour, Technology

I have a question, can anyone help?

You left out an important detail. Please provide it.

Oh sorry, here is half of what you asked for.

Yes, but that’s still not all of the important details I asked for.

Oh sorry. Here’s the rest, but with a serious misunderstanding.

Let me clarify. I need this exactly.

Oh OK. Here you go.

Hi I just discovered the thread and instead of being helpful I’m going to explain to you why you would never want to do what you’re asking.

Hi I just discovered this thread and would like to point out how you could Google this yourself but I also will not actually provide any help.

I just jumped in to call you a n00b and make an ironic joke.

Hi I’m the original responder and I have a solution you can try.

I tried your solution but it didn’t work.

Can you explain more why it didn’t work?

Well let me give you half an explanation leaving out several important details.

I guess I’ll need to ask for the rest of the details then.

Oh sorry, here are the rest of the details including a very important detail that I left out of the original problem that you could never have guessed.

Well I will have to take a slightly exasperated tone and say that you should have told me that in the beginning. So now let me propose a different solution.

I want to jump back in and point out that I can’t see any earthly reason why you’d want to do what you’re asking, but at the same time provide no real useful help to the thread.

I just want to make another ironic joke.

I the original poster must now ask a question that was actually answered in the latest proposed solution.

I will politely refrain from pointing out that if you read my last post more carefully you would see I answered that, but instead just repeat that part verbatim without further commentary.

Oh, got it, I will try that. I will then not respond for several weeks.

Hey, it worked. Thanks for all the help everyone!

April 25, 2007: 5:58 pm: humour, Technology is a new Google map mashup about to launch with backing from the likes of Sequoia capital. The new mapping Web 2.0 site invites users to log in and post when they went, where they went and how it all came out.

“I think we can collect some valuable data that’s just wasted now,” said the site’s CEO.

Users in the secret alpha have already identified such trends as the Kansas afternoon flush, and the New Jersey midnight dump. Beta launch users will be by invite only, building up to the official launch sometime after the first of the year, 2008.

Real time maps will be available to all visitors from launch and are mapped by zip code and color coded on a yellow-brown gradient.

October 24, 2005: 2:30 pm: humour
June 11, 2004: 12:10 pm: humour

Does it bother Mormons that theior religion is based on a visit from the angel Moroni? Moron – i? Probably not.