Sunday, January 25, 2009

There Will Be Blood

I watched There Will Be Blood tonight. It is one of the most disturbing movies I've ever seen (and I've seen doozies such as The Notebook and Spartan).

What was wrong with that guy? Are there really people like that walking around among us? What do you do if you have to deal with such a person? What did he gain by acting that way?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How to Choose Chart Types

How to Choose Chart Types

This graphic is pretty cool. I saw a "waterfall chart" for the first time at work this week.

Calling Out Dora the Explorer

I just now saw an episode of Dora the Explorer that contained some erroneous information that might get kids killed. In this episode, Diego tells Dora that a tyrannosaurus rex can't see you if you stand still. I don't think this is true.

What is going to happen when a kid sees a T. rex in a national park (or if one escapes from his pen at the zoo) and the kid just stands still instead of running for his life? You guessed it. The T. rex is going to have a snack and the kid is going to have a very bad day.

Parents everywhere should write the makers of Dora, Nabisco, and let them know we are very much displeased with their antics.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Different Kinds of Crazy

I'm kind of a fan of crazy people, not homeless and talking to themselves with a pet beer bottle crazy. I mean fully functional and somehow they get on TV and radio crazy people.

I wonder about these people. How did they get where they are? Do they have something physically wrong with them or have they ended up where they are by just willfully thinking badly their whole life? Are they putting us on? Are they really sane and just act the way they do for some sort of gain?

Here are the kind of people I'm talking about.
  1. Nancy Grace -- She's afflicted with a minor case of the crazies. She stares into those bright lights each night and does her little show and often makes almost no sense. She has way too many guests and she's mean to them. She somehow always knows better than everybody involved in the case she's following. And, what's up with all those graphics?
  2. Alex Jones -- Take a quick look at his two websites, and He's the king of conspiracy theories. He copiously documents everything (or tries to). He's like a commercial Noam Chomsky. I've heard him say any number of insane things. He could just be pretending to be crazy for the money.
  3. Richard Hougland -- Take a quick look at his website, Richard Hougland is the "chief science advisor" to the radio show Coast to Coast Am. Coast to Coast Am is a great place to hear crazy people. It's four hours long and it's on late at night. If I can't sleep, I turn it on for some entertainment. Anyway, Richard Hougland is all kinds of crazy. He's best known for being the "face on Mars" guy. He has all these weird ideas about physics. He's fascinated with Star Trek. His favorite trick is looking at low resolution pictures and seeing something, the face on mars, a robot head on the moon, etc. He's great. He's probably my favorite crazy person. He sounds all reasonable and scientific and then he says a whole string of things that are slap your cows in the face crazy.
  4. Jaysen Q. Rand, Ph.D. -- I caught this guy on Coast to Coast the other night. He takes crazy to new levels. If you can get a copy of this show, I highly recommend listening to it. He was on to talk about and promote his book The Return of Planet-X. However, he had a hard time sticking to any one topic for long. He was all over the place. The host, George Noory, had to keep pulling him back to the topic. Apparently, everything eventually makes sense if you connect every dot possible.

Seedy Seeds -- Earned Average Dance

That's right. My favorite song right now features an electric banjo and an accordion. Don't say it. Don't even think it.

Disc Golf Videos

These are some of the better disc golf videos I've found:

In the first one, somebody named "Dan Beato" shows the different parts of a backhand drive. What he describes seems to be a good way to learn a backhand.

In the second video, some really good players throw some really long shots. The last guy throws a drive 500 feet up hill.

In the third one, people throw discs off high places. At about 1:23 into the video, it looks like a disc hits a cruise ship.

There are a lot disc golf aces on YouTube. Here are some good ones.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mnemosyne Card Schedule Histogram

I'm using Mnemosyne to learn my abbreviations and some other things. I have about 2,200 cards.

There seems to be some misunderstanding about how Mnemosyne works among people I talk to about it. When you use Mnemosyne, you don't review all your cards in one sitting. You only review the cards that are scheduled for that day. Mnemosyne tries to schedule the cards for more optimal learning than you'd get if you did all the cards each day.

If you consistently tell Mnemosyne that you know a card really well, the card gets scheduled for further and further in the future. So, as you learn your cards, the number of cards you need to do each day decreases. Here's a histogram of how my current cards are scheduled:

As you can see, many of my cards are schedule for review over a year into the future.

I highly recommend Mnemosyne. It's a good thing.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Proof That Jessica Looks Like Matt

I went through the index cards in my hipster pda tonight. I'm down to four cards with writing on them. All the other cards were processed in some way. I either entered them into my notes file or completed all the tasks on them or I decided to store them somewhere else. Here's a scan of one of them that proves that Jessica looks like Matt.
The first two statements are statements that I heard at DFG's birthday party. The first one says Jessica looks like Baby DFG. The second one says Matt looks like Baby DFG. The last one is derived from the first two by the transitive property of "looks alike".

63 at McClain


I parred the four hardest holes on the course (2, 5, 13, and 16). 63 is either my lowest number out there ever or it ties my lowest number ever. Woot!

We played disc golf 3 times this weekend (ChrisS won 2 of the 3 rounds). After writing this blog post I'm going to put my arm in ice for the rest of the night.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Shoe Fail

Jan 9: Greg's fashion choice

I accidentally wore mismatched shoes to work today. However, I'm not a dork.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dave Ramsey

Another part of our discussion at work today centered on Dave Ramsey. Some in our group thought that he was a net "bad guy". They thought (or seemed to think) one or more of these things:
  1. He "preys" on people who find themselves in a desperate financial situation.
  2. His financial advice is mostly obvious.
  3. He charges too much for his information.
  4. He is more interested in making money than in helping people.
  5. He's a "cult-like" figure.
  6. He's made himself into a brand, some sort of product.
  7. He's more fluff than substance.
So, what's the answer? Is he a good guy or a bad guy?

Being Poor in America

So, we have discussions at work about various things. Here is a question that comes from our latest. How fixed is the economic class you are born into in America? Or, if you are born into a poor family and work hard and make good decisions your whole life, how well can you reasonably expect your life to go?

I'm not interested in anecdotal evidence. I'd like to know how well people do in the aggregate. I'd like to believe that you eventually get what you deserve for the most part. Is that the case? Any answers out there for this question?

I mentioned this article during our discussion: How Not To Be Poor by Walter Williams.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Tess is Starting to Try to Boss Me Around

Tess Shows Me Where to Put the Hat

Since she was right about where to put the hat, I did what she wanted (this time).