PSA-181112-English for the Advanced Student

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You think English is easy??  
 
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture..

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert..

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

 
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

 
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

 
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear..

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?  

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England nor French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese? So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. – Why doesn’t ‘Buick’ rhyme with ‘quick’?

Creative People Amuse Me

I have to thank my friend Rich for sending me this great diaryHarbin-Ice-and-Snow-World-32-snow-people-Harry-Alverson about how we are living in the USA today. 8:00 am I made a snowman. 8:10 A feminist passed by and asked me why I didn’t make a snow woman. 8:15 So, I made a snow woman. 8:17 My feminist neighbor complained about the snow woman’s voluptuous chest saying it objectified snow women everywhere. 8:20 The gay couple living nearby threw a hissy fit and moaned it could have been two snow men instead. 8:22 The transgender ma..wom…person asked why I didn’t just make one snow person with detachable parts. 8:25 The vegans at the end of the lane complained about the carrot nose, as veggies are food and not to decorate snow figures with. 8:28 I am being called a racist because the snow couple is white. 8:31 The Muslim gent across the road demands the snow woman wear a burqa. 8:40 The Police arrive saying someone has been offended. 8:42 The feminist neighbor complained again that the broomstick of the snow woman needs to be removed because it depicted women in a domestic role. 8:43 The council equality officer arrived and threatened me with eviction. 8:45 TV news crew from the ABC shows up. I am asked if I know the difference between snowmen and snow-women? I reply, “Snowballs” and am now called a sexist. 9:00 I’m on the News as a suspected terrorist, racist, homophobe sensibility offender, bent on stirring up trouble during difficult weather. 9:10 I am asked if I have any accomplices. My children are taken by social services. 9:29 Far left protesters offended by everything are marching down the street demanding for me to be beheaded. Moral: There is no moral to this story. It’s just the world in which we live today, and it is going to get much worse.

I Would Be A Democrat If . . .

A friend recently sent me this piece about our past President Harry Truman. He was one of the greatest president’s America ever had. If our current day politicians had the same morals and character as Harry our country would be greater than ever and we wouldn’t have to make it great again. Please watch this video, read the vignette, and think about it.  Harry & Bess Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation’s history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House. The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri . His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there. When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an ‘allowance’ and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year. After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them. When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, “You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale.” Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, “I don’t consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise.” As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food. Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale (cf. Illinois ). Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, “My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!” I say dig him up and clone him! If you agree, forward it. If you don’t, delete it. I don’t want to know one way or the other. By me forwarding it, you know how I feel.

PSA180924-More Useless Stuff

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  1. The first known contraceptive was crocodile dung, used by Egyptians in 2000 BC.
  2.  When you hear a bullwhip snap, it’s because the tip is traveling faster than the speed of sound.
  3.  Hair is made from the same substance as fingernails.
  4.  The ZIP in “ZIP code” means Zoning Improvement Plan.
  5.  ‘Obsession’ is the most popular boat name.
  6.  The first toilet ever seen on television was on “Leave It to Beaver.”
  7.  Hawaii is moving toward Japan 4 inches every year.
  8. Your brain uses up about 20% of all your body’s oxygen and calories.
  9. Every year 56,000,000 people attend major league baseball games.
  10. A full 7% of the entire Irish barley crop goes to the production of Guinness beer.
  11. During your lifetime, you’ll eat about 60,000 pounds of food. That’s the weight of about 6 elephants.
  12.  The least used letter in the alphabet is Q.
  13.  26 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill,
  14. The word “lethologica” describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want.
  15. A “jiffy” is an actual unit of time: 1/100th of a second.
  16.  Cranberries are sorted for ripeness by bouncing them; a fully ripened cranberry can be dribbled like a basketball.
  17. The busiest shopping hour of the holiday season is between 3-4 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
  18.  Average number of people airborne over the US any given hour: 61,000.
  19. Al Gore’s roommate in college (Harvard, class of 1969) was Tommy Lee Jones.
  20. The average person laughs 10 times a day.
  21. Americans travel 1,144,721,000 miles by air every day.
  22. More people use blue toothbrushes than red ones.
  23. A group of frogs is called an army.
  24. The parachute was invented by Leonardo da Vinci in 1515.
  25. 72% of Americans sign their pets’ names on greeting cards they send out.
  26. The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.
  27. All major league baseball umpires must wear black underwear while on the job in case their pants split.
  28. Walt Disney was afraid of mice.
  29. The average American butt is 14.9 inches long.
  30. A perfect SAT score is 1600 combined.
  31. Bill Gates scored 1590 on his SAT. Paul Allen, Bill’s partner at Microsoft, scored a perfect 1600.
  32. Bill Cosby scored less than 500 combined.
  33. Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than for the U.S. Treasury.
  34. Blondes have more hair than dark-haired people do.
  35. It is unlikely that a person could actually die in quicksand, since most quicksand is only a few inches deep
  36.  There are 31,557,600 seconds in a year.
  37. By raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, you cannot sink into quicksand.
  38. There is a company that will (for $14,000) take your ashes and compress them into a synthetic diamond to be set in jewelry for a loved one.
  39.  Goldfish can see both infrared and ultraviolet light.
  40.  A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.
  41. 60 Minutes on CBS is the only TV show to not have a theme song or music.
  42. Costco is the largest wine retailer in the United States. Annual wine sales are about $700 million
  43. California consumes more bottled water than any other product.
  44.  The first CD pressed in the US was Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’
  45. When three-letter airport codes became standard, airports that had been using two letters simply added an X.
  46. No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.
  47. Nintendo was founded in 1889.
  48. The average child recognizes over 200 company logos by the time he enters first grade.
  49. 1 googol is the number 1 followed by 100 zeros.
  50. A rainbow can be seen only in the morning or late afternoon. It can occur only when the sun is 40 degrees or less above the horizon.
  51.  The number one tire manufacturer in the world? LEGO.
  52. President Lincoln’s dog Fido was also assassinated.
  53. The words ‘racecar’, ‘kayak’ and ‘level’ are palindromes. They read the same whether you read them left to right or right to left.
  54. A rhinoceros horn is made of compacted hair.
  55. The “pound” key on your keyboard (#) is called an octotrophe.
  56. Cows don’t have upper front teeth.
  57.  They have square watermelons in Japan – they stack better.
  58. Frogs don’t drink (they absorb water through their skin).
  59. Most elephants weigh less than the tongue of the blue whale.
  60. The word “Checkmate” in chess comes from the Persian phrase “Shah Mat,” which means “the king is dead.”
  61. Most American car horns honk in the key of F.
  62. Seven percent of Americans claim they never bathe at all.
  63. Most collect calls are made on Father’s Day.

Women???

pantyraid

1950’s Panty Raid

Panty-Raid-2

A Very Large Panty-Raid

In the nineteen fifties when I went to college things were a bit different between the sexes. Men lived in male dorms on one side of campus and women in ladies dorms on the opposite side. Fraternities and sororities were pretty much the same. We spent our time going to bars to meet girls; clubs were another avenue. Study time at libraries was also a popular venue, as was our student center with the coffee shop. My classes in engineering were void of women. They just didn’t want to become engineers yet. If they did they faced a very biased male teaching staff that believed a women’s place belonged in home economics rather than in thermodynamics.

When spring finally came, and everyone was suffering with cabin fever the hormonal juices increased with the level of sunshine. Both testosterone and estrogen began doing the job intended by our Creator. One evening I sat at my desk when I heard a noise in the distance. Not knowing what it was I ran outside to discover that a panty-raid was in process about six blocks away. Not wanting to get into trouble near the end of the year I stayed away, but listened to all the stories with relish after is was over. Our student newspaper also recorded the event with photos.

During a panty-raid the men marched en masse cheering and chanting from the west side of campus to the east   to raid the girls dorms to steal panties. With all the noise the men made, the proctors in the ladies’ dorms had enough warning to lock all the doors to keep men out. The girls knew beforehand what was happening and flocked to the windows to the delight of the men. Of course the boys would begin to crawl through the lower level windows to gain entry. Girls in the upper floors began to dangle their panties out to tempt the guys. Mayhem ensued when the girls began tossing their undies out to the crowd, and the guys who made it into the rooms had quite a story to tell about how they acquired underwear. Without being the room with them I could never know exactly what ensued. I am sure that by the time the stories were told they were embellished and expanded beyond what actually happened.

Today’s students may read this and think how lame. Yes, compared to today’s coed dorms, and free sex on demand are quite something. Our kids probably believe a panty-raid is something you do at Sunday school. The moral of this story is to tell the story some sixty-two years after the fact. I participated in my own style of sexual experimentation with the opposite sex, but it too was tame by today’s standards. But what if I were being considered for a big job in government and one of my college dates decided to write to her Congressman about how traumatized she was by my crude and unsuccessful advances. Could she really remember that time accurately? I told you a story above about panty-raids to the best of my ability, but I’m sure if you were to research panty-raids you might learn they were much different from my tale. Would our youthful experiments in sexuality really matter to anyone or to anything? I am also certain that each of us has their own story to tell about a youthful adventure in sex education.

I finished college with a degree, and so did all my dates. I have never seen any of them since that time to know if I traumatized them. I pray they all had happy lives and found faithful partners. I did.

I met the girl of my dreams on a blind date. I was a perfect gentleman throughout our courtship and can very proudly state that we were both virgins when we married, although I tried like heck to not be one.

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2018 Version of a Panty-Raid

PSA-180920-Crystal Ball

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Back in the nineties I read a book titled Megatrends 2000 by John Naisbitt in which he foretold the future ten to twenty years ahead. The author did not have any unusual telepathic talent he merely watched for trends. He collected snippets of information about happenings from newspapers around the country. If a particular action appeared in many places across the country he saw it as a trend.

After having read the book, and led the life I can attest to the fact that Naisbitt’s predictions were highly accurate. A few weeks ago I told myself to look for a new book that would predict the next ten years. Things are moving so fast that quite frankly, I can’t keep up with them and I would venture that you have the same problem too. I haven’t found such a book, but I did receive a list of predictions from a friend. I believe all of them will come to fruition within the next twenty- thirty years. I only hope I am around to see them happen,

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1. Auto repair shops go away. A gasoline engine has 20,000 individual parts. An electrical motor has 20. Electric cars are sold with lifetime guarantees and are only repaired by dealers. It takes only 10 minutes to remove and replace an electric motor. Faulty electric motors are not repaired in the dealership but are sent to a regional repair shop that repairs them with robots. Your motor malfunction light goes on so you drive up to what looks like a Jiffy-auto wash, and your car is towed through while you have a cup of coffee and out comes your car with a new motor.

2. Gas stations go away. Parking meters are replaced by stations that  dispense electricity.  All companies install electrical recharging stations for their customers and employees. (The gas station goes away, but must be replaced by a charging station. Batteries and charging must improve exponentially for this to happen. Currently an electric car needs ten hours of charge time to charge fully.)

3. All major auto manufacturers have already designated 5-6 billion dollars each to start building new plants that only build electric cars.

4. Coal industries go away. Gasoline/oil companies go away.  Drilling for oil stops. (This one is hard to believe because all these cars need electricity and it has to be generated. Most likely we will use natural gas.)  

5. Homes produce and store more electrical energy during the day and  then they use and will sell it back to the grid. The grid stores it  and dispenses it to industries that are high electricity users. (This ones assumes that we have roofs made of solar collectors, and that the sun shines every day.)

5. A baby of today will only see personal cars in museums. (This one forgets about our car culture and car hobbyists who will continue to build their own cars.) 

6. The FUTURE is approaching faster than one can handle! In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt.  What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next  5-10 years and, most people won’t see it coming. Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on film again? Yet, digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law.  So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a time, before it became way superior and became mainstream in only a few short years. It will now happen again (but much faster) with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.

Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution.

7. Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.

8. UBER is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world! (This one assumes that there will be enough Uber drivers with cars willing to shuttle people around) 

9. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

10. Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected. (What the heck is “Go” and who cares that a computer beat him?) 

11. In the U. S., young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of  IBM’s Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So, if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future, only omniscient specialists will remain. (This will be a good thing because with too many lawyers our society has become overly litigious, and our government divided by politicians who are lawyers trained to win at all costs while our system relies on compromise.)

12. Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, its 4 times more accurate than human nurses. (Nurses don’t diagnose cancer, doctors do.)

13. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans.

14. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans. (So people quit learning because the computer knows everything.Who then teaches the computer new stuff? Does the computer perform lab experiments to learn new facts?)

15. Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the entire industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance, and you can be productive while riding. The very young children of today will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car.

16. It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars. We can transform former parking spaces into parks.

17. One point two million people die each year in car-accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 mi (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to 1 accident in 6 million mi (10 million km). That will save a million lives worldwide each year. (This one assumes that sensors and computers in the cars are better than those of a human being.)

18. Most car companies will doubtless go bankrupt. Traditional car companies will try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.

19. Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; are completely terrified of Tesla. (Engineers fear only layoffs due to a lack of need. Electrical cars have simple drive trains, but more complicated controls, sensors, and computers.)  

20. Insurance companies will have massive trouble because, without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear. (accidents will never disappear completely)

21. Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move farther away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood. (If you can work while you commute, why go to the office at all? Work from home.)

22. Electric cars will become mainstream about 2030. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity. (People will step into traffic while looking at their personal work modules because they can’t hear the cars.)

23. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact. (This will require homes that have solar roofs, streets that are solar collectors, and vehicles that can pick up electricity from the road.)

24. Fossil energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that simply cannot continue – technology will take care of that strategy. (Low cost solar systems for the home which can compete with the electric companies will be needed to make this happen.)

25. Health: The Tricorder X will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.  It then analyses 54 bio-markers that will identify nearly any disease. (This dreamer has never had to experience an MRI, PET scan, Ultrasound, or colonoscopy test to believe a phone can detect your problems.)

WELCOME TO TOMORROW ! ! !

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It is only natural for me to be skeptical about these predictions because many of them rely not on technology, but rather on acceptance by humans to implement. Acceptance will evolve and shift culture toward these bold inventions. I predict they will take an additional ten-twenty years to be accepted by the public.

 

PSA-180911-Punny Signs

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