Sunday, October 31, 2010


"Give it to I." "It was a good day for he." Why can't people think this through and use grammar correctly? "It was a good day for he and the other guy" - should be, "it was a good day for *him* and the other guy" - and "give it to Bob or I" - should be, "give it to Bob or me" - please, America, think when you speak. "I" and "he" (and "she") are SUBJECTS, not OBJECTS - they go before a verb, not after a preposition. (With the exception, of course, of the case where a clause is the object of a preposition, such as "It was a good day for I found my true love" - that could, of course, be punctuated like this: "It was a good day, for I found my true love." However, "It was a good day for my true love and I" - no, that's not correct - it should be, "It was a good day for my true love and me" - think it through: you'd say, "It was a good day for her" and "it was a good day for me" - not "she" and "I" in either case here.)

This is becoming more and more prominent in "modern" English. All over the place you'll hear people talking and using subject-form pronouns as objects of a preposition after a conjunction (and, but, or, etc.). Please, stop this tragic slaughtering of the English language. If you are using this incorrect grammar yourself, get help... there are places you can go (e.g., junior colleges), people you can call (I'll be happy to help; feel free to send me a direct tweet ("@kingdad") and I'll do my best to reply swiftly with the correct form of the statement you wish to make, or contact your local English professor). If you find yourself in a situation where someone is performing such awful grammarcide, you have some options:
  1. If you are comfortable with the person, are a risk taker, or don't mind confrontation, you may approach the individual directly. Note that it is recommended that, if the person is in a public speech situation, such as giving a lecture, in a pulpit, or live on the radio or TV, it is highly recommended that you wait until a more private moment to confront the offending individual.
  2. If you are not comfortable with the person, please contact your nearest office of grammatical correction for assistance.
  3. If you are a jerk, blatantly post the offender's offensive speech in a public scenario, such as a web log ("blog") or other media outlet which has an indefinite lifetime.
Regardless, we must rise up and retake our language. English... it's not just for professors anymore!

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's a little bit funny...

this feeling inside, I'm not one of those who can, usually hide. I don't like the Cowboys, but, for this one night, I'm going to be pulling for them, but it's alright.

You see, in the NFC East, Washington is 4-3, Philly is 4-3, Dallas is 1-4, and NYG are 4-2. If the Giants lose, then Washington will be in a 3-way tie for first in the East, and has the benefit of being 2-0 in the division (Philly and Dallas are both 0-1, NYG are 0-0). So, yes, for this evening, I, a Redskins fan, am pulling for the Cowboys.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Random thoughts (really? Again?)

Last night I got to bed somewhere between 1:30 and 2:00 am (ok, that's really this morning). So, I'm a little tired now, and this blog post may or may not make sense. Just giving you a heads up in case you want to check out now.

Why so late, you might ask? Well, we were having car trouble (that seems to be one consistently dependable thing in my family: car trouble). We'd taken the van into our regular mechanic (Trax Tires), and they'd recommended a throttle body and tps cleaning (the codes I'd read from the OBD indicated that was likely the culprit, but research seemed to indicate the replacement part was an upgraded unit that required ecu reprogramming). We also wanted them to do the oil change (I don't normally do the van because it has a weird filter) and check the brakes (they'd done some brake work a year and a half ago, so if it was related, it should be covered).  Well, that whole visit was over $300 (they'd previously done the front brakes, this time it was the rears). That, of course, failed to correct the issue.

Well, yesterday we made an appointment to take the van in today. In the meantime, we were borrowing my parents' van, initially because I've bought my dad's BMW (a 2003 525i Sport), but it was in the shop getting the front bumper cover reattached where someone had scraped it and knocked it loose in a parking lot.  Anyway, it was now out of the shop, and since we were taking our van in, we were going to go ahead and pick up the Bimmer so I could drive it today and my wife my parents' van while ours was undergoing what we'd been told were expensive repairs ($400 for the part). So we got back from my parents' house kind of late, and then I needed to get some work done for one of the software systems I'm working on but hadn't been able to much during the day at work because of having to do some support training on another system yesterday.

Well, I was successful with fixing the issues that were significantly hampering use of the system, but that made it rather late of a bedtime.

On another positive note, the guy who initially told us that the van repairs were going to be expensive apparently didn't know what he was talking about. The total was $133.94, and there was apparently an open recall on something unrelated that they fixed, too.

And I have a BMW now.  (My dad bought a Mini Cooper because he was having trouble getting in and out of the Bimmer- yes, it's easier for him to get in and out of a Mini than a 5 series BMW because of the fact that the Mini is a two-door and the BMW a four-door, meaning you have to twist into the BMW since the front seat back is behind the B pillar.)

Unrelated, someone recently asked about potential part-time, non-food and non-retail evening work. My thought? Cat burglar. You're your own boss, set your own hours, work only the nights you want... just not sure how the cat market is these days- might not be such a high paying gig, but still, the flexibility of the work schedule is nice.

Ok, going to finish watching The Office now, and then head to bed.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ice and water

I was watching a show on the preview channel Planet Green about scientists doing research on arctic pack ice (that is, the artic ice cap, which floats on the arctic ocean, not on land). A statement was made to the effect that if the arctic ice cap (the pack ice) melted, sea levels would rise worldwide. This threatens my intelligence, and I proceeded to perform an experiment to disprove this falsehood.

I took my McDonals's cup, put a large chunk of ice in it, and filled it with water to one of the lines on the side of the cup. Then i let the ice melt (with the lid on the cup to minimize evaporative loss) and checked the level after most of the ice melted. As expected, the water level was unchanged.

You see, floating ice displaces its weight in water volume. Thus, when the ice melts, the resultant water volume exactly equals the volume displaced by the portion of ice that was under water, resulting in no change in the water level.

Now, land-based ice is, of course, a different story. However, check out  this guy's article about Myths and Realities of "What If All the Ice Melts?"  Good info there. Further, read his  article on global warming - I've only skimmed it, but again, good, clear info there.

Totally unrelated, why must tv shows pad their air time with pre-commercial previews of what's coming after the commercial, and post-commercial summaries of everything that has happened in the show before the last commercial? Waste of time, it is. Just show me new material while it's not in commercial, not rehashes of what's come before or is to come next. Ok, maybe not totally unrelated, as I did mention I was watching a show, sparking the experiment and thoughts on global warming and ice vs. sea levels.

Ok, then... later!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Levitating frogs and one-atom thick graphite

Check out this article about a pair of nobel prize winners from England or somewhere. I'm not so interested in the guys, but in the stuff in the article. Apparently one time they levitated a frog in a magnetic field (I wonder whether the frog was affected by the mag field like people who live underneath major power transmission lines), which, while pretty cool, is not the source of their Nobel prize (they did get an Ig Nobel prize for that one).

No, the reason they won the Nobel prize was their work with graphite. That's right pencil lead material. Not satisfied with 0.9, 0.7, or 0.5 leads, or the not so familiar buckeyball or carbon nanotube, these guys decided to make ultrathin graphite layers using good ol' Scotch tape. Seriously: they took a small pile of graphite and began peeling layers of the carbonic material off using Scotch tape. Then, with a small flake of graphite, they kept folding the tape over onto it (I would assume a fresh, clean patch of tape each time) until they'd arrived at a layer of graphite that was one atom thick. That's what I found remarkably interesting: Scotch tape can rip off a one atom thick layer of graphite! That is, given a two-atom thick layer of graphite, if that's too thick for you, put it between two pieces of Scotch tape, pull it apart, and you get a one-atom thick layer of graphite on each side.  How's that for cool?  Quite an endorsement for Scotch tape!

Now, go read the rest of the article for more interesting properties of this cool new ultra-thin, super-strong graphite. Might be making some really awesome body armor before long, or all sorts of other cool applications.  Later...