November 2008 Archives

Postcard Project

| 6 Comments

My daughter A8.2's 3rd grade class has a social studies project - collect postcards from around the US and the world. If you would like to help out, please send a postcard to her class!

Adrienne A.
c/o Mrs. McKay's class
Roberts School
35 Court St.
Medford MA 02155

No really, this is a real project, not the 'sick kid needs a postcard' Internet meme :)

Book Review: Outliers

| 2 Comments

So thanks to GrandCentralPub on Twitter, I got an early review copy of Malcolm Gladwell's newest book, Outliers. I am a huge Gladwell fan. His previous book, Blink, was a truly eye opening read, chock a block full of startling discoveries.

Here's the library summary for Outliers:

In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band. Brilliant and entertaining, OUTLIERS is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.

A pretty interesting book, albeit with not quite as many "knock me over with a feather" moments as Blink. It starts off with a bang, as he discusses amateur hockey teams and how it was noticed that virtually all the players on an Under-18 hockey team came from the first three months of the year. Turns out the age cutoff is January 1 in Canada, so the older players (those born early in the year) advanced further due to their slight maturity advantage the continued to multiply, as they got better training, put on better teams etc.

This subject hit close to home, as I am a soccer coach and heavily involved in my daughters soccer league. My oldest has a birthday at the worst possible time, just a few weeks before the cutoff date, while the younger one has a birthday the month after the cutoff date. So far, it hasn't seemed to slow the older one's progress, but it is something I will certainly keep an eye on. Gladwell's suggestion is to have multiple cutoff dates, so other ages can play against others of the same age. Doesn't seem likely though.

He also explores how the timing of your interests can really change things. Something as simple as how available computer time was to early pioneers like Bill Gates and Bill Joy. Certainly, in the late 60s and early 70s, the amount of keyboard time these guys had pales in comparison to what would be available just a few years before that. He also talks about a major law firm in New York that benefited from getting the kinds of financial cases the other law firms wouldn't deal with, only to explode in popularity as the money days of the 80s and 90s struck.

I thought the book sometimes felt like it suffered from data mining, in that there didn't seem to be enough exploration of other equally successful groups that may not have had the same advantages. But still a fascinating look at what kinds of things influence success, whether we think about them or not.



WW2 as RTS

| 3 Comments

If World War Two had been an online Real Time Strategy game, the chat room traffic would have gone something like this.

*Hitler[AoE] has joined the game.*
*Eisenhower has joined the game.*
*paTTon has joined the game.*
*Churchill has joined the game.*
*benny-tow has joined the game.*
*T0J0 has joined the game.*
*Roosevelt has joined the game.*
*Stalin has joined the game.*
*deGaulle has joined the game.*
Roosevelt: hey sup
T0J0: y0
Stalin: hi
Churchill: hi
Hitler[AoE]: cool, i start with panzer tanks!
paTTon: lol more like panzy tanks
T0JO: lol
Roosevelt: o this fockin sucks i got a depression!
benny-tow: haha america sux
Stalin: hey hitler you dont fight me i dont fight u, cool?
Hitler[AoE]; sure whatever
Stalin: cool
deGaulle: **** Hitler rushed some1 help
Hitler[AoE]: lol byebye frenchy
Roosevelt: i dont got **** to help, sry
Churchill: wtf the luftwaffle is attacking me
Roosevelt: get antiair guns
Churchill: i cant afford them
benny-tow: u n00bs know what team talk is?
paTTon: stfu
Roosevelt: o yah hit the navajo button guys
deGaulle: eisenhower ur worthless come help me quick
Eisenhower: i cant do **** til rosevelt gives me an army
paTTon: yah hurry the fock up
Churchill: d00d im gettin pounded
deGaulle: this is fockin weak u guys suck
*deGaulle has left the game.*
Roosevelt: im gonna attack the axis k?
benny-tow: with what? ur wheelchair?
benny-tow: lol did u mess up ur legs AND ur head?
Hitler[AoE]: ROFLMAO
T0J0: lol o no america im comin 4 u
Roosevelt: wtf! thats bullsh1t u fags im gunna kick ur asses
T0JO: not without ur harbors u wont! lol
Roosevelt: u little biotch ill get u
Hitler[AoE]: wtf
Hitler[AoE]: america hax, u had depression and now u got a huge fockin army
Hitler[AoE]: thats bullsh1t u hacker
Churchill: lol no more france for u hitler
Hitler[AoE]: tojo help me!
T0J0: wtf u want me to do, im on the other side of the world retard
Hitler[AoE]: fine ill clear you a path
Stalin: WTF u arsshoel! WE HAD A FoCKIN TRUCE
Hitler[AoE]: i changed my mind lol
benny-tow: haha
benny-tow: hey ur losing ur guys in africa im gonna need help in italy soon sum1
T0J0: o **** i cant help u i got my hands full
Hitler[AoE]: im 2 busy 2 help
Roosevelt: yah thats right ***** im comin for ya
Stalin: church help me
Churchill: like u helped me before? sure ill just sit here
Stalin: dont be an arss
Churchill: dont be a commie. oops too late
Eisenhower: LOL
benny-tow: hahahh oh sh1t help
Hitler: o man ur focked
paTTon: oh what now biotch
Roosevelt: whos the cripple now lol
*benny-tow has been eliminated.*
benny-tow: lame
Roosevelt: gj patton
paTTon: thnx
Hitler[AoE]: WTF eisenhower hax hes killing all my sh1t
Hitler[AoE]: quit u hacker so u dont ruin my record
Eisenhower: Nuts!
benny~tow: wtf that mean?
Eisenhower: meant to say nutsack lol finger slipped
paTTon: coming to get u hitler u paper hanging hun cocksocker
Stalin: rofl
T0J0: HAHAHHAA
Hitler[AoE]: u guys are fockin gay
Hitler[AoE]: ur never getting in my city
*Hitler[AoE] has been eliminated.*
benny~tow: OMG u noob you killed yourself
Eisenhower: ROFLOLOLOL
Stalin: OMG LMAO!
Hitler[AoE]: WTF i didnt click there omg this game blows
*Hitler[AoE] has left the game*
paTTon: hahahhah
T0J0: WTF my teammates are n00bs
benny~tow: shut up noob
Roosevelt: haha wut a moron
paTTon: wtf am i gunna do now?
Eisenhower: yah me too
T0J0: why dont u attack me o thats right u dont got no ships lololol
Eisenhower: fock u
paTTon: lemme go thru ur base commie
Stalin: go to hell lol
paTTon: fock this sh1t im goin afk
Eisenhower: yah this is gay
*Roosevelt has left the game.*
Hitler[AoE]: wtf?
Eisenhower: sh1t now we need some1 to join
*tru_m4n has joined the game.*
tru_m4n: hi all
T0J0: hey
Stalin: sup
Churchill: hi
tru_m4n: OMG OMG OMG i got all his stuff!
tru_m4n: NUKES! HOLY **** I GOT NUKES
Stalin: d00d gimmie some plz
tru_m4n: no way i only got like a couple
Stalin: omg dont be gay gimmie nuculer secrets
T0J0: wtf is nukes?
T0J0: holy ****holy****hoyl****!
*T0J0 has been eliminated.*
*The Allied team has won the game!*
Eisenhower: awesome!
Churchill: gg noobs no re
T0J0: thats bull**** u fockin suck
*T0J0 has left the game.*
*Eisenhower has left the game.*
Stalin: next game im not going to be on ur team, u guys didnt help me for ****
Churchill: wutever, we didnt need ur help neway dumbarss
tru_m4n: l8r all
benny~tow: bye
Churchill: l8r
Stalin: fock u all
tru_m4n: shut up commie lol
*tru_m4n has left the game.*
benny~tow: lololol u commie
Churchill: ROFL
Churchill: bye commie
*Churchill has left the game.*
*benny~tow has left the game.*
Stalin: i hate u all fags
*Stalin has left the game.*
paTTon: lol no1 is left
paTTon: weeeee i got a jeep
*paTTon has been eliminated.*
paTTon: o sh1t!
*paTTon has left the game.*

The Witch Is Gone

| 2 Comments

Latest joke to come over the email transom:

One sunny day in January 2009 an old man approached the White House from across
Pennsylvania Ave where he had been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the Marine
standing guard and said,

    "I would like to go and meet President Bush."

The Marine looked at the old man and replied,

    "Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer lives here."

The old man says "OK" and walks away.

The next day the same old man walks across and asks the same Marine the same question
and the Marine, a bit irritated, gives the same reply and the old man walks away.

On the third day the same old man comes again and asks the same Marine,

    " I would like to go in and meet President Bush."

Now the marine is even more irritated at the man and says,

    "I told you yesterday and the day before that Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer lives here. Don't you understand?"

The old man looked at the Marine and said,

    "Oh, I understand,  I just love hearing it."

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted and said, "See you tomorrow, sir."


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2008 is the previous archive.

December 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.