The God Question

Bible on bookshelf.jpeg

During my 4th period class today, I got asked one of my least favorite questions by one of my students: “Do you believe in God?”

It’s a science class, and I want us to stay on-topic. Discussing my views on the existence or non-existence of a deity isn’t going to help with that. I sighed, and said what I always say in this situation: “That’s a personal question, and I don’t answer personal questions.”

The students then remembered that I have a Bible on the bookshelf in my classroom, and concluded, on the basis of this single shred of evidence, that I am, indeed, a believer. (The Bible is there as one of many options for my students to read during their designated reading time, just before lunch.)

Since then, I’ve been to Amazon, and ordered an English translation of the Qur’an, which I will place on that same bookshelf — probably right next to the Bible. I wonder what my students will make of that? 

My Mother’s Epic Battle with an Armadillo

I just found a hilarious tale about my mother (in L. Lee Cowan’s Except for All the Snakes, I just Love It Out Here: The News from Stone County, Arkansas, Where One Life is Put Down Straight Up, p. 120). According to this published account, I was four years old when her battle to kill an armadillo entered family legend. As you can see below, Mom credits both my sister and myself with keeping the story alive over the years. A good family friend, Bruce, played a key role in bridging the gap between my mother and L. Lee Cowan, the author of the book in which this was published. It’s an amazing thing to have found.

If you like this excerpt (shown below), please buy the book, as I have done.

LLeeCohan

The Moon Unit Proposal

moon unit

I propose that 384,400 km (238,855 miles), the average distance from the Earth to the Moon, be called a “moon unit.” Example: “The mileage of my car is over one moon unit.”

2017: The Year of Trump Dysphoria Disorder

Trump

“Dysphoria” is the antonym of “euphoria.” Exposure to facts increases your risk of developing Trump Dysphoria Disorder, or TDD. To avoid the pain and suffering associated with TDD, you may wish to avoid any media outlets which are not Fox News.

On Math Jokes (with a new re-telling of my favorite one, about a balloon race)

Math jokes are almost universally awful — or, at least, it seems that way to me, since I spend a lot of time around ninth graders. Hearing “Gee, I’m a tree” or “Pi are square? No, pies are round, and cake are square!” will generally elicit a groan from me, and each new cadre of students seems to think they invented these fossilized puns. An even worse “joke” is the giggling one should expect from, say, 7th graders, if one squares the number thirteen in their presence.

I do know exactly one good math joke, though. I didn’t hear it from a student. If you’re curious, read on. Only the embellishments are original; I didn’t make up the joke, itself, though, nor do I know who did.

My source for the image below is this fellow WordPress blogger’s photography blog.

img_6269

So a physicist, chemist, and a lawyer enter a balloon race together. Theirs is the last balloon to leave, because the lawyer had been in court, arrived late, and caused a short delay in departure. The consequences of this were serious, though, for a sudden cross-wind blew them off course, right after takeoff. Soon, they couldn’t even see any of the other balloons in the race, and none of them recognized any landmarks in the landscape below.

Soon, they had no idea where they were, and started getting worried about making it to their next classes  on time — or back to court, in the case of the lawyer. The chemist was particularly worried. “What are we going to do?” asked the chemist.

The physicist replies, “I have an idea!” He cups his hands, leans out, and yells, as loud as he can, “Hello! Where are we?”

The balloon flies on for at least two long, anxious minutes as the trio waits, silently, for an answer. Eventually, they hear, from a great distance, a voice. “Hello! You’re lost!”

The physicist looks at the other two, and says, “That, my friend, was a mathematician.”

“How,” asked the lawyer, “could you possibly know that?”

“Three things,” replied the physicist. He held up one finger. “First, it took him a long time to answer.”

“Second,” he continued, holding up two fingers, “the answer, when it finally came, was absolutely correct.”

A third finger joined the first two. “Third, the answer, when it finally came, was completely useless!”

Hillary Clinton’s Other E-mail Problem

This has nothing to do with those other e-mails tied to Hillary Clinton — the ones which have recently been under official investigation, and in the news. It’s a completely different thing: e-mails sent out by her campaign for the White House, and unrelated to her time as Secretary of State.

Hillary Needs Me

Other e-mails, entirely too much like this, preceded the “I need you” e-mail I received yesterday. I’ve been making fun of them on Facebook for quite some time, but hadn’t brought them to my blog until now. I’m simply using cropped screenshots from my e-mail account for these pictures, and keeping the e-mail senders, subject lines, and dates together, for each e-mail. If anyone wishes to check the authenticity of these e-mails with the Clinton campaign, that’s fine with me. You’ll find that these e-mails are real (or they’ll lie to you; I can’t rule that out). If lies are told, I’ve got the evidence in my e-mail account, as do many others. This is not a complete set, either; it’s just the most recent of these, um, strange e-mails from her campaign minions. 

Hillary Needs Me 2

I don’t know how I got on Hillary Clinton’s presidential-campaign e-mail list, but I am not complaining about it. If I wasn’t on her campaign’s list, after all, I wouldn’t know that all these e-mails are going out, with her name (and sometimes others, as seen above) as the sender, and such things as “re: last night” in the subject line. That would deprive me of this opportunity to use real campaign materials to ridicule a major-party presidential candidate, or, in other words, prevent this particular bit of fun. There were other such e-mails before June 29 — long before, actually — but this is all of this kind of thing I can stand to put on my blog.

To Hillary Clinton (the person, not her campaign staff): Really, H.C.? Do you not monitor your campaign flunkies at all? These e-mails could bring new meaning to the term “madame president,” and I really don’t think they will help you at the ballot box, either.

To Donald Trump, and his ilk: don’t think this means I support you. I don’t.

For whom will I cast my vote, some may wonder? Well, I have it narrowed down to two candidates, but neither of their names appear in this post. For more information regarding where my vote will go, simply click here.