A Saturday Crossword Puzzle

Published on Sunday, 07 May 2017
A small crossword puzzle.

This is an existentialist homage to the New York Times crossword puzzles typically offered Thursday through Saturday. The theme of this puzzle: "Franz Kafka". 

ACROSS

An Etymological Curiosity: The Shark

Published on Thursday, 25 February 2016

So I have come across an interesting word in English: "Shark." All the (highly reputable) etymological resources I have available to me say that the origin is unknown. Perhaps this isn’t such a mystery as they would claim. As sharks are not common in the North Sea or waters around the UK, the first recorded use of the word “shark” in English was that of adventurer John Hawkins displaying the carcass of one in London in 1565 after his journey to South America. Interestingly, the secondary meaning of the word, to indicate a swindler, appears in print as early as 1599.

Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery Care

Published on Monday, 12 January 2015

After studying this issue over time I have compiled a list of dos and don'ts for maximizing the life and use of your lithium ion battery in your phone, tablet or laptop:

Proposed NPR Weekend Edition Sunday Puzzle

Published on Tuesday, 05 February 2013

Take the first and last names of two famous football players. Swap the second letter of each player's first and last name (i.e. Joe Namath would become Jae Nomath). Then swap the last letter of each player's first and last names with the last letter of the other player's first and last name. Now take the latin species name of a common songbird of the north eastern US. Add the middle three letters of the bird's species name to the last names of the football players. You should have a total of four words in two pairs. Select one of the name pairs and drop the other.

Gluten Free for the Holidays

Published on Friday, 21 December 2012

When people first think of gluten-free foods they think of dishes that would have gluten-based grain, but have had it substituted with epoxy or gypsum. Or they think of rice porridge with a raisin (maybe two). Or perhaps they think of some exotic dish that makes you choke because it is made of puree of okra with xanthan gum, adzuki beans and durian wrapped in oak leaves. (And stored under the deck for 3 weeks in August). Served on a nest of undercooked quinoa.

17 Sure-Fire Treatments for Strep Throat

Published on Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Each of these remedies offer a 99% guarantee that your strep throat will be gone within 5-7 days.

Ode to Allen Ginsberg

Published on Tuesday, 27 March 2012

America,
I don't cry for you.
I'm tired.
I have corns,
and the unbecoming putty is showing in the gloaming of the
streetlight understudy.
Your understudies!
Your streetlights!

America,

Ad ignorantiam ad nauseam

Published on Monday, 19 March 2012

There is a logical fallacy called the argumentum ad ignorantiam or the argument from ignorance. The essence of this fallacy is that because we don't know something to be definitively false, it must therefore be true. A good example relates to concern about the dangers of electromagnetic frequencies.

Suggestions to Microsoft for Windows 8

Published on Friday, 16 March 2012

(I originally posted this on Facebook for Windows 7, same rules apply) Microsoft is preparing to release their next version of Windows Operating system this fall. Given the insufficient number of versions available for Windows Vista, I thought I might make some suggestions for more configurations. Everyone loves choice, so we should have more choices! This is partly inspired by the new **Windows Basic edition which will purportedly restrict the number of apps one can run to 6 or something.

When diet and exercise aren't enough...

Published on Thursday, 16 February 2012

I think this is of the most cruelly deceptive phrases in modern advertising. Firstly, no one wants to change their diet. Secondly, exercise takes time and effort and, at least at first, is quite unpleasant. Taking a pill is ridiculously easy to do.  So essentially this advertising phrase applies to everyone with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, adult-onset diabetes or other "lifestyle-related" diseases for which there are profitable pharmaceuticals (or "alternative" treatments, for that matter). It should really be "when diet and exercise don't seem appealing...".