Category Archives: Education

That’s Not Funny—Today

Richie Pryor What more needs to be said?

Richie Pryor
What more needs to be said?

What makes us laugh changes with the times, and that’s sometimes hard to fathom. Why does something crack me up, but not my kids? (And, of course, vice-versa?)

I love Monty Python, who, at least, my daughter appreciates, and Firesign Theatre who very few appreciate—(well, I guess you had to have been there, man.)

I see so much potential with Will Ferrell, but I just…..keep….waiting….for……him…..to…..be……funny.

Adam Sandler? Enough said.

Supposedly Richie Pryor wrote most of Blazing Saddles expecting to star in it, but he was too edgy. He was too edgy because he had the courage to strip naked the bias and discrimination piled upon blacks through humor. In Silver Streak, when Patrick McGoohan (playing the bad guy) calls him the “N-word” after Pryor spills something on him (a dodge for Richie to get into position), Pryor holds a gun to McGoohan and says, “You don’t know me well enough to call me nig***!”

What a genius. He got the message through. A real genius.

Maybe, that’s what we need to laugh today, a little more genius in our comedy.

And our elected officials.

And our schools.

And on television.

Richie! Come back! We need you!

John Scalzi, Andy Weir, et al

There are certain authors whose works deliver me from the responsibilities of my reality to another plane, after which, batteries recharged, I can return and work more effectively than before.

Then there are people who create hate and discontent.

Okay, let’s figure it out. On one hand we have people who make me enjoy life.

On the other hand, we have creatures who attempt to make everybody miserable (presumably because they are).

Pick a side.

Oh, and if you’re having trouble, try this….

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3659388/

Peanut Butter

Plain Old Peanut Butter

Plain Old Peanut Butter

The standard for the entire universe is peanut butter and jelly.

Not for me.

I have always preferred peanut butter and honey.

Why? Because jelly isn’t in the Bible but honey is.

Okay, I’m kidding.

Jelly, to me, in regard to peanut butter is the same as fish to meat. Some people like Surf’n’Turf (even myself at times), but although the dish and the meat may share the same plate, they are DIFFERENT! The broccoli over at the untouched edge of the plate, same thing.

Honey enhances the flavor of peanut butter without replacing it. Jelly, in my humble opinion, tries to stake out its own claim and force out its rivals, including peanut butter.

So, in the intergalactic scheme of things, what does this mean? Why honey? Why peanut butter? Why jelly—and can jam be used as a substitute when times are rough?

Not so much. So in the giant intergalactic connectivity equation this means………………

Absolutely nothing.

So, there.

Faith vs. Fact

I have no problem with the issue of faith—as a matter of fact, I have relied on faith to get me through the tough parts of life. However, faith is based on my relationship God.

On the other hand, with most other issues, I need to know HOW something works—that pi is just a ratio between the circumference of a circle and its radius. I need to know how margins of error are calculated and what they really mean in the world of statistics.

Today, though, there are many people who accept on faith that cell phones work and always will; that the electric power, cable television, and the internet will be there with the flick of a switch, but they have no idea how they work, nor do they care.

However, when it comes to God, they demand proof that He exists.

Weird.

If There’s No Breaking News—We’ll Break Something!

Courtesy, National Geographic  (Consider joining--http://www.nationalgeographic.com/about/)

Courtesy, National Geographic
(Consider joining–http://www.nationalgeographic.com/about/)

Squeezed in somewhere among the celebrity gossip and pinup pictures, occasionally the Internet carries items that journalists once referred to as News.

News includes such boring items as wars, disasters, election results, and rarely mention the reaction from starlets, transgender humans or trans-species….whatever. In the days of journalism, the reporter listed the facts:

  1. This is what happened (not my impression of what happened).
  2. Where and when it happened.
  3. Why is this significant? (Not guaranteed to be 100% factual, but true journalists tried to be as objective as possible).

“News” today is often predictive—this COULD happen, or the media focuses on something that probably will happen, but it could be tomorrow, or it could be in 30 billion years (give or take).

[Note: I like the fact that what was once the press is now the media. It’s like admitting they only rank a grade of “C” for their work.]

Today CNN ran a story on the super-volcano that someday could, maybe erupt (or it could keep releasing pressure through Old Faithful and the other geysers like that weight on the top of a pressure cooker).

But the best thing is—they’re now adding music to news stories, and a pretty zippy bongo number (doubtlessly electronically generated) at that. Try http://www.cnn.com/videos/weather/2015/04/24/supervolcano-yellowstone-magma-reservoir-orig.cnn?iid=ob_article_footer_expansion&iref=obnetwork

What’s next for the news mesia—laugh tracks?

Community Service

Socrates Courtesy Wikimedia

Socrates
Courtesy Wikimedia

Yesterday, the American Diabetic Association’s Tour de Cure bicycle race was held in our area. This is a fundraiser for diabetes research and rides can choose a ten-mile, thirty-mile, sixty-five mile, or one-hundred mile course, with people donating to support their efforts. Local ham radio operators provide communications from each of the seven rest stops with the race coordinators at the start/finish lines. When I lived in Wyoming, the local hams provided similar service during Frontier Days.

Some people enjoy providing service to their friends and neighbors; some belong to an organization that encourages (and if necessary shames) its members into serving the community. Churches often provide the tipping point for people who wouldn’t go out on their own. Many high schools require a certain amount of community service in order to graduate. I believe that organizations provide the social network and support to help those who are comfortable being part of a group, but are not comfortable acting as an individual. Members of the Local Club (whatever it is) are more likely to adopt a road and clean it than the same people as individuals.

I know every generation worries about the state of their children. Supposedly, Plato credited Socrates with the following quotation:

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they allow disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children now are tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

However, in Socrates’s time young men and women couldn’t cocoon in their bedrooms with smartphones and video games.

What’s Wrong with Nursery Rhymes!

Would you let your child hang around this woman?

Would you let your child hang around this woman?

For centuries we’ve taught our children nursery rhymes, and then wonder why they grow up so maladjusted.

“Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone…” Why would she store a bone in the cupboard? If she had a bone left over from a meal, given that there were no refrigerators, it would make better sense to just give it to the dog at the meal. Besides, a bone is more entertainment than actual nutrition.

“Jack be nimble. Jack be quick. Jack jump over the candlestick.” There’s the poster boy for national fire prevention week. On the other hand, we get our panties in a wad over the idea of our children running with scissors—but jumping over candles is just fine.

“Jack Spratt could eat no fat; his wife could eat no lean.” Where does Michelle Obama and the food pyramid stand on this one? Where are the vegetables and the fiber?

“Hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon,” but then we wonder why some kids stray into drugs.