Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

How buildings decay

November 4, 2006

I was at a conference at the University of Portland a few weeks ago, and several of the sessions were held in Franz Hall, the campus’ relatively new classroom building.

The building and its classrooms have an attractively modern and stylish look. Nothing has been broken, and none of the built-in equipment has become obsolete. I would imagine that Denney Hall at Ohio State seemed very similar in the early 1960s, right after it had been built.

By the time I got to OSU, though, Denney Hall was aging, worn out, and dingy. Few people who went to Ohio State in the ’90s would have a kind word to say about the building or the fixtures in it.

And I wonder whether Franz Hall will be like that in 30 years.


Japanese cachet

November 3, 2006

Last year, Sudoku was the big rage among casual puzzle-solvers.

At the Deadhead Fred yesterday, I saw a book of “Kakuro” puzzles. The latest new thing.

Except that such puzzles already have an unexotic English-language name: Cross Sums. And I did my first one almost 30 years ago.

Question for my Houston readers

October 23, 2006

Does this logo look familiar?

Ohio State echoes: comic and tragic

October 23, 2006

Comic: The Daily Show will be taping next week in one of my freshman-year hangouts.

Tragic: A student was crushed to death in an elevator at a residence hall I worked at my sophomore year.

Librarian flash cards

September 25, 2006

Most license plates in Oregon and Washington are some combination of a three-digit number and a three-letter string.

Most three-digit numbers have a subject assigned to them in the Dewey Decimal Classification system.

Anyone up for a random roadway test of knowledge?


July 15, 2006

Have you ever seen a phrase in a foreign language and you don’t know what it means but you know what it looks like it means?

For example: A ballet called “Im Puppenladen”. The title obviously means “I’m carrying puppies”. And the plot is about the trials and tribulations of pirouetting while balancing several squirming and yelping canines in your arms.

According to Free2Professional Translation, however, “Im Puppenladen” is actually German for “in the doll store”. Which sounds more like a ballet, but not nearly as much fun.

Cell phone frustration

March 7, 2006

My cellphone has two kinds of ringer volume settings: Unhearable and unbearable.

The latest blog quiz

February 27, 2006

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!
Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?

(Via Jim Henley.)

A certain sense of humor

January 26, 2006

One of my uncles is a model train builder, and he visits stores that sell parts and equipment to hobbyists.

As you probably know, some people spend a lot of time and money getting their model train environments Just Right. Not just the trains themselves, but train stations, streets, towns, people, hills and bridges, snow and trees.

My uncle says that he was in a store once, and a fellow hobbyist noticed that the store sold tiny replicas of nude sunbathers for use in a model train environment. The hobbyist asked whether the store also sold tiny replicas of a man with binoculars.

Great line

January 25, 2006

From Mark Hasty:

“The North Dakota State Forest is an eight-foot dowel.”