28 March 2008

Smart people

This week I attended no less than 5 lectures, each about different subjects. I didn't have class this week since my professor was out at a conference, so I needed to get my academic fix from other sources. My search was definitely not in vain. Here are some of the topics I heard about all within a 72 hour spread:
  • New church advertisement campaign
  • Emotional expression effects on children who witness IPV
  • Instructional design applications
  • Evolution of BYU's role in LDS higher education
  • Generating valuable discussion in interviews
I would have went to one on string theory too, but I slept in that day. Looking back I don't think it wasn't such a bad idea to skip that one after all, I think my head would have swollen to the size of a large watermelon trying to pack in another new concept, especially string theory. I mean seriously, 5 lectures almost put me into a knowledge induced coma. 6 lectures??!! Lets just not even go there.

All this exposure to so many new things made me come up with one core notion: there are alot of smart people out there!

And thank the heavens there are geniuses among us. Think about it, what would we have done if nobody ever invented being smart? I'll tell you: we'd all be idiots. Believe me when I tell you that we do not want to live in a world of idiots. Wasn't 7th grade as close as we ever need to get to that kind of nightmare?! Of course there's the argument that if we were all idiots then nobody would actually realize that he or anyone else was an idiot thereby eliminating any negative perception of our collective lower intelligence and blah blah blah ....yeah lets not get into the whole self-reference paradox thing. I think it's safe to say that the fact that there are geniuses living in the world at this very moment make our lives much better.

Here are just a few smart people from recent history that I think we should all pay a few moments of homage to for making this world a little better because they were smart:
Needless to say, we need more smart people to rise up and push the limits and make life better for the rest of us idiots. Thanks to all of you out there who are well on your way!

20 March 2008


Its March Madness, and thanks to my buddy Ian, I am in full swing this year. The only problem is every year I get roped into submitting a bracket for the Big Dance, without fail, it tanks within the first half of the first round, and of course I don't even have the morale to check up on how I am doing after all of the teams I thought would make it to the Final Four get upset in the Sweet Sixteen. It's really pathetic. Basically, what this whole mess comes down to is that I just really stink at guessing.

But not this year! No sir, this year I actually did some research on the teams that I picked. I looked at the numbers for the last 10 or so games of each of the team's seasons, checked a few injury reports, read up on some analysis on ESPN Sports, and of course consulted a my tarot card reading rubber chicken for some advice, and then put together a really solid bracket. I must say it is a work of art, especially if you are a UNC fan.

Then, just in case I was completely off, I made a different bracket called "What IF?" This bracket is essentially my pick of what would happen in BYU took the whole tournament. I don't know a single person who really thinks this will happen, but I wanted to see if by some strange miracle, I could predict BYU's greatest basketball season finish ever.

The funny thing is that at the time this post is being published my real bracket has already missed one pick out of five. My "What IF?" bracket.... still perfect.

So, I pose this question to all you who dare read this blog post within the first few hours of March Madness 2008:

What if ????

13 March 2008

Cognitizing taste

I work with a gal who is quite adept at talking about food. Discussing the culinary arts is one of my favorite pastimes, except of course on the occasions when I skip breakfast. On those days such a conversation feels like a strange mix between enlightenment and torture (which combination as it turns out feels alot like eating shredded wheat). We were discussing recipes one morning when I had a glorious realization.

Great cooks/chefs/bakers/etc. have the uncanny ability to 'cognitize' tastes. Much like a good photographer knows what the shot will look like before actually taking a picture, these marvels of culinary kind can accurately think what the taste will be like before the food is finished or even sometimes before being prepared. They are able to envision amazing things, like what two flavours will do when they meet each other in a stew. They seem to be able to predict the difference one ingredient will make in the food without having to give it an entire test run first. I submit this is a great ability nigh unto super-human.

Many people can't do this very well if at all. For example, I have a sister. She loves to eat yummy food. She also likes to cook the yummy food. The problem is that she only likes to cook the yummy food only when she is absolutely sure that it will turn out yummy. Thus, she lives and dies by recipes. I told her once about a fabulous chicken/rice dish my old roommates and I used to make (which we affectionately called Vomit) and how tasty it was. She calls me up later that month, really excited for a new cooking adventure, and asks me what the recipe is for Vomit. I responded by listing off
  • Chicken
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Salsa
  • Cream Cheese
  • Onions
  • and on and on down the list...
She was appalled. "But HOW MUCH of all of that do you put in?" she immediately pressed. Came my unhelpful reply, "I don't know, just whatever you feel like until it suits you." Needless to say, she didn't try out our Vomit 'recipe' that weekend. Why? Because she just can't cognitze tastes!

Others in the world can cognitize tastes quite well however. I'm sure you know one or two in your life. Treat them well. Or if you aren't opposed to breaking one of the Ten Commandments, worship them even. They may at some point bestow upon you a scrap of food that falls from their mythical dinner table, or give you a slice of dessert that slightly fails to meet their omniscient gourmet standards. I guarantee you such an experience will be way better than eating shredded wheat.

03 March 2008

tired of being anemic

About 7 years ago I went in to have a blood test and discovered that I have a slight iron deficiency. This condition is by far not the worst thing in the world to have but it does have one slight side effect that seems to pop into my life every once and again: fatigue.

As my sleeping marathons are a thing of legend amongst my old roommates, there is a biological reason for their occurrence. I think my record is something like 17-18 hours in one stint. One day I saw a bumber sticker that really described it well,
"Consciousness: the short period that happens between naps."
Lately however, I have seemed to be doing pretty well in keeping the sleep times down to a regular rate...until last night.

I got home from the church broadcast and started to read next week's lesson on John the Baptist. Fifteen minutes later, I was out like a fat kid in dodge ball. I figured it was close to 9pm anyways and I would get an early start the next day so I went to bed. I woke up for while between 12-1:30am that I used to brush my teeth, check the e-mail, and get ready for the night. I eased in bed, and figured I'd get a good 8 total hours and wake up at 6:30. Next thing I knew....it was 10 o'clock in the bloomin' morning. So much for that plan.

So, I figure its about time to go on another iron-rich diet again so I don't single-handily throw off the worlds sleep statistics. If any of you happen to be cooking liver, asparagus, beef, lentils, kidney beans, or anything drenched in clam juice, just give me a ring! I'll be over there faster than a fireman on a caffeine binge.

If I don't answer...keep trying. (I'm probably asleep).