mgpcpastor's blog

Leave a comment

When Does A New Decade Begin? (via Mental Floss)

It probably won’t surprise anyone who knows me to find out I lean heavily on the ‘decades/centuries begin on the year that has a 1, not a 0’ side of the contention about when these things actually start.
This article from Mental Floss has placated me a bit with its observation that it’s not really about math, it’s about how use the dates to group things.
Now if everyone can officially agree that the first decade has nine years, and the first century has ninety-nine years I’m happy.
And even if everyone can’t I think I can live with it.
I think.

Leave a comment

Finding The Best Place To Park

I’m not sure that the authors of these strategies about finding the best place to park your car at the shopping centre ever experienced anything like the carparks at our local Coles and Woolworths Supermarkets.
This video is another attempt to demonstrate that maths has uses in everyday life.

Read more at Mental Floss.

Leave a comment

The Difference Between Forests, Woods, And Jungles (via Mental Floss)

Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.
But what about the wood or the jungle?

This article on Mental Floss is about the differences between the three terms.

Cutting to the chase:

To summarize, forests are historically and colloquially considered to be larger than woods, and scientifically considered to be more dense. Jungles are technically forests, too, since jungle is a casual word for what scientists call a tropical forest.

Read all the background explanation at Mental Floss.

Leave a comment

Does Wine Taste Better In Wine Glasses? (via Today I Found Out)

We had a situation the other day where we were faced with drinking wine but didn’t have wine glasses available.
So the glasses were removed from the dishwasher and cleaned by hand.
It just didn’t seem right otherwise.

This article on Today I Found Out deals with the very question: Why Is Wine Almost Always Drunk In Wine Glasses?

… how did the modern wine glass come to be anyway?
To begin with, wine pre-dates humans making glass by at least a few thousand years and probably much more, with the earliest archeological evidence of wine making dating back to around 9,000 years ago. In comparison, humans didn’t start making glass more complicated than beads until around 4,000-5,000 years ago. Containers of choice for the earliest of wine drinkers are thought to have been things like bamboo, shells, gourds, animal horns and skins, etc.

Read the rest at Today I Found Out

Leave a comment

The Two Women Who Create The Names For Generic Prescription Drugs (via David Lazarus at the LA Times)

This column from the LA Times responds to a question about the way prescription drugs are named.
Not the brand names, there are marketing departments that do that, but the pseudo-chemical sounding names that are used for those drugs when referred to in non-brand contexts.
Turns out that a couple of women in an office in Chicago create them.
An interesting job.

The aim is to avoid products being given “generic names that sneakily come too close to the original manufacturer’s name or the eventual brand name, which could give the company an unfair advantage after the patent expires and generic makers try to compete.
In other words, the generic has to be sufficiently different from the original brand so no confusion is possible.”

Read the article and meet the two staff members of the United States Adopted Names program at the LA Times.

Leave a comment

How Best To Survive Falling Out Of A Plane Without A Parachute (via Today I Found Out)

Turns out the survival rate for falling out of a plane without a parachute may be slightly higher than that of being a Presbyterian minister in South Australia. (That’s a joke. It may be true, but it’s still a joke.)

This post on Today I Found Out is about how best to survive a parachuteless fall from great height, and a bit about some people who actually lived to tell their tales.

Most important to keep in mind is that remembering the article may fill a second or two if you ever are plummeting to your death, but surely you’ll have more important things to muse on during those final instants of your life.


Sure, you’re probably going to die anyway, but, hey, having something- anything- to do will help distract you from the truth that your adventure here on Earth is about to end and, no matter who you are, the fact that you ever existed will soon be forgotten- for most, in a shockingly short amount of time…
But do not go gentle into that good night my friends. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


1 Comment

Some Facts About June 4, 1963 That Make Me Feel Even Older

Here’s an excerpt of some facts about people born on June 4, 1963 that I found online.
I have no intention of trying to work out if they’re true.
The make me feel older.
Especially the dog years one.
There was a theory that this applied to people who were Presbyterian ministers in South Australia…

Anyway, here’s some of the facts.

Days since birth: 20,454 days
Days spent sleeping: 6,818 days
Years spent sleeping: 18.67 years
Part of life spent sleeping: 33%
Full moons since birth: 693
Next full moon: June 17 at 08:32:00 GMT – Monday
First one billion seconds: Sometime on February 10, 1995
Age in dog years: 267 dog years old using a Chinese Shar-Pei breed