Thursday, November 24, 2022

Timeless Wisdom From Winnie the Pooh

And he respects Owl, because you can't help respecting anyone who can spell Tuesday, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count.
– Rabbit, "The House at Pooh Corner"

Wednesday, November 16, 2022


It is four o'clock.
So where does the word "o'clock" come from? Why does it have an apostrophe? What is it short for?
Apparently, it is short for, "of the clock". It is now "four of the clock".

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Bullshit - Wikipedia

Brandolini's law, also known as the "bullshit asymmetry principle," holds that "the amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than what's needed to produce it." This truism highlights that while the battle against misinformation more generally must be fought "face to face," the larger war against belief in misinformation won't be won without prevention. Once people are set in their ways, beliefs are notoriously hard to change. Building immunity against false beliefs in the first place is the more effective long-term strategy.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Friday, October 7, 2022


Did you know that there is a country called Andorra?   It sounds like a science fiction name?

Friday, September 23, 2022

The 1 Secret to Becoming the Best Version of Yourself - Jordan Peterson

Drain openers

I have heard that bleach can be a better drain opener than regular drain openers. I have used it successfully on slow drains. Bleach is so caustic that it can denature organ matter. In theory, so can chemical drain openers, which are part bleach, part lye, and mostly soap to make the clogs slippery to help clear the drain.

The four bottles of $1 drain openers that I bought at Walmart didn't help my stopped up disposal. They seem worthless. Yesterday I poured a gallon of cheap bleach that I got at Menards into my stopped-up sink. This morning I tried running the disposal. At first, it seemed to be still blocked, but then the drain cleared.

I'm very pleased that this worked. The last time this happened I paid a plumber to clear the drain. All he used was a plunger, although he had to work pretty hard at it.

Maybe the combination of bleach and drain opener is what worked.

My old plunger which is made out of plastic broke. So I ordered a "professional" plunger which just barely arrived.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Dutch people - Wikipedia

The labels Dutch, Netherlands, and Holland overlap making it pretty confusing to me.

About halfway down the page is a video of a girl speaking Dutch with translation.  What she has to say is interesting.  Besides, I think that she is hot.

There is also a chart about how the west germanic language evolved into other languages.

Friday, September 16, 2022

🔢 How to count to 10 in Latin

I find this interesting because the numbers 1 to 6 are close to Spanish numbers.

The numbers 7 to 10 resemble our months 9 to 12.  This made me speculate that maybe the ancient Romans only had a 10-month calendar, although this was cited only in legend and the Roman Republic adopted a different 12.5-month calendar.  Later reforms would be done by Julius Ceaser and August Ceasar, from whose names we get July and August.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

From 4 years ago

The Columbus Mall has either closed or is in the process of closing.  The city bought the property and is turning it into some kind of recreation/exercise center.  They are calling it a "Park" and construction has started.

On Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 1:36 AM John Coffey <> wrote:

Economic trends toward efficiency:

I watch stores close in the mall. JC Penny combined their two stores into one.  The Greenwood mall is not so bad, but the Columbus mall has half the stores empty. 

Downloadable video games are quickly replacing physical media.  This is bad for GameStop, who is in financial trouble and is looking for someone to buy them.  

Streaming services are also replacing physical media.  

Movie theaters, banks, and fast food restaurants have self serve kiosks.  Airports have had self serve kiosks for awhile.  The word "kiosk" wasn't even in my vocabulary 8 years ago. 

A few fast food restaurants are in installing Flippy, the robot burger maker, especially in areas with a higher minimum wage.  This makes me think that restaurants eventually will be completely automated.  For example, I've seen video of a prototype home cooking robot.  

Maybe drones will deliver food to your door. 

Just in the last couple of years there has been an explosion in computer learning.  Machines are getting smarter, faster.  They haven't taken your job yet, but eventually they might. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

John Williams & Vienna Philharmonic – Williams: Theme from “Jurassic Park”

At the end of season 3 episode 7 of The Orville, I heard a new music theme with just a few notes that sounded vaguely familiar.  With some effort, I figured out what this reminded me of.  

John Williams is a great composer.  I think that the first half of this theme is wonderful.  However, the second half seems repetitive.  I think that the music is meant to be experienced with the movie.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

شوارع إسكندرية بتقنية 360 درجة 360 VR Street view - Google Maps

I just watched a video that talked about how Alexandria was one of the ancient world's greatest cities. Just out of curiosity, I wanted to see where it was on the map, but I already had a pretty good idea.

So I dropped into Google Street View and looked around.  From Google Street View, If you look down then you will see a hand positioned above the car.  Apparently, this person drove around the city a couple of times holding an omnidirectional camera above his car.,29.9251883,3a,75y,123.21h,90.9t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sAF1QipOM9M_9kKVFeudqgkU9Qo5T5sr4WnRxHjW6I00!2e10!3e11!!7i5760!8i2880

Friday, May 20, 2022

Firearm or Bear Spray? Detailed Analysis for Backpackers, Hikers & Hunters, Gun Bear Defense

A friend of mine was followed by a bear in Yellowstone National Park.  Apparently, the bear just wanted to walk on the same trail as him.  He climbed up a hill and the bear just kept walking.

My uncle went hunting with three other guys and they were attacked by a cougar who had been stalking them.  Fortunately, all four guys had guns.  The result was Humans 1, Couger 0.

Personally, I don't see a reason to be in a place where animals could stalk you.

Here's an idea:  Let's go to the arctic circle and watch polar bears.  I probably look like a chicken nugget to a polar bear.

Special When Lit: A Pinball Documentary

This is a good documentary about Pinball.  It was made in 2009.

I remember seeing a non-electric antique amusement machine that was probably from the 1930s,   It wasn't very big, but it worked by putting in a coin, like a nickel, and turning a handle to get roughly 7 to 10 metal balls.  Then you would pull a lever to shoot the balls at holes.  If the balls landed in the holes then they would accumulate in the "score" window.  Although the game had a football theme, it was more like a pinball version of skeeball.  As primitive as the game was, it was somewhat fun to play.

Growing up in small-city Indiana, there wasn't much amusement in the early 1970s.  I remember seeing some mechanical games, like a baseball-themed game and a shooting game, both of which I found thrilling to play.  I definitely felt addicted at first.  I was young and impressionable.  This started me down a path of enjoying games.  

As a side note, in late 1974 I began to enjoy playing chess immensely which I still do.

Around summer 1975, an arcade opened up in my local mall, which had mechanical games.  My friends and I enjoyed meeting and playing the games.  The cost of pinball was 2 games for a quarter.  These mechanical games eventually would mostly give way to video games.  

There was a perfect storm of events in the second half of the 1970s that would shape my life forever.  I already was very interested in electronics because at the time this was the cutting edge of technology.  I started reading about computers and I first got to use one in 1975.  I learned how to write simple computer programs, taking to programming as a duck takes to water.  In 1976 I made friends with someone who had built an extremely primitive computer from a kit, and I learned how to program it using "machine code" which is the more difficult language of the microprocessor itself.

In 1977 video games were starting to become popular and the movie Star Wars came out.  Both were very influential on my life.  The late 1970s were culturally defined by video games, pinball, Starwars, and disco.  It was a time of cheap thrills when the economy was probably the worst since the Great Depression.  We had an oil crisis, massive inflation, and unemployment.  Most people today are too young to remember how difficult those times were.

I not only became interested in video games but I wanted to write games.  I was fortunate that my high school bought computers and taught simple computer programming in algebra class.  I was already developing programming skills and I spent much time writing programs on the school computers.

In the mid-1980s I was able to get my own computers and I started a business selling programs that I wrote, some of which were relatively primitive video games.  

In 1985 I temporarily had a job at a Showbiz Pizza maintaining and doing minor repairs on the videogames and mechanical games.  In 1993 I got my first job as a video game programmer in Utah.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The 20th Century Transformation of U.S. Agriculture and Farm Policy

In the 20nth century, we went from 41% of the workforce being employed in agriculture to 1.9% of the workforce being employed in agriculture.  That is an amazing transformation.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
Infancy's the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother's first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow—
Grow on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
Blessings on the hand of women!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky—
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
- William Ross Wallace, 1865.

Monday, May 2, 2022

3 AWFUL Habits That Make People Instantly Dislike You

I think that this advice can be summed up as you should make other people feel involved and appreciated.

I saw another video that claimed that the way you gain confidence is to practice.  This odd advice might not seem applicable to most things, but I think that it is.   I would not be confident making a speech or in an awkward social situation, but I am pretty confident over a chessboard.  However, if I had spent 47 years making speeches then I most likely would be reasonably competent at it. 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Stars in the sky

According to what I read, we can only see about 5,000 stars with the naked eye, out to a distance of only about 4,000 light-years.  That is in a galaxy with 100 to 400 billion stars and a diameter of 100,000 light-years.  

The Milky Way Galaxy is only about 1,000 light-years thick.  That seems pretty thin compared to its diameter.  So a distance of 4,000 light-years would represent a volume of 50+ billion cubic light-years for just 5,000 visible stars.  That is roughly 10 million cubic light-years per star.


Friday, April 15, 2022

The cause of Freedom

This came from a man who was a socialist.  I suppose that some people have different ideas about what is "freedom".


Saturday, April 9, 2022

Solving The Problem Of Human Perception | Jordan Peterson Lecture at The University of Cambridge

Jordan Peterson went through at least 18 months of suffering because of illness, so he often gets emotional in his lectures when previously he was cool as a cucumber.

He talks at such a high intellectual level that it takes effort to keep up.  He covers many topics and jumps around so much that sometimes you wonder if you are listening to a crazy person.  He does a halfway good job of tying it all together, but I feel like he could be more succinct. 

He quickly gets to the point before moving on to related topics.  Then he wraps it all together with a conclusion.

His claim is that we perceive the meaning or the utility of objects rather than just the objects.  Since we are talking about automatic mental processes, it is hard to say in what order the brain processes information.  Maybe we first recognize the object and then its function.  Maybe function is so tied to our perception that we perceive it simultaneously.  Since it is hard to know, does it really matter?

If You Struggle To Find Meaning In Your Life, Watch This

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Wednesday, February 16, 2022


A friend introduced me to Wordle, a puzzle game on the New York Times web page. It is a guessing game where you try to guess a five-letter word. Any correct letter will show up in yellow, or green if it is in the correct position. You have six chances to guess the word.

The on-screen keyboard helps you because it shows which letters have succeeded or failed so far.  In my second and third guesses, I tried to use new letters so that I could narrow down the answer.

Sunday, February 13, 2022