Getting To Foe You
Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do
I have another puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa doom-pa-da-dee
If you are wise, you’ll listen to me
Who do you blame when your kid is a brat?
Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat
Blaming the kids is a lie and a shame
You know exactly who’s to blame
The mother and the father
Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-da
If you’re not spoiled, then you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do
(My emphasis added.)
Like I’ve always said, parents are the absolute worst people to have children.
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Pac-Man legends of the fall
Not to get too deep or anything, but if you think about it, Pac-Man is nothing more than a graph. A pie chart, to be precise.
His source data is approx. 80 percent yellow and 20 percent nothing. Hey, that’s just like the brains of most human beings. Coincidence? I think not!
80-20. That’s interesting. For some reason these numbers seem to come up a lot. For example, in a business meeting, 20 percent of the participants usually do 80 percent of the talking. This is also known as a monumental waste of time.
I’ve also heard 80-20 described as a rule in business meetings. This has to do with the fact that 80% consensus on a difficult issue or problem is fairly easy to achieve, but the law of diminishing returns kicks in when attempting to deal with the remaining 20%. Thus, if this is your jargon, the 80/20 phrase can become a signal to the group that impasse has been reached. “I think we’re at 80/20,” the moderator might say. “Let’s move on.”
There is even something called the Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) which states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Back in 1906 the inventor of this principle noticed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the people and that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas. (Source: Wikipedia.)
Wow. Who knew that Pac-Man had such depths? And here I thought he was just a drunken mindless idiot.
Since what I mainly do in life is sit around and think about stupid useless shit, I decided to try to come up with a list of as many Pac-Man style graphs as possible and celebrate the 80/20 in my own life. Assuming that Pac-Man is a pie chart, here are possible legends:
- 80% boss, 20% wife
- 80% work, 20% free time
- 80% pain, 20% pleasure
- 80% bills, 20% discretionary
- 80% litter box, 20% purring
Can you identify any 80/20 examples in your own existence?
Don’t know much about history
Negativity Theory states, as we all know, that historical figures aren’t as good as they appear. I know this topic will be remedial for some advanced students, but I think it is still fun to explore from time to time.
As we know, most people are surrounded by friends and loved ones. Among their many functions they effectively become “Keepers of the Lore.” It is their job to conceal and/or minimize the unsavory stuff while injecting exaggeration and hyperbole into anything that might be good, not necessarily limiting themselves to things that actually happened.
The theory states that the ability to discover unflattering information about a person is directly proportional to the amount of time that has passed. It also states that just about everyone has some kind of freakish penchant or skeleton in their closet. In many cases, information about these quirks never sees the light of day.
Let’s take someone like George Washington. He famously chopped down a cherry tree and, when confronted about it, said, “I can’t tell a lie, Pa.” Or did he? The story came from a book written about George Washington after his death, which was written by a guy who plagiarized other stories for the man’s life from published fiction of the time. No credible source for the story was ever found, so the cherry tree incident is considered apocryphal and its credibility is questioned.
There is also the matter of Washington crossing the Delaware as portrayed in the famous painting. In the picture Washington maintains a heroic stance at the bow of the boat. The painting has been analyzed, though, and many “historical inaccuracies” have been found. They include:
- It was raining during the crossing.
- Some reason that it would have been difficult for Washington to stand in choppy waters. Another theory states, however, that perhaps the occupants of the boat were standing to avoid icy water.
- The flag in the painting didn’t yet exist at the time of the crossing.
- The boat is the wrong model and appears too small to carry the occupants. The actual boats used had higher sides.
- The crossing took place at night, not in the day.
- The river shown is far narrower than where the crossing took place.
- Horses were not ferried across the river in boats.
- The painting shows Washington’s boat going geographically in the wrong direction.
I think this one example shows how history can tend to get a few facts wrong. So it is also easy to imagine the volume of information that may be omitted altogether.
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