The calculus of NaNoWriMo
The Romans had their Coliseum. The sick bastards over at The Office of Letters and Light have a little something known as NaNoWriMo.
That stands for National Novel Writing Month.
Letters and Light? Are you kidding me? Euphemism much???
So yeah, obviously they get off on pain and humiliation. It’s a two-pronged approach. How does it work? A little something like this.
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My bimonthly meltdown
The calm of the office was shattered by a harried shout. “What does bimonthly mean?” someone wanted to know.
Co-worker Nardz immediately yelled out one possible answer. “It means twice a month!” she spurted.
42 nanoseconds later I followed with my response as well. “It means every other month!”
Why we were yelling in an office that’s smaller than the den in an averaged sized home I’ll never know.
Of course the two of them ganged up against me and decided that “bimonthly” meant twice a month. Friggin’ dumbasses.
So I turned back to my computer and punched up the dictionary. Then I got the shock of my life. I wasn’t entirely correct.
I quickly checked for my other definition, too. “Having gay sex once a month.” Nope. Not there, either!
Anywho, the dictionary rather waffled on the matter, I thought. “What the hell?” I grumbled. What’s the point of it even being a word. Who decides this shit?
Wikipedia will know what to do, I thought.
Because of the ambiguity of this word, it is best to avoid it. Instead, use twice a month or every two months as appropriate.
Damn. This bimonthly shit is serious. They’ve even got Wikipedia bamboozled.
To take a negative view (if I may) perhaps the correct interpretation should be based on context. In other words, the meaning of the word defaults to whatever meaning is the least desirable. Some examples:
- Me and the Mrs. get jiggy with it on a regular bimonthly basis – no matter what! (Obviously every other month.)
- You’ll need bimonthly root canals for the next seven years, the dentist said. (Obviously twice a month.)
- You want to see the kid? Fine. Enjoy your bimonthly visitation! (Mmm. Not sure about this one. Be careful what you wish for.)
So now I’ve got that word “bimonthly” locked and loaded in my shotgun of wit. I love to doublespeak and pull off puns on the brainlessly unsuspecting. If there’s a word I can wheel out to spur ambiguity you can bet your ass I’m gonna use it.
At the very least, I plan to do it bimonthly. You have been warned.
The Abyss 2010: Year in Review
2010 was much like any other year. Like many others in the media today, we now endeavor to “review” the year.
This is an appropriate activity that is seemingly enjoyed by humans when our most favorite planetoid has completed yet another circuit around our most favorite star.
Depending on IQ, if it is low enough, most will celebrate by crashing pots and pans at what they incorrectly deem to be “midnight.” Others will blow things up and shoot their guns in the air.
Because I’m cursed with intelligence all I can do is write this post and be in bed by 8:30.
2010 started like most any other year. Jan. 1, 2010 at midnight (GMT) was the first second of the year. In “epoch time” that is also known as 1262304000.
Epoch time, also known as Unix time, is a system of used by computers to keep track of the date and time. It counts the number of seconds that have elapsed since midnight Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) of January 1, 1970, not counting leap seconds. (If you really want to blow your mind you can read the Wikipedia article on Unix time. It will make your head feel funny.)
A “second” is a unit of time most of us are very familiar with. It was originally defined as 1/86400 of a “solar day.” There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 24 hours a day. So if we multiple those values, 60 x 60 x 24, we get 86,400 seconds. Viola! Therefore, 86,400 is the number of seconds in a day. Don’t believe me? Count to 86,400 and see how much time has gone by. Go ahead, try it! It’s fun!
But wait. It turns out that the rotation of the Earth, known as a day, is not always exactly 86,400 seconds. It turns out that the solar day is 1.7ms longer every century due mainly to “tidal friction” and “glacial rebound.” I don’t know about you but that scares the shit out of me. Our planet is getting slower!
The year will end on December 31, 2010 at 11:59:59 pm (GMT). This is 1293839999.
Now that we know the starting and ending epoch times of 2010, we can do the math. Simple subtraction on those two time values shows there were 31,536,000 seconds in 2010. That translates to 525,600 minutes, 8,760 hours and 365 days.
Wow, when you look at it that way, what an exciting year! I hope you all enjoyed those 31.5 million seconds as much as you possibly could.