Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mischief Night, October 30th

Mischief Night

Mischief Night sounds like an innocent enough holiday, because, at least to me, the word mischief conjures up child-like revels... like sneaking cookies out of the cookie jar. But, despite it's innocent sounding name, Mischief Night is is a holiday that easily can get out of hand.

For example, on October 30, 1938, Orson Welles aired his infamous radio play "War of the Worlds" which caused quite a bit of mischief. Many people listening to the program panicked, believing that the broadcast was a news report rather than a radio drama. If you want to read a script of the broadcast you can read it here. If you want to listen to the original broadcast go here. I remember listening to the full broadcast in junior high. I should probably go listen again for an adult perspective.

For an example from my own life-time, in 1991, in Camden, New Jersey over 130 fires were set by roaming teenagers which resulted in a teenager curfew in 1992 during which only 30 fires were set. ("The Mischievous History of Devil's Night" Washingtonpost.com) Personally, I think 30 teenager-set arsons in one night are still too many.

So remember, whatever you do tonight, whatever mischief you might be up to, remember that someone out there might be up to a little bit more.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

National Mole Day, 10-23

National Mole Day

Remember how much fun it was to celebrate Pi Day? Now, take a deep breath and remember back to high school chemistry. Do you remember that number that we all had to remember to calculate the atomic mass of the molecule? That's okay, I didn't remember either. It's 6.02 x 1023, aka Avogadro's Number.

Anyway, from 6:02 am to 6:02 pm, it is okay to celebrate National Mole Day. And, if you aren't up at 6:02 am to celebrate, I won't tell anyone. :)

Some of the suggestions for celebrating National Mole Day are, eating 6.02 cookies, a scavenger hunt using the chemical make-up of the items you want, or eat mole-themed food like guaca-mole! Mmm, guacamole!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Wind and Weather, October 12th

According to The Perpetual Almanack of Folklore, a west wind on October 12th means that there will be a mild winter.

Currently in Provo, the wind conditions are: Wind Speed: 5 mph / 7 km/h / 2.1 m/s Wind Dir: 50° (NE), but Pleasant Grove's wind conditions are: Wind Speed: 0.1 mph / 0.1 km/h / 0.0 m/s Wind Dir: 201° (SSW). So, with both north-east and south-south-west winds, I'm guessing that the jury is still out about this winter's weather in Utah County.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day, October 11th

Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day!

Quick! Before everyone goes home, send a memo out to all your coworkers, and have everyone bring a friend to work tomorrow. Or, just sneak your teddy in and have him there for your own amusement. Either way, it should make at least five minutes bear-able.

Sorry. Couldn't help it.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Oatmeal Monday, October 8th

Oatmeal Monday

According to my Forgotten English Calendar of Vanishing Vocabulary and Folklore, today is the traditional Monday, during the midterm week of nineteenth-century Scottish universities, where "fathers were allowed to bring sacks of oatmeal to sustain their sons for the term's duration" (Forgotten English Calendar of Vanishing Vocabulary and Folklore).

Now, a while it may seem like the average Scottish university student had a very boring and bland meal plan, with a sack of oatmeal at midterms, it turns out that oatmeal is quite versatile. Check out this recipe for Oatmeal Soup. It seems that oatmeal was so versatile for the college student diet that the modern equivalent would be a midterm care package of of Top Ramen.

Or perhaps it was a nicer gesture than that. I honestly wouldn't have been very happy to get a care package of Top Ramen when I was in college, even if it was from home.

And speaking of college days, I visited the ol' alma mater this morning and was pleasantly surprised (not!) by one of the librarians on campus while I was making a periodical donation. We were chatting about the new library addition and how much the library has changed from when I attended school pre-1999 when it was just a hole in the ground that caused major student/pedestrian traffic problems. She asked me "You graduated in '99?" with a semi-shocked look on her face. I responded in the affirmative. She then said, and I am not lying, joking or exaggerating: "You can't tell; you look just like a normal person."

Well, thank you ma'am, I appreciate the compliment, because, you know, we who graduated in that other century, we slowly turn into cod once we are out of the fishbowl of BYU.

That's not what I said.

I just said "thank you," because I am sure she meant to say, "You look just like a normal student."

Yeah right. I know I don't look like a student any more. They don't ask me if I am a student at the Visitor Parking. That is a sure sign that I no longer look young.

And, can I just say, that even though I work every day in Provo, I have not visited campus probably in about a year, and I had no idea how huge the new Alumni Building is?! It's shockingly huge. And maybe it just seems so big because nothing was really there before, or maybe because the building style just doesn't seem to fit the rest of campus. I don't know, it just didn't feel right, and I want to protest the building. It shouldn't be for alumni. It's too big. The biggest, nicest (arguably) building on campus should serve the students, not to stroke the already usually inflated egos of the donating alumni.

Okay. Wow. That was an opinion. I guess I am glad that my blog is not well read.

Anyway, for another tangent, on my way back to the office, I listened to the lyrics for "I Can't Drive 55." I actually listened to the lyrics, probably for the first time, from an adult point of view, and I have a totally different opinion of the song. I used to think it was just a rebel rock song, but now I think that it is a legitimate complaint against a policy change.

"What used to take two hours now takes all day. - It took me 16 hours to get to L.A...."(Sammy Hagar)
After thinking about it, I wonder, why aren't we all complaining?