For fun I took the Wonderlic test. It is a test given to potential NFL players at the draft combine. Thankfully I scored as I should have. Of course if I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t share it on my blog.
Tonight I finally finished Stephen Lawhead’s Byzantium, a 870 page historical fiction novel that I purchased over 10 years ago. It was a solid read, but much longer than I would typically choose. If not for the title “Byzantium,” who knows if I would have bought it in the first place. I really don’t have a lot to say about it, but wanted to mark the occasion with a blog entry to record this book being read. It was read over quite a long period of time, and now I can get to a few other books for my evening reading.
My second entry for the George Washington Encyclopedia is now available. It is a piece on Trinity Church. This entry was a bit more fun to write as I enjoyed working with the narrative that follows this church’s history (as it relates to Washington’s life). I’ll be doing one more piece, and am currently working on it. You can also read the George Washington and Religion entry, which I also authored. This is a really great project and should be of great help to students everywhere.
I have been a fan of Popchips for a while, although I do at times find them a bit salty. Recently I was able to try Popchips in two different varieties: sweet potato and Thai sweet chili potato. In general I was fairly impressed. The sweet potato chips are a bit different than normal potato popchips. I would describe them as a bit more dense, and clearly the taste is another kind of chip. They are sweet, even more than I think sweet potatoes are, and I do believe there is a bit of added sugar that brings about this effect. The Thai sweet chili chips are very good, but the pepper eventually overpowers the sweet if you are eating more than a few. At first it really does have a transition from sweet to spicy, but after a while they are just peppery – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Like many chips the more you eat the more the flavor sort of goes away, leaving a stronger salty or sour or spicy taste – depending on the type of chip. I wish that chip makers wouldn’t assume everyone doesn’t have decent taste buds and needs that avalanche of salt/pepper, etc.
Anyway, there are few thoughts on a recent purchase. I would definitely buy them again, but they aren’t as commonly found as some of the “base” flavors.
Currently I am working on entries for the George Washington Digital Encyclopedia and was fortunate enough to have my first entry highlighted on George Washington Wired. Thanks to Adam Shprintzen, the editor for the encyclopedia, for the opportunity. It is a great project that makes scholarly entries on George Washington available to high school and college students (and anyone else who is interested). I have one entry currently available (George Washington and Religion). It is the one highlighted in the “wired” link above, and two others at various stages of completion. Check it out if you are interested in Washington or American history.
Last week I noticed the book 9 Things Successful People Do Differently on the new books shelf at my university library. It is a small book written by Heidi Grant Halvorson and runs through 9 different strategies for success in reaching goals. For some people this book will contain a lot (or at least some) review, but it was a nice reminder of things that I might not have put into specific words (and I believe the book even mentions this somewhere), and maybe even some new things too. The book contains chapter headings such as “Get Specific” (which most people dealing with goal setting have probably heard before, “Focus on Getting Better, Rather Than Being Good,” which is a reminder we all need, and “Have Grit,” which all of us need to do.
The book’s dimensions are probably about 3.5 x 6 inches and it is under 100 pages of actual book text, to give you an idea of how little the book is. This to me, however, is the strength of the book. It is a bunch of quick hitters that you can read very quickly, either by reading a few pages a day, or just knocking it out. When we attempt to reach our goals in life, whether it be in writing, acting, business, or just doing chores in our home, dedication and focus on the task are always important. This book describes our willpower as a muscle and encourages one to build up strength of will, a trait sorely lacking in many people. If you are looking for a nice little reminder/encourager in the midst of a stressful life, this book may fit the bill.
[For Reference - Library of Congress: BF637.S8 H2185 2012]
So it looks like a new season of The Booth at the End is starting up on Hulu. It is a show that takes place entirely in a diner and deals with a supernatural-philosophical plotline where people come to a man to get wishes granted in exchange for tasks completed. It is a great show on both filmmaking and thought-provoking planes in that it causes one to engage the philosophical-religious-supernatural questions while being fairly simple because we see the action through the eyes of the characters. It is storytelling, not action. I don’t want to say too much about it, but check it out if you have the time. The Booth at the End, Season 2
Recently I finished reading the book The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future. It is a book about starting a business that is more than just the traditional franchise buy-in or borrowing money for a storefront. It is a book about using the available resources that one has to create a business with sustainable properties.
If nothing else, the book is motivational and gets one thinking about the tools they already have at their disposal, as well as the possibilities of the internet. The main focus of the book is about creating value. It isn’t about about trying to sell snakeskin oil to unsuspecting customers. It is about doing something you enjoy and that others would be willing to pay for because it contains “value.” It doesn’t hide the hard work that must be done, but does move one to a model of enjoyment and quality, and one that keeps customers, a lost art in some sectors of business. It is almost encouraging one to create things they want to create, which may draw others of similar interests into their circle of business.
I think one of the real benefits of the text is that it gets you thinking about doing things you will enjoy regardless of the profit, and in meantime, perhaps you will make a nice profit. There are many lessons to be learned, but it was an enjoyable read and is selling well for a reason. Just a few thoughts.
Ok, so I’m guessing most Facebook users have not really been thinking about how the vast array of time-wasting games connect to Police Academy 7 (or anything for that matter). If you are lucky, you probably haven’t even seen Police Academy 7, which currently has a 2.7/10 rating on IMDB.com, and probably deserves it. So, given that I am writing for a select audience, or encouraging the viewing of this movie (for which Christopher Lee and Ron Perlman I’m sure are grateful), here goes.
The basic premise of the movie is (and be forgiving as I am going off memory here) that Russian mobsters have created a game that is so addictive that everyone is drawn to play it while their personal data is stolen. It is called “the game,” I believe, and is played on something sort of like a Game Boy controller, if I remember right. While not accusing Facebook of stealing your personal data, and really aiming more at games like “Mafia Wars” and “Farmville,” doesn’t anyone see any parallels? People are drawn by the thousands to play these games, give access to their personal Facebook data and basically run in circles trying to “achieve” things that are less a matter of skill and more a matter of perseverance. In general, regarding social networking sites, there seem to be those who avoid them at all cost due to fear of this sort of thing, and those who don’t give a second thought to it. As it often is, the truth is found in the middle.
The crazy thing to me is that this movie came out in 1994, when the internet was very new. I mean, I may have used the internet on Mosaic in a computer lab, but it wasn’t like it was in every home. Even if this is just a passing thought, it is wild to think that any of the Police Academy movies spark philosophical/ethical discussion, especially the seventh one. Honestly, I don’t want to take the time to actually think about this more in depth, at least now, but it came to mind. Perhaps the Facebook IPO and some people’s fear of information becoming more public brought it out, at least indirectly.
So we can take two things from this brief discussion: 1 – Police Academy – Mission to Moscow has some intellectual value, and 2 – I have publicly admitted to watching it. I will let you decide which is the more preposterous.
While moving back to cleaning up my diet and reminiscing about the 1980′s (this may become more apparent in subsequent posts), I decided today to buy a package of Panda raspberry licorice, apparently a new flavor. As a child I remember Panda licorice coming in both black and red varieties and being something that we did not buy very often probably due to both cost and taste. The few times I have tasted Panda licorice in the past, I haven’t been real excited about it. However, it is a fairly natural treat, and the nostalgia brought me to it.
The ingredients in the raspberry flavor are: “Molasses, wheat flour, raspberry puree, citric acid, natural raspberry flavor, black carrot juice, and licorice extract.” It is quite an impressive list considering this is a “treat.” Of course, the tagline on the box is “The Real Taste of Licorice,” so perhaps most of us aren’t used to that “real” taste. The shape of the pieces and the snackability are pretty nice, and the box has an interesting plastic seal on the top. It is basically a box that has a layer of plastic sealed on, versus a sealed plastic bag in a box like most products.
I was pretty impressed with the taste this time, and definitely plan to get this again. It wasn’t overly sweet, but that is part of the point. Snack food today is so oversaturated with sugars and sodium that our tastebuds really need to be cleansed to get used to more natural products. If you are so inclined, it might be worth taking a look at the Panda website, where you will find the history of this Finnish company. I have to say it was really nice to find this treat and that it has been around for so long.