May 9th, 2015

I decided to organize and write out my thoughts on the big tendencies of human nature, with forays into all the good topics like religion, morality, and government.  Here is the pdf of the essay.

To pique my readers’ interest, I note that it contains a subheading “The Purpose of Life” and the second sentence under that contains the word “cantaloupe.”

Hey, some quotes

May 5th, 2015

Big essay coming in a few days…

“In consulting, if you can’t fix the problem, there still can be money made in prolonging it.”

“If you laid all the bones in a snake end-to-end, you would have a snake.”

“Disney World is a people trap operated by a mouse.”

“If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the others drown too?”

“Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?”

“This page was created by Richard F. Taflinger.  Thus, all errors, bad links, and even worse style are entirely his fault.”

Informative weather forecasting

February 11th, 2015

Here are some pie charts from the National Weather Service showing if the three month weather outlook is expected to be above normal, near normal, or below normal.  And the forecasted probabilities are, drumroll, 33%, 34%, and 33%!

National Weather Service Climate

Now, they’ve also done the same thing for every three month period over the following year.  I was about to give them a point for Apr-May-Jun which goes all the way up to a 43% chance of being above normal.  But on second thought, there’s overlap in each three month period.  At least one of those months has to be above normal, so why do the adjacent three month periods have equal distributions??

National Weather Service Climate 2

Doug Woog on throwing gophers on the ice

March 25th, 2012

“They didn’t need to bring in…Animal Kingdom or the Humane Society or whatever they call it. Those things had been dead for awhile.”

America 2012

February 19th, 2012


January 16th, 2012

I think nicknaming sports teams is kind of dopey; non-North American leagues seem to get by without them. (But props to Baltimore, which managed to name its football team after a poem written by one of the city’s adopted sons.) Nevertheless, I’m curious as to why some names are employed more than others. The fearsome animal category (Lions and Tigers and Bears) is fairly predictable, but what about fearsome civilizations? Outside of Native American nicknames (Warriors, Chiefs, individual tribe names), which are being phased out, perhaps the most common in this category is the Trojans. Which seems bizarre, because according to Homer, Troy lost its most famous battle to the Greeks. Why aren’t there any Fighting Greeks out there? There are some Spartans, who presided over a brutal military society. Apparently there is no love for their rival Athenians, who had a golden age of culture, philosophy, and science. Save that one for the middle school Quiz Bowl team, I guess.

Getting to the more obscure, there are a few teams named the Irish or the Scots (but no English or Welsh, from what I can tell). There’s also at least one legion of Aztecs. This begs the question: why are there no Fighting Italians, Zulus, or Macedonians? And there’s one omission I cannot understand: the Romans. The Romans had the most formidable military for their time maybe in all of history, and a civilization to back it up. Surely they would beat the Trojans, wouldn’t they?

Email from the Committee on Committees

January 16th, 2012

We invite you to indicate your interest in sharing your voice and
expertise by serving on a Senate or other advisory committee…
Please note that you may apply to more than one committee and if an
appropriate position becomes available, you will be contacted by a
member of the Committee on Committees…
By serving on committees, you can make a difference.

On a house for sale listing

November 24th, 2011

You’ll enjoy the Three-Season Sunroom year round!

Someone wants a random luck factor

October 29th, 2011

“Here’s the problem with volleyball: if the other team is better than you, you’re in trouble!”

Sportswriter Patrick Reusse

News item

October 27th, 2011

A bunch of recent law school graduates are angry that they don’t have a job after graduation. What do you suppose they’re doing?

Law schools brought to court over job rates