Thursday, June 24, 2010

Another kind of hiatus, for real

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you will recover your life. I will show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me -- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep company with me and you will learn to live freely and lightly.
~ Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

So.

If you are a subscriber to the RSS feed for this blog, you know a little more detail about this than if you are not. When I published-and-then-immediately-deleted a blog post yesterday, the RSS feed picked it up and held on tight. But I think I'm content just to let it go and not dwell on the reasons behind my decision to take a two-month hiatus from church, choosing instead to focus on reconnecting with God and with Jesus and with me during that time.

Anyway, this scripture passage found its way to me via this post on something called The Bluevine Collective, a new initiative of St. Luke's United Methodist Church and its satellite church, The Garden. In his post, Rev. Stan Abell says "Theologian Paull Tillich would say we have confused our ultimate concern (God) with primary concerns (house, car, work, superfluous busyness). Houses, cars, and work have become our religion with which we really are burned out." But I know, for me, it's the institution of religion -- and its expression through human hands, voices, and judgments -- that I'm really burned out on.

My imperfection and your imperfection get in the way of my relationship with God and with Jesus Christ. There isn't really a greater concentration of imperfection within the church, but because of the number and nature of my church-based relationships, the imperfections are more obvious and more obstructive to me right now.

So I'm taking some time off: just July and August -- not that much time, really, but enough time to step out of the routine of the superfluous busyness and to reconnect in relationship with the Guy I follow and the One so many of us call Father.

Each morning for the next couple months, I'll review the scripture above. It's a great reminder that my time off shouldn't be wasted -- in fact, these two months may be fuller of spiritual growth than the last five years! There's lots to do; a lot of verbs in that passage: Get away. Recover. Rest. Walk. Work. Watch. Learn. Keep company.

Here's to living freely and lightly!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

GAME SHOW HIATUS!

Hey, y'all!

Just wanted to update you -- I've found myself swamped with a bunch of stuff to do, so I'm taking a brief hiatus from the games. We'll be back with a new Song! Challenge! on Saturday, June 26 Saturday, July 3.

See you then!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"The Curse" by Josh Ritter

If you like mummies and love stories and the music of Josh Ritter and the puppetry of Liam Hurley, this is your favorite video in the whole world.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Song! Challenge! #16: With An Attitude

Sometimes, we experience feelings that are not exactly happy, content, or glad. Sometimes, we get angry. During an especially frustrating episode this week, the theme for this week's Song! Challenge! occurred to me. Ironically, it made me laugh so hard and for so long that I was no longer angry.

Assuming you have a passing familiarity with popular music of the last five decades and a passing familiarity with Google, this Song! Challenge! will be far easier than average -- except for MAYBE the first clip. I've taken lyrics from 20 well-known songs and read them as if I was extremely angry. How many can you identify?

Your task is to identify all 20 clips -- TITLE OF SONG AND ARTIST -- in this week's Challenge!. Some extra information for this week's game:
  • There's one TV theme song in this week's Challenge!. (Of course. Well, kind of "of course" -- I'd gotten away from including theme songs, but I'm back, baby!) In the case of the theme song, all you have to provide is "Theme to [NAME OF SHOW]."
  • This week, the numbers between the clips are here to stay! I think they might even make you laugh, too.
  • Each clip will be worth 2 points, and there will be partial credit. If you get the title but not the artist, or vice versa, I'll give you one point; get 'em both for 2 points. 19 clips x 2 points = 38 points + 1 clip x 1 point (the TV theme song) = 39 possible points.
  • Seems to be working well for me to hold all entries until the deadline. I'll wait to post entries until after the 7pm EDT Tuesday deadline.

The Rules

Your job is to enter your song guesses for all 20 clips (TITLE OF SONG AND ARTIST FOR EACH CLIP) as a single comment here on the blog. Standard rules apply (Judge's decision final, have fun, blah blah blah). Again, I'll be counting minor misspellings and other tiny inaccuracies as correct, as long as you're mostly right.

You can submit your comment-entry starting at 7:00pm EDT tonight, but I won't be approving any comments until after the Tuesday evening deadline. No help from other entries this time around. The deadline for all entries is Tuesday evening at 7:00pm EDT.

You may enter as often as you like -- but each comment/entry will be counted independent of your other entries; so if you get a question right in one entry but wrong in another, it only counts as correct in the one you got it right in. (Got that?) If you're reading this on Facebook, go to the blog: http://sssemester.blogspot.com to hear the quiz and enter your comment/entry. And trust me, if you're reading this on Facebook, you're gonna want to hear this one.


The Grand Prize

The first person to correctly identify all the clips in a single entry -- or the person with the most points by 7:00PM EDT ON TUESDAY, JUNE 15 -- will win anything from the DonorPoint.org Rewards Store, up to 450 points. You want four recyclable tote bags? DONE! You want an emergency crank flashlight? DONE! You want an Indiana Blood Center baseball cap AND a t-shirt? DONE. Pick one of those examples or use my 450 points however you like.

And hey! If you're cool and would like to participate as a prize sponsor by donating a prize valued at $10 or more, please e-mail me at SSSemester(at)yahoo(dot)com.


(Almost) Everybody "Wins"

The target number for this week's (Almost) Everybody "Wins" is 36. You'll need to get at least 36 points in order to get the (Almost) Everybody "Wins" prize.

This week's (Almost) Everybody "Wins" prize is a link to my formspring.me page where you can ask me anything and I promise to answer. Make sure to leave your e-mail address in the body of your comment/entry so I can e-mail you. (If you're worried about spambots, use the format "user(at)domain(dot)whatever" like I did above, and we should be fine. Nobody reads this blog anyway -- not even spambots.)


Readysetgo by clicking the player below:






Pop Culture Math! #2: You must show your work. - RESULTS

On Thursday, we continued the blog game that's sweeping the nation*: POP CULTURE MATH! Did you play? Did you win?! (*Not really, of course. But! I actually have an idea for a way to scale POP CULTURE MATH into a live-action game show called STARITHMETIC. Workshopping it now, will let you know when I'm ready for action.)

Anyway.

Just like last week, there was no agreement on the answer. Only three people played this week, but all three had different answers. And there can only be one winner: the FIRST one with the CORRECT answer. This time around, I asked you to show your work, and it is, therefore, easier to figure out where the different mistakes came in.

As I said, it turns out this second one was also pretty tricky...even tougher than the first one. Here's my read on it:

Phillip Drummond just built a new luxury apartment building. And he needs help selling the apartments.

The building has a number of floors equal to the number of children Steven and Elyse Keaton have, multiplied by the number of children Howard and Marion Cunningham have, multiplied by the number of children Ward and June Cleaver have.

4 Keatons (Alex, Mallory, Jennifer, Andrew) x 3 Cunninghams (Chuck, Richie, Joanie) x 2 Cleavers (Wally, the Beav) = 24 floors

Each floor has a number of apartments equal to Peyton Manning's jersey number minus the number of erogenous zones Monica Geller once mapped out for Chandler Bing.

Peyton Manning = #18, minus 7 erogenous zones = 11 apartments per floor

Therefore, 24 floors x 11 apartments per floor = 264 apartments

To help sell the apartments, Donald Trump lends Mr. Drummond his former Celebrity Apprentice winners.

Celebrity Apprentice winners = Piers Morgan, Joan Rivers, Bret Michaels

Drummond divides all the apartments in his building equally among the Celebrity Apprentice winners, for them to sell.

264 apartments / 3 Celebrity Apprentice winners = 88 apartments for each to sell

He promises them that whoever sells all their apartments first will earn a commission, while the others will earn nothing. The commission is equal to the number of apartments the winner sells, multiplied by the number of Grammy Awards Bobby McFerrin has won, multiplied by the total amount wagered by Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer in the Seinfeld episode, "The Contest."

Commission = 88 apartments x 10 Bobby McFerrin Grammys x $450 in the wager = $396,000

The one whose last name comes last alphabetically sold all of his or her apartments first.

Joan Rivers's last name comes last alphabetically.

Who sold all their apartments first, how many apartments did they sell, and how much was their total commission?

Joan Rivers sold all 88 of her apartments first, earning a commission of $396,000.

In a strange turn of events, same as last week, it turns out the first person to respond -- this time, Carol Lee -- was the only person to get the correct answer. Looks like the challenge this week was to remember Chuck Cunningham early in the "Happy Days" series and/or Andy Keaton toward the end of "Family Ties." Again, no prize this time around, but well played, Carol Lee!

Thanks, everyone, for playing! Be sure to check out another new Song! Challenge tonight. It'll go live here on the blog Saturday night at 7:00pm EDT!

See you then -- and in the meantime, keep figuring it out!*
*Still seeking the right tagline. Suggestions?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pop Culture Math! #2: You must show your work.

Hi! This is the second full week of new games here on ye olde blogge. What say you?

The name of the game is POP CULTURE MATH. Take the fun of reminiscing about the TV shows, movies, hit songs, and games you loved growing up, and add it to the non-stop excitement of story problems, and you've got POP CULTURE MATH.

This week's story problem is, I think, of average difficulty.

How To Play
  1. Solve the word problem.
  2. YOU MUST SHOW YOUR WORK. (At least numbers, like 288 - 36 + 6 - 36 - 6 - 99 - 93 = 24.)
  3. Once you've figured out the solution, submit your answer to the questions at the end -- including showing your work -- as a comment here on the blog.
  4. Standard rules apply: Judge's decision final, have fun, blah blah blah. In this case, however, my leniency as a judge will not apply. The answer must be correct in POP CULTURE MATH.
  5. I'll accept comment-entries until Friday, June 11, at 7:00 p.m. The first person to enter the correct answer, wins! You can submit your comment-entry starting at 7:00pm EDT tonight, but I'll wait until after the deadline to approve/post any comments.

You may enter as often as you like -- like, if you're not exactly sure of the answer -- but each comment/entry will be counted independent of your other entries; so if you get the answer right in one entry but wrong in another, it only counts as correct in the one you got it right in. (Got that?) If you're reading this on Facebook, go to the blog: http://sssemester.blogspot.com to play the game and enter your comment/entry. Only entries on the blog count!


OK, here we go:
Phillip Drummond just built a new luxury apartment building. And he needs help selling the apartments.

The building has a number of floors equal to the number of children Steven and Elyse Keaton have, multiplied by the number of children Howard and Marion Cunningham have, multiplied by the number of children Ward and June Cleaver have. Each floor has a number of apartments equal to Peyton Manning's jersey number minus the number of erogenous zones Monica Geller once mapped out for Chandler Bing.

To help sell the apartments, Donald Trump lends Mr. Drummond his former Celebrity Apprentice winners. Drummond divides all the apartments in his building equally among the Celebrity Apprentice winners, for them to sell. He promises them that whoever sells all their apartments first will earn a commission, while the others will earn nothing. The commission is equal to the number of apartments the winner sells, multiplied by the number of Grammy Awards Bobby McFerrin has won, multiplied by the total amount wagered by Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer in the Seinfeld episode, "The Contest."

The one whose last name comes last alphabetically sold all of his or her apartments first.

Who sold all their apartments first, how many apartments did they sell, and how much was their total commission?


The Grand Prize -- Normally there will be one, I think.

This is only the second week of POP CULTURE MATH. If I get feedback that this is kind of fun, and I decide to do it on a weekly basis* like the Song! Challenge!, then I'll start giving out prizes. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments section -- like, if this is fun or not. I figure it's something to do for the people who aren't into music but who want to play along.

And hey! If you'd like to participate as a prize sponsor by donating a prize valued at $10 or more, please e-mail me at SSSemester(at)yahoo(dot)com.


(Almost) Everybody "Wins"

Again, if this takes off, maybe I'll also have an (Almost) Everybody "Wins" prize, too.


* It's looking like the following schedule will be my plan for a while:
Sunday: MicroscoPICS
Tuesday: Parts of Speech
Thursday: Pop Culture Math
Saturday: Song! Challenge!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Finding a happy place

OK, here's a palate cleanser for us. Frustration vented, and now back to some fun and games.

COME ON

I wouldn't say I'm angry, but it would be fair to characterize me as frustrated.

You can't not say what you don't mean and not expect me not to misunderstand what you're not saying.

Song! Challenge! #15: There Are No Words - RESULTS

Song! Challenge! remains the flagship game here on ye olde blogge, but I'm wondering how long that will last as the other games take hold. Thanks for playing last week's game. Here are the standings, 20 points possible:


  • Dave and Lisa: 9 out of 20
  • Amanda and Ryan M: 10 out of 20
  • Michelle and Team HCTM: 11 out of 20
  • Ryan R: 12 out of 20
  • Brooke and friends: 17 out of 20
  • Amy Bridges: 18 out of 20

Congrats to Amy Bridges, song identifier extraordinaire! Although she's back and forth between Indiana and Michigan this summer, I'm sure I'll manage to hand off that $10 iTunes gift card at some point. Thanks again to Amanda M. for sponsoring this week's contest!

Here are the answers from last week's quiz:

  1. Friends
  2. The Muppet Movie (The Magic Store, leading up to the finale)
  3. Far and Away
  4. Aladdin
  5. Will & Grace
  6. Mambo Kings
  7. Grease
  8. Slumdog Millionaire
  9. Perry Mason
  10. Phantom of the Opera
  11. For Your Eyes Only
  12. The Lion King
  13. Magnum, P.I.
  14. The Bodyguard
  15. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, OR Degrassi: The Next Generation, OR The Hills
  16. The Rockford Files
  17. Funny Girl
  18. Moulin Rouge
  19. Hercules
  20. Cagney & Lacey

Tune in later tonight for the results of last night's PARTS OF SPEECH, and tune in tomorrow night at 7:00pm EDT for a little POP CULTURE MATH!

And don't forget to tune in Saturday night at 7:00pm EDT for another chance at a Song! Challenge! and a fantastic prize! And, for serious, you are not going to want to miss this Song! Challenge! for two reasons: 1) if you know how to use Google, the Challenge! will take at most a minute and a half, and 2) I think it's hilarious.

Oh! And if you beat the (Almost) Everybody "Wins" number of 12 points, then I'll have your prize for you soon -- whatever it turns out to be! Make sure I know your e-mail address and/or make sure we're friends on Facebook!
As a reminder, here's the game schedule on this here blog:
  • Sundays at 7:00pm: MicroscoPICS
  • Tuesdays at 7:00pm: Parts of Speech
  • Thursdays at 7:00pm: Pop Culture Math
  • Saturdays at 7:00pm: Song! Challenge!
Check back often -- and WIN!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Parts of Speech #2: With an Accent

Greetings! And welcome to Week 2 of PARTS OF SPEECH, where I take a famous speech from history, chunk it up and mix it around, and then you have to figure out who gave the speech, where they gave it, and the date they gave it.

Last week's pilot episode was supereasy; this week's might actually require some research. The challenge comes from being the first one to tune in at the right time and being the first to enter your guess -- and tracking down the other information about the speech, too.

The Rules

Enter your guess for the identity of the clip (SPEAKER, LOCATION, AND DATE) as a comment here on the blog. Standard rules apply (Judge's decision final, have fun, blah blah blah). I'll count minor misspellings as correct (as long as you're mostly right), but the date must be exact. Location should include at least city and state/country; if you'd like to be more specific, feel free.

I'll accept comment-entries until Wednesday, June 9, at 7:00 p.m. The first person to enter the correct speaker, location, and date of speech, wins! You can submit your comment-entry starting at 7:00pm EDT tonight, but I'll wait until after the deadline to approve/post any comments.

You may enter as often as you like -- like, if it's between two speakers or two dates or whatever -- but each comment/entry will be counted independent of your other entries; so if you get the speaker right in one entry but wrong in another, it only counts as correct in the one you got it right in. (Got that?) If you're reading this on Facebook, go to the blog: http://sssemester.blogspot.com to hear the quiz and enter your comment/entry.

The Grand Prize -- Normally there will be one, I think.

This is only the second week of this particular game. If I get more feedback that this is kind of fun, and I decide to do it on a weekly basis like the Song! Challenge!, then I'll start giving out prizes. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments section -- like, if this is fun or not. I figure it's something to do for the people who aren't into music but who want to play along.

And hey! If you'd like to participate as a prize sponsor by donating a prize valued at $10 or more, please e-mail me at SSSemester(at)yahoo(dot)com.


(Almost) Everybody "Wins"

Again, if this takes off, maybe I'll also have an (Almost) Everybody "Wins" prize, too.


Readysetgo by clicking the player below:









* It's looking like the following schedule will be my plan for a while:
Sunday: MicroscoPICS
Tuesday: Parts of Speech
Thursday: Pop Culture Math
Saturday: Song! Challenge!




Another New Blog Game: MicroscoPICS - RESULTS

Last night, we debuted another new blog game: MicroscoPICS! Did you play? What did you think?

A handful of you played, and almost all of you thought it was pretty easy. Here are the answers...click the image to see the full pic.



1. La persistencia de la memoria (The Persistence of Memory) by Salvador DalĂ­







2. La Gioconda (The Mona Lisa) by Leonardo da Vinci







3. David by Michelangelo







Turns out Amanda M. -- winner of Pop Culture Math! last week -- was quickest on the draw with the correct answer. Congratulations again, Amanda! I mean, no prize this time around, but well played!

Thanks, everyone, for playing! Be sure to check out another game here tomorrow night. It'll go live here on the blog at 7:00pm EDT!*

See you then -- and in the meantime, keep figuring it out!**
* It's looking like the following schedule will be my plan for a while:
Sunday: MicroscoPICS
Tuesday: Parts of Speech
Thursday: Pop Culture Math
Saturday: Song! Challenge!
** I'm pretty sure that's not the tagline for me. So if you have any ideas, now would be a good time to share them!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Another New Blog Game: MicroscoPICS

The quest continues to figure out which games to include in a weekly game series to test your smarts, your guts, your eyes, and your ears.

The latest entrant into the game show extravaganza is called MicroscoPICS. I'll take recognizable images and give you a small (100 x 100 pixels) swatch of the image for you to identify.

Let's see how it goes!


The Rules

Enter your guess for the identity of the works of art that the three close-ups below are taken from (NAME OF WORK AND ARTIST) as a comment here on the blog. Standard rules apply: judge's decision final, have fun, blah blah blah. I'll count minor misspellings as correct (as long as you're mostly right), but the name of the work and artist must be there.

I'll accept comment-entries until Monday, June 7, at 7:00 p.m. The first person to enter the correct NAME OF WORK AND ARTIST for each of the three images below, wins! You can submit your comment-entry starting at 8:00pm EDT tonight, but I'll wait until after the deadline to approve/post any comments.

You may enter as often as you like -- like, if it's between two titles or two artists or whatever -- but each comment/entry will be counted independent of your other entries; so if you get the artist right in one entry but wrong in another, it only counts as correct in the one you got it right in. (Got that?) If you're reading this on Facebook, go to the blog: http://sssemester.blogspot.com to hear the quiz and enter your comment/entry. Only comments on the ol' blog count!

The Grand Prize -- Normally there will be one, I think.

If I get feedback that this is kind of fun, and I decide to do it on a weekly basis like the Song! Challenge!, then I'll start giving out prizes. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments section -- like, if this is fun or not. I figure it's something to do for the people who aren't into music but who want to play along.

And hey! If you'd like to participate as a prize sponsor by donating a prize valued at $10 or more, please e-mail me at SSSemester(at)yahoo(dot)com.


(Almost) Everybody "Wins"

Again, if this takes off, maybe I'll also have an (Almost) Everybody "Wins" prize, too.

OK, Here Are The Images:

1.








2.








3.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Song! Challenge! #15: There Are No Words

We use words to convey messages to one another, but sometimes there are things that even words cannot convey.

In this week's game -- which I am rating slightly more difficult than average -- I've taken word-less music clips from TV, movies, and other shows and presented them in almost 4 minutes' worth of 20 clips. How many can you identify?

Your task is to identify all 20 clips -- ONLY THE NAME OF THE TV SHOW, MOVIE, OR MUSICAL -- in this week's Challenge!. Some extra information for this week's game:
  • This week, the numbers between the clips are back! I think they might even make you laugh.
  • Songs in this week's Challenge! -- or other songs from the TV show, movie, or musical may have appeared in previous Challenge!s.
  • Each clip will be worth 1 point, and there will be NO PARTIAL CREDIT. You just need to provide the name of the TV show, movie, or musical to get the point. 20 clips = 20 possible points.
  • Seems to be working well for me to hold all entries until the deadline. I'll wait to post entries until after the 7pm EDT Tuesday deadline.

The Rules

Your job is to enter your song guesses for all 20 clips (TITLE OF THE TV SHOW, MOVIE, OR MUSICAL FOR EACH) as a single comment here on the blog. Standard rules apply (Judge's decision final, have fun, blah blah blah). Again, I'll be counting minor misspellings and other tiny inaccuracies as correct, as long as you're mostly right.

You can submit your comment-entry starting at 7:00pm EDT tonight, but I won't be approving any comments until after the Tuesday evening deadline. No help from other entries this time around. The deadline for all entries is Tuesday evening at 7:00pm EDT.

You may enter as often as you like -- but each comment/entry will be counted independent of your other entries; so if you get a question right in one entry but wrong in another, it only counts as correct in the one you got it right in. (Got that?) If you're reading this on Facebook, go to the blog: http://sssemester.blogspot.com to hear the quiz and enter your comment/entry.


The Grand Prize

The first person to identify all the TV shows, movies, and musicals correct in a single entry -- or the person with the most points by 7:00PM EDT ON TUESDAY, JUNE 8 -- will win a $10 iTunes gift card, sponsored this week by Song! Challenge! friend Amanda.

And hey! If you're cool and would like to participate as a prize sponsor by donating a prize valued at $10 or more, please e-mail me at SSSemester(at)yahoo(dot)com.


(Almost) Everybody "Wins"

The target number for this week's (Almost) Everybody "Wins" is 12. You'll need to get at least 12 points in order to get the (Almost) Everybody "Wins" prize.

This week's (Almost) Everybody "Wins" prize is a surprise...because I haven't really figured out what it is yet. But there'll be something. Make sure to leave your e-mail address in the body of your comment/entry so I can e-mail you. (If you're worried about spambots, use the format "user(at)domain(dot)whatever" like I did above, and we should be fine. Nobody reads this blog anyway -- not even spambots.)


Readysetgo by clicking the player below:







Friday, June 04, 2010

Pop Culture Math! Another New Blog Game! (?) - RESULTS

Last night, we debuted another new blog game: POP CULTURE MATH! Did you play? Did you win?!

Well, apparently, many of you played -- and almost all of you came up with a different answer: 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, and 28 -- six answers among seven unique entrants. But there can only be one winner -- I think? In this case, I'm willing to allow that either my math is wrong or my facts are wrong. I didn't ask you to show your work -- maybe I should have.

So, it turns out this first one was pretty tricky. Here's my read on it:

Mrs. Garrett baked two gross of her famous Cream Cheese Streusel Doodlebops at Edna's Edibles. (A gross is 144.)

2 x 144 = 288 to start

Ed Rooney bought four doodlebops for each day Ferris Bueller had been absent this semester (Niiiiine tiiiiimes), but then returned three for each of Ferris's absences actually reflected in the school's computer system after Ferris hacked it (Two times).

= 288 - (4 x 9) + (3 x 2) = 288 - 36 + 6 = 258

Carol Brady bought six doodlebops for each of her children and stepchildren older than Cousin Oliver (They all six were). Then she bought some more: two for each son-in-law or daughter-in-law she had in "A Very Brady Christmas." (Three: Greg, Marcia, and Jan were married in AVBC. Peter asked his girlfriend/boss Valerie to marry him at the Christmas dinner table, but Valerie does not count as a daughter-in-law in the continuity of the Very Brady Christmas universe.)

= 258 - (6 x 6) - (2 x 3) = 258 - 36 - 6 = 216

Nena bought one doodlebop to attach to each luftballoon in her song. (99 Luftballoons)

= 216 - 99 = 117

And Andrea Zuckerman bought a number of doodlebops equal to the last two digits of the year she and the gang graduated from West Beverly High School. (West Beverly Class of 1993)

= 117 - 93 = 24

So, how many doodlebops did Edna have left at the end of the day? 24*
* Because there were so many different answers, I'm willing to entertain the possibility that the question was open to interpretation and/or that my math is wrong. If so, please show your work and provide documentation as appropriate. (I'm serious. If this is going to be an ongoing thing -- and I hope it is -- then I need your feedback!)

Turns out the first person to respond last night -- Amanda M. -- was the only person to get the correct answer. (Or, at least, was the only person to get my answer. Again, my answer might be incorrect, and I'll be glad to hear your appeal. This one time, the judge's decision may not be final. Since there's no prize on the line, let me hear it!) Congratulations, Amanda! I mean, no prize this time around, but well played!

Thanks, everyone, for playing! Be sure to check out another new Song! Challenge tomorrow night. It'll go live here on the blog Saturday night at 7:00pm EDT!

See you then -- and in the meantime, keep figuring it out!*
*Yes? No? Any ideas for other taglines?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Pop Culture Math! Another New Blog Game! (?)

Hi! Tuesday night, I debuted a new blog game: PARTS OF SPEECH. What did you think? People seemed to enjoy it. Inspired by the fun and merriment, I'm trying another new one. This one will probably take longer than Tuesday's.

But I need your help again tonight, in two ways:
  • Way the First: Play the game below.
  • Way the Second: Let me know what you think.
Like I said Tuesday, I'm considering implementing a multi-game approach to the blog, with up to 5 different games a week -- maybe even spinning it off into its own website. But before we get that grandiose, I'd like to know what you think of this one game. So, take a look -- and play along -- and let me know what you think!



Inspired by this and, one supposes, subliminally by this, the name of tonight's game is POP CULTURE MATH.

Take the fun of reminiscing about the TV shows, movies, hit songs, and games you loved growing up, and add it to the non-stop excitement of story problems, and you've got POP CULTURE MATH.

This first one is, I think, of average difficulty. Unless you're, you know, Barbie.

How To Play
  1. Solve the word problem.
  2. Once you've figured out the solution, submit your answer to the question at the end as a comment here on the blog.
  3. Standard rules apply: Judge's decision final, have fun, blah blah blah. In this case, however, my leniency as a judge will not apply. The answer must be correct in POP CULTURE MATH.
I'll accept comment-entries until Friday, June 4, at 7:00 p.m. The first person to enter the correct answer, wins! You can submit your comment-entry starting at 7:00pm EDT tonight, but I'll wait until after the deadline to approve/post any comments.

You may enter as often as you like -- like, if you're not exactly sure of the answer -- but each comment/entry will be counted independent of your other entries; so if you get the answer right in one entry but wrong in another, it only counts as correct in the one you got it right in. (Got that?) If you're reading this on Facebook, go to the blog: http://sssemester.blogspot.com to play the game and enter your comment/entry.


OK, here we go:
Mrs. Garrett baked two gross of her famous Cream Cheese Streusel Doodlebops at Edna's Edibles.

Ed Rooney bought four doodlebops for each day Ferris Bueller had been absent this semester, but then returned three for each of Ferris's absences actually reflected in the school's computer system after Ferris hacked it.

Carol Brady bought six doodlebops for each of her children and stepchildren older than Cousin Oliver. Then she bought some more: two for each son-in-law or daughter-in-law she had in "A Very Brady Christmas."

Nena bought one doodlebop to attach to each luftballoon in her song.

And Andrea Zuckerman bought a number of doodlebops equal to the last two digits of the year she and the gang graduated from West Beverly High School.

How many doodlebops did Edna have left at the end of the day?


The Grand Prize -- Normally there will be one, I think.

Just like with PARTS OF SPEECH on Tuesday, if I get feedback that this is kind of fun, and I decide to do it on a weekly basis like the Song! Challenge!, then I'll start giving out prizes. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments section -- like, if this is fun or not. I figure it's something to do for the people who aren't into music but who want to play along.

And hey! If you'd like to participate as a prize sponsor by donating a prize valued at $10 or more, please e-mail me at SSSemester(at)yahoo(dot)com.


(Almost) Everybody "Wins"

Again, if this takes off, maybe I'll also have an (Almost) Everybody "Wins" prize, too.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Parts of Speech - A New Blog Game! (?) - RESULTS!

Last night, we debuted a new blog game: PARTS OF SPEECH! Did you play? Did you win?!

Well, apparently, many of you played -- but there can only be one winner! Some of you actually read the instructions and others did not, but it seems like most had a kinda fun to fun time, so we'll be continuing this in the future.

This first one was pretty easy. But for the record:
  • The speaker was Lou Gehrig, on the occasion of his farewell to baseball. (And PS -- I'd never listened to the speech before, so I had never heard the heartbreaking pause between "And I might have..." and "...been given a bad break." Wow.)
  • The date was July 4, 1939.
  • The location was Bronx (New York City), New York, USA. (Many of you got more specific and said Yankee Stadium or, surprisingly, the exact longitude and latitude of Yankee Stadium: 40°49' 37'' N 73°55' 41'' W.)
Of course, some of you didn't include a location. Or the location you included didn't contain what was specifically requested: City and State/Country. Therefore, although there were four entries before hers, including the aforementioned longitude/latitude one, the judges have declared Carol Lee to be the winner of the first PARTS OF SPEECH! (Sadly, Carol Lee, there is no prize this time around. Maybe next time!)

Thanks, everyone, for playing! Be sure to check out another new game tonight. It'll be a lot more involved, but I think you'll find it fun, as well. It'll go live here on the blog tonight at 7:00pm EDT!

See you then -- and in the meantime, keep figuring it out!*
*If I'm going to keep doing these puzzles, I'll need a fun sign-off. I'm not sure "...in the meantime, keep figuring it out!" is it, but ya gotta start somewhere, right? If you have any suggestions, drop 'em in the comments here. Thanks again!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Parts of Speech - A New Blog Game! (?)

Hello, dear readers. It is a joy, as always, to welcome you (both of you!) to ye olde blogge. I need your help tonight, in two ways:
  • Way the First: Play the game below.
  • Way the Second: Let me know what you think.
I'm considering implementing a multi-game approach to the blog, with up to 5 different games a week -- maybe even spinning it off into its own website. But before we get that grandiose, I'd like to know what you think of this one game. So, take a look -- and a listen -- and let me know!



The name of the game is PARTS OF SPEECH.

The gist is this -- I take a famous speech from history, chunk it up and mix it around, and then you have to figure out who gave the speech, where they gave it, and the date they gave it.

This pilot episode is, I think, easier than average. The challenge comes from being the first one to tune in at the right time and being the first to enter your guess -- and tracking down the other information about the speech, too, I guess.


The Rules

Enter your guess for the identity of the clip (SPEAKER, LOCATION, AND DATE) as a comment here on the blog. Standard rules apply (Judge's decision final, have fun, blah blah blah). I'll count minor misspellings as correct (as long as you're mostly right), but the date must be exact. Location should include at least city and state/country; if you'd like to be more specific, feel free.

I'll accept comment-entries until Wednesday, June 2, at 8:00 a.m. The first person to enter the correct speaker, location, and date of speech, wins! You can submit your comment-entry starting at 8:00pm EDT tonight, but I'll wait until after the deadline to approve/post any comments.

You may enter as often as you like -- like, if it's between two speakers or two dates or whatever -- but each comment/entry will be counted independent of your other entries; so if you get the speaker right in one entry but wrong in another, it only counts as correct in the one you got it right in. (Got that?) If you're reading this on Facebook, go to the blog: http://sssemester.blogspot.com to hear the quiz and enter your comment/entry.

The Grand Prize -- Normally there will be one, I think.

If I get feedback that this is kind of fun, and I decide to do it on a weekly basis like the Song! Challenge!, then I'll start giving out prizes. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments section -- like, if this is fun or not. I figure it's something to do for the people who aren't into music but who want to play along.

And hey! If you'd like to participate as a prize sponsor by donating a prize valued at $10 or more, please e-mail me at SSSemester(at)yahoo(dot)com.


(Almost) Everybody "Wins"

Again, if this takes off, maybe I'll also have an (Almost) Everybody "Wins" prize, too.


Readysetgo by clicking the player below:






Song! Challenge! #14: Hi & Bye - RESULTS

This week's Song! Challenge! seemed to be MUCH easier than I had anticipated. I suppose after so many of you knew "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" a couple weeks ago, it wasn't a stretch that you'd be able to identify everyone from the Carpenters to the Runaways to the 'Hoff himself. (Although I imagine at least a couple entrants availed themselves of the Here Come The Mummies forum...I'll be removing that option in future Song! Challenge!s, unless Team HCTM decides to go stealth in some way.)

Without any further ado, here are the final and unimpeachable standings from last week. Remember, partial credit was available -- 2 points per clip, for a total possible score of 28 points.

  • Brooke & Linda - 21 points
  • Sacha - 24 points
  • Dave & Lisa - 26 points
  • Amy - 28 points third
  • Amanda & Ryan - 28 points second
  • Michelle - 28 points first
Congrats to Michelle and Team HCTM for their tireless work (and MULTIPLE entries)! I'll make sure to connect you and Amy Gunn Photography ASAP for your photo shoot and great new business card image!

Anyway, here are the answers from last week's quiz:
  1. Hello, It's Me - Todd Rundgren
  2. (Na Na Hey Hey) Kiss Him Goodbye - The Nylons
  3. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
  4. Say Goodbye to Hollywood - Billy Joel
  5. Hello Goodbye - The Beatles
  6. Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
  7. Hello, I Love You - The Doors
  8. It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday - Boyz II Men
  9. Hello Again - Neil Diamond
  10. Goodbye To Love - The Carpenters
  11. Cherry Bomb - Joan Jett / The Runaways
  12. Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye - David Hasselhoff
  13. Hello - Lionel Richie
  14. Every Time We Say Goodbye - Ella Fitzgerald
Don't forget to tune in Saturday night at 7pm EDT for another chance at a Song! Challenge! and a fantastic prize!

Oh! And if you beat the (Almost) Everybody "Wins" number of 14 points, then I'll have your prize for you soon -- make sure I know your e-mail address and/or make sure we're friends on Facebook!