Friday, May 23, 2008

This obscure cultural reference brought to you by The Price Is Right

Go to, watch the TPIR Million Dollar Spectacular for May 21 (specifically, the first pricing game), and ask yourself: "Does this girl know who Gracie Allen is?"

At least on the night time specials they still read mostly-real prize cues, although that does make the generic ones stand out more ("Enjoy your meal with soup!" -- no mention of Campbell's, etc.) I think it is kind of sad, though, that the daytime shows aren't even forty minutes long after you take out the commercials.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Ceremonial Turning Off of the Alarm Clock

Yesterday was the final installment of the latest go-round of medical math. They have improved significantly ever since they were permitted to use their calculators (nine-point jump from test one to test two, and a sixteen-point jump from test two to test three). They still have test four and a final exam, but I won't be there to watch (I still have to grade them, of course). We can only hope that they will find jobs with tolerant employers who will also allow them to use calculators. I think I convinced them yesterday that "mL/hr" requires dividing milliliters by hours and that "gtt/min" requires dividing drops by minutes; we'll find out.

After I got home, I had a brief ceremony turning off the "Saturday" part of the alarm (those seven-day alarm clocks are great) and then took a nap. Unfortunately, I had a dream involving teaching my nursing students the mathematics of 3D computer graphics. Fortunately, I was awoken by my phone ringing, although I was in no state to actually answer it. (For that matter, I was briefly awoken by the phone ringing this morning, too, but I think I fell asleep again before it finished.) I woke up for good about three-quarters of an hour ago, which means I will be useless on Monday, since I probably won't be able to get to sleep again until at least 4am. Fortunately, I just have a night class Monday.

Impulse purchase: I saw (and bought) a TI nSpire in WalMart the other day, the "handheld for math and science" or some such. TI is still pushing the CBL data collection tool, although this new version also apparently accepts electronic sensors from Vernier, so you can attach a temperature sensor or the like. I need to go through the included CD which contains the manual as well as classroom activities and videos (and that's just the version that you can buy at WalMart; I'm sure TI has additional instructor things on their website). Statistics starts in a week, you know.

You can't win: I recently purchased some Bounce dryer sheets. The instructions are to put a fresh sheet on top of your clothes in the dryer before you start. However, there's a big warning on the side of the box: "avoid direct contact with fabrics".

Historical research: A question I have been pondering recently: Why do root beer companies, and only root beer companies, make vanilla cream soda?