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Showing posts from January, 2011

State of the Donut

Dear Members and Constituents,
As I listened to the state of the union address this week and tried to chew on the quick barrage of media bites, one got stuck between my teeth. “We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.” There appears to be a deliberate asymmetry about this statement which feels off. All three actions start with the word “out”, but only two of them have three syllables and rhyme. Out-fabricate would have met these criteria for the third, but I presume it was ruled-out as too cutesy. Out-make does not have the three syllable word, it adds an imperfect rhyming sound, but I presume it’s not macho enough. I suppose “build” has such a different sound that the abrupt end to this string of words makes it less ignorable. I have paid no attention to the follow-up press coverage so I’m not sure whether the sound bite lived-up to it’s ultimate intent (to be eaten-up by the media). Another thought that crossed my mind was to wonder how Friday Donut …

A Rainbow of Donuts Before You

Dear Members and Constituents,
Have you ever noticed when you hold your index finger and thumb at a specific distance from your eye and “grab” the edges of any rainbow, the distance between the index and thumb are always the same? It does not matter whether the rainbow is caused by the water drops coming from a thunderstorm miles away or a garden hose in front of you, the diameter of that rainbow will never change. In other words, all rainbows are the same size (supernumerary rainbows, of course, are bigger -but they too are all the same size as each other). Try it sometime, it’s true! I discovered this fact this week and, as should be expected of anyone making a great contribution to science, I was very pleased with myself. Of course, my self-satisfaction in this discovery was rather short-lived. As I explored this notion further (Google), it turns out Rene Descartes had made essentially the same observation some 374 years before me. So much for fortune and fame.

The reason all rainbow…

Migratory Donuts

Dear Members and Constituents,
Has it ever occurred to you that air travel is similar to salmon migration? Both traveler and salmon are determined to reach their destination. Neither is deterred by dangers and obstacles in their path. Bears, osprey, dams, security checkpoints, customs agents and the possibility of a 10,000 foot drop are no match for the will to arrive. Once the journey has started, nothing matters more than completion. Fortunately, the parallel usually breaks down at the spawning and (more importantly) the death part.

This morning, Sara Baack (donut girl) made the journey from South Florida to deliver four dozen donuts. They may be a little late (traffic lights and other unmentionable perils prevented an earlier delivery) but they’re here now. So, embark on a journey of your own. Overcome whatever obstacles may lay in your path. At my desk you will find the sweet reward.

Happy Friday!

They're Donalicious

Dear Members and Constituents,
I must admit it’s fun to watch language evolve (or devolve, depending on your stance). New words are coined by the media to hype events (birdpocalypse, fishpocalypse); politicians to slant debate (obamacare, carterization); technologists to describe new activities (to tweet, to google) or youth, for no apparent reason (bromance, chillax, shawdy). While some of these words may stick around for a long time, others will likely fall into disuse and fade away from our collective memories. Generations from now, the passages of high brow literature may include phrases such as “given this relationship as frienemies it was natural for Laquisha not to overthink her recent defriending by Romela…” or something to that effect. Language change is a byproduct of the changing habits and preferences of its users. If language were frozen in time, we’d need to struggle with Shakespeare’s language to describe eating a burrito while carpooling to the high-rise building where …