I probably haven’t mentioned it before, but good art is (to me) one of the greatest things since sliced bread. Here are some great takes on the Japanese flag.
Please donate to humanitarian efforts in Japan, North Africa, or anywhere else your help is needed.
Though my school has let my classmates and me out for the season, I’m still recovering from the heavy spinal trauma of carrying several textbooks and other heavy items to and fro during the last few days of classes. The tomes including a 700+ page physics book, a Pre-Calculus text of similar length and with post-it notes protruding at every angle imaginable, and a skinnier but abnormally tall Spanish resource. In addition to several folders, two calculators, a clipboard with papers attached, a reporter’s notepad, and a Rubik’s Cube, I also carried three paperbacks: a class copy of The Kite Runner and my own editions of The Da Vinci Code and Unmasking the Face.
By the end of the school year, the carnage that had taken place within my bag was terrible. The textbooks, being hardcover, weathered the jostling pretty well. I easily marked “Good” or “Same” in the condition space right before my teachers collected them. However, this wasn’t so true for the other books. My calculators sank into the pages of The Kite Runner the day before I had to turn it in, and the pages ended up wrinkled and folded inward. The other two paperbacks were similarly afflicted, as was the notepad. I had recently paid roughly $30 for two books that were now fraying like string.
I’m sure that I’m not the only one who’s faced this issue. Plenty of students carry books in their backpacks, and this damage doesn’t occur exclusively when the bag weighs 30+ pounds–I’ve had the same issue without textbooks in my backpack. As long as a book opens enough to allow things to get lodged into its pages, it happens. To solve this is as simple as creating a small sleeve that’s just tight enough for a paperback book to fit into. Ideally, the sleeve would be adjustable so as to accommodate several different sizes, but the basic idea is to create an envelope for the item so that it doesn’t open. One example of this design is the be.ez notebook sleeve. Of course, zippers might be overkill for a book protector. As long as the case wraps tightly around the item, it should function perfectly.
Questions? Qualms? Ideas? Seen this in action and would like to let me know so that I may live a life less worried? Post any of these below or at the wiki. While you’re at it, don’t forget to rate this post. The buttons are near the top of this post.
In case you don’t know this already, vuvuzelas are those love-them-or-hate-them noisemakers that you hear in the background during broadcasts of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. My guess is that thousands have been sold, and that people who bought them solely for the sake of the event will eventually get bored of them. What happens then? Will they get pitched (har har) into the trash? Recycled? Sold as collector’s items? Or something else entirely?
If you have any questions, suggestions, ideas, or facts about vuvuzelas post-2010, please post them below.
Being a student, I’ve taken my fair share of standardized tests. ACTs, PSATs, SATs, and APs should really be called FAMILIAR2MEs. On many of these, I’ve had to fill out something stating my ethnicity and citizenship. I often leave ethnicity blank, only marking the “US Citizen” bubble. Don’t take that the wrong way–I’m fully capable of indicating where my ancestors were born, but I feel as though ethnicity shouldn’t play a huge role in my life. However, my guess is that a fair share of students may want to respond, but simply don’t know how to until they look it up after the test. For example, walking out of an ACT prep session, I had a Middle Eastern friend ask me what his race was. He wasn’t sure whether he should have marked Asian or White. A similar situation occurred on the 2010 US Census. In essence, the definitions of race on these questions.
Replace the questions about race with an outlined world map that asks something along the lines of “Where do you trace your ancestry to?” Instead of marking that they are black, white, etc., responders can shade the inside of a nation’s borders.
- Except in cases of disputed borders, there’s no ambiguity on the map. This solves almost all of the confusion that confronts analysts.
- This also works in relation to questions that ask not about nationality, but about state/provincial residency. “What state do you live in?” becomes “Please shade the inside of the borders of the state you live in.”
- This approach allows analysts to fine-tune their data much more than a choice of four or five races. It also nearly eliminates the hassle that I imagine there must be in handling the response “Other” for geographic/racial questions.
Just kidding. Some nations are so small (Liechtenstein, anyone?) that they may be difficult for responders to find and for machines to read. Other than that, though, I can’t really think of any major issues besides cost.
I’ve renamed “Check this idea out” to “Cool Idea,” as it’s much easier to remember.
Though I’m fortunate enough to have never dealt with gimme-your-lunch (or gimme-your-lunch-money) bullying, I imagine that it isn’t fun for victims.
This idea, up at Clusterflock, involves putting dark spots on traditional sandwich bags. The food inside looks moldy and therefore unappealing to lunch thieves. It’s probably not something that’ll work in the long run, but something about the idea makes it too cool to not post.
Again, the idea is posted at clusterflock.org. Enjoy.
For ideas that pop into my head and require little clarification, I will likely not use the P-C-P-C format that accompanies most of my posts.
Before reading this, you should probably familiarize yourself with some essential background information. In case you don’t know how Mancala is played, here is a video guide to the method most players are familiar with. Just in case you’re not sure what a pool table looks like, here’s an artist’s representation.
Frankly, I’m not positive as to how exactly this might work. However, if one were to blend the two games together by adding enough pockets to a pool table, great things may happen.
Ideas as to how this might work? Let us all know in the comments. Alternatively, I’ve set up a wikia site where readers can discuss ideas and propose their own solutions to problems. The first official page corresponds to this, and the URL is wikideas.wikia.com/wiki/Combining_a_Pool_Table_with_Mancala. Check it out, and post any suggestions there.