Blue Screen of Death

You’ve heard of Blue Screens of Death, right? Some people call them BSoDs. They tend to be scary, frustrating, and confusing all at the same time.

You’ve been working on a paper or project (or maybe just playing a game) for hours, and suddenly your computer freezes and up comes this huge blue screen with a completely useless error message on it like “Windows has encountered a critical error and will be shut down.” A few seconds later, the whole system grinds to a halt and blinks off.

Ever wonder why the screen is blue? It’s just text, right? No graphics. Kind of like DOS. But DOS was a black screen with white text.

Why aren’t these error messages black and white, too?

I found out today. This is great. Are you ready for this?

It turns out that, long ago, the folks at Microsoft studied psychology and found out that blue is a calming color. Get it? Ever since that day, those “critical errors” have been calming experiences.

I imagine that future versions will come with a computerized voice:

“Hello. This is just a friendly announcement that you’ve lost the last 4 hours of your work. Hopefully your computer hasn’t suffered permenant damage, but if so, computers are on sale this week for $499 at Wal-Mart. Or, Geek Squad can try to repair it for $129/hour. Please be calm. Don’t worry; be happy….”

See what I mean? It’s the blue that makes all the difference.

Written by in: Business,Humor,Technology |

You might be a redneck . . . even if you live in Illinois

My sister Erika just got married and moved to Illinois.

This is particularly notable because Erika and I grew up in Alabama. Lower Alabama, also known as L.A. We eat boiled peanuts in L.A.

I think she is experiencing a little bit of culture shock. There aren’t any boiled peanuts in northern Illinois.

There is corn. Miles of corn. Corn as far as you can see. And very few trees.

Anyway, back to the culture shock. She’s currently living in a very rural area of Illinois. We didn’t grow up in a big city, but it was a city. The city was surrounded by cotton and peanut fields, but we didn’t get out to see them much. In northern Illinois, you can’t miss the corn fields.

So, Erika’s experiencing north-south culture shock and suburban-rural culture shock at the same time.

The other day, while visiting the nearest town, she observed this unusual combination.

You might be a redneck if you transport your mower in a trailer behind your ambulance.

You might be a redneck if you transport your mower in a trailer behind your ambulance.

We can just imagine the scene. Man is dying.

Paramedic: “I’m sorry you’re having a heart attack. Just breathe deeply and think calm thoughts while I unhook this trailer and move my lawn mower.”


A Tough Old Cowboy

A tough old cowboy once counseled his grandson that if he wanted to live a long life, the secret was to sprinkle a pinch of gunpowder on his oatmeal every morning.

The grandson did this religiously and lived to the age of 110.  He left four children, twenty grandchildren, thirty great grandchildren, ten great great grandchildren, and a fifty foot hole where the crematorium used to be (original source unknown).

Written by in: Humor |

Final Exam Suggestions

In my last post I reported on the outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) and how it has caused the administration to shorten the semester.

They're trying to be flexible and accommodate the students as much as possible.

I suggested that since the students will be unable to fully prepare for the exams, and since the exam periods have been shortened from 70 minutes to 60 minutes, they should consider shortening the exams to one or two key questions that summarize the semester. I even provided some examples to help them get started (see below).

What do you think — will they take my suggestions and use them?


Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to the present day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social, political, economic, religious, and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. Be brief, concise, and specific.
You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work has been inspected. You have 15 minutes.
Twenty-five hundred riot-crazed aborigines are storming the classroom. Calm them. You may use any ancient language except Latin or Greek.
Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture as compared to life as we now know it, with special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary system. Prove your thesis.
Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with flute and drum. You will find a piano under your seat.
Based on your degree of knowledge of their works, evaluate the emotional stability, degree of adjustment, and repressed frustrations of each of the following: Alexander of Aphrodisias, Rameses II, Gregory of Nicea, Hammurabi. Support your evaluations with quotations from each man's work, making appropriate references. It is not necessary to translate.
Estimate the sociological problems which might accompany the end of the world. Construct an experiment to test your theory.
Define management. Define technology. How do they relate? Why? Create a generalized algorithm to optimize all managerial decisions. Assuming an 1130 CPU supporting 50 terminals, with each terminal to run your algorithm, design the communications interface and all necessary control programs.
The disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle have been placed in a box on your desk. You will also find an instruction manual, printed in Swahili. In ten minutes a hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted to the room. Take whatever action you feel is appropriate. Be prepared to justify your decision.
Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the national debt. Trace the possible effects of your plan in the following areas: Cubism, the Donatist controversy, the wave theory of light. Outline a method for preventing these effects. Criticize this method from all possible points of view. Point out the deficiencies in your point of view, as demonstrated in your answer to the last question.
There is a red telephone on the desk beside you. Start World War III. Report at length on its socio-political effects, if any.
Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of your position.
Explain the nature of matter. Include in your answer an evaluation of the impact of the development of mathematics on science.
Sketch the development of human thought; estimate its significance. Compare with the development of any other kind of thought.
Describe in detail. Be objective and specific.
Define universe; give three examples.
[Disclaimer: These aren't original with me. I received them as a forward from an unknown author, and I only edited them and applied them to the situation at BJU. If someone can attribute them, please let me know!]


Written by in: Academics,Humor,Uncategorized |

Welcome to the Republican Party

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat, and was very much in favor of the redistribution of wealth. She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, and she didn’t hide her disagreement with him.

Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his. One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the addition of more government welfare programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school.

Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, "How is you friend Audrey doing?" She replied, "Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus. College for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties, and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over."

Her wise father asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0? That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA. Audrey surely needs it and you have plenty. Seems like a fair and equal distribution of GPA." The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, "That wouldn't be fair! I have worked really hard for my grades I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!" The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

(Taken from an e-mail forward. Original Source Unknown.) 


Written by in: Current Events,Humor |

Extreme… Ironing??

So I know there are a lot of so-called "extreme" sports out there. I also know there are a lot of weird people. So it stands to reason that we'd eventually hit upon some really weird extreme sports. Enter "Underwater Ironing."
Yep, a team of, umm, ironers, has just set a world record. A team of 55 took their irons to 30m deep and ironed their laundry. No word yet on whether the starch harmed the sealife.


Written by in: Current Events,Humor |

Poor Guy!

From UPI, it seems that  Guy Goma (about whom I blogged earlier) may be deported as an indirect result of his accidental interview. 
BBC's fake interviewee — an illegal immigrant from the Congo mistakenly plucked from the lobby and interviewed as an expert on British TV — may be deported.

Guy Goma became an overnight sensation after overstaying his tourist visa and several months of unemployment when he was mistaken by a BBC News 24 producer for Guy Kewney, who was supposed to be interviewed about a court case involving Apple Computer and the Beatles Apple Corps Ltd.

Goma — who coincidentally has a master's degree in business from the Congo — tried to blunder through the question and answer session, the Sunday Mail reported.

His cryptic responses in broken English left his identity and expertise in question. The interview session — which has been downloaded 1.6 million times off The Mail's Web site and aired countless times on television — has brought Goma worldwide acclaim.

But it also brought the immigrant to the attention of British authorities who may deport him. That would be unfortunate because Goma recently applied for a technology position and wanted to capitalize on the publicity he'd received.
Poor Guy. 
(Thanks to Aunt Mary for the tip) 
Update: It seems that he's now ok, his paperwork came through, and he will be allowed to stay in the UK. What's more, he's quite famous as a result of all the media attention, and he is hoping to use that to his advantage in his job search. Official Website Here


Written by in: Current Events,Humor |

Mistaken Identity

I'm not sure if this qualifies as a "Technology Thought," but it's much too funny to not mention!

It seems that two guys named Guy got confused. Smile The real guy, Guy Kewney, is a white, bearded technology expert. But a second guy, Guy Goma, is a black taxi driver.

Guy Goma, the taxi driver, went to BBC studios to interview for a low-level IT job. While waiting for his job interview, a producer came to the lobby looking for Guy Kewney, the expert, who was supposed to be there for a TV interview.

Somehow the two got confused, and taxi-driver Guy went in thinking he was there to interview for a job, and the producer thinking he was there to interview on live TV! He walked in and was fitted with a microphone, the cameras started rolling, and it was only as he was introduced as a technology expert that he realized he was in the wrong place.

It is unclear why the technology expert Guy was not there, but he was at home watching the interview with "him" on British television, quite perplexed! Meantime, taxi-driver Guy (and IT job applicant) is attempting to answer questions fired at him about a recent lawsuit involving Apple computer.

BBC: Were you surprised by this verdict today?

Mr Goma: I am very surprised to see… this verdict to come on me because I was not expecting that. When I came they told me somehting else and I am coming. So a big surprise anyway.

BBC: A big surprise, yeah, yes.

Mr Goma: Exactly.

The inverview continues here. But, to fully appreciate it, you have to see taxi-driver Guy's face when he is introduced as the technology Guy! Watch the video.

Poor guy! Laughing


Written by in: Current Events,Humor |