The number of junk mail messages trapped by my accounts since March 2, 2009.
Archive for the ‘Surprise Me’ Category
It surprises me how often the dreaded misplaced modifier appears in public. For example, I read the following today.
Ironically, industrial expansion resulting from World War II eventually ended the Great Depression, not the New Deal. 1
The author intended to state that it was industrial expansion, and not the New Deal, that led to the end of the Great Depression. However, the actual sentence indicates that industrial expansion did end the Great Depression, but did not end the New Deal. (There’s no irony in that.)
The misplaced modifier surprised me, as commercial books often pass through a rigorous editing process. This misplaced modifier, however, escaped both the author and editorial team. My high school grammar teacher, Mrs. Tuck, would be appalled.
1. Liberty and Tyranny, Mark Levin. I’m reading the Kindle Edition and thus cannot provide a page number.
Pew Internet and American Life Project recently released a report titled Teens, Video Games and Civics. The report, dated September 16, 2008, reveals some surprising statistics. Like the famed Chicken Man, video games are everywhere.
- Fully 97% of teens ages 12-17 play computer, web, portable, or console games.
- Fully 99% of boys and 94% of girls play video games.
- 50% of teens played games â€œyesterday.â€
- Those who play daily typically play for an hour or more.
- 86% of teens play on a console like the Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii.
- 73% play games on a desktop or a laptop computer.
- 60% use a portable gaming device like a Sony PlayStation Portable, a Nintendo DS, or a Game Boy.
- 48% use a cell phone or handheld organizer to play games.
“Having a husband creates an extra seven hours a week of housework for women.”
— University of Michigan study, April 2008
National studies indicate that close to 70 percent of all communication involves miscommunication.
HomeLife magazine, May 2008, page 44
It surprises me that “Blizzard Warning” is more ambiguous than other weather alerts.
- Severe Thunderstorm Watch: conditions are conducive to a severe thunderstorm developing.
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning: a severe thunderstorm is occurring.
- Tornado Watch: conditions are conducive to a tornado developing.
- Tornado Warning: there is a tornado in the area.
Following this pattern, you’d expect:
- Blizzard Watch: conditions are conducive to blizzard conditions developing.
- Blizzard Warning: a blizzard is occurring.
However, my locale is under a Blizzard Warning from now until 9:00 tonight. It isn’t snowing, yet we are under a Blizzard Warning. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to term this condition a Blizzard Watch, or a Blizzard Forecast, rather than a Blizzard Warning?
It surprises me that, according to statistics quoted in the January/February 2008 issue of Discipleship Journal (page 66): 1
- 58% of U.S adults never read another complete book after high school.
- 42% of college graduates never read another complete book after college.
- 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book in the previous year.
- 68% of the U.S. population has never been in a book store.
If accurate, these are startling statistics.
However, one wonders about the accuracy. On the same Web page that published the above statistics, one can also find these additional statistics:
- People in the U.S. read an average of more than 14 books each year.
- 63% of adults report purchasing at least one book during the previous three-month period.
- Most readers do not get past page 18 in a book they have purchased.
- 70% of Americans haven’t visited a bookstore in five (5) years.
So, I’m not sure which surprises me more: the statistics, the contradictory statistics, or the use of statistics!
It surprises me that Alan Keyes has announced his candidacy for the President of the United States.
Dr. Keyes is not just perhaps the best orator that I’ve ever heard; he is the best orator that I’ve ever heard. He is a passionate and powerful communicator, strong in support of life and liberty.
I also supported Dr. Keyes in the 2000 Iowa caucuses, speaking on his behalf at our local caucus. Though George W. Bush won the state that year, Alan Keyes did well in Linn County, and finished 3rd in the state with 14%, behind both Bush and Forbes.
So, why am I surprised at his candidacy? For two reasons:
- After a successful career in the State Departement, serving under the presidency of Ronald Reagan, Dr. Keyes has been in several political campaigns, and yet never been elected. If his calling is the elected office, then perhaps he should consider starting a little lower than the top office of the Unites States of America. However, instead of being surprised, perhaps I should chalk this up as “persistence”.
- He lost a significant amount of credibility in the 2004 Illinois Senatorial race, when he (a resident of Maryland) ran against (and lost to) Barack Obama, after roundly criticizing Hillary Clinton as a carpetbagger for running in the New York Senatorial contest. That was a debacle that Dr. Keyes should have known to steer clear of.
Never-the-less, I like Alan Keyes and his message. Living in Iowa, I’ve had the opportunity to hear the fiery Dr. Keyes speak in person. Don’t pass up that opportunity if it comes your way.
It surprises me how little I know about bumblebees.
Oh, I do know a little. For instance, I know that bumblebees are gentle and are not aggressive. And I know whether or not they make honey. But as I was looking at the bumbebees in my Russian Sage a few days ago, I was surprised by the number of questions that I had.
How about you?
- Where do bumblebees live? A hive? In a tree? On the ground? Someplace else?
- Do bumblebees make honey?
- How far from home do they typically fly for food?
- In fact, what is “food” for a bumblebee?
Find out the answers to these important questions and more here.
Apparently, crime does pay, after all.
A Canadian court awarded a grocery store thief over $10,000 in damages after he bumped his head and lost a tooth as store officials attempted to apprehend him. Justice William Ehrcke told the court that although the thief was trying to steal about $95 worth of razor blades, store officials had no right to tackle him so roughly during the apprehension, nor restrain him so forcefully when he struggled.
WORLD, May 5, 2007, page 9
It surprises me that “fewer than 9% of major leaguers last season were black, according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports.” (Sporting News, 4/16/07, page 34)
It surprises me that two major league teams were reported not to have a single black player on their roster.
It surprises me that, during the 2006 baseball season, the Detroit Tiger’s Joel Zumaya threw 233 pitches that were clocked at 100 MPH or faster, while all other pitchers combined threw only 102 pitches clocked at 100 MPH or faster.
The Sporting News, March 5, 2007
It surprises me that I know some one who was invited to apply for the TV show Wife Swap.
It surprises me that so many people — well, at least 7! — have both found my published Bible studies and written to me about them.
I’ve not done anything special to make my sites target certain search engine words. In fact, I have a hard time making my sites come up at all in google without using some very specific phrases that you’re not likely to use in google. So, how do people find these free Bible studies? I don’t know. I guess that’s why I’m surprised.
And not only have some found the studies, but they’ve also taken the time to write to me and express themselves.
It surprises me that no one’s called me a nut (yet).
It surprises me that some have written to discuss some pretty technical details — such as the lunar calendar and eclipses and records of earthquakes — regarding the death of Jesus, as if I’ve written a doctrinal thesis on the subject. (I haven’t.)
But mostly it surprises me that some nice people took time to write back and let me know that these studies have been helpful to them. They didn’t have to do that, but they did. What a nice surprise!