Archive for the ‘News Stories’ Category

Family Joules

April 1st, 2011 No comments

A physicist I know recently asked me:

“Would it be too ballsy for me to suggest that we label the amount of radiation for each household surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan the ‘Family Joules’?”

But then he smirked, as he said:

My Bad!

The Wired Science website has a good discussion of Japan’s March, 2011, nuclear crisis following a dramatic earthquake and tsunami.

A joule is a unit measure of energy as discussed in this Wikipedia article.

Nuclear explosions are measured in TNT equivalents, which also can be measured in joules, as discussed in this article.

“Family Jewels” is a crude term for certain male body parts, as noted by the online Urban Dictionary.

Mirriam Webster offers an online definition of the term “ballsy”.

At the End of the Day

June 23rd, 2010 No comments

In reporting on the high profile insubordination by General Stanley McChrystal, Marc Ambinder of CBS News states that, “for Mr. Obama, the most important thing, at the end of the day, is winning the war.”

One commentator on George Wood’s blog at the Washington Post opines that “[a]t the end of the day, schools should be measured on how well their students are prepared to function in college or the world beyond. Period.”

And, two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Randy Lajoie, commenting on his indefinite suspension from racing for drug use, stated that, “At the end of the day, you can’t fix stupid.”

It seems that everything of great moment happens at the end of the day.

And to think, I just accepted the offer of a lifetime — at the beginning of the day!

My bad!

The Visual Thesaurus reports that only two percent of the people taking a poll regarding the most annoying phrases chose “at the end of the day” as most annoying.

How Many Soldiers are in a Troop?

June 21st, 2010 No comments

On June 19, 2010, the Tacoma, Washington, News Tribune reported that 250 troops were returning home from Afghanistan. My goodness, I thought upon reading the article, I didn’t think Obama would start such a massive draw-down of military personnel so soon. How many soldiers are in a troop, I wondered – are there 10, 100, or 1,000 soldiers in a troop? What this means, I reasoned, is that a major portion of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan was returning home this summer!

Only later did I learn that the reporter meant that it was 250 people who are returning.

My bad!

Click HERE to read the definition of “troop”.

Pointing out that, while the press uses the term “troops” to refer to a group of individuals, never is the term “troop” used to refer to a single individual, the blogger Jaltcoh, quoting John McWhorter, goes on to say that “[u]sing a name for soldiers that has no singular form grants us a certain cozy distance from the grievous reality of war.”

Change the Pronunciation to Make it Rhyme

June 20th, 2010 No comments

In a recent radio interview, the rapper M&M stated that he was so good at making his lyrics rhyme due to his skillful enunciation.

It’s true, I understood his words just fine.

My bad!

Click HERE for the definition of “enunciate”.
Click HERE for the definition of “pronunciation”.

For a good discussion of the difference between enunciation and pronunciation, click HERE.

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