Tag Archives: alphabet

What are your alphabet sites?

One nice thing about web browsers these days is that they’re so darn helpful. You start typing something and they jump in and try to finish your thoughts. And they’re often right too. Recently I went through my browser to see what sites come up with each letter. These aren’t necessarily the most visited sites in total, but are the most visited for each letter and provide an interesting snapshot.


A: athingirl.com

The blog of my friend, Susannah Bianchi

B: bobybangladesh.wordpress.com

The blog of one of my students

C: cracked.com

D: dictionary.com

E: esl.org

Not a site about English as a Second Language, as you might expect from someone who teachers ESL for a living.

F: facebook.com

G: google.com

H: huffingtonpost.com

I: intensiveenglishuiu.com

The blog for my Intensive English Program

J: jukepop.com

This is an odd one, since I think I’ve only been to this site once. It’s a writing/publishing site. Apparently, J sites aren’t that common for me.

K: kayak.com

L: lulu.com

A self-publishing site I use if I need a book printed.

M: mail.google.com

N: netflix.com

O: oelweingrandtheatre.com

The theater near us

P: print.uiu.edu

Clearly I don’t visit a lot of sites that start with P. This isn’t even a real site. I typed it in by accident once.

Q: (none: apparently I don’t go to any sites that start with Q)

R: rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com

The blog of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, the moderator of the Friday Fictioneers group

S: spreadshirt.com

This is the site I use for my T-shirt line (available here!)

T: thesaurus.com

U: uiu.edu

My university website

V: verizonwireless.com

W: wordpress.com

No surprise here.

X: xkcd.com

If you don’t know what XKCD is yet, go there now.

Y: youtube.com

Z: zonmal.com

This is a great site for anyone who wants to look up Chinese characters that are used in Korea. You know who you are.

So, what are your alphabet sites? You know you’re dying to go look now.


The Day “R” Said Good-bye

One day, people woke up to find that “R” had said good-bye. No one knew why it left, but all keyboads suddenly had a blank between “E” and “T”. It was quite distubing.

It affected the Bitish and the Fench quite a bit, along with the Koeans, although I think the Ussians complained the loudest (not that Bazil was too thilled). Canada didn’t mind, although people began calling Toronto “Toonto”, when they knew full well it should be hyphenated. Huge swaths of the population became cold and hungy as they suddenly had to eat ice all day: beakfast, lunch and suppe (ice pilaf is just not the same.) Potatoes stayed the same, but bakeies began selling nothing but bead.

What made me the saddest was that all my friends became fiends.


What shape is the alphabet?

I am a very visual person. I think in pictures and metaphors and I don’t really grasp complex concepts until I have a picture of them in my head, even if it’s a picture I made up myself. When I was growing up, I thought this was just the way the world was, just like I thought that everyone knew that “C” was female and yellow. Honestly, I’m not sure how common this is, but here is how I visualize various number and cyclical systems:

The Alphabet

Visualization - AlphabetThis is how I picture the alphabet and I’m not sure why. It doesn’t make much sense why it would necessary bend at around “I” and “V” but it does and it always has ever since I was small. Whenever I picture the alphabet, this is what I see in my head.


Visualization - NumbersThis is generally how I picture most numbers. There is a bend at ten and a big one at twenty and then at 100. The problem with this one is that it is also 3-dimensional, but you get the idea.

It gets more complicated with age, since there are more bends in the line (90-100, for instance, is almost at right angles with the ones before it) but that is more 3-dimensional and I notice it tends to change as I get older (not surprisingly, I guess.)

Months of the YearVisualization - MonthsThis is probably the most intuitive, since it’s a circle, although the exact placement of things is a bit odd. For instance, New Year’s is in the upper left. July, August, and December take up much more space than some others, although I think this is because those were times of holidays (summer holidays and the Christmas season) so they seemed to take up more time in my mind. Or maybe just because they had to connect a big area between the spring and fall semesters. In any case, this is what I see in my mind when I think of the calendar or the months of the year.


Visualization - HangulThis is the Korean alphabet and won’t have much significance to most people, but I thought I’d put it in as a point of interest. This is much simpler, maybe because there are 14 letters (these are only the consonants) and maybe because I only learned them 10 years ago. In any case, there is a definite bend in the line, possibly because the later ones are the aspirated versions of earlier consonants. Who knows.


Visualization - HistoryThis is pretty much how I visualize the timeline of history. Some of these are obvious, like a bend at the divide between BC and AD. Also, there is more room for the 20th century, since we learned a lot more about that time and it has more significance for me. I’m not sure about some of the other dips and bends, but this is just how I see things. This one is also quite 3-dimensional, but that was hard to draw.

Does this seem normal to you? Totally weird? Let me know in the comments. I’m curious how other people view the world.


26 Questions You Always/Never Wondered About

One of the things I love about Google is the suggestions it gives you when you start to type in the search bar. It gives a strange and sometimes disturbing look into what your fellow humans are searching for. So, I decided to start some questions and see what Google gave me. This isn’t an original idea, but what I did was type in “Is it true that…” and then each letter of the alphabet, one by one. I picked the best/most interesting/least racist question to answer.

Apparently what we're really curious about is people dying or being gay.

Apparently what we’re really curious about is people dying or being gay.

A: Is it true that all triangles are isosceles?

→ No. No, it’s not true that all triangles have two angles the same. If this confuses you, click here and become much more confused.

B: Is it true that blondes have more fun?

→ I’m a brown-haired guy who has ridiculous amounts of fun (hiking, reading, role-playing). I don’t see how it’s possible for a blond version of me to have more fun, so I’m going to say no.

C: Is it true that celery is negative calories?

→ Yes, this is true. Celery has a lot of calories, but because of all the cellulose in it, we can’t digest it well. So, if you’re planning on starting an all-celery diet, make sure you slip in a bacon double cheeseburger ever few weeks, so you don’t waste away to nothing.

D: Is it true that Disneyland release cats at night?

→ This one intrigued me. From what I can see, there are tons of cats at Disneyland to keep the rodent population down. However, I doubt they are actually released and then collected every night, since cats tend to have a mind of their own. What’s more likely is that they just come out at night when it’s cooler and everyone else has gone home. A lot of places talk about them being feral, but since they are apparently groomed and fed, I don’t know what definition of “feral” they’re using.

E: Is it true that everyone can sing?

→ I guess it depends on your definition of “sing” but from experience, I’d say no.

F: Is it true that Facebook will shut down?

→ Ha! Yeah, poor guys just got tired of it all after a while. Considering they releasing a Facebook operating system for Android phones, I don’t think they’re going anywhere anytime soon.

G: Is it true that giraffes can’t make a sound?

→ Even if you don’t count this video of a giraffe definitely making a sound, giraffes do make noises. Apparently adult giraffes rarely make noises, but babies do, as you can see in this video.

H: Is it true that Hello Kitty is the devil?

→ Wow. Didn’t see that one coming. I’m going to go with no, since that’s crazy. But here is some of the history of the character.

I: Is it true that it’s the end of the world is 2012?

→ This endearingly terribly-worded question was number six on Google’s auto-complete list. I think we can all agree that this is no.

J: Is it true that jellyfish are immortal?

→ Since all the rest on the list were about Justin Bieber, I went with this one. There is one species of jellyfish called the immortal jellyfish (Turritopsis nutricula) that can go back to its infant form. So, it is theoretically possible for that type of jellyfish to live forever, although they usually get eaten or die of disease first. They should really call this the Benjamin Button fish.

Yeah...we're going with the jellyfish one.

Yeah…we’re going with the jellyfish one.

K: Is it true that kissing burns calories?

→If it doesn’t burn calories, then you’re doing it wrong. On the other hand, if you are burning enough calories to make a difference, then you’re doing it really, really right.

L: Is it true that lobsters are immortal?

→ Really, another immortal animal question? Actually, apparently lobsters don’t die of old age (although Red Lobster is making sure that this doesn’t become an issue). They also don’t stop growing; the biggest lobster ever caught was 20kg. (Seriously, check out that link).

M: Is it true that Macbooks don’t get viruses?

→ No, that’s not true, although if you’re a Mac user, you’ve probably never gotten one. Incidentally, if you are a Mac user that has gotten a virus on your computer, let me know. I love anecdotes.

N: Is it true that Nicolas Cage is dead?

→ If the next Ghost Rider movie features an actual Nicholas Cage ghost, complete with flaming skull, then we’ll know for sure.

O: Is it true that opposites attract?

→ Magnetically, yes. For people…what do you think? I think this is a place where a happy medium is best. I wouldn’t want to live with my clone or my alter-ego from bizarro world.

P: Is it true that Psy is dead?

→ All the “P” suggestions were about people dying, so I chose this one. I’m pretty sure we can all agree the answer is no. Still, can you imagine the funeral? 21 horse dance salute.

Q: Is it true that Queen Elizabeth is dying?

→ I find a lot of these are about dying. I guess we have a morbid curiosity. Considering the sources that claim this, I would say it is dubious, at least not any more than any other 86-year-old woman.

R: Is it true that redheads are going extinct?

→ Yeah, not likely. And if they do, we can just clone them again, a la Jurassic park. (Ginger Park: admit it, you’d watch that movie.)

S: Is it true that smart people talk to themselves?

→ I’m going to answer this one without appealing to the Internet and here’s my train of logic. I talk to myself. I think I’m smart. Ergo, smart people talk to themselves.

T: Is it true that the camera adds ten pounds?

→ If you’re carrying a ten pound camera, then yes.

U: Is it true that unicorns were mentioned in the Bible?

→ First of all, I’ve never read a Bible that had unicorns in it, but then, I have never read the King James Version. It does say “unicorns” in that version, but in the New International it says “wild ox” so I think we can say it comes down to an over-enthusiastic translation. Somehow, I’m guessing the original Hebrew word didn’t mean “horse with a spear in its forehead.”

V: Is it true that vegetarians live longer?

→ I’m not sure about now, but I’m sure that back when people had to kill mammoths to eat, they probably did. I’d rather fight a truculent cabbage than a stabbing/stomping hairy death machine any day.

W: Is it true that what goes around comes around?

→ Seriously, there are a lot of people asking this question? In my experience, it often does, but not always. What do you think?

X: Is it true that Xbox live is going to be free?

→ Ehh…who cares. You can look it up here if you have any interest.

Y: Is it true that you are thinking of me?

→ Yes. I’m thinking of you right now. So…what are you doing? (Yes, yes, BESIDES reading this post)

Z: Is it true that Zayn Malik smokes?

→ Considering I didn’t know who this was an hour ago, I don’t particularly care. Apparently he does.

So, there you have it. 26 answers, semi-answers, or dodging the question straight from the Green-Walled Tower. If you have your own “Is it true that…?” question for me, now is your chance. I’ll promise to answer it, unless it’s about Xbox Live or Zayn Malik smoking.

If only life was always this simple. Source

If only life was always this simple. Source

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