Thursday, May 29, 2008

Are you ready to date a computer scientist?

I'll be the first to admit that computer scientists aren't for everyone. Sometimes we get a little lost within ourselves and we don't always care if you get our jokes, but we're gonna tell them anyway.

Geeks are really just rockstars with an impressive vocabulary. Heck, most of us even have the long hair and eccentric wardrobes.

What most people don't know is that geeks are really romantic, passionate, and talented in the bedroom. So, how do you know if you're ready to date a computer scientist? Ask yourself these questions:

Is complexity something that you're interested in minimizing?

Have you ever wanted to be asymptotically bound?

Would you love to be called Hoare?

Do you think that big-O is a worthy goal?

Are you as willing to go bottom-up as top-down?

Are you satisfiable?

Can you deal with first-in/first-out implementation?

Have you ever dreamt of a multiway merge?

Do you get excited at the prospect of tackling something that's NP-hard?

If you answered yes to these questions, there's a geek somewhere waiting for you. Heck, if you even understood them then you have a good chance at finding true love with someone who explains their personality on their t-shirt.

All you have to do is find a computer, walk up to the person sitting in front of it, and ask them to a movie. If it's sci-fi or the end of a three-quel, they'll probably say yes. And if it's title contains the words Star, Rings, or Python, they'll probably even pay.

Go ahead, take the risk, because they'll probably never even notice you otherwise, unless you have a really elaborate WoW avatar, or have "Kiss Me" tattooed in binary on your forehead.

Just a little piece of advice from a self-proclaimed geek groupie :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Size *Does* Matter!

...especially when it comes to my container of frozen yogurt. So, I bought the same kind of frozen yogurt that I always do (Dreyers Slow Churned Fudge Brownie). It's more expensive than the other frozen yogurts, but really worth it. When I got it home and put it in my freezer next to the remains of my last container, I noticed something shocking. It was nearly an inch and a half shorter!I made a passing comment about it in Deschutes, to which Robert suggested it may be for logistical reasons. Perhaps the container has a larger diameter than the last. To be sure, I checked when I got home and I'll be damned if it wasn't the same diameter. Just shorter! In fact, the container now holds only 1.5 quarts, versus the 1.75 that I used to get for the same amount of money.

As it turns out, I've fallen victim to the commercial industry's tactic of 'Short Sizing'. The increase of this phenomenon is a product of the steady rise of gas prices. Gas, along with other factors, has caused many companies to resort to guerrilla packaging in order to maintain their padded profit margins. It's happening with ice creams, peanut butter, and more. Cereal companies are making their boxes thinner, soup companies are filling cans with more broth...and pleading concern for customers.Apparently, the big-wigs up in their offices think that raising prices will hit the American consumer too heavily. Instead, they have taken it upon themselves to reduce the amount of product provided for the current sales price. This way, they can maintain their profits without putting a noticeable dent in our pocketbooks.

In my opinion, this is an incredibly deceptive way for the suits to keep their products flying off the shelf in the ripening of a depression. They're effectively removing the consumer's power to gage what they're spending and have instead created an environment where consumers are tricked into believing that their grocery bills are relatively steady. What happens when families living at poverty level run out of bread, milk and cereal earlier than they used to, but haven't budgeted any extra money for the expense because they were not aware that they had been given less for the same price?

I'm not trying to claim that this practice should be illegal. In fact, I think that it could be a good way to help Americans learn to do with less. I do, however, believe that companies have a moral obligation to post some sort of announcement on their packaging or point of sales signs to keep their consumer's informed.

"Now 20% shorter for your purchasing pleasure!"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Power of a Gesture

It may be a little-bit of an understatement to say that I'm kind of busy these days. Even so, I stopped by the store on my way home to take a look at lawnmowers, since I've been using a weed whacker to cut my grass since I moved. After looking around at all of the choices and determining that I couldn't afford any of them, I decided to come home and cut it by hand one last time.

Imagine my surprise when I pulled in the driveway and saw that the lawn was already mowed! It was meant to be an anonymous gesture from my neighbor, but his friends ratted him out. Now, I'm so grateful that I think I'll take him a cake, or maybe a pie. Okay, maybe a slice of pie...making pie is kind of hard...I'll want to save some for myself.So, the moral of this story is: If you really like someone, offer to mow her lawn. If she doesn't slap you, then she'll probably be flattered by the gesture. If she *does* slap you but says yes anyway, you'll probably have one hell of a night ahead of you!