Big Change

I was reminded by another blog that money is something we think about alot today. Specifically how much money. I would like to turn that idea on its head a little bit today, and instead as the question of how big money.

Now, some of you might say, all dollar bills are the same size. True. However, there are interesting discrepancies of size if you look smaller. A one-dollar bill is smaller than all coins, at least in the first two dimensions. All coins have more depth than the papery dollar. However, a dime has greater monetary worth (I won’t argue intrinsic value) than a penny, but a shorter diameter and shorter depth as well. Why should this be? And why is a quater almost exactly the same size as a dollar coin, whether silver or gold? That’s just silly, especially considering that the size of coins and thir shape and outer ridges are supposed to help identify individual coins. Don’t tell me we made the dollar the same size as a quarter to make things easier for blind people.

Which brings me to my all-time favorite coin, the largest of the pack – the half-dollar. This wonderous little monster is adorable in its size.  Yet nobody uses it.  Is it because we’ve moved to carrying less change, and thus have smaller pockets?  IS it because nothing is worth 50 cents anymore?  Or was it never in wide circulation?  Why even have a half dollar?

One of its most interesting uses is in soccer matches, to determine who gets the first kickoff.  This is because soccer is played on grass – you can use a smaller coin, like a quarter, but it’s much more difficult to find.  The nice, big half-dollar shows up easily between the blades.  Unfortunately, because of the large surface area, the half-dollar is also the most unfair coin.  The dime, because of its tiny surface area and thus much smaller additional weight on the ‘heads’ side, is the statistically fairest.  I learned that little factoid direct from Michael T. Weiss of Pretender fame.  Anyway, conclusion is – if you want a fair toss, use a dime.  Even if you lose it afterwards.  Who can’t afford to lose 10 cents once and awhile, anyway?


Writers, Untie!

So, today is probably going to be another bored-at-work day.  True, I should probably be studying for my final exam tonight. Or possibly writing something, or even working on this blog.  But I’m feeling uninspired.  SO, I’m drafting YOU, dear reader! Were are going to write a cumulative tale together.  I’ll start with the first line, then somebody else writes the next one, then another person, the next, etc.  Then we have a little tale we can all be proud of, hurrah!  The only rule is that you can’t write more than one sentence in a row.  And please, no run-ons.

So, here we go:

It was a bright, shining, light-filled sort of midwinter morning.

A Plug for TEAL

Recently a friend of mine noted the way sports writers were corrupting the use of articles. Well, I happen to know a few writers of sports articles personally myself, and I can safely say this is not necessarily a trend. However, I was curious – could I really be sure? What if I only have personal acquaintance with the more literate brand of sports writers? Since I’m not writing in French so much, how can I ever even know Est-ce a ou de? True, there are organizations out there pledged to heal this country’s grammar and usage maladies. Organizations like TEAL (Typo Eradication and Advancement League). But are they really enough to stem the tide? And just how much of a tide is it?

I decided I would take my alleged ‘work time’ to find out. I looked at the Yohoo! Sports page (since sports was the area in which the first article use thingy happened), since I felt yahoo would be a more potentially under-grammared site than CNN. This is what I found (in the top headlines):

“The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that addressed each of those issues Tuesday plans to hold a Feb. 13 hearing that promises to be far more riveting, featuring Roger Clemens and his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, who has said he injected the star pitcher with steroids and human growth hormone. ” – Improper use of ‘that’ related to article use.

I did read a second article that had no egregious errors (though a few stylistic tweaks could’ve certainly helped), and realized I actually had to do some work this morning. So I was unable to complete my task. Anyone up for taking another look for me?