Suggested bloggy reading

Since I’m likely going to crash once this is over and be disgusted by the idea of blogging for at least a day or so, here are some of my favorite blogs you can peruse in my absence. Unless you’re one of those people who saw my 49 posts, went “What the hell?”, and didn’t touch them. In that case, you have plenty of Jennifer material to work through! I suggest starting at the beginning. Some post refer to others without linking (yeah yeah, I got sloppy), but most importantly my most recent posts have been rambling nonsensical shit piles thrown up in a desperate attempt to speed up the flow of time so I could go to sleep.

Anyway, uh, yeah, cool blogs:

Friendly Atheist
Why Evolution is True
Travels with Darwin

Psychotic Letters From Men
Not Always Right
Tiny Art Director


This is post 48 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

The disgusting breakfast of champions

And lunch, and dinner, and second dinner, and and and…

In the last 24 hour I have ingested what can only be 50,000 calories of food (please don’t calculate it though, I rather not know). The problem with the blogathon was that I had no time to cook (and I had no ready-to-eat food available, whoops bad planning), so I depended on deliveries and friends bringing me food. What did I eat?

McDonald’s sausage McBiscuitwhateverthehellitscalled
McDonald’s hashbrowns
Medium McDonald’s coffee
Potbelly big chicken salad sandwhich
Venti Starbucks iced coffee
Wendy’s crispy chicken sandwich
Wendy’s small fries
Glass of Bailey’s/Kahlua/Chocolate Milk
Half of a large order of cheesy bread

When I lay down at 9:01, I’m probably going to die of a heart attack. It was nice knowing all of you. Thanks for your support.

Seriously though, I’m going to eat nothing but fruits and vegetables for a week, ugh. I feel disgusting.

This is post 47 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Favorite sleep deprivation memories

This isn’t the first time in my life that I’ve pulled an all-nighter. Most just end with me being cranky and crashing. Others are more memorable. Once I had pulled an all-nighter for our Science Olympiad State competition (as did most of the team). On the bus ride home most of us went completely insane – not only were we exhausted, but we had basically eaten nothing but candy bars. Eventually everyone fell asleep on the bus, but after a little while I woke up screaming that my legs were on fire! …because I had fallen asleep right next to the heater. It was hot, but probably not hot enough to flail my legs over my poor friend’s head.

I also saw Team America World Police in theaters after pulling an all-nighter. At the time, it was the funniest thing in the world. I was constantly in tears laughing, and my friends were more amused with my insanity than the movie itself. Let’s just say I didn’t find it quite as funny the second time around.

Oh, and there was that one time where I made a bazillion blog posts in 24 hours. Yeah, that was cool.

Any good stories?

This is post 45 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Evil new technology

There are plenty new forms of technology and electronics that we love or want. I’ve been secretly hoping that my 3 year old iPod will spontaneously combust so I have an excuse to blow hundreds of dollars on an iPod Touch.

But new forms of technology do you hate?

– Blue tooth headsets that make it seem like people are talking to you, or having a neurotic conversation with themselves, when really they’re talking on the phone. I’m sure these are amazing for business men, but they annoy me.

– Auto flushing toilets. I swear they were put on earth by Satan himself (or maybe God, to punish me). Most of them you move a half centimeter and it’s going off, and the water pressure is usually too high so it makes a giant mess while you’re still precariously perched. Thanks. And when you actually want them to flush, they don’t do anything. Grrr.

– Uh…thingies. That I will think of once people start commenting. Um. Yeah.

This is post 42 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Mark on Math

As many of you don’t know…what with most of you just meeting me for the first time and all…I am currently an Undergrad in the school of Math at Purdue who is pursuing a degree in Math Education (because, frankly, it’s running away from me and I really want to catch it.)

What this means, for those of you who are not both studying at Purdue OR in a secondary education major, is that I am a Math student who is forced to take six relatively perfunctory education classes in addition to nearly ALL the math classes.

As a result of this particularly rigorous number of math classes (and a few awesome ones I’ve taken just for the lulz), I’ve been given a very good understanding of what is necessary to come into these classes and not leave the room crying every day. Let’s just say, I didn’t have a very excellent background in Math before I came to Purdue and started off on my path to become a math teacher (after, of course, a year and a half detour through the Chemical Engineering department. *sadface*).

Granted, my Calculus and Trig. skills are fantastic, my Algebra skills are awesome, and my Geometry skills are…well, not awesome but I made it through the class and, by the end, had totally made up for the terrible beginning.

“But…but Mark!” You say. “Isn’t that Math?”

Well…sort of.

Those things are the sum total of Math in the same way that taking baking soda and vinegar and mixing them together is chemistry.

Sure…these are things you do IN math and things that require math but what is missing is the theoretical aspect.

WHY do these things do what they do? Why does the Calculus do what it is supposed to?

This part of math is called “Analysis.” It mostly consists of “Proofs.” That is to say, the mathematic reasoning behind a given theorem.

The problem is that back in high school (and it seems most high schools nowadays) provide little to no actual analysis backing…specifically because of how state standards are set up. In order to continue functioning as a school, its students must score at certain levels on their standardized tests. As a result, teachers don’t always have the option of including logical reasoning and proof as a part of their curriculum.

This is really freaking sad.

To me, this strips Math of all of its science! There is no inquiry. It’s just become history with numbers.

This next semester, I will be teaching a class here at Purdue. MA 153 for those in the know and Algebra and Trigonometry I for those who aren’t.

I fully intend to sneak in as much logic and reasoning as I possibly can. My students will not just know WHAT they’re doing, but I’ll actually explain to them WHY they’re doing what they’re doing and WHERE it comes from so they can understand HOW to do it on a higher level than they might were they just to get equations and algorithms thrown at them.

Until later, this is Mark signing off!

This is post 24 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Jesus Fish in Advertisement

While driving through Wasilla (couldn’t see Russia from there), I noticed a sign for an automobile repair place that had a Jesus fish symbol, apparently as part of the logo. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen the Jesus fish on something other than a car. Back in West Lafayette a roofing company has it on all of their signs. In Seward I noticed it on a boat that was giving tours.

I’m not sure if this is a common thing that I just don’t notice so much because I’m not usually looking for it, but it strikes me as kind of strange. What’s their goal in putting a Christian symbol on their business that has nothing to do with Christianity? Is this a way of scaring off non-Christians, or trying to show that they’re a “good” or “honest” business because of their religion? I don’t really see another reason why you would put that symbol on your business unless you’re trying to attract or repel certain groups of people.

And how does that actually affect their business? I know I’d be a bit hesitant to use their services since it seems like I’m not wanted. I’m sure in places like Wasilla and West Lafayette it doesn’t really matter if you scare away the few non-Christians in order to secure the Christian business. But I really don’t know. Would you still get your car repaired at a place with a Jesus fish on its signs? I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t appreciate my Darwin fish bumper sticker.

The most ironic part to me is that religious symbols used to be forced onto businesses as a form of punishment…the star of David in Nazi Germany. Kind of odd now that people are willingly labeling themselves, granted that they’re the majority. I don’t think minority religions will be following suit any time soon.

In Denali

In Denali, have one minute of internet left on my timer! At the conference a friend and I dubbed this skinky latino guy with long hair as the official hottest guy at the conference. Ended up running into him and having dinner with him. Ultimate win. He’s from Costa Rica, and turns out one of my close friends was his TA for a class. Small world.

14 hour adventure tomorrow!Woo!

Yay Indiana

I’m not even to the airport yet and I have to make a phone post. I just saw a car with a State Representative license plate with a plastic border that said ‘In Christ.’ Couldn’t get a good photo though.


Oh god I’m trapped in Walmart for over an hour while they fix my car. Gahhh what do I do? There aren’t even any good videogames on display!!! Aaaahhhh!!