- This would be the shortest “Monthly Miscellany” I ever wrote. This is partly because I was not sure whether I would revive this series or not. Regular readers of Learn Fun Facts may have noticed that this series was stopped for almost half a year. So, I hesitated to bring it back. Nonetheless, today, I decided to continue this series anyway. I had to rush this as today is the last day of January.
- Last month, I changed my mechanical keyboard with a new one which has a lot more sensitive keys than my previous one (which was already sensitive enough). So, I may have some typos here and there so please bear with me. I’m still trying to get used to it. In my estimate, I think that another two weeks would be enough.
- Yesterday, while I was shopping for some stuff, I saw an ocarina (a 12-hole Alto C). It’s made of ceramic. I thought that it looks quite cool as I have never played one before. So, I bought it for HK$250. It actually priced at HK$280 but I was able to haggle the price down. I am used to playing woodwind instruments as I play recorder, tin whistle, flute, and dizi (a Chinese flute) so I don’t have much difficulty learning to play the ocarina. However, I am still adjusting since the fingering feels awkward to me. But I’m sure that I will get used to it after a while.
Anyone Can Blog
Lately, I have read a few people ranting that the internet is oversaturated with inferior and mediocre blogs. This makes it harder for people to find “good” blogs. Anyway, those who wrote those opinions are also bloggers. So, reading between the lines, what they meant is: Due to the influx of blogs that sucks, people are now having a harder time finding their outstanding blogs.
They mostly attack personal blogs, poetry blogs, and blogs that don’t have a particular theme (nicheless blogs). I find it disingenuous since it’s not for them to decide the quality of blogs for us. Everyone has different preferences after all.
It seems to me that they are actually insecure. If they are afraid of “trashy” blogs stealing their traffic away, then their blogs must be trashier.
The rise of expert bloggers has raised the standard of blogging as a whole. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that casual bloggers are not allowed to blog now. Blogging these days is not purely competitive as some seem to believe. Many bloggers started their blogs just to share their thoughts and writings. Most of us did not start our blogs and expect to earn a living out of it. If I really want to earn money, blogging would be at the end of my list as it involves too much opportunity cost.
The point is, most of us treat blogging as a hobby (or passion, for those who don’t like the word hobby) and not as a means of income. Personally, I don’t even have the interest to compete with anyone. So, we don’t need expert bloggers telling us to delete our blogs as our blogs are none of their business.
Anyone can blog as long as he doesn’t spread harmful and hateful contents or anything like that.
When Mark Twain was still a new reporter, he was told that he can’t state something as fact if he can’t personally verify it. Taking the advice to heart, he wrote the following report about a gala social gathering:
A woman giving the name of Mrs. James Jones, who is reported to be one of the society leaders of the city, is said to have given what purported to be a party yesterday to a number of alleged ladies. The hostess claims to be the wife of a reputed attorney.
A few weeks ago, this math problem became viral on the web and it incited several long-winding debates:
Many people agreed as the answer seemed to make sense. After all:
However, as expected, those knowledgeable enough of the order of operations made vocal objections. If you are familiar with the order of operations, you would know that in the absence of brackets or parentheses, multiplication should be performed first before subtraction. Thus, for the above problem:
So, the correct answer should have been 120.
Hilariously, they all missed the fact that “5!” could also mean “5 factorial” which is equal to:
By the time someone pointed out this fact, no one cares anymore as they were too busy arguing with each other.
They all got trolled, that’s for sure.
A world dies when a person dies; who sees
And savors life as he did who is dead?
No one now lives the myriad privacies
That made the life that ends, now, on this bed.
— Dick Davis, “A World Dies…”, Belonging: Poems, 2002
“The apocalypse didn’t happen overnight. The world didn’t end in a satisfying climax of explosive special effects. It was slow. It was boring. It was one little thing at a time. One moral compromise, one abandoned ideal, one more justified injustice. No dramatic wave of destruction sweeping across the world, just scattered spots of rot forming throughout the decades, seemingly isolated incidents until the moment they all merged.” — Isaac Marion, The Burning World, 2017
A friend shared this to me yesterday and I decided to share it with you too.