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Rock, Paper, Scissors


Have you ever played Rock, Paper, Scissors? It's a simple game, but I've read that there is actually strategy involved in winning. The game consists of three gestures (weapons) — rock, represented by a clenched fist, paper, represented by an open hand, with the fingers extended and touching, and scissors, represented by two fingers extended and separated.

The object of the game is to select a gesture that defeats the opponent's. The winning gestures are as follows:

Rock smashes scissors = the rock wins.
Paper covers rock = the paper wins.
Scissors cut paper = the scissors win.

If both players use the same gesture, that round is tied and the players "throw" again. Normally Rock, Paper, Scissors is played in a "best two out of three" match.

As I did some research for this post, I was surprised to learn that there is a World RPS Society website. As I said earlier, there are supposedly strategies to help you win. On the World RPS Society website there's a link on How to Beat Anyone at Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Knowing that RPS is an international phenomenon, I figured it must have a name in other languages. I found that in French it's Pierre, Papier, Ciseaux and in German it's Stein, Papier, Schere.

In case this game is new to you, I'll show several pictures to see if you remember which gesture wins.

The picture below is rock and scissors. So who wins this round?

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To see oursels as ithers see us!


In my MLF102 classes this week, we are learning about reflexive verbs — verbs where the subject is doing something to itself. To get my students thinking about the name of this kind of verb, I ask them what they see when they look in the mirror. The answer, of course, is a reflection of themselves. In the picture on the right the cat sees itself, or in French, le chat se voit. But you've probably already noticed that the cat is seeing something else. I wonder how we see something different from what is actually in front of the mirror. I'm reminded of James 1:23 and 24 "For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like."

I've seen a series of ads lately where the people looking in the mirror see a younger version of themselves. Here are a couple I found online:


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How Simple Are Crayons?


Over Christmas break, Becka and our grandson Drew watched an online video from Mister Rogers Neighborhood on PBS's site about how crayons are made. It's amazing to see how many steps are involved in the process. If you'd rather see a newer, shorter video on the process, you can view it on the How Stuff Works site. You need to scroll down halfway and, for whatever reason, you have to manually unmute the video. The videos reminded me of pictures in my files. After a bit of web researching, I came up with a lot of neat info.

This month the Chinese New Year begins on January 23. The Chinese have a twelve-year rotation, based on the Chinese zodiac. We will be entering the year of the Dragon. Below is a chart telling which animal corresponds to which year for quite a few years back (if you want to see what year you were born in) and more years yet to come.

Below is a picture of crayons carved by Diem Chau — one crayon for each of the twelve animals.
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Signs for the New Year


It's been a while since I've done a blog post of funny signs. My readers have been keeping me supplied, though, so here are the funniest of the ones they've sent recently. It's a pretty random bunch of signs.

The owner of this Chinese restaurant has a good sense of humor ... or maybe not....

Speaking of enjoying certain kinds of food in large quantities, this next one's not really a sign, although it could be.
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Gardening Catalog Terminology


As many of us are entering into the "bleak midwinter" months, my mailbox is filling up with gardening catalogs that remind me that winter will end and next year's gardening season will begin. Even though I have already started to make mental plans of our 2012 garden, as I look through these catalogs, I start to dream about adding other things to it. Here's a picture of my favorite gardening catalogs:

As I dream about new plantings and fight the temptation of once again trying something that has failed for me in the past, I am amused at this list of terms used in gardening wish books.

The real meanings of gardening catalog terminology

"A favorite of birds" means "avoid planting near cars, sidewalks, or clotheslines."

"Grows more beautiful each year" means "looks like road kill for the foreseeable future."
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