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Who Drives Better?


picture of drivers

In today's post I am neither trying to claim nor to prove that one gender is definitely better at driving than the other. Why not? Not only because that's the safest position for a blogger whose goal is mainly to provide humor enjoyed by both his male and his female readers, but also because statistics do not always tell the whole story and are, hence, not totally conclusive.

I did a lot of reading online in preparation for this post. I read articles on this topic on news sites, insurance company sites, and more. Statistics (sadistics?) seem to show that woman are safer drivers than men. I did read, however, that that picture is changing. Officials are finding that young women drivers are becoming increasingly aggressive behind the wheel. One article I read stated

Plus, it seems as if female motorists are getting more aggressive. "It's true that men do take more risks than women," says Carolyn Gorman, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute. "However, [women] are partaking in more risky behaviors than ever before. The gap is closing quickly."

picture of wild woman driver

Though hardly scientific or conclusive, if my rear-view mirror is any indication, I am tailgated by far more young women than by any other type of driver. And judging from the speeders who whiz past me, the gender gap there is narrow at best. Hence, the humor in this next picture may now be outdated.
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I’ve Reached a Milestone


picture of a borne

Most people are familiar with the word milestone. We associate the word with an important event or turning point in a person's life or career, in the history of a nation, or in some field of knowledge. Many people, though, don't know the origin of the word. A milestone is/was a stone marker set up on a roadside to indicate the distance in miles from a given point. That "given point" is actually the destination, but we commonly use milestone to measure distances from the starting point. The picture at the beginning of this post is the kind of "milestone" still used along roads in France — it's called a borne. In Mille Bornes, a game based on this, the goal is to go 1,000 kilometers to win.

Today's blog post is a milestone for me — it's my 500th post! I have no idea how far I'll be able to go on this journey, but I'm amazed to have 500 posts behind me now. In honor of that and in consideration of the French borne, I am going to post some humorous signs from around the world.

I was amused by this French sign, wondering where and why strolling is forbidden. (Il est interdit de flâner = Strolling is forbidden.)
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Is Cursive Dying?


picture of practice writing

I have noticed in recent years that fewer of my college students turn in work written in cursive. This past week I did an survey in my classes and discovered that only 15% of my students write mostly in cursive. In fact, one student said that the only thing she knows how to write in cursive is her signature.

At the time my wife and I were growing up in northwestern Ohio, we were taught the Zaner-Bloser method of writing cursive, beginning in second grade. I remember hardly being able to wait to learn it so that I could write like the older kids and grown ups.

Here's what the Zaner-Bloser letters and numbers that we were supposed to emulate looked like:

picture of Zaner-Bloser cursive

I worked hard to perfect that skill and have been told through the years that I had neat handwriting, for a guy. A few years ago some of my students were having a hard time reading what I'd written on the board and the overhead. I attributed it to my handwriting, rather than to the fact that I'd written in cursive. I think now, though, that it was actually the cursive that was throwing some of my students. Here's what my writing looks like — I'll let you decide whether it's legible.

picture of my handwriting

I do understand the frustration of some students, though. The semester I took Chinese, our teacher was out for part of the semester on maternity leave. The substitute teacher wrote on the board one day in Chinese cursive. I was having a hard enough time reading Chinese characters as it was, let alone throwing cursive into the mix!

Our children went to Bob Jones Elementary School where they were taught precursive then later cursive using the handwriting curriculum from the BJU Press.

Here's a sample of what PreCursive looks like:
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What’s in a Name?


picture of name tag

Back in 2001 before I had my blog and was doing everything through e-mail, my readers and I did an "interactive iv" on one particular theme. I had heard several puns along the line, "So I said to the librarian, "Paige, ...." and "So I said to the accountant, "Bill, ...." Giving a couple of those as fodder, I opened it up to my readers to send me similar puns where a person's job and name were closely related. They could be real or imaginary people. Well, my readers came through big time and by e-mail I accumulated a list of about 170 different puns!

I shared them with my ivman mailing list at that time, and now, 10 years later, I'm posting them to my blog. As I added the puns to the list, I tried to be judicious in my selection. I received far more submissions than the ones I included. I chose only those that are actual jobs (and not just hobbies) and those where the name is either what the worker actually does or the name has a very strong (or fairly obvious) connection to the actual job. But even then, I've probably left some on the list that are still a bit of a "stretch." Enjoy! (or not....) :-)

So I said to the nun, "Abby, ...."
So I said to the stunt pilot, "Ariel, ...."
So I said to the museum curator, "Art, ...."
So I said to the chimney sweep, "Ash, ...."
So I said to the grave-digger, "Barry, ...."
So I said to the archer, "Beau, ...."
So I said to the carillon player, "Belle, ...."
So I said to the fireman, "Bernie, ...."
So I said to the accountant, "Bill, ...."
So I said to the goat herder, "Billy, ...."
So I said to the audio technician, "Blair, ...."
So I said to the canning factory worker, "Blanche, ...."
So I said to the cowhand, "Brandon, ...."
So I said to the lifeguard, "Bob, ...."
So I said to the horse trainer, "Buck, ...."
So I said to the horticulturist, "Bud, ...."
So I said to the demolitionist, "Buster, ...."
So I said to the barber, "Butch, ...."
So I said to the beekeeper, "Buzz, ...." Click here to continue reading this post →

Zoo Warning Signs


Did you see the news story recently about the zoo worker in Knoxville, Tennessee who was accidentally killed by an African elephant? Apparently the elephant had not been aggressive and is not considered dangerous to other workers. It's just one of the risks zoo workers take working closely with animals that weigh tons, although the zoo has made some changes since the accident. This zoo is just down the street from one of our favorite places in Knoxville — Pizza Palace. My wife told on her blog about how we discovered it.

This story got me thinking not only about the potential dangers in the zoos of the world, but also about the pictures of some zoo signs that have been sitting patiently in a folder on my computer.

Zoos really do try to warn people of potential dangers and of uncomfortable situations. Some zoo signs sugar coat their warnings with a touch of humor.

picture of funny zoo sign

I don't know what is written in the Asian language on this next sign, but the English seems to indicate that it may have something to do with reincarnation.
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