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More Inventions


In July I posted pictures of some inventions that showed great creativity. Today's post is the next installment of inventions. Some of these may make you wonder why anyone would even think of making something like that, but some may find you saying, "I've gotta have one of those!"

We'll start off with something that Lego fans may find irresistible — Lego earrings.

picture of Lego earrings

picture of Lego earrings

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Let Me Get This Straight…


picture of confusing clock

Confusion comes in so many different forms. Sometimes we see something that we have a hard time taking in, whether it be an optical illusion or just simply a scene or situation that is complicated or contradictory. Other times we hear something that we have a hard time assimilating. I tend to be a visual learner, and so hearing something confusing causes more problems for me than seeing something confusing. If someone spells something to me aloud, they might as well be doing so with a foreign alphabet that I don't know!

A reader sent me the following the other day from Reader's Digest. The person on the other end of the phone must have been like me....

My friend opened a ministry, using a snippet from the Bible as the name. But he soon regretted his decision to order office supplies over the phone. When his stationery arrived, it bore the letterhead "That Nun Should Perish. - Tom Harrison

I can't imagine printing up a large quantity of something like that without asking for clarification first!

Whichever kind of learner you are, you might find it helpful to read the first two pieces below aloud to get the full impact.
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Is Globalization Good or Bad?


picture of manhole cover

This past weekend a friend posted on my Facebook wall a link to an article at the Telegraph.co.uk about a new McDonald's opening at the Louvre in Paris. I experienced mixed reactions to this announcement. As a tourist, I know how nice it is to find something familiar while traveling, but as one having relatives in France, I share their disdain of the encroachment of American pop culture in their country.

A few years back we decided to go out for dinner to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, Corona. When we arrived we saw on the sign out front that it was "Mariachi night." When we went inside, we saw that the restaurant was all decked out for St. Patrick's Day — green balloons, streamers, etc. everywhere. As we ate our dinner, we were surprised that the special music ended up not being a Mariachi band after all. It was an Oompah band! It was just too weird, sitting there eating Mexican, surrounded by Irish decorations, and listening to German polka music played by people with Southern accents and wearing Lederhosen and Dirndels!
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Unnecessary Redundancies


picture of redundant sign

On my blog I poke fun at all sorts of things, good-naturedly, of course. It's especially fun when it's something that I know I am also guilty of. The other day I said something in class and immediately realized that what I had said was redundant. I pointed out to my students what I had said. I figured it was at least marginally on topic — I teach French and linguistic redundancies are undoubtedly possible in every language.

Here's a dictionary definition of the word:

re·dun·dan·cy (noun), 1. The state of being redundant. 2. A superfluity; an excess. 3. Unnecessary repetition.

Here's a fun visualization of redundancy that I found online:

picture of redundancy

Newscasters and politicians, possibly because of the sheer amount of speaking they do, seem to offer up quite a few redundancies. The other day in connection with Swine Flu (H1N1) I heard one person call it a "world-wide pandemic disease." But they don't have a monopoly on redundancy. Yesterday I heard someone talking about "two twins." And for some reason, all of my high school social studies teachers used to say "irregardless."

Some redundancies might not even strike people as being redundant, until further reflection, like "government deficits." Some redundancies result from adding a superfluous modifier to a word that is already an absolute, like "quite unique" or "very true." Though we say these things innocently, they are still redundancies that we repetitiously repeat again and again over and over. You get the point, which is why say it twice?

I had an extremely long list of redundancies in my files and found some even longer lists online. Rather than repeating those lists, here are some of my personal favorites:
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Don’t Mess with Seniors!


picture of old swinger

I never thought I'd be a "swinger" in my old age. But this past weekend, I was a swinger, of sorts. As I related in my last post, my son and I joined over 100 other men from our church to go to the Wilds for a men's retreat. It was a wonderful weekend, in spite of the rain. The messages we heard from Dr. Dick Stratton were super and the fellowship was great. Because of the rain and mud, Mark and I weren't really tempted to do the hike to the second falls, opting to play some indoor games instead.

In the afternoon, however, we enjoyed some outdoor activities in some light drizzle. We started off with the Land Trolley, then the Giant Swing, then 18 holes of miniature golf before heading inside for some Foosball and air hockey. Shortly after we went inside, the drizzle became the torrents that continued the rest of our time there and on our drive home after dinner.

Here are several pictures of us doing the Giant Swing. We were "suited up" first.
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