November 06, 2017

Whether to buy a new or used car

Transportation is a cost. Whether you're taking a train, paying for a rideshare service, or buying a car, it costs money; and cars are a depreciating asset. As I've started planning my next car purchase, I've come across the stern advice that one should always buy a used car. The usual reason given is the immediate deprecation from just "driving off the lot." Let me put that in perspective and assert that used cars also have the same problem when driven off a dealer's lot, and then I will take a closer look at buying new cars versus used cars.

September 02, 2017

Metric system is like a foreign language

I realize that in all my life I have not become accustomed to thinking about weights and measures in the metric system without thinking about the units in the U.S. standard or traditional system. This is much like learning a foreign language but having to translate in your head before speaking or understanding. I think this is because I learned about weights and measures as a child with the traditional system, so I have established mental reference points in my memory.

I was recently thinking about temperature. What would it take for me to understand Celsius so that I don't have to convert it mentally? Is 27 degrees in Celsius warm or cool? It is easy to talk about temperature in Fahrenheit, and I think I have memories of feelings or even specific things associated with different numbers:

August 19, 2017

Why I'm not traveling to see the total solar eclipse

I really wish I could travel a little ways north to see the total solar eclipse this Monday, but I'm not. Here in Athens, Georgia, we will be just outside the path of the umbra and will see an eclipse which will be 99% total.

First of all, I did not appreciate that the difference between 99% and 100% is a really, really big one percent, so I did not consider making any advance travel plans. Since I learned about the prediction, though, I have read a lot about how much of a difference it makes and what an interesting psychological experience an eclipse can be.

April 09, 2017

Sarcastic descriptions of common drugs

Chantix: You won’t feel like killing somebody for a cigarette because you’ll just feel like killing yourself.

Ambien: Sleepwalking is still technically sleeping.

Hycodan: You can’t cough if you can’t breathe.

Pseudoephedrine: You can actually get high enough without the hassle of turning it into meth.

Cyclobenzaprine: Why in the heck is this not prescribed for diarrhea?

Xanax: Save your money and just skip straight to the chocolate.

Feel free to add more in the comments.

Originally posted as a Facebook note.