Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bridges and Birthdays

This past week has been a very eventful one. I decided last Tuesday that I was going to build a bridge (this last line has been a great conversations starter). Anyways, last week I got into a deep conversation about the physics behind the building of brides, which turned into a conversation about contests where people build bridges and then compete with others to see how much weight their bridge can hold. You can look here to see one of those contests in action. Well, after a lot of thought and a trip to Michael's, I decided to build a bridge. My bridge, however, will not be participating in any contests due to the fact that it isn't being built for that purpose. I am going to build a bridge that is going to look awesome. Here, in fact, is a picture of what my bridge is going to look like:

The picture of the bridge that is drawn in red was the original idea, but as I got deeper into the construction and study of bridges I decided to go with something a little more intricate, and that is when I decided to go with the second drawing, which is in black. I was looking at different bridges online and decided that the London Bridge gave me the most inspiration. If you want to see what the London Bridge looks like, you can click here.

The next few pictures are different phases that I have gone through to get to where I am at. The first picture is showing what the table looked like right before I started working. You will see two pictures of different bridges in this picture, they were just to help me understand a little bit on how the columns were to be constructed.

Phase One: Columns

Phase 2: Connecting the columns 
Phase 3: Arch support

I know it doesn't look like much now, but this is only the beginning. This bridge is going to look amazing. If you noticed in the very first picture, the bridge that I am planning on building has a drawbridge. Well, I will have you know that my bridge will also have a working drawbridge. I just have to figure out how to build a cranking type system first. It is going to be cool. I'm pretty sure it is going to be my new coffee table ornament. 

Now, Like Zach mentioned in his latest post, here, it is was my Aunt Connie's birthday today. She was nice enough to invite me to her birthday party for cake and ice cream. I wish I could have gotten a picture of her, but I didn't. Fortunately, I didn't come home empty handed, because I got a snap shot of my Grandma wearing some pretty stylish sun glasses, as you can see here:

She is so hot right now!!

If you have any ideas on how I can build a crank system that would work on the "Parry Bridge" let me know. (I named it just now, if you have any better ideas for a name, I am open for suggestions.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

WARNING: Humor may be hazardous to your illness.

Several months ago I was asked to be a guest contributer on a friends blog. I asked him what he wanted me to write on and he said I could write on whatever I wanted. So, I chose to write about humor. I have decided to add that post to my blog in order to preserve it. Here it is:

Not many people see humor as an art, but I do. I think having the ability to make people 
laugh is an expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. Being able to respond pointedly and skillfully with wit or humor in a conversational exchange is something that most people wish they could do, including myself. I have found that there are a few simple and basic rules which govern the world of humor. As we all know, having a sense of humor is having the ability to perceive what is comical in a situation while expressing it in a way that makes it possible for others to see or feel the same thing. Humor is based on the audience's understanding, perception and interpretation. This means that if nobody understands, humor is lost. These basic rules are what keep funny people funny, and not-so-funny people quiet.

I think everyone has the ability to make people laugh. A guy named Doug Larson once said that "a pun is the lowest form of humor." Puns can be learned and used in almost any situation and by almost anybody. But don't be fooled, by definition, a pun really isn't a pun unless it is deliberate. When it is not intentional it is called a malapropism. What makes this so interesting is the fact that most people claim their puns to be accidental. What does this mean? It means that every time someone tells you "no pun intended," either they are lying, or it wasn't really a pun, but a malapropism.
Now, everybody knows that it is repugnant when somebody laughs at their own joke. This leads me to believe that the best kind of humor comes dry. The most ideal kind of dry humor would probably be "deadpan" humor. Deadpan humor is a type of non-comedic delivery in which humor is presented without a change in emotion or facial expression. The ones who can make people laugh without laughing themselves are the ones who rule the realm of comedy. Mark Twain was quoted as saying: "The humorous story is told gravely; the teller does his best to conceal the fact that he even dimly suspects that there is anything funny about it."

Just for the record, laughter isn't significant because of the internal exercise that it provides for a person, but because of the mood created in which the other positive emotions come out.

-Jacob Parry