Counting in counties

The frequency of both words being used in the same sentence the past couple days has me wondering about the relatedness. So, I looked up the etymology of both.

  • count (verb) late 14c., “to enumerate, assign numerals to successively and in order; repeat the numerals in order,” also “to reckon among, include,” from Old French conter “to count, add up,” also “tell a story,” from Latin computare “to count, sum up, reckon together,” from com “with, together” (see com-) + putare “to reckon,” originally “to prune,” from PIE root *pau- (2) “to cut, strike, stamp.”
  • county (noun) mid-14c., “a shire, a definite division of a country or state for political and administrative purposes,” from Anglo-French counte, from Late Latin comitatus “jurisdiction of a count,” from Latin comes (see count (n.1)). It replaced Old English scir “shire.”

So, not at all. Both come from different French and Latin terms. French conter vs counte and Lating computare vs comitatus.

English is weird, yo.

Lost Numbers

Interesting case where four of the numbers on Lost (4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42) came up in a big prize. What is more interesting to me is that maybe over 9,000 played them. (I say maybe because people only seem to be referencing the number of $150 winners by LOST creator’s Twitter.) Let’s say all 6 LOST numbers showed up in the lottery jackpot and 9,078 people played them. There is an important clause:

*Note: The jackpot prize will be divided equally among multiple jackpot winners. All other prizes are fixed amount, except as set forth below.

Therefore… $355,000,000 / 9,078 = $39,105.53

If instead you got the first five but missed the megaball, you would get $250,000. People might want to keep this kind of thing in mind when selecting numbers. You want to win, but you want to win with something no one else would play. I wonder if this will make people have second thoughts about playing a set of numbers so many others are now known to play?

Then again, people pool their numbers. The largest pool I’ve heard of was about 50 people coughing up $5 each.

P.S. People playing their special numbers religiously in the Georgia lottery put both me, my brother, and a number of my friends through college. So keep up the good work! Lots of kids need you to put them through college too. HOPE is underfunded, so play more so more deserving kids can get educated.


Unusual names intrigue me. Whenever I encounter a name I don’t know, I find myself curious about the origin. Probably this comes somewhat from researching my own names which both my first and last (see the last post Legacy of a Name). Both were for obscure authors and painters people almost never know. Which lets me explain who they are.

Asked a waitress named Sabra if she knew the origins of her name. She had never looked it up, but multiple bank tellers told her it was the name of a desert flower in Arabic. She found it interesting bank tellers are the only people who volunteer that they know about something non-monetary. Told her about my recent discovery Ezra was an anti-miscegenist so my pro-miscegenist parents ironically named me for him. We both laughed about the story.

So I looked up sabra….

The Akkadians used a word sibaru for aloe. Arabic picked it up as sabr. Hebrew picked up the word for cactus in with the introduction of the prickly pear as tzabar. In 1931, Sabra was adopted to mean those Hebrew born in Palestine and distinguish them from those born in Germany or Russia. Ezra would have been much in favor of Sabras, I think.

Didn’t expect it to go in that direction. At least the exercise made me laugh.

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Wow… I have been ignoring a lot of propaganda lately.

Work will often send email to all the employees. A filter sends those to my propaganda folder. I only have 5 for the first three days of September and 11 for the first three days of October. Not a promising start.

Of course, it is election season, so both the DNC and GOP are asking for my vote.

Meetings, meetings, meetings, meetings.

Event invitations from all corners.

Need to hit reset in my brain and boot from ROM.


An author who did a session at a conference some time ago asked me to take down 3 photos of him. I did. I just don’t like that I did.

  • I thought about making them Friends & Family so he could not see it.
  • I thought about replacing them with “Removed at the request of <author’s name>”.
  • I even thought about ignoring the request.

He didn’t say why. I thought about asking.

Boredom Correlates to Mistakes

We never get to stay bored at work for very long. Every day has an emergency from something caused by a user of the institutions we host, the admins at the institution, or even people who work for our project. Wait…. Maybe it is the boredom which is the cause of the mistakes which keeps the rest of us from really getting bored. So eliminating the boredom in one part of the system would cause boredom in other parts.

Thankfully our philosophy is to automate monotonous activities as much as possible. Computer brains do not get bored to make mistakes.

According to Dr Eichele of Norway and Dr Stefan Debener of the UK, when the brain switches to autopilot is when we are likely to start making mistakes. The brain economizes by shifting electrical activity from the prefrontal cortex (attention) to the default mode network.

I can’t want for them to figure out brains which sit in the default mode network are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia. 🙂

Of course, the worst mistake you could possibly make is to get bored enough to get involved in social networks.

Asking to Get Caught

A person intending to rob a convenience store filled out a job application while waiting for the store to clear of other customers. A good idea, assuming the potential robber does not give his real name and phone number of someone who knows him. This is exactly what the police say he did. Ouch.

The first time I read it in local news sources, I thought it deserving of going in Yahoo’s Oddly Enough. Sure enough, this story did make it.