Porcupyn's Blog

September 29, 2010

Tales of Baab – Reading comprehension, or lack thereof

Filed under: Family,Humour — Porcupyn @ 7:28 pm

Baab has gotten to that level in school where he is supposed to read passages and make an intelligent guess pick the correct answer. Here is a sample passage and a sample question – please note that all names and references in the passage have been changed from the original to keep the identity of the school a secret. The passage itself has also been modified, to ensure that it has no reference to reality either.

There was an Island in the Ocean – Isla Republica – ruled by King Oosh. All the inhabitants of the island were very happy and enjoyed life and their island. One day, out of nowhere, the island was taken over by a large population of mosquitoes. When the sun set, they came out, buzzed around, bit people and even sucked blood. The people of island referred to them as Golden Bloodsuckers.

No longer were the people happy. They appealed to King Oosh to rid them of the Golden ‘suckers. King Oosh had an idea. He invited the king of the neighbouring island nation, King Arach of Isla Democratica, to come over for lunch, stay overnight in his palace, and listen to the lovely music of the little people in his nation. After a grand feast, King Oosh gave King Arach a blanket to sleep under. He also told King Arach that the little people were very sensitive; if King Arach removed the blanket or peered out from under it, the little people would immediately go away.

King Arach followed King Oosh’s advice. As he lay in bed, he heard the wonderful music of buzzing generated by the Golden ‘suckers. Next morning, he asked King Oosh for some of the little people so he could take them back to his island. By then, King Oosh had very kindly collected all of the mosquitoes in a bag which he handed to King Arach, and told him, “Please keep this bag sealed until you reach Isla Democratica, otherwise the little people will fly away!”

Once more, King Arach followed King Oosh’s advice. From that day onwards, Isla Republica was rid of the Golden ‘suckers who now harrass Isla Democratica.

Question: Suggest a different method that King Oosh could have used to get rid of the pests – he could have instead …
1) … summoned a magician to cast a spell on them so they would bite people no more.
2) … put all the Golden ‘suckers in a bag and dumped them in the ocean.
3) … taken all the people in Isla Republica and moved them to Isla Democratica.

Baab selected option 1. My reasoning is that option 1 is wrong because there is nothing in the passage that says that Oosh has any magical powers or has access to a magician. Option 3 is obviously not a good option because of the logistics – Baab got that part right.

However, Baab’s reasoning is that the passage already discusses Oosh having rounded up all the pests in a bag. Picking option 2 would be almost the same and not really a different method.

What do you think? Would you agree with me? Don’t you agree that Oosh cheated/tricked Arach (this is not part of the question that was part of the passage)?

September 27, 2010

New word alert – A Baab Tale

Filed under: Family,Humour — Porcupyn @ 7:26 pm

Baab is discussing his schoolwork with his mother. The discussion moves on to class exams.

Mrs. Porcupyn: “You need to be prepared for your next Science test. How often are you tested? Are you tested monthly?”

Baab: “No.”

Mrs. Porcupyn: “Quarterly?”

Baab: “No.”

At this point, Porcupyn is all set to endure the latest round of mother-son 20 questions, but Mrs. Porcupyn cuts to the chase.

Mrs. Porcupyn: “OK, how often then?”

Baab: “Chapterly!”

Porcupyn –> ROTFL! 😉

September 22, 2010

Lessons learned

Filed under: Uncategorized — Porcupyn @ 10:04 am

A couple of things I’ve learned in the USA … 🙂
1. The customer is always right, until proven wrong.
2. In an exam, you always start off with a 100/100, until you lose points for errors.

September 21, 2010

WONDERful Alphabet Soup

Filed under: Humour,Travel — Porcupyn @ 1:22 pm

Some photos from the WONDERland (at sea)!

September 14, 2010

On frustrated Men’s Champions at the US Open …

Filed under: Tennis — Porcupyn @ 3:37 pm

… and here you were (I was), thinking that ESPN would be better than CBS!

Fortunately for me, this year I was not watching the men’s final – because of the rain, the schedule had been disrupted and I did not know when the match was going to be played – else I might have blown a gasket.

September 13, 2010

Tennis lesson 001

Filed under: Tennis — Porcupyn @ 9:36 pm

Baab and I went to the Tennis courts the other day. I am trying to get him started in the game. As I started thinking of the basic basics of the game, some thoughts crystallized. Let’s see if I can get these basic ducks – or basics ducks – in a row!

– when you are in a rally, the easiest opportunity you get to hit the ball is when it is at its highest point after bouncing, because at this point, it is stationary, if only for a fraction of a second. That makes it easiest to hit, assuming that you have already run to where the ball is and positioned yourself such that the ball is at a ‘sweet spot’ distance from you.

– conversely, when in a rally, the toughest opportunity you get to hit the ball is either before it has bounced or immediately after it has bounced. Though these are tough shots to complete/master, if you get the ability to hit these shots, you have the chance of hitting outright winners because a) the opponent is not expecting the ball to come back so fast and b) even if he/she is expecting it to come back fast, he/she has not got the time to race around to defend the entire court.

– finally, if you are really caught out of position, don’t ever forget that you still have a chance to make that return until the ball hits the ground for the second time. What this means is that if you have not yet given up on the rally, and have the legs to get you to the ball, you can still scoop it over the net as long as it is still a couple of inches off the ground.

– after each shot, make sure you come back to the centre of the court (at wherever depth of position you are comfortable with, i.e., either near the net, or deep in the court, or behind the baseline). If you do this, you save yourself the trouble of running more than half the width of the court (because you have already covered part of this distance).

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