Friday, April 08, 2011

All the Single Ladies...

I've been going through all kinds of old papers lately and having had a rant on stats recently, thought this excerpt I found was funny-- I think it was also from Dr. Witesman. This is, indeed, a very strange-sounding rule. But mathematicians have proved it works better than any other. The number thirty-seven percent is an approximation of the exact number I/e, where e is the base for natural logarithms... of course this rule can't guarantee success, but, as Churchill said of democracy, it's the worst strategy except for all the others, and it gives you a thirty-seven percent probability of making the best decision. Here is one example. Suppose over a life-time you expect to meet one hundred available candidates. If you marry the first one, the chance that you have indeed found the best of all one hundred candidates is only 1/100. Likewise, if you wait to meet all one hundred candidates, you will have rejected ninety-nine who came before, and the possibility that the last person you meet is also the best is again only 1/100. The best strategies allow you to sample for a while, in order to learn about the various candidtes; and of all such strategies, the best has you samplling thirty-seven percent of the total and then choosing the first candidate thereafter who beats all the ones who came before. Of course, there is a chance you will never find one who is better than all thirty-seven percent you've already seen. So if you are a young woman who expects to meet one hundred attractive bachelors over her dating years, you should let the first thrity-seven of them go, and marry the first one you meet thereafter who is more attractive to you than all thirty-seven young men you have already dated. Now, don't you wish your mother would give you advice like that?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What have I become?

Maybe a skeptic of the first class. Yikes. But seriously, I was not aware of this side effect of grad school. Stats and Eva's class, I believe, were the biggest culprit of turning me into a doubt-everything Thomas. For example, I saw the link for this article ( earlier and when reading it, my immediate thoughts were whoa whoa whoa, hang on. You're arguing what?!

Anyway, now I want to discuss this. Are these stats valid? Do you think it really demonstrates power to have voted with the majority the most-- why wouldn't that show herd mentality? Anyone who's bored and wants to relive program eval, let me know :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Love

I'm not particularly a Twilight fan-- the movies were fine but I never read any of the books. However, this song from the score is my new love. I think I've listened to it 25 times in a row on continuous play.

p.s. choose to ignore the sappy text in this video... or indulge-- whichever floats your boat :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Keeper Recipe

It was a long three months with no Southern Living inspiration, but my subscription is now renewed and the delivery problems sorted out :) Recommence the experimental recipes!

I tried this one on Ben and Suzannah and it was a success!

Chicken with Pecan Sauce
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup butter, divided
4 chicken cutlets (abt 1 1/4 lb)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dried thyme

1. Heat pecans and 2 Tbsp butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-low until toasted and fragrant. Remove from skillet.
2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour.
3. Cook chicken in hot oil in skillet over medim heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and done. Transfer to a serving platter. Top with pecans.
4. Add chicken broth to skillet, and cook 2 minutes, stirring to losen particles from bottom of skillet. Add brown sugar, vinegar, and thyme, and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar is melted and sauce is slightly thickened. Whisk in remaining 2 Tbsp butter. Serve sauce over chicken.

*All that butter isn't necessary. I left the butter from toasting the nuts in the skillet to cook the chicken. I also would not add more to the sauce at the end. And I added more nuts-- can't have too many pecans!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Abject, pleading apologies

Dear Karma,

I am sorry. Dog ran away again and I crashed into a snow bank. Was that really necessary? It was just a blog post.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Warning: the following images may be unsuitable for queezier readers

It took me about a month before I could look back and laugh at the experience. Then literally the day I was looking through pictues and thought about making a blog post about it, I come home and the dang dog ran away. Knock on wood, nothing will happen if I post this now. But as some of you know, I had an attempt at ambidextrousness earlier this year after an incident with my housemate, Alphonzo. My first week dogsitting was a little traumatic, but I got pretty good at using the touch mouse and washing my hair with my left hand. The good news: we get along well now. He loves to sing while I play the piano. I just don't pet him :)

P.S. I attempted to play around the template of my blog. Big mistake. I want an undo button.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Because I'm INTJ, that's why.

So when I visited DC several weeks ago, one of my favorite things was Heather, Sarah, Lindi, and Connie's consistent application of their Myers-Briggs personality profiles in everyday banter. Like we would be talking about something like work styles and Lindi would pipe in "that's your P-ness showing through." Or Heather would talk about her pursuit of a certain young man and Connie would respond, "you're such a I!"

While there, I retook the test and got the same result I have gotten every time I've taken it since high school: INTJ. Usually when I've taken the test before, it was as a school assignment and while the fast glimpse I took at my profile was interesting and fitting, I never studied it in-depth... until the past few days while continuing this anxiety-ridden, soul-searching, journey of self discovery that has been the past few months. Appropos timing, yes? I thought so too.

And oddly what I've found in my search has been empowering, reassuring, and, I believe, a contributing factor to the end of my cry-at-the-drop-of-a-hat phase (hooray!). Nearly every link under the Google search "INTJ" is now purple. I also found a forum where other INTJ's post about their experiences, historical figures with whom they relate, and their personality tendencies and I find myself thinking "oh my heck, you are articulating what I've always felt but never been able to explain and you feel the same way! I'm not such a weirdo." (incidentally, expressing internal insights or emotion is not a strong-suit of my profile).

Interesting fact: less than 1 percent of the population are considered INTJ-- the majority of which are men. I know that we all have felt at some point that we are 'weird,' but reading that alone I guess justified in my mind some of the 'differentness' I have always felt. Also interestingly, I am very logical (check), I view the world in terms of opportunity for improvement and increased efficiency (check), I prefer privacy to crowds of people (check), I primarily value intelligence and competence in myself and others (check), I abhor small talk but find it a necessary social nicety... and am usually bad at it (check!), my quietness is often mistaken for arrogance or boredom... but in actuality seldom feel these things (check), I am largely an observer (yep), I value organization and try to put everything into a rational system (just ask any former roommate), I am not very demonstrative of affection/ emotion (yes), I find gratification in implementing systems and work (check), and I feel satisfaction when decisions are made (hello! welcome to my predicament of the last 2.5 months).

I guess the moral of this post is, if you haven't taken the Myers-Briggs, dooooo iiiit. Maybe you're not on a search for validation and self-discovery as I am, but maybe you are. And maybe this too will help you make some sense of things (look, there goes my logical side again :) ).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Look, Grandma, it's finally done!

It has been a project about 5 years in the making, but one week of the cold bug and I was able to make some progress.