A Sticky Situation

In high school I wrote a short story that involved bad jokes and landmines. I lost that story to the void. A month or so ago I was able to remember the story’s main joke, to which I quickly posted it to Twitter. The post was then commented on, to which my friend reminded me of the landmines in the story.

At this point I was completely lost, because I had forgot about the landmines and the importance they had to the story. It is now safe to say I remember the second joke and why the landmines are there, so without further ado, here is my new and improved, super revised version of A Sticky Situation.

A Sticky Situation

My name is Elmer. I used to be involved a high stress work environment, and by that I mean that I used to be a spy. I worked in a particularly strange department in my agency, I was known as a cleaner.

When I had to do my job, which I always hoped that I didn’t, it always involved cleaning up the messes left behind by the other spies. Sometimes that meant patching a gunshot hole. Sometimes that meant cleaning up blood from hardwood flooring. Sometimes that meant disposing of an already eliminated assassination target.

It’s safe to say that whenever I was called in it was always because something didn’t go according to plan. Some spies just aren’t meant for the field, and yet that didn’t stop our agency from sending them out. There was always messes to clean.

On what would become my final day, my boss handed me a tape. He spoke, with a mournful tone, “Agent H was compromised. We sent him to the house of a suspected terrorist thought to be constructing nuclear arms in order to subdue him. This was the last transmission that we picked up from Agent H’s earpiece.”

I clicked the tape on. It started up with what appeared to be the sound of Agent H busting down the door to the house.

A voice could be heard from the tape, with a high pitched static, as if coming out of a TV, “Hello agent, I suspected they would send one of you to get me. Lucky me, my bet paid off…Unlucky for you though, you seem to have stumbled into my trap. I have set landmines all around the house, and now that you’re here I’ve activated ALL OF THEM. You’re going nowhere agent unless you answer my questions.”

In anger I paused the tape and yelled, “The terrorist wasn’t even there! Why did you send Agent H there without proper intel?! I know you aren’t even paying him fair wage, he’s getting paid sugarcubes, but now you’re just recklessly endangering his life!?”

“Please calm down Agent Elmer… Please listen until the end of tape.”

I clicked the tape back on. The terrorist was now questioning Agent H.

“Agent, if you answer my questions I’ll consider letting you go. Does it sound like we have a deal?”

Agent H’s distinct voice rang clear, “Nay.”

“Are you sure agent? If you don’t answer, I will have to dispose of you. So let me ask again. Are you going to answer my questions?”

And once more, just as assured as the last time, “Nay.”

“ONE LAST CHANCE AGENT! I WILL detonate the landmines, if you do not comply. WILL YOU ANSWER MY QUESTIONS!?”

Being the bravest (or perhaps the dumbest) agent I know, Agent H said one final time, “Nay.”

Well, kind of. He really said “Na-” and then after a very sharp loud noise, the tape cut out. Agent H was gone. It became clear to me that my job was to clean him and the house (or what was left of either of them).

“I quit.” I murmured. This was it. This was one more death that the agency could have prevented if they were more careful. I wasn’t going to clean up the agency’s mistakes anymore.

“I understand your anger. At least clean this one last time, and then we’ll let you go.”

I left.

And that was the final time I ever stepped foot in the agency.

When I got to the house it was completely destroyed. The terrorist truly did lace the place with landmines. Although after seeing so many James Bond movies I guess I can’t blame him for being thorough.

I found Agent H’s body. It was mangled and bloodied, but surprisingly is was also very sticky. The entire area around him was a very sticky, compared to the other parts of the rubble. Papers were stuck together, debris was clumped up, my shoes stuck to whatever I stood on. It was a mess, but I was very good at my job. It only took a couple of days to clean up, and by the end there was no trace of a house ever being built there.

Now I was unemployed. I had enough money to get by for a while, but I inevitably needed to find a new career.

There was a problem though, most of the messes I cleaned I forgot, it was just another day on the job. But as for the Agent H job, I couldn’t bear to forget it. It haunted me. There was something about it that stuck to me.

And then one day I was trying to seal an urgent letter, but sadly I was out of wax. I panicked, looking for anything to get the envelope flap to stick. And then it all rushed back to me. That rubble was so sticky. I suddenly had the inspiration to create something better than wax, something that I could use to seal envelopes and stick things together.

My name is Elmer and this is my story.

So there it is. The original story was about a paragraph long and didn’t contain Elmer, just Agent H blowing up into a sticky mess after saying ‘Neigh’.

If you missed it, which you probably did, Agent H is supposed to be a horse. When I originally wrote the story my goal was to write a story that was a little weird but still made sense, whether the main character was a horse or not. It holistically worked on the pun that all they can say is ‘neigh’.

The Elmer bit is entirely new, but is in reference to the fact that glue used to be made from horses (due to their high amount of collagen). And Elmer’s glue is a popular glue brand so I figured it would be reasonable.

There is a couple problems with the Elmer bit though, that I am willing to take on the chin.

1. If you blow up a horse I guarantee that it won’t turn into glue. PLEASE DO NOT HARM ANIMALS, FULL STOP.

2. Elmer used cow milk to produce glue. Oh well.

If you liked the story feel free to comment, I might start writing more stories in this blog.




Ben Wyatt: King of Nerds

Bazinga. Lots of people like to talk about Big Bang Theory and how it has promoted nerd culture. Nerd culture, though, has fundamentally rejected the image that Big Bang Theory has displayed. Going as far as creating over the top shammy looking comics on the internet, satirizing the show.

Image result for zimbabwe meme

Why? It doesn’t promote the idea of the casual nerd. Somebody who likes math, and board games, and TV show lore, but when in a normal human situation, acts like a normal human.

Everybody in Big Bang Theory is a caricature. Sheldon has 0 people skills, absolutely none, he straddles the line into being a sociopath. Raj physically can’t talk to women without being drunk. Howard is a grown man and still lives in his mom’s house (until later, but we aren’t counting that). Finally, Leonard comes closest to being an actual human, understanding that he can’t just talk about geek stuff 24/7 with people who aren’t interested in geek stuff.

But even Leonard pales in comparison to the true nerd king:

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Ben Wyatt from the hit TV show Parks and Recreation, a man who is weird and awkward at times, but also is fully capable of speaking to other human beings. Just that alone gives him a huge step up from those on Big Bang Theory.

Some people might argue though that Ben isn’t a nerd. He doesn’t bring up geeky or nerdy things as much as those on Big Bang Theory, and that’s exactly my point, he is a nerd, but you might not even be able to tell. So here are my arguments:

Treat Yo’ Self. When Ben tried to treat himself he got a Batman costume. I don’t feel like that needs an explanation.

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The Iron Throne scene. He gets to sit on the iron throne and is so blown away by it that the only lines that he can re-enact are “yes” and “no.”

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He loves accounting. He genuinely likes working with numbers, which is pretty nerdy if you ask me. But beyond that he is able to crack math jokes with the most boring of accountants. Not only is he a nerd, but he is the funniest of the nerds.

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Lastly, he is the architect of Cones of Dunshire. If creating a super complex board game that involves a rule about rolling dice for how many dice you will roll doesn’t make you nerdy, I don’t know what else does.

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All my point really is  is that he does all of this weird geeky nerdy stuff, and still has friends and a wife and children, and is a completely realistic normal person. In my book this is one of the best interpretations of the casual nerd that exist.

Snakes and Greed

I’m trying not to become a lifestyle blog. I have no intention on how to tell anyone how to live their life, mainly because I can’t verify that what I’m saying is really the way to do things. That said though every now and then I like writing small reflections on things every now and then.

As this post is titled, it’s about snakes and greed. Hold up, I know what you’re thinking but rest assured I’m not harboring any resentment or ill will towards anyone. I’m not going to talk about how money ruins man. I’m not going to talk about liars and their poisonous tongues. I’m going to talk about something way less deep.

Snake is a classic video game where you are a snake tasked with going around a small boxed off zone to gobble up as much food (or MacGuffin) as possible. The twist is that every time you eat a food you grow a little, and if you run into your own body or the wall, it’s game over.

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Now here is the masterful a+ high quality premium grade reflection. This game involves the most basic form of strategy that exists, and strategy always brings out life lessons. Here’s Snake’s:

  1. Don’t be greedy
  2. Good things come to those who wait
  3. Sometimes you need to ignore short term gains to accomplish long term goals
  4. Be kind of greedy

I crossed out the second and third point because I realized that it was just increasingly verbose restatement of the first point.

Playing the game, if you rush towards the food every single time, sooner or later you will end up trapping yourself. It’s the fastest way, but it doesn’t ensure that you will last. On the other hand, if you try to weave and condense yourself every time before you go to the next food you are assured safety from entanglement, although it does take a considerably larger amount of time.

The moral of these two strategies is that if you are ultimately greedy and not thinking or planning for any long term goals, you might end up closing doors on yourself. On the other hand though, if you spend your whole life planning, you could possibly miss out on some of the doing.

And that’s all I really have to say. I love snake, it’s a fun and relaxing game to pass the time.

Angles on an Angle (A Mathematical Tangent)

I guaranteed there would be a post, and this is proof of that guarantee.

I like math. I wrote a post a while back about Fermat and how he is a super math prankster. This post isn’t going to be biographic. This post is experimental. Buckle up and get ready for the paint-application-level images.

I’ve always had a design in my head that is kind of inspired from taking the limit of a regular shape as its sides approach infinity. In basic terms, if you keep adding sides to a square such that all the sides are equal length once that side is added, at infinity you’ll get really dang close to making a circle.

So here is my example time. I was up one night doing this because it seemed fun and I was particularly fixated on figuring this out.

So this is a 90 degree angle.

If you put a single point somewhere in that quadrant, you’ll get another 90 degree angle if you draw perpendicular lines from the axes. Like the one below.

Now that’s a square and all the angles equal 90 degrees. But what if we add another point out in that space, such that we maintain the perpendicular angles on the axes, and make their angles out in the quadrant equivalent. It will look something like the thing down below.

The question that remains, what would the angles of the intersections have to be in order for them to be equal to each other?

What you are looking at is one fourth of an octagon. Also you are looking at two points, both with 135 degree angles in the quadrant. It is pretty easy to figure out that it is 135 since you can reason that they are perpendicular lines, splitting another 90 degree angle between them, forming two 135 degree angles.

So let’s add 3 more points for the fun of it, putting a total of 5 points out in the quadrant. You’ll see the result (or my best paint of it) down below.

I won’t lie, I eyeballed that figure so they probably won’t all be perfect 162 degree angles. How did I come up with that number? This one you can’t really just eyeball 162 degrees, but by the time I got to this many points that night, I already had a formula in hand (more about that later).

One thing that you should notice though is how much more like a circle it already looks than the 90 degree figure. That’s because all of the angles are getting closer to 180 degrees, which every point on a circle should essentially be (for our sake). And here is where the fun and elegant part comes in.

Like I said before, there is a formula to figure out what angle each intersection would have to be in order to have equivalent angles to each other, I couldn’t find one, but I made one and it looks like this.

[90(1+2x)]/(1+x) x being the amount of points added minus 1.

So as a chart
1 point = [90(1+2(0))]/(1+0) = 90 degree angle
2 points = [90(1+2(1))]/(1+1) = (90*3)/2 = 135 degree angles
3 points = [90(1+2(2))]/(1+2) = (90*5)/3 = 150 degree angles
4 points = [90(1+2(3))]/(1+3) = (90*7)/4 = 157.5 degree angles
5 points = [90(1+2(4))]/(1+4) = (90*9)/5 = 162 degree angles
…   skip a few
2000 points = [90(1+2(2000))]/(1+2000) = (90*4001)/2001 = 179.955 degree angles

So if you took the limit of this equation as you take the number of points to infinity you’ll get a nice crisp 180 degrees. This verifies the assertion that the limit actually creates a circle. Since, although a circle doesn’t have a 180 degree angle for every single point, it has something infinitely close to 180 degrees without ever actually being 180 degrees.

Limits are pretty cool and I might write about Euler’s number one of these days, or even the Monty Hall problem. For right now though, I hope this post satisfied your mathematical interests until the next one comes along.

Also feel free to test the formula, it should undoubtedly work and looks awesome when you decide to choose a large number of points.


I Haven’t Posted in Two Weeks and That’s Kind of Lame

Sorry guys and gals. If you want to hear my excuse I got sick and it threw off all my productivity. It is safe to say that I am now firing on all cylinders and rocking out on the upward spiral once more. It is almost 3am, I can definitely guarantee there will be a new post in an hour from now.