Newsletter for 1994

Chris Taylor---January 1994

[This is my second in my series of yearly newsletters. Be warned that much of the material in here is based on the assumption that you care about me. After all, I wrote it to people I care about.---CCT]

Dear Bill Clinton or Current Resident,

It seems like only 12 months since I sat down to write my first annual newsletter, and now it is time to write my second. I trust that you have experienced a efficacious Christmas break. I was able to spend two weeks at home with my family in South Dakota. Those of you who know my family can well imagine what a treat this was for me.

For your benefit I have included answers to a number of the questions that many of you may be struggling with. (These are the same questions as the ones found on the postcard that I sent to some of you in the summer of 1992 in an attempt to raise support for grad. school only this time, I have included the answers.)

1. What is the funniest thing you have ever seen?
This is a tough one. I'm pretty sure that I don't remember the funniest thing I have ever seen; However, here's something that I think think will be funny even though I probably won't see it. I had a professor this past semester who read the comments that he received on his student evaluations to our class so that we would have a better idea of what previous students thought of him. He told me that he plans on continuing this practice in the future. I have solid evidence that one of the evaluations he received this last semester said the following:
Prof. Quong is a good teacher.
I like Professor Quong.
I love Professor Quong.
Russell, I love you!

2. Does spaghetti grow on trees or is it the root of the common garden weed called the thistle?
3. How many pints are there in a normal sized trash can?
I still haven't figured this one out.
4. How many lights does it take to change a janitor?
This is not possible. Fortunately, most janitors can control their bladders.
5. How many times do you wake up in the middle of the night?
Once to take a shower.
6. Which came first, the platypus or the egg?
The platypus.
7. How many natural mothers do you have?
8. How long does it take you to tie your shoes?
Twenty (20) seconds.
9. How many times do you wake up in the middle of the day?
10. How many fish can you catch on one hook?
An infinite number. The trick is to take each fish off of the hook before throwing your line back in the water.
11. Is your mouth as dry as mine?
12. Does pizza come in brown paper bags?
Not typically.
13. Do quitters never lose?
I give up.
14. Why does the sky sometimes turn purple before sunset?
It's tired of being blue all day.
15. Are you sick of these questions?
No, these are great.
16. Am I really crazy or do I just look funny?
17. Do camels spit? If so, what?
Yes, saliva.
18. Did Charlie Chaplin really get third place in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest?
19. Is General Mills the largest toy maker in the world?
20. At what speed does rain fall?
15 mph or 6.7 meters per second.
21. Is it really illegal to shoot open a can of food in Spades, Indiana?
22. Has it ever rained cats and dogs?
Not to my knowledge.
23. Are you still sick of these questions?
I'm getting there.
24. Can you read in braille?
Funny you should ask. My senior year my roommate liked to go to bed even earlier than me. He couldn't sleep with the lights on, so I had to learn braille so I could study in the dark.
25. Why does a gorilla sleep 70% of the time?
Because he's awake the other 30% of the time.
25. Does concentrated orange juice really think harder than regular orange juice?
No, it's usually frozen.
26. Does money grow on trees?
No. How could we ever buy groceries in the winter?
27. Are potatoes brown because they are trying to hide in the brown dirt and their skin is their camouflage?
Actually, potatoes are white it's just that nobody has perfected a way of cleanning them.
28. Does the stingy man really pay the most?
Most what?
29. Where do tuna fish come from?
30. Do two writes make twice as long a paper?
II''mm nnoott ssuurree..
31. Did you notice that there are two questions numbered 25?
Of course, I wrote this.
32. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet?
English: S. Greek: Lambda.
33. Why is chewing gum sticky?
So it won't fall out when you chew it with your mouth open.
34. Are diamonds really forever?
No, this is a big myth propagated by the jewelry industry. They can get away with it because not many people live long enough to prove them wrong. However, I have seen remains of what used to be a diamond, and believe me, it's not a pretty sight.
35. Why do bicycle tires have spokes?
Just lucky I guess.
36. How long is too long?
Five miles, eight minutes, or forever, whichever one comes first.
37. Is up really down if you're upside-down?
It depends if you are inside-out or not.
38. Does an eel have a tail?
What a stupid question!
39. Is $1.10 a lot to pay for gas?
It depends how much gas you get.
40. How many minutes are in a mile?
A sixtieth of the number of degrees in a mile.
41. Is red or green on top?
Red is longer than green, so it's taller.
42. Who runs faster Tom or Jerry?
Whichever one is the mouse.
43. Are piano keys black and white because they looked better in those black and white movies or because Beethoven was color blind?
No wait, Beethoven was deaf, not color blind.
44. If a person sleeps more on the average, will he live longer?
I don't know. I sleep on my side.
45. ?lamron eb yhW
Wye knot?
46. Does the room spin when you get dizzy or do you get dizzy when the room spins?
This depends on the individual.
47. What is the best thing to think about between the time you stub your toe and the time the pain reaches your brain?
What you are going to wear tomorrow.
48. Why do they dye pistachios?
Because I'm too busy to do it.
49. If I used my left hand for a year, would I be a better artist?
I still haven't tried it.
50. Is chance just a form of ignorance?
Probably, probably not.
51. Can the taste of a substance be predicted by its molecular makeup?
This is still unknown to me.
52. Is molecular makeup what makes the world look so pretty?
Yes, although too much makeup is a bad thing.
53. Are all bulletin boards tacky?
What? A stupid question?
54. Is one man's relief another man's pain?
Do rolaids hurt you?
55. Can the wind blow from all directions simultaneously?
No, the wind only has one lung.
56. Why do people use big words when they could use diminutive ones instead?
My undispassionateness forestalls my adroitness disambiguating a justification.
By the way, aren't you glad I didn't send this letter to you on a postcard?

You may be asking yourself "Why am I reading this?" or you may be thinking "Wow, it's really great to hear from Chris. I wonder what he's been up to." If you are asking yourself the first question, I would suggest putting this letter down, and maybe picking it up a little later. If the second reflects your thought process, keep reading. If you can't identify with either of these, you must not be using any of the ninety percent of your mind that I am currently reading.

Again I have enjoyed nearly all aspects of my life this past year. Last Spring I taught two sections of an introductory circuits lab. I took three classes (estimation theory, control theory, and complex math). I joined the Navigators's activities team to help plan our weekly large group meetings. I also participated in a weekly small group Bible study where we studied the book of Ephesians. And I continued singing in the church choir.

This summer took me home to South Dakota where I worked at EROS Data Center doing some image processing on some synthetic aperture radar images. My work was very similar to the summer before, but still different enough to provide a challenge. In my spare time at work I managed to write a manual to help incoming employees learn the basics. It included a major section on Unix (a computer operating system) and Vi (a text editor). Summer also afforded me with the opportunity to visit my dad's side of the family in up-state New York, and to take a camping trip to experience some of God's handiwork in western South Dakota.

Here are some of my highlights from this last semester: This semester a friend and former leader of Navigators's activity team changed jobs. As a result, I have taken the leadership responsiblity for this group. I have also had the opportunity of leading a weekly small group Bible study officially titled "Weights and Measures of the Bible" with Proverbs 20:10 being our theme verse. Despite the title, we actually studied the book of Galatians. In addition, I did a stand-up comedy routine at one of the large group meetings we had.

After two semesters TAing the same lab, I switched to a digital design lab. This lab is one of the most interesting for EE students because it provides them with the tools and abilities to design and build some semi-useful circuits. For example, one week they were to design and build a circuit that would control traffic lights at an intersection taking into account if cars were present or not. They design the circuit on paper, simulate it on a computer, and then build it with chips that they purchased at the beginning of the semester.

I became more active in the Electrical Engineering honor society (HKN) this semester. These activities included joining the Laser Committee and taking a 7:00 am shift of the lounge and snack facility that HKN runs.

For entertainment I played racquetball, purchased season tickets to the men's basketball games (hopefully attending the games will be more fun than purchasing the tickets), attended a number of seminars on current research being done around the country in signal processing and communications. Truth be told, nearly everything I do is fun (at least for me) so this paragraph is more of a miscellaneous category than an entertainment category.

Another year in the past means I have one class remaining to complete my masters degree. I plan on staying at Purdue to get my Ph.D. degree, and will begin coursework and research toward that end. In addition to all of the stuff I am already doing, I will be in charge of HKN's lab that we make available for students to work on school or personal projects that require EE lab equipment. I have volunteered to support a software package on the Engineering Computer Network which has around 11,000 users. Also, the lab that I am TAing this semester (the same one as last semester) is getting all new computer equipment in, so I will have some extra responsiblities changing over to the new system. In addition, I hope to develop some new assignments and modify the way the course is taught. Hopefully, these extra experiences will enhance my preparation for the future.


Chris Taylor ---

This letter is copyrighted 1994 and I retain this copyright. You may freely copy it as long as this copyright notice remains intact.