Midterm Review

Dear Class,

After I had asked for any questions you had, a number of you sent me an e-mail over the weekend (and one of you sent me a number of e-mails >:O) expressing dissatisfaction in your level of preparedness for the upcoming exam. I have therefore decided to push off state-space linearization until next Tuesday. These are the most common questions I received along with their answers.

Why is all lint the same color?

Nothing says somebody just washed a sack of their filthy drawers like a big warm pile of lint. T-shirts? Jean jackets? Slacks? Sun dresses? Old school Spiderman tube socks? It doesn’t matter what goes into the dryer, what comes out is always the same: blue-gray lint. It always the same drab, dusty, ashen color. Heck, you’d find more color variation at a BYO with the Penn Philippine Association. The answer to why lint is the same color lies within its original Latin form, lintus. When the first washing machine was built in 16 A.D., lintus was a valuable commodity that was often used as currency across the Roman Empire. The grayer your lintus was, the more pure it was considered to be. Many man-hours were spent engineering a dryer that would produce the perfect somber-colored lintus. After the Roman Empire collapsed in 1952, the various earlier lintus technologies remained as a historical pastiche.

Why do they sell beer in packs of twelve, but hot dog buns come in packs of eight?

You can’t buy one without the other, so why don’t they match? I consulted three cashiers at the Fresh Grocer to get the expert opinion directly from people in the retail food-sales industry. They basically said that back before the recession, both beer and hot dog buns used to come in packs of eight, but they diverged in the new millennium due to stagnation in the bun industry at a time when beer companies experienced surging prosperity. To remain competitive, beer companies began to include “bonus beers” and by 2003, all of the main manufacturers were producing 9, 10, or the astonishingly popular “Heaven 11” beer packs. In 2008, the Senate passed legislation requiring alcoholic products to be manufactured in multiples of six, so companies began to round up to twelve packs or down to six packs. Starting next year, this law will also phase out the long obsolete “fifth of Jack Daniels” in favor of a “sixth of Jack Daniels.”

How fat is she?

After much discussion, the general consensus seems to be that she is so fat. Proponents of this claim assert that she got a job at IHOP wipin’ pancakes ‘cross her face. While this is when many started to mull over how fat she was, it wasn’t until she got her own zip code that she was universally accepted as being “so fat.” In fact, she is so fat that when she wears a yellow raincoat, people mistake her for a taxi. There have even been numerous claims that she once jumped in the air and got stuck. Regardless, I think it is safe to say that reports of her so-fattedness are well-founded. In the coming weeks, we will break into teams and debate whether or not she wakes up in sections and if she has to make two trips when she falls down.

Where’s the beef?

Germany. In early years, the beef was located in the Midwestern United States before disappearing from the public eye for 2-3 decades. It allegedly resurfaced in the mid-1960’s in Malaysia and began a long migration along the coast of Southeast Asia. By 1984, worldwide panic had ensued culminating in public service advertisements alerting citizens that the beef was indeed missing. It wasn’t until the election of George H.W. Bush, that the beef was found in Turkey of all places. It remained there for some time. Barring a brief 1993 vacation to Osaka, the beef practiced a comfortable Turkish existence until 2007. Then, in a blockbuster trade, the beef was given to a small club in Dortmund, Germany for use in a sandwich they were making. In exchange the Turks received cash holdings and a future first round pick.

I hope that clears up a couple of your more pressing questions. While I do not have time to cover as much as I’d have liked (since the Chapter 17 items will still be present on the midterm) if you look over your notes from that section, you should be alright come test-time. If you haven’t already, buy my book.

A. T. Piskai

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