The Origin of "Nerd"

So I learned this in a class that I eventually dropped. In the middle of lecture he wanted to take a break so he started talking about where the word “nerd” came from.

Basically, back in the day, the people who would go out and party and drink on Friday nights and/or weekends would notice that other students would stay in and study – they were doing the opposite of everyone else. So, they started referring to those studious students as “knurd”, which is “drunk” spelled backwards. Pretty interesting, huh? I guess I am a nerd, and happy to be one too.

During the break of the lecture the professor also asked if anyone had a good joke to tell. He looked around for like 10 seconds and no one said anything. Then he picked on a couple random people and said, “Come on, do you have a good joke?” Both times each person said, “Uh yeah, no I don’t.” Finally, the professor says, “Oh my gosh. You guys are all nerds.”

Keep in mind, this is coming from the professor who is an Indian guy with glasses and a slight accent, and who is teaching a course titled “Microwave Theory, Devices, and Applications.”

Committing Unconditionally

“So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver…  And I said to her, ‘You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man—so, too, will I be toward you.’” Hosea 3:2

In the Old Testament God commanded Hosea to love his adulteress wife (representing idolatrous Israel). The order of events in Hosea 3:2 is significant; “So I bought her for myself…And I said to her…so, too will I be toward you.” Hosea committed to purchasing his wife before she made any commitment to be faithful to him. Our purchases, however, are extremely conditional and this logic unfortunately prevails in our relationship with God and with others.

Are we willing to commit our lives to God prior to or despite the absence of blessing? When we’re dealing with misfortune, it’s hard to give our all in preparing for the next Bible study or RE lesson. It’s hard to give thanks to God wholeheartedly in prayer without bitterness. Only when things are smooth do we conscientiously serve the Lord. Job’s devotion to God, however, was unconditional. We say, “God, deliver me from this trial and I will praise you.” Job said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

Are we willing to commit ourselves towards loving others, to show kindness equally to all? If we saw our friend sitting alone, we wouldn’t think twice about joining him. But if we saw the mean or unpopular kid sitting alone, we wouldn’t think twice about not joining him. Our preaching is also conditional; we preach to those who we think might listen and not to those who “we know” won’t listen. Jesus, however, says, “As I have loved you…love one another” (John 13:34). He set the example by healing the leper in Matthew 8; no one thought twice about touching him, Jesus thought once about healing him.

Just as Hosea committed to his unfaithful wife, God committed himself to Israel even before they turned back to Him. Likewise, God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). It’s hard to love unconditionally – God knows that more than us. Yet, He was and is still willing. Are we?

A Higher Standard

Amo 1:1-2:3 NKJV

(1)  The words of Amos, who was among the sheepbreeders of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
(2)  And he said: “The LORD roars from Zion, And utters His voice from Jerusalem; The pastures of the shepherds mourn, And the top of Carmel withers.”
(3)  Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they have threshed Gilead with implements of iron.
(4)  But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, Which shall devour the palaces of Ben-Hadad.
(5)  I will also break the gate bar of Damascus, And cut off the inhabitant from the Valley of Aven, And the one who holds the scepter from Beth Eden. The people of Syria shall go captive to Kir,” Says the LORD.
(6)  Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they took captive the whole captivity To deliver them up to Edom.
(7)  But I will send a fire upon the wall of Gaza, Which shall devour its palaces.
(8)  I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, And the one who holds the scepter from Ashkelon; I will turn My hand against Ekron, And the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,” Says the Lord GOD.
(9)  Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Tyre, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, And did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.
(10)  But I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre, Which shall devour its palaces.”
(11)  Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the sword, And cast off all pity; His anger tore perpetually, And he kept his wrath forever.
(12)  But I will send a fire upon Teman, Which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.”
(13)  Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of the people of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they ripped open the women with child in Gilead, That they might enlarge their territory.
(14)  But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, And it shall devour its palaces, Amid shouting in the day of battle, And a tempest in the day of the whirlwind.
(15)  Their king shall go into captivity, He and his princes together,” Says the LORD.
(1)  Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime.
(2)  But I will send a fire upon Moab, And it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth; Moab shall die with tumult, With shouting and trumpet sound.
(3)  And I will cut off the judge from its midst, And slay all its princes with him,” Says the LORD.

Continue reading

Summer Fun and Geekiness – Monski Pong

I didn’t get an internship so my parents made this big hullabaloo about finding something educational to do. I thought I might try to play around with microcontrollers because there were a lot of cool projects done in ECE 476: Designing with Microcontrollers (course description). After a week or two of searching books and the web, I settled on using the Arduino (http://arduino.cc) which is an open source platform, and bought this book: Making Things Talk.

After doing some basic tutorials on the Arduino board, I started the first project in the book: Monski Pong! Basically it uses two flex sensors attached to a stuffed animal to manipulate a pong game on the computer screen. Here’s some visual documentation, proof that I did something this summer :p

First, the PONG PLAYER.

this used to be my brother's childhood toy

Continue reading