Do The Math

27 05 2011

Harold Camping promised I would not need to write a blog this week, or any week hereafter. I never spoke with Harold directly, but he assured me (and his followers) that the world would end on May 21st, 2011. He painstakingly mapped out the timing for the end of the world using the calendar (admittedly the calendar used by Noah and the Gregorians – not the Julian Calendar which the rest of the world sans Aztecs use). His math skills are a little suspect – if you pick seemingly random numbers to make your point, you can probably prove or disprove anything. For instance:

Mr. Camping’s solution is to simply take the Holy Numbers (more about these later) 5, 10, and 17. Multiply each of these numbers consecutively times themselves twice and you will find the number 722,500. The estimated date of the crucifiction according to Camping is April 1, AD33 (April Fools Day?) If you add 722,500 days to the crucifiction date, you come to May 21, 2011 – Voila – the end of the world! The math checks out – how he came up with 6:00 PM is conjecture – none of the disciples had functioning watches, therefore the bible is relatively mum on exact times. But we are not finished with numbers yet.

Roughly 2% of the earth’s population is scheduled to be “raptured” into heaven – the remaining 98% will remain for “tribulation”, a five month conciliation period during which God will accept no excuses and everybody goes to hell in a handbasket literally and figuratively. According to Mr. Camping, God is waiving the rules and will no longer sit in judgment for 5 months, but will instead clean up the whole mess on October 21, 2011. I am siding with God on this one – let’s just get it over with.

On May 21, 1988, God finished using the Churches and Congregations of the world (again according to Camping). He says the bible also dictates that the great tribulation will occur exactly 23 years after this bold move by God – precisely May 21, 2011. Would this brilliant use of mathematics have fared well in the 5th grade? I think not – it is just too simple.

Finally, here is where the Holy Numbers were found. According to Noah’s calendar, the flood started on May – hence the magic number 5. It also occured on the 17th of the month – hence the second magic number. We must assume that the number 10 is a holy number because there is not an explanation for it’s existence in the formula. Much of this formula is an assumption – the numbers really don’t matter – insert your own – create your formula for determining the end of the world. Then please call me so I will know when I need to post my next blog – I hate scheduling things to be published after earths’ expiration date has passed.

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Meetings Spur Economic Growth*

19 05 2011

*This is a copy of an article by Jason Hensel from February 3, 2011. It is very informative and a different way of looking at how travel affects business. I have not had the opportunity to say thanks to Jason, so this is my way of doing so. Thanks Jason!

A new study by a Michigan State University (MSU) sociologist professor shows a great value of meetings: economic development.
Conventional wisdom holds that job growth attracts people to urban areas. But according to a study in the Journal of Urban Affairs, MSU’s Zachary Neal found the opposite to be true. Bringing the people in first—specifically, airline passengers traveling on business—leads to a fairly significant increase in jobs, he says.
“The findings indicate that people come first, then the jobs,” Neal said. “It’s just the opposite of an ‘If you build it, they will come’ sort of an approach.”
For the study, Neal examined the number of business air-travel passengers in major U.S. cities during a 15-year period (1993-2008). Business passengers destined for a city and not just passing through are a key to job growth, he says.
Attracting business travelers to the host city for meetings and other business activities by offering an easily accessible airport and other amenities such as hotels and conference centers is one of the best ways to create new jobs, he says. These business travelers bring with them new ideas and potential investment, which creates a positive climate for innovation and job growth. In the study, Neal analyzed all permanent non-farm jobs.
Neal says the finding does not contradict more direct job-creation strategies, including the construction of office and retail spaces, which can often lead to new jobs in the area. He noted that such approaches are unlikely to attract business travelers and others to the area. Thus, the study clarifies the relationship between the two main ways cities can grow: by attracting new people and by attracting new jobs. Attracting new people to a city leads to job growth, but job growth does not attract new people, he says.
According to the study, municipalities with the greatest potential to convert business passengers into new jobs were largely “sunbelt” cities such as Phoenix, Miami, Dallas, Houston and Riverside, Calif. Those with the least potential were mostly East Coast or Midwestern cities such as Boston, Pittsburgh and Detroit.
Neal added that business airline traffic is far more important for a city’s economic vitality than population size—a finding he established in an earlier study and reaffirmed with the current research.
“One might expect to see a bump up in jobs first, and then a year or two later an increase in business passenger traffic,” Neal said. “But we saw just the opposite. There was a bump up in business traffic, and then about a year later, a bump up in jobs. The business passengers were coming before the jobs did, rather than after.”
(Story materials provided by the University of Michigan.)





Crayons to CAD

12 05 2011

EventPros has enjoyed the opportunity to assist with NICE (National Institute of Construction Excellence) on their combination iBuild and Crayons to CAD program for the past 8 years. Crayons to CAD is an interactive, standards-based, middle school grade specific curriculum sponsored by NICE. It launches students into understanding the building environment as they construct “green” schools or new baseball fields or parks and community centers. Math, science, engineering, communication and technology are heavily embedded in the interactive, project-oriented program. The experience culminated this year at Bartle Hall at the annual showcase on April 28th, 2011. As usual, it was a tremendous success.

Coordinated almost entirely by volunteers, and planned over the course of many months, this process allows thousands of young adults to experience hands-on life experiences in the Building Trades. Sponsored by great organizations such as The Builders Association, MODOT, JE Dunn, (to name only a small few) and all of the Trade Unions; this event is a festival of concrete, painting, road safety, construction, architecture, and most importantly, education.

There are many different focuses within the various organizations, and the students have multiple chances to learn about the wide variety of skills necessary to be successful in the Construction Industry. The Crayons to CAD portion of the event is a project based learning program where students from 6th through 8th grades compete in designing, constructing, and building their project from “found” materials. The dome of a new stadium might be the lid from a Dairy Queen cup; the grasses and trees are made from so many different creative forms of materials that it is impossible to describe. The projects are extremely creative, and the future of new buildings – the buildings that will be utilized by our great-grandchildren – are being envisioned and created by these students on their baby steps towards excellence in these various fields.

We are very proud to be associated with this organization and the group of people that put so much sweat equity into the project. Hats off to NICE, The Builders Association, all of the Judges and Volunteers who make this venture both an amazing experience to watch, but offers us the ability to see where the future of Construction could be heading. Even bigger kudos to the students who are learning how to improve both their lives and ours – here’s to a great future!





National Teachers Day

3 05 2011

Having been married for over 30 years to a teacher, and being surrounded by educators all the time, I have to admit a great deal of prejudice in their value. I probably rank somewhere in the top 10 worst students in the history of the world. I am a decent learner, but for some reason I have to learn things the hard way. This is something I do not think any of my teachers found very amusing. I owe so much to these people who stuck with me when I would have voted in favor of euthanesia if I had been in their position and had any opportunity to make that choice. Which is just one of the reasons we need to honor National Teachers Day.

National Teacher Day is today, May 3, 2011. Here is a very brief history of how this day became a reality:
The origins of National Teacher Day are murky. Around 1944 Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Woodridge wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, who in 1953 persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day.

NEA, along with its Kansas and Indiana state affiliates and the Dodge City (Kan.) Local, lobbied Congress to create a national day to celebrate teachers. Congress declared March 7, 1980 as National Teacher Day for that year only.

NEA and its affiliates continued to observe National Teacher Day in March until 1985, when the NEA Representative Assembly voted to change the event to Tuesday of the first full week of May.

Teachers don’t normally ask for much – pay attention, follow instructions, do your homework, etc. – the usual stuff. They don’t earn nearly what they are worth. Great teachers make great schools; great schools make great students; great students make great communities – and great communities are where we live. There is nothing more valuable than the process where this all begins.

So take a minute today to say “thank you” – maybe even give them a hug – our future is in their hands. Happy Teacher Day!