Helpful guide for parents — dental edition

Our dentist sends us a useless newsletter every so often (quarterly?) with gems like this, a set of code words to deceive your children, so in addition to being traumatized by a painful dental procedure they will also not trust you because you lied to them and they will always wonder who the hell Mr. Bumpy was.

It would be funnier if it wasn’t so creepy.

Don’t say…
Say instead…
needle or shot sleepy juice
drill Mr. Whistle (or Mr. Bumpy)
drill on tooth clean the sugar bugs
pull tooth wiggle the tooth
cavity sugar bugs
suction Mr. Slurpee (or Mr. Thirsty)
exam count the teeth
teeth cleaning tickle the teeth
explorer teeth counter

5 years; (when i paint my) masterpiece

In Malcolm Gladwell’s worth-reading Outliers, he makes the case that developing expertise in anything requires 10,000 hours.  It’s a rule; the ten-thousand hour rule.  If you work 2,000 hours in a year, that means it takes five years to become an expert.

There are lots of examples of this in practice; to me, it seems roughly right.

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Autonomous Hui

In form, if not in fact, the structure of Chinese sub-provincial units goes as follows:

  • Region (province)
    • Prefecture
      • County (and/or district)

There may be one or many counties/districts in a prefecture and one or many prefectures in a region.  China also has the idea, if not in fact, of autonomous regions, prefectures, and counties.  The general naming structure is: <placename> <ethnicity> <“autonomous”> <unit>, where unit could be region, prefecture, or county/district.  So, for example, you have, officially, the “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.”  But the autonomous designation is, as it were, autonomous, so you end up with situations like:

  • Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
    • Bayin’gholin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture
      • Yanqui Hui Autonomous County

So that’s a nominally autonomous region of Hui (Han Chinese Muslims) within a Mongol autonomous prefecture within a Uyghur autonomous region, none of which are, of course, in the slightest bit autonomous.


Empennage graphic from Wikipedia

Usually animated gifs are just annoying, but animation is used to great effect in this gif from a Wikipedia article, itself neatly written, on empennage, the tail assembly that gives stability to an aircraft: “the feathers of an arrow.”