January 27, 2007

Two Things

Thing One:

Violent video games are constantly blamed for the devolution of today's youth. Grand Theft Auto is often under the most fire, but other games such as Hitman or Halo are also just as violent. People claim that video games such as these cause youth to have a predisposition towards violence. In fact, I am currently working on a research paper concerning these claims. Here's what I've discovered. Even mild and innocent video games can cause ruffian behavior. How mild? How innocent? Take a look at this recently vandalized building:

Recognize something about it? Here, allow me to shed some more light:

That's right! The most innocent, block falling, Nintendo classic of old Tetris has polluted the youths of todays' minds with vandalistic tendencies (we'll ignore all the grammatical and apostrophe-ical flaws in that I utilized in order to make that sentence sound doctoral). So relax critics, violent video games aren't the problem. Violent teens are, they just vent their anger in whatever form they're familiar with. Grand Theft Auto = Beating down people and killing. Tetris = breaking out windows. So, the biggest question of all. . . what does Wii Bowling equal?

Thing Two:

This is the calendar for Sprague High School. The blacked out days are the completed days. The blue and green days are the days yet to complete. Seniors graduate Friday the 8th. That means we are almost done! ALMOST! Soon I will install a countdown to graduation on my blog and we can all countdown together! Graduation time in the past has always made me happy, and I wasn't even the one graduating. I just think it's exciting that all the seniors get to move on with their lives and do things that are actually noteworthy and different. Now it's my class's turn, we just need to make it to June 8th. Come on seniors, we can do it!

January 25, 2007


Favorite robot of the day! Come on, tell me I won't do this at MIT, just tell me.

College Writing Gay Marriage Class Discussion

The Gay Marriage Article has been moved to the new 8th Period College Writing Website at



January 23, 2007

January 21, 2007

Long post about a bunch of stuff

Haven't posted lately, sorry. I'll try to cram everything into this entry. Ready? Here we go!

First up, a couple more t-shirts that I found entertaining (keep in mind these aren't pictures of the actual shirts, just what's on them. Just plain black shirts with the following equations in white):

Don't get it? Just evaluate the integral!

'nuff said.

Next up, speech team stuff. I'm doing an expository speech in speech team again this year (an 8 minute speech to inform, with visual aides). Last year was sock monkeys, this year is binary. I approached the topic with gung-ho enthusiasm, but everybody else (and I mean everybody) was skeptical. They didn't think it would do well, too boring and technical. WRONG! (said like the guy in the "End of the World" flash video) I have taken Binary to two tournaments. The first tournament I took it to was quite large (30 expository speeches, many quite good). I made it to finals and then BOOM! I won! Sock monkeys had never won last year, despite the cult following they achieved, yet Binary, the speech nobody was supposed to like, got first place at its premier. Things are looking up! Yesterday was another tournament. I took Binary to it and guess what! 3 rounds and 3 first places later, it won again!

That's my trophy. w00t! Oh, and at the first tournament I did impromptu speaking as well. Yep, won that too. Two first place medals and a trophy, not a bad start to the season!

Next story, Calculus CLASS!!!!!!!!

Of couse I wasted more time in calculus, it's what I do! Play-Doh again this time, but this time my friend and I actually made sculptures instead of monolithic works of art. Enjoy!
Amazing, huh? Ah calculus, what a wonderful class.
That's all for now, I'll blog more often, I promise. Until then though, bye bye!

January 20, 2007


I have officially found the geekiest, most amazing shirt ever. Other shirts that I own are quite geeky, be it my "Geek Squad" shirt, my "Silverware Family" shirt, "Pi" shirt, "Quantum Theory" shirt, "Power Button" shirt, "Rubik's Cube" shirt, "Clarinet Reed" shirt, or "I'm Legal" shirt. The shirt in this picture though, is far far far geekier than any shirt I own, therefore I must have it. If you can find a place to buy it, please let me know!

Snakes on a plane. Note the set notation that places snakes on a two-dimensional plane. Yes, that's right, geeky. But amazing, no?

January 17, 2007


So, here's my story. Let's start yesterday, Tuesday.

I was dreading the day. It was to begin with Early Bird Clarinet Sectionals (Lots of tuning) and then proceed directly into a Calculus test over integration techniques. After school I was to go home and then return at 7 in the evening for a symphony rehearsal. Overall, Blech!

I left the house at 6:20 and headed very slowly into school because there was sleet and freezing rain. That should have been my first hint to check the internet for school closures. I didn't. Instead, after having driven at 20 mph for 20 minutes, I heard an anouncement on the radio that school was on a two hour delay. I had this strange mix of emotions at that point. It was a mix between "YES! AWESOME!" and "CRAP! Now I have to drive twenty minutes back home at 20 mph, only to have to drive back into town in 2 hours!" So, I drove home.

When I got home I could have studied for my Calc test (because I really needed to), but instead decided to surf the net and talk to other delayed individuals. Soon enough, another anouncement came online: School Canceled. Score!

Now I can study and organize and get all set for school the next day, right? WRONG! I started by spending another 2 hours on the internet. I then proceeded to watch TV and then watched The DaVinci Code and after that fell asleep. I slept from 1-5 and then surfed the internet some more. More TV, and then I went to bed at 9, having accomplished nothing all day.

Why did I go to bed at 9? Because this morning I was awake at 2:30 to take my mom to catch the hut to the airport. I got home at 3:45ish. Great! Now I can study for my calc test that was likely delayed until today. WRONG! I surfed the internet. Then, school update. . . . 2 hour delay! Now I can finally study for the calc test! WRONG! Blogging. lol, so here I am at 5:55, putting off studying for this stupid test as long as possible. I've already been up for 3 and a half hours and just CAN NOT STUDY! I'm going to go order Pay-Per-View now, I'll see you around.

Oh, and another thing. They never stop at just a 2 hour delay. The delay announcement comes during the 5:00 AM time window, but they end up closing the school after 7:00. So now, I wait for the inevitable. . . another day of sleeping and TV. No motivation at all! Life is good.

January 15, 2007

Tuning Guide

In band we were told to make tuning guides to learn the pitch tendencies of our instruments. I made one, but being the geek I am, I digitized it. I transformed the tuning guide into a convenient, easy to use spreadsheet!

Here's what you do:

1) Open the following file with Microsoft Excel File
2) On the lower left you should see 3 tabs entitled "Tuning Guide", "Input", and "Hard Copy".
3) Click "Hard Copy". On it you will see a column of notes. If you play something other than clarinet then the range will be wrong, so just change the notes so they fit your instrument.
4) Print "Hard Copy" and fill it out.
5) When completed, open "Input". Again, the notes going down the column may have the wrong range so just change them. Make sure you stay in the green though, anything past the green won't show up in the graph! (There's a graph!? Yes, it's just that awesome of a spreadsheet!"
6) After you enter all your tendencies click "Tuning Guide" to see the graph of your tendencies and a table showing those tendencies.
7) Print the chart and prepare for Mr. Howard praise and admiration!

January 11, 2007


So, Apple anounced its latest gadget the other day. Meet, the iPhone:

Just a heads up, I'm going to be buying one. $600, 8 gigs, June. Here's the wikipedia list of features. . .

Screen size: 3.5 in (8.9 cm)
Resolution: 320×480 pixels
Size: 115 × 61 × 11.6 mm
Weight: 4.8 oz (135 g)
Operating System: Mac OS X variant
Safari web browser
A widget engine
USB connection port
Plays AAC, MP3, Audible, & Apple Lossless audio file formats
Plays H.264 video & MPEG-4 video file formats
Voice Activated Dialing, web-browsing and typing
"Smudge Proof" Lens Coating
"Icon Clicking" GUI interface
Integrated WiFi (802.11b/802.11g), EDGE and Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR and A2DP
2 Megapixel camera
Widescreen iPod music, video and photo functionality
IPod portion features
Cover Flow interface and 3-D effects
Multi-touch screen interface (the "Home" button is the iPhone's only physical front panel button)
On-screen QWERTY keyboard
Fingertip scrolling, pan, and zoom (zoom out with pinch motion and zoom in by putting two fingers down and pulling them apart) functions
Built-in rechargeable, non-removable battery with up to 5 hours of talk/video/browsing or up to 16 hours of audio playback.

Also, to find out truly why the iPhone is amazing, watch Steve Jobs's keynote. It's an hour and a half, but you will be enthralled, just watch it.


Symphony. . . at warp speed!

Funny things happen during symphony rehearsals at my school. When our director is working with just winds he tends to make jokes and lead into tangents that are oftentimes quite amusing. I decided to film this, and it was worth it. I sped the video up to twice the normal rate and "Voila!" perfection. Enjoy!

(at approximately 7:40 Mr. Howard makes a really weird noise with his lips. It's my favorite part)

January 08, 2007

3 Important Things

Number One:

Remember how I said Greg had attacked my blog with comments to be number 1,000? Well, whenever a comment is left I get an e-mail. Take a look at what my inbox looked like today:

The boxed area is his rapid-fire attempt to get to be number 1,000. The rest of the comments are just him being him. Ignore the one that says it's from Paige, it's really from Greg. It's a Gmail thing, it does some stuff kinda funky. Anyway, Greg, you weren't successful, bwahahahah!

Number Two:

I got a new shirt today! I bought it for my binary speech, wanna see?

Yay! Power button shirt! It's binary, and if you don't understand why, you aren't geeky enough.

Number Three:

Here's another amazing artist video for you. I just sat there gaping when I saw this. . .

Lucky number 1,000

We have our 1,000th hit on my blog! (since the counter has been up). The lucky winner is. . .

(Sorry Greg, despite commenting on about 15 of my posts with one word comments, you were number 999)

Sasha Williams was number 1,000. I have no prize for her, other than a YAY! Sasha! Continue reading folks, who will be number 2,000?

1,000th Visitor

Get ready folks! The 1,000th blog visitor is coming up! 30 more! I know, the counter is only about a month old, but it's still exciting! I'll be getting in contact with the 1000th visitor and will make them a special post, so who's gonna get it? Who's gonna be number 1,000??? Post a comment if you think you may be, that'll help me find out. Any comment anywhere increases your odds. Good luck!


So, I was at the store. I like pi. Here ya go:

Beauty and the G33K

Lord help me. That show just, well. . .

These men are completely socially inept. There are only three on that show that I can embrace and thank for being almost normal and socially acceptable. Both of the guys with beards a cool and then Mario. People that are completely hopeless?


MIT Guy - I would like to say right now, to defend my honor, I am NOT like him at all! In fact, as I watched him I looked over at my mom and said "Seriously, MIT accepted him?" and she replied "Michael, a lot of people, the majority of people, at MIT will be like him." I think that was the first time I didn't look forward to MIT. Please, I put out a plea, PLEASE be some normal people at MIT. Please?!

His line about "I wish I were Sin-squared and you were Cos-squared that way together we'd make one.". . . I can't believe he actually expected normal people to be entertained by it. *STUPID*


During one of the standup comedy routines a guy used the following line with great success (I found it hysterical):

"I think if I were God I'd design allergies slightly differently. I think instead of making people allergic to small things like food, I'd make people allergic to big important things, like tigers. That way you'll be, like, walking around and then all of a sudden 'Hey, I'm getting a rash, there must be a tiger around here!'. Then later, you may be swimming and realize 'Hey, a runny nose, where's the shark? Wait, is that a rash? It must be a tiger shark!'"

Bravo! I hope he wins.

(I'm not socially inept)

January 07, 2007

SOMB Excitement!

Ok folks, here's the exciting SOMB news for today! Anybody that doesn't actually live in Salem, sorry, this post doesn't really apply to you.
I was at a staff meeting the other day where I work, Salem's Riverfront Carousel, and we were brainstorming ideas for events we could do. I made a suggestion and today I found out that it was approved and steps are being made to make sure it happens. Here's the scoop (keep in mind, none of this has been run by any band coordinator or school district person, but it has been completely approved by the carousel).

On September 15th the carousel will be hosting "Marching Band Day" (name in the making, we're going to come up with something cooler, we promise). They have reserved the entire riverfront park for the entire day and all the Salem-Keizer marching bands will come and play for the day. We're thinking pep band tunes, marching shows, and maybe some joint songs with all the bands playing. The carousel will charge admission into the park and the bands will get all the proceeds. There will be some type of competition (haven't figured out judging criteria yet, sorry) and the winning band will get a 1/4 scale carousel horse with a plaque on it. The carousel horse will be a traveling trophy and every year (yes, this will be an anual thing) the winning band will get their name placed on the plaque. The winning band gets to keep the horse in their band room until the next competition.

The horse trophy is completely hand carved and painted and retails for about $2,000 and is being donated by the carousel for the competition.
EXCITED?!?!? OMG, all the bands in the park playing for crowds of people! Maybe some mini-drill, horn manuals, basically a parade without the marching!

It's a huge fundraising opportunity and sounds like a blast! Here's what I need from you:

a) Ideas for a name of the event
b) In what way the bands could compete

Bands will receive invitations on February 5th, so anybody reading this blog is one of the first to know! Comment, leave advice, everything is open to suggestions, absolutely everything!

Here is the horse in it's current stage of development. . .

Here is the blueprint being used in construction of the horse.

Here's a view from inside the carousel building of the field where the bands will be.
REMEMBER! We have the ENTIRE park! The bands get all the proceeds from the concert/competition, and the winning band gets the $2,000 horse for a year!

MIT Candy

I got a really cool present today. M&M's, MIT style.

The M&M's are red and grey, which are very nearly MIT's colors (maroon and grey). Some M&M's have "MIT BOUND" written on them while others have "ACCEPTED TO MIT" written on them. How awesome are these?!?!?!?

January 06, 2007

How I Beat the SATs

I'm just now finishing up the college application process, I have but one more form to send in before I am completely done. In circumstances such as these, one tends to reminisce about all of the hurdles, pitfalls, and successes that it has taken to get this far. While doing this, I remembered a particularly exciting experience I had after taking the SATs in 2006. I present to you, my esteemed reader,

In May of 2006 I took the SAT I: Reasoning Test. I had taken it several times before and was accustomed to how it was supposed to work. Fairly early on in the test, section 2, I arrived at a problem that was unsolvable. No, it wasn't just hard, it literally couldn't be solved, two answers would have worked. I sat there, pondering, wondering what to do. Should I leave it blank or should I guess one of the two answers? In the past, when it came to decisions like this, I always choose the decision that would let me argue for my case later on. Leaving the question blank gives you no chance of getting it right, but by answering at least one of the correct answers, you can make a case later about how you answered it correctly if it was marked wrong. So, I chose an answer. I can't remember which, it was either A or D, but that doesn't matter.

When I got home I immediately went on to the CollegeBoard website to file a concern about the question. I used one of their "Contact Us!" forms on their site, and this is what I sent:

Hello, I know that I'm supposed to voice concerns about particular questions soon after the test but I'm not sure if there is a specific form to fill out. I took the SAT I: Reasoning test today and came across a question that appeared to have more than one answer. It was in section two (the writing section) and was number 24. Either section A or D could have been changed to make the sentence correct. If you could please either help me understand what happened or forward this query on to whomever it may concern it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time!
-Michael Snively

2 days later, on the 9th, I got an e-mail in reply. What did it say?

Thank you for contacting us through collegeboard.com.Your feedback is vital! If you believe that there is an error or ambiguity in a question on the test you took, we want to hear about it. Contact us by e-mail, fax, or express mail. If you believe there is an error or ambiguity in a test question, continue testing. Report the problem to the supervisor later on test day, then e-mail or write to us. Include the test name and date, test section, test question (as well as you can remember it), and an explanation of your concern.

*We must receive your letter, fax, or e-mail by the Wednesday after the test date.

In your letter, include:

Your full name
Mailing address
Birth date
Social security number (if applicable)
Registration number
Test name and date
Test center name, number and address
Test section
Test question (as well as you can remember it)
An explanation of your concern
Your signature

ETS will send you a response after our subject-matter specialists have reviewed the question.

So I followed the instructions and sent off a return e-mail. I would like to take this opportunity to note that during the test, they threaten you with pain of death for removing test materials or notes about test questions from the room. How then, is it possible, to remember the test question with any degree of accuracy, including the section? I admit, I wrote down the section, question number, and important details and snuck it out of the testing room, sorry CollegeBoard!

Here's what I sent back:

Your full name: Michael Snively
Mailing address: [omitted from blog for obvious reasons]
Sex: Male
Birth date: 9/30/1988
Social security number (if applicable): [omitted from blog for obvious reasons]
Registration number: [omitted from blog for obvious reasons]
Test name and date: SAT I: Reasoning Test :: 5/6/2006
Test center name, number and address: West Salem High School (381056)
Salem OR
Test section: Section 2, writing
Test question (as well as you can remember it):
It was a grammar and usage question with various parts of the sentence underlined. I believe it had to do with latin music or something of that nature. The first word was "should" I believe.
An explanation of your concern:
The goal of the question was to correct the grammar of the sentence. After reading the sentence I immediately noticed that there was a disagreement with tense. Unfortunately, the only two parts of the sentence that indicated tense were both underlined. Both the first word, underlined portion (A), and later on in the sentence, underlined portion (D), could have been changed to fix the tense in the sentence. For underlined portion (A), the word "should" could have been changed to "had" while leaving underlined portion (D) unchanged. Similarly, underlined portion (D) could have changed tense while leaving portion (A) unchanged.
Your signature: Michael Snively

For the actual e-mails, click here. It's much easier to read than this blog post. The original e-mail is at the bottom and works its way up, just like a blog.

That's the last I heard from CollegeBoard. I received no follow up e-mail or anything.

Several weeks later I received my score report and was SHOCKED to see what I did. Here's what I saw when I flipped to section 2:

Question 24 didn't count towards my score?!?!? I'd taken the SATs a lot and never had I seen this! Hm, well, time to check my score report!

Sure enough, a little "X" on question number 24!

There you have it folks! I found a question that couldn't be answered and successfully had it removed from the test, making it easier to get a better score. You're welcome SAT takers!

January 03, 2007

Who would you get rid of?

Today in my college writing class we were split into 5 groups. We were then handed a piece of paper, which I was kind enough to type up and post here for you. Please read that document before continuing.

So, our group got together and discussed our options. Don't think for a second that our method was the only correct method. . . who would you keep and who would you kill? I open this up to everybody that reads this post, please list your survivors/casualties in a comment, I read all comments! So, here we go, this is what my group decided on:

Dr. Dane - Dr. Dane is a keep, he survives. His health and botanical interests were the deciding factors.

Mrs. Dane - Mrs. Dane dies. She's obese and diabetic. Diabetes alone would kill her shortly, so she is absolutely worthless. Her obesity would also be a hindrance to any mobility the group would have to incur.

Bobby Dane - Bobby dies. There is absolutely no use for a retarded 10 year old when survival is at stake. . . whether you feel bad about killing him or not.

Mrs. Garcia - Mrs. Garcia dies. A high school dropout prostitute, although it proves that she was trying to earn money, is of absolutely no use, not even for procreation and survival of the human race. She is likely infected with STD's and would be dangerous to everybody around her. She also has no practical skills that could be used to benefit the group.

Jean Garcia - Jean lives. Although an infant, Jean will provide a generational tie when grown. All the others in the group are 18 and over and after a certain amount of time will all die. Jean will be left alive with whatever offspring the others manage to have, providing a link. Since Dr. Dane's wife and Bobby we both killed, Jean would be adopted by Dr. Dean and cared for by him.

Mary Evans - Mary survives because Mary is a young female that can have a bunch of children to repopulate the planet.

Mr. Newton - Mr. Newton survives for many reasons. He's strong, young, and in medical school. These three traits provide for physical treatment of injuries, self-preservation, and helping others with difficult tasks they may come upon.

Mrs. Clark - Mrs. Clark lives. Mrs. Clark is another younger female that can have children and help repopulate the planet. She'll get over her "Zero Population Growth" attitude when she realizes that there are only 11 people left and she'll live if she has babies.

Mr. Blake - Mr. Blake lives. His B.S. in mechanics would help the group by providing shelter or transportation after the disaster.

Father Frans - Father Frans lives for several reasons. As a priest he can comfort others, and his farming background is crucial. He will work with Dr. Dean, the botanist, both as a counselor for the loss of Dr. Dean's family and as a fellow farmer, providing food for the other survivors.

Dr. Gonzales - Dr. Gonzales dies. There is no need for a doctor since Mr. Newton is in medical school, and Dr. Gonzales's age would cause him to be a hindrance.

Those are our choices, what are yours? Please comment on this post!

January 02, 2007

Calculus Again!

Here's yet another installment of "I was bored in calculus so I kept myself entertained somehow". I had Play-Doh in my pocket so I decided to make shapes. Here is my creation: spheres, cubes, and pyramids all over my desk!

Wow, do they actually do this at football games???

"Gimme an M!"
"Gimme an A!"
"Gimme an S!"
"Gimme an S!"
"Gimme an A!"
"Gimme a C!"
"Gimme an H!"
"Gimme a U!"
"Gimme an S!"
"Gimme an E!"
"Gimme a T!"
"Gimme another T!"
"Gimme an S!"
"Gimme a space!"
"Gimme an I!"
"Gimme an N!"
"Gimme an S!"
"Gimme a T!"
"Gimme an I!"
"Gimme a T!"
"Gimme an U!"
"Gimme a T!"
"Gimme an E!"
"Gimme another space!"
"Gimme an O!"
"Gimme an F!"
"Gimme one last space!"
"Gimme an T!"
"Gimme an E!"
"Gimme an C!"
"Gimme an H!"
"Gimme an N!"
"Gimme an O!"
"Gimme an L!"
"Gimme an O!"
"Gimme an G!"
"Gimme an Y!"
"What's that spell?"