Category Archives: George

Statistics of Missionaries in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints During the Missionary Boom

After a lot of searching, I was surprised to not find any graphs with the information I wanted, so I decided to make them myself.

Below you will find graphs displaying data about the number of missionaries and missions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (formerly nicknamed “the Mormon church”) from 2009 to 2019. In particular, this time range includes the 2012 announcement lowering the age limit for when men and women can go on missions. This announcement resulted in what is often called “the Missionary Boom,” a large increase in the number of missionaries serving missions and the number of missions that they are serving in. All data was collected from statistical reports published in the year following the year being reported on (e.g., data for 2013 was collected from the Church’s April 2014 statistical report).

What is a Friend?

Earlier today, I saw a post on Facebook. It asked “what is a friend” or in other words “what qualities/behaviors makes someone a real friend”?

Here is my response:

I’d say the two main qualities of a friend are lovable and loving. The more of each quality you have, the more of a friend you can be.
 
Because “lovable” is dependent on you, not the other person, anyone or anything can be your “friend.” You can befriend an unhappy grouch, a bird, even a rock, because you can love them and they can fill a need in your life. However, these things aren’t very loving back, so the friendship can only ever go so far. Even dogs, as loving as they are, can’t love you the way you need sometimes. They can’t give you a compliment or wash your car for you. So while a dog can be a friend, even your best friend, it can’t be The Best friend.
 
On the other hand, someone can be very loving, and in that way be your friend, but if you don’t find them very lovable, they won’t be as much of a friend in your mind as they could be. Think of caring parents who help their rebellious teenager, or an anonymous donor to a charity. God, our Heavenly Father, comes to mind as well. He may be the best friend we could ask for, but, if we don’t love Him, to us He won’t seem to be.
 
So to answer the question you didn’t ask, I think the best kind of friend is the one who is very lovable and very loving. How that love may manifest, or why they seem lovable, both of those may change, but so long as they are there I think there are good grounds for a friendship.
 ~ George

This is not a post about COVID-19

Like the title says, this post is not about COVID-19. It’s not going to be about how boring it is during quarantine, or how I now have so much free time that I can just spend hours and hours working on the old family blog. It’s not about that because I’m actually pretty busy and have lots to do. However, I’ve been wanting to start making (infrequent) posts for a while, and the right combination of events has led to me making the first post to this blog in years. Hopefully you enjoyed it, despite it simply being an attempt to be more interesting than the typical “I’m back!” or “I’m sorry I haven’t posted in so long!” posts. If nothing else, at least it isn’t yet another post about COVID-19 :).

Have a good one!

~ George

p.s. I don’t actually have anything against posts about COVID-19. ‘Tis just another level of the (very) dry humor that permeates this post.

English Pronunciation: A poem by G. Nolst Trenite (With Pronunciations and Definitions!)

I have found what is definitely one of my new most favorite poems. To quote the original site:

“If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud.”

Of course, I don’t think those numbers are anything but made up, but it is still a great description of the poem. Also, instead of just copying the poem and pasting it over here, I’ve provided footnotes that allow you to look up the definition and pronunciation of the words I didn’t understand and/or didn’t know how to pronounce when I first read the poem. Some were very surprising. Enjoy! (Note: Unless you read it out loud, IT DOESN’T COUNT! 🙂 )


 

English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps*, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward*, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague*.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore*,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar*, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral*,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel*;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene*, mankind.
Billet* does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount*, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve*,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve*, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom*, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual*.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer* does, and zephyr*, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic*, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise*, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye*, whey, and key.
Say aver*, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein*, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie*.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic*, pass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling* stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats* and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale*,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough* has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

 


 

  • Corps – “Core,” a main subdivision of an armed force in the field, consisting of two or more divisions.
  • Sward – I know of no other word pronounced like it, so here’s the link: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sward.
  • Ague – “Ay- gyoo,” malaria or some other illness involving fever and shivering.
  • Terpsichore – “Terp (like burp) – sick – or – ee,” one of the nine Muses and goddess of dance and chorus.
  • Vicar – “Vick – er,” (in the Roman Catholic Church) a representative or deputy of a bishop.
  • Balmoral – “Ball – more – ell,”  Balmoral Castle is a large estate house in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
  • Laurel – “Lore – ell,” an evergreen tree or bush with shiny pointed leaves.
  • Melpomene – “Mell – poe – (something like) money,” the Muse of Tragedy.
  • Billet – “Bill – it,” a place, usually a civilian’s house or other nonmilitary facility, where soldiers are lodged temporarily.
  • Viscount – “Vy (like cry) – count,” a man who is a member of the British nobility and who ranks below an earl and above a baron.
  • Sieve – “Siv,” a utensil consisting of a wire or plastic mesh held in a frame, used for straining solids from liquids, for separating coarser from finer particles, or for reducing soft solids to a pulp.
  • Mauve – “Mov (the “o” is like in top),” a light or medium purple color.
  • Transom – “Tron (like the movie) (or, American way, it’s “tran,” like “man”) – tsum (pronounce the “ts” like the “ts” in “bats,” then the “um” like “yum”),” a bar of wood or stone across the top of a door or window.
  • Victual – “Vid – le (rhymes with “little”),” food usable by people.
  • Foeffer – Feoffer, “Fe (like “bet) – fur,” one who makes a feoffment, one who makes the granting of a fee.
  • Zephyr – “Ze (like “bet”) – fur,” a soft gentle breeze.
  • Arabic – “Air – uh – bick,” of, belonging to, or derived from the language or literature of the Arabs.
  • Chaise – “Shaze (rhymes with “blaze”),” a horse-drawn carriage for one or two people, typically one with an open top and two wheels.
  • Aye – “I,” an affirmative vote or voter, especially in British Parliament, corresponding to yea in U.S. Congress.
  • Aver – “Uh – vair (like the “v-e-r” in “very”),” state or assert to be the case.
  • Skein – “Skane (rhymes with rain),” a length of thread or yarn, loosely coiled and knotted.
  • Aerie – “(Pronounced a variety of different ways, but in the poem rhymes with “berry”),” a large nest of a bird of prey, especially an eagle, typically built high in a tree or on a cliff.
  • Phlegmatic – “Fleg (like “beg”) – ma (as in “math”) – tick,” not easily excited to action or display of emotion.
  • Paling – “Pail (like the bucket) – ing,” a fence made from pointed wooden or metal stakes.
  • Groats – “Grotes (rhymes with oats),” grain without the covering, such as wheat or oats, broken into fragments.
  • Gunwale – “Gun – ull (as in “dull”) (rhymes with “tunnel”),” the top edge of the side of a boat.
  • Hiccough – “Hih (as in “hit”) – cup,” a hiccup, or “an involuntary spasm of the diaphragm and respiratory organs, with a sudden closure of the glottis and a characteristic sound like that of a cough.”

Beatles Songs Cell Phone Conversation

(Everything in bold is the title of a song the Beatles recorded)

Hey Jude, how’s it going? I feel fine, but I haven’t seen you since, like, yesterday! How’s the farm?… Good, good, I’m glad it’s going well, Strawberry Fields Forever! Ha ha ha, yes… What’s that? Oh, you want to come together soon? Sure, in my life, I always have time for my friends, anytime at all, so I’ll be on my way as soon as this rain clears up…. Hey, it’s not my fault you work eight days a week, you should try to be more like me. I don’t care too much for money, because, as I always say, all you need is love, and we all know that money can’t buy you love…. Yeah… mhm… Sure, of course I live in a yellow submarine, we all do…. What do you mean you don’t?!?! That’s like that time you said that Lucy isn’t in the sky with diamonds…. Well, what else do you think all those little sparkly things across the universe are, stars?!?! Seriously, you’re getting better, but this boy is getting a bit frustrated… Fine, with a little help from my friends I can let it be, just don’t let me down again, all right? Speaking of friends, a random blackbird just came out of nowhere, man, and started messing with my new pet… Yeah, it was scary, but I ran at it, yelling “Leave my kitten alone!” and it flew away. Anyhow, here comes the sun, so I’ll drive my car over to help clean up some of that junk that has accumulated in moonlight bay, as you like to call it.  See you soon! Bye.”

Fun Group Games: The game should be easy for someone to join mid-game

I gave a brief overview of the top ten things a group game should have in my earlier post, but now I want to explain why those are the top ten. Over the next few days I will be posting those explanations.

The game should be easy for someone to join mid-game

Whenever you have a large group of people, chances are that not all of them join at once. If it’s not possible to join a game that has already started you leave several people bored, which is what you are trying to avoid while playing a group game. Even if they can join, but it takes forever to get started again, the game is less fun.

An example of a hard to join game would be Ninja, because once the game has started no one is allowed join until the end of the (often long) game. Two examples of easy to join games would be Tag, for hopefully obvious reasons, and Gaga Ball (or Biscuit Ball, as it is often called), because even though no one is allowed to join once the game has started, the games are usually so fast that you won’t be waiting long before you can get in.

 ~ Ruficalix

Fun Group Games: The game should be easy to get started.

I gave a brief overview of the top ten things a group game should have in my last post, but now I want to explain why those are the top ten. Over the next few days I will be posting those explanations.

The game should be easy to get started.

As anyone knows who’s tried to get a bunch of people to try a new game, the longer it takes to get the game started the less likely you are to actually play it. Also, the longer it takes to get the game started the longer people are bored. Between the two, the games that work best are often rather easy to start compared to games which don’t.

An example of a hard to start game would be Signs, because it needs everyone to choose a sign and show it to everybody else (for those who haven’t played, this takes a very long time, especially with the large groups that the game is best played with). An example of an easy to start game would be Ninja, because all you need is for everyone to get in a circle, do a countdown, and start.

 ~ George

The Top Ten Things to Consider for a Fun Group Game

There are many games, but some work better in group situations than others. By group situations I mean situations in which you have lots of kids (or teens, or adults…) and want them to all start playing a game, like at a birthday party. So, having played and directed a lot of group games, I thought I’d come up with ten things to look for in a good game for your group. To clarify, a good group game should keep as many people continuosly entertained as long as possible. This is what I was looking for when I put together this list:

  • The game should be…
  • Easy to get started
  • Easy for someone to join
  • Easy for someone to leave
  • Fun even for those who aren’t very good at it
  • Fun even for those who are very good at it
  • The game should Not be…
  • Too rough
  • Easy to cheat in, or even easy to accuse people of cheating in
  • Boring for those who are playing
  • Boring for those who are temporarily not playing (tagged, substituted, etc.)
  • Full of “losers” at the end, or at least those who lose shouldn’t feel like “losers”

Of course, a game can still be fun (and usually is still fun) without all of these factors, but I’ve found that the more of the 10 factors a game has the more likely a group I’m playing it with will want to play it again. More on that in a later post. There are probably other factors that would affect how fun a game is to play with groups, but as of now I can’t think of any others. There are so many things about this that I want to elaborate on, but for now I’m going to post this so that I can get this started.

~ George