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31 January 2012

The Secret to Life

Have you ever gotten excited about something only to be disappointed with the outcome?  Don't worry, you're not the only one, has happened to me too.  Recently it occurred to me to try something new which I have found extremely helpful.  I call it the secret of life, but more accurately it would be called: Something that you can control that will allow you to obtain more enjoyment from your experiences.  That thing which you can control is your expectation of what will occur.  If you are disappointed with the outcome of an experience, it is because it did not meet your expectations. Therefore, if you would like to be less disappointed in the experiences you have, then you should lower your expectations about the outcome.

I understand the immediate objection.  If you go into something with high expectations and those expectations are met, the satisfaction is much greater.  I submit thought that there is a risk in this.  Let us look at this example.  I am a college football fan.  The teams I root for and take time out of my life to spectate are Virginia Tech and BYU.  When I watch football, I want to see both teams do well.  I want both teams to play their best and I want the game to be close and intense, but I want my team to come out the victor.  Watching those close games brings a great thrill and I expect my team to pull out a win.  When those last seconds tick down and my team is on top, I feel great.  On the other hand, when the last few minutes are played in desperation to achieve the few points necessary for a W and those points don't come, I feel terrible.  There may be some psychological thing or brain chemical thing at work here, but I have not been educated as of yet on these things.  I know that there is a certain level of stress I experience during those games.  I know that when my team wins, that stress is relieved and I know that when my teams loses, that stress remains.  I don't like the lingering stress.

I have also watched games, which I have thoroughly enjoyed, in which an 'underdog' team comes out ahead of a 'good' team.  I had a low expectation for that team but I still experience a great amount of satisfaction for their achievement.  If both a low expectation and a high expectation can yield a great amount of satisfaction, then I submit that the risk of lingering stress is not worth it.

 The bottom line is, I've enjoyed every movie I've watched recently.  I also really enjoyed the new Napoleon Dynamite TV show.  That's my advice for the day, and for your life.  Don't go into things with high expectations and you will find greater satisfaction.  I predict that oftentimes your expectations will be exceeded. Note: don't lower your standards, just your expectations.

If you need anymore evidence.  Just think about your experience with Google+...

In other news, check out these dolls.  They are married.  I thought that was funny.
Also, here is my cousin planking.

18 January 2012


Remember the first time you saw something that was touchscreen? I remember being totally astounded. Now here I sit typing on a touchscreen keyboard on my iPhone, totally taking it for granted.

I hit a guy in the face today and knocked out two of his teeth. Okay, so he just chipped two teeth. He's okay. Also it was an accident. We were playing volleyball, it was totally not my fault.

Have you ever been hit in the face with a volleyball, that happened to me last week, I don't recommend it. When I got hit in the face by that volleyball, I realized that I take not getting hit in the face by a volleyball for granted.

I hope I don't take you for granted.

Is that even how you spell that? Is it really one word? Forgranted. It's just starting to sound weird to me.

Thanks for being real. You know who you are.

I'm going to try and be more thankful and take less things for granted. I am so blessed.

I like good things

Once a gain here is a song for while you read:

I set a new record for most packages received in one day in my life.  The record is now thirteen!  What a great day!  I used the money I saved from buying my textbooks on as an excuse to buy a bunch of CDs.  I spent more than I saved... of course.

Actually, a number of weeks ago I deleted all of the music from my iTunes that i had downloaded for free from the Internet.  Now all the music that I have is purchased.  Yay!

Today i spent hours in the Computer Science Lab working on a lab assignment.  I went ahead and added a little flair to them.  For example one program I wrote will convert Fahrenheit to Celsius.  I added a bunch of unnecessary dialogue.  Like: "The temperature in Celsius is 35.9328 degrees.  If your Mexican friend asked you, you would probably say it is 36 degrees."  You know, just a little flair.  Another one was about drawing a life size dinosaur.

Anyway, it was nice to get out of there.  I also would like to share that in my logic class the TA asked my friend and I to stop passing notes.  Okay, okay, I'm in college, I guess I'll grow up.

Let me share with you another thing that happened in my class.

Look at the following argument:

A v B
~A            ∴  B

Let me dumb it down for you.
This might as well say: You chose an apple or a banana.  You did not choose an apple.  Therefore, you chose a banana.  This is called a disjunctive syllogism.

Today, twice and last class one time, my teacher did this to me:

A v A
~A            ∴  A

It is a valid argument.  I just don't like it being at my expense...

Here is one such instance:

Teacher: Why did you do that?
Ben: To get a contradiction. (A)
Teacher:  No. (~A)
Ben: I don't know why then.
Teacher: You should be trying to get a contradiction. (A)

I'm confused about his logic.  Good thing he's the one teaching me.

Have you heard of Bangarang?  They are the hottest rookie Wallyball team in the BYU intramural open division .  I'm the captain.  We have a game tonight at 9:15 in the RB if you want to come cheer us on.

Love you readers. :D

17 January 2012


Here is a song to listen to while you read my post:

I really liked this song today.

I just spent the last hour and a half trying to prove the Conditional Negation is a valid Truth-functional Shortcut Rule.  I have a proof for it, but unfortunately we are not allowed to use the Disjunctive Syllogism rule.  For some reason I just can't get it to work.  My incredible roommate Scott suggested I take a break.  Thus, I am adding a new post to my blog. :D

Anyway, did you catch my last post about MLK day?  In my ethics class we discussed hedonism.  Hedonism is a eudiamonistic theory which suggests that of our actions are driven by our desire for happiness.  Eudiamonism suggests that happiness is the highest good thing that we can obtain.  After class I pointed out to my teacher that lots of people derive happiness from having a holiday like Martin Luther King Day.  I then pointed out that we would not have had this holiday if there had not been racial discrimination.  People are generally unhappy about racial discrimination and would say it is morally wrong.  How odd that a source of unhappiness has now  contributed to the happiness of many in our nation.  My teacher chuckled at this.  

I like it when I make my teachers laugh.

I really want to make a new video for my youtube channel.  Usually the videos I've made have been for contests but I was thinking I should just make an original video. Do you have any suggestions?  Please leave them in the comments.

Today I ate at Burger King because a little coupon book came in the mail.  Yay for a free whopper!

Once when I was little, my mom took me to Burger King. I was small enough to not be able to control my body very well.  Don't worry, nothing too weird happened.  I just grabbed the top hamburger bun and flung it across the room.  It was probably quite embarrassing for my mother.

Another time when I was little, my mom took me to Wendy's.  We were sitting at the table.  I was eating a Frosty.  I sat up and leaned across the table.  My mom thought that I was going to give her a kiss.  As she leaned into my face, I let a mouthful of Frosty out of my mouth.  

Hmm... I guess I should publicly apologize to my mom for these events.  Sorry Mom!!!  She is the greatest! :D

Speaking of Wendy's, remember when they used to only have one kind of Frosty?  I remember when they came out with the Vanilla Frosty back in 2006. I went through the drive thru and when they asked chocolate or vanilla I replied, "There is no such thing as a vanilla frosty."  They lady taking my order assured me that there most definitely was a vanilla frosty and asked if I wanted to try it.  I just continued to deny its existence.  

I think I want to try to find out what the date was that they made that change. Twenty years from that day I'll go to Wendy's.  I'll order a Frosty and when they inquire about the flavor I'll say, "What do you mean?"  
"Would you like Chocolate or Vanilla?"
"There are Vanilla Frosty's?"
"Yes, would you like to try one?"
"How long have there been Vanilla Frosty's?"
"I don't know, since before I was born."
"Wait!  What year is this?"
Then I'll start freaking out about how I've travelled through time and cause a huge ruckus.  

Apparently now there are lots more different kinds of Frostys.  I have still yet to try the vanilla flavor.  Is it any good?

Are you a girl?  If so have you applied to be my valentine yet?  Now would be a great time!

Did you enjoy that song?  I recommend the whole album.  Well I should probably get back to my homework.  To those of you who are students, are you having a nice break from yours? Get back to work!!!

:D Love you guys! Thanks for reading!


Excerpts from Wikipedia article appear in this color
Commentary by me appears in my favorite color.

I decided I'd do some reading about the holiday, and thought I'd share some interesting things with you.
The idea of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday was promoted by labor unions in contract negotiations. After King's death, United States Representative John Conyers (a Democrat from Michigan) and United States Senator Edward Brooke (a Republican from Massachusetts) introduced a bill in Congress to make King's birthday a national holiday. The bill first came to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1979. However, it fell five votes short of the number needed for passage. Two of the main arguments mentioned by opponents were that a paid holiday for federal employees would be too expensive, and that a holiday to honor a private citizen would be contrary to longstanding tradition (King had never held public office).  Only two other persons have national holidays in the United States honoring them: George Washington, the first President of the United States, and Christopher Columbus, whose voyages led to general European awareness of the American continents.   Because Christopher Columbus definitely held a public office... 
Soon after, the King Center turned to support from the corporate community and the general public. The success of this strategy was cemented when musician Stevie Wonder released the single "Happy Birthday" to popularize the campaign in 1980 and hosted the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981. So, pop-culture contributed to the creation of the holiday. Six million signatures were collected for a petition to Congress to pass the law, termed by a 2006 article in The Nation as "the largest petition in favor of an issue in U.S. history."
At the White House Rose Garden on November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill, proposed by Representative Katie Hall of Indiana, creating a federal holiday to honor King.  It was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986.The bill established the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission to oversee observance of the holiday, and Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s wife, was made a member of this commission for life by President George H. W. Bush in May 1989.

While all states now observe the holiday, some did not name the day after King. In Utah, the holiday was known as "Human Rights Day" until the year 2000, when the Utah State Legislature voted to change the name of the holiday from Human Rights Day to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. In that same year Governor Michael O. Leavitt signed the bill officially naming the holiday "Martin Luther King, Jr. Day".
In Virginia, it was known as Lee-Jackson-King Day, combining King's birthday with the established Lee-Jackson Day. The incongruous nature of the holiday, which simultaneously celebrated the lives of Confederate Army generals and a civil rights icon, did not escape the notice of Virginia lawmakers. In 2000, Lee-Jackson Day was moved to the Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, establishing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a holiday in its own right. However,Mississippi still shares this co-celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday and Robert E. Lee's birthday on the third Monday of January.  This isn't the first time Virginia has doubled up on a holiday.  From wikipedia article: "Virginia also celebrates two legal holidays on the day, Columbus Day and Yorktown Victory Day, which honors the final victory at the Siege of Yorktown in theRevolutionary War. "
In Arizona, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is known as "Martin Luther King, Jr./Civil Rights Day"; while in New Hampshire, its official name is "Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil Rights Day".

Paid federal holidays contribute to wasting government funds.
If there was no such thing as racism, I wouldn't have had a day off of school today.
Virginia is cheap when it comes to holidays.

No matter what you call it, Happy MLK Day. :D

Also, I ate sushi today.  It was good.

11 January 2012

On a brighter note...

Tonight I went on one of the most pleasant dates of my life with a beautiful, smart girl.  I don't know her that well still but she was fun to talk to and has a wonderful smile.

Girls confuse me...

Received Friend Request from Girl: January 2ish?
Me: I don't know who this is, I'll figure it out later.

Text Received 6 Jan approx. 10:00PM

Cool, a double date with a girl.  So this guy gives me her name and number.  I look her up on Facebook.  Wow, this girl seems really cool.  We like a lot of the same things!  (Also, this girl is very pretty.) Why does it say confirm friend request?  Oh!  Its the girl who sent me a friend request a few days ago.  *Feeling flattered.

So I send her a text:

*please note the times that these messages are sent and received*

I really wasn't concerned...
I'm sitting in church when I get this good morning text.  I'm feeling kind of weirded out, because I don't know this girl... I wouldn't say we're on "Text Good Morning" terms yet...

Facebook Message from me to Girl Evening of 8 Jan (emphasis added):
Let me begin by responding to your last text. Im happy to talk to you and I'm happy to get to know you. I feel bad because I feel like you are hoping for more of my attention than I am giving you.

I'd like you to understand where I'm at. I feel weird about making small talk over text messages. Originally I thought it would be a good idea, but since I don't know you that well still, it doesn't exactly cross my mind to text you during my downtime. Between church, school, and my current social life, I honestly don't spend a lot of time texting.

I apologize if I've mislead you; I certainly do not intend to hurt your feelings. I do look forward to going on a date with you."

Facebook message response 10 Jan:
"Hahaha no you're totally fine. Peace out."

Girl Updates Facebook status:
"I hate when you're having a perfectly fine day and then you see something on facebook that makes your heart sink a little.... :("

Blog Exclusive Response:
Dear Girl,
Your heart should not be sinking.  You don't even know me... I just said I was happy to talk to you and get to know you.  When I said get to know each other, I did not mean "You are now a part of my life."  I asked a question "Where do you work?"  I asked if anything interesting happened at work... Do you want to know something about me?  Ask!  I'd rather not carry the whole get to know you conversation...  

Also, maybe you should reconsider who your friends are:

Dear friend of Girl,
I'm sorry I "chewed out" your friend.  Maybe you read the note in a tone like I was yelling at her.  Even then I don't really understand where you'd think I was upset with her.  Like this part if I was yelling: I APOLOGIZE IF I'VE MISLEAD YOU; I CERTAINLY DO NOT INTEND TO HURT YOUR FEELINGS!!!

Dear Girl,
If you don't want to go on a date anymore, its cool.  Honestly, at this point, I am feeling pretty upset.  I tried to express to you how I felt sincerely about this entire interaction and I don't feel that I've been treated fairly.

I'd appreciate some comments, even if they are at my expense, because I really don't understand girls.  And yes, I know its probably immature to publish this whole fiasco on my blog.  I've laughed about it enough though that I thought I should share it with the world.

05 January 2012

Be Ben Brown's Valentine!

Hello blog readers!  This is your opportunity to be a part of history. Applications are now being accepted to be "Ben Brown's Valentine" for the year 2012.  The grand prize is a super special Valentine's date with yours truly on 14 February 2012.  This is the opportunity of a lifetime ladies!  Applications are due 31 January 2012 by 11:59PM.

Must be 18 years or older.
Must not be anyone else's Valentine.
Must be female.
Applicants must live within a reasonable proximity to Provo, Utah.

To enter, please email your responses to the following questions to  


Phone Number:

1. What were your first impressions of me and how do they relate to what you think of me now?  If we've never met please answer this question last.

2. Why do you want to be my valentine?

3. In the Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical The Sound of Music, Maria sings a song about her favorite things.  What are a few of your favorite things?

4. Have you ever seen the Justin Bieber movie and what are your honest feelings about this Canadian icon?

5. Hypothetically, if we were dating, which movie/book/celebrity couple would you compare us to?

6. Please share one of your top three most embarrassing experiences.

7. Have you met any famous people? Who would you like to meet and why?

8. What is your favorite flavor?

9. If a book was written about our love story, what would the title of the fifth chapter be?

10. Please write a question of your choice and answer it.

If I don't already know you, please provide one to two references as well as a way to contact them.
Please also invite your friends to participate.
Thank you and best of luck!

01 January 2012

Happy 2012

What did you do on New Years Eve?  I spent my evening with a wonderful woman named Stephanie.  I had never met her before that day, but I knew she was the one for me.  She was very willing to serve, which is something I find quite desirable.  She made jokes, which were funny, and she also appreciated, or perhaps tolerated, my jesting.  She was also blonde and pretty.   She didn't have a wedding ring (which in the past has been a problem for me).   Stephanie knows a lot!  She also has great taste in food. I wasn't planning on being married by the end of 2012 but I guess you don't question true love.  We didn't kiss at midnight but it seemed a little soon so its okay.

added 5 JAN 2010:  To clear up any confusion.  Stephanie was our wonderful waitress for the evening.