Friday, February 3, 2012

Figure out

If you try to figure something out, you try to find the answer or the solution. You may also be trying to find out the reason for something or UNDERSTAND it.
I suppose: I have no reason to say no
How’s it coming: exactly the same as “how’s it going?”  

1. Steven Hawking, a world famous British theoretical physicist, has addressed some of the most complex questions in modern physics, but cannot figure women out. He says, “They are a complete mystery.

2. We haven’t been able to figure out how the Pyramid of Cheops (The biggest pyramid in existence) was built. It’s the size of a 40-storey building made up of (comprising) 2 million stone blocks, each weighing 2-5 tons. Experts reckon (believe) it took 400,000 men about 20 years to complete.

3 I haven’t figured out how to get rich yet. Those million-dollar ideas seem to be very elusive! For now it’s hard enough trying to figure out how to get by (survive) from month to month.

4. Have you ever had a problem with your computer that you couldn’t figure out? When I can’t figure out how to do something very technical, I usually turn to Google.

5. When we figure out something by deduction or through logic, we “put two and two together”. When you put two and two together, it’s not difficult to figure out when someone is lying to you.

6. Crime scene investigators can figure out who killed someone by doing DNA tests from blood samples they find at a crime scene… along with other clues that a sloppy (careless) killer leaves. I watch too much TV.

7. Have you figured out the meaning and purpose of life yet? Is it just a matter of survival?

8. Most people figure out how to do things the right way through trial and error. We make mistakes and then we try and try again until we get it right. Have you figured out English grammar yet?


  1. I'm the first commenter here again. Can someone figure that out? Maybe Frank, as the blog's host and admin, can? I believe it has something to do with the timezones of different blog readers.

    Concerning English grammar, I'd say I've managed to figure out most of it, but not everything. The 80/20 rule, aka the Pareto's principle, definitely applies here. I mean the rest of it is coming quite slowly.

    Due to the ubiquity of the Internet, and therefore the access to huge amount of information online, it's thought that people tend to know and memorize less these days. When you need to figure something out, it's just easier to type whatever you want into a search engine, or go to wikipedia to get an explanation.

  2. Actually I think all readers/subscribers have received these e-mails at the same time. But some of them will only have time to read/comment a little later or even on the next day. =]

    I agree with you when you say that people tend to memorize less information once they have Google and Cia. I can't figure out if it's better or worse having all of these tools when it comes to the human brain capacity.

    Please, if I made any mistake on this comment, feel free to correct me. =]

    A hug!

  3. Hey Marcos and Eugene... yes, everyone receives the email notification, a tweet or a facebook update at the same time (in real time)... however you will notice that I don't get a lot of comments at all. Recently it's just been the two of you... so I don't think it's a matter of figuring out why you're the first people to comment... it's a matter of why people don't leave comments.

    I have a few ideas as to why people don't leave comments: people feel really self-conscious when they write in their 2nd language... they know that they will make mistakes... it's the same with me when I write in Portuguese or Spanish. I feel more comfortable leaving comments in my first language, and so I do so very often, especially on Yahoo news forums.

    If I look at my Google analytics statistics I see hundreds of people visiting my blog daily... and if you look at the little red button in the right-hand margin, often you will see up to 8 people online simultaneously. Often on Facebook people will click on the "Like" button, or people will "re-tweet" the automated tweet they see on my wall. I can also track how many people download PDFs etc... so there's a lot happening and people are always subscribing via email, but it's difficult to motivate people to comment. I think it's a language barrier.

    Over the past year I have noticed that when I've stopped posting for a few weeks then people start "coming out of the woodwork" to leave appreciative comments and encouraging me to continue... so I know many people appreciate it, but don't get around to leaving comments.

    One thing I understand about the internet is that people visit certain sites to get the information they need and then they're out of there when they're done. It's like a "hit and run". Everyone does that, myself included.....

  4. ..... I think the other reason is that I don't put the effort in to motivate people to comment. I have tried a number of things which people respond to... I'm sure you've seen... but people get used to seeing certain things and so after some time these stimuli don't stand out like they used to... for example, the Wibiya tool bar and the little image under each post asking people to click on like. I've tried many things... and all of them have worked really well. The thing is that as a blogger, if you want people to comment, you have to engage them, ask them to comment, and find different ways to do that. I understand that very well, but I just don't put in that effort the way I used to.

    If you browse through some of the older posts you will easily see that both of your levels of English are WAY above the average... so naturally you feel more comfortable writing comments.

    The other thing is the nature of the content I post. You will notice that I ask a lot of questions in the examples... and it's great when people respond... I love it!... but this is exactly the same material that I use in my private English classes that I teach all day... so in a way, I kill 2 birds with one stone... and I post the exact same content online that I use in class. I am always conscious that I need to balance the "lessons" for my Brazilian students as well as for international readers. So that's the content... but I don't think the material I put up is designed to interact with people online very well. I know that, and it's OK. My posts follow a very specific format... and so even though I ask a lot of questions within the framework of the lesson, I know that I am not really inviting, provoking or stimulating people to interact. For example, I don't engage people on Twitter... I just have an automatic service post a link to each blog post on my twitter feed/ wall. So... I'm not using social media to its full potential, and neither do I have the time to do so... although I'm content to respond to people who regularly comment.

    Anyways... that's the long way of saying that I think I've already figured out why people don't comment in general.... and I have tons of ideas of what I could be doing better to get many more comments/ interaction etc... but once I figure out how to make money from my blogging activities, I'll probably start implementing those strategies and put more time into reaching out to people and engaging them.

    Thanks for your comments guys... I enjoy the brief conversations we have!

  5. Hi Marcos...
    just one correction. You should omit the preposition "on": "... or even the next day".

  6. Hey Frank, thanks for the correction and for the "way above". However, I don't think my English level is that high if compared with everyone else's (Brazilian learners) level of English. But, once again, thank you! =]

    Regarding the blog, I think it's a matter of time. Keep up the amazing work and sometime all this effort will make up.

    See you around! =]

  7. Hi Marcos,

    you can say, the effort will "pay off":

  8. Nice, now I guess I won't forget this one anymore, hopefully.

    I've just written I comment there in the "pay off" post.

    See you around!

  9. HI I've just read all comments above and I like it so much...We learn a lot just read.See you

  10. I haven't figured out how to beat the crap out of my inner demons, but I will eventually.