The Moon and the Ants on Earth.

New out in theatres today is Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy. I can recommend the book; I plan to reread it during my Summer Leisure. I hope to catch the movie this weekend - I heard that it ends with "Six times nine is fourty-two." (Which is silly. Unless you're in base 13. Then it's just remarkably cool, since it was not on purpose, to the happy surprise of the author.)

Someone in NASA has a crack-smoking crazy plan to beam sunlight off of Mars through radio waves onto Earth to fill our energy deficit. (So, I guess radio waves wouldn't contribute to planetary warming? - I'm not a trekkie, so I'm not sure.)

Today on NPR - Talk of the Nation "Science Friday" the topic was:
"Appearances of and references to mathematics in popular culture have been used creatively and effectively in mathematics courses to reduce math anxiety and motivate students.With math sneaking in to primetime television, can we learn to love fractions and geometry, even calculus? We’ll also talk about the clash of cultures between mathematicians and TV writers behind-the-scenes. "

The program was interesting enough to recommend and will be archived for your listening pleasure sometime in the very near future on the Science Friday Homepage.

The most interesting was a certain desert ant which can zig-zag all over the place looking for food but once it is located, it can turn face home and walk exactly the distance required... if you move the ant it will turn the way home would have been and walk exactly the distance it should have been able to walk, get there and get confused. This is a very complex multivariable type of Trigonomotry called "dead reckoning" which, NASA supposedly used to retrieve the crew of a space mission that crashed - but I can't find anything supporting that.


Puzzling Handshake

A fun puzzle: [hint- try making a chart - this is geared for 5th graders so it's fun not hard.]

A group of people met at a party. Each person shook hands with everyone else only once. Mr. Li shook hands with 3 times as many men as women. Mrs. Li shook hands with 4 times as many men as women. How many men and women were there at the party?

I hate shaking hands. Especially because it is such a socially masculine thing. If a woman shakes strong, people think she envies men or wants to overpower men or some such nonsense. But if she shakes weak, people think -typical girlie-girl- the poor thing barely has the strength to grip. So no matter what, you are regenerating a stereotype everytime a woman shakes hands. What's a girl to do?



Question: What does an insomniac agnostic dyslectic do late at night?
Answer: Lie awake wondering about the existence of dog

So finals are next week. I’m trying to stay calm but if there’s anything I’ve learned in my statistics class, it’s that I can predict with 95% confidence that I should fail to reject my hypothosis that I’ll have to retake analytical calculus. Even my sense of humor right now is pretty geek-tastic.

I am trying to postpone concern over non-school related pressing matters until a week from Monday when it will all be over. I am also trying to work in my best scholastic effort without murdering anyone. One really can’t critically think on this level all day long everyday for sixteen weeks. It’s just not healthy. So after studying for 5-6 hours, I went to the gym today and cuddled with Mark on the couch watching a documentary on the history of video games. [It was actually really cool. I had totally forgotten about Conseco.]



I wondered today in class if "Simpson's Rule" has anything to do with the Simpsons, so I looked it up and I found these gems... (for more, go to simpsonsmath.com)

Lisa, armed with a measuring tape, helps Bart play miniature golf.
Lisa: The basis of this game seems to be simple geometry. All you have to do is hit the ball … here.
[The ball is hit, gets bounced around, and goes into the hole.]
Bart: I can’t believe it. You’ve actually found a practical use for geometry!

Stark Raving Dad
Michael Jackson: Homer, this is Floyd. He’s an idiot savant – give him any two numbers and he can multiply them in his head, just like that.
Homer: OK, 5 times 9!
Floyd: 45.
Homer: Wow

Homer is taking his physical exam at the nuclear power plant.
Scientist: This can't be right. This man has 104% body fat! [turns to Homer] Hey, no eating in the tank!
Homer: [eating a chicken drumstick] Go to hell.


This seems ironic. Mind control uses a process called programming.

... and so does TV.

This is creepy, too. It's from dictionary.com:

To train to perform automatically in a desired way, as if programming a machine: programmed the children to use perfect table manners.
To prepare an instructional sequence for (material to be taught) in programmed instruction. (I.E. School)



I found out on the way home from school today that my friend Meraj had her baby girl two nights ago! Very early, so scary but exciting. It's her first.

As I finished my workout at the gym, the Sun Lakes Big Band was just finishing setting up for a special free event in the aerobics class room so I rolled up a exercise ball and watched until intermission... so cool. I was grinning from ear to ear! And I thought all the gym was good for was the equipment.


I Still Can't Believe It

My sister, brother and nephew are here. Ben is improving, but his situation really sucks. He's in for a lot and he still doesn't know he's lost his wife.

I have to go to court for the burglary, which means staying up for 30 hours straight before a test Wednesday.

Everything is chaotic.


I Can't Believe It

My mind is consummed with love and concern for Ben, a step-brother, who was in a car crash this week that killed his wife and left him hanging to life by a thread. His future is so delicate and full of painful transitions.

My house was broken into and sacked by a moron who broke everything he tried to steal because he was so high. He's in jail today. I had just spring cleaned the house, too.

On a lighter note, we went to Organ Stop Pizza - saw a fantastic show on the stage Wurlitzer Organ - pretty amazing.

My first attempts at running the hot/cold were thwarted. I tried to start out "something smells here, S - You should go looking for it." She replied, "My nose is stuffy and I can't smell a thing; I've been sick." Luckily Mark took over.

Now I feel a little sick so I'm going to bed while the boys go out to a movie.