Math Class Entertainment

April 17, 2012

This series is great fun. Using the premise of being distracted during class (occasionally by the teacher saying something interesting) she presents all sorts of concepts.

This is one of my favorites:  Slug Cats!

I’ve put up a post and tweeted on this.

I really, really need to get back to writing. I’ve set myself a goal of 70k words, written, revised, and edited by the end of August, and mustn’t let myself get so distracted.

But I am angry, and I am curious.

Please go to /  this post from my other blog /. After you read that, would you go to the hashtag given, and let me know how you would have responded, or what you think about the issue: are writers somehow intrinsically less intelligent than mathematicians?

Thank you!

A wonderful article from the ‘Scientific American’ blog  /  Degrees of Freedom.

While full of pertinent examples of the usefulness of math and mathematicians, this paragraph was a hoot:

“On the other hand, mathematicians are cheap. They just need a small office, some chalk, a computer and, once in a while, a ticket to a conference. They make you smile by wearing nerdy T-shirts. They are good to have around on university campuses in case you are a scientist who happens to have calculus (or Riemannian geometry) questions. Oh, and they teach math to students. Lots of students.”

It reminded me, of course, of the joke about philosophers and mathematicians – a mathematician needs pencil, paper, and a rubbish bin; but the philosopher doesn’t even need the bin.

Conferences are great – that’s where the real cross-pollination of ideas can begin. People from all sorts of specializations getting mellow in the bar, and talking about things – and ideas happen.

Mathematicians may be too abstract for most people to understand, but they know the value of a conference.

Right now I’ve got Lead, Cadmium, Cobalt, Palladium, and Caesium playing.

This will be a tough procrastinator to overcome, I fear. Music and science and just plain cool.

This is a wonderful – not quite spoof.

It makes the point so clearly. If science cannot be taught, then where do you draw the line?

There are beliefs, and there are facts. Why is this so hard for people to separate?

See also:  “Bad Reasoning About Reasoning”

Fun Stuff to Watch

June 24, 2011

This is a great series. I love how they put labels on everything.


Who hasn’t heard of Angry Birds? But mostly, people just play it, right?

Not a physicist.

What too many people don’t understand about  science is that understanding how something works actually enhances appreciation. You don’t just accept things. You play with them, explore them, and then go on to learn, play, and explore with related things. And there’s the whole universe to poke about in – you’ll never run out of wild, weird, and wonderful things to learn. Exciting is too mild a word – amazing! Stupendous!

Myths are pretty (or terrifying, if used to enforce obedience), but understanding is beautiful. And in this case, amusing as well.

/ Is the Launch Speed in Angry Birds Constant? /

I wish this didn’t seem probable. After all, they’ve already declared global warming false – in defiance of all evidence. Jokes about them repealing the law of gravity may yet come true.

Too Many Odds and Ends

March 21, 2011


xkcd / does it again – not funny, but clearly informative.

Clever sheep ? /   Not an oxymoron.

/ Amazing picture / of the sun.

Joyce / coded in a bacterium /? I would have thought they’d be honored.

Keeping up with /  all the earthquakes / . Why aren’t there any in Oregon? There should be.

Obligatory bit about cats:

We all love /  kittens / , right? tells us more about these adorable creatures.

Finland in song and prose:

Finland is a great place. And they love tango. Why didn’t they chose / this / for Eurovision?

More on Finland. / Phrases one needs to know /.  Free beer for all?

Help for writers and other artists:

Creativity. Is / this /  how it’s done? I’ve been doing it all wrong.

General humor:

Ridiculous / maths humor /.

Yet another Oatmeal comic. I had fun going through his archives.  / The crap we put up with getting on and off an airplane /

I found /  this video / entertaining and informative. I know far more about carbon than I used to.

I’ve read research about this before. People automatically disbelieve someone they perceive as their ‘opposition’. As /  this article / mentions, the trick is finding a perceived ‘like me’ person for an argument that’s already polarized.

On the topic of research, how did /  this / ever get published? Maths prove that spirituality and science both come from space? What?

And now /  an illusion /. Even after they show how it’s done, I couldn’t make my eyes see it.

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