July 8, 2015 (Courtesy of the Facebook Dredge):
From the "Innumeracy Will Destroy Us" file:
A little while ago, I came across a story to the extent that a fifteen year old student had discovered a fifty year old error in a mathematics display at the Boston Museum of Science. Specifically, he found that minus signs had been substituted for plus signs in three places in an explanation of the Golden Ratio. I looked a bit, but couldn't find an actual statement of the equations, and I became suspicious. I was willing to bet that the display was fine, but the museum employee who confirmed the error was an idiot. Sure enough, someone with a few more brain cells looked the situation over, and determined that there was no error. For those who don't know: "X is to one as one is to X plus one" and "X is to one as one is to X minus one" are both valid (if reciprocal) statements of the Golden Ratio.
Respect the drive-by: Best Bristol moment of the day: She was sitting by herself in the Friends of Faire garden. I walked by, and said, "It has been my experience that pretty girls who are sitting by themselves prefer to remain that way, " and smiled. Her face lit up, and I walked away.
Just solved a gawd-awful cryptogram I have been hacking at for several days. BANANA+LEMON+PEAR=ORANGE. Each letter is a different single digit number, and none of the leading letters (B, L, P, O) are equal to zero. First glace is 10! combinations, ablut 3.5 million. A little bit of messing around gets it down to about a quarter million; I managed to get it down under 150, then ground through the possibilites until I found it. It's supposed to be a logic puzzle, and using a brute force computer solution is supposed to be cheating, but that is the only solution offered. I feel pretty good about my 150 case approach (the one that worked was in the 130s; I was beginning to think I had missed something...)
Carryover from the new Tarzan movie: There is an odd pseudo-fact that gets trotted out every now and then: Hippos are the most dangerous animals in Africa. And it is sort of true: Hippos kill more people every year than any other African macro-fauna. But this its really a matter of numbers more than any particular property of hippos. Hippos are BIG, and fiercely territorial, and NUMEROUS. And they look kind of cuddly. So every year, a certain number of stupid people make a hippo angry, and die as a result. But they aren't nearly as dangerous, or as aggressive, pound for pound, as elephants or rhinos or buffalo. They are just COMMON.
Damsel in Distress, #1: I had just shut off the engine and opened the door when a woman walked past the front bumper with a violin on her back. I did a double take, said, "Michi?", there was brief conversation, and then I drove the Incomparable Michi around the parking lot until we found her car.
Damsel in Distress #2 (and 3): I was approaching the south end of the Lake Elizabeth bridge; there was HEAVY southbound traffic. I was vaguely aware of a woman's voice to my right saying maybe they would be better off going around, and then, "Oh, he's going through, let's follow him." So, being large and ugly, I plowed my way across the bridge, and the mother and daughter followed me. We talked a bit at the far side of the bridge.
Matthew Walker Lives!: There is a woman making homemade rope out of acrylic yarn this year. I stopped and spoke to her for while; she had an antique cast iron rope making machine that fascinated me. And THEN we started talking about knots, and I ended up showing her how to tie a Matthew Walker, which just pleased my soul.
The only hawk I have heard so far was from a pretty blonde at an archery booth. I commented on that, talked hawks for a while, and ended up doing one for them. And THEN the gave me a handful of arrows and a free go.
So, much fun and silliness.
July 14, 2015 (Courtesy of the Facebook Dredge):
Odd stuff that dribbles out of my head, apropos of nothing:
"Track?" the clerk asked. "Where does that come from?"
Track smiled. "It's cut down from 'Batrachius'. It means, 'froglike'". The clerk goggled, and Track smiled again. "My mother had had a classical education, and FAR too many mushrooms."
Obscure and grim tee shirt concept: "Norwegian Sled Dog." (It's a Roald Amundsen reference...)
July 16, 2015 (Courtesy of the Facebook Dredge):
It's Roald Amundsen's birthday. Celebrate by doing something no one has ever done before (or alternatively, eating a dog).
Good day at Bristol:
The girl was standing in the midway with an 18 x 30 placard, hawking her heart out, within the limits of being 20 years old and not much more than 100 pounds. I walked up to her, smiled, and said, "May I?" She was confused. I repeated myself, she gave bewilded permission, and I did. An extra two hundred pounds and a half century of evil is a BIG difference; the girl smiled brilliantly, and then began to laugh.
I told the Undead Carnie story FOUR times, and the Ballad of Hob Gaedling once, all to good effect.
I started a rumor that wind chimes attract zombies.
And I made Level 10 in Ingress after more than a year.
July 17, 2015 (Courtesy of the Facebook Dredge):
Apropos of nothing:
If you don't know the difference between trepidation and trepanation (a group which apparently includes the Facebook spell check), you should probably stay away from sharp objects.
Life in My Household:
Dementia: I haven't been wearing necklaces much lately. I only have one head. Maybe if I had more heads... I could go without on one neck, and a bunch of necklaces on the next one, and maybe a choker on the third one...
Hyena: That was weird, even for you.
I love my wife...