Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Alaska: Land of the Midnight Sun (and my home for the next three months...)

I'm on top of the world!!!

Immaculate Conception, the church I'm attending here in Fairbanks.  Beautiful little Catholic church with a wonderful priest.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

“S’il n’y a pas de solution, c’est qu’il n’y a pas de problème!”

Are some problems unsolvable?...

Gödel's incompleteness theorems state: (1) if you can list out the base assumptions of a system, then you cannot know all  logically true statements possible in the system or the system is inconsistent, i.e. contains a logical contradiction and (2) if you can use the system to prove the system is consistent - does not contain a logical contradiction - then the system must be inconsistent. There's a nice little rant here at the University of Michigan's website where a mathematician complaining about the misapplication of Gödel's incompleteness theorems ends up appearing to support intuitive reasoning over logical reasoning, i.e. that intuitive reasoning is more complete than logical reasoning.  I'm not sure if he's aware of this; I may pester him...  


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What I really, really need...

Screwing around will not accomplish avoiding going to Alaska.  I will still be on that plane.  Time to bite the bullet.

Yes, yes I do.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sundays with William Blake: Some Thoughts on the Holy Spirit

I think of myself as a Catholic with a strong Unitarian bent.

A bivariate Gaussian distribution, also known as a "bivariate normal distribution."  I often think I can see the reflection of the minds of the mathematicians who study certain fields.  In the case of Gauss (1777-1855) I wonder what Gauss was expressing about himself in his exploration of the normal distribution.  Later the Gaussian distribution would become essential not only for modern statistics but also for understanding modern physics.  For example, Einstein connected the Gaussian distribution to Brownian motion and, therefore, diffusion in 1905.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Avengers

Spoiler alert!

If Thor (Chris Hemsworth) posed like this?  I would be very okay with that.  Very, very okay with that.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The whole "gay rights" thing...

Oh for the love of snot, if they want divorces and child custody battles, let them freaking have them.

At the end of this rainbow isn't a pot of gold.  It's the next several months of arguing about what goes on in other people's bedrooms.

What Cheers Me Up...

What cheers me up is generally not what cheers up most people I know.  Plus, a little on the psychological concept of "sublimation."

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hilarious - Top Ten Reasons to Kill Yourself

Hilarious, the person who wrote it is awesome.

[Note and update (June 10, 2012): It disturbs me that this is one of my #1 blog posts found through search engines.  If you're like me and feel better laughing at problems your mind has blown totally out of proportion, please keep reading.  However, if you're genuinely suicidal or having serious depression issues, please reach out to someone or try some way to get your mind off it.  Here:  I even wrote a post on how Monty Python is amazingly good for cheering me up.]

Top ten reasons to kill yourself:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mental Health from Monty Python

Not a good day thus far.  I need a dose of perspective, so taking a Monty Python break.  I also would love it if I found Eric Idle living in my fridge.  (Much better than Zuul, anyways... :-D )

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sundays with William Blake: The Tyger

Did He who made kittens put snakes in the grass?...

A Koch snowflake is a strange mathematical object with a limited area but infinite perimeter, that is, the length around the object is infinite but the space that the object takes up is finite.  Koch snowflakes are made by taking an equilateral triangle and adding three more equilateral triangles to each face and so on to infinity.  This relates back to the coastline paradox, a real problem in the real world.  Due to the coastline paradox, the apparently simple question "How long is the coast of Britain?" is, in fact, unanswerable.

Friday, May 4, 2012

God, Guns and Government: "Houston, We Have A Problem"

"Of course I'm well-informed.  I watch the news..."
- Just About Everybody

What if your view of people different from you was entirely built by television?...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

In Honor of Finishing Grading and Surviving a Program Development Meeting


I love my friends in the Education Department.  But when one tried to explain "intuitive math" to me today...  Yikes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

If You Didn't Mean It, Then Why the #### Did You Say It?

Getting a little sick of people in politics saying one thing and then, when questioned about it, saying "Naw, naw, it's a joke..."

Ted Nugent.  Was totally using a metaphor when he made a direct threat against the President.  Or something.

Midweek Dostoevsky: The Meek One

Exploring animus and anima concepts through the Dostoevsky story "The Meek One."

A beautiful painting by William Blake that I feel captures many of the tones of "The Meek One," if not directly than by poetic analogy.  One of my favorite paintings which I will probably discuss again later in one of my "Sundays with William Blake" posts.