The Spectre of Math

January 23, 2009

Carousel

Filed under: Personal — jlebl @ 8:19 pm

One year past carousel and I still have not found the sanctuary!  (apparently nobody is getting these odd references, but that won’t stop me making them)

Number of equivalence relations

Filed under: Mathematics — jlebl @ 5:33 pm

I wonder what is the maximum number of equivalence relations that one defines in a paper before the paper becomes obnoxious.  I’m up to 3 now.  I have called them equivalence, Q-equivalence and spherical norm equivalence (yeah I have no imagination).  Out of the 3, one is standard, one is very natural, and one I just made up.

January 18, 2009

math of war …

Filed under: Politics — jlebl @ 5:47 am

So over the past 8 years, rockets killed 18 people.  The response is around 700 dead civilians, including over 400 children (i.e. not the people firing the rockets!).  Leave the labels out of it.  Leave out who is who.  What if it was the other way around.  How would you feel?

My greatgrandparents died in a concentration camp for this?

January 15, 2009

Midwest and cold weather

Filed under: Personal — jlebl @ 6:47 pm

You would expect that for someone that spent more than half his life in the southwest (Tucson, San Diego), I would be the one that would avoid the cold weather when in the midwest.  But it appears that the locals are far more afraid to go outside in -20 degree Celsius (less than zero Fahrenheit) weather.  So when it is this cold, they close the schools, so Maia can’t go to daycare.  We went sledding on the only hill in Urbana (man-made mind you).  There were only 3 other people there and they left when we left.  Is seems like the real midwestians are hibernating …

January 13, 2009

Bush danceth as Olmert singeth

Filed under: Politics — jlebl @ 4:39 pm

http://uk.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUKTRE50C20B20090113

This reminds me of the line from Distinguished Gentleman:

Charles Dutton: Come on, Thomas! You’re Dick Dodge’s yes-man.
Eddie Murphy: I am not a yes-man. When Dick says no, I say no.

January 8, 2009

Obama and naming things

Filed under: Politics — jlebl @ 4:05 am

I was reading The Economist on the plane.  There was a rather disturbing article about lots of places wanting to name things after Obama.  This is rediculous.  I expect this from the fringe right cult of personality idiots.  There should be some sort of a rule that no public works project / street / aircraft carrier / school / etc… should be named for anybody who is still alive.  Apparently there is this kind of rule for us postal stamps.  At least at some point someone had a sense of decency.

Just like I think it is wrong to name a street after Obama, I was disgusted (though less surprised) to see the number of things named after Reagan before he died (including an aircraft carrier).  At least most of them were named after he finished being president.  Equally moronic is the Bush airport in Texas.  I mean, come on.  Is Bush #1 really such a great texan he should have an airport named after and you had no dead ones to pick from?

There is a real cult-of-personality being created here.  This is why dictators always seem so comical.  Now we are repeating what they did.  If we want to have the world to stop laughing at us, we have to stop doing these things.

So, let’s be happy Obama got elected.  But he hasn’t yet even had a chance to become a great president worth naming things after.  For all we know he might yet be a terrible president.  I mean at one point a large majority of americans thought Nixon was a great guy.

Actually I don’t really think any of the recent presidents are so wondefully great they deserve anything named after them.  There is a lot of great dead people we can pick that most people can agree on.  For presidents I can think of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt.  Advantage of politicians long dead is that they are generally well liked.  Also it is better if current politicians ego’s are kept in check.

January 4, 2009

Gaza …

Filed under: Politics — jlebl @ 8:55 pm

Reading news about Gaza reminds me of a news story I read a few years ago.  A couple (in Texas of course) got an annoying bird into their house.  The bird was probably damaging the furniture and likely causing trouble.  So they decided to get it out of the house.  How?  Well, by overwhelming force, of course.  They got a couple of shotguns and started shooting.  It’s a really funny story.  I think the wife died, but it might have been the husband.  If I remember correctly the bird lived.  I’m sure the interior of the house was slightly more damaged by the shotguns than by the bird.

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