Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What to do if you get in an accident.

Today I interviewed with a police officer over an accident that happened in March where someone rear ended me and then took off.  The license plate number that I was able to recall at the time of the accident might not have been valid according to the police.     If you get in an accident, the first thing you should do is use your camera phone to take pictures.

Monday, November 4, 2013

No calculator nor computer can do this without special software. It is too many digits.

  • In 1977 at the Southern Methodist University she was asked to give the 23rd root of a 201-digit number; she answered in 50 seconds.[1][4] Her answer—546,372,891—was confirmed by calculations done at the U.S. Bureau of Standards by the UNIVAC 1101 computer, for which a special program had to be written to perform such a large calculation.[11]
  • On June 18, 1980, she demonstrated the multiplication of two 13-digit numbers — 7,686,369,774,870 × 2,465,099,745,779 — picked at random by the Computer Department ofImperial College, London. She correctly answered 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730 in 28 seconds.[2][3] This event is mentioned in the 1982 Guinness Book of Records.[2][3]

Such feats are well beyond any remotely normal human brain.  One has to wonder how different her brain had to be?  

The only reasonable way to imagine that she could take a 23rd root of an extremely large number is to be able to accurately convert the number to a logarithm, do a division and then calculate an exponent in her head.  This is the process that people used slide rules to calculate much smaller numbers.   Doing this on paper could take hours.  The software on your computer couldn't handle this.  There probably are special programs that can handle it.

If that was her method, then she would have to have extremely large tables of logarithms memorized.  However, if she was this brilliant, maybe she came up with other ways of solving math problems.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Preposition Standing

Dryden is also believed to be the first person to posit that English sentences should not end in prepositions because Latin sentences cannot end in prepositions.[22][23] Dryden created the prescription against preposition stranding in 1672 when he objected to Ben Jonson's 1611 phrase the bodies that those souls were frightened from, although he didn't provide an explanation of the rationale that gave rise to his preference.




Try to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition. This is not really a rule, but lots of people think it is. So, to ensure you don't annoy your readers, just avoid the situation. If rewording your sentence makes it sound too contrived, just go for it and end your sentence with a preposition. (Sometimes, the cure is worse than the "problem.")




One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is whether it’s acceptable to end a sentence with a preposition.


I know many of you were taught that you shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition, but it’s a myth. In fact, I consider it one of the top ten grammar myths because many people believe it’s true, but nearly all grammarians disagree, at least in some cases (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). - See more at: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/ending-sentence-preposition?page=all#sthash.BLjDqgXf.dpuf





This is the sort of English up with I cannot put.   -  Winston Churchill.



Monday, July 1, 2013

Why Russians have dashboard cameras


 Subject: FW: Why Russians have dashboard cameras

This is why Russians use dash cams, (dashboard cameras) - amazing!


Do they have Driver's Ed in Russia?   Or just another day in Boston. :-)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cesare Borgia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Prince, Machiavelli uses Borgia as an example to elucidate the dangers of acquiring a principality by virtue of another. Although Cesare Borgia's father gave him the power to set up, Cesare ruled the Romagna with skill and tact for the most part. However, when his father died, and a rival to the Borgia family entered the Papal seat, Cesare was overthrown in a matter of months.

The Prince - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Monday, May 6, 2013

RE: Science fiction series.

The series I mentioned before is the “Galactic Center” series by Gregory Benford.   I recently read the second book when I found out that the first book didn’t get the best reviews, although I plan to read that too.   I actually started the series in the 1990’s when I picked up the third book in a bookstore, so I have read the series mostly out of order.  The actual order that I read the books was…








I thought that the second book was a masterpiece and #5 was really good too.   I seem to remember books 3 and 4 being a little slow in places but still intriguing.


I am now finishing Hyperion, which is different, very long, very interesting and much more highly acclaimed.



Friday, March 29, 2013

Fwd: Sharpening the axe?

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." - Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Wrinkle in Time - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In an interview with Newsweek, when L'Engle was asked if the film "met her expectations" she said, "Yes, I expected it to be bad, and it is."[22] The film was subsequently released on DVD. The special features included a "very rare" interview with Madeleine L'Engle, discussing the novel.


Yellow ribbon

The song is told from the point of view of a prisoner who has completed his three-year sentence but is uncertain if he will be welcomed home.

He writes his love, asking her to tie a yellow ribbon around the "ole oak tree" in front of the house (which the bus, bringing him home from prison, will pass by) if she wants him to return to her life; if he does not see such a ribbon, he will remain on the bus (taking that to mean he is unwelcome). He asks the bus driver to check, fearful of not seeing anything,.

To his amazement, the entire bus cheers the response – there are 100 yellow ribbons around the tree, a sign he is very much welcome.



Sent from my iPad

Friday, March 1, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Across the Sea of Suns. Furious Gulf.

These two books in the Gregory Benford Galactic Center series, especially Furious Gulf, feel to me like masterpieces in fiction.  Benford writes “hard” science fiction that is heavy in physics and science, some of which is a little fantastic and hard to believe, but it makes for great stories.  His idea that the galaxy would be dominated by mechanical life forms intolerant of biological life has a convincing feel to it.   These books are a wild ride that stretch the imagination as to what is possible.  I especially enjoyed listening to them on Audible, because the performance of the readers gives the stories extra flavor.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus (German: Nikolaus Kopernikus; Italian: Nicolò Copernico; Polish: About this sound Mikołaj Kopernik (help·info); 19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a comprehensive heliocentric model which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center of the universe.[1]


The publication of Copernicus' epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), just before his death in 1543, is considered a major event in the history of science. It began the Copernican Revolution and contributed importantly to the rise of the ensuing Scientific Revolution. Copernicus' heliocentric theory placed the Sun at the center of the solar system and described that system's mechanics in mathematical rather than Aristotelian terms.


One of the great polymaths of the Renaissance, Copernicus was a mathematician, astronomer, jurist with a doctorate in law, physician, quadrilingual polyglot, classics scholar, translator, artist,[2] Catholic priest, governor, diplomat and economist.



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

10 Coldest Temperatures in U.S. History


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Re: Yes, they actually can!

On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 10:13 AM, al grotz wrote:
The other day when I sent the 2 girls with a guitar I said they couldn't "get any more beautiful than this."
Actually they can :-).
My friend, Geoffrey, lives here in Asia and still doesn't know who "Girl's Generation" is.
And after watching Beyonce's ugly performance in the Super Bowl,
I thought it was time to update you guys on the girls I sent you about quite a while back.
It's not that these girls have gotten any more beautiful,
they are still pretty much the same girls as before,
but they have gotten more beautiful in the  production of their performances.
The following youtube link now has over 68 million views. I've never seen a you tube with that many views before.
Click here to see why:

Is this multilingual?   At first I couldn't understand the language and assumed that it was Asian.  If so, why mix two languages?   

I thought that the beginning was going to resemble science fiction, i.e. Superman's fortress of solitude.  

The rest is highly repetitious.  As pretty as the girls are, the song is a bore.  I am glad that these performers are doing well.

Best wishes,

John Coffey


Monday, January 14, 2013

SF book that I loved

Actually I listened to it on Audible…


Across the Sea of Suns

by Gregory Benford.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Gregory Benford

Benford's law of controversy[11][12] is an adage from the 1980 novel Timescape,[13] stating:


    Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available.[11][12]