I own a coffee mug that I only use to drink hot tea (or water) out of at work. Most of the time it’s a light-absorbing black nondescript mug hiding in my overhead cabinet above my desk. Yet each workday, shortly after I arrive, I grab some tea and pour in some hot water and my morning transforms as the heat transfers to the mug and a bright red cup appears with the following image greeting me:
Why is Pi so lucky in love? — Because its love is infinite and non-repeating.
In an effort to celebrate international “Pi Day” today, I thought about scheduling this post for 15:09:26 (central time zone) this afternoon – 3.14.15.09.26. But I’m too impatient for that so you will get this post much earlier in the day on Saturday the 14th of March, 2020. I got this idea from a WikiHow post on how to celebrate Pi Day and here’s the relevant excerpt:
Celebrate at 1:59 PM on Pi Day. This time represents the next three digits of pi: 3.14159.
Take a minute to acknowledge pi in whatever way you see fit at that
moment During this minute, you can cheer wildly, or even have a
countdown leading up to “pi minute” the minute before.
For added effect for a countdown, have a “pi drop” where you drop a
big pie off a balcony or another elevated structure. You can even add a
lot of sprinkles to the pie to make it look like a disco ball.
If you’ve written a pi song or made a pi dance, this would be the perfect minute to share your art.
Note that there is some debate regarding the exact time that Pi Day
should be celebrated. Though 1:59PM is probably the most common, some
believe that the 24-hour clock should be used instead, which would mean
that Pi Day should be celebrated at 1:59AM or 15:09PM.
Sadly for my family, I won’t be making any pies today. I might make some sourdough bread (in rounds of course) and possibly a diabetic-friendly round cheesecake for my visiting uncle. Which reminds me, I need to feed my soudough starter.
In parting, I will share on of my update statuses I occasionally post on my work Skype, where I share snarky, nerdy computer, math or tech one-liners. One of my absolute favorites is:
Yes, I’m still here. Sort of. I’ve been so busy since the first of the year, I just now came up for air, and only because I realized it had been nearly a month since I’d posted to my blog. A new year at work means a new budget cycle and all the projects that were on hold now have been given the green light and of course should have been completed yesterday. The ringing in my ears can be directly correlated to the number of hours per day I spend on conference calls. I spend so much time in fact on conference calls that the only time I have to accomplish actual work is at home during the evenings.
And for some reason, I thought it was a good idea, to take another online course, this time in Statistics. I needed one more course to finish my Associates Degree and I wanted to do something related to my core goal – Mathematics. Ironically, as I learned while reading and studying the first chapter of my textbook, Statistics is not technically considered a course in Mathematics. Math results in one right answer if you solve the problem correctly – and this is repeatable for anyone anytime. One problem = one right answer. This is not the case for Statistics.
For my commutes to and from work I switched from listening to audiobooks (for now) to following various podcasts as a sort of New Year’s resolution. Some of them are audio dramas, some of them are non-fiction, some are current tech news, some are short fiction (mostly fantasy and science fiction from various magazines) and some are just pure fun. Most of them I can complete in one day (two commutes = approximately 90 minutes) so I don’t have to worry about losing my place or losing track of the story in a long audiobook.
To prepare for last night’s Tolkien Society of Kansas City discussion of The Children of Hurin, I listened to nearly seven hours of amazing depth and insight on Chapter 21 of the Silmarillion thanks to the trilogy of episodes broadcast by the Prancing Pony Podcast. I plan a more in-depth post on my tumble down Tolkien’s tragic Turin tale. Our next group read at TSoKC is Unfinished Tales, but thankfully we’re skipping Part One (which would be yet another reading of Turin), but will start with Part Two and also read Letters 50-89 in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. Check our Facebook page for the date of our next meeting in February and join us if you’re so inclined. All are welcome.
This weekend will be all too short between obligatory after-hours work (ah, the joys of information technology support and maintenance), volunteering at the library (now that is pure joy) and tonight’s General Meeting of the Astronomical Society of Kansas City.
It’s the 27th day of January, 2018. I’ve flown through 7.4 percent of the year in days, nearly 8.3 percent of the months and 11 percent of the first quarter.
This week I want to discuss “What might cause the closer of two identical stars to appear dimmer than the farther one?”
Apparent Magnitude: A measurement of the brightness of stars without regard to their distance from Earth.
The scale in use today starts with the star Vega and an apparent magnitude of 0.0
Objects brighter than Vega are assigned negative numbers. For example. Sirius, the night’s brightest star, has an apparent magnitude of -1.44
The scale was extended to include the dimmest stars visible through binoculars and telescopes. For example, a pair of binoculars can see stars with an apparent magnitude of +10
Ignoring distance for a moment, all other things being equal, the closer of two identical stars will appear brighter (have a smaller apparent magnitude) to us than the more distant star. When we account for the difference in distance, we use either or two measurements: absolute magnitude and luminosity.
My topic for discussion this week will attempt to answer the question:
Why do astronomers believe that the debris that creates many isolated meteors comes from asteroids, whereas the debris that creates meteor showers is related to comets?
But first, I want to share two things that serendipitously fell from my Twitter feed (@mossjon) today. Today’s APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day@apod) featured the unusual mountain on Ceres (Comins, 2015, p. 239).
The second thing that immediately caught my eye today was an episode of Astronomy Magazine‘s “The Real Reality Show” entitled “How an Asteroid Killed Off the Dinosaurs” covered late in Chapter 8 of our textbook (Comins, 2015, p. 263-4) and which also bonked me on the head via my Twitter feed:
My second post in my series of weekly discussion topics for my Introduction to Astronomy online class. Last week I got up close and personal with the many sides of the Moon. This week I take a closer look at the other blue planet in our solar system and how we discovered it without observing it first.
Why was the discovery of Neptune a major confirmation of Newton’s universal law of gravitation?
Before Newton, astronomy relied on observational data from which mathematical formulae and equations were created. Newton pioneered an approach which allowed mathematicians to extrapolate and predict the movement of objects using three assumptions, now commonly known as his laws of motion. Together with his formula for gravitational force, Newton transformed Kepler’s three laws to predict orbits of comets and other solar system objects. He further formulated a mathematical model, known as the Law of Universal Gravitation, that describes the behavior of the gravitational force that keeps the planets in their orbits. (Comins, 2015, p. 42-44)
Despite what my husband thinks, I have not over-dosed on science fiction since last Wednesday when the 74th World Science Fiction Convention (commonly referred to as WorldCon) arrived for the second time in Kansas City, Missouri. MidAmeriCon II ended yesterday and of course the highlight of those five days was the Hugo Awards Ceremony held Saturday evening.
In fact, I sincerely hoped when I woke up this morning it wouldn’t be to the harsh reality of a Monday morning workday. Ah, but life is cruel and the alternate dimension I’d enjoyed for five days evaporated into the dreary doldrums of gainful employment. Well, not completely dreary. Perhaps dreaded would be more like it, since I knew I’d be walking into some ‘hot potatoes’ once I strapped myself to my desk.
Today is the 22nd of January and of 2016. I woke up this morning to a bitter cold Friday, to the prospect of working through most of the weekend. Not the best way to start your day. A huge project I’ve been involved with for many many moons is finally rolling out. So while I’m stressed beyond belief, I’m excited to finally be able to put this project in the completed bin come Monday morning. Then it’s on to the next “Big Thing,” er, project.
Stressful work-life aside, January wasn’t a complete loss for leisure. I’ve read a space opera that I liked, listened to an audiobook for a book club that was interesting, read my first graphic novel for another book club and read an ebook novella (click here to see what I’ve read so far this year). Continue reading “The Case of the Vanishing January”
Chess is one of those games I know how to play but have no desire to play. As noted in this article, the rise of the machine has made human play almost an afterthought.
I like computers but I prefer to tell them what to do. Computers excel at trillions of calculations and quick logical comparisons. They do not sweat nor do they forget or fatigue. They will always win the every – possible – move grind.
Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon