Archive for the ‘Trivia’ Category

Decimals are too simple

April 22, 2018

Of course all attempts to create a 10 hour day with 100 minutes to each hour and 100 seconds to each minute have failed. Similarly all attempts to divide the circle into 100 parts have not caught on.

The use of 60 is almost as basic as the use of 10.

The origins of base 60

All the non-decimal systems I learnt were embedded in memory before I was 20. I don’t expect many will remember these.

As a child I learned the use of 12 and 60 from my grandmother. The use of 12 was automatic with 4 and 3. Three pice to a pie. 4 pies to an anna and 16 annas to the rupee. When driving around India with my father, miles and furlongs and yards and feet came naturally. Bushels and pecks and gallons and quarts came later as an apprentice in England.

Decimals are simple. But they are also simplistic.

Perhaps too simple.


 

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Eight years

April 16, 2018

I started this blog 8 years ago today as a means of curing writer’s block.

In that objective it has functioned very well. It’s been my relief valve and my therapy whenever I get stuck. Rather than engage in acrimonious comments and discussions when something is not to my liking on other sites, I find my solace in putting my own view down here.

3,862 posts in 8 years is a little over one post per day.

The reality is that I don’t actually post for anyone other than for myself.

Visitors to the site and readers are welcome bonuses, but the primary audience to be satisfied for any author is the author.


 

Dwarf planets demand full planetary rights and an end to discrimination

March 26, 2018

The five dwarf planets (Ceres in the asteroid belt, and the trans-Neptunian planets led by Pluto)) have demanded that discrimination against them  cease immediately and that they be afforded full planetary rights along with the “Big 8”. Over 150 bodies are trans-Neptunian planets (TNPs) but only four are recognised as dwarf planets (Pluto, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake).

A spokesman for the TNP’s complained that the International Astronomical Union was being blatantly unfair against the “small and the distant” and was guilty of violating the fundamental, God-given rights of every planetary body. “The members of the IAU are all earthlings and small-minded and biased”, he said. “It is a travesty that even a planet as near the Sun as Ceres could be treated with such disdain”, he continued. He claimed that actually there were over 250 TNP’s but many had yet to be contacted. He accused the IAU of gross geocentrism. “It is morally unacceptable to deny these ancient planets their full rights and to stigmatise them by calling them dwarfs”. “Do we not all orbit the same Sun?”, he asked. ”

The International Astronomical Union denied any discrimination. A spokesman angrily refused to comment when accused of being geocentric. He denied that the IAU was steeped in dwarfism.


 

Gendered aspects of the universe

March 12, 2018

The Canadian Environment Minister (how stupid can you get?) recently expressed concern for the “gendered aspects of climate change”.

I am no doubt incorrigibly sexist but I thought I would try and look at the gendered aspects of the Universe.

Mother Earth must be female and Father Sun must be male. Hydrogen must be male so that makes oxygen female in a polygamous relationship. I put Fire and Air as male which leaves Earth and Water to be female. Summer is male and so is Winter. Spring and Autumn are obviously female. Trees are male and grass is female. Weeds are male and Flowers are female. Beef, potatoes, asparagus and onions are male while chicken, cheese, tomatoes and cauliflower are female. Mushrooms are transgender.

Of the planets it is apparent that Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Neptune and Saturn are male. Which leaves Venus, the Earth and Uranus (sort of) as female. Pluto has been neutered. Comets are male but galaxies are female. Double stars are gay. H, Li, Na, K, Rb, Ca and Fr are obviously male. It follows that He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe and Rn are all female. The rest of the periodic table falls in line. (Elements with odd atomic numbers are male and those with even atomic numbers are female).

If Physics is male then Chemistry is female. Metallurgy is male and Biology is female. Mathematics must be transgender. Sociology must be deviant.


 

More mothers than fathers in the world

March 12, 2018

Just playing with the numbers.

Population trivia.

A very crude estimate suggests that about 1,000 million of the world’s 7,500 million are “only” children and have no siblings.


 

Never mind the quality

February 22, 2018

I am old enough now to be allowed to be cynical:


 

Being 70

February 19, 2018

So, I turned threescore and ten last week.

The Bible (Psalms 90)

The days of our years are threescore years and ten;
and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years,
yet is their strength labor and sorrow;
for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

Shakespeare (Macbeth, II, 4)

Old man: Threescore and ten I can remember well: 
Within the volume of which time I have seen 
Hours dreadful and things strange; but this sore night 
Hath trifled former knowings.

The angels were not visible but there was celestial music all day. Everything I ate tasted like an ambrosia gel and everything I drank was like a single-malt, 18 year old nectar. My understandings of all things philosophical turned profound. The mysteries of life, the universe and everything were revealed. It is not just coincidence that 42 plus the singularity is a prime and exactly half of 86. Ytterbium (Yb) has atomic number 70 and is a lanthanide. There have to be 52 cards in a pack because there are 52 weeks in a year. There must be 13 cards in a suit to account for the missing 13th month. I finally understood why there are 7 days in a week and humans have five digits on each limb. I solved the last missing theorem. A teenager’s speech was almost intelligible and didn’t turn me off. A car stopped in heavy traffic and allowed me to merge into the queue. And it snowed all day.

At 70, the answer to life, the universe and everything on any limb and on any day of the week becomes obvious.

Apart from that it was just another day.

In Sweden, to be 70 is no big deal. Around 16% of the population is 70 or over. In Japan 20% of the population is 70 and over. But in India and China only about 6% are over 70. Globally, the over-70s are just under 6% of the population.


 

Decadent or depraved

December 11, 2017

So are we decadent or are we depraved?

Decadence

dissipation, dissoluteness, degeneracy, debauchery, corruption, depravity, vice, sinfulness, perversion, moral decay, immorality, lack of morals, lack of principles, lack of restraint, lack of control, lack of self-control, immoderateness, intemperance, licentiousness, wantonness, self-indulgence, hedonism, epicureanism, voluptuousness

Depravity

corruption, corruptness, vice, perversion, pervertedness, deviance, degeneracy, degradation, immorality, shamelessness, debauchery, dissipation, dissoluteness, turpitude, loucheness, profligacy, licentiousness, lewdness, lasciviousness, salaciousness, lechery, lecherousness, prurience, obscenity, indecency, libertinism, sordidness; wickedness, sinfulness, vileness, baseness, iniquity, nefariousness, criminality, viciousness, brutality, brutishness

I suspect it is decadence.

Bit it is surely one or the other.


 

Five decades

December 8, 2017

One ages and one gets nostalgic.

The past gets compressed into some kind of a zip-file in my memory and sometimes the file is difficult to open.

But five decades of a working life does not take much space to summarise.


 

Political Dyslexia

November 7, 2017


 


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