Thursday, April 27, 2006

I'm exhausted, about to be unemployed, and...

relatively happy. I had a meeting with my advisor for my honors research project today. He's happy with the paper, but asked if I would add some more stuff. Fortunately, I have most of the "more stuff" in another paper and, yes, I can take that stuff and reuse it. *stuff, stuff, stuff, la dee da dee da, stuff, stuff stuff*

My favorite comment from Gary - "maybe go the ontogeny/phylogeny route --> become rich, famous!" (yeah, right)

Now I have to put together all of the various and sundry things needed for submission to the IRB (Institutional Review Board - the people who tell me whether or not I can actually run the study). And add the *stuff* and review for finals next week and find another job.

Well, sh*t.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What are they looking for?

Recent searches that landed here.

sister incest
dog die graph pie
biased math bar graph

Some people have too much time on their hands.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sunday Science

I'm finishing up a paper for the History & Systems class - compare and contrast the learning theories of Thorndike, Kohler, and Tolman in 4 pages. It's the 4 page limit that causes the problems. So I needed a break and found this on Yahoo News.

Interesting enough to warrant a trip to the library to read the paper.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

The other twin has arrived!

My gorgeous, charming, funny niece who is now my other blog daughter has arrived. Check out her description of herself - this is so the niece. You can find her at Zephyr's Place.

And remember all you dirty old men out there that I may be gun deficient, but I'm handy with a knife. *hehehe*

Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday Miscellany

Yesterday when I went outside on a break some of the guys were tossing around a softball. In the random way that thoughts go, this reminded me of playing baseball with the neighborhood kids. I'm a total loss at sports, but that didn't matter. Usually the two oldest boys made up one team and all the rest of us were the other team. When it was my turn at bat the oldest boy in the neighborhood (he was 4 or 5 years older than me) would stand behind me and help me hold the bat and swing. Okay he swung and I just followed along for the ride. I was about 10 and had such a crush on this boy.

The random thoughts rambled on. We played outside a lot. This was in the days before computers and video games and a gazillion TV channels. Every Sunday we watched The Wonderful World of Disney (or whatever it was called then). Which leads to my first TV character/actor crush. In 1964 Disney ran a show that was 3 episodes (I know cause I
looked it up) called The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. I was soooooo in love with the Scarecrow and with Patrick McGoohan who it turns out was born in Astoria, Long Island, New York 16 years after my father was born there. Go figure.

Because it's been on my mind this week, a little bit of history from 1971. This was the year I turned 18 and registered to vote. My mother took me down to the town hall to register. Now, this was a Republican town and my parents were registered Republicans. I wanted to register Independent, but the town clerk got all fussy about primaries and stuff. So, in an act of rebellion, I said that I'd register Democratic. The town clerk actually asked my mother if that was all right with her.

26th. Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Proposal and Ratification

This amendment was proposed by the Ninety-second Congress by Senate Joint Resolution No. 7, which was approved by the Senate on Mar. 10, 1971, and by the House of Representatives on Mar. 23, 1971. It was declared by the Administrator of General Services on July 5, 1971, to have been ratified by the legislatures of 39 of the 50 States.

This amendment was ratified by the following States: Connecticut, March 23, 1971; Delaware, March 23, 1971; Minnesota, March 23, 1971; Tennessee, March 23, 1971; Washington, March 23, 1971; Hawaii, March 24, 1971; Massachusetts, March 24, 1971; Montana, March 29, 1971; Arkansas, March 30, 1971; Idaho, March 30, 1971; Iowa, March 30, 1971; Nebraska, April 2, 1971; New Jersey, April 3, 1971; Kansas, April 7, 1971; Michigan, April 7, 1971; Alaska, April 8, 1971; Maryland, April 8, 1971; Indiana, April 8, 1971; Maine, April 9, 1971; Vermont, April 16, 1971; Louisiana, April 17, 1971; California, April 19, 1971; Colorado, April 27, 1971; Pennsylvania, April 27, 1971; Texas, April 27, 1971; South Carolina, April 28, 1971; West Virginia, April 28, 1971; New Hampshire, May 13, 1971; Arizona, May 14, 1971; Rhode Island, May 27, 1971; New York, June 2, 1971; Oregon, June 4, 1971; Missouri, June 14, 1971; Wisconsin, June 22, 1971; Illinois, June 29, 1971; Alabama, June 30, 1971; Ohio, June 30, 1971; North Carolina, July 1, 1971; Oklahoma, July 1, 1971.

Ratification was completed on July 1, 1971.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Virginia, July 8, 1971; Wyoming, July 8, 1971; Georgia, October 4, 1971.

Certification of Validity Publication of the certifying statement of the Administrator of General Services that the amendment had become valid was made on July 7, 1971, F.R. Doc. 71 099691, 36 F.R. 12725.

Created by Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site Interpretive Staff

Last week's poem generated some comments not at all related to the poem (or anything else for that matter). So this week I'm going to try some song lyrics that ought to really get out the crazy comments. This song is actually what got me to go and look for the dates of ratification on the 26th Amendment.

Eve of Destruction
by P.F. Sloan
Recorded by Barry McGuire (1965)

The eastern world, it is explodin’.
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’
You’re old enough to kill, but not for votin’
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin’

But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction.

Don’t you understand what I’m tryin’ to say
Can’t you feel the fears I’m feelin’ today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no runnin’ away
There’ll be no one to save, with the world in a grave
[Take a look around ya boy, it's bound to scare ya boy]

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction.

Yeah, my blood’s so mad feels like coagulatin’
I’m sitting here just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation.
Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for 4 days in space
But when you return, it’s the same old place
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace
And… tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction
Mm, no no, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

One out, another on the way

One down (or out as the case may be) and one to go. The first of my twin blog daughters is MY SISTER! (More bloggy incest) After months of sending her links to interesting blog stuff and having her send me the comments, Easter Sunday I got her to register on the blogspot place. Then....well you can go here and check it out. Our little test posts are still there - an extra virtual chocolate cigar to anyone who gets them. *grin*

I could tell you lots about the other sister person, but I'll be good. I'm hoping that she'll post pictures of some of her needlework. I just saw her newest piece - an original design for one of those pretty purses brides carry (a friend's daughter is getting married). What you won't know from any pictures she might post is that the reverse side of her needlework is just about as perfect as the front. She also quilts - one year she was one of the Hoffman Challenge winners. She sings. She cooks (one of us has too). She loves colors like orange. The other stuff you'll have to learn from her.

So with no further ado, my first baby girl - The Other Sister Person

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Spring has sprung

The grass has rizz
I wonder where the birdies is.

And in good spring fashion I am pleased to announce that I'm pregnant with not one but two blog children. The births should occur later this week at which time formal announcements and chocolate cigars will appear. *grin*

(And you thought all I did was math. hehehe)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Friday miscellany

After doing my best to screw up my fall registration, it's straightened out. I think. There was a message for me when I got home tonight from the registrar so I won't know for sure until Monday. *sigh* In the meantime I'm still working on the paper for my honors research and working on more of the Fundamental theorem of Arithmetic. (Now don't you all run away screaming. Save that for when I finally find the picture of me in my hippie dippie days. *grin*)

I'm continuing on the Friday poetry kick. This poem contains one of my favorite lines -

"I grow old... I grow old...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. "

So I present to you The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot.

S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,
Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question...
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair
[They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!"]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin
[They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!"]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
It is perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?...

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep... tired... or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: "That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all."

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor
And this, and so much more?
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all."

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old... I grow old...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Is mass media biased?

I know that a lot of people feel that the mass media is biased. There is an interesting entry addressing this belief over at Mixing Memory - Hostile Media Effects. Take a look and make sure you read the comments.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ask and ye shall receive

In response to this post Harvey asked, "what's the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic?" To some extent I think that the name is a bit of a misnomer, but for now I'll give you the theorem without proof. The proof is relatively simple and is interesting in as much as it illustrates the process of mathematical thinking. But before I entertain you with that, I need to sit down and do a little bit of work to provide comprehensibility for the non-math people.

The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic Every positive integer greater than 1 can be written uniquely as a product of primes, with the prime factors in the product written in nondecreasing order.

For example, the prime factorization of the positive integer 1001 = 7 * 11 * 13.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Left turn to nowhere

I noticed today that Site Meter is registering 1,012 visitors. Only took seven months to get there. *grin* Some of those 1,012 visitors took a left turn on their way here. Like the person who did a search on "vector space and subspace solved examples." Not at all sure why I reaped the benefit of that search, but at least I know what a vector space is. Do you?

Saturday I picked up a new book on number theory - my feel better purchase because I hadn't been able to meet Teresa for the book signing. I'll have to get my act together and share any gems from that including the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic. I know you all are holding your collective breaths in anticipation of that.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Huh? Part deux

The graphs that the grad student will be talking about are not the graphs most of you envision. Unless you happen to be "into" math, a graph is usually the line (or points) you plot using x-y coordinates. Excel produces all sorts of graphs from data you enter - bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, etc. When you think of graphs in this everyday sense, the abstract makes even less sense. It really is a "huh?" moment.

For the record, graph theory is defined at Mathworld as "the mathematical study of the properties of the formal mathematical structures called graphs." Not particularly enlightening. However, go here and read about graphs. This write-up is accessible to all of you although you might want to skip the links to eigenvalues. These graphs are actually pretty neat. I did go to a seminar a couple of years ago that was an introduction to graph theory. We all got to try and work out the bridge problem (you'll have to go to the link to find out what that is).

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I was going to use some comp time I have to go to the Friday math presentation until I read the abstract.
Abstract: Spectral Graph Theory is a relatively new field of mathematics which seeks to use ideas from continuous geometry to learn more about graphs. In this talk, I will introduce graphs and the adjacency operator on graphs. I will briefly outline some of the applications of graphs and some classical problems to give an idea of this rich field. Then we will turn to the spectrum of the adjacency operator. Surprisingly, these eigenvalues have great impact on very tangible properties of the graph. I will show how they provide a bound on the diameter.
The person speaking is a grad student at Dartmouth. I can guarantee that I'll never be smart enough for this. *grin*

Saturday, April 01, 2006

My old cat

Update: My old kitty has gone off to where ever it is crotchety cats go. He had a fairly large tumor in his kidney that had metastasized. There wasn't anything to be done for him but hold him and let him go. I'll miss the boy.

This is my old cat relaxing on his bed about a year ago. Today I took him to the vet. He'd gotten that old cat bony look this past year, but this week things got really out of hand and he's been refusing food. He's at the vets now getting fluids and nourishment via an IV. They're also doing a full set of blood tests. And he had an x-ray - there is some sort of mass showing up in his stomach. Depending on how he does over the next couple of days (and the results of the blood work), he may have an ultrasound on Wednesday to try to determine what the mass is and if it's fixable. The vet flat out said that it probably wouldn't be. Surgery is a crap shoot with him anyway. The last time he had his teeth cleaned he almost didn't make it out of the anesthesia.

I'm feeling as if my final ties to my old home are being severed. When my husband and I moved here, we brought our 3 dogs and the cat. My husband and all 3 dogs have died. Now I will probably loose my bad tempered cat.

I know that in the bigger picture this is a non-starter, but....