Thursday, March 29, 2007


After 10-1/2 months of pretty much no movement, I have not one but two interviews!

The first is tomorrow morning for a company I'd really like to work for and have been trying to get a job with for some time. The job is moderately interesting, but I don't know what the pay range is. Somehow asking over the telephone today didn't feel right.

The second interview is on Monday. It's actually a second interview of sorts since the initial contact turned into a telephone interview. I was doing some mental scrambling on that one. LOL. But I must have done fairly well since they got back to me two days later to schedule the "second" interview. At any rate, it's a really interesting job, the company initiated the contact with me which I think is a major plus, and the pay range is very nice.

So we'll see what happens. Given my current disastrous financial situation, I'm inclined to go for money.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

This is strange

From MSNBC: Bizarre hexagon spotted in Saturn’s clouds. Astronomers can’t explain six-sided pattern at planet’s north pole. Go here for the story.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A love story

Check out this YouTube video link from Gooseania - To the vector belong the spoils - the love story between a dot and a line. BTW - this is a book you can buy. I read it several years ago.

Riemann Hypothesis - Is it proved (or disproved)???

So this is the current "news" making the rounds on some of the math blogs - a draft paper proving that the Riemann Hypothesis is wrong.

A rehash for all of you who get bleeding brains when I go into math mode:

There is a function (the zeta function) that predicts the distribution of the prime numbers. In 1859 this pretty neat mathematician named Riemann presented a short paper in which he conjectured that the non-trivial roots of the zeta function would all have a real part = 1/2.

Lost you, didn't I? Okay, go back to high school algebra and those equations you had to solve. The ones that looked like x2 + 3x - 4 = 0. You'd do some arithmetic and find out that you could rewrite the equation as (x + 4)(x - 1) = 0 and the solution was x = -4 or x = 1. Those were, more or less, the trivial roots.

Although it's more complicated (I'm guilty of major simplification in the previous paragraph), the trivial roots of the function in the Riemann Hypothesis are all negative numbers (-2, -4, -6, .....) and the non-trivial roots are all complex numbers. The hypothesis says that the non-trivial roots will all be 1/2 + yi (y is any real number and i is the square root of -1).

Fast forward to 2007 and nobody has proved or disproved the hypothesis. It's a really BIG deal for a whole lot of reasons. A draft paper has appeared on ArXiv claiming to disprove the hypothesis. Keep in mind that this is a draft and has not been peer-reviewed in any manner. Nevertheless, it's getting attention. Check the entries on Gooseania and Ars Mathematica.

Even though my interest in the zeta function has to do with that real part "y" of the non-trivial roots, I've downloaded the paper. I can tell you that 8 pages into it, I'm cross-eyed. LOL

Here's what I've been doing

What have you been doing?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Today almost improved on the week

Even though I woke up with a migraine, I briefly thought that all was not lost. You see after I came downstairs, the crazy kitty magically made the missing bamboo crochet hook appear. There was joy in Mudville.

The joy didn't last long. My firewall had an upgrade. I downloaded the file and ran it. Something went totally caca so with pounding head, I got to try and restore the 'puter and get the expletive deleted upgrade installed. It's done now, but the expletive deleted Norton System Works isn't recognizing the upgrade and thinks that I don't have a firewall. *banging head*

If my car was running, I'd run away from home.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The fastest turn down ever

I submitted an online application today, received confirmation of receipt at 12:05, received the "thanks but not thanks" email at 12:43.

I'm pretty sure now that I am totally unemployable so the cat and I are making a list of couches we can sleep on starting April 1st. Please let me know what dates are available at your house.

Monday, March 19, 2007

And my friends think that I give them headaches

From Yahoo - Brainiacs Succeed in Mapping 248-Dimensional Object

For the more mathematically inclined among you, check out what The n-Category Cafe had to say today.

New math???

From Ars Mathematica - Maharishi Mathematics.

Put down your drink and your food, then follow the link to the course listings. I'm LMAO!

Is this a sign?

I got up this morning, drank a cup of coffee, and started combing through job ads in the local Sunday paper and on the online job boards. This is one of those royal pains. Since the biggest "city" in this area has a population of approximately 25,000, there are a limited number of jobs. I've found that if I search for all jobs for the past week and then look through them all, I have the best chance of finding something to apply for. Today's search netted 2 on-line applications, 1 that I have to mail, and a company that I'll send a resume to in the hopes that they have something. Considering that there were only about 3 dozen ads, this isn't too bad.

So why, you might ask, am I asking if this is a sign? Well when I sat down to search I put my crochet project and the very nice bamboo crochet hook from my sister on my lap. At some point I heard the hook fall on the floor. Okay, so all I have to do is pick it up. Right? Wrong. Apparently it fell into a mini-black hole because I can't find it.

Is this a sign? Will my resume fall into the HR equivalent of a black hole?

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Today the erstwhile housemate baked one of his "better than sex" chocolate cakes. It had a dual purpose - to celebrate my youngest nephew's 9th birthday (we missed that because I had a migraine) and to make my sister feel better (the oldest nephew got terminally stupid and wrecked her car). I think the cake did its job. LOL

Before the cake, my sister and BIL took me to Wally World so I could get some yarn and buttons I need to finish the two hooded sweaters for the Pixie's boys. When they're done this week, I'll post some pictures.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

There's a link to this blog

from this blog - Juan de Mairena [v.2.718]. From the one or two names in the posts, I'm pretty sure that it's a math related blog. I'm thinking that I should return the favor and link to his blog. I just wish that I could read it, although this makes me realize just how insular my education is.

I read, write, and speak English. That's it. Just English. (I had 6 years of French, but that was more than 30 years ago. How much do you think I remember?) A number of years ago on my first day at a new job, my new boss asked me what languages I knew. As I listed off half a dozen computer languages, he looked more and more confused. So I asked him what languages he knew. His answer - English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian.

I've also noticed when looking at the Stat Counter data that my blog is accessed by people from other countries and I bet that they can read English and probably at least one or two languages other than their native language.

How sad is it that the average American barely speaks English? (This rambling post is a really good example of that.)

Kind of Star Trekkie (?)

Once a week I receive the Science News e-Letter - brief blurbs on interesting stuff with links to the full articles. This week's featured articles for physics has the following entry.

Warming Up to Criticality: Quantum change, one bubble at a time Physicists can now observe matter as it gradually turns into a Bose-Einstein condensate--the exotic state of matter that displays quantum behavior at macroscopic scales.

I don't have the background to understand anything that is more in depth than this article, but isn't it cool? I wonder what the mathematics that describes this system looks like?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday Miscellany

Two links to investigate.

The first from my blogless friend Sue. She calls it "Feeding the Dark Side". I call it a really neat combination of math, crochet, and art. So, go here and check it out.

The second from blog mama, Teresa is called Romantic Math. The section starts with this quotation - "Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in this world for ugly mathematics." (G. H. Hardy) If nothing else it's an interesting use of functions. *grin*

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Now this is potentially very cool

From The n-Category Cafe, a link to what looks like a very cool paper. At least the first page caught my attention.

Mathematical knowledge: internal, social and cultural aspects

The author (Yu. I. Manin) describes the paper as follows: "I discuss some general aspects of the creation, interpretation, and reception of mathematics as a part of civilization and culture."

Added a couple more math blogs

I realized during the fall semester when I took the complex numbers course just how much I miss doing mathematics every day. But it's difficult when you're sitting alone at home or, even worse sitting at a mind numbingly boring job, to get motivated. I'm thinking that if I go read math blogs regularly, that may get me off my ass. We'll see.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Revisiting the hometown

Sort of. For reasons that escape me, I Googled "Astoria" tonight. In order to avoid any confusion, I'm talking about a part of the borough of Queens, NYC, called Astoria. The 1964 World's Fair was there, LaGuardia Airport is there, my father was born and raised there. Growing up, we visited my grandparents and then just my grandmother there. They lived on 46th off of Ditmars Blvd. I can remember walking to the end of the street. There was an IGA across Ditmars and the old Steinway building which at some point became warehousing for Sterns (I think) and now is whatever it is.

This is a picture of my grandparents in front of their house. Grandpa worked for TWA at the time this picture was taken (before 1961 when he died) and the picture is part of an article about him in an employee newsletter.

In the course of my travels, I found a blog called Queens Daily Photo. Go take a look. It's a pretty neat view of the area from someone who is "new."

Monday, March 05, 2007

Have any of you tried

the Google AdSense thing? Do you actually make any money from it?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

It was a dark and stormy night...

Harvey tells me that I have to explain my absence. He recommends making up something dramatic and suggests that jungle adventures are always good.

Now I was trying to spare you all the gory details of my long absence, but I suspect that Harvey will not let the matter rest. So I will begin the tale.

Many moons ago in a land that existed outside of the bounds of normal time, a land of mathematical magic, beautiful princesses, and really really hot princes, an old woman crept through the trees in search of that one perfect Fibonacci flower. Or perhaps a snow flake born out of the chaos of a fractal storm. But alas, her quest was leading to the dark places where the spiders spun their webs to capture human dreams for food.

Lost within the darkness, the old woman sat down to reflect on her life. Perhaps within its tunnels she would find a way out of the spiders lair and back into the light.

(Should I really go on? LOL)