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Nicolas Cage commands a powerful fan base. On the one hand, this should be expected of any man with the foresight to see how awesome a film The Rock would turn out to be, but on the other hand, some of his more recent outings (I’m thinking of Bangkok Dangerous, Next, Ghost Rider, and Knowing) have met with less than critical praise. Nevertheless, support for Nicolas Cage has, from my perspective, only seemed to grow over the past few years. Perhaps it’s because of the National Treasure series, or because, according to Wikipedia, he named his youngest son Kal-El after Superman. Or perhaps people feel sorry for him because of his tax problems after spending too much money buying castles and islands. Whatever the case, this love for Nicolas Cage manifests itself in a variety of ways, from the usual fan sites such as, to the less standard celebrity . . . → Read More: Knowing

Make Money Money, Make Money Money Money! (and Learn Math, too)

Let me begin by saying that, in response to the question Why is 9/09/09 so special?, my response is simple: it’s not.

In fact, I would argue that 09/08/09 is much more interesting. This claim has nothing to do with numerology, and everything to do with President Obama’s speech to the youth of America on the value of education. The speech made very clear the importance of taking education seriously, and hopefully convinced students that a good education benefits not only themselves, but also society at large. In case you missed the speech, the transcript can be found here.

Although the speech was about education in general, mathematics got a little bit of love too. Here’s one such example:

What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation . . . → Read More: Make Money Money, Make Money Money Money! (and Learn Math, too)

USA Today, you are also on my list

It bothered me when USA Today, in an article celebrating “math holidays” centered on the numerology of certain dates, linked to a post I had written about how these holidays are stupid, without even mentioning my contrary opinion. However, I was willing to let it slide, since I was able to say that I was linked in an article from USA Today. Unfortunately, an article posted today is just too much. USA Today, you have officially made it onto my list.

The headline for the article really speaks for itself: “Rare time/date alignment could mean opportunities.” This refers to the fact that in the wee hours of the morning today, it was 4:05:06 on the date 07/08/09.

Money quote:

Although the alignment may not mean anything specific, it could be a good day to do something for yourself and others, said Betsy Carlson, a Palm Springs tarot card reader . . . → Read More: USA Today, you are also on my list

Ron Gordon, you are on my list

Not this again. I’ve now discovered that the mastermind behind these so-called math “holidays” is a teacher named Ron Gordon. Not only was he the one to spearhead the Odd Day initiative 2 months ago, but he’s gone so far as to double dip and call today Odd Day as well, citing the fact that standard date notation for most of the world is DD/MM/YY, rather than MM/DD/YY.

Thanks for double dipping, Mr. Gordon, so that I can read these pointless articles yet again. Mr. Gordon has even set up a web page and a contest, with cash prizes for those who can celebrate Odd Day the most enthusiastically. Needless to say, I don’t think I will be the recipient of any such prize.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, Mr. Gordon. I’m just sayin’.

When will this stop?

Ok, now it’s just getting annoying. Odd day? Give me a break.

My thoughts on this irritating trend can be found here, here, and here.

Numerology Goes on Holiday (Again)

I made my reservations fairly clear regarding the double dose of math holidays last month. Despite my objections, I remained confident that the headlines they gathered would quickly fade away, and I wouldn’t have to worry about these faux math headlines for the next 12 months. In this way, I was able to sleep peacefully at night.

Unfortunately, it seems there are those who wish to disturb my slumber.

Dan Vergano over at USA Today recently wrote a brief article which highlighted the fact that this year there are a whopping 2 “square days,” one of which is today, 4/01/2009. The day is called a square day because if you read the date as a number, the number turns out to be square. In this case, 4,012,009 = 2003 * 2003.

The article attempts to be relevant by making a tenuous link between this sort of mathematical wizardry and the . . . → Read More: Numerology Goes on Holiday (Again)

Square Root Day?

I just noticed this article on the front page of Yahoo, which discusses the pending celebrations for tomorrow, in honor of the square root function. Tomorrow is given the name “Square Root Day,” naturally enough, because the date is 3/3/09. Seeing as how there are only 9 square root days per century, apparently the sparsity of this phenomenon is enough to make some people excited when such dates do occur. Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 3,996,0011/2.

I don’t want to sound like a curmudgeon, but I’m not really sure who deemed this story worthy of inclusion on the front page of Yahoo. Similarly, I don’t know what it means when the article says that tomorrow’s “holiday” is met with great enthusiasm by “math buffs.” The article seems to suggest that a celebration like this falls within the realms of mathematics, when it more appropriately falls into the realm of . . . → Read More: Square Root Day?