Tuesday, October 11, 2011

145 = 1! + 4! + 5!

145 = 1! + 4! + 5!

1! = 1
4! = 4*3*2*1 = 24
5! = 5*4*3*2*1 = 120

120 + 24 + 1 = 145

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Magnum P.I. - Where nobody knows your name

None of the main characters of Magnum, P.I. were referred to by their first names*, and many other characters were referred to by nicknames as well.

"Magnum" - really Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV. *T.C. would refer to Magnum as Thomas, and was the only regular cast member to do so.

"Higgins" (sometimes "El Higgo" or "Pinkie") - really Johnathan Quayle Higgins III, Baron of Perth. T.C. normally referred to Higgins as "Higgy Baby". Sometimes called "Johnny" (particularly by family or elder female friends) which annoyed the hell out of Higgins. *Agatha, Higgin's closest female friend did call Higgins by his first name, Johnathan. When Magnum referred to him as Pinky - a nickname given to him by the West Yorkshire Regiment - Higgins really got pissed off.

"Rick" - really Orville Wilbur Richard Wright - Absolutely hated when T.C. and Magnum referred to him (occasionally) as Orville, as he made it known that he didn't like that name.

"T.C." - really Thodore Calvin.

"The Lads" - Duke and Apollo, Higgins's Dobermans. Collectively called "The Lads", but individually called by their correct names by both Higgins and Magnum.

Extra fact - Ted Danson, Star of Cheers (Where everybody does know your name) guest starred in Magnum P.I. - Season 2 - "Don't Say Goodbye"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ireland and top 500's

According to this link Ireland has 0.747 of the top 500 universities per million people, placing it at #8 globally.

Ireland also has 0.225 of the top 500 supercomputers per million people, placing it at #14 globally.Graph below compiled with supercomputer figures from www.top500.org and populations from wikipedia.

Click above for large size

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Spaghettification (Not a Red Hot Chili Peppers Album)

Suppose you find yourself in a very very strong gravitational field (think white dwarf, neutron star, black hole, etc.) and you aren't already dead from ebullism, hypoxia, hypocapnia, temperature extremes, exposure to many fun wavelengths of radiation, or the huge numbers of energized subatomic particles bombarding your body... what would you die of? The answer is spaghettification --- the stretching of an object into a longer, thinner shape caused by tidal forces within the object itself, which are a result of the gravitational attraction between the exterior attracting body and particles within the object itself. In short the gravitational field is so strong that (assuming you are moving towards the attracting body feet-first), your feet are closer and therefore being attracted more strongly than your head, thus spaghettifying you. In reality these tidal forces would create so much friction that you would die from being slightly too warm before you got very spaghetti-like. If the heat didn't bother you though, eventually you would get so long and thin that you would snap in half. then those halfs would take turns getting spaghettified further, possibly snapping themselves. This process would continue until what is left of you crashes into or is swallowed by the thing that started all of this trouble in the first place. Although very different than Californication, something tells me that Anthony and Flea would think this is still cool.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Supercede has occurred as a spelling variant of supersede since the 17th century, and it is common in current published writing. It continues, however, to be widely regarded as an error.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Rice accounts for 20% of all calories consumed by humans.

Smith, Bruce D. The Emergence of Agriculture. Scientific American Library, A Division of HPHLP, New York, 1998

Saturday, July 2, 2011

How are important are you?

Paleodemography is the study of ancient human mortality, fertility, and migration. A subfield of paleodemography studies approximations of how many homo sapiens have ever lived. The generally accepted number is 106 billion. Given that the current human population is about 6.93 billion, approximately 7% of all humans who ever lived are alive right now. There you have it. Now that you know today's UFOD, if you want to feel more special about yourself today, your contribution to this is approximately 0.000000000943%. Good job, you are important!

Monday, June 13, 2011

White and Green Asparagus - The Difference is Dark.

White and green asparagus are the same. White asparagus is grown completely in the dark, a process known as etiolation, and results in a lack of chlorophyll, the chemical that makes most plants green. White asparagus is supposedly more tender and more mild in flavour compared to green asparagus. There is also a purple variety of asparagus. Originally from Italy, most purple asparagus is a result of the selective breeding resulting in many hardy hybrids. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey is a producer of many asparagus hybrids such as 'Jersey Supreme, 'Jersey Knight', and 'Jersey Giant'.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The parity of 0

Zero is an even number. In other words, its parity—the quality of an integer being even or odd—is even. Coincidentally an even parity is denoted parity 0. Therefore it is true that 0 has parity 0.

Zero fits the definition of an even number:  An even number is an integer of the form n = 2k where k is an integer. It also exhibits all properties shared by all even numbers, including but not limited to:
  • being divisible by 2
  • being surrounded on both sides by odd integers
  • able to be split into two equal groups
Zero also fits the rules for sums and products of even numbers, such as even − even = even, so any alternate definition of "even number" would still need to include zero.

More: Wikipedia

Friday, June 3, 2011

Système international d'unités

The International System of Units, normally abbreviated SI (from the French: Système international d'unités), or more colloquially called "the metric system" has been globally adopted with three main exceptions: Liberia, Myanmar (Burma) and the United States.

Everyone else has caught on...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Is π any good beyond 39 decimal places?

Visualization of H atom energy level
probability densities

It has been said that π truncated to 39 decimal places is sufficient to estimate the circumference of any circle that fits in the observable universe with precision comparable to the radius of a hydrogen atom.

Back of the envelope time:

The observabe universe has a diameter of about 93 billion light years or 8.79873*10^26m. The circumference of the observable universe (assuming that it is spherical in shape) is therefore π*8.79873*10^26m or about 2.76420*10^27m. An error in π of +/-1.0*10^-39 would result in an error in the circumference of something on the order of +/-1.0*10^-12m (very roughly). The average orbital radius of H is about 5.29177*10^-11m.

So, Is π any good beyond 39 decimal places (even though it has an infinite decimal expansion)?
Answer: Probably not other than for theoretical and computational interests.