Lefties

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10% to 15% of the population are incredibly special; some might even argue even gifted. These people are lefties.

They are independent in thought, actions, professions, and attitudes. They just don’t follow the beat of a different drummer – they are the different drummers.

And just case you were about to overlook this, Aug 13th (tomorrow!) is the International Left-Handers Day.

So how does one treat a lefty on his or hers special day? Well, feel free to treat a lefty to a free meal. That’s always appreciated, even if your lefty is on a diet.

In times before Corona-19, I would have suggested taking your favorite lefty to a restaurant. Since this may not be a good idea during an epidemic, it would be better to have your food delivered to your favorite lefty’s residence. (and you could join him or her). Pizza, Chinese food, and Mexican food are good choices, at least to this lefty.

If you need a list in recognizing how much talent us lefties have provided to our culture, and their accomplishments, please click on the link below to download an updated and expanded PDF file on Famous Lefties (I’m sure you’ll enjoy it).

bon appétit!

The Sultan’s Problem

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Is sometimes our problem as well.

We human beings, despite our efforts and accomplishments in mathematics and technology, can only visualize only a few objects at a time. The exact number depends on the objects, the differences in the objects, and the arrangement of the objects.

The number, therefore, can vary from perhaps as low as three to no more than 100.

Before we start with today’s story, let’s review some history, of which you are probably aware.

The history of chess of chess is shrouded somewhat in mystery. It is known to have originated in India, about the year 700.

From there it traveled across Arab lands before it arrived in Europe in about 1485. The rules were updated to expand the powers of the queen and moves like en-passant and castling were added to speed up the game.

But we don’t know the person, or persons, who actually invented the game.

Therefore, this is a good place to insert a myth.

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A certain Sultan was concerned about boredom and indifference that was infecting him, his staff, and his army.

So, he called over his advisor to see what could be done. The advisor recommended a game that a slave, loyal to the both the advisor and Sultan, had recently invented.

The Sultan was intrigued about this and so he called over to the slave.

The slave told him that this new game of his was a war game that emphasized strategy and there was no luck involved; the winning player must earn this victory.

That intrigued the Sultan who began to ask questions about the game and wanted to play.

Of course, the Sultan won the first game of chess; the slave was a clever one.

After winning more games, the Sultan was full of praise for his slave. He asked him, “What do you desire for this excellent game?”

The slave thought for a short time before replying. He finally said, “Oh great and wonderful master. The only thing this humble servant want is to paid in grains of wheat, in which I can feed my family and perhaps make a small profit by selling the rest.”

The Sultan looked at him and replied, “I am a busy Sultan, so let me ask you one more time, what do you want for this game?

The clever slave replied, “Master! All I ask for one grain on the first square on the chessboard, two on second, four on the third, eight on the fourth, and so on until the board is filled.”

The Sultan smiled, and asked him, “Is that all?”

“Yes, master.”

The Sultan called over his advisor and said to him, “Bring me a bag of grain for this slave and do what he asks”. The advisor bowed and walked to the grain room.

But, if you know exponential functions, you’ll realize that the advisor must have made many trips to the grain room and could never fulfill his task.

And the clever slave, who know he outsmarted the Sultan, didn’t count on the fact that it was the Sultan who had the power of life and death over his slave. Once the Sultan figured it out, or perhaps had it explained to him, he immediately executed the clever slave.

Let’s take a look at how many grains the poor advisor must eventually carry.

Here is a chart to help you.

For the actual numbers (and I know you want to see them!), please click on the following link.

If simple folks like us cannot visualize large numbers of rice grains, how can we expect to visualize the large numbers of people, both healthy and sick, and make good decisions? This story is a fantasy. The sick are not.

Enjoying a Concert

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Yesterday, my friend and I went to a concert and had dinner. Normally this would not be a big deal, but with this Corona Virus Chaos (CVC) I should clarify.

The concert consisted of a man who played his saxophone inside his own home while we, his audience, we all practiced social distancing and wore masks. You could say that we are into safe sax.

And our meal? It was take-out pizza while we listened to the concert.

Know Your Fireworks!

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CAKE (+S) [n. a set of ROMAN CANDLES tied together.]
CATHERINE WHEEL
(+S) [n. AKA “spinning wheels”, they are GERBS that are attached to the rim of round or flat timber frame which spin when the GERBS are ignited.]
CHRYSANTHEMUM
(+S) [n. a variation on the PEONY that leaves a trail of fading sparks after exploding.]
CROSSETTE
(+S) [n. a type of firework which that stars, after the initial explosion, travel outward and explode a second time, creating a fractal pattern.]
DAHLIA
(+S) [n. a variation on the PEONY which has variously colored flower heads when exploding in the sky.]
FOUNTAIN
(+S) [n. a land- based firework that emit showers of colorful sparks keep their brilliance when they fall back to earth.]
GERB (+S)
[n. a small FOUNTAIN that can be used in sets to create other types of fireworks.]
GIRANDOLA
(+S) [n. a firework that starts on the ground and when ignited, spins rapidly up as it climbs in the air, leaving behind a long trail of sparks in its wake.]
KAMURO
[n. a type of firework that has a tight cluster of stars, usually white, silver, or gold color, that fall after exploding. The name comes from a Japanese word meaning a style of children’s haircut featuring short, untied hair.]
PEONY
(PEONIES) [n. a type of firework, characterized by a sphere of colored stars that burn without a tail effect,]
ROMAN CANDLE
(+S) [n. a firework consisting of a tube that sends out a shower of sparks and a succession of usually colored balls of fire.]
SPARKLER
(+S) [n. hand-held fireworks that yield short-lived sparks.]

An Old Article with Some Timely Advice

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With the corona virus still spreading it is not unusual for many people to feel stressful. Here are a couple of observations I’ve made and possible remedies for both.

To start off, these possible solutions were found in an old (circa 1988) Steve Harvey article in the Los Angeles Times.

One great stress can be found in money, or more precisely, the lack of it. It still costs money to drive a car, to pay rent, buy food, pay phone bills, and this is even if you have a job. Some people don’t and the stress level can be difficult to handle.

So, if you think you have it tough (and maybe you do), read about the man who received a rather large bill, and to quote Steve Harvey, “he thinks was actually meant for the Pentagon.”

Not exactly a panacea, but it will put a smile on your face.

A second stress factor can be found driving, or better known as speeding, on the freeway. With the freeway now more free as people are responsibly staying home, there are still some idiots who decide to use the freeway to test the maximum velocity of their cars, in other words, satisfying their need for speed. And yup, most of them are young men.

When I find myself having to drive on the freeway, I always to try to stay on the right and let the idiots use the left lanes. But sometimes these irresponsible speed demons don’t get the hint, or maybe just forgot all their driver’s ed, but they sometimes use all the lanes. Sort of not only trying to find the maximum speed of their cars but also seeing just how much their cars can swerve without crashing of flipping over. Most of the time, they figure it out without causing an accident.

Anyway, the Steve Harvey article has a little prayer you can recite, or even sing. Again, this might not be the redemption for your stress and other worries, and it is written for those of us who drive kids to their various activities, or at least what can do now during this crisis. But it can calm you down and humor doesn’t hurt, esp. when facing this nerve wrecking, insanely difficult, and extremely stressful epidemic.

Easter

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EVERYONE:

 

Be safe

 

Be joyful

 

Know that you are in command of your thoughts, feelings, actions, and brushing your teeth.

 

God won’t brush your teeth. I should know. I asked him and he either ignored me or at least didn’t do it.

 

So brush your teeth, keep clean and be happy and safe.

77180596-Bunny-Milk-Egg

Funny Bunnies

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Rabbits and bunnies have always been thought as cute (and they are!), cuddly (true again), and even comical (true and true!).

 
Let’s start off with some rabbit jokes, culled from the Internet and my private collection.

 

 

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Q: What’s the difference between a healthy bunny and a clown bunny?
A:  One is a fit bunny and the other is a bit funny.

 

Q: What do you name a rabbit who wears a kilt?
A:  Hopscotch.

 

Q: What do rabbits sing at birthday parties?
A:  Hoppy birthday to you…

 

Q: How do rabbits in New York City travel from one garden to another?
A:  They ride in a taxi cabbage.

 

Q: What do you call a very rich bunny?
A:  A billion-hare.

 

Q: Which pair of rabbits were famous bank robbers?
A:  Bunny and Clyde.

 

Q: How do rabbits travel?
A:  By hareplane.

 

Q: Why do rabbits avoid razors?
A:  Because they get rid of hares.

 

Q: What is a bunny’s motto?
A:  Don’t be mad, be hoppy!

 

Q: How do you know carrots are good for your eyes?
A:  Because you never see rabbits wearing glasses!

 

Q: What is a rabbit’s favorite dance style?
A:  Hip-Hop!

 

Q: Why are rabbits good at math?
A:  Because they can multiply quickly!

 

Q: Where do rabbits go after their wedding?
A:  On their bunny-moon!

 

Q: What do you get if you cross a rabbit with an insect?
A:  Bugs bunny

 

Q: What do you call a group of rabbits hopping backwards?
A:  A receding hare line

 

Q: What do you call a rabbit who is angry over getting burnt?
A:  A hot cross bunny

 

Q: How can you tell which rabbits are getting old?
A:  Look for the grey hares

 

Q: Why are rabbits so lucky?
A:  They have four rabbit’s feet?

 

Q: How do you send a letter to a rabbit?
A:  Hare mail.

 

Q. How do bunnies stay fit?
A.  Hare-robics.

 

Q: What game do young bunnies play during school recess?
A:  Hopscotch.

 

Q: How did the wrestling rabbit win an Olympic gold medal?
A:  He had the most hare pins.

 

Q: What do rabbits have that nothing else in the world has?
A:  Baby rabbits.

 

Q: What do you call a really smart rabbit?
A:  A hare brain.

 

Q: Where do you take a rabbit when their hair is too long?
A:  A hare stylist.

 

Q: What did the bunny say to his carrot?
A:  Been nice gnawing you…

 

Q: How many rabbits does it take to change a light bulb?
A:  One, if it hops right to it.

 

Q: How many hairs are there in a rabbit’s tail?
A:  Zero – they’re all on the outside.

 

Q: What did the magician say after the rabbit vanished?
A:  Hare today, gone tomorrow.

 

Q: What do you call the rich rabbit?
A:  A millionhare.

 

Q: What kind of books do rabbits like to read?
A:  Stories with hoppy endings.

 

Q:  Why did the bunny like the action movie?
A: It was hare-raising.

 

Q:  What’s the difference between a crazy rabbit and a fake dollar bill?
A: One is a mad bunny and the other is bad money.

 

Q: What would you call a angry rabbit on a hot day?
A:  A hot cross bunny.

 

Q: What do you call a happy rabbit?
A:  An Hop-timist.

 

Q: What do you get when you cross rabbit with Winnie the Pooh?
A:  A honey bunny.

 

Q: How is a bunny rabbit like a penny?
A:  They both have a head on one side and tails on the other.

 

Q: How is a bunny like a corn stalk?
A:  They both have big ears.

 

Q: What’s the rabbit’s favorite place to go for breakfast?
A:  I-Hop.

 

Q: Why don’t bunnies use combs?
A:  They use hare brushes instead.

 

Q: What was the rabbit’s favorite dance?
A:  The bunny hop.

 

Q: What do you call a joke-telling rabbit?
A:  A funny bunny.

 

Q: Why did the rabbit get a new job?
A:  He wanted more celery.

 

Q: Why did the girl wash her bunny with shampoo?
A:  Because it’s hare was dirty.

 

Q: Where do rabbits go after they get married?
A:  On a bunnymoon.

 

Q: What do you call a rabbit with lots of money?
A: An heir

 

Q: What do you call a rabbit comedian?
A:  A funny bunny.

 

EASTER JOKES!

 

Q: Why is Easter so much fun?
A: Because it is egg-citing!

 

Q: Where does the Easter bunny go to dance?
A: The basket ball.

 

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Wendy.
Wendy who?
Wendy Easter Bunny coming?

 

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If you have memory a like a rabbit (oops, I meant elephant), then you remember rabbits are comical.

 

 

We have Bugs Bunny (see below).

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And we have Roger Rabbit (see below).

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And we have the Mach Hare (from Alice in Wonderland – see below).

 

tinctorium-marchhare3

 

 
But my favorite is Harvey (again, see below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Easter to all my friends and family!

Time Marches On

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Lots of interesting things happen in March. First, let’s do some birthdays!

 

March 2, 1904 – Birthday of Dr. Seuss. Real name: Theo Geisel. Wrote Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch, and others. If you choose to read these books, please read them while you are still a child – you’ll enjoy them more. ; )

 

March 2, 1968 – Birthday of Daniel Craig (English actor). You probably know him better as 007.

 

March 6, 1475 – Birthday of Michelangelo (Italian artist and sculptor).  David is bigger than most people realize.

 

david

 

Mar. 9 1943 – Birthday of chess champion Bobby Fischer. He would have been been 77. Extremely intelligent and hard working. But quite crazy and insane.

 

One of his most cited games:

GM Fischer-IM Ostojic
Blitz Game
Herceg Novi, Apr. 17 1970
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.e5 (The Magnus Smith trap. Black doesn’t have too many good moves at his disposal, and Fischer, at his best, finds all the best moves for White.) 7…Ng8 8.Bc4 Bg7 9.Bf4 Qa5 10.O-O Bxe5 11.Bxe5 Qxe5 12.Re1 Qc7 13.Qd4! +- (13.Qd5 would also work but this is the fastest way to victory.) 13…f6 14.Bxg8 Rxg8 15.Qxf6 d5 16.Re2 Ba6 17.Nxd5 cxd5 18.Qxa6 Rf8 19.Rae1 Rf7 20.Qe6 Rd8 21.c3 Kf8 22.g3 d4 23.cxd4 Rxd4 24.Qe5 Qxe5 25.Rxe5 Rd2 26.R1e2 Rxe2 27.Rxe2 Rf6 28.Kf1 Rc6 29.Ke1 e6 30.Kd2 Ke7 31.Re4 Rb6 32.b3 Ra6 33.a4 Kd6 34.Rh4 h5 35.Rd4+ Ke7 36.Kc3 Rc6+ 37.Rc4 Ra6 38.Rc7+ Kf6 39.Kb4 Rb6+ 40.Kc4 a6 41.a5 Rd6 42.b4 Rd2 43.Kc5 Rxf2 44.Kb6 e5 45.Kxa6 e4 46.b5 e3 47.Rc1 Ke5 48.b6 Rg2 49.b7 Rb2 50.Ka7 g5 51.b8=Q+ Rxb8 52.Kxb8 1-0

 

March 10, 1957 – Birthday of Osama bin Laden (sometimes you just have to take the bad with the good.)

 

March 11, 1952 – Birthday of Douglas Adams (English writer). Another number to remember: 42.

 

March 14, 1879 – Birthday of Albert Einstein (German physicist). Relatively speaking, no introduction is necessary.

 

March 20, 1904 – Birthday of B. F. Skinner (American psychologist).

 

March 30, 1853- Birthday of Vincent van Gogh (Dutch painter).

 

starry_night_full

 

 

March 31, 1596 – Birthday of René Descartes (French philosopher, mathematician and writer.) A pun that will help you how to pronounce his last name: “René, put the math book on The Cart”)

 

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We have some more interesting things to share. And that doesn’t include Friday the 13th (which only comes every few years in March). So, let’s do that one first.

 

Friday 13 – Lots of bad things did happen on Friday the 13th. Lots of good things also did happen on Friday the 13th. Strictly a day for the superstitious.

 

But here is one event that will probably provoke the most conversations: Tennessee Outlaws Evolution. (March 1925).

 

Saturday, Mar. 14 – National PI (E) Day. Yes, you can love pie and mathematics. Look for a pie restaurant to meet math devotees and aficionados, and local Mensa people. (3.14)

 

Sunday, Mar. 15 – The “Ides of March”. Enjoy Shakespeare. Or at least Julius Caesar.

 

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day (“It’s not easy being green.” – Kermit the Frog.)

 

March 20: First Day of Spring. Also, International Earth Day. For all those who happen to live on Earth.

 

butterfly