Wednesday, February 01, 2017


My challenge to myself this month: how much can I write, including but not limited to this blog, in the shortest month of the year?

Friday, September 30, 2016

happy 100th, centenarian mathematician Richard K. Guy!

Some mathematicians die young, like Galois, Abel, or Zhitomirskiy. Others are active well into their 90s, like Bertrand Russell, Martin Gardner or Richard K. Guy, the last of which turns 100 today.  I recently remembered an article a couple years back about him walking over 800 steps to the top of a tower every year, and looking it up shows that he did it this year:

From the The Strong Law of Small Numbers to the glider in the game of life, Guy's discoveries (and compilation of the undiscovered, in Unsolved Problems in Number Theory) will be leading to new mathematics in 2116.  Happy birthday, Richard K. Guy!

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

newspaper roundup

On April 1, my op-ed "The race is on: Uber versus the real sharing economy" ran in the newspaper Jamaica Observer.  And no, that's not an April Fools joke.

In fact, the piece was written all the way back in February, a month in which it appeared in print in both The Des Moines Register (not online, except behind the paywalls of the paper's subscriber archive and the ProQuest academic database) and La Tribuna Hispana (in that paper's own Spanish translation!).  The same month, two of my letters to the editor also appeared in newsprint: "Tests and time" in Queens Chronicle and "Jews Onscreen" in The Jewish Week.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Worst Blu-ray cover ever: National Lampoon's Vacation.

There are plenty of terrible Blu-ray covers out there, but none of them can quite match the one for National Lampoon's Vacation.
The theatrical poster had a badass illustration by Boris Vallejo in the style of his own sword-and-sorcery book covers:
Then, the DVD cover used what I would have bet my life was the crappiest possible Chevy Chase photo on it:
Luckily I didn't make that bet, because the Blu-ray cover achieved the Herculean feat of using an even crappier Chevy Chase photo.  Feast your eyes on this:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

back to (modern) school blogging

It's been a while.

In the past two years, I've been away from this humble BlogSpot(TM) blog, experimenting with a move towards a WordPress(TM) platform.  But I just couldn't get the hang of it.  I had used WordPress for more disciplined writing on other sites (but that just made personal blogging feel more like a chore than self-expression), but I could never figure out how to set up the plugins that gave it all the bells and whistles on my own.  And worst of all, my readership was not just the intermittent trickle it is here (hello, all 4 followers I've retained over the years!) but nonexistent.  For better or worse, my claim to Internet fame remains on this blog.

I began to need a change from my change of pace.  Something without the customizable fussiness of WordPress, something more like the "type in a box and press Publish" simplicity of the interface that got me posting online in the first place.

Something that plenty of the bloggers I enjoy reading still use for personal musings and community to this day.

So here I am... again.

To kick things off, I'm trying again at modern school week!  Last year's attempt in WordPress exile fizzled, but with the upcoming 43rd annual reunion of the Friends of the Modern School coming up this Saturday, I want to see if I can post something Modern School-related every day this week!  (No I haven't attended all 43... more like the last 10, give or take.)  My blog post about the 2006 reunion is the most comprehensive overview I've written of this unique educational experiment so far, but that should change... this week!

Update: aaaand the very first promise I make when returning to blogging, I fail to keep.  That's why I try to avoid making promises about personal blogging...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

National Lampoon's European Socialist Vacation

When C4SS Media made this video, they obviously forgot to include this background image: