Future generations will remember Bill Clinton for two things, not having sex with that woman and authorizing the launch of Cassini. I was working in Dallas Texas in the months before Cassini's launch. It was 1997 and the Internet was just beginning to disrupt everyday life. Google was morphing from a thesis to a company … Continue reading Don’t be a Weenie Launch Cassini
It’s been fifty years since Michelle, a fifth grade childhood friend, interrupted me on the playground of Naples elementary and told me that ”President Kennedy has been shot.” The news did not impress me. I naively rooted for Kennedy in the 1960 election. Yes, I was suckered, but I was in the second grade! I … Continue reading Fifty Years of Nauseating Kennedy Nostalgia
Nick Lomb’s Transit of Venus 1631 to the Present is the best illustrated astronomy book for general readers since Terence Dickinson and Alan Dyer’s The Backyard Astronomer's Guide. Everything about Lomb’s book from its eye seizing cover, rarely seen historic photographs and charming well researched commentary is first class. Transit is the type of work … Continue reading Blurb: Nick Lomb’s Transit of Venus
Crank history is big business and it's getting bigger. For reasons that infuriate skeptics there is a never-ending parade of pseudo-historians spouting rubbish that is eagerly devoured by a credulous pig ignorant public. Gavin Menzies' ludicrous tome, 1421: The Year China Discovered America, (also titled 1421: The Year China Discovered the World), is the finest … Continue reading 1421: The Crank History of Gavin Menzies
David Hilbert While searching for free Kindle books I found Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg offers free Kindle books but they also have something better! Would you believe LaTeX source code for some mathematical classics. The best book I've found so far is an English translation of David Hilbert's Foundations of Geometry. Hilbert's Foundations exposed some … Continue reading Open Source Hilbert for the Kindle
Apollo Earthrise 2011 marks the 42’nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. 42 idiot infested years have passed since that glorious day and nothing that has happened since comes within a nautical league of matching it. My vile boomer generation has downplayed the significance of space exploration for decades. I remember getting a shrill … Continue reading The UN Space Treaty is Holding Us Back!
One of my pet peeves is the ridiculously short lifetimes of digital media. I remember 9 track mainframe tapes and 5.5 inch floppies: technologies that thrived in an ancient bygone epoch known as the Eighties. Good luck trying to read 9 track tapes or 5.5 inch floppies today! You will have better luck with older … Continue reading Soon we will all be Software Archeologists
Euclid's first proposition Lately I have been amusing myself by working through Euclid’s Elements. Despite studying mathematics in university, teaching it in high school and occasionally using it in my software-soaked day job I never got around to reading Euclid. Euclid is routinely lionized as the wellspring of axiomatic mathematics. Before The Elements mathematicians were … Continue reading C. K. Raju: Genius or Crank (Part 1)
Yesterday, while driving to the mall with my wife, I launched into a lecture on why the iPad and it’s Kindle’ly kindred will never replace books. As you are reading this on a 21st century blog you can infer that I am not a technophobic Luddite. Devices like the Kindle are another way to read and … Continue reading This Herodotus is a Hoot!