On Te Voit

On Te Voit, Ken Meaux

On the day before we set off on our bicycles for Cycle Zydeco, we explored Lafayette, LA. First, we went downtown, where the setup for the town’s zydeco music festival was well underway. We also found the Acadian Cultural Center, a national monument, on the outskirts of town. In its museum, which celebrated the history of Cajun culture were artifacts from colonial times to the present. I particularly enjoyed the etymology of the word Cajun. 

  • L’Acadie – French colony in eastern Canada, now Nova Scotia
  • Acadien – Resident of Acadie. Exiled by the British, many eventually resettled in southern Louisiana.
  • Cadien – Simplified pronunciation of Acadien. Often applied to other Louisiana French cultures as well.
  • Cajun – English language pronunciation. Used for any descendant of Louisiana’s French-speaking melting pot.

Acadian Cultural Center

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In other news, I fixed the Prius! It wasn’t exactly a monumental endeavor, but I am rather proud of my achievement. On our trip to Florida, the rear passenger window was smashed in a break-in. We got the window fixed on the road, but later, we discovered that you couldn’t open that door from the inside. It wasn’t the child safety locks. I had contemplated taking the Prius into the dealer to get it fixed, but I knew that would be expensive. What got me started was cleaning the car. Comparing both rear interior door handles, the tension on the one that didn’t work was noticeably less than the one that worked. I went on YouTube U and struck gold on the very first video. It explained how to take the door’s interior trim off. It also explained how to disconnect the interior door handle from the door latch. It uses an arrangement similar to bicycle cables. When I watched that part, I was convinced that that was the problem. Sure enough, I was right. It ended up being only a fifteen minute job that cost me nothing.

Your Sign-up Checklist

Zinging Rings

Signing up should be easy, but when the real world meets the Internet things can get complicated, fast. Don’t worry though, because there are lots of people who want to help you. Lot’s of people! Too many people. That is why a checklist can be helpful. Here is one that we followed and I offer it now for your evaluation: 

  1. Late night. last night at the Fox.
  2. Sleep-in today. 
  3. Why?
  4. See #1
  5. Rainy day
  6. Garbage day
  7. Is that thunder or someone just rolling their trash bins?
  8. Probably both
  9. Create online account. 
  10. Flub account creation by choosing an illegal password. 
  11. Find software bug. 
  12. Get locked out of account creation process for 24-hours
    1. “Come back tomorrow… Because I said so, that’s why! See you tomorrow, Indiana Jones.” 
    2. How did Indiana Jones get on this checklist?
    3. Never mind, it was a joke.
  13. Wait a day.
  14. Repeat #9, with a valid password this time
  15. Success!
  16. Study options. 
  17. Shoo spouse away. 
  18. Revisit #16
  19. Get lost in minutia.
  20. Get frustrated with said minutia.
  21. Try bull-rushing through the process to see what happens.
  22. Get cold feet with this approach.
  23. Call the help-line.
  24. Navigate its automated call tree looking for a human operator.
  25. Make a callback appointment.
  26. Wait an hour.
  27. Miss call.
  28. Give up in frustration.

I’m sorry that this checklist didn’t work for you. It didn’t work for me either.  Instead, stare at the red circle in the graphic above and the outer bands will seem to move. Continue staring until at it until you feel dizzy, then blink. Repeat.

Numeric Nonsense

Fraser’s Spiral

The Fraser’s spiral illusion is an optical illusion that was first described by the British psychologist Sir James Fraser. The illusion is also known as the false spiral or by its original name, the twisted cord illusion. The overlapping black arc segments appear to form a spiral, but the arcs are in fact concentric circles. The visual distortion is produced by combining a regular line pattern (the black circles) with misaligned parts (the differently colored strands). It is like many other visual effects, in which a sequence of tilted elements cause the eye to perceive phantom twists and deviations. The illusion is augmented by the spiral components in the checkered background. It is a unique illusion, where the observer can verify the concentric strands manually. When the strands are colored differently, it becomes obvious to the observer that no spiral is present. So class, take out your Sharpie and outline one of these circles on your screen.

Infinitely many mathematicians walk into a bar. The first says, “I’ll have a beer.” The second says, “I’ll have half a beer.” The third says, “I’ll have a quarter of a beer.” The barman pulls out just two beers. The mathematicians are all like, “That’s all you’re giving us? How drunk do you expect us to get on that?” The bartender says, “Come on guys. Know your limits.”

G.H. Hardy, an Oxford and Cambridge mathematics professor, professed to be an atheist, but in dealing with providence, he bore in mind the possibility that life’s operation might, after all, be manipulated by God, with an understandably low opinion of Hardy. He also considered air travel dangerous. Once, shortly after Hardy had left on an overseas flight, a colleague found a note lying on his desk that read, “I have proven Fermat’s last theorem.” The news spread and by the time Hardy returned home all the world was agog to learn the proof. Hardy had to explain that he had not proved it—the note had been insurance. God, he said, had been forced to bring him back alive to show him up as an imposter.

How many mathematicians does it take to change a light bulb? One: she gives it to three physicists, thus reducing it to a problem that has already been solved.

Find x

Why’d the chicken cross the road? The answer is trivial & is left as an exercise.

Finally, I’ll leave you with Mathgen, an Internet toy that allows you to generate fake scientific papers. It is a program to randomly generate professional-looking mathematics papers, including theorems, proofs, equations, discussion, and references. Try it for yourself! Here is one of mine: Fermat’s Last Theorem, M. Regenaxe, T. Maxwell and V. Fermat. The results look realistic enough. Just don’t hang around so long that you are asked to explain them. 

All that Glitters

Tablecloth, Milky Way, Marguerita Mergentime, 1939

Anne’s yarn-a-month club gift box states that she “crafts so hard that she sweats glitter,” which really makes a mess, especially in-between the sheets. Glitter in bed is worse than beach sand, if you ask me. Still, I was intrigued by Caity Weaver’s New York Times article about glitter. In it she waxes poetic, while describing a glitter factory’s appearance that she visited for her story:

…which looked like an industrial manufacturing plant colonized by pixies. The concrete floor was finely coated with what appeared to be crushed moonbeams. The forklift winked with shiny crimson flecks.

I was actually more intrigued with the underlying science. There wasn’t all that much in her article, trade secrets precluded many disclosures, but one could read between the lines. I’ve had some similar experience that guides my guesses on how glitter is made. Those processes were even more closely guarded than gold.

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Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, the day that the boys practice pugilism. We got out and about today. First, lunch and Literati, which I kept wanting to call Illuminati. Anne and I walked home from there, the boys taking the car, having more boxing yet to do.

Lunch was at the Blue Tractor, which was not as good as Grizzly’s, even though Grizzly’s serves the beer brewed at the Tractor, but more about that later. The luncheon clientele consisted primarily of families with small children. The table next to us had two couples, with between them four children in high chairs, plus one still strapped to mom. Anne observed that everyone was taking their kids out to lunch, which we were too, but I also observed that our boys were bigger and could probably take anyone else’s there. Boxing Day, don’t you know.

Ordering there was somewhat difficult. The first beer selection that Dave chose, they were out of. So too for the first beer that Dan ordered and again for Dave’s second attempt. They were also out of the food that I first ordered and the same for Dave. We did all eventually get food and drink, but when it came time to pay the bill, both the first and second pens handed to me were out of ink. 

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Back to the glitterati. On the way home, Anne told me a glitter related joke. It is a little bit racy, but here it goes:

A woman getting ready for her GYN appointment, first took a washcloth to her lady parts. Her doctor upon examination commented, “Wow, you really did something special.” “Thank you for noticing,” she replied. Returning home, she was immediately queried by her teenage daughter, “Mom have you seen the washcloth that I used to clean off my glitter makeup?”  

The Smocking Gun

The Smocking Gun

This is a National Emergy! Many people say that my text massages are very well written, but the Fake News distorts everything I say. It is unpresidented. It is such a waist. I have written many best selling books and somewhat priding myself on my ability to write. The worse ones are the WH press core. Their press covfefe was so mean. Thr coverage about me gas been so false and angry. They never treated Barrack Obama the way they do me, even though he tapp me. I am honered to be your 45th President of the United States. This is a roll that I was elected to, even though there were many amoung you who thought that I would loose. My WH council says that because of the special councel, I should not tweet so much. Melanie says the same, but what does she know.