Thursday, June 19, 2014

Getting a Life


This blog was going to be about my visit to the South African Book Fair last week.  The weather was variable - as it is in Cape Town in winter – but at least we had a few gorgeous days before an awful weekend when we could take refuge at the Convention Center.  One of the great pleasures of being a writer is meeting other writers, readers, and people in the book business.    These people have wide interests, read a lot (smiley face), and can talk about a variety of topics.  Even if they don’t know a lot about them, they see things from different and interesting perspectives.  (Just consider the other authors on this blog.  My case rests.)  So my plan was to write about a couple of the interesting writers I met and whose books I now have by my bedside or on my Kindle.  They are not mystery writers, but they have stories to tell.  However, life got in the way.  Or rather 150 Freshman exam papers to mark by Friday – That’s tomorrow?  You’re kidding! -  got in the way.  So I’m going to postpone those stories to a future blog.

In contrast, as a mathematician in my previous life, I was lucky to meet anyone who didn’t talk in equations.  I intended to start this blog with a single example along those lines to make the point, but I ended up intrigued.  (Okay, so I’m still a mathematician.)  Here is my suggested scoring table.  (The hippo doesn't count.) For each one you get, score one point.  If in addition you found it funny, score a second point.  If you get more than 16 points, you probably should go out more and try to make friends.  Or at least one friend.  If you get more than 20 points, it’s probably hopeless, but you might try the internet social sites.  They are the ones that…never mind. If you get more than 25 points, score two more points!








(Why is this the only one with "she"? That is not cool.)




Michael (with apologies) - Thursday

10 comments:

  1. Can I claim an extra point for having a cat called Pi.
    Because she is very round.
    Like a pie.

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  2. I should have called the blog Getting a Life of Pi! Yes, by all means have an extra point!

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  3. I think Flanders and Swann's response to this would be showing you the inverse of pi.

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  4. I struggled with Cosby for a moment (too long since I've actually USED trig for anything!) Yes, I should probably go out and make some friends, and yes, I'm probably hopeless, but then, I *do* hang out HERE... Thanks for the laughs, Stan! I'd seen a few of them before, but surprisingly few.

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  5. The sad thing is I actually understood more than I ever imagined I still would from my own sordid mathematical past. Sort of makes me want to shout, "Slide rules!"

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    1. The sad thing is I still *have* my slide rule from college. I was JUST old enough to need one. I remember one of my freshman engineering profs, his son worked for HP, and he was SO proud to pull his $400 HP-35 calculator out of his shirt pocket. He called it his "color television," because it cost about the same. And then, after college I ended up working at the HP division that made their calculators, as it had just moved up here to Corvallis from the Bay Area... ah, don't get me started.

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    2. When I was n grad school in the early 70's, a friend and I started a little business called The Numbers Racket! We bought and sold pocket calculators, which had just come on the market. Our first was a four-function one from a company called Columbia, if my memory serves me still, that was over $100 wholesale. A few years later we wre grossing about $500K pa, which was the basis for me getting a Green Card. So I do like calculators.

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  6. Michael, I got only 15 points, so I am socially with it if a bit on the dumb side. In my defense (Pay attention please, Mr. Trollip) I can calculate the inverse of pi at the drop of a hat.

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  7. Thanks for all the comments! They were more entertaining than the math jokes!

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