Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Is One the Loneliest Number?


Not today folks! Happy 1-11-11 day! Today reminds me of all the times that I have looked at the clock and have had the time be 3:33, 5:55, or even 1:11. Those are daily occurrences though, and today is not your average day.

This is just the pre-party though! Everyone is invited up to our place 11-11-11. Mark your calendars (its a Friday). In honor of the day, we will watch Ocean's Eleven and go to 7-11 for Slurpees among other activities. A day like this won't come again until 12-12-12 (which will be another AMAZING day and the last of its kind until 2101!) We need to make the most of these days while we have them friends. Start planning your parties now! Forget new years and the rabbit that leaves behind eggs, remember to celebrate these special times.

Cold is Not Relative.

Remember when you were little and 5ft was really tall? Or remember being 8 years old and thinking that someone who was 20 was really old? A lot things are relative to the beholder. Einstein taught me that. Thank you Einstein. Then again, there are some things which are what they are, and are not relative like the speed of light, again...thank you Einstein.

Another thing that can be relative is the weather. A snow storm back in Texas of a couple of inches would close down everything for at least a day or so, while in Idaho it may snow a foot and everything moves right along like nothing. There is one thing now that I think should be considered standard and not relative (when talking of outside temperatures) - What is cold?

I declare that cold is anything below zero. I have now experienced cold. Arriving at work today it was -10. Leaving work, a pleasant 6 (yes, these are in Fahrenheit not Celsius). Really, when you pass zero into the negatives, you don't feel much difference...its just darn right cold. I walk outside of my bus in the morning and within a couple of seconds my moustache and nostril hairs are frozen stiff (its actually kind of a cool feeling, no pun intended).

ZERO: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea. (Book by Charles Seife)

A New York Times Notable Book and winner of the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, "Zero" is a fantastic and interesting book. My wife, who is a math educator, favors this book above most others and recommended that I read it. I have been reading it while on the bus and during my lunch at work. Besides having many really fascinating facts, the book gives a history of zero and the ideology/philosophy that comes with it (the void and the infinite). It explains why it was rejected in the past and how important it was to accept it to further science and mathematics. It has also solidified my desire to read biographies on the great scientists and mathematicians of the past (Einstein, Newton, Pascal, Curie, and others). I highly recommend this book to all.

And that is How Lou Sees It.


  1. I do agree that anything above zero is really not cold at all. Quite balmy, really. I have observed some kind of difference below zero though, as follows: At -10 I think to myself, "Meh, I'll just put on some more layers;" At -30 I think, "I could very well die out there, I wonder if I have enough food to survive until it warms up..." Does that make it relative? I can't say, but it is funny how much it takes for my survival instinct to kick in. :)

  2. Three blogs in three nights is impressive. Also, I like the graphics.

    I have to disagree about cold. Anything below 30 degrees is now cold...the older I get the less cold I tolerate.

  3. Ha ha very good to see Cornelius. Classic.