Ten Commandments of the Universe, Set to Music


Because there’s nothing wrong with mixing a little Rolling Stones with your physics, that’s why. 

Posted in Life, Music, Science and Scientists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Fractiles-7 Refrigerator Experiment, Part I

To begin this experiment, I first purchased two refrigerator-sized Fractiles-7 sets (available at http://fractiles.com/), and then, early on a Sunday, quietly arranged these rhombus-shaped magnets on the refrigerator in our apartment (population: 4, which includes two math teachers and two teenagers), using a very simple pattern.


Here’s a close-up of the center. There are 32 each, of three types of rhombus., in this double-set, for a total of 96 rhombic magnets, all with the same edge length.


The number of possible arrangements of these rhombi is far greater than the population of Earth.

The next step of the experiment is simple. I wait, and see what happens.

It should be noted that there is a limit on how long I can wait before my inner mathematical drives compel me to play with these magnets more, myself — but I do not yet know the extent of that limit.

Posted in Education, Life, Mathematics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Canadian 0.9999 Fine Silver for Sale on eBay!



These are unusual Canadian commemorative coins made from 0.9999 fine silver:

  1. 2016 “Howling Wolf” commemorative, 3/4 troy ounce, and
  2. 2015 “Calgary Stampede” commemorative, 1/2 troy ounce.

Auction starting price is $0.01.


Posted in eBay | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1/2 Troy Pound of Silver for Sale on eBay!

Item ending soonest: http://www.ebay.com/itm/272125253351?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Another, identical lot, ending later: http://www.ebay.com/itm/272127390349?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

half tr oz

Six troy ounces of 0.999 silver in two pieces, both made by the Scottsdale Mint.

First auction lot: http://www.ebay.com/itm/272125253351?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Second, identical auction lot, ending later: http://www.ebay.com/itm/272127390349?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Posted in eBay | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Open Octahedral Lattice of Cubes and Rhombicosidodecahedra

This pattern could be continued, indefinitely, into space.

Augmented Rhombicosidodeca

Here is a second view, in rainbow color mode, and with all the squares hidden.

Augmented Rhombicosidodeca rcm

[These images were created with Stella 4d, software you may buy — or try for free — right here.]

Posted in Art, Mathematics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Absurd “Explanation” for Creativity in Humans (a short short story)


[Note: I’m currently taking a class focusing on creativity, and this was first written as an assignment for that class.]

The reason some people are creative, while others are not, is simple: we’re hybrids of pure human DNA, plus that of extraterrestrials of two types, who visited earth and interbred with the natives between 60,000 and 50,000 years ago. The first type of alien came from a planet called Itaumiped, and their hybrid descendants inherited the creative abilities of the Itaumipedeans. The other type, for similar reasons, carries DNA from the inhabitants of the nearby world Almausoped — and those from Almausoped tend be be rather bright, but also very imitatitve. For example, the creation of the comic book character Spider-Man was clearly the work of an Itaumipedean/human hybrid, but the work of grinding out numerous Spider-Man derivatives in comic books (The Scarlet Spider, Spider-Girl, That Spider-Man from an alternate universe with six arms, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman, Spider-Ham, etc.) was performed by imitative Almausopedean/human hybrids.

Evidence for the creativity of the residents of Itaumiped comes from the name of the planet itself: a rather clever anagram of the letters in the sentence “I made it up.” Evidence that those from Almausoped are imitative, rather than creative, may be found in the fact that their planet’s name is an anagram for “Also made up,” something clearly borrowed, then slightly altered, from Itaumiped and its creative residents. This raises another question, though: how could the names of planets given to them by ancient civilizations come from anagrams of modern English sentences?

The search for evidence is now ongoing for the obvious explanation: what really happened clearly involved not just space travel, but time travel as well.


# # #

[Note: This double planet/polyhedra image of Itaumiped and Almausoped first appeared here, and was created using Stella 4d, software you can try for free at this website.]

Posted in Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bicycles Don’t Need Telepathy: A Short Short Story


Since I hate being told what to do, and people kept telling me I had to learn to drive, and get a driver’s license, and so on, I refused, getting around by foot or bicycle, instead . . . or even hitchhiking . . . until age 20. It wasn’t unusual, therefore, as a teenager, for me to bounce out of the house, ready to jump on my blue ten-speed, and take off for my high-school weekend-job. What was unusual was to find, in mid-bounce, a different ten-speed, this one red, just where I had left my blue ten-speed the night before.

“What the #@&%? Did someone sneak into the carport and PAINT my bicycle?”

No, fool. I’m your bike now. Your old bike’s gone, man.

Clearly, it seemed, some all-too-human prankster was at work. I circled the house. I looked on the roof. I checked the storage building, and under the house. I found no one. Apparently, what seemed to be a bicycle talking to me was, well, exactly that.

You’re gonna be late for work, dummy. I told you, your bike got stolen — by my old, ungrateful human. He left me here. Let’s go!


Because you’re going to be late, dumb&%#! Are you trying to get fired?

Annoyed that this replacement-bicycle had a point, I jumped on the seat and took off, dodging the numerous potholes which have been considered as unofficial Arkansas State Monuments, and which I got to see more clearly than all those (ugh) car drivers out there.

Hey, jerk, my best friend is a car!

“A telepathic bicycle? You’re actually reading my mind? Someone had access to a telepathic bicycle, and abandoned that kind of power for my crappy old ten-speed? You’ve gotta be kidding!”

We were passing a female jogger at that moment. My mind was on keeping control of the bicycle, in order to stay out of traffic, while carefully not hitting her. My new “telebike,” however, had a different agenda, and “mind-shouted” at the jogger — with me able to hear it.

Hey! WOO! Great #@#! When I come back, ya wanna get together and $#@%#& the old %$#%@ &*%$#@$?

The understandably-irate jogger thought that was me, not the bike, threw an ink pen at me, and hit me in the head. “Drop dead, &%$#$#@!”

Clearly, having a telepathic bicycle just wasn’t worth the trouble involved.

After a turn (to get out of direct view of the offended jogger), I knew this street would go over a short bridge over a very deep drainage ditch, not far from here — one lined with large boulders, placed there by the city. By the time I got there, I was heading for the drainage ditch at top speed, and jumped off into some soft grass just before this crazy red ten-speed went airborne, screaming in my mind until crunching into the boulders at the bottom of the ditch, at which point “psycho-bike” fell silent. I, however, had a bit more to say, so I dusted myself off, and walked to the short bridge.

Looking over, into the drainage ditch, I surveyed the bicycle-wreckage, and said, “I’m gonna be out $100 or so to replace my old bike with another bike that doesn’t talk, and I’ll be late for work today, too . . . but at least I’ve gotten rid of my primary problem today, and that’s YOU!”

With that said, I walked to work. I was late, but did not get fired, and I never saw either the red, nor the blue, bicycle again.


[Note: the central event here — a bike being stolen, and replaced by the thief with another one — actually happened to me. So is the fact, and the reasons given, that I did not start driving until age twenty. Most of the rest of this is pure fiction. This was written as an assignment for a class I am taking which focuses on creativity, with the writing prompt being to “carry on a conversation with [my] childhood bicycle,” and I decided to post it here, as well.]

Posted in Fiction, Life | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments