The Google Calendar (updated for 21 AG)

This is the Google calendar, which I invented in 14 AG. I was born in 30 BG, and it is now 21 AG. The calendar used most often in the West has several serious flaws — the lack of a year zero is but one of them. On this calendar, Google Year Zero is the year Google first went on-line (1998 CE, on the Western calendar). Each new year on the Google calendar begins on January 1st, as billions of people are already used to. This calendar is offered to all, as a secular replacement for the multiple, culture-specific calendars we are using now.

A Completely Unscientific Presidential Poll

The school year is about to begin, and I’m a teacher. Right now, my school district is in the traditional “week o’ meetings” which precedes the arrival of students. Yesterday’s meetings were about using Google products to enhance instruction, and one of the new skills I learned involves using Google forms. We were encouraged to make something, such as a poll, using this online tool, so I made one for the current US presidential election. If you would like to vote in this completely unscientific poll, here’s the link:

https://goo.gl/forms/Ki2x7OLyPoQoJviJ2

This poll is “completely unscientific,” of course, because I am making no attempt to poll a representative sample of the electorate. Here’s how the poll results look so far, with 17 responses.

poll results

The “Trick Johnson” (?) — A Near-Miss Johnson Solid, Surrounded by Hilariously Mistranslated Japanese

I did not discover this polyhedron, although I wish I had, for it has quite a clever design.

The page where I found it (poorly-translated English version, where it’s called the “Trick Johnson,” whatever that means) is at http://www.geocities.jp/ikuro_kotaro/koramu/1053_g2.htm). I generally don’t repost much work by others here, but, for the “Trick Johnson,” I’m making an exception. By appearance, it’s a near-miss to the Johnson solids, based on combining characteristics of the dodecahedron, the snub cube, and the snub dodecahedron. It has chiral four-fold dihedral symmetry.

If you understand Japanese, I’m sure there’s a lot of interesting information at that linked page. If, on the other hand, you don’t, there’s still a good reason to follow that link: making fun of Google-Chrome’s built-in translator.

“Come very! It makes it the.” Say what?

 

On Boiling Eggs, William Shakespeare, and Richard Feynman

Not long ago, I boiled a dozen eggs.

After accidentally misquoting Shakespeare, while watching these eggs boil (“Boil, boil, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble”), I then correctly quoted Shakespeare at the eggs, by shouting, “You egg!” at them, as they boiled.

What . . . you’ve never talked to your food? If not, just try it some time, for it makes life more interesting. If you’re worried about people thinking you’re crazy, I have another quote, from the physicist Richard Feynman, for you to consider:  “What do you care what other people think?”

Little seems to be going right today, for correctly quoting Shakespeare meant being, at the same time, mathematically incorrect. Twelve and one are, of course, not the same number, but I’m not willing to deliberately misquote Shakespeare, for that would be, well, wrong.

I was then asked, by someone who heard me, um, shouting at boiling eggs, exactly which of Shakespeare’s plays it is, in which the line “you egg” appears. Since I did not know the answer to this question, I immediately used this situation as an opportunity to test the alleged omniscience of Google, which I test, and re-test, frequently. (So far, Google always passes these experimental tests, but I will post an announcement here if this fact ever changes.) I also googled my earlier, failed attempt to quote Shakespeare, which is how I now know that I was misquoting him.

In case you’re wondering why I was fact-checking myself, here’s another Feynman quote, offered as explanation:  “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.” Those are words to live by — and I do.

Not only did Google know that the two-word quote I remembered (from 10th grade English class, over thirty years ago, simply because I found it funny) comes from Macbeth, Act 4, Scene 2, but it also, very helpfully, showed me the way to the YouTube video which you can see below.

For those few readers of my blog who have not already noticed this, I lead a strange life.

Of course, I certainly wouldn’t want a normal one, but, clearly, I don’t need to worry about that.

The Google Calendar

This is the Google calendar. I was born in 30 BG, and it is now 14 AG. The calendar used most often in the West has several serious flaws — the lack of a year zero is but one of them. On this calendar, Google Year Zero is the year Google first appeared (1998 CE, on the Western calendar). I offer this calendar to all, as a secular replacement for the multiple, culture-specific calendars we are using now.