Sunday, October 25, 2009

Not Yet, But Soon

Sorry for the total lack of rambling for most of the last month. Still under the gun and not feeling write-y (my correspondence has also crawled to a stop), but in the meantime, something nice to look at: The website for jazz musician (and much more) Noah Baerman, which I've been working on in fits and starts over the last few months, and then did a big push on in the last two weeks to get something up there. Still a few pages need to be done, but he disliked his old site so much that he preferred to put up an incomplete new site to it.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Calendar Boy

Suddenly, everything is due at the same time - including the big calendar for the Jamaican patty company. Meaning that I've been working since 9 AM at the paper, then home at 7 PM and working on the calendar, and it's midnight now and I have another hour or so on this, then back to the paper at 8 AM tomorrow (today, as you read this), then back to the calendar to wrap up the complete first draft tomorrow afternoon.

Drumroll, please...


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


The algebra teacher tonight decided to delay the test for another week. I'm on the fence as to whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. Oddly, for me, the most difficult material in the entire course is one the first test, being word problems in general and mixture and interest problems in specific.

Here's a mixture problem, from the text:

"A jeweler mixes 15g of a 60% silver alloy with 45g of a 20% silver alloy. What is the percent concentration of silver in the resulting alloy?"

Which I at first kept getting really funky and non-sensical answers for. And it turns out, as always, that the problem was one of the simplest arithmetic. Because, you know, 45 and 15 do not, in fact, equal 65. Once I realized that, it fell into place - like so:

Let X = the percentage of silver alloy in the final mix.
.6(15) + .2(45) = 60x
9 + 9 = 60x
18 = 60x
x = 18/60
x = .3 or 30%

30% was much better than the answer I was getting the first two times around with the 65g mix - 27.65%. Thankfully, the textbook authors know that the end users are likely to be idiots, so the correct answers are generally nice, round numbers, so my sloppy percentage was a tip-off that I'd fucked it up somewhere.

The issue I have with these problems is two-fold; I trip over my feet in my inability to abstract from language into math, and then that general unsureness tends to obscure whatever computational mistakes I make. Big car wreck, really.


Friday, October 2, 2009

True to Lifeish

A strong recommendation for the new NBC sitcom Community, pairing contemporary professional snark Joel McHale with vintage professional snark Chevy Chase. The second episode use of Aimee Mann is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.

The setting is a community college, and, boy, is it funny. Please do yourself a favor and ignore the Dave Factor on this one and start watching. You can catch the first three episodes on Hulu, but for those of you who might know a Nielsen family, I'd suggest crashing their entertainment center Thursdays at 8, to help drive up ratings.

KARL: You have been put on notice. Trust me.