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Haiku

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Tea and Eternity

Two things to talk

About forever.

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Cheese Grilling

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Can you identify a hard white crumbly Welsh cheese? Think carefully.

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Another Geometric Puzzle

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 4 Mar 2021, 13:49

This is from the "Azimuth" website of John Carlos Baez, a mathematician and physics professor at the University of California. He found it at Brian McCartin, Mysteries of the equilateral triangle.

Here is a sketch of the problem. My solution to follow in the Comments on 4 March.


Incidentally John Baez is the cousin of Joan Baez, a progressive and a famous folksinger. Her father, John's uncle, was a con-inventor of the electron microscope.



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I would like to know

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Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021, 16:34

I've just learned of Jules de Corte, who was a blind Dutch singer and song writer. He wrote hundreds of songs and had an extensive performance and recording career. His songs seems to touch on the business of being human. I listened to his most famous song Ik zou wel eens willen weten, 'I would like to know'. Here is the first verse (courtesy of https://www.dutchsongs.overtuin.net/translation-50-corte-ik-zou.html)

I would like to know the reason
Why mountains rise high in the sky
Perhaps to collect all the snow fall
Or to shield the deep valley from cold air
Or perhaps they are pillars that carry the heaven's arch
That's the reason mountains are high


Ik zou weleens willen weten
Waarom zijn de bergen zo hoog
Misschien om de sneeuw te vergaren
Of het dal voor de kou te bewaren
Of misschien als een veilige stut voor de hemelboog
Daarom zijn de bergen zo hoog

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One Liner

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Vampires. They’re a pain in the neck.

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Doctor Joke

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I told the doctor, I keep thinking I’m a rubber band.

But he just said I should “Snap out of it”.

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Transit Across a Purple Sun

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This very attractive geometrical puzzle is from Catriona Agg. It looks like there isn't enough information, although there is. See the Comments for my solution.



But even after solving it it still feels as though there is an information deficit somewhere!


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A Triangle Taking it Easy on a Hot Day

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The Last Word

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An old puzzle asks about the Anagram Dictionary; if we took all the words in the dictionary and in each word sorted its letters alphabetically, then took all the alphabetised words and in turn sorted them alphabetically - what would then be the last word? Of course we want proper words, so ‘Z’ on its own for example doesn’t count.

So ‘cat’ would become ‘act’ and be listed under the ‘a’s, ‘mouse’ would become ‘emosu’ and come under the ‘e’s and so on. When we try to think what would come last under such a scheme words like ’onyx’ naturally come to mind. But that will be listed under ‘o’. A better attempt is ‘yurt’ (a Mongolian tent) which will be under ‘r’. Then there’s ‘tutu’ (a ballet skirt), listed under ‘t’ and for a long time I thought this couldn’t be improved on.

But it turns out there is ‘xu’, a Vietnamese currency unit, which would be listed under ‘u’. So is this the last word?

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Nuraghes

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Nuraghes are prehistoric structures characteristic of Sardinia, built between 1900 and 700 BCE according to Wikipedia. About 7000 are known but there would once have been more. They come in a variety of forms and their function is not clear; they might have had various purposes and perhaps different nuraghes were used for different things.

This example is called Losa and is a whole complex of buildings, including later strucures from the Phoenician, Roman and medieval era.











Photo credit: Eiena https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nuraghe_Losa.JPG

The video at this site shows what a fascinating monument it is.

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Doctor Joke

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I went to the Doctor, I said "Every night while I'm asleep I keep imagining I'm the fraction ⅓ expressed as a decimal."  The Doctor said "Nothing to worry about. Lots of people have recurring dreams."

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The Thanksgiving Chapel

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While reading the WikiQuote entry for Niels Bohr I came across a striking picture of the stained glass windows in the spire of the Thanksgiving chapel in Dallas.


This chapel is open to people of all faiths or none and is in Thanks-Giving Square, which was dedicated in 1976.

Image credit: https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/

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The secret life of decimals

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Edited by Richard Walker, Saturday, 20 Feb 2021, 01:39

Recently some of my decimals ran away. But I managed to round them all up.

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The Wanderer

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This famous painting by Caspar David Friederic is entitled Wanderer above the Sea of Fog. To me it's a kind of commentary on the human condition, but also a perspective on what may have inspired Newton, Einstein, and so many others.



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Mot du Jour

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 18 Feb 2021, 01:46

pruritic

= causing itching. From Latin prūrīre, to itch.


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Word of the Day

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pigritude


= laziness or sloth

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Partridge Etymology

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Surprisingly, the name of this bird seems to come, ultimately, via Anglo-Norman and Latin, from Ancient Greek πέρδεσθαι, perthesthai, to break wind. It’s believed to be imitative of the rapid whirring of a partridge’s wings as it takes off from the ground (if you have ever heard this sound you’ll recognise the resemblance). The word fart comes from the same root.

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A Quote from Albert Einstein

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I found this quote today

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.”

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When icicles hang by the wall

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When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail.

William Shakespeare

Photo by my brother Simon

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Prince Rupert's Cube

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It seems counterintuitive that you can make a hole through a cube that will let a bigger cube pass through it. But you can.

The probem is named for Prince Rupert of Palantine (1619-1682), although he seems to have only asked about cubes of equal size. However it turns out that if the first cube has sides 1 unit long, a second cube of side just over 1.06 units can pass throught it.

The sketch below gives an indication of how this can be done.


A, B, C and D are each 1/4 the way along an edge and using Pythagoras we find AB = BC = CD = DA which is just over 1.06. If we bore a hole perpenidicular to square ABCD with ABCD as cross-section then a cube of edge 1.06 can pass through the hole in the cube of edge 1.

Interestingly the distances AB, BC, CD, and DA are also equal if we measure them along the edges of the cube. 3/4 + 3/4 = 1/4 + 1 + 1/4.

Even more amazingly other solids such as a tetrahedron have the same property. For example it's possible to pass a tetrahedron through a hole in a smaller tetrahedron.


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Philosophy

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In Philosophy you’ve got to tread carefully. It’s a mind field. 

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Playground joke

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Q. What would you call rice arranged in a column? 

A. Pillar rice. 

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Tom Swifty

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“This leg-wear once belonged to a very eminent person”, said Tom grandiosely.



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One Liner

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I find ironing clothes so tedious nowadays. I guess I’m just ironing bored. 

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Chemistry

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Elementary, my Dear 

Tungsten
Astatine
Sulphur
Oxygen
Nitrogen




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