The night classes are taking a bit out of me; I find myself sleeping in and starting my day later.

Workout notes: lifting only.
rotator cuff
pull ups (4 sets of 10 plus a later set of 10) weak today
incline bench presses: 10 x 135, 3 x 160, 7 x 150 (weak on the 160 set)
dumbbell bench press: 10 x 70
military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 standing
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer
yoga (15 minutes worth; really sweated. Was able to headstand)

Math note: I figured out a homework problem that was puzzling to me:

It was to show that \overset{\circ}{e}_x \leq \overset{\circ}{e}_{x+1} + 1 (note: \overset{\circ}{e}_x refers to an expected value of a random variable of the length of time someone who is x years old can expect to live past his/her current age).

It bothered me enough to disrupt my sleep two nights ago, but when I woke up, I was able to figure it out. I did a “happy dance” but in all seriousness, it wasn’t hard. It is just that I am having increasing doubts about my ability to learn new things. These doubts aren’t warranted…yet.

But yes, I bloody well SHOULD have been able to figure it out; it is just that I get mentally lazy at times.

September 11, 2015 Posted by | mathematics, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Not used to a big lunch

I filled in to teach a class today..and then went to swim:

500 free, 250 of back/fly, 150 of side, 100 IM, 4 x (100 free, 100 pull, 100 fins)
Then weights:

pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (stronger than I had anticipated), super sets with
military (machine, 10 x 100 each arm)
rows( machine, 10 x 110)
rotator cuff

Then incline presses: 10 x 135, 10 x 135, 5 x 135 (quit as I was getting tight)

But when I went home, Barbara’s cleaning woman was still there (she had started late), so I walked to the Vietnamese place for a buffet lunch.
It was good, but it was also more food than I was used to.
So when I tried to concentrate on a work topic…..zzzzzzz……and I ended up checking Facebook about 50 times…

There is a reason I eat a light lunch on most days.

FAIL I was looking at a math book (for a class that I am teaching) and read the phrase “…. i(t) = a(t) -a(t-1) for integral t \geq 0 ” and I didn’t quite get the word “integral” (I had just taught calculus…) until my colleague patiently reminded me of the phrase “for integral multiples of \pi

“slow brain + heavy lunch” = “embarrassing fails”.

July 27, 2015 Posted by | mathematics, swimming, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Mathematics, Dirty Harry wannabes, hacks and car dealerships ….

Mathematics: this appeared in the New York Times. It is about Terry Tao, who is one of the best mathematicians in the world. It also gives a reasonably good description of what mathematical research is like. True, I only do it part time, and my best stuff wouldn’t even be a throw away for Professor Tao. Nevertheless, the article in interesting reading.

Computer hacks: yes, if someone REALLY wants to hack your computer, they can. No, I am not really worried; there is no reason to target me. But still, this article is very interesting; I knew about some of this from my days in the Navy.

Dumb business practices: A potential customer visits a car dealership:

So last night I decided to go shopping for a new car. My current car is fine, but it’s three years old and I’ve already put 80,000 miles on it. I get nervous when my car gets near the 100,000 mark, so I thought I had better go ahead and start looking.

When I got to the dealership, the salesman pounce on me. You know the routine. They need a commission check and they want to sell me the most expensive car I can get. The salesman shows me a few cars, and I find one I really like. I test drive it and decide that I wanted the car. We discussed pricing and payments and finally my trade-in. He took my keys and told me they were going to take my current car out for a drive so they could appraise it.

When he returned, he told me they had to knock off $3,000 because my car had been vandalized. My car hadn’t been vandalized, so I said “Excuse me?” while giving him a puzzled look. He said, yeah, somebody did a real number on it. At that point, I stood up and said show me. I thought for a moment that I must have overlooked something that must have recently happened. He laughed and said, “That Hillary bumper sticker on your back window.” He said, I am sure you wouldn’t have put that mess on there. You know she’s going to ruin the country if she wins and will tax you so much you won’t be able to afford a car. Then he laughed again.

Well, I wasn’t in the mood to hear his shit. I asked for my keys back and when he gave them to me, I got up to leave. Confused, he chased after me. I told him I did not appreciate his comments and that he had lost a sale. The sales manager for the dealership overheard me and came over to ask me what had happened so I told him. He rolled his eyes and told me that his salesman was only joking. I said I’m not and I left.

Boy this is going to be a long election season… Oh, and I won’t ever be buying a car from that dealership.

LOL. But a friend, actually the same friend that pointed me toward the Terry Tao article, pointed out that this guy blew an opportunity to get a big discount. Hey, you can tell me that Obama sucks, but if you want MY business, that is going to cost you! :-)

Playing Dirty Harry: Some “patriots” (yes, I now find that I use that word as an ironic slur) are taking it upon themselves to “guard” military recruiting centers. The military is less than thrilled.

Perhaps this is why:

Bottom line: you might be a good hunter and you might be good at the target range. But real life attacks are unpredictable, highly stressful situations and unless you are not only trained to react well under stress and your training is current, you will probably be less than worthless in a real life situation. You’ll be nervous, scared, and other humans will be around; things will be happening FAST and it is highly likely that you’ll just make things worse.

Even trained professionals make mistakes.

July 25, 2015 Posted by | mathematics, politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Accepting ….

I got up late (by my standards) and worked out late; today was a lazy summer day. I’ll do some work later today; I have been thinking about a mathematics problem.

Workout notes: weights, then a run.

Weights: surprisingly, I felt relatively strong.
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (good set today)
rotator cuff
incline bench (strong), 10 x 135, 7 x 150, 10 x 140
super set: military: 7 x 45 dumbbell (standing), 10 x 40 dumbbell, 10 x 100 (each arm) seated, machine
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110
pull downs: 2 sets of 10 x 160 machine 1, 10 x 150 machine two.

run: 11 minutes treadmill, 10:16 mile on the track (aborted a 3 miler), 21:30 treadmill (started slowly, increased the speed); finished feeling better.
my left knee is bothering me and bothered me some yesterday. It is probably a weather ache.

I don’t want to admit that yesterday’s walking workout was harder on me that I thought that it “should” be.

Now to do some thinking; these sort of things will be on my mind:


July 8, 2015 Posted by | mathematics, running, weight training | Leave a comment

Chicago and Nash

Workout notes: swam: 2000 straight laps (not timed; counted laps by 5: that is, 8 x 250 with no rests), then 200 pull.

I then took my daughter to Chicago Midway; we left at 9 am, I took her through the boarding pass line and to security; then I drove home and got home at 2:45. That was as fast as I’ve ever made this trip (round trip).

News: John Nash was killed in a traffic accident a couple of days ago. He was the focus of the book/movie A Beautiful Mind. He is known for the Nash equilibrium (in game theory); it was for that he won a Nobel in economics. But he had other great mathematics results; one of these was the Nash Embedding Theorem. The statement is somewhat technical but I think that I can give a flavor of what it was about.

Consider the circle. It is an object known as a “1-manifold” in that, if one examined the circle very “locally”, one would see that it was impossible to distinguish from a straight line. Example: if a tiny, near sided creature lived on a circle, it would look like a line to the creature, just like our spherical earth looks flat to us (locally).

Well, one can place a circle in a plane (distortion is allowed) in different ways:

Look at the two closed curves above. Those are “embeddings” (one to one, continuous maps from the circle). The one of the left: two points on the circle itself are “distant” from each other if and only if they are distant from each other as points on the plane. That is said to be an “isometric” embedding of the circle; points on the circle are far away from each other if and only if they are far away from each other in the plane.

Now look at the bent “circle”. See how two points of the circle are “close together” as points on the plane, but if one was forced to go from one of those points to the other point WHILE STAYING ON THE CURVE, one would have to travel a much further distance. That is a non-isometric embedding of the circle as two points are close together as points in the plane but NOT close as points on the circle.

So, the Nash embedding theorem deals with isometric embecdings; he gives a mathematical condition which guarantees that an arbitrary embedding can be approximated by an isometric embedding (as well as a dimensional criteria).

May 26, 2015 Posted by | mathematics, swimming, travel | Leave a comment

More Krugman…

Workout notes On my own: I did the Cornstalk 8.1 in 1:28:44 (44:34/44:10); slow and it was chilly ….just perfect running weather. It was basically a “no effort expended” run, at least until my last mile.


I saw the university women’s track team headed toward me; they said “hi” as usual and I just wanted to disappear. The contrast between them and me was stark. :-)

That is another sign of age: 32-33 years ago I WANTED people to see me run. Now I want to be invisible. :-)

But it was very enjoyable…probably due to the chilly conditions.

Later: I walked just over 2 miles with Barbara and Olivia (about 20 minutes per mile).


I like these articles mostly because of the reasoning that they display.

First, the main factor in the decline of US manufacturing is NOT trade imbalance.

Yes, cutting spending during a recession stalls growth. Here, Paul Krugman gets exasperated by some being unable to understand the difference between the economy’s level and its growth rate; that is, being unable to distinguish between a function and its derivative.

Now he attacks those who are supporting the TPP “fast track” by using bad reasoning:

And the selling of TPP just keeps getting worse.

William Daley’s pro-TPP op-ed in today’s Times is just awful, on multiple levels. No acknowledgment that the real arguments are not about trade but about intellectual property and dispute settlement; on top of that a crude mercantilist claim that trade liberalization is good because it means more exports; some Dean Baker bait with numbers — $31 billion in trade surplus! All of 0.2 percent of GDP!

But what really annoyed me, even if it’s not necessarily the worst bit, was this:

But today, of the 40 largest economies, the United States ranks 39th in the share of our gross domestic product that comes from exports. This is because our products face very high barriers to entry overseas in the form of tariffs, quotas and outright discrimination.

Actually, no. We have a low export share because we’re a big country. Here’s population versus exports as a percentage of GDP for OECD countries:


May 19, 2015 Posted by | economics, economy, family, mathematics, running | , | Leave a comment

What I did this weekend:

Well, I walked. I ran a race. I graded papers (two sets of final exams graded!).

And I wrote this “fun” blog post about the volume of the n-dimensional ball. Yes, I was thinking about this before the race and during my longish walk.

Pitiful. :-)

May 11, 2015 Posted by | mathematics | , , | Leave a comment

Bleah. Really. Sort of. Maybe?

I didn’t have the a lot of sleep last night and woke up early…though when I was asleep, I slept soundly. But I was up at the crack of dawn…

Weights: 3 sets of 10 pull ups; Achilles exercises and rotator cuff
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 6 x 170, 8 x 160 (rotator cuff)
pull ups: 2 sets of 10 superset with
military: 2 sets of 12 x 50 dumbbell (seated, supported)
superset: 3 sets of 10 x 150 pull down (different machine) with
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 superset with
military: 2 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell (standing)

That got me outside where I walked 5.1 miles from 7:50 to 9:04 (included 2 traffic stops). Pretty, though I did see a dead raccoon. The walk felt fine.

Final exam
To say that my office hours were sparsely attended would be an understatement.

Yes, I am teaching calculus 3 and yes, the integrals on my exam will be harder than the spherical coordinates integral in this cartoon.


Note: 1, 3 and 4 are straight forward. 2: the series converges (alternating series test) and it is a simple matter to get the sum within a desired error bound (the absolute value of the a_{n+1} term). But the series does NOT telescope though it does factor and can be written \frac{1}{3} (\sum \frac{2k-1}{k^2-k+1} + \frac{1}{k+1})

May 6, 2015 Posted by | mathematics, Personal Issues, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Woo woo, satire and some math

Last night, The President had some fun with his critics:

Mathematics gets a should out (yay!)

But woo-woo gets front page at the Peoria Journal Star:

OTTAWA — In an age when science explains many of the natural world’s mysteries, there still exist things not fully understood.
As a licensed clinical professional counselor and a priest, the Rev. Michael Driscoll, a Peoria native, believes both science and the spiritual world should be considered in the realm of mental illness.
Driscoll’s new book, “Demons, Deliverance, and Discernment: Separating Fact from Fiction About The Spirit World,” employs modern thinking while addressing the age-old notion of demonic possession.
“We certainly don’t have everything figured out when it comes to mental health problems,” said Driscoll, during a telephone interview from Ottawa where he works as the chaplain and director of pastoral care at OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center. While there is greater understanding today about brain chemistry and other factors that lead to mental illness, spiritual issues should still be considered in the treatment of patients.


“I don’t want to say every mystery can be attributed to the devil, but some of us think, ‘Well, there’s a spirit world too, and maybe that explains some things.’”
Driscoll referenced a 2014 story in the Indianapolis Star about a Gary, Ind., woman who claimed she and her three children were possessed by demons. Several hospital workers and police officers witnessed extraordinary events — such as a 9-year-old boy walking backwards up a hospital wall — that made them believe. A series of exorcisms seemed to solve the problem.


The question became the subject of Driscoll’s dissertation several years later while he was working on his Ph.D. through Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. The book contains the same information, but it is written with the aim of educating priests and the public about the differences between mental illness and demonic possession. Published by Catholic Answers Press, the book will be available by month’s end.

Oh dear. This reminds me of the “genuine psychics” signs I’ve seen.
I’d like to think that I don’t live in a 3’rd world backwater but evidently, I do.

April 26, 2015 Posted by | Barack Obama, health, mathematics, Peoria, political humor, political/social, politics/social, religion, superstition | Leave a comment

somewhat crazy this week

I am going to have to rummage through archives for things in my personal history and talk to my bank. And I can’t forget about classes and the like.

One thing that I am thinking about: consider the two point set F = \{0, 1 \} and declare each individual point to be an “open set” (this is called the “discrete topology”. ) Pretty boring, huh?

Now consider F \times F \times F..... = \Pi^{\infty}_{i=1} F_i in the product topology. Seriously, this topological space is anything but boring, as simple as it appears to be. The elements of it are simply sequences of 0’s ans 1’s. There is more here.

These things appear all over the place in mathematics including in chaos theory.

Now to run and lift a little bit and get busy.

But yeah, these are all pictures which depict this space in one or more of its common forms:













April 14, 2015 Posted by | mathematics | | Leave a comment


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