# Category Archives: Nonsense

Just a short post here to let you know that I am discontinuing the “Twitter Updates of the Week”.  For the last few weeks, I have had a plug-in for this blog post all of my Twitter posts, aka “tweets”, for the previous week.  Since I have Twitter piped into my facebook status, most of the friend of this blog were getting a double or even triple dose.  I felt it cluttered up the blog and misrepresented the blog’s primary purpose.  So, they’re history.

If you’re interested in keeping up with the life and trials of the Christian Mathematician, you can follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/splineguy) or you can just take a gander to the right of this post in the sidebar where you’ll see my latest status update.

By its very nature, this blog is a work in progress.  What I intend for it to be changes from week to week.  There are spurts of activity and the lulls.  I appreciate those who continue to follow and I hope that every once in a while something of interest tickles your fancy, as they say.

# Testing LaTEX and Quartic Roots

This post is simply a test of the LaTEX plugin that I supposedly have installed on this blog.  I haven’t used it in conjunction with Windows Live Writer Beta, my preferred blog writing software.

Feel free to sing along to the tune of “Pop Goes the Weasel” as you read the quadratic formula below:

$x = \displaystyle \frac{-b\pm \sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}$

Speaking of which, I introduced my algebra students to the fact that there exist some rather lengthy formulas for solving cubic and quartic equations. In fact, the four roots of the quartic equation,

$x^4 + ax^3 + bx^2 + cx + d= 0$

can be found in four individual equations over at Planet Math. I dare you to make your algebra students memorize those for the next exam.

# Wyatt the Millionnaire

During the summer, a friend of mine and colleague at Texas Tech appeared on “Who wants to be a Millionnaire?” I recorded it and have been meaning to post it, so here it is (finally).

# Every large object in Solar System

This was fascinating: A photographic list of all the bodies in our solar system that are larger than 200 mi in diameter. By the way, I particularly like the name of the objects beyond Neptune: “Trans-Neptunion Object (TNOs)”

See here: http://tinyurl.com/2l2gn4

# Do you have more time to waste?

Try this:

You swing from wires to try to go as far as you can. You fling them by click on the screen and the wire shoots towards the direction of the click. It will stick to the brightly colored regions for a few seconds but then release. Very Tarzan-like, AHH-ahh-ahha-haahhha! (FYI: That was my Tarzan voice)

UPDATE: My record is 70.46 91.74 137.36

HT: Tumbleo

# Bulbous Blob Puzzle

Are you flush with free time or procrastinating on some big important project?

Try out the Bulbous Blob Puzzle.

Professor Albert von Braun, noted food researcher and author of the Chinese Laundromat Cookbook, has just made a major breakthrough on his long sought after Grand Unified Meal Theory. Working in his laboratory late into the night he has, at long last, proved the mathematical link between the five foundation sauces of French cuisine and the thirty-one basic flavors of ice cream.

Unfortunately, AvB is getting very tired, and has accidentally dumped the jelly beans he is using as a flavor model into a vat of universal sauce. The mixture has reacted violently, and resulted in the jelly beans swelling up into menacing (but tantalizingly flavorful!) Bulbous Blobs of hissing mutated gelatin!! Even worse, the Sizzling Cinnamon (red) blob has swallowed up AvB’s lab notebook and favorite set of measuring spoons. AvB needs to get his notebook back, but the red blob is stuck behind the other flavors of blobs blocking the doorway.

Your job is to free the reb blob from the laboratory. Can you accomplish this task before the tasty blobs of death make a meal out of you?

Plus, if you really enjoy yourself you can order the low-tech version that you can play without a computer!