Monthly Archives: January 2011

Words, Episode 4: Niagara Flare

I haven’t been to this St. Catharines restaurant (which shall remain nameless) out of fear. I hear they have good fare, but it’s the thought of incendiary devices going off during a meal that puts me off. The sign has … Continue reading

Posted in Words | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Words, Episode 3: Linear

One of the obstacles to learning in mathematics and physics is the fact that there are many closely related concepts, although logically distinct. Additionally, the same structures (logical or mathematical) occur over and over again in our mathematical models of … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics, Physics, Words | Leave a comment

Black Earth Into Yellow Crocus

Perhaps my favourite joke of all time is actually an anecdote that I read in the wonderful book Thirty Years that Shook Physics, by George Gamow. The book is available in an inexpensive Dover edition, and would make a fine … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Humour, People, Physics, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Power of Abstraction

One of the reasons mathematics is powerful and useful is that it is abstract. A collection of abstract symbols may seem sterile, but the power is in the hands of the practitioner, for you can give the symbols whatever meanings … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics | Leave a comment

Unsuccessful Treatment of Writer’s Block

The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of “writer’s block,” by Dennis Upper, Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 1974 Fall; 7(3): 497. (Hat-tip to the good people at Backreaction.)

Posted in Humour | Tagged | Leave a comment

Helping People Get Things Done

Seth Godin has a fantastic blog, and today’s post makes pointed comments about education, although it is more generally intended to discuss how to help people get things done. Check it out here.

Posted in Education, People | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Field Concept in Physics

Let’s continue the story in the previous post about Newtonian mechanics. In Newton’s theory of gravity, two objects that have mass attract each other with a gravitational force simply by virtue of their mass. The strength of the force is … Continue reading

Posted in Physics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments