Tag: math

A power of two birthday

A power of two birthday

Today, I turned:

100000 (in binary)
200 (in base 4)
40 (in octal)
But only 20 in hexadecimal.

Or, in regular numbers normal people use, today I turned 32.

I’ll have more to say when I’m not typing the post on the phone.

Teaching in the Rain

Teaching in the Rain

So Berkeley professors have been besieged by protests and spurious fire alarms this week as people protest about their fees going up (again). I don’t want to talk about the California budget situation right now, because it just makes me angry and — well, that’s no fun.

So instead, here’s a picture of one of our intrepid Cal professors finishing his lecture outside, using one of the exterior walls of a campus building as his chalkboard.

Fire alarms dont stop Berkeley professors.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to caption this photo.

discontinuity and remembrance

discontinuity and remembrance

The tale of the tape, so to speak, is in my livejournal. Here are my entries for 9/11/01. (And the next few days are filled with more reactions.)

The thing I find most interesting, looking back on this eight years later, is the sudden and abrupt change from what passes from normality (from the entry posted at 1:30 AM PDT) to the total shock six hours later. I’d later describe it that month as a discontinuity — where the graph suddenly jumps, leaving a gap in the line. And that’s really what it was to me. New York is far away from California, so, other than a few close calls, my only real connection with the incident was either friends of friends or a fellow alum of UC Berkeley showing his courage in helping to yank a plane from the sky somewhere near Pittsburgh.

So, in some ways, I feel like it’s not my anniversary to memorialize. It was a bad thing, definitely. It caused a discontinuity on the graph of our lives. But, in the end, except in grand scales that I barely comprehend, it didn’t touch me. Between that and the way things have played out in the intervening years, it’s lead me to that awkward position.

I suppose it’s a moment like the Kennedy assassination, when, as Peter Gabriel put it so well in his song “Family Snapshot”, “Peak time viewing blown in a flash/ as I burn into your memory cells.” If you’re old enough to remember 9/11, you know exactly the creeping moment when you first saw those pictures and realized that there was a discontinuity in your personal timeline and you will probably never forget it again.

And that’s about all I have to say about that. I’ll go hang the flag before I go to the Social Security office today, though.

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