Monthly Archives: July 2012

Attractive mathy links


The links below increases in progressive ‘mathy’ difficultyness. You don’t have to understand everything, but I hope you found these links as interesting as I did!

^_^ Here we go.

This, I think, is my favorite game theory video, great real life badassery. One of the contestants pulls a trick that is incredibly clever.

xkcd, my favorite webcomic, is now introducing explanations to silly, hypothetical physics questions.

Some homosexual math statistics. (Don’t worry, it’s appropriate!)

I scored a 0 on this ridiculously simple math test. I dare you to do better.

How to statistically win at hangman. The author goes from a completely random guess to an exact hangman science. (Also, here is a game analysis of battleship, and how to win at it!)

As a visual person, I love math which can be graphically shown. It’s something that I try to do myself. This shows a visual proof for triangular numbers.

This site very clearly demonstrates properties of a fascinating fourth dimension. minutephysics revived my attention on this subject.

Toilets. What is awkward is a very nice math problem!

What is the probability you’re selected as a tribute for the hunger games? Here are two statistic rundowns.

Back of the envelope physics questions. You can learn something every day from these small tidbits. Quite difficult, but very practical questions!

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Why I am against texting


My argument was persuasive enough to sway myself. I would like to share with you why I am against texting.

A couple of years ago, when I was first introduced to texting, I immediately disclosed it as a scam; I deemed it as a paid form of email. However, as it became popular, the practice was legitimized. I accepted it because I acknowledged texting as a form of silent and versatile communication. It did not distract others and could be sent and viewed at any comfortable time.

Over time, however, I realized texting was neither silent nor versatile. (in general)

Texting quickly became the most distracting form of communication. Where people in the past would tactfully excuse themselves from a table to make a call, now people would obnoxiously text bluntly in your prescience.

However, the bigger problem was its lack of versatility.

Texts are so goddamn laconic that it outrightly eliminates any complexities of a spoken message. Sarcasm, emphasis, tone are all succinctly razed by the touch of the send button. The purpose of texts is to communicate, and yet, the art of communication is lost by the act of texting.

My friend said that texting avoids the awkwardness found in speech. This is true. However, I would like to point out that texts only avoids the problem of awkward speech, not solve it. In order to solve the problem we must not seek to talk less, but talk more!

Overall, texting is too apathetic, incomplete, artificial, costy, restrictive for my taste.

Do you agree or disagree? Perhaps post an argument in the comments?

College admissions and affirmative action


This issue is discussed in “Justice”, Michael Sandel’s popular political philosophy course.

According to wikipedia, affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including “race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin” into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group “in areas of employment, education, and business” usually justified as countering the effects of a history of discrimination.

Giving the advantage based on cultural differences rather than merit in colleges admissions. Is this injurous to justice? I know there is a definite disadvantage for me in applying to some colleges–according to the New York Times and USA today, more and more Asians are leaving the ‘race’ box unchecked to balance the playing field.

Here’s my view on the issue.

Everyone is born into an inescapable caste of ethnic, socio-economic, and other cultural differences. These already established factors that one is born into cannot be avoided. Thus, naturally and perhaps unfairly, the people with the most merit tend to favor certain ethnic and socio-economic groups. The Asian culture, for example, stresses education, and subsequently, produces children of higher educational merit whereas the latino culture does not emphasize the importance of education. Is it fair for colleges then to give an edge to latinos who are statistically and unavoidably under-merited?

We can only be sure that the answer is not easy.

Let say a top university gives an edge to latinos, who are shown to be statistically absent of educational opportunities.

However, there are also some latino individuals who are very much blessed with educational opportunities. What should we do with these people?

I think that affirmative action is a great idea in education. A lower class partaking in education increases socio-economic mobility, which in turn, will give rise to the equal consideration of merit. However, just affirmative action, I fear, will never be available as there will always be exceptions (the latino who is blessed with educational opportunities).

A holistic background examination might be too complicated and subject to human errors to be accurate, but to give an advantage or a disadvantage in a one-factor affirmative action decision is a disturbing mistake. Just because a family is latino. Just because one had no parents. Just because a family is poor. No. Merit should be far most important one-factor affirmative action decision.

To all the high school seniors out there, strut your merit, and good luck.

Lemonade


The old lady had that wan look hanging on her face, suddenly aware that death was soon to come and claim her weathered bones. Life had been sweet, maybe too sweet, and a tremendous wave of agony shook her as she realized it was all going to be taken away from her. Utterly tired, her bones creaked as she turned to her side in the fetal position, like a baby, sighing of weariness. She dreamed of her childhood, on one of those days under the fire-red sun, her dress plastered to her skin as she dragged her legs home. The girl, the old lady’s past, came home in a tired, filthy mess, heaving slightly, but very happy. Her mother waited at home with a fresh tall glass of lemonade.

The girl’s eyes bulged at the lemonade. Throat clogged by a dried sandy substance, she jerked the glass without a second thought, dunking it in her mouth, a few drops spilled onto the floor, wasted. But she took no heed, drinking gulp after gulp, satiating her thirst. An immensely crisp sap flowed down her throat. The little girl took it as granted, with no thought of conservatism. Before she could take a breath to dunk her head again into the glass, a sudden feeling of regret and remorse over took her; she realized the precious liquid was reduced to the last bit. Looking at the glass gingerly, the little girl used the hemlines of her dress to wipe the splashes of the glass. She sighed and took another sip looking eye level at the lemonade surface. And then she took another sip, slightly fretting, very careful to not finish the whole glass. There were five solid drops of lemonade left, and each drop of it was valuable as liquid gold.

The first of the five drops rolled onto her tongue. She savored it, eyes closed as if that heightened her taste buds.

Four.

Three.

The old lady in the hospital bed cringed. She struggled hard to keep the dream alive, but her senses were failing her. But despite all that, she smiled unconsciously, and the little girl did so also in the dream. But the girl disappeared, and all she could feel were her diminishing senses. She tried to savor the last bit of the lemonade.

Two.

One.

As the last drop of lemonade hit her tongue, her body relaxed, trying hard to savor the last of it.

Of lemonade.

Of life.