Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What Is Your Favorite Number?

Using the same sort of schema that the Math Jokes For Mathy Folks uses, I came up with my favorite number 705:

  • 705 is the product of 3, 5, and 47 which are the unique prime numbers in the prime decomposition of the numbers 15 May 47 (5/15/47) my birthday.
  • The 705th Strong Number (Greek) is "To Number" "ἀριθμέω" (transliteration - "arithmeō")
  • 705 Is: The 4th 73-Gonal Number (72-gonal Numbers 1, 72, 213, 424, 705, 1038, 1477, 1968, 2529..)
  • 705 Is: The 3rd 236-Gonal Number (236-gonal Numbers 1, 236, 705, 1408, 2345..)
  • 705 Is: The First Lucas Pseudoprime

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dear Rachel - A Note From Uncle Zah

Hi Rachel;


Did you know that in Raleigh tomorrow night the sun will set at 7:26pm.

And then just 5 minutes before at 7:21pm the Vernal Equinox will occur.

So what is the Vernal Equinox?  This is the time of year when the length of the day and the length of the night are the same.  The sun rises and then 12 hours later (1/2 of 24) it will set.  So the night is just as long as the day.

Every since last September the NIGHTS have been longer than the DAYS.

Starting tomorrow (well actually Monday) the DAYS will be longer than the NIGHTS.

Tomorrow is considered to be the start of spring by some folks an the middle of spring by other folks depending on how they figure it.

Another thing that happens on the DAY OF THE EQUINOX is the the location on the horizon where the sun rises is DUE EAST and the location on the horizon where the sun sets is DUE WEST.

So if you want to know "Which Way Is West" all you have to do is be outside tomorrow  (Sunday) when the sun sets and THAT WAY IS WEST!!!

Also tomorrow morning if you get up and go outside at 7:19AM you will see the sun rise and that way is DUE EAST!!!!


If you know about the tilt of the earth's axis of rotation, you know it is tilted a little bit from being straight up and down when you think about the earth going around the sun.

The axis always sticks in the same direction.  That direction is always pointed right at the NORTH STAR.  

Because the axis is pointing the same way all the time and at the same time the earth goes around the sun in a big circle like path then sometimes the earth is tipped toward the sun and sometimes it it tipped away from the sun.  

When in it's orbit around the sun the earth is tipped away from the sun that makes the nights long and the days short and the weather cold. That is what makes winter.

When in it's orbit around the sun the earth is tipped toward the sun that makes the nights short and the days long and the weather warm.  That is what makes summer.

Then twice a year (in September and March) the axis is NOT pointed toward the sun or away from the sun and the days and nights are EQUAL.  Those times are called the Equinox.

There are two: One in the Autumn and one in the Spring.  The one in September is called the Autumnal Equinox and the one in March is called the Vernal Equinox. 

Tomorrow is the 'EQUAL-DAY' and the start of the days getting longer than the night and the start of warmer weather.

Your Uncle,


Monday, March 14, 2011

Only Three Months And Two Weeks Till ...

Tau Day

Tau is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its radius.

Or approximately 6.28

June 28th. 

I Love Tau Day.

And here is a super comment on Tau:

(One of my favorite bloggers)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Second Bike Ride Of The Season

To celebrate UNC completion of their participation in the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament - Sadly they could not beat Duke twice in one season, while Duke was up to the task of beating UNC twice in one season.  So now it is on to the NCAA BB Tournament.

My ride was a repeat of the one a couple of weeks ago (A Complete Greenway Ride).

Here are the stats

02:09:46 ..... hh:mm:ss .. elapsed time
   38.75 ..... km ........ distance
   17.90 ..... kph ....... average speed
   55.80 ..... kph ....... maximum speed 

That max speed was set coming down the hill from the Carolina Country Club Gold Course toward Lassister Mill Road.  It is only 34 miles per hour so that was not to over the top.  There were lots of folks out walking, and riding on the greenway.  I however have this cool little bell that I can ring when I come up on a group of folks and that works very well.


Spring forward - into darkness - but take heart, as we progress around our annual ellipse our stalwart facing pole will again bring sun to these northern climes.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

2011 Men's ACC Basketball Tournament

Hi Everyone;

This afternoon at 6:15PM Eastern NCSU plays FL State, the last game of the regular ACC season.  No matter which team wins it will not change their seed in the ACC tournament (I am pretty sure based on the standings this morning)

So I filled out the brackets based on those standings and have also attached that graphic.

Below is a text listing of those brackets, and additionally here are links to graphics of the bracket and the standings (as of this morning)

So Pick 11 Teams (One winner for each of the 11 games)

Email me back at Zach.D.Cox@Gmail.COM or add a comment to this post with your picks, and I'll keep track of your picks and assign values to each correct pick and the winner gets bragging rights.

Feel free to forward this to someone  you know who is an ACC fan and they can be in this too.

I'l edit this post as the tournament proceeds and you can see the updates.

G1 --- VA       v MIAMI     -- winner --
G2 --- VA-TECH  v WAKE      -- winner --
G3 --- MD       v NCSU      -- winner --
G4 --- BC       v GA-TECH   -- winner --                

G5 --- UNC      v G1 winner -- winner --
G6 --- CLEMSON  v G2 winner -- winner --
G7 --- DUKE     v G3 winner -- winner --
G8 --- FL-STATE v G4 winner -- winner --

G9 --- Game 5   v Game 6    -- Winner --
G10 -- Game 7   v Game 8    -- Winner --

FINALS (SUN 13 MAR 2011)
G11 -- Game9    v Game 10   -- Winner --

Saturday, March 05, 2011

One Third of Your Life

If you sleep an average of 8 hours a day a quick calculation yields the fraction 1/3 when compared to the number of hours in a day, 24.

So I am now 63 years old, soon to turn 64, and let's say I have around 21 years left. Another quick calculation yields 7 years, the number of years out of the next 21 that I will be asleep.

So since there are on average 365.25 days in a year then another multiplication problem yields: 24*365.25*7 which comes out to be 61,372 hours that I will spend asleep for the rest of my life.

Given this huge number and given that the mattress that I normally sleep on is around 30 years old and it feels horrible to sleep on, then I thought a nice new mattress was a great idea.

The problem is, what mattress should I get? Consumer Reports is no help. The actually say that this is such a subjective matter that they refuse to rate mattresses. They do share their readers ratings of mattress stores and "The Original Mattress Factory" came out top. And the readers also rate their satisfaction of mattresses and something called the Tempur-Pedic mattress comes out top.

I have heard of this mattress and so about eight months ago I set out to see if it made sense to get this brand. Sadly, these things are not discounted, that I could find out, so I finally went ahead and purchased the 'one-step-up' version of this mattress (From a store called the Healthy Back Store, because it is right next door to the Starbucks where I get my morning coffee).

So given the cost of this mattress, and the accompanying box-spring, which is actually just a box, with no springs in it, I will for the rest of my life, assuming the mattress last for the next 21 years and I live that long --- be spending just under $0.03 per hour for what is rated by readers of Consumer Reports the best mattress.

This comes out to be about one quater a night.