Sunday, December 27, 2009

One Plus One

I've been thinking about this for a long time.

And I do think there is something (I do not know precisely what) that is very essential about moving forward from counting to adding and then from adding to multiplication and then from multiplication to exponentiation. This does invite going forward still further (beyond exponentiation).

However; to move from one to the other (counting to adding to multiplication to exponentiation) you can do so by just saying "repeat". Another way to move from one to the other is to think of it geometrically. Both are sort of covered in the post "One Plus One"

I actually wrote the post a couple of days before Christmas and for a Christmas present this year my brother-in-law Frank gave me "ONAG". A couple of years ago I purchase "Surreal Numbers" and quickly thought that ONAG would be the perfect follow on. Of course the post "One Plus One" is light years from what Conway is doing but it really did strike me when I got the Christmas present, I thought "Wow I was just thinking about what numbers are?"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Going To The Cloud (Part-1-Of-N)


For years now my siblings and I have drawn names at Christmas. We were a large family and some sibling hit on the idea of drawing names at Christmas. Whether or not this sibling, who's identity is lost in the mists of history (perhaps it was even one of our parents who suggested it) did it because they did not have enough money to purchase every other sibling a present, or for whatever reason it has persisted for years.

Some years ago (eight? oh my...) I hit on the idea of putting up a web page that would fill in for the 'Name-Drawing-Hat'. Since that time it has worked all the intervening years except one where we decided to draw from a hat.

Year before last I even put together an open source project that you could download from a popular code sharing site and put together your own custom name drawing event.

Well this year the time has come to move this all to Google Apps and this post is one of many that will detail my progress to accomplish this. Keep watching this blog for updates on how it is going. Please feel free to comment and even join in with ideas.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Big Rain

Over the past few days the remnant Hurricane IDA interacted with a deep trough and eventually formed an impressive Nor'Easter off the coast of North Carolina. Rainfall totals were impressive. The graphic in this post gives the 7 day totals as derived by radar. The two days of observations I took at my CoCoRaHS.ORG 'official' 4" plastic rain gage (NC-WK-75) came out about 3.6 inches of rain. I also put out a 'bucket' and this morning emptied 26 1/8 cups of water from the bucket. The diameter of the bucket was 12.25 inches. The four inch rain gage collects about 7 ounces of water per inch of rain. So doing the math I get 3.17 inches of rain in the bucket which is pretty close since I just dipped out two cup measures to measure the bucket and the bucket does not have 'sharp' edges (not very analytical but it does give me good feeling that I got a bit over 3 inches of rain for the storm).

Saturday, October 31, 2009

31 October 2009 Halloween

Here are some photos of the front porch this All Hallows Eve:

Or another way to say this day is Samhain or Summer End. Or another way to say it is The First Day of Winter.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Scary Dance

A link to the Earth Observatory page at NASA:

And a link to a Google Earth file:

Here is the text that goes with the picture:

Once a powerful Super Typhoon, Parma crossed over the northern tip of Luzon Island, the Philippines, on October 3, 2009, as a Category 1 typhoon. The storm battered the island with damaging winds and heavy rain before moving over the South China Sea, where it stalled, spinning more or less in place for about a day and a half. On October 6, the storm reversed direction and moved southeast back over Luzon. What caused this change in direction? The answer is shown in this true-color image from October 6. Powerful Super Typhoon Melor moved close enough to Parma to influence its motion. When two cyclones approach one another, they can interact in a variety of ways. One interaction is the Fujiwara Effect, in which the two storms are drawn together and begin to circle each other. In this case, Parma was drawn towards the stronger Melor. Occasionally, the stronger storm will absorb the weaker storm, but that fate wasn’t in the forecast for Parma as of October 6. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expected Parma to move south away from Melor and eventually track west over the South China Sea on October 8. This image blends two satellite overpasses to show the proximity of the two storms to one another. The left half of the image, containing Tropical Storm Parma, is from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, acquired at 10:35 a.m. Philippine time. The right half of the image was taken just under two hours later by the MODIS instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The time difference causes the subtle differences in lighting from one side of the image to the other. Parma left at least 22 people dead and damaged millions of dollars of crops and infrastructure in floods and landslides across northern Luzon as of October 6, reported Reuters. The storm is likely to do more damage as it tracks slowly south over the island, pouring heavy rain. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expected Melor to come ashore over Japan early on October 8 (local time) as a weak Category 1 typhoon. At the time of these satellite overpasses, Tropical Storm Parma had sustained winds of about 100 kilometers per hour (60 miles per hour or 55 knots), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. The storm maintains a spiral shape, but no longer has the tightly packed bands of clouds exhibited by the much stronger Typhoon Melor. At 12:10 p.m. Philippine time, Melor had sustained winds of about 200 km/hr (130 mph or 115 knots), making it a Category 4 typhoon.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

15 October 2009 (11:15am) Sue's Retirement Party

Here is a map to Sue's Retirement Party:

We are getting together to celebrate Sue's employment at Nexus Software (Diebold Software Solutions)

Tursday 15 October starting around 11:15am at the Crazy Fire Mongolian Grill in the shopping center at the corner of Leesville Road and Strickland Road (Leesville Road Exit of I540) here in Raleigh, NC.

Hope to see you there.

View Misc in a larger map

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

07 October 2009 Google Home Page

So ... I launch my Web Browser each morning to check my email and the pages I monitor and to get to my email program I go through the page which has a link to an online application called GMAIL. Google is know for changing their home page with stylized versions of their logo. It is always interesting to see when they do this. Today's home page looks like the following:

I can imagine that the value of the bar code that has replaced the normal Google logo actually spells the word "Google" I think about whether or not a laser scanner could read the image of a bar-code from a computer screen. Then I wonder if there is some sort of application that could take a .GIF or .JPG or .PNG file that was the image of a bar-code and decode it giving the content. I know I can right click on the graphic on the Google home page and save that graphic to a file and when I do I get the graphic below:

To see if an online application exist that can read the graphic file and decode the bar code it represents I did the 'Google-Search' against the search string "Online Barcode Reader" as illustrated below:

Sure enough the search finds a web site called and this web site
allows you to upload image files and see what they decode to. When I upload the image file of the Google logo here is the result:

Sure enough the image file represents the text string 'Google'.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


We had a grand time with Evelyn's cousins this weekend down in Beaufort. The highlight of the weekend was a "Three-Hour-Tour" abord the speed-boat Ink-Stink.

Here is a link to the pictures for the weekend: 2009_Cousins_Weekend. And below is a Google maps of the area where our tour took place.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday 29 September 2009

The cold front that swept past the East Coast in this set of pictures forms an almost perfect circle. Here in Raleigh we actually got 0.25" of rain from a thunderstorm associated with it. After the rain I brought up the local weather radar and noted that the front was already past interstate highway 95. Very cool temperatures this morning in the low 50s.

Monday, September 21, 2009

2009 Autumnal Equinox - Geometric vs Actual

Autumnal Equinox - Sep 22 2009 5:18 PM EDT. This is the official time. However the actual date of equal hours of day and night occur around the 26th of the month at 40N latitude which is near where I live. Here is a link that discusses this. The 'short-reason' for this is due to how the atmosphere bends sunlight so that you see the sun rise a bit before the geometric sunrise and you see the sun set a bit after the geometric sunset thus daylight is extended a bit. So the geometric Equinox occurs at 5:18pm EDT on the 22nd while the actual Equinox occurs on the 26.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Memorable Bike Crashes Over The Years

Here is a clickable map from Google maps that lists some of my most memorable bike wrecks over the years. I got the idea when I read an email from Bicycling.COM that talked about bike wrecks and suggested that I visit their site and discuss them in their online forums. This post is totally random and means absolutely NOTHING to anyone but me, I expect, but it was fun to recall these events.

View Bicycle Crash Sites in a larger map

Saturday, September 12, 2009

2009 MS150 Bike Tour

Saturday morning (DAY-1 12 SEP 2009) was a beautiful day for a bike ride. We actually left the bikes down in Morehead City from last weekend's Saturday ride and Sunday ride. So we loaded the bikes up last night and took off for New Bern early this morning. Here is a link to a picture of us before we left for the ride. And here is a link to a picture of us after we returned.

Here are the statistics for the ride:

47.62 .. km total distance.
21.00 .. kph average speed.
02:16 .. hh:mm total time.

Sunday morning (DAY-2 13 SEP 2009) was another beautiful day for a bike ride. This day's route was different from Saturday's. We road out of town to catch US70E across the Trent River Bridge then looped around as if to go into New Bern over the draw bridge (which is being replaced hopefully in 20010 by the time the next MS150 takes place.) Instead of heading toward the new bridge we made a U-Turn and heading up the south/east side of the Trent River. What a beautiful ride. We rode all the way to Pollicksville where we found a rest stop and then on US17 North back to New Bern. A beautiful ride. I'll post some Picasa Album pictures of Sunday's ride and update this post soon. Here are the Sunday Statistics:

54.48 ... km (total distance)
20.30 ... kph (average speed)
02:40 ... hh:mm (total time)

Here is a web page I put up with links to the pictures and previous rides:

Sunday, September 06, 2009

06 SEP 2009 - Beach Ride

Today we put the bikes on top of the car and drove over to AB and then rode up and down NC58. First to Fort Macon where we visited the inlet overlook shelter and had a couple of other bikers snap our picture. Then back down the island through AB to the Pine Knoll Shores NC Aquarium. We stopped for an ice cream cone at the refreshment stand and then peddled back to AB. Here are the statistics for this ride:

30.85 km .... Distance
19.10 kph ... Average Speed
01:37 hh:mm . Total Time

Economic Models And Opportunistic Blooms

I've just recently started following Paul Krugman's blog and I find his style of writing to be very clear. In this blog post he talks about a longer article he published in the September 2nd issue of the NY Times magazine. I just finished reading the longer article and it too is a very clearly written piece.

In the blog post he talks about natural (non human) systems that can be compared to economics. And references a piece on the Discovery web site that talks about his article, the Discovery piece is titled "Mistaking Beauty for Truth".

Paul Krugman's comment is that rather than use the two concepts General Relativity and Newtonian dynamics as suggested in the Discovery article a better concept would be Meteorology.

Meteorology can be thought of as a non linear dynamical system that is chaotic at it's core with things call attractors. A chaotic system with attractors is one that resist prediction but still stays 'inside-the-lines' and does not go wildly astray.

I think the day to day operation of the Economic System could well be modeled by such a thing.

However the economic system is susceptible to 'opportunistic blooms' which do naturally arise in all sufficiently complex systems. The main characteristic of an opportunistic bloom, and its inevitable collapse is a growing (blooming) bubble and then a bursting bubble.

So my point is you can model economic markets and your model must contain the concept of a bubble (or bloom). This argues for something folks call 'smart-regulation' of the financial system where you do not publish some set of fixed rules and set some group of fixed policies to enforce those rules but instead have flexible rules and enforcement that are themselves policed by being transparent and constantly audited.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A 26km Spin Around The Neighborhood


A beautiful morning here on the coast. The start of a nice three day holiday. This ride was a nice one. Here are the stats:

Distance .. 26.35 km
Average ... 18.70 kph
Time ...... 01:24 hh:mm

Here is a picture of Evelyn when we got to Crab Point and stopped for a drink of water.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Saturday Morning Greenway Ride

29 AUG 2009 - 11am

This day we took off from Davidson Street and rode up to North Hills Mall to the REI store to pick up another rear view mirror for Evelyn's bike. We got one that was the same kind she had before and installed it right there at the store. We then rode beside REI down behind the mall and back up to Lassiter Mill Road. Once on Lassiter Mill Road we glided down the hill to Crabtree Creek and got on the Green way heading East toward Wake Med. This day we rode all the way to Milburnie along the green way. We turned around and rode back along the green way all the way to North Hills Drive then up to Northbrook then on to Yadkin and back home to Davidson Street. The green way was beautiful the only hills we rode up were just off Lassiter Mill where it turns into St Marys up Scotland St and on to Orange then, of course up North Hills and Northbrook are a bit steep. Here are the stats:

01:51 hh:mm . Total Time
27.37 km .... Total Distance
14.60 kph ... Average Speed
49.40 kph ... Maximum Speed (coasting down Lassiter Mill)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Things You Find On The Internet

[1] Here is the link to today's "Astronomy Picture of The Day" the part that is most astonishing this that this picture spans 41 degrees of the Sky! [2] Something a bit closer to home: A quote from "The Bad Astronomy Blog" post: " ... In my line of work (y’know, truth promotion) I hear from people who think science is all guesswork. "Yeah, but how do you know?" they ask. The answer is: math. And physics. And chemistry and optics and engineering and Kepler and Newton and Einstein. We know because we test our assumptions, and if they don’t hold up they’re gone. We keep the good stuff, the stuff that’s proven itself. And eventually we get models that are so good they can predict when and where two objects hundreds of millions of kilometers away pass in front of each other. Yeah. That’s how we know. ..." [3] And finally here is something much closer to home but just as grand: ""

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Greenway Ride

A beautiful Sunday morning, we headed down Yadkin Drive crossing Crabtree Creek then onto the greenway and down toward Lassiter Mill. Then continuing the greenway following the creek all the way to US1. We turned around there and rode back the way we came. Once back at Yadkin Road we continued on the greenway following Crabtree Creek all the way to the end of the greeway out near Duraleigh Road. Then back to North Hills drive then to Northbrook then back to Davidson Street.

Here are the statistics:

28.82 km ........ Total Distance
15.80 kph ....... Average Speed
01:30 hh:mm ..... Elapsed Time

The picture is Evelyn back on the porch at the end of the rid checking her bike computer:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health Care Reform Comments From Folks A Lot Smarter Than I Am

One of the problems that health care reform has is that it is assumed that you do not need any brains to think about it or talk about it. Here are a series of articles from some folks who are a lot smarter than I am with some very insightful comments:

Monday, July 20, 2009

2009 Beach Rides

A Week At The Beach
DATE ........ Dist .. Time . Averge . TotT . TotDst
THU 23 JULY . 49 km . 2:30 . 20 kph . 8:07 . 162.05
WED 22 JULY . 26 km . 1:16 . 20 kph . 5:37 . 113.19
TUE 21 JULY . 32 km . 1:36 . 20 kph . 4:20 .. 87.06
MON 20 JULY . 30 km . 1:34 . 20 kph . 2:44 .. 55.00
SUN 19 JULY . 25 km . 1:05 . 20 kph . 1:05 .. 25.00

Thursday Sister Laviece, cousin Sarah (cousin Genie's daughter) and I rode to the Fort Fisher Ferry, borded the ferry to South Port. At South Port we headed out of town and over to Oak Island. Once on Oak Island we biked down to the Oak Island Light, our turn around pont. A super ride. Sarah is quite a cyclists.

Wednesday Sister Laviece, cousin Leighton and I rode down to the Ft Fisher Ferry dock then turned around and road back to Kure Beach via the NC Aquarium. Laviece stopped at the cottage (she needed to do some paper grading) and Leighton and I continued to the end of the island via Dow Road then back to the cottage via US421.

Tuesday Sister Laviece, cousin (Rob) and I rode to Dow Road then on down the island to Snow's Cut Bridge, over the bridge and then onto River Road. This road parallels US421 all the way to Wilmington NC. W turned around at 15km and retraced our route back. It was a beautiful day for a ride and everyone had a grand time of it.

Monday Sister Laviece and I went to Fort Fisher first then then back to Kure Beach and down Dow road to Carolina Beach State Park then under the bridge to the boat launching location then back down Dow Road to Kure Beach.

Sunday Sister Laviece, nephew Zach and I rode right down US421 to downtown Carolina Beach then turned left toward Carolina Beach State Park. Then down Dow Road back to Kure Beach then on US421 south to the Fort Fisher and the Ferry Docks. Back out to the end of the island (END US421 the other end of wich I rode by bicycle past - lake Michigan - 5 years ago this month). Finally back to the cottage.

Here is a photo montage of the rides:

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Le Tour (Stage Four)

This is why cycling is a serious sport.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

More on Cycles

I think I got "this post on the Aphelion of the earth's orbit" mostly right. It really does not make a lot of sense to locate the latitude of this event. I think the more interesting one would be the latitude of Perihelion because that is when we are closest to the sun. Because of the disconnect between the solstice and these events it would be really interesting is to see what schedule these events are on to line up. So I started looking around and found there are (at least) three movement two of which have a cycle:
  • The Orbital Eccentricity (a variation of the shape of the ellipse) and is a function of the gravitational attraction of all the other bodies in the solar system. When a body is at the extreme end of its ellipse it is said to be at Aphelion and when it is in its close end of its ellipse it is said to be a Perihelion. This value can be computed but I have not found a cycle associated with it.
  • The Axial Tilt (a variation in the tilt from the orbital plane of the axis of rotation of the planet). Presently this is around 23.4 degrees and is on a 41,000 year period and is getting smaller which means the earth is pointing more upright as time progresses.
  • The Precession of the Axis of rotation of the planet. (think how a gyroscope's axis describes a wobble as it spins). This is on a 25,800 year period. The north pole of the earth describes a circle of radius 23.5 degrees (equal to the axial tilt) around something called the ecliptic pole.

Aphelion 2009

Aphelion (When an object is at the 'long-end' of it's orbital ellipse occurs in 2009 for this planet at 0402UT 4 July (a couple of weeks after the solstice). Here is a link to a composite picture that of how large the sun appears in the sky at Aphelion and Perihelion. And again as we did for the solstice we can find the location on the earth where it was 12 noon. That would be line of longitude about 15 degrees east of where we found the solstice since this event occurs about an hour earlier than the time of day the solstice occurred. Doing the math we have 4 hours east of Greenwich is 60 degrees East (4*15=60). Then 2 minutes of longitude east of that line brings us to 60o 00' 30" because there are 4 minutes of time for each degree of longitude that comes out to be 1/2 degree of longitude for 2 minutes of time. The graphic above is a google-earth view near that that line of longitude. (I've tilted the planet toward the view to simulate the view from the sun to the earth, I did not put the tropic of cancer right at the middle of the picture but just a bit up from the middle indicating that the 'sun-overhead-at-noon' is now a bit south of where it was on the 21st of June).

Friday, July 03, 2009

Four Bridges Ride 2009

I did it! The four bridges ride. I started this morning at 6:45am and returned 5:09 h:mm later (riding time). Here are some stats:

LOCATION .............. TIME ........ DISTANCE
Harlow Canal & NC101 .. 1:15 h:mm ... 24 km
Newport ............... 2:04 h:mm ... 40 km
Cape Carteret ......... 3:10 h:mm ... 69 km
Emerald Isle .......... 3:30 h:mm ... 70 km
Indian Beach .......... 4:10 h:mm ... 84 km
Fisher Street ......... 5:10 h:mm .. 103 km

Here is the 'map-my-ride' link to this ride.

5:10:41 hh:mm:ss -- Total Riding Time
102.68 km --------- Total Distance
19.8 kph ---------- Average Speed
40.0 kph ---------- Maximum Speed (Coasting Down A Bridge)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Triangle Red Cross

Saturday 20 June 2009
Triangle Chapter of The American Red Cross
Storm Strike Bowl Off
Team - 10 Pins UP

We won a prize: "The Gutter Ball Award" for the team with the lowest score. (I actually rolled a 102 one of my highest games ever - three strikes and one spare)

Here is a video:

Friday, June 19, 2009

2009 Summer Solstice

The announced time of the summer solstice is 0545 GMT on the 21st of June 2009.

Depending on your time zone this can be any time of the day or night for you personally.

The question is: Is there some exact location on the planet where this is said to occur?

The answer is: YES! The Summer Solstice occurs at the exact time in the orbit of the earth around the sun when its axis is pointed most directly at the sun. Because the axis of the earth is inclinded to its orbital plane then this will mark the location and time when the sun is at its most northly location and directly overhead at noon. The line of latitude that marks the northern most location of the overhead sun is called the tropic of cancer.

The tropic of cancer is 23o26'22" degrees north. And when it is 0545am GMT which is 0o0'0" longitude it is 1200 (noon) at 64o30'00" longitude East.

Here is the location on a map:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Soon To Be Tropical Strom Ana

Here is what could turn out to be the very first Tropical Storm of the season.  It is forecast to reach 35 knots in the next 12 hours or so.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

NCMA And I440 Bike Bridge Ride

We parked at the NCMA then rode the bike path around the south end of the museum and down the hill and up the hills then over the I440 bicycle beltway on the beautiful bridge and through the Meridith campus and back again (next time we do the Reedy Creek part! Which would add 4.6 miles the part we did was 5.0 miles. Here is a map my ride link:

Evelyn got to try out her new 'camel-back-water-system'.  And when she got in the right gear to go up hill then there she went and there I was falling steadly behind.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Web Page Up For 2008 MS150

It certainly took long enough but here it is (finally): "

This tour was my 11th tour in a row and the very first one for Evelyn.  She finally got to see what all the fun was about.  

Here is a link to my "this-years" ride web page ""

I am looking forward to this years tour it will be 12 years in a row!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Topos Theory and Predicative Mathematics

Oh My ... 

Here is the link "
Topos Theory In A Nutshell".  Now I think this is the beginning of the explanation I've been looking for ... for a long time.

It all started back in 70's when I was in undergraduate school at UNCW and was taking a Symbolic Logic course from Dr. Susan Dankel.  She was Dr. Thad Dankel's wife and both of these folks were just grand.  Dr. Dankel (Susan) introduced me to Goodel's Proof.  During my graduate days at UNC-Chapel Hill I learned a lot about the Axiom of Choice.  After those days and till today I've followed along reading stuff about and by Tarski, and Sumllyan and thinking about an article in the New Yorker about a tribe of Indians in South America that do not have the concept of number in their way of thinking.

Here is the trail that led me to the link above:

[3] Topos

And here I am.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Trip To The NC Aquarium

On Saturday afternoon Hazel and Eliza who were visiting with us for the weekend (Eliza won a blue ribbon at the quilt show) went over to the beach to see the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.  We had a grand time.  I got a new ball cap and a squished penny that has an octopus on it and since Saturday was my birthday I qualified for the very first 'Senior-Discount' ever, three dollars off the entry fee.  Here is a clip of the Octopus Tank.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fifth And Sixth Bike Rides

On Saturday Evelyn and had a grand (windy) ride and on Sunday morning I went on my "Three Peninsula Ride". A beautiful morning for a bike ride. In the video below the dotted blue line is the Saturday ride. Here is the "Map My Ride" link.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Path Integral Across A Temporal Logic Space

So here is my question for today (sort of tongue in cheek): Can we combine this post about path integrals with this post about temporal logic. These two posts hit me with particular force because I just recently finished reading this novel that has as a major plot device the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Forth Bike Ride

Rails To Trails has a bike path in the Triangle area named The American Tobacco Trail.  This morning we rode the entire Wake County section.  It was about 6.5 miles long and ended at the Chatham County line where it is still being constructed.  Here is a video of our return ride back toward the trail head near New Hill NC.

Third Bike Ride Of The Season

After doing some work around the yard Evelyn and I decided to ride along the stretch of the Green Way that is closest to our home.   To get to this stretch is very easy we go to the corner of our block turn right ride about 3 blocks to the rim of the valley of Crabtree Creek and down into the valley, across the creek and then either left or right to a hundred yards or so to a Green Way entrance.  If we travel to the far end then back to the near end then back to our starting place the entire trip is about 10 miles.  However, once back on the streets it is up out of the valley of Crabtree Creek and that climb at the end of a 10 mile ride can be daunting.  To get a feeling of just how steep it is if you just coast down into the valley you will be going over 30mph at the fastest.  The only other ways to get to the Green Way that travels along either CrabTree Creek or LeadMine Creek involve hills tool.  So, we loaded up the bikes on top of the car and drove to a parking lot that lots of cyclist who I suppose live further away from the Green Way than we do frequent.  Once there we got in a nice 10 mile totally flat ride.  Here is link to a web page that gives the track along the creek.  Sadly I've not been able to get the page to work in any browser other than IE.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beach Quiz

[1] Salter Path is a quiet Carteret County community dating to around 1900. On what barrier island is Salter Path located?
    A. Core Banks
    B. Bogue Banks
    C. Hatteras Island

[2] Kure Beach is a laid-back location for fishing and beachcombing. During World War II, the town was the site of a large factory that made ethyl additive for what type of fuel?
    A. Kerosene
    B. Diesel fuel
    C. High-octane gasoline

[3] Topsail Beach's rich history includes tales of pirate treasure and a federal government jet engine testing site. It's located on Topsail Island, which is how many miles long?
    A. 10 miles
    B. 26 miles
    C. 35 miles

[4] Pine Knoll Shores was visited by explorer Giovanni Da Verrazzano back in the early 16th century. Today, what facility makes it a popular tourist destination?
    A. North Carolina Acquarium
    B. Write Brothers memorial
    C. North Carolina Maritime Museum

[5] The southernmost of the South Brunswick Islands, Sunset Beach was incorporated in 1963. Each year a colony of what endangered large, wading bird species migrates there from Florida?
    A. Oystercatcher
    B. Wood stork
    C. Sanderling

[6] Located in Brunswick County and incorporated in 1975, the town of Caswell Beach, named for the 19th-century Fort Caswell, owns what nearby lighthouse?
    A. Ocracoke Lighthouse
    B. Cape Lookout Lighthouse
Oak Island Lighthouse

[7] Bald head Island's 14-mile streach of beachfrong is accessible only by ferry or boat and located near Corncake Inlet at the mouth of what river?
    A. New Brunswick River
    B. Cape Fear River
    C. Waccamaw River

[8] Currituck County's Corolla is the northernmost village on the Outer Banks.  Its wide beach offers recreation for tourists but also includes a preserve for what animals that came from Spain?
    [A] Mustangs
    [B] Sheep
    [C] Goats

You can get the answers by purchasing May Issue of "Our State" magazine or when you come to the beach this summer I'll bring my issue and you can look up your answers.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Windows Live Translation Service

According to the bits I've been reading a translation service can be had by inserting a simple bit of HTML code into a web page. Such code can be characterized by calling it a 'widget'. What the user can do is click on the control presented by the 'widget' and the operation that the widget exposes is executed. Just below this sentence is the embedded html code that is supposed to expose the 'widget'. Give it a try.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A Trip To CA

What a grand trip.  I left this morning from RDU at 6:15am after waking up at 4:30am.  CA time that would have been 1:30am --- It makes for a long day but I'm not even tired given this is a welcome vacation.   Here is a link to some pictures I snapped with my cell phone on the way out.

ADD: Here Is a Link To A Lot More

Monday, March 30, 2009

3 milli parsecs at warp 7

I was watching Star Trek tonight and a distress signal was received from 3 milli parsecs away, they set out for the ship at warp 7 and I think they said they would be there in a few minutes.  

I wondered what the actual time to travel 3 milli parsecs was if you could travel at 7 times the speed of light.  Here are the calculations I came up with.

3 mill parsecs is .003 parsec and since 1 parsec is 3 * 10^16 meters that comes out to be 9.26 * 10^13 meters.

So since the speed of light is 3 * 10^8 meters/sec then the number of hours to travel that far at warp seven is (9.26*10^13)/(7*3*10^8)/3600 = 12 hours 14 minutes 41 seconds.

So either they did the math wrong, or I heard the time required incorrectly.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Updated DRM Post

I've updated my original DRM post with a comment about how it works here is the link to that updated post "!2CE04B99BC43F998!124.entry"

Second Bike Ride Of 2009

Today started out cloudy with a light misty rain, however, when I checked the WRAL radar it looked like the weather forecast would validate and the day would turn out just beautiful. And it has.

Today was the annual Spring Rally of the North Carolina Bicycle Club and I decided to double my mileage (well actually triple my mileage but double my maximum ride length) so I signed up for the 20 mile loop. Here is a picture my bike in the parking lot of the starting point.

Here is an image of the group of cyclist that came out for this ride. I know if the entire weekend was beautiful then the group would have been much larger, I think the size was around 100 riders.
Here are the stats:
32.35 ..... km (20.1 miles)
01:46:35 .. hh:mm:ss
50 ........ kph vmax (31 mph)
18.2 ...... kph average (11.3 mph

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A New Biscuit Recipe

One of my favorite things to do is to fix breakfast; biscuits are on the menu, when there is time to make them.  I enjoy finding new biscuit recipes --- this morning I decided to bake biscuits and saw Evelyn's bag of whole wheat flower on the counter and wondered if it could be used to make biscuits.  Well not only does whole wheat flower work I found a grand recipe at  I took a picture of the result and put together this web page on the tweeked recipe.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Analytic Geometry Puzzle

Here is a link to a geometry puzzle "" Here is a link to my explanation "". I've seen this puzzle before and even figured it out, but I think writing down a solution in, what I hope is, a simple manner is a good thing to do.


First Bike Ride Of 2009

Evelyn and I together went on our first bike ride of the year. Evelyn's new bike is fantastic. She was clipping right along apparently effortlessly.

58:31...... mm:ss (rolling)
33.0 ...... kph max (speed)
16.74 ..... km (distance, 10.4m)
Here is the route (click on picture for larger view).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Very Good Book

I woke up last night at 3:00AM and finished the last few pages of Niel Stephenson new book Anathem. My sister gave it me as a Christmas present. It is one of those books that when you read it you are torn between two feelings. You want to rush through it because it is such a thriller and you want to slow down and read it slowly because you fear when you are finished with it you will wish it had not yet ended. In a talk that Stephenson gave at Google recently he discussed the criticism of how he ended novels. Well in this one I think it is not even possible that he can be criticized.

The book not only is a great thriller but also is very good from perspective of believable science fiction. The main (science) idea in the book; that consciousness is an intentional path that an organism follows through the multiverse created by the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, is very satisfying.

Another idea expressed in the book, what the author calls 'sconic' philosophy comes very close to the idea of consciousness as a modeling engine. In particular the idea that we are only equal to our sensory inputs is also very satisfying.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

61 Year Old Hacker Posts First Article On Code Project

I just got email with a link to the BBC article that talks about "Doodle Kids" an application for the iPhone written by a nine year old boy in Malasya. So here is my response to my friends email:

"61 Year Old Hacker Posts First Article On Code Project" When asked about this his 25 year old son, who is an accomplished digital animator, said ... "If Dad can do junk like that then a nine year old could write an iPhone application."

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A Trip To Ohio In The Winter

The new RDU Terminal 2 is beautiful. I picked up Ginny & Joe hear at Christmas but only got to see the ticket area and baggage claim. The ticket area is grand with just buckets of automatic kiosks to use to check in.
This time I was flying out so I got to go through security. It seemed very efficient and even had one of those new body scanners. My flight was leaving at 6:50am (very early) so I think the number of airport employees and TSA folks actually outnumbered the passengers. Both the area where all the ticket kiosks are and the gate hall have these huge arching beams of engineered lumber that are very beautiful. I really do like that kind of architecture.
On the RDU-ATL leg we were flying a nice new Delta Jet and they still have their famous "moving map" display. I recall the first time I experienced it (on a flight to Spain). Still the same now but on a small touch screen. The screen has much more than just the moving map it also has airport maps and games. I browsed the airport maps and discovered that I have flown into all the airports listed excepting two. A trivia game where you compete against the other passengers was also available and I actually won one of the rounds. Each question has a point value that decreases with time so the first person to get the right answer gets the maximum number of points.
The Atlanta airport hasn't changed, and like all good airports every where it does not offer any services for free that it can charge for. When up bring up your WIFI device there is one access point and when you connect there are offers to connect to a few random ISPs and to T-Mobil. Sadly my free year with T-Mobil that came with the XO computer I got last year by participating in the G1G1 just expired. The G1G1 program for 2007 and 2008 are no longer running but if this larger program is still going strong next Christmas I expect it may run again.
Next it was on to Canton Ohio and about 12 new inches of snow. The good news about Ohio is they are good at snow removal and the streets were plowed and salted. We got back to RDU late in the evening rounding out an 18 hour day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Way back in the late 1970's when I was in graduate school in mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill I had an algebra class with Dr Ladnor Geissinger.  The very first day of class as we were all getting ready to leave he assigned the problem "Show that Zorn's Lemma and The Axiom of Choice are Equivalent".  I recall thinking, "I know what The Axiom of Choice is, but what the heck is Zorn's Lemma!"  I was totally at sea.  It turns out that this result is apparently very well know.  This did not keep me from searching endlessly first for Zorn's Lemma and then for something that showed it to be equivalent to The Axiom of Choice.  I finally did find it in the Shaum's Outline of Set Theory this book is still in print and when you look at the index in the Amazon page  you see Axiom of Choice and Zorn's Lemma are both still on page 220.  I recall I still did not understand what was going on.  I did read that proof over and over but I was a first year math grad student and had never had a formal course in Set Theory.  Later that year someone (it may have been me) asked about the assignment and Dr Geissinger laughed and said it was not a real assignment.  So imigine what I thought when I read this post by Terence Tao

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Friday, January 09, 2009

2009 Eastern NC MS150 Cycling Tour

The 2009 Version
Of The
Eastern NC MS150 Cycling Tour

Here is a link to my web page for this event: