Sunday, November 30, 2014

A New Greenway Ride (40K)

A New 40K Greenway Ride

A extension at the south end of the Crabtree Creek Trail at Milburnie Road near WakeMed to Anderson Point Park has been completed.  This new section is only 6KM long but it opens up the Neuse River Trail to be accessible from mainline greenways in Raleigh.

I left home today and rode down Yadkin Drive to Crabtree Creek then through the neighborhood to Lassiter Mill Road and picked up the Crabtree Creek Greenway at Lassiter Mill.

I rode all the way to where the greenway intersects with Milburnie Road.  This was where it used to end.  But now it continues down Crabtree Creek goes under New Bern Avenue, and then under the I440 Beltway then under US64/US264 and ends at Anderson Point Park where it intersects with The Neuse River Trail.

The new greenway section is very well made and the scenery is beautiful.  You can hear the I440 and US64/US264 traffic as you ride along.

The really cool thing is that from my home I could ride to Clayton NC and back on just neighborhood streets and greenways.  If I did that I could get in a 90K bike ride and never have to put my bike on the car.

From my home to Anderson Point Park is 40KM.  Here are the details:

Time ........ 02:05 hours:minutes
Distance .... 38.84 kilometers
Average ..... 19.00 kilometers per hour
Maximum ..... 55.90 kilometers per hour

Here are some pictures from the ride:

Start of the new Section

Going Under US64/US264

At Anderson Point Park

Turn Around At 20KM

Anderson Point Park

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cycle For Hope Center 50K

A Very Nice 50K Loop 
Around Western Wake County

The church we contribute to hosts the "Hope Center At Pullen" and every year about this time (early October) for the past four years they have hosted a 50K/100K bike tour to raise money for the Hope Center. "... The Hope Center at Pullen connects young people aging out of foster care in Wake County with the resources and support they need for a successful transition to adulthood ..."

This year they also had an 11 mile 'greenway-ride' where some of the kids that are in the center rode, in addition to folks who just signed up for the ride.

The ride took us around Western Wake County, there were plenty of hills and not a lot of traffic. I think I have cycled on every single one of the roads we were on at one time or another but never this particular set of roads.

Here are my statistics:

02:45 ---- hh:mm - Elapsed Time
53.00 ---- km ---- Distance
21.50 ---- kph --- Average Speed
50.00 ---- kph --- Maximum Speed

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Sixty Kilometer Bike Ride

Sixty Kilometer Bike Ride

Last Saturday 30 August 2014 one week before the MS150 Bicycle Tour I rode a 60K out-and-back on the Neuse River Trail.  Here are the specifics.

02:55 .... hh:mm - Time rolling along the ground.
60.14 .... km ---- Distance.
20.80 .... kph --- Average speed.
47.70 .... kph --- Max speed (the downhill on Perry Creek).

I was a nice ride and after being away from all sorts of exercise for over a week (ending the previous Thursday) I felt it.  It would have been nice if I could have done some exercise during that time but that was not to be the case.

So after returning from vacation a week ago today.  I did get in a 50 minute 'spin-class' on Thursday and an 1800 yard swim on Friday.  Then another 50 'spin-class' on Tuesday following the 60K on Saturday and a 50 min 'spin-class' this morning.

I hope to get in a ride early tomorrow morning after my 'spin-class' but we will see.  

In any case I do feel I am fit enough for this weekend's MS105 Cycling Tour and I do look forward to it.

I'll post details of the ride and pictures as I get the opportunity.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Humans, Morals, Ethics, Large Brains, Fire

Humans, Morals, Ethics,
Large Brains, and Fire

For some time now there has been a lot of discussion about how our species co-evolved with the domestication of fire.  This morning on a social network site I saw this post about how wolves are more socially complex than previously thought.  Yesterday I was talking with my sister about the evolution of our species and how it could be that our species is an evolutionary accident, and that Morals and Ethics are product of our species attempting to deal with that accident.  All this conspired together to produce this blog post.  

First notice that our species is singular in that we apparently are not able to live in a sustainable ecological niche. This does not necessarily set us completely apart from other species that expand beyond their ecological niche but in all cases such a species will at worst crash and become extinct or at best enter a 'boom-and-bust' cycle.  

When you consider the complete arc of human development it certainly looks like we have been marching toward our own 'self-extinction' as our technological behaviors become more sophisticated without the species coming to grips with its humble beginnings.  

It is a sad commentary on our species to realize that even our 'origin stories' contain an explanation of why we are as we are but fail to further realize that we must be at one with the ecosphere of our planet and thus comport ourselves accordingly so as to live in harmony with this pale blue dot

As a species we overpopulate as a result of our ability to successfully structure and modify our surroundings resulting in the increase our ability to survive natural changes that could decrease the amount of available food and hence our population.  

Our hostility toward each other I think is directly linked to our population density. Some other species tend to form social orders that keep an excess number of males from engaging in activities that would result in population bubbles.

Another thing I notice is how our 'big-brains' work.  We are completely saddled with evolutionary baggage in the form of instinctual behaviors that are hard-wired into us.  The one that is most at odds with the potential our 'big-brains' give us is Confirmation Bias

This type of mental behavior is selected in favor of, over contemplative and scientific thinking, by natural selection due to the 'false-positive/false-negative' selection bias that forces us to make snap judgements on poor data and then stick to those judgements and beliefs due to how natural selection designed our minds.  

The idea is that when you make a false-positive judgement based on poor data you only spend a bit of excess energy, but when you make a false-negative judgement based on poor data you become another organism's lunch or you encounter some other environmental obstacle that wipes you out. Natural selection is the process that rewards an organism that can avoid being wiped out, the reward being that it will persist.

The upshot of this is, to move technology forward, we must force ourselves to think contemplatively and scientifically.  We have been able to do this due to the huge increase in leisure time created by our successful manipulation of our environment.  This is seen to have a 'feedback-effect' that results in our current state on this planet and the apparent exponential increase in the level of technology.

Getting back to our species being an evolutionary accident.  The best evidence for this is the complete lack in the fossil record of another species that domesticated fire then and developed any sort of technology.  

Our big brains, fueled by our very nutritious diet made possible by fire gives rise to a mental feature that may not be possible in non big-brain species.  I call this feature the ability to mentally 'model-the-model'.

I think mentation for all motile organisms, at its core the ability to create a mental model that has as its output possible responses to the organism's external sensory inputs.  Such a model also incorporates memories of results of previous encounters with similar sensory inputs, and hard-wired behaviors.   
The model makes predictions of what the future will bring given the actions that it recommends. Which output of the model (action) is selected, depends on which one is most likely to insure successful negotiation of the current and likely future

Modeling the model is the ability to reflect on the mental process itself.  When this ability is coupled with communication between species members it is apparent that the sum of our collective abilities exceeds any particular individual's abilities.  This is what allows our species to enjoy its apparent success.

There is another thing about mentation that I think is important when you consider the 'Model the Model' mode of thinking.  This is our necessary ability to avoid 'vicious infinite regress'.  

Such a state if it could not be avoided would cause our mental activity to 'seize-up' and we could not proceed.  The result of the ability to avoid such a situation results in our capacity to simultaneously hold contradictory ideas without any mental distress. 

When combined with confirmation bias this allows, among other things, our minds to have enormous imaginative ideas and beliefs that we not only confuse with actual reality but also use to solve problems and come up with the technology we enjoy when we combine our imagination with contemplative and scientific thought.

Our built-in ability to create internal 'stories' with our 'big-brains' that we then widely share among each other combined with our awareness that we do not enjoy a sustainable ecological niche forces us to develop rules and behaviors we try to follow to avoid the natural corrections that occur when any species gets 'Too-Big-For-Its-Britches/Niche'.  These rules and behaviors we call morals, ethics, and laws. 

Interestingly, that there may have been an evolutionary-accident that explains the existence of our species does help resolve the Fermi Paradox

Finally, the result of this line of thinking is that we, as a species, need to be careful (thoughtful) moving forward.  The universe may very well and naturally gang-up against us and I think it would be good (exciting, fun, wonderful) to use our 'Big-Brains' to sort out what we can do to make/re-make ourselves into a species that can persist in the face of all these potentially adverse pressures and still keep a firm grip on our imaginations and our quest to understand our surroundings. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Excellent Video (An Expanded YouTube.COM Comment)

Excellent Video!

The existence of God stands on a knife edge ...  If you think too deeply on this it tends to 'Slip-Away'. 

If you do not think deeply enough the concept does not work.

A key idea that jumped out to me from this video is: "If you think".

If we do not think then there are no concepts. For concepts to exist there must be thought. God emerges as an attribute of thought.

As organisms that are capable of reflecting on our own thoughts such concepts naturally emerge due to the built-in bits of the process of reflective thought.  Those built-in bits are what keep our minds from descending into infinite regress.

That we can think reflectively gives us the ability to 'Think about God' ... and the difference between the two concepts 'Thinking About God' and 'The Existence of God' become completely and totally intertwined.

God does not exist without thought, and God exists because of thought become the same statement.

An appeal, or a wish that something, or anything exists beyond our ability to comprehend it, or conceive of it is almost a necessary part of our reflective thought processes.  And I think, the word 'almost' in the previous sentence can be eliminated.

Our minds must produce this concept.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

A Very Nice 4th of July Bike Ride

The 22nd Annual
Firecracker 50K/100K
Bike Ride

I've done this ride some years ago and this year I noticed that it is associated with the MS Society so I thought of it as a nice training ride for this years MS150 Cycling Tour.

Here are the statistics for the ride:

02:13 hh:mm - Minus stoplights and the rest stop.
53:00 km - Just a tad over 33 miles.
23.00 kph - Good average given 1,400 ft climbs.
56.00 kph - MAX, some really long downhills.

The route went down Kildaire Farm Road to Holly Springs Road.  We then headed to through downtown Holly springs to Avent Ferry Road.  Then crossed NC55 to New Hill Holleman Road crossing Harris Lake to Old US1 and back to Apex and Cary.  My previous Sunday 50K took 2:15 and had a few hundred feet of climbs and today's 53K took 2:13 and had over 1,400 feet of climbs :) so the extra speed of riding on the road vs greenway was NOT offset by the hills.  I was afraid it would take me much longer due to the hills.

Monday, June 30, 2014

A Very Nice 50K Ride

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a bike ride.  I decided to ride down the Neuse River from Anderson Point Park to Clayton NC and back.  The ride is almost exactly 25Km in both directions.  

Here are the details:

02:16:07 - hh:mm:ss - Elapsed Time
   51.13 - km ------- Total Distance
   11.50 - kph ------ Average Sped
   47.80 - kph ------ Max Speed (there was a long down hill)

At one point heading down river you go down this hill, and the trail is winding through the woods.  As you emerge from the woods there is a this beautiful bridge across the Neuse.  The structure of the bridge is iron truss and as you zoom onto the bridge you note the truss making up the bridge perfect squares and on the other side of the bridge is this beautiful vista of open fields, and blue skies.  It was breath taking!  I though, "I need to turn around go back up that hill and come down again!"

When I got to the very end of the greenway in Clayton I had 1/2 of my PBJ and finished my first water bottle and headed back up river.

I finished the other half of my BPJ and my second water bottle in the shade at Anderson Point Park before riding the 1/4 mile back to the main parking lot across the US64/US64 overpass.

It was a beautiful ride.

Here are some picture from the ride:

The Bike, The Bell, The Odometer, The Helment

Just In Case You Did Not See The End Of The Path And The Bushes

A Beautiful Day For A Bike Ride

Back At Anderson Point Park And The Second Half Of My PBJ

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Beautiful 60 km Ride

A beautiful Saturday Morning just right for a nice bike ride.  E. had a class from 10 to 3 and I had a bike ride from 12pm to 2:44pm.  Here are the details.

02:44:08 ... hh:mm:ss .. spin time
   60.19 ... km ........ there and back again
   22.00 ... kph ....... average speed
   50.50 ... kph ....... max speed (On Perry Creek Road is a slight downhill section.)

I put my new bell on the handle bar of the bike, stowed my new inner tube in my back pack, put on my new gloves, packed a banana, a pimento cheese sandwich and filled up two water bottles.  I was ready to hit the 'Neuse River Trail'.  I started at Falls of the Neuse parking lot and headed down just past Poole Road where there is a park bench beside the trail.  that was 30 km.  I ate my banana and my pimento cheese sandwich and headed back up the Neuse River.  

We've had a lot of rain this year and there was evidence of this all along the trail, especially where Crabtree Creek joins the Neuse River; that was near my turn-around point.

On my way back up river I stopped in the middle of the bike bridge that crosses the neuse a few 10s of meters down river from the Milburnie Dam and took some pictures and a video.  You can see the pictures below and see a link to the video I posted to YouTube.

You Tube Video

Turn Around Point
The Turn Around Point 30 km

Milburnie Dam

67 Year Old Biker

Sunday, May 11, 2014

An Interesting Bike Ride

Today is 'Mother's Day' so Evelyn asked if she could come along on a bike ride.  I got the bikes on the back-bumper-bike-rack.  We got all the gear we thought we would need, including a new package-shelf-seat-post-add-on for Evelyn's bike.  It was the same one that I rode across the USA with back in 2004.  Turns out it is designed for a fatter seat-post but we put some folded up paper to cushion it so it clamped hard enough to work.

So, we headed out to Horseshoe Park unloaded the bikes geared-up and set out down the Neuse River Trail.

We got 16km down the trail and there was this very loud 'BANG'.  It was the rear tire on Evelyn's bike.  An amazing blow-out right in the middle of the tire.  When I looked in the inside of the tire after taking it off it looked like it had a cut in the inside.

A nice fellow 'Cliff' stopped and helped us change the tire.  I had to use my spare 'folding-tire' since it was not just the inner tube but the tire itself that blew out.  The first new inner tube I tried was one left over from a previous flat tire and I finally figured that out and switched to my (last) good extra inner tube and pumped up the tire to around 100psi (it is supposed to run at 120psi) and everything seemed fine.

Rather than continue down the trail we decided that this was a good 'turn-around' point and headed back up the Neuse River Trail to the Horseshoe Farm parking lot.  Here are the specifics of the ride:

17.2 km .... total distance
14.8 kph ... average speed
33.8 kph ... max speed
01:07:22 ... hh:mm:ss

And here is a picture of Evelyn and Cliff after we got the tire fixed.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Space Ship Is Replaced By A New One With Warp Drive


7AM Car Maintenance Event --- So, I skipped the gym.  Perhaps a noontime swim?

According to the service department rep, Ken, at Leith Honda after doing a major tune up that included changing all sorts of filters and fluids and a very fine going over: Our 2005 Honda which currently has 220,000 miles on it needs the following:

Break Pads Rotor Smoothing . $400.00 - expected
Spark Plugs ................ $400.00 - expected
O2 Sensors ................. $400.00 - expected
Clutch ................... $1,700.00 - expected
Serpentine Belt ............ $800.00 - expected
Catalytic Converter ...... $1,000.00 - near term
Total .................... $4,700.00 - Yep :-(

To be fair nothing in the list is anything I did not expect.

The math is: For around 6 months of new car payments we may be able to get another 100,000 miles out of our car.  I think this is a good bet given just how good these cars are.  However as with any machine other stuff could go wrong.  

We do love this car.  Our kids call it 'The Space Ship'.

When talking to Ken I looked over my shoulder at the new car sales room and said, "I suppose I should check in with those guys."  And to be fair, Evelyn and I have been discussing just what to do about the upcoming 'big - maintenance - event'. 

So Ken introduced me to Nahru who recommend I get the car appraised and they will meet the appraisal on a trade in on a new Honda Civic or Accord.

After talking with Evelyn when I got home we decided to test drive a Civic and an Accord tomorrow and see what we see.


So the first thing on the agenda was to take a trip up US70 to a used car place to get an appraisal. It was exactly what Nehru the salesman we spoke with yesterday said it would be.

So I completely cleaned out the car, (found an iPod mini of Rob's). Peeled off the stickers and the front license 'welcome to NC' and the Quick-Pass RFID tag under the mirror.  I left the little can of 'touch-up' paint and the owner's manual in the glove box, and put all three keys on a keyring that Honda gave us back in 2004 when we purchased the car.  

Evelyn and I headed up to the bank and I found the title sitting right on top of all the papers in the lock-box.   

As we drove around I540 to US1 I said we should just keep in mind that we were test driving and could always fall back on the 'six-months-of-car-payments-plan'.

We got over to the Honda place as Nehru was finishing his lunch.  Nahru had an appointment so he hooked us up with Derek. Derek organized a Civic and an Accord for us to test drive. 

We drove the Civic first out the back way of the dealership and onto Durant Road and up past the Durant schools and turned around in the parking lot off a side street and came back.  When we turned around we switched drivers and one of us sat in the back seat to test the size of the back seat.  The Civic was definitely smaller but handled very well, I was impressed. 

We drove the Accord next along the same route and compared with our current 2005 Accord.  This one was an "LX" vs "EX-L" and it did not have: a manual transmission, leather seats, power driver-side seat, multi cd changer, and moon roof. These items were most definitely the 'bells and whistles' of the 'Space Ship'.

The Honda Accord underwent a 'reset' in 2013 and they really tweaked the engine and automatic transmission.  It now gets 32-40 city-h/w mpg and has something called an 'eco-setting' that does something with the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) to increase mpg even more.  This means that the economy you realize with a manual transmission can come from the new CVT automatic.

Additionally the Civic and Accord now have have a massive high-technology electronics system that includs blue-tooth which allows it to act as the interface to an iPad/iPod/Cell-Phone.  The interface is a small color LED screen that also displays the trip computer and the controls for the radio/cd player. And lots of other stuff I'm sure.  It is all controlled via buttons on the steering wheel and knobs associated with the radio.

Additionally the color LED screen is connected to a little color digital video camera.  The Civic has one too.  

The camera is mounted on the lip of the trunk lid just above the license plate.  When the car is put into reverse you see this grid superimposed on the direction to which you are backing, this grid is sensitive to how the steering wheel is turned so it shows you your path given you continue with that steering wheel setting.  (Just as an aside:  I just barely avoided wetting my pants when considering this system.  And when combined with the voice associated with this electronics package ... well ...)

The Accord was just as roomy as our current one and the handling seemed to be even a bit better. It almost seems like a 'drive-by-wire' car with feedback.

After returning to the dealership we decided to see what the monthly payments would be for the Accord; we already had a quote on the price and interest rate for both cars.  The financial guy went ahead and gave us the 3-Year interest rate for a 5-Year loan and he tweaked the extended 100,000/10 year warranty to bring down the 5-Year monthly payment on the Accord to be just under the 3-year monthly payment on the Civic.  So if we could live with that payment we could purchase the Accord.

We did it.  

And as we got ready to leave Derek came up with the six CDs we forgot to eject from the cd player in the old car.  Additionally he helped us pair Evelyn's cell with the bluetooth interface in the car.

As we drove away from the dealership there was Mr Williams and my service representative from yesterday taking in the parking lot.  We pulled over and thanked them for helping us out.  I, jokingly, told the service rep we would go through this again in 10 years.

After stopping by and getting some supper from the grocery I put the stuff from our the old Accord into the new one and re-affixed the Quick-Pass RFID tag to the windshield.  So here in our driveway is the totally cool car, which is the same color as the old one with and the same license plate.

Here are some pictures of 'The Earth Dream':

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Challenge From Khan Academy

I got an email this morning from KahnAcademy.ORG that reported 2 billion problems had been solved by 15 million students.

Here is the email:   You Got Us To 2 Billion

If you read the email you seen the question being asked:  How many problems per week would each of the current 15 million students need to solve so the  number of problems solved by this time next year comes out to be 10 billion.

Here is my solution: How To Make It To 10 Billion

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I Do Not Feel So Bad About My Bracket Picks

The One Billion Dollar Prize Pay Out Was A Safe Bet

Last night Evelyn and I watched FL "whup up on" DAYTON but did not stay up late enough to see Wisconsin upset Arizona.  

Today it could work out that University of Michigan and Michigan State University both make it into the final four.  

I heard yesterday that the 1 BILLION DOLLAR contest to make a perfect NCAA bracket pick is now officially over, absolutely no one who entered a bracket has it all right so far.  

Which is not surprising since the odds against a completely perfect bracket are 1:18,446,744,073,709,551,616 against or in english:

The odds against picking a perfect are:

one to 
eighteen quintillion
four hundred forty six quadrillion 
seven hundred forty four trillion 
seventy three billion 
seven hundred nine million 
five hundred fifty one thousand 
six hundred sixteen 

These are pretty small odds and the folks that put up one billion dollars against this event occurring were pretty sure their money was safe.  

Even after eliminating all the possible ways that four number 16 seeds could wind up in the final four are eliminated their money is safe.  

And even just accounting for the fact that the last eight teams were all ranked their money was safe.

And most importantly even accounting for all the different ways two number one seeds, two number two seeds, a seven seed, an eight seed, and an eleven seed could make to the final eight (which is what actually happened) then their money was safe.  

This is because the number different of ways at 1,1,2,2,7,8,11 seed can arrive in the final eight is so large the money is safe.

The final 8 brackets were: (1,11) (4,7) (1,2) and (8,2)

Great8  Final4  Final2  Champ  Final2 Final4   Great8
1 ------+ (1)                          (2)  +------ 1
        +------+        -----        +------+
11 -----+      |          |          |      +------ 2
               +--------- v ---------+
4 ------+      |                     |      +------ 8
        +------+                     +------+
7 ------+                                   +------ 2

So there is just ONE way that the above 'Great-8' bracket could be but to GET-THERE there are lots and lots of ways.  Just considering the #1 Seed in the upper left hand corner (University Of Florida) it was only ONE of SIXTEEN teams that could have been there.  So assuming it made it then in the previous round there were EIGHT DIFFERENT OPPONENTS it could have had.  And in the previous round there were FOUR and in the previous TWO so that is 8*4*2 or 64 different ways it could arrive at where it was. This is true for all eight teams so there are 64*64*64*64*64*64*64*64 = 64^8 = 281,474,976,710,656 which in english is: 

two hundred eighty-one trillion 
four hundred seventy-four billion 
nine hundred seventy-six million 
seven hundred ten thousand 
six hundred fifty-sixth

So even though lots and lots of people picked (Florida vs Dayton AND Michigan St vs UCON AND Arizona vs Wisconsin AND Kentucky vs Michigan) NO BODY PICKED exactly HOW they got where they got. since the actual path those eight teams was one way out of 281,474,976,710,656 different ways.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Third Bike Ride of the Year

A Nice Spin Down "The Neuse River Trail"

The weather is supposed to go down-hill tonight through the middle of next week so this afternoon was a good chance for a ride.

I parked near the Falls of the Neuse Dam and rode the trail all the way to Anderson Point Park and back.

The whole trail is about 50 kilometers long so this ride covered more than half the whole thing.

The statistics were 55 kilometers in about 2.5 hours, averaging over 20 kilometers per hour.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Second Bike Ride of the Year

A Very Nice Spin on the Greenway

This day I rode my new bike.  There is a saying, "It is not about the bike."  This is correct.  However, my new bike does throw into very sharp relief just how crappy the engine is.

hh:mm:ss .... 01:38:31
kilometers .. 31.45
kph average . 19.50
kph maximum . 59.20 --- Woah!(37mph - definitely downhill)

The ride today did not have a lot of climbs, as compared with the one last Sunday.  I rode down Yadkin to Crabtree Creek and turned left onto Alleghany and rode on up past the CCC-Golf-Course and down the hill to the corner of White Oak and Lassiter Mill.  Turned left and crossed Crabtree Creek and got on the greenway. I followed the greenway all the way to Crabtree Blvd. and Raleigh Blvd.  When you cross over Raleigh Blvd. you find the greenway is closed for construction.  There were two bikes just in front of me that kept going but I turned around and rode the greenway all the way back to Lassiter Mill where I rode up Lassiter Mill drive up to White Oak and turned right and rode back to Yadkin where I rejoined the greenway and rode to the other end at Lindsey Dr.  I took a break and ate part of my banana and swapped the water bottles around and rode back to Yadkin and then back up the hill to home.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How Many Numbers Do You Speak

How Many Numbers Do You Speak When Counting Backwards?
Can Someone Speak For
(dd:hh:mm:ss) is: 03:16:45:00 (correction: see below)

Note:  The motivation for this post can be found at the following link: "".  Of course I do not know how many videos will be eventually posted but I can imagine that there will be 999 videos with this same topic. This post was written the same day 9:91 was posted.

Suppose you were to speak the numbers backwards from 99 down to 1, how many numbers would you speak?  The answer seems pretty easy: The following set when spoken aloud yields ninety-nine numbers: {99, 98, 97, ..., 10 , 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1}.

Now suppose you are looking at a microwave oven timer and you enter 1:99.  This is taken by the microwave software as the input one minute and ninety-nine seconds.  This gives the following set of numbers: {199, 198, 197, ..., 110, 109, 108, 107, 106, 105, 104, 013, 102, 101, 100, 59, 58, 57, 56, ..., 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1}.

Notice when the count reaches 100 it then continues with 59, 58, 57, down to 1. so entering 199 in a microwave only yields 99+60 or 159 numbers. In a similar manner entering 299 yields 99+60+60 or 219 numbers.  

Now suppose you enter 9:99 how many numbers do you get?

And finally suppose you enter 9:99 and count backwards. Next, at the end you enter 9:98 and count backward, then at the end you enter 9:97 and so forth all the way to 0:99, 0:98, 0:97, ...,  0:05, 0:04, 0:03, 0:02, 0:01.  

What is the total?

The Answer:

Below is a python app that, I think, computes the number of numbers.  The grand total is very large.

The Answer
The Better Answer:
A much shorter way to say all the numbers is to understand that once you have spoken a number you no longer need to speak it again you can just refer to the one already spoken.  This is in the best tradition of Mathematics.  Once something is done then it stays done!

The total number of spoken numbers remains the same but we can organize them for reuse.

For example:  the set {0:99, 0:98, 0:97, ..., 0:03, 0:02, 0:01 } contains the set {0:98, 0:97, ..., 0:03, 0:02, 0:01} and so forth all the way down to the set {0:03, 0:02, 0:01) and finally the set {0:01}.

When we apply this to speaking the numbers displayed on the microwave we get the following kinds of sets.

The 39 Second Sets:  These are the numbers from, for example: 

9:99 down to 9:60, or 
8:99 down to 8:60, and 
so on down to 
0:99 down to 0:60.  

There are 10 of these sets. And we see they take up 390 seconds total.

The 60 Second Sets:  These are the numbers from, for example:
9:59 down to 9:00, or 
8:59 down to 8:00, and 
so on down to 
1:59 down to 1:00 and finally 
0:59 down to 0:01.  

There are 10 of these sets and they take up 590 seconds total.

Adding these numbers together we get 989 seconds or 16 minutes and 29 seconds.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

First Bike Ride Of The Year 2014

A Very Nice 1:30 H:MM  25.5 KM Bike Ride

My first bike ride of the year.  After I got my new bike last September I felt bad about the old bike, it had served me so well over the years since 1999.  So I tried to find some replacement shifters (105-Triple-9Speed) on EBay and I did.  Last week I had them installed and the bike tuned up and I took it out for my first ride of the year 2014.  

Here is a "Google-Earth-KML-File" of the ride.  Also here is a link to my "Map-My-Ride-Page" and the bike ride is named "A Very Nice Greenway Ride".

The ride started at the house then went down Yadkin Drive to Crabtree Creek where I got on the greenway and rode all the way upstream to the end of the greenway.  Then it was back the way I came till I arrived back at Crabtree Valley Mall.  Next I headed along Blue Ride Road to the House Creek Greenway Trail and rode that all the way up to the pedestrian/bike overpass at the intersection of I440 and Wade Avenue.  Once across I440 on the bridge it was down hill and up hill to the North Carolina Museum of Art.  I took the bike trail 'around-back' and hooked up with Blue Ridge Road again and rode that back down the hill toward Crabtree Creek and getting off on old Edwards Mill Road and on down the hill to the greenway where I retraced my route back home.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A New Way To Create LaTeX (Write it with your finger)

 This post contains the solution to a puzzle I recently saw on Google+ so in some sense it could be viewed as a 'Spoiler'. 

 However I'll NOT reference the puzzle itself so you must have solved the puzzle in a similar way to recognize it, or read the sample $\LaTeX$ below and recognize what it is talking about.  And to be fair I did not just instantly recognize the first 11 terms of the Fibonacci Sequence as the answer to the puzzle but instead constructed the set backwards and only realized what it was when I got near the end of it, it was a major 'Ah-Ha' moment for me.

 This post is about a really cool app that I just downloaded for my iPad Mini. The parent application, which I've had for a while, is called "MyScript Calculator For iOS" and is a 'finger writing' app that parses what you write into instructions for a calculator. So you write on the screen with your finger 1+1= and the app converts your finger writing to the graphic "1+1=2" and also as input into a calculator function thus not only figuring out what you wrote but additionally evaluating the expression, pretty cool.  The app is free and a lot of fun to play with.  The app is limited to simple algebraic and trigonometric functions. 

 However, inside the "MyScript Calculator" app you can access/download/in-app-purchase other apps, in particular "MyScript MathPad". Again you do finger writing and it converts it to a mathematical expression in graphical form, but no calculator option is invoked (I suppose it it did that automatically then it would be a really fine mash-up with Sage or Mathematica). 

 You get a choice of saving the result as a graphic, or as $\LaTeX$ code or as a MathML script. To save in either as $\LaTeX$ code or in a MathML script you have to opt for the paid version of the app (US4.99). The parent company of the app is: VisionObjects.COM.

The app "MyScript MathPad" is a huge part of the guts of a project I came up with some years ago:  This only goes to show if you wait long enough all your ideas will turn into just a bunch of mash-ups of stuff other folks figure out for you.

 Below is some $\LaTeX$ code I wrote with my finger then exported from the app (the puzzle solution) and copied into this blog post.  When I exported it (which was when I found out I had to pay US4.99 to 'unlock' saving it to $\LaTeX$ code) and then copied the $\LaTeX$ code into this post. 
 Note: To get $\LaTeX$ code to display in a blog you have to modify the template of your BlogSpot blog to have a couple of MathJax scripts to the template (edit template header html source) and then enclose the code in some special characters, I use single and double 'dollar-signs' for in-line and multi-line code.
 Note: Also I edited the $\LaTeX$ code to have the words 'if' and 'then' and 'such that' since the finger writing app does not allow text to be easily inserted.

if $\quad S=\left\{ 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21 \right\}$ then $\nexists  x_{ 1 },x_{ 2 },x_{ 3 } \in S$ such that $x_{ 1 }+x_{ 2 }>x_{ 3 }$