Thursday, February 24, 2011

“Möbius Story: Wind and Mr. Ug”


Jewish date:  20 ’Adhar Ri’shon 5771 (Parashath Wayyaqhel).

Today’s quasi-holidays:  Black History Month, National Tortilla Chip Day

Please forgive me for taking forever to post again.  I do not begin working until next Wednesday, and being unemployed while trying to adapt to a new country (including ulpan, which is Hebrew language classes) does not make for the most regular schedule.  I expect to be very busy starting Wednesday, trying to adapt to the new job on top of twice-weekly ’ulpan, but at least I should have a better idea where I can fit things into my schedule.

Today’s weird thing is “Möbius Story: Wind and Mr. Ug”.

This is a mathematical story, but one designed to be accessible to everyone.  Enjoy and share the weirdness, especially with anyone you know who loves beet peel.

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ra‘ananah, Ra‘ananah, hey hey hey, goodbye


Jewish date:  3 ’Adhar Ri’shon (evening) (Parashath Teṣawweh).

Today’s quasi-holidays:  Black History MonthChinese New Year, Lame Duck Day, National Frozen Yogurt Day, International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (UN).

This is my first post on this blog in about two months.  During this time I have moved out of the absorption center in Ra‘ananah to an apartment in Giv‘ath Shemu’el.  (Hence the silly title of this post.)  This took a lot of time and effort, as I had to not only find the apartment, but also get everything properly set up.  Also taking up time is that Tron Legacy came out, and besides seeing it twice in theaters, I spent a lot of time working on a review which is somewhat different from any I've done before.
    Astrological signsImage via Wikipedia
    Today’s weird thing is the latest astrological “scandal”.  The badly-named article “Sign of the times: Astrology story soars like a comet” details the shock and denial many people who believe in astrology have felt when an astronomer correctly noted that the signs of the zodiac are not where astrologers claim they are, nor have they been there for centuries.  The astrologers have also been forgetting to mention that the zodiac passes through 13 constellations, not 12.  (See a diagram of the when the Sun is really in the zodiac and when here.)  What the article completely fails to note, to the point of being funny, is that astrology does not work at all; rather than try to make the argument myself, I point you to “Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions: Astrology” and let an astronomer do it for me.

    As an added bonus, I also present “Horoscoped”, which analyzes the vague and useless verbiage of horoscope columns.  Note the visualized version and the meta-prediction.

    Enjoy and share the weirdness.

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