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February 27, 2007

Factoring

Thi s is an innagural post for a new category, and a weird hobby of mine: factoring.

Factoring is simply taking a random or pseudo-random 3,4 or even 5 digit number, and determining, in your head, all the prime factors thereof. I usually do 4 digit numbers, or 3 if I'm tired. I rarely do 5 digit numbers, but will, on occasion.

There are some tricks to it; for some numbers, there are easily rules you can apply to test if a number is divisible by it. For example, 3 (and 9): if you add up the digits and the sum is divisible by 3 (or 9), then the original number is divisible by 3 (or 9). For example, 252 gives you 2+5+2=9, so 252 is divisible by 9 (2, 2, 3, 3, 7). But 1178 yields 17 (1+1+7+8), so it's not.

There are other tricks as well, and I'll mention them in later posts (explaining why 221 is one of my favorite numbers).

What I'll do is I'll play Sudoku on my palm, then take the last digit filled in, and follow the diagonal from there towards the center, and take those 4 digits and factor them.

It's a fun thing to do while driving, too. Watch the last 3 digits of your odometer, and see how many times you can factor them on the way home (get a number, 37.9, and factor 379 (prime); read the odometer again, get another number, 41.8, and factor 418 (2, 11, and 19), etc).

Fun thing about it is, every number's different. You might find with one number that you go up to 71 or so and discover it's prime, where another number closee by is divisible by 3, 3, 17, and 31.

Give it a try! It's not as hard as it sounds.

Michael

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February 26, 2007

Comments re-enabled

I've re-enabled comments, but you have to sign in with TypeKey to post. Actually, if anyone actually reads this, I'd appreciate a comment.

So I suppose you can consider this an open thread.

Michael

Update: I just checked. Given the fact that I've had comments in just one post in the past two years (spam that I've deleted doesn't count), maybe this belongs in the Silly category?

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February 25, 2007

First Sunday of the Fast: The Sunday of Orthodoxy

For more than one hundred years the Church of Christ was troubled by the persecution of the Iconoclasts of evil belief, beginning in the reign of Leo the Isaurian (717-741) and ending in the reign of Theophilus (829-842). After Theophilus' death, his widow, the Empress Theodora (celebrated Feb. 11), together with the Patriarch Methodius (June 14), established Orthodoxy anew. This ever-memorable Queen venerated the icon of the Mother of God in the presence of the Patriarch Methodius and the other confessors and righteous men, and openly cried out these holy words: "If anyone does not offer relative worship to the holy icons, not adoring them as though they were gods, but venerating them out of love as images of the archetype, let him be anathema." Then with common prayer and fasting during the whole first week of the Forty-day Fast, she asked God's forgiveness for her husband. After this, on the first Sunday of the Fast, she and her son, Michael the Emperor, made a procession with all the clergy and people and restored the holy icons, and again adorned the Church of Christ with them. This is the holy deed that all we the Orthodox commemorate today, and we call this radiant and venerable day the Sunday of Orthodoxy, that is, the triumph of true doctrine over heresy.

Dismissal Hymn, Second Tone

We worship Thine immaculate icon, O Good One, asking the forgiveness of our failings, O Christ our God; for of Thine own will Thou wast well-pleased to ascend the Cross in the flesh, that Thou mightest deliver from slavery to the enemy those whom Thou hadst fashioned. Wherefore, we cry to Thee thankfully: Thou didst fill all things with joy, O our Saviour, when Thou camest to save the world.

Kontakion. Plagal of Fourth Tone

The undepictable Word of the Father became depictable when He took flesh of thee, O Theotokos; and when He had restored the defiled image to its ancient state, He suffused it with divine beauty. As for us, confessing our salvation, we record it in deed and word.

Icon and Text Copyright Holy Transfiguration Monastery

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February 24, 2007

Romney's Consistency

The MSM have been trying to make a point that Mitt Romney is inconsistent on social issues, especially abortion. They point to two facts, that in 1994 he was more pro-abortion than he is now (I don't know to what extent, I've not read the quotes, etc). And when he was running for governor of MA, he promised not to change the abortion laws.

I'd like to address each one in turn.

Romney himself said that his opinion changed between 1994 and now. I can certainly understand that. I don't recall how I voted in '94, but in '92, I voted for ... well, I won't say, but his middle name is Jefferson. So a change of view between 1994 and now is most certainly within the realm of possibility.

And in 2002 (and apparently also in 2004) he said that he wouldn't change the abortion laws in MA. It seems to me that given the state of politics in MA, that could have been nothing more than a simple statement of fact! With the State House so firmly in the Democratic camp, he could, as governor, no more change the abortion laws than sprout wings and fly! That statement, in itself, says nothing about his intentions, or what he would LIKE to do.

Finally, I'll point out an event that happened here in Boston a week or two ago. Romney was in Boston, and across the street from him were some demonstrators. They were dressed up as flip-flops and trying to make the case that he's inconsistent on abortion.

Who were these people? Were they pro-life conservatives warning us to not trust him, "He used to be soft on abortion, and he may be again!"

No, they were from Planned Parenthood.

You can tell a lot about a man by his enemies.

I'm not worried about Mitt.

Michael

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February 23, 2007

Trying to update this...

I'm trying to update the appearance of this blog. I figured out how to add categories (thanks mostly to the MT help pages). But the overall look is something I'm not thrilled with.

I really like how The Anchoress has her page, so I tried copying her style sheet to mine. I managed to do that, but it was disasterous; made the whole thing unreadable.

If anyone ever actually reads this AND knows how to do it, let me know.

Michael

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February 22, 2007

Connectivity Fun

Okay, so there we were, on Meatfare Sunday, at Wendy's. I decided to take a picture of Maria, my daughter, on my wife's cell phone (mine doesn't have a camera). I wanted to update the wallpaper on my phone with a newer picture (the last one she was barely a toddler; she's 4 now). Here's all the crazy steps necessary to get that wallpaper on my phone:

Took picture with her phone.

Bluetooth'd it to my phone. (My phone couldn't open it)

Bluetooth'd it from my phone to my Palm (see if it can open the image -- it could)

Bluetooth'd the old wallpaper to my Palm as a reference

Copied both from my Palm to my workstation at work.

Gimp said that the resolution of the new picture was twice the old one (old one was 640x480)

Scaled the new one down to 640x480.

Copied new picture back to my Palm

Tried to BT from my Palm -- Nova. My Palm can apparently only receive BT files, not send. :(

Scratched beard... think think think said Pooh...

Checked if wife's phone has a memory card (it doesn't, but it does have an IRDA port) <light bulb turns on!>

Sent from Palm to wife's phone with IRDA

BT'd from wife's phone to my phone.

And I now have my new wallpaper!

I'd post it here, but it's not on this workstation, and I've had enough fun for one morning...

Michael

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February 21, 2007

Sam Becket in the wrong time

Okay, I'm thinking back to Quantum Leap, where Sam Becket would be talking with Al, who no one else can see or hear, and getting funny looks. If he was around today, all he'd have to do is put a bluetooth headset on his ear, and everyone would just assume he's talking on his phone.

But he should avoid eye contact. That would ruin the whole effect.

I suppose the same trick could be employed by schizophrenics.

Michael

P.S. Okay, I admit, I'm not going to run a political blog. If you want that, go check out The Captain.

Update: Yeah, I know, he always went BACK in time, so until the 2028 remake of Quantum Leap, this is silly. Hence the category.

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