MOTD::Archive::Summer 2009 (15 August 2009)

Spring 2009 MOTD

Week Ending 15 August 2009

Quotes::More, More, More...
GDT::Quotes is now at 769 quotes and counting.

You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
-- Dean Martin (01917-01995) {American singer, actor, comedian; more...} [booze]

Fools rush in and get the best seats.
-- Mad Magazine (01952-) {comic book by Harvey Kurtzman; more...} [life]

If we fail to anticipate the unforeseen, or expect the unexpected
in a universe of infinite possibilities, then we may fall victim
to anyone or anything that cannot be programmed, categorized,
or easily referenced.

-- Fox Mulder (01993-02002) {"X-Files" American science fiction TV series; more...} [future]

There's no "I" in "team", but there's one in "Kiss my ass!"
-- Slayer (01981-) {American thrash metal; more...} [philosophy]

Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.
-- Anonymous {signal-to-noise ratio} [life]

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
-- Aristotle (00384BC-00322BC) {Greek philosopher; more...} [life]

The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government.
-- Tacitus (ca.56-ca.117) {senator and a historian of the Roman Empire; more...} [government]

Growing older is mandantory, staying a child is optional.
-- Anonymous {"May You Stay Forever Young"~Bob Dylan} [life]

While I don't claim to be a great programmer, I try to imitate one.
An important trait of the great ones is constructive laziness. They
know that you get an A not for effort but for results [...]

-- Eric S. Raymond (01957-) {computer programmer; "The Cathedral and the Bazaar"; more...} [programming]

Perhaps in the end the open-source culture will triumph
not because cooperation is morally right or software
"hoarding"' is morally wrong (assuming you believe the
latter, which neither Linus nor I do), but simply because
the closed-source world cannot win an evolutionary arms race
with open-source communities that can put orders of magnitude
more skilled time into a problem.

-- Eric S. Raymond (01957-) {computer programmer; "The Cathedral and the Bazaar"; more...} [open source]

Happiness is possible. 3 tricks: Let it pursue you.
Practice compassion. Laugh at almost everything.

-- John Perry Barlow (01947-) {Grateful Dead lyricist; EFF co-founder; more...} [happiness]

But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters,
economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the
glory of Europe is extinguished forever.

-- Edmund Burke (01729-01797) {founder of modern conservatism?; more...} [chivalry]

EDU::Learning How-To Learn is the Online Education Database and they have a document titled Hacking Knowledge: 77 Ways to Learn Faster, Deeper, and Better

GDT::Final MOTD Posting for Summer 2009
This is the final MOTD posting for the Summer 2009 break. The Fall 2009 MOTD, version 37, will be instantiated on 22 August 2009. Just like the end of last summer, I still have plans to go through the MOTD archive and fix its massive linkrot; however, I have no clue as to when this will occur. The MOTD does not have a fixed birthdate; therefore, I use 13 December 1997--the date the first MOTD was archived--as the MOTD's birthdate. {GDT::MOTD Archive}

[16 August 2009 (let's roll another MOTD; 77° at 6:45am) top]

Week Ending 08 August 2009

Computing::Some Unix Related Quotes
I collected the following quotes from

   "UNIX was never designed to keep people from doing stupid 
    things, because that policy would also keep them from 
    doing clever things."~Doug Gwyn

   "Linux is free only if your time is worthless."

   "There are two major products that come from Berkeley: 
    LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence."

   "The box said 'requires windows 98 or better' so I installed Linux."

[Extra] I just learned a couple of days ago that Ken Thompson is now a Googler. He updated his webpage at Bell Labs during 2007 to reflect his new email address.

EDU::Better? Changing Instruction, Students, Faculty The phrase "21st century faculty" used in conjunction with "Maricopa Community Colleges" is somewhat oxymoronic.

   "Diaz said the Maricopa Community Colleges are also 
    benefiting from the trend because of younger faculty 
    entering the field, faculty who were also exposed to 
    technology at a young age. "They're called '21st century 
    faculty,' 20-and-30-something's who don't know a world 
    without technology."

"The way we use face time has changed for the better," said Veronica Diaz of the Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (MCLI).


[09 August 2009 (it's the last week of summer break; 89° at 10:09am) top]

Week Ending 01 August 2009

Quotes::More, More, More...
GDT::Quotes is now at 757 quotes and counting.

If all the insects on earth disappeared, within 50 years
all life on earth would disappear. If all humans disappeared,
within 50 years all species would flourish as never before.

-- Jonas Salk (01914-01995) {American who discovered/developed polio vaccine; more...} [nature]

All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.
-- Blaise Pascal (01623-01662) {French mathematician/physicist; more...} [life]

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it
will incline towards the religion of solitude.

-- Aldous Huxley (01894-01963) {writer and "leader of modern thought"; more...} [life]

The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the
fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything
is completely different.

-- Aldous Huxley (01894-01963) {writer and "leader of modern thought"; more...} [history]

Experience teaches only the teachable.
-- Aldous Huxley (01894-01963) {writer and "leader of modern thought"; more...} [experience]

A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested;
on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of
continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves
in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention.

-- Aldous Huxley (01894-01963) {writer and "leader of modern thought"; more...} [life]

Logic is neither a science or an art, but a dodge.
-- Benjamin Jowett (01817-01893) {English scholar/theologian; more...} [logic]

We must learn our limits. We are all something but none of us are everything.
-- Blaise Pascal (01623-01662) {French mathematician/physicist; more...} [life]

Our nature consist in motion; complete rest is death.
-- Blaise Pascal (01623-01662) {French mathematician/physicist; more...} [life]

Strength does not come from physical capacity.
It comes from an indomitable will.

-- Mahatma Gandhi (01869-01948) {political and spiritual leader of India; more...} [life]

I could have calibrated those words differently.
-- Barack Obama (01961-) {44th President of the United States; more...} [communication]

It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.
-- H.L. Mencken (01880-01956) {American writer; wrote "The American Language"; more...} [life]

Everything is being compressed into tiny tablets. You take
a little pill of news every day - 23 minutes - and that's
supposed to be enough.

-- Walter Cronkite (01916-02009) {"the most trusted man in America"; more...} [education]

We are not educated well enough to perform the necessary act
of intelligently selecting our leaders.

-- Walter Cronkite (01916-02009) {"the most trusted man in America"; more...} [education]

Math::600 BARS and Counting
BARS (Basic Arithmetic Road Sign) number 600 was posted on 30 July 2009. { Caverns National Park in New Mexico}

GDT::I'm Now a Grandpa
My daughter Bree gave birth to Brenna and Hayden on 31 July 2009. I am now officially a grandpa at the age of 52.

[01 August 2009 (nearing back to school time; 84° at 7:58am) top]

Week Ending 25 July 2009

Today is Sunday, 26 July 2009, and in 21 days I report back to school. My first class of the fall 2009 semester begins at 7:30am on Monday, 24 August 2009. The class is "MAT082: Basic Arithmetic" and it is immediately followed by another MAT082 that begins at 9:00am class. Both classes will start the semester full, which means a total of 56 students. And, for many of the these students, it will be their first time in a college classroom.

Although it is 28 days away, I can see how day one starts...

   I will go into the classroom and get the official U.S. 
   time clock running and class will start at exactly 7:30.  Today,
   is 24 August 2009 and it's a BAD (Basic Arithmetic Date).  Today's 
   date written in MM/DD/YY format is 8/24/09 and it's a BAD because 
   24 divided-by 8 equals the square-root of 9.  

I'll bring up the website for the course and the lecture note for week one. I've already decided on the QOTW (Quote Of The Week) and the BARS (Basic Arithmetic Road Signs) for the first week of the fall 2009 semester...

Quote of the Week { Mathematical Quotations Server}
Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century.
-- Grigori Perelman (01966-) {Russian mathguru; awarded Fields Medal in 02006; more...} [future/learning] [log]
Road Signs of the Week { Astronomy Picture of the Day}
near Eagar AZ | Hachita NM | near Sandy OR [log]

At this point I don't know what will happen, but I'm looking forward to getting back in the classroom.

Note: I became an instructor at Scottsdale Community College during the fall of 1997; therefore, the fall of 2009 will be the start of the my 12th year of being a community college instructor.

[26 July 2009 (July is nearing its end; 98° at 11:08am) top]

Week Ending 18 July 2009

Computing::Google and IBM Report 2Q'09 Results
Google and IBM reported 2nd-quarter 2009 results on 16 July 02009. Note: 2nd-quarter (April 1st-June 30th) 02009 took place during the "worst economic recession since the great depression."

Google ($442.60):
Capital expenditures:  $139 million (IT infrastructure)
R&D: $707 million
Free cash flow: $1.47 billion.
Cash (& equivalents):  $19.3 billion  ($0 debt) Current ratio: 8.9
Income taxes: $388,497,000  (20% effective tax rate)
Employee count:  19,786 (down from 20,164 three months ago) 
* I have to believe Google has more employees than it needs

IBM ($110.64):
Free cash flow: $3.4 billion
R&D+Expenditures:  $1.4 billion
Cash (& equivalents):  $12.5 billion
Income taxes: $1,159,000,000  (23% effective tax rate)
IBM reported that the it "returned $2.4 billion to 
shareholders through $732 million in dividends and 
$1.7 billion of share repurchases."

I suffer from the "ignorance is not bliss" affliction every femto-second, but what will Google and IBM accomplish when we're not in the "worst economic recession since the great depression?"

Math::Exponential Function as Simple Arithmetic
I listened to a lecture by Albert Bartlett and turned my notes into a blog posting. Bartlett believes the following: "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand exponential function." In addition, Bartlett tells students they are important people because they can think and that they shouldn't let others do their thinking for them. { function as simple arithmetic}

Quotes::More, More, More...
GDT::Quotes is now at 742 quotes and counting.

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science
gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.

-- Isaac Asimov (01920-01992) {born in Russia; American author/biochemistry professor; more...} [life]

Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.
-- Isaac Asimov (01920-01992) {born in Russia; American author/biochemistry professor; more...} [education]

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your
own reputation; for 'is better to be alone than in bad Company.

-- George Washington (01732-01799) {1st President of the United States; more...} [reputation]

One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions.
-- Grace Hopper (01906-01992) {U.S. Naval Officer; mathematician; computer programmer; more...} [life]

A technique is something you use instead of your brain.
-- Henry Mintzberg (01939-) {writes about business and management; more...} [thinking]

I've got hope, but you can't eat hope.
-- Neil Young (01945-) {lyric from "Fork In The Road"; more...} [life]

Americans have no past and no future. They live in an extended present.
-- Alexis DeToqueville (01805-01859) {French political thinker/historian; more...} [Americans]

[18 July 2009 (back to school in 29 days; 86° at 6:26am) top]

Week Ending 11 July 2009

GDT::New Word--Freemium
The other day Kathleen stated that her Picasa account was almost full and that she might pay to get more space for her pictures.

Kathleen's Picasa experience reminded of a lyric from Tom Petty's song "The Last DJ" that goes... "As we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs want to see how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free."

Picasa is an example of how many Internet-based services function: Provide users a service for free, but with limits; when the limits are hit, users pay to have the limits increased.

A couple of days after hearing Kathleen speak about Picasa, I heard for the first time the term "freemium". Again, I was reminded of Petty's lyric... "As we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs want to see how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free."

I've added Free: The Past and Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson to my reading list.

Biotech::Francis Collins Might Head the NIH
Kudos to Obama for nominating Dr. Francis Collins to head the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Given we're living in the Age of Genomics, it seems reasonable that the leader of the NIH be a guru geneticist. Collins was a leader of the Human Genome Project.

If Collins get confirmed, then this should be good news for TGen and Arizona's bioscience efforts.

Earlier this year (02009), Dr. Collins founded the non-profit BioLogos Foundation to "contribute to the public voice that represents the harmony of science and faith." In other words, I would not want to debate Collins when the topic is God. BioLogos Foundation

[Extra] The Arizona Republic's Ken Alltucker blogged about Obama's nomination of Dr. Francis Collins to head the NIH. Alltucker's posting contained the following comment from Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen's President and Research Director.

"He could come into this position at a time when there is an opportunity to move away from one-size-fits-all medicine," Trent said. "I can't think of anyone on the planet who is more useful to that process of personalizing medicine than Francis Collins."

CSTEM::Kudos to Dana Islas
Kudos to Dana Islas for receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. 87 individuals received this award and Islas was the only Arizonan.

The website says Dana Islas is with the Tucson Unified School District and she has a "Generalist/Early Childhood" certification.

22 individuals and organizations received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, but there were no award recipients from Arizona. Honors Outstanding Science, Math, Engineering Teachers and Mentors

[11 July 2009 (economics suck; 85° at 6:00am) top]

Week Ending 04 July 2009

ThurmSpeaks::The Y2.001K Problem
The Y2K problem, thanks to an outstanding effort by the computing profession, ended up being minor in scope. But, with 18 months left in the first decade of the 21st century, the Y2.001K problem remains major in scope.

People who hang out in the computing world get use to counting starting with zero; in other words, the first decade of the 21st century is decade zero. Sadly, it has been a zero decade and we remain stuck in the 20th century.

The computing profession started working on the Y2K problem during the early part of the 1990s. Upon reflection, our political leaders should have been busy at work preparing society for the 21st century, but instead they were asleep at the wheel and from what I can tell they remain in slumber mode.

A few years ago I was optimistic that decade one of the 21st century would be vastly better than decade zero, but with each passing day my optimism wanes. Right now, if we're lucky, it might take at least 1.5 decades (02016?) for us to recover from this nasty Y2.001K problem.

ThurmSpeaks::What Would Tocqueville Say Today?
On 4 July 02009, John Perry Barlow (co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a Grateful Dead song writer) tweeted the following quote by Alexis de Tocqueville: "The greatness of America lies in her ability to repair her faults." [Tocqueville died in 01859.]

Tocqueville's quote might have been true when he visited the United States back in 01831, but I'm not convinced it is true today. And if it is true in 02009, then the "repair" process seems to be dysfunctional (i.e. slow, costly and divisive).

AzRoadHacker::101 Video Clips
Earlier today I uploaded 10 video clips to YouTube to my azroadhacker account and the video count is at 101. {'s Channel}

[06 July 2009 (it's hot and humid these days; 94° at 9:35am) top]

Week Ending 27 June 2009

Quotes::Quote Collection Continues To Grow
GDT::Quotes is now at 735 quotes and counting.

There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number.
But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit!
We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call
them economical numbers.

-- Richard Feynman (01918-01988) {American physicist; more...} [numbers]

It [the Internet] is distracting. It's meaningless;
it's not real. It's in the air somewhere.

-- Ray Bradbury (01920-02012) {American novelist, short story writer, essayist; more... [Internet]

I don't believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries.
-- Ray Bradbury (01920-02012) {American novelist, short story writer, essayist; more... [education]

Sufficiently advanced political correctness is indistinguishable from sarcasm.
-- Erik Naggum (01965-02009) {computer programmer (Norway); more...} [life]

The main purpose of higher education and making all the smartest
kids from one school come together with all the smartest kids
from other schools, recursively, is to show every smart kid
everywhere that they are not the smartest kid around, that
no matter how smart they are, they are not equally smart at
everything even though they were just that to begin with, and
there will therefore always be smarter kids, if nothing else,
than at something other than they are smart at.

-- Erik Naggum (01965-02009) {computer programmer (Norway); more...} [education]

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
-- Dorothy Parker (01893-01967) {American writer and poet; more...} [curiosity]

Do not use Twitter if you think ignorance is bliss.
-- Ann Curry (01956-) {American TV news journalist; more...} [twitter]

We live in a society of one person, one vote, where progressive
taxes have been enacted precisely to weaken the winners.

-- Nicholas Taleb (01960-) {skeptical empiricist; more...} [taxes]

GDT::Erik Naggum Added To The GDT::DeadTeam
I never knew about Erik Naggum until Tim Bray tweeted that Naggum had died. I've enjoyed reading some of the stuff Naggum wrote prior to dying at the age of 44. { Naggum}

GDT::Road Trip To Earth
Tyler and I are going to do a 5-day roadtrip to Earth, Texas. {RoadHacker::Road Trip To Earth}

[27 June 2009 (June is nearing a end; 94° at 9:21am) top]

Week Ending 20 June 2009

MOTD::Summer Posting Schedule
I am finding it difficult to update the MOTD on a weekly basis this summer. For example, this posting for last week is getting posted on Wednesday instead of last Saturday (or Sunday). It doesn't matter what the MOTD posting schedule is because nobody reads this blog, but I'll do my best to update the MOTD every Saturday (or Sunday).

Math::BARS From Ohio
I took a road sign from Ohio that was sent to me by a former student and turned it into BARS::1 Mile From an Exit 12 in Ohio

Twitgoo::I'm yottagoo on Twitgoo
I've been tweeting pictures using Twitgoo. I have my Twitgoo account connected to the @yottagoo Twitter account. {}

[24 June 2009 (Hualapai Mountain Park is great; 88° at 7:13am) top]

Week Ending 13 June 2009

Quotes::Summer Quote Collection Has Been Started
GDT::Quotes is at 725 quotes and counting.

Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.
-- Chuang-Tzu (00350 B.C.) {Chinese philosopher; more... } [life]

Open source is a development methodology; free software is a social movement.
-- Richard Stallman (01953-) {American software freedom activist/hacker; more...} [FLOSS]

[...] information doesn't just want to be free. It wants to be miscellaneous.
-- David Weinberger (01950-) {from "Everything is Miscellaneous"; American technologist; more... [informatics]

The solution to the overabundance if information is more information.
-- David Weinberger (01950-) {from "Everything is Miscellaneous"; American technologist; more... [informatics]

Congratulations, good luck, and see you on Facebook!
-- Jonathan Zittrain (01970-) {HS commencement speech; Internet law professor; more...} [life/Internet]

My view is that Wikipedia and projects like it belong
at the heart of a high school and college education.

-- Jonathan Zittrain (01970-) {HS commencement speech; Internet law professor; more...} [life/Internet]

In today's words, life is largely Twitter.
-- Jonathan Zittrain (01970-) {HS commencement speech; Internet law professor; more...} [life/twitter]

Computing::I Got a Facebook Vanity URL
According to Wolfram|Alpha (the computational knowledge engine) there are 22,564 people named Thurman in the world, but only one has the URL

Math::I Proclaimed a Pi Day
I declared June 14th a Factorial Pi Day because 3! equals 6; consequently, the date 6/14 could be written 3!/14. {BAB::June 14th is a Factorial Pi Day}

[15 June 2009 (supposedly the monsoon has started; 72° at 6:41am) top]

Week Ending 06 June 2009

GDT::Disappointed With Google on D-Day
I was disappointed Google opted to honor Tetris over D-Day so I wrote a ThurmSpeaks, which also got posted to my AzFoo at blog.

ThurmSpeaks::U.S. Czars, Russia, Google, D-Day, Tetris

Math::Nine BARS and 57 Equations
We visited Joliet, Illinois, and Green Bay, Wisconsin, during Memorial Day weekend and nine BARS (Basic Arithmetic Road Signs) containing 57 equations were created. and Wisconsin BARS (Summer 2009 Break)

Computing::100 Petaflops by 2016? Exaflops by 2019?
I came across this while looking on the message board (which is usually nothing but noise).

   "If we calculate the performance predictions for the 
    TOP500 list, then we will see a 100 Petaflops system 
    most likely in the year 2016."


   "And hopefully Exascale Systems will be seen first in 2019." trends in High Performance Computing

[06 June 2009 (a break from triple digit temps in June; 73° at 8:14am) top]

Week Ending 30 May 2009

Math::Wolfram|Alpha and Google
Last year I started logging some of my Google calculator moments. This year I started logging some of my Wolfram|Alpha moments.

Math::Statistician Becoming a "Sexy" Job?
MathBabbler suspects Hal Varian is correct.

   "Hal Varian, Google's Chief Economist, was interviewed a few 
    months ago, and said the following in the McKinsey Quarterly:
    'The sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians...
     The ability to take data--to be able to understand it, to 
     process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to 
     communicate it--that's going to be a hugely important skill'" Three Sexy Skills of Data Geeks [by Michael E. Driscoll]

GDT::Facebook Photo Albums
I've been using Facebook more and that includes uploading some photos.

GDT::Tweet Tweet
334 tweets and counting...

[30 May 2009 (it's fun having the summer off; 88° at 8:55am) top]

Week Ending 16 May 2009

Computing::Wolfram|Alpha is Lives
I posted this to my AzFoo at blog on 16 May 2009.

In a nutshell, Wolfram|Alpha is 21st century Informatics at the tip of our fingers.

Wolfram makes is perfectly clear that it's not search engine; it's a computational knowledge engine, WolframAlpha uses supercomputers to do knowledge-based computing and their "long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone."


On 13 May 2009, I sent the following as an email message to the Math/Science email distribution list at SCC.

From IBM's Watson to Wolfram|Alpha...

Nano::Solar in Arizona
On 14 May 2009, I attended the "Solar in Arizona 2009 CEO Solar Forum" presented by the Arizona Nanotechnology Cluster. It was a great time and I am still working on my notes from the event.

GDT::Summer Reading List
I am hoping to read the following books during the summer of 2009.

   + "Atlas Shrugged" (parts II and III) by Ayn Rand  
   + "Bricklin on Technology" by Dan Bricklin
   + "Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder" by David Weinberger
   + "Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations" by Clay Shirky
   + "The Geek Atlas: 128 Places Where Science and Technology Come Alive" by John Graham-Cumming

I read part one of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" during December of 2008, but I had to put the book down because I was finding it too frightening (2008 realities mirroring mid-1950s fiction).

"Bricklin on Technology" is getting great reviews. Bricklin co-created the VisiCalc spreadsheet program back in 1979. [Note: I graduated from UW-Whitewater in 1970.]

I've been following David Weinberger since he co-authored the "Cluetrain Manifesto" (circa 1999).

Clay Shirky showed up on my radar as a result of an "O'Reilly Radar Interview with Clay Shirky" posted to (circa mid-February 2009). The Shirky interview begins with the following: "Clay Shirky is one of the most incisive thinkers on technology and its effects on business and society."

I'll be beyond shocked if Arizona makes an appearance in "The Geek Atlas."

Note: I follow Bricklin, Weinberger, Shirky and O'Reilly on Twitter.

MOTD::Summer Break 2009 MOTD Up and Running
The Summer 2009 MOTD is the 36th edition of the MOTD. The Spring 2009 MOTD has been added to the MOTD archive.

[16 May 2009 (summer break has officially started; 81° at 8:22am) top]

Creator: Gerald Thurman []
Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 11:17:47 MST

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