Tag Archives: derivatives

Friday Notes (Jan 28, 2022)

It’s been a minute or two since my last post. In large part, I’ve been on a three-week coding binge, moving some projects along and doing improvements and minor bug fixes on library code. At this point I’m a bit burned out and definitely over the binge. I don’t get the mood to really tuck in like this much anymore, so when that mood does strike, I surrender to it.

One consequence of not posting is that the longer I’m away from it the harder it seems to start up again. Some part of me finds this unrewarding and unsatisfying, but another part of me enjoys the writing and is drawn to it. Also, I still struggle with maintaining an artificial politeness rather than unleashing my inner guido (and I’m so tempted some days).

Anyway, without further ado, another edition of Friday Notes.

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Sideband #74: Volume and Surface Area

I’ve always had a strong curiosity about how things work. My dad used to despair how I’d take things apart but rarely put them back together. My interest was inside — in understanding the mechanism. (The irony is that I began my corporate career arc as a hardware repair technician.)

My curiosity includes a love of discovery, especially unexpected ones, and extra especially ones I stumble on myself. It’s one thing to be taught a neat new thing, but a rare delight to figure it out for oneself. It’s like hitting a home run (or at least a base-clearing double).

Recently, I was delighted to discover something amazing about spheres.

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Solar Derivative

Today is the first Earth-Solar event of 2021 — the Vernal Equinox. It happened early in the USA: 5:37 AM on the east coast, 2:37 AM on the west coast. Here in Minnesota, it happened at 4:37 AM. It marks the first official day of Spring — time to switch from winter coats to lighter jackets!

Have you ever thought the Solstices seem more static than the Equinoxes? The Winter Solstice particularly, awaiting the sun’s return, does it seem like the change in sunrise and sunset time seems stalled?

If you have, you’re not wrong. Here’s why…

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Math Books

There are many science-minded authors and working physicists who write popular science books. While there aren’t as many math-minded authors or working mathematicians writing popular math books, it’s not a null set. I’ve explored two such authors recently: mathematician Steven Strogatz and author David Berlinski.

Strogatz wrote The Joy of X (2012), which was based on his New York Times columns popularizing mathematics. I would call that a must-read for anyone with a general interest in mathematics. I just finished his most recent, Infinite Powers (2019), and liked it even more.

Berlinski, on the other hand, I wouldn’t grant space on my bookshelf.

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