Bill P. Godfrey et al

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Just close your eyes and then remember...

When I was around 12 years old, I bought a copy of "The Greatest Hits Of 1985" made of pop records by various people. There was one song on it that I had never heard of before. I recall playing it over and over, including doing nothing else for 5 hours one day.

Years passed. I stumbled upon this collection of promo videos from the 1980s (JWZ) including the one that dominated that year of my life.

All I can think of now is that one of them looks a lot like a girl I fancied when I was 16. Its a funny old world.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Remember, I don't actually live there.

Here's a game for Americans. For each US state, drag and drop it into its location.

Here's my score...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

My old university in the news

Its not often you see your old university in the news, but Coventry University is to run a MSc course in the paranormal. Woooooooo! (BBC, James Randi)

Sounds worrying like an episode of Most Haunted.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Life, the Universe, and small furry things that go "wheet wheet wheet"

Sometimes, sometimes you find yourself stuck in some sort of never-going-anywhere vortex. Your days and nights blend incoherently; and it's all work. Wake up, work. Go to work, work. Get home, work. Sleep, work. Scream silently to yourself, the silence shattering as the sound resonates like a cheap tuning fork. Then the work stops. The work stops and you find that you're still screaming in your head. Like an addict the addiction gone and you just need another hit. You smoke. Not like a chimney, just a little. Enough to get a bit of a buzz, but not enough so that you're addicted, again. You don't want to be addicted, again. Not to those cancersticks of doom and gloom and ultimately, inevitably painful lingering death. Your family plans to do things, to move away from you, to leave the country. Then they don't. Then they may not move at all; or maybe they will. All the time the scream in your head is still sounding. Still pounding. Still ...

... You find that you like someone, that you like them a lot; but they leave the country. And you find yourself questioning things. I thought that one thing was true; but maybe it is? Exceptions and rules; and cancersticks and sorrow.

My furry friend, George, he goes "wheet, wheet, wheet" - a short life he has, but, he is very happy; very sweet. He reminds me of Bill. Which probably makes a lot of sense.

... I think my inner scream is hoarse. It's quiet now; but the space has been filled with the void of apathy. I'm going to try and fill it with better things; I really should do.

That's all.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Happy log(birthday)!

How old are you? I'm in my early thirties.

Ask a child, and you'll probably get an get an answer accurate to nearest month.
I'm six and nine months!
-- A hypothetical 6 year old.
And nine months!
-- A hypothetical 6¾ year old. (Sorry)
To a six year old, those nine months are a ninth of that person's life. Yet as adults, we cheerfully mush our ages into broad periods covering many years. At the other end of the scale, ask a parent the age of a new born and your answer will probably be in the order of days.

So goes the idea that a person's age is on a logarithmic scale, even if we use the linear "years old" scale in everyday life.

A quick aside for those of us who don't know a logarithm from an exponent. The log function can take a linear value (such as the number of years) and turn it into the base 10 logarithmic equivilent. You can experiment with the log function using Google's calculator function.
Notice that log(x) can be reversed with 10x. So to find log(x)=3, we calculate 103, which is 1000.

We also see this idea at work when talking about age differences in relationships. A ten year difference for someone over 40 is unremarkable, but a 20 year old might say "That's would be like me dating a ten year old!" But its not really like that at all.

(When dealing with human relationships, I found that the calculations make more sense if we start at puberty, which I arbitarily fixed at exactly 13 years old. If you are y years old, we should use x=log(y-13) and y=(10x)+13 in this context.)

To calculate the age difference in post-puberty-log-years of our 40 and 30 year old couple, we calculate;
0.200914843 log-years

To find the equivilent younger partner for our 20 year old, we find that person's age in post-puberty-log-years, subtract 0.2 log-years, finally converting that back into regular years.

10(log(20-13)-0.200914843)+13 = 17 (ish) years old

This article started out as discussion of the mathematics of reporting financial news and making investment decisions. Its a funny old world. (And don't worry about age differences so much.)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

When Daleks Attack

Doctor Who set to Lemon Demon. Does life get any better than this?

Monday, May 01, 2006

I like big butts...

and I cannot lie.