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Showing posts from July, 2016

Friday Funnies: Dog Days of Summer

L.A. public pools don’t have lifeguards—[they] have life coaches. If they see you struggling in the water, they say, “Are you happy with the decisions you’re making?” and give you a pamphlet for a yoga studio. ~ Craig Ferguson – – A commuter train from New York to Washington DC suddenly lost power and slowed down to a crawl. The conductor comes on the intercom. "Good news and bad news.The bad news is we've lost power and are coming to a stop. The good news… You're on a train not an airplane." – – We use a really strong sunblock when we go to the beach with the kids. It’s SPF 80: You squeeze the tube, and a sweater comes out. ~ Lew Schneider – – Summer has the dumbest names for holidays. What day do we try to get everyone together? Independence Day. What day does everyone have off work? Labor Day. – – A shepherd was teaching his apprentice "Lad, how many sheep are in the field?" After a moment the apprentice said "18". "Well done, now round t

I'm Disabled and I Can Prove It

I'm disabled.  I was born in 1970. About a year later I was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. I never walked. I got my first wheelchair at kindergarten age, and my first power wheelchair in sixth grade. Yet, around 4 to 6 times per year I have to, for one reason or another, prove that I'm disabled. Granted, I'm 5 feet nothin', 112 pounds and sit in an electric wheelchair, but apparently that's just anecdotal evidence… We need science! The Good Doctor Every couple months I have to send my physician a form and ask him to fill it out. He has to state that I have spinal muscular atrophy, identify the diagnosis date, explained that my prognosis is something akin to "ain't getting better any time soon" and sign it. With new Medicare regulations, the good doctor is not allowed to sign the said form without seeing me "face-to-face" to prevent fraud. Although I'm extraordinarily healthy, hospitalized last in 1996

Juno to Jupiter: The Mind Blowing Math of NASA

Jupiter as seen by Hubble telescope, courtesy of NASA I remember sitting in Mr. Taylor's math class. Frankly, I was always pretty good. Geometry and trigonometry came easy to me. Algebra and calculus required much more effort. Most of what I learned came from studying with a good friend of mine, Addison. In college my math helped me understand macroeconomics, and Addison went on to manage a company focused on Big Data . We were pretty good at the maths. NASA, however does mind blowing math. August 5, 2011 they launched a satellite at Jupiter . On July 4 of this year, while Addison and I were both celebrating independence with friends, him on the West Coast and me in the east, the geeks at NASA couldn't take the day off. Mind Blowing Math Level I Launching a satellite on a rocket isn't quite like shooting a gun. If you shoot a rifle, most of us could hit the target after half a dozen practice shots. A pistol is much more challenging because your barrel is sho