[T]he levels being seen now are 25 times below the level that would be of concern even for infants, pregnant women or breastfeeding women, who are the most sensitive to radiation… At this time, there is no need to take extra precautions… Iodine-131 disappears relatively quickly in the environment.
In the course of my bloggy spring cleaning, I’ve made some terrible discoveries. Some of my favorite resources have disappeared off the internet. Or perhaps they’ve moved, and I just haven’t found their new homes.
Do you know where these websites went?
A Very Short History of Mathematics
This irreverant romp through the history of mathematics by W. W. O. Schlesinger and A. R. Curtis was read to the Adams Society (St. John’s College Mathematical Society) at their 25th anniversary dinner, Michaelmas Term, 1948.
Still on course with my state-sponsored blog overhaul, and Google Reader insists on displaying every old post as new. What a nuisance! The email feed seems unaffected. (And not everyone is having the problem with Reader, either — see Comments below.)
Amazon won the reader poll (and it’s my favorite, too), so I’m converting all my old affiliate book links to just-plain Amazon links. At the same time, I’m checking for dead links and other dust bunnies among the old posts. I’ve worked my way up to June 2007 — four more years to go — and then I’ll start on my blogroll (a monster task!) and other pages.
Like normal housecleaning, it never ends …
Does Anyone Know Where the La Habra Math Timeline Went?
The worst news so far is that the La Habra Math History Timeline has disappeared. What a shame! Does anyone out there know where it might have gone? I would love to link to its new site.
Thanks to the Wayback Machine, here’s a glimpse at the old site. Math discoveries, publications, and other tidbits — from paleolithic number bones to the present:
36 has long been one of my favorite numbers, but faced with this carnival, it was hard to figure out why. It’s a square number that’s a product of two squares, but that’s not too rare. (Why?) It’s the 6th perfect square and the sum of the first six odds, but that’s not too remarkable. (Why?) It’s the 8th triangular number, but not a Sierpinski step or anything… wait! It’s a square triangular number? How common is that? 1, 36, then…?
In the process of updating old book links (and otherwise cleaning up old posts), I’ve been spending more time than normal at the bookstore. I just noticed that Raymond Smullyan’s What Is the Name of This Book? is scheduled to come out this August — and it’s already available for pre-order. WooHoo!
Thanks to our insolvent state government, I need to go back and change all my book links. I never made much from the Amazon affiliate program, but it usually managed to cover Kitten’s school books. Oh, well, at least they haven’t closed the public libraries … yet …
Since I’m changing the old links anyway, I thought I’d give you all a chance to voice your opinions. Shall I continue to reference Amazon.com, or would you rather my book links took you to Barnes & Noble?
P.S.: For my rss subscribers, I apologize for the flood of old posts. Every time I make a change, it seems the feed releases the post anew. I’m afraid this will continue for a few weeks, since I’m using the affiliate mess as an excuse to do other long-neglected blog clean-up tasks as well. With 596 published posts, that will take awhile. I hate housecleaning!
I can recall the deep satisfaction I felt on the all-too-rare occasions at school when the concepts or formulas fell into place. It seemed an entirely different discipline from writing, where something arises from a blank page through a combination of hard work and patience, with a sliver of creativity.
With math, the experience is more like discovering something that’s always existed and finally decided to stop playing hard-to-get.
We have an interesting discussion going in the comments on The Problem with Manipulatives. I mentioned a vague memory of a quotation. Now I’ve found the source.
Originally published in 1970:
The continuing hullabaloo about the “new math” has given many a parent a false impression. What was formerly a dull way of teaching mathematics by rote, so goes the myth, has suddenly been replaced by a marvelous new technique that is achieving miraculous results throughout the nation’s public schools.
I wish it were true — even if only to the extent implied by entertainer (and math teacher) Tom Lehrer in his delightfully whimsical recording on “The New Math”:
“In the new approach, as you know, the important thing is to understand what you’re doing, rather than to get the right answer.”
… Indeed, there is something to be said for the old math when taught by a poorly trained teacher. He can, at least, get across the fundamental rules of calculation without too much confusion. The same teacher trying to teach new math is apt to get across nothing at all…