PI day 2009

And here it is again. The celebration of that beautiful number, the mathematical uniqueness that occurs in our life repeatedly, whether you realize it or not. This is PI day: Mar 14 (3.14).

Since I’ve been doing this the past few years, I’m not going to repeat all the fun facts about PI. But I will nevertheless give you some more interesting facts and links I found recently.

1) The Pi day Sudoku puzzle.

2) Things that equal Pi. Btw, the 360 blog has some really interesting posts and you should definitely subscribe to it.

3) Oh and of course, the recent appreciation of the reverent number even by politicians. Check this out.

4) And if you want to buy some swag for your PI day party, I suggest getting these beautiful PI shaped ice maker.

5) Update: Just found out that old Al’ was born on PI day. How fitting ?! Thanks to Neatorama for the piece of trivia.

Hmm.. Another year. Another day. Time is flying I tell you …

Yummy. Try this Zimmern.

Over the past few months, I’ve become a huge fan of the ‘No Reservations’ show by Bourdain on Travel channel and to an extent, Andrew Zimmern’s ‘Bizarre Foods’. So of course, I’ve also started scourging the net for some really weird dishes to cook and absurd delicacies of different cultures.

But every now and then, I do find something that makes me say WTF ?! And here’s a good one: Tasty treat: Sea otter boogers.

Mmmm… Purple.

1

Some pun with math

An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders a beer. The second orders half a beer. The third, a quarter of a beer. The bartender says “You’re all idiots”, and pours two beers.

A nice unfolding of the following infinite series expansion:

Infinite series

This is a very simple result. Can’t see it ? Work it out.

Anglerfish

Given the reputation of being the ugliest animal on the planet, I had to look up more details on the Anglerfish. Here’s a picture and some details about this deep-sea carnivorous fish.

Nevertheless, what caught my interest, apart from their fantastic and gory looking appearance is the following fact:

The male, which is significantly smaller than the female, has no need for such an adaptation. In lieu of continually seeking the vast abyss for a female, it has evolved into a permanent parasitic mate. When a young, free-swimming male angler encounters a female, he latches onto her with his sharp teeth. Over time, the male physically fuses with the female, connecting to her skin and bloodstream and losing his eyes and all his internal organs except the testes. A female will carry six or more males on her body.

Anglerfish – National Geographic.

Anglerfish – Wikipedia.

Anglerfish of the Abyss.

Why we kiss

I recently read an article on the Scientific American on “Why we kiss” and it is interestingly controversial. Fortunately, it does address some of the common questions I’ve heard before and hence, this might be interesting enough to read on a sunday afternoon.

One of the first questions that is answered is “Why do we do it ?”

Excerpt from the article:

Whatever else is going on when we kiss, our evolutionary history is embedded within this tender, tempestuous act. In the 1960s British zoologist and author Desmond Morris first proposed that kissing might have evolved from the practice in which primate mothers chewed food for their young and then fed them mouth-to-mouth, lips puckered. Chimpanzees feed in this manner, so our hominid ancestors probably did, too. Pressing outturned lips against lips may have then later developed as a way to comfort hungry children when food was scarce and, in time, to express love and affection in general. The human species might eventually have taken these proto-parental kisses down other roads until we came up with the more passionate varieties we have today.

Well, that makes a lot of sense. I believe that a lot of the actions we perform are deeply influenced by what animals did out of survival which later became acts of luxuries and a part of social behavior itself. So I’ll leave this at that.

Another interesting quote from he article is as follows:

“Kissing,” said evolutionary psychologist Gordon G. Gallup of the University at Albany, State University of New York, “involves a very complicated exchange of information—olfactory information, tactile information and postural types of adjustments that may tap into underlying evolved and unconscious mechanisms that enable people to make determinations … about the degree to which they are genetically incompatible.” Kissing may even reveal the extent to which a partner is willing to commit to raising children, a central issue in long-term relationships and crucial to the survival of our species.

There are few other interesting tidbits of information about how human sensory organs behave and the reactions of the brain during a kiss. Useless, but fascinating nonetheless.

Well anyway, at the end of the day, it really does not matter what these studies come up with for results. Since perceptions are averaged over thousands of people and there is a high probability that me or you do not perceive like any of them or the person you kiss, all you can do is read it and move on 🙂

I probably evolved from Cockroach

I am not sure if I should be happy or sad about this recent finding. Apparently, Cockroaches are quite intelligent during the night while are quite retarded during the early hours of the day. Well, the article reminds me of someone I know. ME !

Yes. I would like to think that I am probably one of those weird offsprings in the evolution of nature, adapted to live quite contended during the night while needing adequate amounts of caffeine to keep myself awake during the day. And hence, productivity suffers as a function of my clock.

Sadly, most people around me are quite happy working during the day, causing me great distress. If only everyone didn’t evolve individually, they’d all be just like me, loving their wonderful nocturnal life. But then, where will the vagary in nature come from 😉