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50 Math Puzzles - Solved Using Functional Julia, my now fully reviewed, is available here

I'm not surprised that the first analyses of the first Webb data seem to indicate that galaxies in the early universe are more massive than the standard model of cosmology predicts.

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What's the strangest thing you've ever found in a book?

Here's my story...

About 20 years ago or so, I was at a Salvation Army auction one morning. They were selling of tons (literally) of junk they'd had donated to them over the last few years or so; stuff that wasn't easily sold in their actual stores. A lot of it was good stuff, too.

One thing that immediately caught my eye was a pallet (6' high, 4' wide X 4' wide) of nothing but boxed up hardcover books. I looked through some of the books in the top boxes and realized that there were some very old, and often valuable, books in this boxes. I decided I'd bid on it a bit and see where it goes.

The auctioneer kept bringing up lot after lot, but not the pallet of books. I was getting impatient by the time the morning wore on. Finally, when he'd pretty much sold everything that was in the yard back there that morning, he brought up the pallet of books. There was only a small crowd of folks left by then (about 20 or so). He described the contents of the pallet briefly by saying, "Here you go, folks... a bunch of books".

He looked around at the faces in the crowd and said, "I'm opening the bidding at one dollar." I about shit myself. I bid the $1 immediately to get things rolling. Well, after I bid, he looked around and said, "Once, twice, sold that man there for $1." I just laughed... and wondered how the Hell I was going to get this pallet home and what I was going to do with all those books.

When I asked the auctioneer afterwards why he'd let it go so cheaply, he said, "Did you see anyone trampling you to get in a bid?" I said no, I didn't. His reply, with a smirk on his face, was, "Gotta' know your audience in this job."

Well, needless to say, I got the books home and spent a few years going through them and selling some, giving some away, etc. However, that's not the point of this story. The point was finding things in books. So, with that in mind...

There were quite a few books in this collection that had the name of a fellow in them. His name was Charles Lounsbury. He was evidently a well-educated man; many of his books were text books from Cornell University. Anyway, whilst thumbing through one of them one day, a small business card fell out into my lap. It was a dentist's appointment card for Mr. Lounsbury. It also had his address and phone number on it.

Just for grins and giggles, I called the number on the card. An older-sounding man answered on the first ring. I said "Hello" and gave my name. I then asked the fellow if he was Charles Lounsbury. He said he was indeed. I told him about all the books I'd bought and how I had found this dentist appointment card in one of them. He was BLOWN AWAY immediately upon hearing about the books.

He told me that his sister had possession of his personal library at the time of her death, but he had not spoken with her in many years. When she died, it seems that someone cleaning out her house had donated all her possessions, including Charles' books, to the Salvation Army. Mr Lounsbury was very interested in possibly seeing his books again. He was wanting to leave some of them to his grandchildren upon his demise.

I made a date for him to drive from Sarasota, FL up to my home in Tampa and take whichever of his books he wanted back. The following Saturday he showed up. He was absolutely amazed to find all his books in the middle of my living room (huge stack of books, here's a sampling):

Anyway, he picked out 10 of 15 of his prized books and asked if he could take them. I, of course, said yes... for sure. After that we sat and had some coffee and he told me his life story. It was a wonderful afternoon! Charles and I became pretty good friends after that for about 10 or so years, until his death at age 88.

It's amazing, sometimes, the things you find in books. :)

*This posting previously published on my blog:

Nocturnal Slacker v2.0 | Letters to the void…

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The Free Astronomy Wiki

Free #software for #astronomy is discussed and documented, whether they are related to:
• Telescope and other device control, autoguiding, autofocus, filter wheel commands, and so on.
• Cartography, all kinds of sky maps, particularly including telescope control features (GoTo).
• Image processing.

#FreeSoftware #OpenSource

New Age Bullshit Generator

from the intro:
"So, what is this for? Put it on your website as placeholder text. Print it out as a speech for your yoga class and see if anyone can guess a computer wrote it. Use it to write the hottest new bestseller in the self-help section, or give false hope to depressed friends and family members."

from the comments:
"Hello, this is the best bullshit I’ve heard in 3 years!"
"I've been arguing with someone on linkedin with this page...thanks I think I'm winning."
"This is the best! I can now get revenge on all my acquaintances who aggressively post mindless affirmations every single bloody day of the year."

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This is supposed to be the Mastodon profile of my music project, so I should probably write a couple of words about it :

ΑΛΓ is a one-man project under open license that started in 2008. The music is mostly alternative rock.

That’s all.

Official website :

Also available here :

#music #rock #alternativerock #openmusic #openlicense #creativecommons #ccbyncsa #ΑΛΓ

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> Posing as a scholar, a Chinese woman spent years writing alternative accounts of medieval Russian history on Chinese Wikipedia, conjuring imaginary states, battles, and aristocrats in one of the largest hoaxes on the open-source platform.

A Bored Chinese Housewife Spent Years Falsifying Russian History on Wikipedia

Although Faraday received little formal education, he was one of the most influential scientists in history. It was by his research on the magnetic field around a conductor carrying a direct current that Faraday established the basis for the concept of the electromagnetic field in physics. Faraday also established that magnetism could affect rays of light and that there was an underlying relationship between the two phenomena. He similarly discovered the principles of electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism, and the laws of electrolysis. His inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices formed the foundation of electric motor technology, and it was largely due to his efforts that electricity became practical for use in technology. ..."

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