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Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
|When it's springtime in Alaska it's forty below
I'm a slow person to give up on something, as you might guess from the fact that I'm still on Usenet For Crying Out Loud. That said, I think I have to give up on our pond heater. I've been finding it caught in higher volcanoes of ice, frozen over and helpless, lately, and I suspect that my pouring hot water onto it to melt it out is only making matters worse, since the water has to freeze --- and so expand --- and go somewhere, which will be over the heater itself. I thought the heater --- giving out 100 Watts, about an old-fashioned light bulb's heat --- was warm, but that might just be that it's a black object in the sun, set against ice, so it might be no tribute to the electrical system that it was a bit warm.
If all goes well, though, this is going to be a problem only for a couple more days. The forecast is for chilly tomorrow and Friday (highs in the 20s Fahrenheit) and for cold Thursday (15 degrees), but after that highs above freezing come about. Even the lows start getting close to freezing from Monday. With a spot of luck we might not need to deal with the pond heater issue just now.
Meanwhile, have you been following my mathematics blog, as an RSS feed or on your friends page? If you haven't you missed pieces including these, of late:
- How To Count Fish, which appeared in the last roundup, but is a prelude to
- How To Re-Count Fish, which describes some shortcomings of the above method. Then there's
- Reading the Comics, February 20, 2015: 19th-Century German Mathematicians Edition, which really just name-drops a couple 19th-Century German mathematicians, and
- Reading the Comics, February 24, 2014: Getting Caught Up Edition, when I did, briefly, catch up with all the comics, in time for
- How Not To Count Fish, or why the method described in previous posts wouldn't work. Then on to
- Reading the Comics, February 28, 2015: Calendar Reform Edition, (spoiler: it doesn't get reformed), and a review of
- How February 2015 Treated My Mathematics Blog, just before establishing
- How To Build Infinite Numbers the 19th-Century German mathematician's way.
Trivia: Benoit Mandelbrot's study of the Dow Jones Industrial Average daily totals, 1916 to 2003, found 1,001 days when the Dow moved more than 3.4 percent. If Dow movements followed a standard normal distribution there should have been 58. There were 366 days of swings greater than 4.5 percent; a bell curve would produce six. On 48 days the Dow moved more than 7 percent; a bell curve distribution would see one every 300,000 years.
Source: How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities, John Cassidy.
Currently Reading: The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution, Barbara W Tuchman.