Showing posts from June, 2009

Snack food Friday

Another good day to get mail. This is my snack drawer. If you haven't already, you cam follow me in the enlightened path to not being hungry at work by visiting

SEPTA R3 Train Catches Fire

At 5:38 today, the SEPTA R3 West Trenton train 371 travelling inbound caught fire at the Neshaminy Falls stop after running over an ATV. The engineer explained that one passenger driving an off road vehicle was crossing the tracks and had become stuck as the train was approaching the station. The engineer honked the horn and the rider fled the scene, abandoning the ATV. The train was unable to stop in time and collided with the ATV, completely driving over it. This immediately caught fire with smoke visible from inside the train.

Conductors on the train instructed passengers to exit and all passengers exited all cars quickly and orderly. There were no injuries. A loud pop was audible from the fire, this was most likely a transformer exploding, according to Will Entriken, an electrical engineer onboard the train. A conductor then used the onboard fire extinguisher to put out the fire without any trouble.

Trevose Fire Co. arrived on the scene at 5:45 and assessed the situation.

Being a nerd is almost cool

Here is a chain mail I got in 2000 which will tell you if you are "Addicted to AOL", or as we now say: are a nerd. Well, according to this list, being a nerd is now a lot more popular. Red comment are mine, blue highlight shows things which are now common/not rediculous anymore.

You Might be Addicted to AOL if...

Tech Support calls You for help. Someone at work tells you a joke and you say LOL You watch T.V. with the closed cationing turned on You have called out someone's screen name while making love to your significant other You keep begging your friends to get an account so "we can hang out"
Three words: Carpal tunnel syndrome You want to meet a girl/guy and your first impulse is to turn on your computer you've ever gotten onto an airplane just to meet some folks face to face you have to get a second phone line just so you can call Domino's You have ever joined "Si habla Espanol"(spanish chat room) "just to work on my spanish" you&#…

Q: How many continents are there?

A: Seven.

However, there are some crazy people in this world who think otherwise.

You can read more here:

The new sobriety test

When police pull over a driver, they need an efficient way to
ascertain whether that person is drunk or not. Here is the new test:
Pronounce "literally"

Pennsylvania use tax - Do you pay all your taxes?


The following are illustrations of transactions that give rise to Use Tax liability. All examples presume no Sales Tax was paid at the time of purchase, and the item will be used within Pennsylvania.
This one is not surprising:

Example 1. A resident of Pennsylvania purchases a computer from a New York supply house. He incurs Use Tax liability whether he brings it into the Commonwealth himself or has it shipped to him. This  one gets a little more interesting:
Example 3. A company has offices in New York and in Pennsylvania. It sends office equipment purchased in New York to its offices in Pennsylvania. The company incurs Use Tax liability on such equipment. This one is off the wall:

Example 4. A New York firm has salesmen soliciting orders in Pennsylvania. It purchases advertising displays in New York, which it uses for promotional purposes in this Commonwealth. The company incurs Use Tax liability on such disp…

Smaller Discs to Cover the Unit Circle

Here is a paper I wrote a while back in 2003 and wanted to publish to a math magazine:

Smaller Discs to Cover the Unit Circle

It details a solution to a geometry question asked in 1962, which is better than other published answers.

Just when I finished, I looked around for more references and related work, after MathWorld and all those sources. Well, it turns out that two other people

D. Nagy, Fedesek es alkalmazasaik, M.Sc. thesis, Eotvos Lorland Univ., Budapest, 1974.
S. Krotoszyski, Covering a disk with smaller disks, Studia Sc. Math. Hungar. 28 (1993) 277[283; MR 95c:52035.

Both had published the same solution I came up with. Really, who would spend the time to solve such an esoteric problem? Nerds!