Friday, February 23, 2007

How Many of Me?

I went to this web site, entered my first and last names, and had it tell me how many people with my exact same name exist in the United States. Here are the results:
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I guess they have to be wrong. I'm sitting here typing this.

I then put my boyfriend Carlos's full name in. Here are his results.
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I am so glad I ended up with the one (out of 807) I ended up with!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Favorite Paradoxes

You know you’re a geek when…
You name a blog entry Favorite Paradoxes

The Birthday Paradox

I love probability. (I was even a math major for a while in college.) One example of explaining probability theory in real life is the Birthday Paradox: Given a group of 23 (or more) randomly chosen people, the probability is more than 50% that at least two of them will have the same birthday. For 60 or more people, the probability is greater than 99%.

I've tried it out at a few parties I've attended over the years, and it has always held true. Try it the next time you’re with a large group of people.

The Grandfather Paradox

I've always been fascinated with time travel. The Grandfather Paradox states: Suppose you traveled back in time and killed your biological grandfather before he met your grandmother. As a result, one of your parents (and by extension, you) would never have been conceived. But this would imply you could not have traveled back in time after all, which in turn implies your grandfather would still be alive and you would have been conceived, allowing you to travel back in time and kill your grandfather.

There are theories on how to get around this paradox – such as the creation of a parallel universe by your actions or the laws of nature forbidding the action – but I’ll have to tackle those in another entry.

I’ll leave you with this link to a web site called Temporal Anomalies in Time Travel Movies that discusses most of the popular time travel movies. I've spent hours there! I think my favorite entry at that site is the one that discusses the 1986 Disney movie Flight of the Navigator.

Tommy Shaw at Mardi Gras

Here in New Orleans, Mardi Gras is in full swing. (Mardi Gras Day is this coming Tuesday. We've had parades almost every night for the past week or so.)

Last night, Carlos and I saw Endymion, one of the largest parades. Three musical acts rode in the parade: Taylor Hicks from American Idol, the members of Journey (of whom I took some very dark, out of focus pictures) and the members of Styx. I managed to get a couple of decent pictures of Tommy Shaw on the Styx float. I didn't recognize anyone else on the float so I concentrated on getting a good shot of him. Plus, I've always thought he was hot. He still looks good for 53 years old. (Trivia: He is from Montgomery, Alabama.)

While the Styx float was passing us, the speakers were blasting "Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)", probably my favorite Styx song. It was a great moment for me, but I can image Tommy Shaw couldn't have been too happy having to listen to their songs over and over for the duration of the four hour parade.