A Few Truly Special Jackie Robinson Stories–Reblogged, With a Timely Update

NOTE: Each year, April 15th is celebrated as Jackie Robinson Day, a tribute to a great athlete and great American. That day in 1947 marked Robinson's entrance into major league baseball as the first Black player--amid threats against his life. We are being challenged now by efforts to prevent schoolchildren from learning about Jackie Robinson, … Continue reading A Few Truly Special Jackie Robinson Stories–Reblogged, With a Timely Update

The Giving Season In–and For–Ukraine

https://twitter.com/zelenskyyua/status/1599162627908722688?s=51&t=cTYFiiJPa9YsGqGR8dbAZQ Tweet From President ZelenskyPresident Zelensky's message evoked an emotional reaction from me. Despite the appearance of normality in his tweet, the harsh winter has begun. Its impact has been worsened by the brutal Russian attacks not only on civilians, but also on the sources of heat and electricity. Nevertheless, the Ukrainian freedom fighters are … Continue reading The Giving Season In–and For–Ukraine

From Obama to Trump: Dr. Jill Biden’s Remarks Got Me Thinking…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8oJ_-xvnDs Barack and Michelle Obama's return to the White House for the unveiling of their portraits was a joyous occasion. It was also evocative in any number of ways—most notably, a reminder of the importance of peaceful rituals involving the transfer of power. If you haven’t seen any of the coverage, I’ve included above the … Continue reading From Obama to Trump: Dr. Jill Biden’s Remarks Got Me Thinking…

Fame and Adversity, Love and Grace

I'm not one to look to entertainers for personal heroism. And I'm certainly aware that the made-for-public-consumption exteriors often hide some fairly unpleasant human beings. But I've long found musician Jon Batiste--a jazz pianist best known as the "Stay Human" band leader for Stephen Colbert's program--to be an extremely appealing guy: upbeat and open, seemingly … Continue reading Fame and Adversity, Love and Grace

Here’s a Guy Who Really Made Good Use of His Time!

Nobody would ever accuse me of being a math whiz, though I do feel I have skills some of my younger acquaintances lack: I eschew a calculator on occasion to make sure the various cortices of my brain responsible for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division get a little workout.

You just never know when your battery may run down while you’re stranded on a desert island and have an immediate need to balance your checkbook.

Oh, and there’s another mathematical task that I’ve mastered. An older friend told me not long ago that physicians who are concerned that a patient may be in the early stages of dementia will test mental agility by asking said patient to subtract backwards from 100—by 8s. I’ve gotten quite facile at that effort—and have moved on to 7s with similar success.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I’m inviting you to join me in exploring a story that involves number theory—a deep dive that I have no business whatsoever attempting. But my friend Allan, who excels in math, knows I like quirky stories and thoughtfully sent me this one, which appeared in Popular Mechanics.