Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A short blurb

Not much to say, but my wife criticized me for not blogging enough anymore so I thought I should toss something up. First off here's a link my brother-in-law sent me on how to calculate PI by throwing frozen hot dogs (hard to believe but true). Secondly is this great editorial in the WSJ by Victor Davis Hanson. It was originally given as a speech at an annual dinner to honor Churchill.

For my money the best line of the article is this, "But still, what drives Westerners, here and in Europe, to demand that we must be perfect rather than merely good, and to lament that if we are not perfect we are then abjectly bad--and always to be so unable to define and then defend their civilization against its most elemental enemies?" Good stuff, perhaps I'll comment more on it tomorrow.

Once again regretting the way my driveway is shaded from the south


Anonymous ed said...

Excuse me while I go off to Albertson's...

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now this would make a funny video.

5:05 AM  
Anonymous sti said...

This is a fairly old, and not too efficient way of estimating pi. It was explained by Pierre Simon Laplace in his book "Theorie analytique des probabilities" (1812). The probability of obtaining pi correct to 5 decimal places (3.14159) in 3400 throws is just 1.5%. This assumes there is no error in your measurement of either you hot dog, or your lines.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Ross said...

So the question is did Laplace actually use frozen hot dogs? Since modern refigeration was still decades away (though Faraday was liquifying ammonia at around this time) I assume not. I'm guessing he used something that was more plentiful, like students...

11:49 AM  

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