Friday, December 30, 2011

Some Interesting Math Images

These images are a direct reflection of a variety of common transcendental mathematical functions, with output values coded in colors.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

License to Travel in Elizabethan England

In my Elizabethan mystery novel, Final Act, all the action takes place in London, but in the sequel (in production), Connolly Flynn must do a little traveling. Interesting to note that in Elizabethan England you couldn't just buy a ticket on the next carriage heading north, or rent a horse and wagon to take you to the seashore without permission, without a license in fact, obtained from the Bailiff at Guild Hall. Caught out of town without a license, you would be considered a vagrant, with unhappy results. One reason for restricting travel was to help prevent the spread of plagues and such. Also, the authorities didn't want the poor to be wandering around, going from town to town seeking handouts.

Perhaps we, in the U.S. in the 21st century ought to think about reinstating this sort of practice. It would be a great way to raise funds, if you charged for the license, without having to soak the rich. Plus, it would probably cut down on traffic on interstate highways, and lessen crowds at airports, both good things. We need forward thinking in solving our financial problems. What do you think?

I'm just asking.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

This photograph was taken in Acoma Pueblo, in New Mexico, situated on a high mesa, a wonderful setting.  Here's a view from the mesa:

Native Americans living in these pueblos may not have had any of the modern conveniences, but they had something perhaps more important...marvelous locations...and you know what real estate people say.

Do We Need More Parties?

I mean political parties. It strikes me that we in the good old U.S of A might be suffering from a lack of viable political parties, beyond the minimum of two required of a democracy. I don't have the facts at my fingertips at the moment, but I suspect that the U.S. may be the only democratic government in the world that has only two viable parties to choose from. I've noticed that in other democracies, with three or more parties, alliances are typically necessary "to form governments," meaning, "to get anything done." And shifting alliances seem to make these other systems vibrant and adaptive, whereas our two parties, always at loggerheads, can't seem to get anything done. If we had a sizable third party, they could sometimes choose to side with the Republicans, sometimes with the Democrats, both of which would have to appeal to this third party to get their support. Things would get done. Wouldn't this be better?

I'm just asking.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Guns for Everyone

I get the impression--I could be wrong--that most NRA members would like to see every law-abiding, non-crazy, adult carrying a loaded gun around with them, virtually everywhere, provided they are trained to use the weapon. I wonder, imagine yourself under these circumstances, in a nightclub, shopping center, or in a car driving on a freeway, knowing that almost everyone around you has a loaded gun on his person. Will you feel safer than you are now?

I'm just asking.