Prime Twins

This is fascinating. Which is funny, considering I got dragged kicking and screaming through the watered down calculus they offer people who aren’t math majors. Of course, that was partly a matter of it being mandated for my major, and partly my not seeing how it was necessary. On the other hand, in high school I almost got moved retroactively into the advanced math program because I was a geometry star in 10th grade. I tend to need to grok some of the principles before I can go on, and if I am disinterested, I won’t work at the nuts and bolts.

I recently taught my nine year old daughter what prime numbers are. She’s in third grade, being introduced to multiplication, except I introduced her to that long ago. She has become more interested in math at school, now that it’s gotten to that, except she’s already toying with division, and at home she and the younger two play with negative numbers and square roots.

What’s particularly interesting here, beside that I did not know there was a concept called twin primes, is that this touches on concepts in addition, that most basic of functions. I love that the solution is by a complete unknown, confusing the establishment by coming out of nowhere.

Fear the Media Meltdown

Not the nuclear one! Great and detailed sense and information on what is actually happening, what dosages mean, and the media and anti-nuke industry reaction have been. It’s not nothing, but it’s not Chernobyl and can’t be, nor is it Three Mile Island. But then, from what I understood, seemingly refuted by all the references to it, is that Three Mile Island wasn’t even “Three Mile Island.” In the sense of an “OMG we’re all gonna die and let’s no never again build plants” event that, hey look, the media and the anti-nuke industry again, wanted us to believe. Yes, I said “industry,” since any such reasonably organized and financed cadre of people for a cause, non-profit or not, amount to an industry, and will tenaciously cling to and attempt to expand upon their mission. Witness the MADD rush from drunk driving awareness to neo-prohibitionism.

I fear for the nuclear renaissance and the pending explosion (poor choice of word!) of new and vastly improved reactors, leading us away from our excess dependence on wood coal whale oil petroleum.