Month: February 2009

Predictably Irrational

I generally find that non-fiction works are difficult to follow in the audiobook format. Perhaps it’s because non-fiction books remind the reader of college lectures, so there’s an impulse to take notes. Perhaps it’s because they tend to be dryer… Read More ›

Special K, a.k.a. sugar

While I suppose this probably isn’t news to anyone else, it was to me. Yesterday Barbara picked up a granola bar labeled Kellogg’s® Special K Bliss™. Note that Special K comes with “a variety of delicious options to kick-start a… Read More ›

Cries and Whiskers

Generally I stay away from mysteries that feature cats. They tend to be too cute, with anthropomorphized felines that solve crimes or even talk. But Clea Simon’s Cries and Whiskers avoids those pitfalls. Aside from featuring cats, this novel also… Read More ›

Everything is Miscellaneous

For years now I’ve been fascinated and bothered by hierarchical systems of organization, starting with the Dewey Decimal System and progressing to typical org charts in businesses and hierarchical file systems on computers. On the one hand, the systematic structure… Read More ›


Thanks to the wonders of Tivo, Barbara and I were able to watch the opening episode of Dollhouse, “Ghost”, a few days late. It turned out to be part fun and part obligation — fun because it’s Joss Whedon, and… Read More ›

The Numbers Behind Numb3rs

My students sometimes ask me whether the mathematics in the television show Numb3rs is real. This question, among others, is explored in a fascinating book, The Numbers behind Numb3rs: Solving Crime with Mathematics, by mathematicians Keith Devlin and Gary Lorden…. Read More ›