Saturday, July 30, 2011

Vitalism: alive and well

Yet another demonstration that the intuitive ideas of vitalism are alive and well. This NY Times article about Joyce's RNA self-replicator is dripping with vitalistic language starting with the title. For example: "They can make their own RNA and see if they can then breathe life into it."

Of course there is no bright line that separates the living from the inanimate -- at least they point out that "Biologists do not agree on what the definition of life should be or whether it is even useful to have one.". As Andy Ellington says: "'Life' is a word for poets, not scientists."

Geometric proof of the dot product

This is a geometric proof of the dot product that I submitted to Mathematics Magazine for the "Proof without words" section. They rightly rejected it because it's only valid for the first quadrant. Cynthia and I tried to rework it for the other quadrants but it lost its elegance so we gave up.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

(Oldish) images of my house

These are nice pics that Bruce and Anne had taken of my house soon after it was completed.