Random Thursday: A Random Sequence of Wondrous Nerdity

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

Health continues dicey in the Wesson household, but there’s still time between coughs, sneezes and epic sprints to the bathroom to laugh, squee, and gasp at some pretty cool stuff.

Tablets and smartphones help, I won’t lie . . .


I Knew It!

Proof of Gandalf

I’m also willing to consider that the role wears the actors, instead of the other way around.

Because I like giving myself cold chills, apparently.


Soup Ness Monsters!

I don’t usually feel the urge to hug kitchen tools, but . . .

Loch Ness Ladles

These insanely adorable utensils are available at Animi Causa, but they’re (understandably) on backorder until late February.

Like that’s gonna stop me.


Does this come with the Mother of All Mimosas?

Game of Scones

‘Cause I’d avoid the Joffrey Wine Spritzer, were I you.


Fibonacci in Motion

Fibonacci’s Sequence, for those unfamiliar with Spongebob Squarepants’s house, is a string of numbers—or their spatial or physical equivalents—with each digit created by adding the previous two:   1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89 and so on.

Or, in the case of John Edmark’s mathematical sculptures, stunningly beautiful, especially when you take ’em for a spin.

For an added layer of cool, these were created on a 3D printer.  I know.


I was Just Thinking . . .

Dragon Pumpkin

If Smaug is trapped inside the Cinderella story,
does that mean that somewhere in the Lit’verse
Bilbo Baggins is matching wits against a giant Wicked Stepmother.
hoping she has a heart to hit?
And if so, whom do we blame?
Misfiring Godmothers?
Unregulated Bibbity-bobbity-boos?
If the Arkenstone turns out to be a glass Manolo Blahnik,
Will all the gold of Erebor
Be enough to pay for Thorin’s therapy
When it fits Thranduil’s perfect foot?

 (Indy?  John?  Did I just . . . poem?)


 Just say Moo

This video makes me unreasonably happy.



Random Thursday: Cold Noses, Yummy Math, and Insanely Brilliant Artists*

 Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.



Writer Error Messages

I don’t remember who sent me the link to Maggie Stievater’s collection of
Novelist Error Messages.

Writer Error Messages2

But thank you!

(Click on the images for the rest of them—and follow her Tumblr while you’re there, ’cause she’s Maggie Stievater )


Fractal Pancakes!

Fractal Pancakes

Nathan Shields of Saipancakes can make pancakes look like anything.

You want Santa’s Reindeer?

You want Sports?

You want the cast of the Hobbit?

You want a seriously delicious Time Suck?

Check out his site.


The True Meaning of Christmas

As seen through the eyes of an older sibling.

Yeah . . . That’s about how I remember it, too, but I thought I’d check with Jane, since the memory would be more recent.

She just sighed, shook her head and walked away.


I Don’t Care, as Long as it Covers My Nose.

A fabulous knitmare of a FaceHugger, by Knitrocious

Nice Warm Facehugger

I’m serious about the nose thing—though I did finally  let my hair grow out enough so I don’t have to choose between taking out all five pairs of earrings or risking frostbite this year.

I don’t have a pierced nose—the beauty of small, bulbous potatoes cannot be  further enhanced even by the careful placement of a single jewel, plus I wear glasses to write—but there’s a wind chill advisory going on right now, and on the five minute walk between the library and my car, most of that advised wind blew straight up my nostrils and into my brain.



The Beauty of Mathematics in Motion

“Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music.”  —Bertrand Russell

Speaking of “rightly viewing,” WordPress apparently won’t allow me to embed Vimeo anymore, so if you want a full screen that isn’t fuzzy—and I highly recommend it—here’s a link to the original, by the brilliant Yann Pineill & Nicolas Lefaucheux.

You can see the sugar cube hit the caffeine a lot better that way.


*Please for to note the exactly order of the last two descriptors.  Thank you.

A Randomly Mathematical Thanksgiving Thursday

It’s Random Thursday time again, even though the little map on my stats page suggests that most of you probably won’t be reading this until Friday, what with all the cooking and carbo-loading and the tryptophan overdosing and dishwashing and so forth.

But that’s okay, since this post isn’t going to be all that random, either.

Jane, my ten-year old, who is addicted to the Youtube offerings of mathemusician Vihart,* showed me this video a couple of days ago:

“That’s perfect!” I said.  “Does she have any side dishes?”

“Sure,” she said, clicking. “There’s Mathed Potatoes . . . ”

” . . . Or a Green Bean Matherole.”

“Wow,” I said. “Let me guess–Pi for dessert?”

“Well . . . Yeah, but that one gets really complicated. I want tau, instead.”

“What’s tau?” I asked, having passed trig by the grace of an extremely generous bell curve.

She grinned.  “TWO pi.”

Tau Pie


*And ASAPScience, MinutePhysics, and, unfortunately, Myfroggystuff, because she likes math and science, but her heart and piggy bank belong to the American Girl® Company.

Random Thursday: Math, Books, and Math Books

A lot of math stuff arrived in my inbox this week . .  .


Tasty, Tasty Math

Math Is Awesome

Jane is learning to reduce and add and otherwise manipulate fractions.

It’s hilarious to watch.

“I can’t do these,” she says, gripping her pencil.  “They’re stupid and I’m too dumb to work them . . .”  She pauses and fills in four in a row.  ” . . . and they don’t make sense.  I mean, what’s 7 times 9 anyway?  Sixty-six,” she mutters.

“Wait a minute,” I say.  “Sixty-six doesn’t sound right.”

“Sixty-three plus three, Mom, but it’s really 9 over 11—see?  Do I have to do the bonus questions?  I’m not going to get them right.”

“Try one.  Just make the bottom numbers the same—“

“And stack ’em, yeah, yeah . . . done.  Thank heavens.”

“See?” I say.  “You complained about how you couldn’t do these,  and tore right through them while you griped.  You’re a cranky, little math whiz.”

“I am?”  She reaches for her next assignment.  “I don’t really get vocabulary-based reading comp.  I can’t do the questions . . .

“Sorry,” I said.  “It only works for math.”



Gandalf, Take Me Away!

Gandalf--take me away!

Or, you know, earlier.

Coincidentally, my MIL is coming back Sunday . . .


Take it One Page at a Time

Booking it

The romance panel was not fit for a family blog . . .


Hey, an Award is an Award

My friend Wendy S. Russo tagged me in her the Alternative Booker Award post, for which I’m supposed  to share my five personal favorite books.

This isn’t a post, it’s  Mission Impossible—five, Wendy? Only five?!

I told my husband and he shook his head.  “I don’t think you can do that,” he said.  “Not you.”

In the end, I limited myself to the most recent fiction Flotsam Books I’ve touched.  I’ve explained my theory of flotsam books before— the comfort reads that I pick up at random (HEY-o!) due to proximity and merge with as I move around the house before I resurface, put them down, and wander off.  They’re in constant motion like literary seaweed caught in a tidal loop, though there’s a definite tide pool in the bathroom.

So, I scribbled down the last five I know I’ve encountered:

Monstrous Regiment Of Women by Laurie R. King — This is the second of Ms. King’s Mary Russell / Sherlock Holmes series and the one I return to, over and over.  Set slightly after the first World War, Russell and Holmes investigate the charismatic leader of a suffragist enclave, whose cause has benefited from the deaths of several of her well-to-do followers.  While Russell infiltrates the group, she struggles with her faith in science, her skepticism of spirituality, and her feelings about Holmes.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien — Do I really need to explain this one?

Night Watch by Terry Pratchett — No one does satire like Mr. Pratchett.  Here, he does The French Revolution, corruption, and law enforcement, using a time slide, a serial killer, and one of my favorite characters in any and all universes, Commander Samuel Vimes.  You can’t start with this one, but working up to it is a treat and a half.

Double Deuce by Robert B. Parker — Spenser, Hawk, ghettos, racism, drive-by shootings, psychological social explorations, and, as always, relative justice.

Last Hot Time by John M. Ford —  A young man escaping from his post-apocalyptic small town discovers himself in an alternate Chicago populated with hustlers, mobsters, master magicians, and elves with tommy guns. This may actually be my favorite book.

Now I have to pass on the agony of indecision to five other bloggers—only five, Wendy?  Really?

Lisa Blackman of Semi-Educational Reviews

Lyra of Lyrical MeanderingsBook Explosion

Downith of writeitdown-ith

Mike A. of heylookawriterfellow

MSB of macdougalstreetbaby

Let’s see how they do with this challenge!


I’m Dating Myself With This One, But . . .

Heck, I’m not even sure it’s really Thursday . . .

Random Thursday is back!

Jewel Quest: Sleepless Star is my new favorite way to waste time.  I don’t even bother with lies about percolating plotlines any more.  I’m addicted.

It’s not just the spatial puzzles or the click of the shiny little jewels  or the ratzen-fratzen timer—there’s a story.  An action-adventure romance.  And you can only read it by winning the boards.

Perfect name, too. . .  I can lose hours of sleep playing this.

I’ve had to restrict myself to forty-five minutes a day.  With the egg-timer, set by my children, who are far more strict about it than I would be—and positively gleeful about it, too.


Jane’s asked me to take her to her school’s Family Math Fun Night (“They have pizza, Mom!”) after work today.  Not Dad or Sunny or Grandma, just us.  Because she wants to spend time with me.

Kid brought out the big guns for this one.  And it worked.

I did offer to take her out to her favorite pizza place instead, since I’m going to be at least fifteen minutes late, but apparently math fun trumps punctuality and double mushrooms and sausage.  Who knew?*

I  also warned her I might embarrass her with my ignorance of elementary school math, but she only laughed—as long as I don’t call her Honey Bunny Pootie Pie,** she’s good.


Tawna Fenske did an interesting experiment with writerly voice on her blog this week.  She held a “Guess What’s Weird” contest yesterday, and today’s answer surprised everyone but her co-conspirator.

She went on the discuss the problems with selling voice.  I found it fascinating.

And now I’m wondering—and worrying a bit, because that’s SOP—that I don’t have a unique writing voice.  Double-dash addictions don’t count, do they?

Can one even hear one’s own voice?

Is this getting too Zen?

Any thoughts?


Whew, the referrer-bots are out in full force today.  One of them has added 28 hits since early this morning—I think Evil, Inc. needs to reboot their Spaminator.

The annoying little beasts are ruining my compulsive stat checking.

Then again, they are forcing me to brush off my math skills before tonight . . .


* I’d demand a DNA test, but my FIL was a professor of mathematics and my uncle is a retired CPA.  I’d also complain about the capriciousness of genetics, but I did avoid the Family Nose—capitals deliberate and deserved, so it isn’t all bad.

**We have occasional discussions about the yuckiest, most embarrassing thing you can call someone.  This is the current winner.  We will entertain other suggestions—but keep ‘em G or mild PG, please.  She’s eight.