Valentine’s Day Geek humor

In honor of Valentine’s Day, from one of the CUER mailing lists…

How do I love you?
Let me count the ways:
If you were an A.C. voltage
I’d keep you in phase

If you could transmit a moment
I would want to twist you
If you were a current through me
I could not resist you

If you were a scalar
I would give you a direction
Cross yourself with me
For a resultant of perfection

If you were a sine wave
I’d go up and down with you
If you switched to binary
I’d love you in base 2

If you were elastic
I could make you yield
If you were a magnet
I’d rotate within your field

If you were a pendulum
I’d give you oscillations
If you were a four-stroke engine
I’d fuel your rotation

If you were a mechanism
I would trace your motion
Transfer your momentum;
I’d conserve it with devotion

If you were a fan blade
You could spin inside my casing
If you were a metal truss
I’d be your extra bracing

If you were a soft iron core
I’d wrap my coils around you
Let me be your solenoid
My voltage would astound you

You’re the steam between my turbine blades,
The centre of my mass,
The wavelength of my cosine wave;
You are my Perfect Gas.

Your hair has high vorticity
Your skin has such low mu,
Your smile, such elasticity,
I would combine with you.

You are my complex conjugate
Convolve yourself with me
We shouldn’t wait — let’s integrate
And tend to unity.

followed by…

I’m sure that I will always be
A lonely number like root three

The three is all that’s good and right,
Why must my three keep out of sight
Beneath the vicious square root sign,
I wish instead I were a nine

For nine could thwart this evil trick,
with just some quick arithmetic

I know I’ll never see the sun, as 1.7321
Such is my reality, a sad irrationality

When hark! What is this I see,
Another square root of a three

As quietly co-waltzing by,
Together now we multiply
To form a number we prefer,
Rejoicing as an integer

We break free from our mortal bonds
With the wave of magic wands

Our square root signs become unglued
Your love for me has been renewed

Wherein the Grey Lady removes her trousers in public

I’ve read the New York Times since I got a great deal as a freshman at the University of Michigan for daily delivery to my dorm room. It’s a great newspaper in my view, with some really solid reporting both in the US and internationally.

But today I read an article that made me think the Times (aka Grey Lady) had gone absolutely cuckoo.

Read this passage from Neil A. Lewis in an article regarding former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens:

For example, a witness for both the government and defense, Rocky Williams, was sent home to Alaska by prosecutors who did not tell defense lawyers, an act that angered Judge Sullivan. Ms. Morris said the decision was made because Mr. Williams was gravely ill, not because prosecutors, after interviewing him, had decided he might help the defense case.

But Mr. Joy said a prosecutor, Nicholas Marsh, concocted the scheme to send Mr. Williams away after prosecutors held a mock cross-examination in which he did not perform well.

Still, there is considerable evidence that Mr. Williams was truly sick, including the fact that he has since died.

I hope for his sake that these paragraphs were written either a) up against a big deadline or b) because he really needed to up his word count. Even a high school English student could find a more elegant way to phrase this and still include the relevant details!

Perhaps it’s something for next weeks’ “After Deadline”…

A fascinating blog

I have a slight confession to make. While I got my undergrad degree in engineering, I’ve always enjoyed reading and try to read quite a bit. By all rights, I should detest grammar, and in many ways I do. (Probably because I never really learned it properly.) But that said, I’m fascinated by the ins and outs and twists of good and proper English grammar.

If this sounds like you at all, this is a webpage you must bookmark:

Each week, the New York Times goes through grammar mistakes it’s made in the last week and explains what was wrong and how the stories could have been better written. I mean… wow! It’s great to see self-reflection but also what a teaching tool for up-and-coming journalists and interested writers like me!

I hope this particular blog lasts for a long, long, time.