dem doggone bloggin’ blues …

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first steps …

robolane

Debbie and I are teaching a grades 5,6,7 Robotics class and having a blast. I’ve got my two other helpers (grandsons) assisting me with radio design and stringing up antennas, and Lane is getting his first course in robots.

starting them early in engineering!

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new arrivals …

meandlane

Grandson #3

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Dreamlining to Japan …

dreamliner

on vacation to Japan via 787 Dreamliner

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farewell Jim …

Williams

Jim Williams

Any engineer that has done analog circuit design owes tribute to Jim Williams of Linear Technology Corporation. Engineer extraordinaire .. Jim loved his oscilloscopes as I do.

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come together …

abbeyroad

Abbey Road, London

45 years ago (this week) the famous Beatles’ Abbey Road cover photo was taken in front of the Abbey Road Studios in London.

abr

Debbie was hesitant to run out into the middle of the street and grab ‘the shot’. Still, a goose-bumpy kind of thing for me. I was living in my car in Dallas, Texas, eighteen years old, and trying to make sense of those turbulent times for our country in 1969. It helped falling asleep to Abbey Road playing on a borrowed 4-track player, in the backseat of my 1955 Plymouth painted in peace-signs and bright yellow daisies. The Dallas police were not amused … as I recall. :)

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it doesn’t add up …

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We made it to Oxford University! I’ve spent most of my retirement studying advanced mathematics through the Stanford Center for Professional Development, so this stopover on our way to London from Wales was a big deal for me. Heck, all we did was walk through the campus, eat English Pies for dinner, drink too many beers, and breathe Oxford air … and we’re both feeling much smarter for it!

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Looking at this equation, it might pique your interest enough to wonder if there are positive integers (counting numbers) other than 0 and 1, where the equation has a solution. The Greeks knew that for n = 2 there most certainly are solutions (as shown), and in fact, they had their own Pythagorean Theorem to prove it. And it is true, that we can build triangles with all sides including the hypotenuse as integers. Now I’m not much of a gambler, but I would bet against anyone finding a solution to the equation with n = 3 or greater. Pierre de Fermat took it to heart, and in 1621, took hold of this conjecture and made it his very own theorem (which it wasn’t). Fermat’s Last Theorem to be exact. Pierre said no .. for integers where n is greater than 2, there are no solutions. He went on to write in the margins of one of his math texts ‘To divide a cube into two other cubes, a fourth power, or in general, any power whatever into two powers of the same denomination above the second, is impossible.”

But here’s the kicker …

“I have found an admirable proof of this, but the margin is too narrow to contain it.”

And with that .. Fermat’s Last Theorem became the most celebrated unsolved problem in mathematics for almost four-hundred years.

In June, 1993, Andrew Wiles of Princeton University published a 200-page proof that Pierre de Fermat’s conjecture was indeed, now a valid theorem. It took 20th century mathematics to prove it, so was Pierre just having a bit of fun by suggesting he had already proved it, or have we missed something obvious perhaps? Great fun …

Dan & Debbie, London

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ladies in Paris …

in Paris with my two favourite ladies.

Debbie and I treated our two adult children to ten days in Paris. Exhausted, we took the double-decker bus home to our apartment from the Eiffel Tower.

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