dem doggone bloggin’ blues …

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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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CQ CQ CQ …

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going Parisian … again

burger

burgers and frites

We’re heading back to Europe and taking both our adult children with us this time! Our kids will spend ten days with us in Paris before returning home, and we will head off to Brussels, Amsterdam, Scotland, Ireland, and a week in the English countryside and London. Such wonderful memories await us!

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fly boy …

fly

twenty years ago today

My son flew out from New York City for the holidays and it’s been fun perusing the photo-books and letting the memories flow. It seems like only yesterday when I put him and his cousin into the cockpit and told them to NOT touch the throttles or pull on the landing-gear handle! FedEx would not be happy with me!

Teenagers will do so anyway … so thank goodness for safeguards! :)

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77 years young …

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General Radio 1931-A Modulation Monitor

I’ve spent the last week refurbishing this General Radio 1931-A Amplitude Modulation Monitor. Works perfect now, and I did my very best to bring it back cosmetically, the way it looked 77 years ago when it left the factory!

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Buy It Now …

my7704

Tektronix 7704A

Keith Richards of Rolling Stones fame once remarked -

“I don’t have a drug problem .. I have a police problem!”

I don’t have a drinking problem .. I have a buying problem! And one more oscilloscope joins the fold.

Notes to Self – do NOT pour a glass of fine Cabernet Sauvignon and then sit down at the computer and surf the Tektronix page on eBay!

Who was the genius that invented the Buy It Now! concept?

Absolutely brilliant!

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