Sharing My Love of Reading


[ adapted from my comments to rkbookreviews on his review of the book Stop What You’re Doing And Read This by Carmen Callil, Nicholas Carr, Jane Davis, Mark Haddon, Blake Morrison, Tim Parks, Michael Rosen, Zadie Smith, Jeanette Winterson, Dr. MaryAnne Wolf, & Dr. Mirit Barzillai ]

It does sound like a good book.  I liked your notes on the Dr. Jane Davis essay.

I find that I become a cheerleader for my favorite books, always trying to get my friends to read them.  This rarely works … but I’ve found a different way to share my beloved stories: reading them aloud.



A Hideous Sentence

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I ran across a hideous sentence recently:

I know you thought you heard what I said but I think you didn’t understand what I meant.

Try diagramming that one! *giggle*

Can anybody think of a better way to phrase it?

[I can’t.]

When am I ever going to use this (math)?

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When I was a professional math tutor I was frequently asked:
“When am I ever going to use this?”


Well, I’ll tell you what I told them:


Proofing the Web

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I’m the sort of person who can’t avoid noticing spelling and grammar errors — They just shout out to me from the page/screen.  I know most folks lack this curse and can simply read along, overlooking any errors — but not me.

So, I drop notes to webmasters (example) to alert them to errors, explain the corrections, and point out any broken links.  Doing this redirects my annoyance, helps me stick to my principles (Be part of the solution.), and (I hope) improves the web.


‘Which’ Versus ‘That’

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I regularly contact webmasters to alert them to grammar/spelling errors and broken links.

The following information is an excerpt from one of these emails, focusing on how to choose between the words ‘which’ and ‘that’.


Advice for College Success

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Advice for College Success:

30 Free Lessons I Had to Learn the Hard Way

  1. Not everyone should go to college.
    Some people just aren’t cut out for academic life.  This isn’t an insult — Some folks are just more “Doers” than “Studiers” and want to get down to business right away.
  2. You don’t have to go to college right after high school.
    Some people aren’t mature enough to do well in college at 18 years old.  You can always go back to school after you have worked in dead-end jobs for years and are better motivated to study.  Besides, older students often have better time management skills and have gotten past those first few “wild years” of freedom.
  3. Bigger isn’t necessarily better.

Trig Angle Addition Formulas

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A “Proof by Picture” of the Angle Addition Formulas

Original proof by Sunny Snaith.

Original proof by Sunny Snaith.

All you need to know in order to follow the proof is:

  • The basic trig identities:
    • The center angle of the triangle is Θ.
    • The hypotenuse is 1 (a radius of the unit circle).
    • The side adjacent is cos Θ.
    • The side opposite is sin Θ.
    • The angle between the adjacent and opposite sides is a right angle.
  • That any triangle can be scaled by a factor H:
    • The angles stay the same.
    • The sides are all multiplied by H.
    • The hypotenuse in this example would become 1 × H = H.


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