Pseudorandom Bits

A backwater in the vast ocean of thought

  • Pseudorandom?

    The Web is made of bits. Here are some of my bits, added to those other bits. Bits of information, bits of my thoughts, bits of others' thoughts. Maybe they seem a bit random, but, who knows?

    "There must be some bits here somewhere."

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    Scruff on Multiplication with lines
    Mike on Closer to the record
    jeff on Closer to the record
    Mike on Multiplication with lines
    acook on Multiplication with lines
  • About blogging

    "If you have a computer and can fog a mirror, you can post anything on the Internet." - Lars Mahinske
  • "You can see by my outfit that I am a blogger. If you buy an outfit, you can be a blogger, too!" (With not many apologies to "The Cowboy's Lament" and The Smothers Brothers.)
  • "We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true." - Robert Silensky
  • Link-by date

    Links to sites were good at the time they were posted, but they may have gone stale. If a link is broken, you might try searching the appropriate web site or using a web search engine.
  • Viewer caution

    Since some links are to news, commentary, or other sites, some content may not be appropriate for younger audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.
  • You should know

    Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." John 14:6 (NASB)
  • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NASB)
  • "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Mark 8:36
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Posts Tagged ‘Diversions’

World’s narrowest train right-of-way?

Posted by Mike on March 4, 2013

Talk about multiple uses of ground.

Train’s right-of-way = Width of train!



A longer version is found here:


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Best Friends – a kid, a dog and a puddle

Posted by Mike on February 13, 2013

Two friends out for a walk.

My father and a co-worker both sent me this link. It’s great!

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Multiplication with lines

Posted by Mike on March 19, 2008

Another topic my wife showed me. Multiplication by drawing lines. As she pointed out, this would get cumbersome (or worse) with numbers of several digits, but it’s interesting anyway.

Here’s a video.

Here’s a written example.

Why does this work? Nobody knows! OK, somebody does. This site also suggests how to do this multiplication when some of the digits are zero. How do you draw a “missing” line? Dots easy!

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Scientific Test: Dog is man’s best friend

Posted by Mike on March 19, 2008

You’ve heard those warnings after watching something potentially dangerous on TV: “blah blah blah done by professionals. Don’t try this at home”.

Well, here’s something you can try at home.

Hypothesis: A dog is truly man’s best friend.

Experiment: Perform the following steps:

  1. Put your dog and your wife in the trunk of the car for an hour.
  2. When you open the trunk, which one is really happy to see you?

(Modified from an email from my wife via a friend via who-knows.)

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Celebrate “Pi Day”

Posted by Mike on March 14, 2008

Should be a national holiday!

Enjoy Pi Day.

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Secret Codes – Updated

Posted by Mike on March 1, 2008

Earlier there was Dad’s Secret Code. Then there was Mom’s Secret Code.

But before all that, there was Fletcher Pratt’s Secret and Urgent: The story of codes and ciphers. This was one of the book highlights of my boyhood days. This is an interesting, and to some of us, exciting book to read. It gives some history of codes and ciphers, and also gives some examples. Since it was originally written during World War II, it doesn’t have much on WWII code efforts. That would have to come later in other books. I wasn’t the only one impressed by this book.

I was going to suggest some related books on codes and ciphers, but at the moment my memory won’t cough them up.

Anyway, start with Pratt’s book and work toward the present. There are some interesting books that do give insight into WWII and more recent code work. It is an amazing area of mental work. Some have suffered mental breakdowns because of the stress involved. But it is also a fertile area in recent mathematical work. Modern computer communication and data storage would not happen without information encodings of various kinds.

It’s an interesting area of study, with problems for all levels of skill and knowledge. Now, if I could only break Dad’s Secret Code.

[Update: Two books that I couldn’t recall earlier are: The Code Breakers by David Kahn, and The Code Book by Simon Singh. A search on for “Code Breaker” as a title yields several books. A search by subject should give even more. Unir sha ernqvat nobhg pbqrf naq pvcuref!]

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Downloading the Internet

Posted by Mike on January 10, 2008

Most of you have downloaded files from the Internet at one time or another.

But, have you tried downloading the whole Internet?

You might have to wait a bit, and have an extra disk or two handy.

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