Tag Archives: geometry

Barometer | 100 Word Story

States the Professor, “Using a barometer, determine the height of the Physics building.”

Answers Student One, “Determine the atmospheric pressure at the top and base of the building. From the density of air and the pressure difference, calculate the height.” 

Answers Student Two, “Throw the barometer off the roof and time how long it takes to fall. From the acceleration of gravity and simple calculus, calculate the height.” 

Finally Student Three answers, “Find the superintendent of the Physics building. Tell him that you will give him this really nice barometer if he tells you the exact height of the building.” 


Observation: The hardest part was keeping track of the word count and juggling to get exactly 100 words.

This is a famous story with several variations. I first heard it many many years ago. See:



A Brief History of Everything

Continue reading A Brief History of Everything

SRL – Technical Discussion

Re: Seven Red Lines

Via #1 Son:

Thought you’d appreciated the discussion at my work about this:

TC Embarrassingly, I’ve done the opposite in meetings.
Requester: I want two perpendicular lines.
PM: Drawing two perpendicular lines is really hard. No resources for it.
Dev: Actually, I can do that in an hour.
PM: /facepalm
3 days, 19 hours ago

JH Increase the dimensionality and you can certainly get 7 lines all perpendicular to each other.
1 day, 5 hours ago

K Can you show me that on a whiteboard?
1 day, 5 hours ago

JC Sure. Get him a 7 dimensional whiteboard.
1 day, 4 hours ago

JH {{1,0,0,0,0,0,0},{0,1,0,0,0,0,0},{0,0,1,0,0,0,0},{0,0,0,1,0,0,0},{0,0,0,0,1,0,0},{0,0,0,0,0,1,0},{0,0,0,0,0,0,1}}
1 day, 3 hours ago

AH (Two vectors are perpendicular if their dot-product equals 0.)
1 day, 3 hours ago

JH As for the color part, I feel like there was an xkcd about this recently…http://xkcd.com/1351/
1 day, 3 hours ago

PA The internet has everything, even seven dimensional orthogonal vectors
1 day ago

JC Projecting seven dimensions down to two dimensions doesn’t seem to work very well. Also, the colors are wrong.
1 day ago

M If you don’t like the color, priests from AoE will fix it for you
1 day ago

SF It’s not too hard to plot 5 dimensional data on a 2 dimensional canvas:http://imgur.com/69Jc8Ch
1 day ago

GM but the question is, can you make them red and transparent?
25 minutes ago

SF color=”red”, alpha=0.5 🙂
19 minutes ago