Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Friday, May 05, 2006


I seem to have lost the energy/desire to keep up this blog. Is this a permanent or temporary condition? I don't know. I kind of think that my blog readership may also go down.

My research is beginning to reach a point where anonymous queries about mathematical topics might well point directly back to me, and I've not done a very good job of writing about my teaching life of late.

I won't delete the blog since that seems to be an invitation to have the URL taken over by webspammers, but I'm not sure I'm coming back either.

I'll probably still do the progress bars on the projects through the end of the summer (and I'll certainly write a post when I close that last gap on the top 250 films), but that's about it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Doctor Who: The Beginning at Netflix 

Interesting: This is supposed to be a three DVD set, but reviews at amazon indicate that the discs being sent our are labeled as "1 of 2" (at least partially), and the set is currently indicated as "unavailable" on Netflix's detail page (although the three discs are in my queue just fine). I'm tempted to bump disc 1 to the front of my queue (it's currently at #11) to see what's going on, but on the other hand waiting for it to make its way up naturally will give them time to fix the problem assuming that it's actually a problem and it's being fixed.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Why come up with something original when you can rip someone else off 

So apparently this guy has a unique idea for a tribute band. And what happens? Someone steals your idea.

Alas, as far as I can find, no website for the second band which apparently only lip-syncs as opposed to the first which as near as I can tell actually plays and sings the material.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Yay! It's spring break 

But alas, my wife had to leave town for the first part of it (she comes back Wednesday).

My plan is to do some heavy-duty math, including working on my thesis problem.

Meanwhile people who appled to PhD programs are hearing back from their schools. My personal favorite is the guy who has to decide between UCI and UIC. If he were dyslexic, it wouldn't make a difference.

Friday random 10 - Define "random" edition 

  1. "In Your Eyes," Jeffrey Gaines, KSCA Live From The Music Hall Vol. 1
  2. "Solsbury Hill," Peter Gabriel, Muppet 05 - Disc 2
  3. "Est-Ce Que Tu," Dusty Trails, Dusty Trails
  4. "dinner with drac," john zacherle, (126)
  5. "Unforgettable," Nat King Cole, The Capitol Collectors Series
  6. "Me and Sarah Jane," Genesis, ABaCab: Wrapping Up the World in Clothes of Brass and Cellophane
  7. "When We Collide," k.d. lang, Invincible Summer
  8. "Solsbury Hill," Peter Gabriel, Stonybrook (Live)
  9. "Darkness," Peter Gabriel, The Full Moon Club
  10. "Flight of the Wild Goose," Iona, Iona
Definitely a big Peter Gabriel vibe going here. Especially with two different versions of "Solsbury Hill" showing up.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Big-O notation 

So in what class didn't I learn this, and can anyone recommend a good text to develop a good comfort level with the concept?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Adventures in health care 

After 6 (count 'em SIX!) doctor visits, it turns out that I have exactly the hearing problem that I claimed to have and that yes, surgery is called for, and no, the HMO paperwork won't be finished in time for me to get it during spring break, so it looks like I'll continue to be partially deaf* for the remainder of the semester. My students will be disappointed, but such is life. Worse still is that I'd been working independently rather than going to class in topology** on the hopes that post-spring break I'd be able to hear again (the prof speaks rather softly). It looks like that was a vain hope.

* -35dB left ear, -75dB right ear, for those who like numbers

** While going to class, I'd given up on hearing the lecture and would generally just work on my own, but I got a bit pissed after I was blindsided with a question during the course of class where because I didn't hear the initial posing of it, I didn't have a chance to think about and got lumped in with the rest of the class who had it wrong when I would have with just a little bit of time had it correct. That was enough to make me figure that class wasn't worth the effort, and in any event, Munkres works quite well for self-study.

Perhaps there is some other universe that I could live in... 

...because this one pretty clearly sucks.

Has anyone else noticed that a significant portion of the What's New at Snopes.com postings are clearly racist slurs against Katrina refugees (I imagine the forwarded versions of these tales come with comments along the lines of "look at how lazy those d--d n--rs are!" attached).

And then I got an e-mail sent to me today with a picture of the Mexican flag flying over an upside-down American flag with the caption, "the photo that should kill amnesty".

Assuming that the description is accurate, all I have to say is, "If you want to make decisions about immigration policy based on the actions of a couple misguided high school students, can you please not do it for a country in which I'm living?"

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sometimes I wonder if I'm from another planet 

A real live actual review of "The Incredible Mr Limpet" from netflix:
If you have strong feelings/opinions about the inviolability of marriage, do not get this movie for your kids. The main character makes a big deal of his compunction to take a girlfriend after he becomes a fish because he is already married but then his "feelings" change his mind and everything is suddenly OK. There are also strong evolutionist opinions expressed about how people descended from fish. I wanted to warn those who would find these themes offensive.

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