Friday, May 8, 2009

Newsletter #00031

I wasn't going to write my newsletter tonight since I'm tired but because my entire weekend will be devoted to writing a 6 page research paper and because I just found the coolest thing ever, I am going to post one tonight.

First of all, this is going to go along with the magic squares that Brad talked about. I found it in one of my Muse magazines and have found it amazing. So here it goes (and if you don't know what a magic square is, I suggest reading Brad's last newsletter to get a good idea of them).

Okay, so reading through my Muse magazines for a little inspiration, I flipped open to one of the math pages and lo and behold I see an article on none other than magic squares! So anyways, I'm reading through this, realizing that Brad pretty much covered the basic idea of them when I found this-- the coolest magic square in the history of magic squares (and that is no lie).

Ok so in numbers the magic square doesn't seem all that unusual. It looks something like this: (the zeros before the single digit numbers are only there as place holders to make the square easier to read)

05 22 18
28 15 02
12 08 25

Looking at this one you can see that going in any direction the numbers will add up to 45. Cool yes, but still not overly impressive.
Now do this to it. Spell it out in words:

five twenty-two eighteen
twenty-eight fifteen two
twelve eight twenty-five

(*I tried to make this look like a square but the formatting changes when I go to post it)

Once you've done that, count the number of letters in each of the words and put it back into the square. It should end up looking like this:

04 09 08
11 07 03
06 05 10

Doing this not only gives you another magic square (the numbers added up in any given direction give you 21), but the magic square also contains the consecutive numbers ranging from 3 to 11)
Isn't that the coolest thing ever??

Ok, just had to show you that. Especially since it is such a nice follow-up to Brad's newsletter on Wednesday.

While looking through my Muse magazines (I really should renew my subscription, it seems like half the things I've ever written about came from them), I read an article about black holes. Basically it was from a physics professor talking about what would happen if you could go into a black hole and not immediately die (*note, for this purpose a larger black hole is much much better- you will live longer, if at all). One thing I thought was really interesting was how light travels in a black hole. I'm too lazy to back and look it up but I believe it is circular or some other weird direction other than straight.

This might not sound all that weird until you consider its implications. Basically, it was stated after this fact was given, this means that while in the back hole, you would be able to see the back of your head. Strange right? The article also briefly mentions how when you reach the center of a black hole all physics rules that are known to man basically stop working. Of course no one has ever been inside a black hole, but still, its weird)

Ever since I was little I have been fascinated by space. Despite my fear of heights and very large open spaces, I think traveling into space would be the coolest thing ever. Space is also something so complicated to think about and its really a topic that leads you to contemplating all those questions about life (like, if there was nothing ever, what would it have been like, or what does it even really mean?) Such questions we've probably all thought about at times but when you really start thinking about it it makes your brain hurt (or at least mine does if I really, really try and imagine what there would be if there was nothing-- ever)

Something else I think is really interesting is the human brain and I suppose humans and life in general. The idea that we are all made up of elements found on the periodic table, elements that not only compose living, breathing, thinking, feeling creatures, but also rocks and really everything is kinda crazy. I mean when you think about it even further, on a much much smaller level, we are just made up of atoms with electrons and protons and nuclei. It just seems remarkable that those things could make us who we are. Thinking about the fact that right now, as I'm thinking about what to write (which is more or less just me typing whatever comes into my head, as I think it), it is hard to picture that my hands typing is actually just elements that on their own are so unremarkable, made up entirely of things like electrons and protons.

Anyways, other than the magic square thing, this newsletter was kind of just whatever popped into my head tonight, while I'm half asleep. Hopefully everything I said makes some sort of sense, as I'm much too tired to reread what I've written tonight.

May 8-2009
-By Kasey

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