Is There A Mathematician In The House?

So, what it is; I'm hoping for help from a mathematician, should one happen to read this. But first, a complaint, the discussion of which may well end up taking longer than the actual topic…

The commonly given definition of a mathematical exponent (rather than an exponent of mathematics, which would be an enthusiastic maths teacher; I'm here all week, folks!) is that it represents how many times a given number should be multiplied by itself. Even as a child—a rather pedantic child, I should admit, but I know for a fact that I wasn't the only one—when I was given this explanation by a maths teacher, I found it both misleading and ambiguous.

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It's so long ago that it's hard to tell for sure, but it looks like last time I had time in front of the com-putter, I was putting together a YouTube music thingy. So, much overdue, here it be. Lots and lots of songs about wheeled transport. It's mostly made up of genres whose names end in -billy, with an occasional blues number thrown in here 'n' there, but there's a fairish variety to it nonetheless; and there's likely a lot of tracks which many folks won't have heard before.

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Using A Counter In A VBA Macro

T'other day, I knocked together a macro, for a friend, to number the paragraphs in a Microsoft Word document ("manual" rather than hard-coded numbering, that is):

Sub NumberingParagraphs()

    Dim iParagraphs As Integer
    iParagraphs = ActiveDocument.Paragraphs.Count
    Selection.HomeKey unit:=wdStory
    Do While iCount < iParagraphs
        iCount = iCount + 1
        Selection.TypeText iCount & ": "
        Selection.MoveDown unit:=wdParagraph

End Sub

My mate, being curious about, but not having experience of, the workings of such things, took a look and got the basic idea, but couldn't get his head around why the number of loops is seemingly instructed to be one less than the number of paragraphs. Surely, he said, it should be "less than or equal to," rather than "less than." Well, no. His kid got it straight away, and came up with a lovely semi-analogy; which I now share, in hopes that others who've been puzzled by this oft-seen seeming-paradox might see the light. Let's literally (yet figuratively) walk through the macro…

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Oh Bollocks

Neither the EU nor immigrants are forcing poor British families into ever-deeper poverty. Our Tory government is doing that.

Neither the EU nor immigrants are bleeding the NHS dry, closing libraries, trying to sell our school system to the highest bidder, and generally stomping on the faces of anyone too poor and powerless to kick up an embarrassing fuss. Our Tory government is.

And you, you stupid fuckers, regardless of any other outcomes of what has to be the dumbest decision I've had the doubtful privilege of witnessing—and there will be many outcomes, and they will be dire—have just handed our government to the most reactionary, right-wing section of the Tory party, who care even less for people less fortunate than themselves than do the smug, rich, self-serving bastards who currently hold the reins.

*Slow clap*

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The Christian Right On Orlando

Please accept our love and prayers.
Such violence, we do reject—
But please don't fly your rainbow flag;
It makes us think of yucky sex.
And please don't kiss out in the street,
Don't let us see you holding hands,
Don't make us see that you exist,
Don't ask for rights or wedding bands.
For though you've suffered awful loss,
We sympathise, but must defend
Our right to keep you in your place
As not-quite members of the human race;
As second class citizens.

The curd of human kindness
Splatters from our bowels.
We label it "Condolences,"
And heap it on with trowels.


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As it's Friday and I'm actually at the computer, hows about a Friday Night Is Music night post? This week's theme is the colour red. I've gone the literal route—every song I'm posting above the line has the word "red" in the title—but if you're adding suggestions in comments, feel free to widen the concept to things that are red; sunsets, bloodstains, etc. Anyways, here's six from me to start the ball rolling. A red ball, obviously.

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Toggle Wikipedia Mobile & Desktop Versions

So whadapp'ndwas, someone cited Wikipedia's article on the Qur'an, but instead of posting that link to the regular desktop version, they posted the mobile version instead. And I have to say, even on my desktop I prefer the cleaner, uncluttered mobile Wikipedia to the regular version. So much so, in fact, that I spent a fruitless half-hour trying to find a script or add-on which would allow me to always be directed to the mobile version. The closest I got was finding an old toggle-between-the-two one for Chrome which, according to the comments on the page, no longer works.


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