Lately, I’ve been on a STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math]* bender. Visited the Museum of Mathematics and listened to most of a lecture on computable problems [note to self-math men wear their hair attractively long] and read,of course, one charming translated from Japanese novella [The Housekeeper & the Professor] and one autobiography by a Russian emigre [Love and Math]. Sat with a math/cs whiz kid on the megabus to Chicago, learned how to use Boolean in conversation and heard about his summer research project.

And here’s a first attempt at a math problem[What geometrical shape has turtles and lily pads on one side] and flowers on the other? Answer: Congers Lake]

Math evokes numbers; numbers evoke my Dad. My Dad taught math in NYC public schools, but my assumption is that the love of numbers chose the profession, not vice versa. He had books of math puzzles; he wrote math problems in energetic blue ink on scraps of papers and then stowed them in his desk. Was he quizzing himself or was it relaxing? He also taught me about types of numbers [perfect numbers, primes], like the Professor did with Root, and a few math tricks [how to multiply x5 by x5]. Because of my Dad, I can calculate in my head and still almost always be right. Thanks for showing me how to play with numbers.

Note-It’s more accurately an S & M bender [science & math] but I don’t think I need to explain why that’s not an apt word choice.

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