29 June 2007

about a novelist

Filed under: Uncategorized — bookweevil @ 8:34 pm

Nick Hornby on waiting to become a novelist:

I always presumed that I would be a writer, without actually doing any writing. I think I thought I was going to get a phone call from somebody one day saying they had a vacancy for a novelist. When I realised that this wasn’t going to happen I thought it was about time to do something.
– Nick Hornby

22 June 2007

i was a fool when i married you

Filed under: jokes — bookweevil @ 1:31 pm


After a quarrel, a wife said to her husband, “You know, I was a fool when I married you.”

And the husband replied, “Yes, dear, but I was in love and didn’t notice it.”

russell’s teapot

Filed under: atheism, quotes — bookweevil @ 1:13 pm

Russell’s teapot, from Bertrand Russell, “Is There a God?” (1952), in The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, vol. 11: Last Philosophical Testament (ed. John C. Slater and Peter Kollner) (London: Routledge, 1997), pp. 543:

If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

16 June 2007

centrifugal force

Filed under: currently reading, humour, web-comics — bookweevil @ 2:29 pm

Bond: Come now, do you really expect me to do coordinate substitution in my head while strapped to a centrifuge?

Villain: No, Mister Bond. I expect you to die.

From this issue of xkcd, which I got introduced to recently at work.

How to deconstruct almost anything

Filed under: literature — bookweevil @ 1:24 pm

This is actually the clearest explanation of deconstruction I’ve read. (Copy below.)


8 June 2007

Benford’s law

Filed under: mathematics, trivia — bookweevil @ 1:29 pm

From Wikipedia:

Benford’s law, also called the first-digit law, states that in lists of numbers from many real-life sources of data, the leading digit is 1 almost one third of the time, and larger numbers occur as the leading digit with less and less frequency as they grow in magnitude, to the point that 9 is the first digit less than one time in twenty …

The law can be explained by the fact that, if it is indeed true that the first digits have a particular distribution, it must be independent of the measuring units used. For example, this means that if one converts from e.g. feet to yards (multiplication by a constant), the distribution must be unchanged — it is scale invariant, and the only distribution that fits this is logarithmic.

4 June 2007


Filed under: literature, poetry — bookweevil @ 3:09 pm

Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Blog at