Monthly Archives: October 2011

Island Triangles

Consider the island of Great Britain.  Imagine choosing 3 points on the coast, and connecting those points to make a triangle. I think there would be an infinite number of possible triangles.  Would that still be the case if we added the condition that the sides of the triangle may not cross the coastline?

And is it possible to create even one equilateral triangle that doesn’t cross the coastline?

I have no clue how to approach as a general case.


Some things that haven’t added up in my eyes:

Say I was good but my wife was not.  So I would go to heaven but she would go to hell.  But I love my wife.  It just wouldn’t be heaven if she wasn’t there.   Now what?  Does her soul get copied, and some android controls the part in my heaven, but she doesn’t know, and just suffers in hell?  I imagine her soul would have to get copied a lot of times.  Her friends and family would want her in their heavens too.

Wow a religious person might freak out at the thought of their soul being copied and used to make other people happy while they themselves rot in hell.  They would probably feel that that was unjust.  I heard that some serious criminals don’t believe they’re doing anything immoral.  I wonder how many of them would have cause for alarm.  There are some ridiculous things that are considered sins, like the one about wearing two different fabrics together.  That this discredits the Bible’s reliability of what would actually get you sent to hell makes sense, but then they really ought to change those ridiculous laws (example, the Toronto law that forbids dragging a dead horse down Yonge St. on a Sunday).  If that actually exists (I’m skeptical) then doesn’t that discredit our laws in a similar way to the Bible?

Ok, the debate could continue because we could just remove those sorts of laws.  But because the Bible is 2000 years old, nobody would agree to change it. And different sects already interpret the Bible differently.  And what if the Pope thinks that mixing fabrics is demonic?

If they did think about one silly Bible passage, they might scour the book for other outdated notions.  But if someone asked for the horse law to be repealed, the legal authorities would not read through every other law to see what others might be outdated.

Why not?” Is that even feasible?


Wow, I got sidetracked.  I don’t believe in souls, but the notion seems that they would be too precious to copy.  Another issue I have: what age is someone in heaven?  If I died now, I would hope to be my age.  But if I was 93, I would probably rather be younger than that in heaven.  And what if I’d had cancer, or broken all my ribs, or had a leg amputated? Who’s even to say?

But heaven is probably beyond the physical form.  Though I don’t even think that could happen.

OK, so it’s metaphorical. Your soul is happy, but we really mean the memory of you.  Which I do agree with, but it has nothing to do with religion. You’re still in the ground, but because you were a good person, we think fondly of you after you’re gone.  Can this be the new standard?

Is there a correlation with going clubbing and cheating on sexual partners?

I guess I’m thinking of this like a scientific study.  What I’d like to investigate is the strength of the correlation between people who go clubbing and cheating in current and/or future relationships.
My instinct says that people who currently go clubbing are more likely to cheat than those who don’t, and even that people who used to go clubbing are more likely to cheat than those who never did.
The premise is that the atmosphere of a nightclub is that of sexual attention.  Well-dressed people, dancing intimately, with low lights, alcohol, and sometimes drugs.  Even if you’re not trying to pick up, you’re bound to get some sexual attention (flirting, dancing, people looking at you).  Many people like sexual attention, and strut and flirt in order to get more.  I think these people would be much more likely cheat.
If you’re not getting that attention from your partner (or even if you are but one person isnt enough attention) then you might seek it out.  And naturally if you’re a current or former clubber, you’ll know a good place to get it.
Back to the focus: What’s the correlation for current clubbers, and does it change if you stop going to the club, or does that need for sexual attention persist?
If you wanted to be more specific, you could analyze what happens if one vs both partners are or were regular clubbers, or if they met at a club, and so on.
This seems like it would be impossible to do a proper double-blind study, and I wonder what would be the best way of figuring this out.  I wish I remembered more of this stuff from uni.  I also wonder if the effect is biological (neurological, brain chemicals), or psychological (not sure which subcategory), or if those are both true here and I should get out now before I say something idiotic.

Bumper to Bumper

What needs to happen to get more funding to GO Transit?  It really ought to be expanded.  This is what I was thinking about today:

1. Go Transit needs the least subsidies per ride in North America.  It’s a great investment in infrastructure and you get a good bang for your taxpayer buck. (Source: Wikipedia for the comparison, GO Transit (Background section) for the claim that it’s consistent)

2. The new GO trains hold over 1900* people each (new engines can pull 12 passenger coaches rather than 10).  How many cars is that?  Let’s do some math, and choose values that hurt my argument.  A 10-coach train could hold about 1580 people.  Metrolinx reports that “Currently the average vehicle travelling on the GTHA’s roads and highways during the morning rush hour carries less than 1.2 people” so let’s use 1.25, because the info seems like it’s from 2008.  1580/1.25 equals 1264 cars that could be taken off the road with a single GO train.  So I wondered how much space that would take on the highway.  1264 cars/3 per “row” is just over 420 rows of cars.  And I’ll estimate the length of a car to be 4 metres, which means that all those cars would fill the DVP one way from Bloor to Dundas, bumper to bumper.

*Edit (10/24/16:00) A reader noted that this is the seating capacity; I didn’t read carefully.  I can’t find an accurate figure for standing passenger capacity. Maybe an extra 40-50%?  Well, all the more reason to add trains.

I’m not even going to get into the environmental aspect (like CO2 emissions), the economical aspect (like productivity/man-hours lost in traffic), or how awesome it would be if they re-opened North Toronto Station (at Summerhill) so you could get from Kipling to Old Cummer or Agincourt in less time than it would be to drive.

How can I put this idea forward to the right people?

Rotisserie Channel

The Swiss Chalet rotisserie channel is essentially a 24-hour ad for Swiss Chalet.  But I haven’t heard anyone say, “What the hell is wrong with this picture?” or anything to that effect.

This is the kind of thing that 10 years ago, people thinking of it would have said, “Imagine if that existed, how messed up would that be?” or possibly, “How can we make this real and have people accept it?”

Seriously, I’m not sure if should congratulate Swiss Chalet or fear the future of advertising or media.

The all-star lineup

After 15 years of having the Yankees (and to a smaller degree, the Red Sox) as the MLB team with the killer roster, it took me longer than it should have to realize that it’s now the Phillies who have that role – and in the NL, to boot, for ages considered the weaker league.  Rollins, Utley, Pence, Howard, Victorino, Ibanez.  6 quality hitters that can generate runs any inning.  Compares well to Jeter, Damon, Teixeira, Rodriguez, Matsui, Posada, Cano (2009 Yankees), or even to Henderson, White, Alomar, Carter, Olerud, Molitor.  Not only that, but they have one of the best pitching rotations I’ve ever known.  Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt, and young Vance Worley?  Scary.   Their fourth starter was the ace of his previous team.

I tend to cheer for the underdog in sports. (I wonder what that means psychologically…)  When the Phillies were coming together, I was enjoying their pursuit of a championship.  I’m still not tired of them, because this group has only won one Series.  And I really want Doc to win a ring, because we in Toronto still have a collective major crush on the best player ever to wear a Jays uniform.  It’s sad for us that he’ll probably enter the Hall of Fame as a Phillie.

Not to say it always happens.  I booed the Yanks even when they started winning in ’96.  But the rising of the Red Sox and Rays earlier this decade was enjoyable, despite them also being division rivals.


I think that the all-star lineup is far more common in baseball, with it not having a salary cap, meaning a team with a lot of money can go out and buy a good team.  The NFL seems to have the most different playoff-bound teams and champions.  The NHL might be the biggest test of good management, with a tight salary cap forcing good drafting and development, and scouting projection as necessary in order to build a winning team.  (Detroit Red Wings, I tip my cap to you.)

The NBA has a few all-star rosters, and is far more disparate than MLB.  I hate how a few teams absolutely dominate the league, and that’s pretty much always the case.  I don’t have the stats, but I’d bet that the NBA has the fewest playoff upsets of all major leagues.