David Nightingale

Commentary & Opinion
12:09 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

David Nightingale: Herschel (1738 - 1822)

Choose a career, and stay with it for life?

Perhaps that's what many people used to do and maybe still do  --  but consider this man:

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Commentary & Opinion
12:45 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

David Nightingale: L'Hopital's Rule (l'Hopital, 1661-1704)

There's been talk over the years about whether or not a famous rule, called l'Hopital's Rule, after the French nobleman Guillaume-Francois-Antoine Marquis de l'Hopital, Comte d'Entremont, Seigneur d'Ouques-La-Chaise – which is not even his full name – possibly 'bought' the rule from the famous mathematician Johann Bernoulli, who was born in 1667.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:45 pm
Sun May 26, 2013

David Nightingale: Homestead

Three young deer, the same three that had touched their noses to my front windows in the snowy months, while I was at the computer barely 8 feet away, and who later ate the emerging hyacinths of March/April, today chewing at low-branched green leaves …

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Commentary & Opinion
4:03 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

David Nightingale: 50 Shades of Grey

The 500 pp book “50 Shades of Grey”, by E.L.James – a pseudonym for the 50 yr old writer Erika Mitchell[ref.2] (who lives in London with her husband and two sons) -- has been variously slanged by critics. Despite these criticisms the book and its 2 sequels have been selling (last year) like wildfire, with the majority of the readers being women. So somehow, worldwide, there is a deep need.

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Commentary & Opinion
8:12 am
Mon April 1, 2013

David Nightingale: Flight 447 (found)

They've released [ref.1] the final report for the disappearance of Flight 447, a 200 ton Airbus which disappeared in June 2009 on its way from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. About 4 hours into the flight, somewhere over the Atlantic, in night-time stormy weather, contact with the airliner was completely lost.

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Commentary & Opinion
1:13 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

David Nightingale: Tom Lehrer (4/9/1928 - )

Tom Lehrer
Credit Wikimedia Commons

There've been musicians like astronomer Herschel, and there've been chemists like Borodin – but all my life a favorite mathematician has been Tom Lehrer, whose songs began to come out when he was a graduate student in the '50s.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:56 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

David Nightingale: College Degrees

How important is a college degree? It's an age-old question, and it's related to  unequal pay, useful work in a society, and many other factors.

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Commentary & Opinion
1:20 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

David Nightingale: Asteroid DA14

Projected track of Asteroid DA14
Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech

The asteroid “DA14”, which will hurtle past us sometime after lunch today, was discovered by Spanish observers last year.

Our highest satellites, used for GPS, are just over 22,000 miles up, and DA14 will pass underneath that level – coming about 17,000 miles from us. Fortunately, NASA assures us we are safe.

Now Earth and Moon have been hit many times, over the eons, by asteroids.The explosive 1908 Tunguska asteroid, a similar size to the one passing us on Friday  (which for a while many suspected might have been a mini-black hole) damaged 800 square miles of Siberia.

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Commentary & Opinion
10:06 am
Fri November 30, 2012

David Nightingale - Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925)

   Oliver Heaviside received not much more than a middle school education, leaving school at 16 -- yet became one of the most famous mathematical physicists of his time [ref.1.].

   In a short biography by Appleyard [ref.2, p.218-9] there are a few drawings of horses by the 11 yr old Oliver, perhaps because his own father was an artist. as well as a wood engraver. The family lived in an impoverished part of Camden Town, London. Nevertheless, his mother's sister was the wife of Charles Wheatstone, famous for the Wheatstone Bridge circuit used in telegraphy.

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Commentary & Opinion
2:44 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

David Nightingale - Felix Baumgartner's Jump

Anyone who's jumped off a haystack or played on a trampoline, knows the pleasurable feeling of weightlessness, wherein there are, for a fleeting moment, no more sagging body parts.

Felix Baumgartner, a 43-year old Austrian military parachutist, intentionally jumped from a capsule 24 miles up, on Oct 14, thus certainly knowing weightlessness for a decent amount of time. And what a fascinating lot of physics the man who fell from space experienced!

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