“Three years of Sundays” – Frank Nelson Cole


I first heard of Frank Nelson Cole a few years ago and about how he figured out one of mysteries in Mathnatics – the Mersenne number M67. M67 is computing increasing powers of 2 and finally subtracting 1. The result was the 21-digit number 147,573,952,589,676,412,927. Édouard Lucas had demonstrated in 1876 that M67 must have factors (i.e., is not prime), but he was unable to determine what those factors were.

Cole was an American mathematician born in 1861, was educated at Harvard. He lectured there and later at the University of Michigan and at Columbia University, New York. He had heard about M67 in college and it always interested him.

On October 31, 1903, Cole famously made a presentation to a meeting of the American Mathematical Society where he identified the factors of the Mersenne number 267 − 1, or M67.During Cole’s so-called “lecture”, he approached the chalkboard and in complete silence proceeded to calculate the value of M67, with the result being 147,573,952,589,676,412,927. Cole then moved to the other side of the board and wrote 193,707,721 × 761,838,257,287, and worked through the tedious calculations by hand.
Upon completing the multiplication and demonstrating that the result equaled M67, Cole returned to his seat, not having uttered a word during the hour-long presentation. His audience greeted the presentation with a standing ovation. Cole later admitted that finding the factors had taken “three years of Sundays.”
What have you done in the last 3 years on sunday? Let’s say he spent only 3 hours a sunday on this, that is 468 hours. The determination I think is amazing!

Positions I have had at Chesterton

Today i was looking at my linkedin page and realized I have almost perfect symmetry between the 3 groups I have worked for at Chesterton. I started my career in Application engineering and then moving over to R&D. This was for a total of 9 years and 10 months. I then had my first stint in Training, when you combine that with my second time there it comes to 9 years and 2 months. Then the position I have now and back before my last time in Training was Marketing – I have now over 8 years and 5 months in that group.

The second thing I noticed is my current time here in Marketing just surpassed the last time by 1 month (1st time 4 years 2 months, current 4 years 3 months)!

Chicken Tax and the Subaru Brat

Learned something new today about how Lyndon Johnson in 1963 created a 25% import tax on trucks that is still on the books today! He created the law to counter a tax put on frozen USA chicken in Germany- The tax is named after that as the “chicken tax”.

This tariff has allowed Domestic trucks to dominate the market since the 60’s resulting in the Ford F-150 as the most popular truck on the planet. Some foreign automakers have tried to get around the law, the most famous is the Subaru Brat. It was so popular even Ronald Reagan owned one to tool around his ranch. After he was elected, he was never photographed riding it because of the “optics”. but the Brat was only around a few years because the Fed’s finally caught up to Subaru and forced them to pay back taxes.
Reagan’s BRAT!

I learned all this from a great podcast from NPR called planet money. Excellent podcast with amazing info that will make you look smarter then you are. Also here is good story from Wired Magazine also talking about the tax.

Polar Plunge 2017


On March 4th I was part of the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. I raised over 500 dollars for the cause and all I had to do was jump into the 18F water!

The photo above proves I did it! And it was extremely cold that day – winds that drove the temperature down to around 0F!


The man in the Arena

A few months ago in a book I was reading I first saw this incredible part of a speech by Teddy Roosevelt called “The man in the Arena”. Not only did it talk about fighting the fight inside the arena it talked about how people who have not done anything will criticize you. The “critics” are people who have never fought for anything and will never feel the thrill or winning or the agony of defeat. It also really made me look at life and are you living it or criticizing it.

This is a quote that I really love and will cherish about getting stuff done.

ESPN studios

Back in June of 2011, my friend had someone who worked at ESPN studios in Bristol Connecticut and got us on a list ot get a “special” behind the scenes tour. I had been a fan of ESPN going back to when I was in school in the 80’s so this was a real treat. It was everything I thought it would be and more. Steve’s friend was a graphic artist who could render images over live television to make the item move – like a goal post with the words “Gameday”.

This photo was as we were walking around the main studio building and had these real college football helmets hanging from the walls. Amazing!

This was Steve and I in front of the old ESPN news studio – right where the anchors gave the latest updates on NFL, NBA, and all sports! A few years ago they got rid of this channel and now show almost 24 hour sportscenter.

We were able to look from a window into the editing bay for the SportCenter studio. It was amazing how everything comes together in this place.

This was in the NFL Live studio that also doubles for Baseball Tonight also. On the left behind us is an area for interviews and a mini football field / Baseball diamond.

Peak Minutes Goal and Google embedded Graphs

A 2017 goal/New Years resolution is focusing less on Steps and more on peak heart rate minutes per week and month. I decided I would have a monthly goal that would increase by 5 minutes per month – starting with 15 minutes for January and ending at 70 in December.

This has been alot harder goal then I thought – my body likes to get to Peak heart rate and then come back to cardio while i start to cool down. It is really hard unless I keep sweating to keep my heart rate up. it has been a challenge but I am working on it – and as of today (end of March) i am meeting my goal.

The second thing I realized today is you can make a graph using Google Doc’s and insert it into wordpress (like this blog) and it will update it graph as the data changes in the google doc’s spreadsheet. I thought this was amazing!
Below is a graph of my weekly process:

And here is the average for the month.

I made a page specifically to keep me honest on this goal here.

Education Attainment and Employment

I saw something in Facebook about how great Trump is because he lowered the unemployment rate for his first month in office. I have always been interested in the employment statistics and had visited the employment rate website at the department of labor a few times so I visited it again to see the impact of one month in office. My main goal was to see if this drastic shift in unemployment (-0.1%) effected them who would have less education attainment levels.

The first thing you realize is for people without a high school degree have an excessive unemployment rate – 9%(+0.1% for the month)! That is almost 10 million people that really have a hard time getting a job compared to the rest of us. Looking at the other groups you can see how much higher it is – For a high school degree only – 5.4% (down 0.5% for the month), some college / associate degree 4.3% (up 0.2% for the month), and lastly a bachelors degree at 2.4% (down 0.1% for the month). With a college degree it is 3X less unemployment rate!

Then looking at the data for the last 10 years you realize it has been this way the entire decade. Also the recession hurt the non-high school degree the most. For example, people without a high school degree, at the height of the crash had in 2010 of 14.9% compared to college degree at the same time of only 4.7%! That is 3X less – just terrible olastn people who have financial difficulty already.

From this data done for 2015, you can see that a BS degree has 2X+ more earnings then someone without a HS degree.

Lastly I wanted to know a better idea of who are these people who have such an issue with unemployment. From the graph above from the US Census, my questions were answered. First you can see a little change in the non HS degree area – from 65+ at 84.3% to 25-34 at 90.5%. This is some change in 40 years but sad so little(+6.2%). Getting a high school degree is the first long term goal you achieve and failing to get that, besides financial stress and unemployment, is lower self confidence in reaching goals.

Old letter I found

Well I found this old letter in my basement that held my baptism records. This was over 50 years ago and I was wondering where we lived as a family back then. So today I decided to look a little harder at it and see what I find.

Letter found

first, the street I was born at is no more – I am quite sure it was renamed to Dleur De Lis Drive in New Orleans. The main reason is it is would make consist with “A” and “B” street.

map between house and church

Also it is about 5 miles from where the church I was baptized. It must of not been that much of a drive (15 minutes on google earth now). Interesting that I have never heard about this church before this.

the church

The church is still there – and it looks very nice from the outside.

latest photo of where house was

The house does not exist anymore – perhaps it was destroyed during Katrina (it is very close to lake Pontchartrain).

2007 image of where the house was right after Katrina

From this image on google maps it looks like the entire area had damage from the storm.

map of Katrina damage

Also it only costs 5 Cents to send a letter back them.

Remembering California while it snows outside

This photo was taken while we drove up from Venice California to Santa Barbara on the PCS (Pacific Coast Highway). Not only am I getting the lingo down, I am all in on the golden state! We had a great vacation starting in Palm Springs and then moving through the Joshua Tree National Forest, San Diego, and Los Angeles.

I think one of the best things I loved about the vacation was the time of the year – terrible weather back here in Worcester and just amazing in southern Cal. Also it was considered way off season and we had very few crowds! I will try to add that destination for every January from now on!