Tuesday, April 29, 2008


This is a diagram from Reviel Netz and William Noel's book [The Archimedes Codex] How a Medieval Prayer Book Is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity's Greatest Scientist . It's part of Archimedes' proof that a parabolic segment is four-thirds the triangle it encloses and it's particularly astonishing. Most of us I'm sure have the silly figure of a naked man jumping out of a bath shouting "eureka" in our minds when we hear the word Archimedes. This extraordinary little book does a great job revealing the magnitude of this genius. I was shocked at how much I didn't know about who Archimedes was and what he had accomplished...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Google calendar nuisances

I am very happy with Google Calendar's syncing with my Outlook. I don't have Microsoft Exchange at work so I can only share my calendar through Google. That is all right, after all that's the whole point of having your calendar online. Or, is it? Not quite! Whenever you go to Google Calendar's first page, and you're not logged in, you have two options: log in or sign up. Yes, no search for somebody else's public calendar. You have to go through the usual Google search route for that. You can send your friends an html link (mine is here) or an ical entry of your calendar, but that's certainly not practical. What's more, each calendar has its own unique link (fine) but what happens if someone wants to see your merged public agenda? To top it all, a private event with "Show me as busy" in a public calendar still shows up when shared, complete with the event's time info and a telling, for-those-in-the-know (or for-those-in-the-law at other times, depending on the event), "busy" title. That's not very private to me.